So, you’ve been making some pretty cool stuff with wood, and you’re starting to drum up interest, or friends and family have suggested they think you could make some money selling them on.
Where do you start? Which is the best place to make sure your hard work goes to the right person, for the right price?
Well, here are ten options for you to consider: some require more effort and investment from yourself then others, financially and time-wise. It’s all about what you want to achieve: whether that’s a couple of sales to deserving folks who really love your one-of-a-kind pieces, or a thriving online store where you regularly release a new line of products.
This is probably the first place most artsy people would direct you to, and they’re not wrong: Etsy is considered one of the biggest online marketplaces for handmade, creative goods, with millions of users all over the globe.
Simply set up your store, promote your items with catchy titles and high quality images, and Etsy does all the work for you from there. As customers are familiar with the site, this is where most folks go for the kind of thing you’re selling, and it’s also a lot easier than simply setting up your own online store.
It’s easy enough to collect payments directly from Etsy to your bank account, though they do take a 5% cut of the sale price, which includes shipping and handling. For those who don’t want to handle the financial side of things quite so much, this is a worthwhile hit to take!
Local Independent Stores
Most creatives will automatically seek out a local store that sells artisan goods from residents of the town, trying to find one with a vibe that suits their products.
If there are indie stores in your area, check them out and see if they’re accepting artists to their store window: you’d be surprised just how many folks like to support artists in their town.
This will typically require you selling “on consignment” - the store carries your goods and you get the money when they sell - but sometimes people will pay for your goods upfront, regularly, which is better if you’d like the cash now rather than in a few weeks or months, depending on the popularity of your products.
Though many consider eBay an online marketplace for pre-owned goods, there’s actually a thriving community of artists selling their handmade goods, especially woodworkers - this is because there’s so much traffic that it’s hard to turn down an opportunity for millions of people to stumble across your work.
Though developing a reputation there is a little more difficult and you’ll have bigger competition, it’s a legit way to get your work online and will also have a lot of eyes on it pretty quickly.
That being said, eBay is a little complicated when it comes to fees for selling - they have updated their terms and conditions, so be sure to read them thoroughly here, that way you have an idea of what kind of charges to expect.
Craft Fairs and Flea Markets
Long established as a haunt for creatives and artists, keeping an eye out for craft fairs and flea markets in your area and nearby towns is a great way to get your work out there when online selling doesn’t feel like your cup of tea.
Join online groups that announce fairs, markets and other arty events that are coming up soon, then you’ll be able to pre-advertise your products before you’ve even set up a stall, and possibly encourage people to come just for you.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t a guaranteed sale, and you might go down to the fair only to sell absolutely nothing, but hey - you can give out some flyers and encourage people to keep their eye out for you, which is worth it in a way.
Again, since most use Amazon to buy branded products rather than homemade arts, crafts and projects, there’s actually a whole section dedicated to artists and indie creatives. Provided your woodworking projects are easy enough to send out - Amazon has strict guidelines for delivery that must be followed - you’ll find the whole experience very smooth.
Do note that Amazon will take a cut of whatever you make, but you can read about its fees and charges here to decide whether that is worth it for working on a familiar platform you’re used to.
Social Media (Facebook, Instagram)
With billions of users on there daily, and plenty of hashtags to promote your work with for free, it’s foolish to not have a social media presence when you’re a creative who wants to sell their goods. It’s free and easy to sign up for, there’s an ability to pay for advertising if you want to, and you’re bringing your products right to those who’ll want them.
Learning what the algorithm likes, posting regularly and following other creatives will help you get things off the ground, so don’t be afraid to get stuck in and be adventurous with your content!
Like a slightly more high-end, boutique equivalent to Etsy, if your woodworking projects and products are of a considerably fancier quality and sell for a higher price, you’ll probably find a more appropriate target market over on Artfire.
Considering it’s been around for nearly three decades, it’s surprising that Craigslist is still going strong at this point. But it is, and you can totally advertise your woodworking projects there if you want: just be aware that the clientele you might find on there is a little less palatable than Etsy, let’s say...
Your Own Website
This requires a lot of work, effort, time and money, but it’s worth mentioning: if you’ve got the ability to commit to doing this, it can be the very best way to get your work out there, and it also goes hand in hand with the following suggestion...
Through Word Of Mouth
Nobody can buy your projects if they don’t know about them! Put up posters and cards, make social media accounts, tell your friends and family to tell their friends and family… it’s the easiest way to get sales!