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Any woodworkers? Craftspeople? Artists?

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posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 08:54 PM
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My spouse is a pretty good at it and my father-in-law is a fantastic craftsman. My question is this: Can you really make money on sites like etsy?

We found this amazing antique occasional table and we've never seen anything like it before. Sorry no pics. We would like to make some replicas and offer a few various style takes on it. Is the labor from something like that worth it? We could do it in any sort of wood and we would with experiment with finishes and hardware.

It seems like there is some sort of sweet spot in making money off something handmade, with labor being the drawback sometimes, breaking it down by how much it costs per man hour. We don't want to reinvent the wheel, so we're looking for feedback from anyone who may make and sell something on their own.
edit on 3/4/2016 by HoldMyBeer because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 09:09 PM
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a reply to: HoldMyBeer

Some pics would be helpful.




posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 09:35 PM
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a reply to: HoldMyBeer



My question is this: Can you really make money on sites like etsy?


I would try Ebay first. I've been selling things on that site for 18 years.



posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 09:51 PM
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originally posted by: HoldMyBeer
My spouse is a pretty good at it and my father-in-law is a fantastic craftsman. My question is this: Can you really make money on sites like etsy?

We found this amazing antique occasional table and we've never seen anything like it before. Sorry no pics. We would like to make some replicas and offer a few various style takes on it. Is the labor from something like that worth it? We could do it in any sort of wood and we would with experiment with finishes and hardware.

It seems like there is some sort of sweet spot in making money off something handmade, with labor being the drawback sometimes, breaking it down by how much it costs per man hour. We don't want to reinvent the wheel, so we're looking for feedback from anyone who may make and sell something on their own.
You can make decent money, but sometimes it takes a long time to sell your items. The best advice i can give you is to make a lot of items and make many posts across a wide variety of sites. Don't just use etsy. and put some stuff in consignment stores. The stores will expect a 30-35% cut though. I would love to see some pics of the furniture.



posted on Mar, 4 2016 @ 10:21 PM
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How to set up a store is covered online on sites like lynda.com and other such educational/tutorial websites. Cough, torrents, cough.

PS: rescreening doors and recanning chairs might be of interest for small cash.



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 01:36 AM
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a reply to: HoldMyBeer

I don't know about etsy,but I've made money off of my wood work and my metal work but I've also made money from my leather work as well on Ebay.
I mostly make wood grips and stocks for firearms,but I'll occasionally make holsters for pistols and revolvers(especially for the ones that don't have many or any holsters made for them),but I've also made knives and gun parts out of metal that I've sold. I take pride in my work and have been working with metal,wood,and leather for over 20 years.
edit on 5-3-2016 by VashTheStampede because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 05:39 AM
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a reply to: HoldMyBeer

Wood, stone, bone, metals, paints, I come from a family of craftsmen and artists that can work with any material. Not many have made a good income from their work, it's more a labour of love for the sake of art, and to keep their sanity. I suppose my grandfather turned his craft to something profitable, but that was by doing the finest wood work in homes of the people that could afford to pay for only the finest materials and the time of a man that could turn that into something incredible.

I learned many of the skills from family, and even did extremely well selling my time for customized work, but never took much interest in the creative side of art. I'm more of a collector of the work other people do, and I don't know many artisans getting rich off of work they do while alive.

Restoration has always been a touchy subject in my family. The argument is usually over the fact that altering any original work will destroy its value because you've added your hand to what the original intent of the piece was intended to be by the original craftsman. Recreations hold little value to me, but depending on the workmanship, even the teak deck of a sail boat goes up in value if you are replacing bad wood for something beautiful and functional.

People will pay a fortune for fakes if they fit into what they want. You just have to find the right people, and then prove that you have the skills to create reproductions in a way that makes them work with the idea the customer originally had.

I know nothing about "etsy", but if you have a good product, there will always be a buyer.



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 10:49 AM
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I would imagine the cost of shipping furniture by selling online would be quite high. I would go with e-bay before Etsy if you decide to sell online. Consignment like someone else mentioned is also a good idea. You bring your furniture in and let someone else do the selling for you. They do take a good percentage, but not all shops are the same. Look around and inquire.



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 02:31 PM
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I have made furniture since college but now I'm semi-paraplegic. Building anything takes a long time but I still enjoy it. I have built both of my older children much of their furniture in their homes today.

At one time, I considered selling my furniture but never found that I couldn't compete with the established manufacturers. My furniture quality was excellent but the large manufacturer have spent millions on their finishing processes alone. This is the first thing that will be noticed by potential customers and I couldn't compete with that quality. Next is the time spent on each piece. They can spend as little as 4 hours on the process including finishing. Next is the procurement of lumber which they buy in huge quantities that reduces their overhead. A craftsman that makes single pieces is at a distinct disadvantage from the start.

My oldest son wrote an economics thesis on the Globe Bosse World Furniture Company of Evansville, Indiana. I thought it was very interesting in the depth this company went to make a top quality furniture line. They controlled every aspect of the process that they could. Everything including owning the timber farms and cutting of the lumber. They would assign an individual craftsman to build a single piece of furniture. The craftsman bought the lumber from the company and the company would only pay a prescribed amount for the piece. The profit for the craftsman was directly related to his productivity. The craftsman would also provide his own tools to keep the overhead at a minimum.

The furniture manufacturers hold annual conventions where they set prices for the industry and this makes it very hard to compete with them at a level where you can make a profit..
edit on 5-3-2016 by buddah6 because: AGE, PAIN MEDS and BAD MEMORY!

edit on 5-3-2016 by buddah6 because: AGE, PAIN MEDS and BAD MEMORY!



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 02:37 PM
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a reply to: HoldMyBeer

I have some experience of this and would offer some advice if I may.

Recently a good friend and fellow member started a children's toy box business and uses facebook as their main source of advertising. It seems to be working well but as he is a fellow member I will give him a shout and see if he can give you some insight into this.

I will say that we are in the UK and etsy has never quite caught on here and that Facebook may work differently over here but it seems to work for his business.




posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 03:40 PM
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a reply to: nonspecific

What was the source of your lumber? Some folks here collect old pallets and use the lumber after running it through the planer/jointer.



posted on Mar, 5 2016 @ 07:24 PM
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Consignment/Flea Market seems like the most efficient way to go? Thanks all for the replies.



posted on Mar, 6 2016 @ 12:02 PM
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Wife makes rustic wood signs and "time out" chairs. Started on Etsy about 6-7 months ago and sales have increased each month. She also uses Amazon. Amazon has a homemade section that is far easier to price items than the normal Amazon experience. Quite a few local orders come from Facebook also. I am sure Pinterest is being used but I don't know in what capacity other than pictures.
If you have a unique item you will do good.

If you love doing it the labor cost will be tough. At least, I always struggled with my pricing. (self employed)

I would not waste time with flea markets. Possibly consignment stores. Buy a domain name. Make a simple webpage with your pictures and contact info and go from there.



posted on Mar, 6 2016 @ 12:03 PM
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I have used old pallets for stuff in the past but it is a bit of a false economy in my opinion, by the time you find them, pick them up,dismantle then(not easy), plug the holes with plugs made from any scrap bits, discarded any damaged beyond repair and then planed or sanded them/ran through thicknesser you might as well have bought some wood!

If your looking to reuse old wood in your projects then I would suggest looking for old or discarded furniture. I am in the UK and wood is not as cheap as in the States but even I don't see the point messing around with pallets.

Pine beds come up a lot in the UK and I have made quite a few things out of reclaimed ones.

As to the advertising I would suggest a facebook page I know a lot of people here slate facebook but my mates business is run purely on facebook and he gets so busy that he and his wife sometimes need to hire me for a few days a week and sometimes whole weeks at a time and also have another lady part time and pay very little for advertising.

They started about 4 months ago and have around 20,000 followers on facebook which is good going in such a short time.

They run competitions to win a product for liking the page and it works really well.

I am starting my own business at the moment and plan to do exactly as they did as it has worked so well.




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