One of the measures of success for some is that time when you have honed your craft well enough that you have the confidence to sell your projects. Often by this time you have a number of projects you have made that could be sitting around gathering dust and maybe you would like to move them along to someone who would like them and perhaps even pay some money for them so you can purchase more wood ...
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/ZMRezJDMBFk
Sounds like a plan? Lots and lots of woodworkers sell their projects in all sorts of areas. Some part-time woodworkers will make things and bring them to their full-time workplace and sell them to co-workers, others will sell them to relatives and close friends while others will strike out into the marketplace and start selling to everyone who is interested in their projects ..
The point here is not to give anyone business advice, there are other places for that, the point of this series is just to give ordinary woodworkers some ideas that they can use to sell a bit of their woodworking output ... at least enough to help offset the cost of wood and maybe even buy another tool along the way.
What Do You Sell
Before you jump right into selling you need to think about what it is you make or what you would like to make to see. Larger items are less likely to sell longer distances, only because of the cost of packaging and shipping.
Smaller items are easier to box up and much more cost-effective to ship.
There is no reason why you can't do both, especially with smaller items.
Selling locally is probably the easiest, most fun, and probably the most lucrative. There are many opportunities to sell your project, big or small locally such as ...
Local Farmer's markets or similar out-door markets like swap meets. There are also garage and lawn sales (you could even have your own garage sale for selling new woodwork items you make)
One of the most innovative ideas I have seen is someone selling their garden furniture and raised beds and wooden pots .. in their own front yard. Apparently, they are doing quite well at this because locals tell me every time they drive by, there is new products for sale. I love this kind of innovation.
Another trick I have seen is people who pick a by-way or pull-out area adjacent to buy roads or highways to set up shop, you should be aware this may not be legal is some areas so always pick a safe spot where people can pull over safely, and that you are out of the way and not distracting traffic or drivers.
Facebook (now called Meta) Marketplace - no specific link, check your own Facebook Account
Make Your Own Website
Hire Someone to Build Your Website - (no link)
A personal website is basically an online business card, keep it simple and very inexpensive
How to get started
Easily the most challenging part after you have made some woodwork projects, figured out the price you would like to get in selling them ... now what?
My First and TOP suggestion is to pick some public marketplace that sells space, often a 10 x 10-foot space. You will only need a chair and a table to put your product on and a few business cards wouldn't hurt, (again don't go crazy with business cards, your name and email are all you need, you can probably print that off on your own home computer).
There are many good reasons that I suggest a public sales venue because it will often give you a bit of a running start.
My Second Best Suggestion is to pick a public online sales website and something like Craigslist is a great place to start. Areas all over North America have their own sub-areas that they cater to so there are a good chance people in YOUR AREA going to see what you have for sale.
I would just make ONE ad, but I would include a few items and pictures of the items and then in the description you can list them and what the price is Make Sure you detail exactly what you are selling and how much, for example, if you are selling turned bowls, describe each one so people know the price on each bowl.
If you are really daring you could do BOTH of the things above and by placing your ad in Craigslist you could even announce people can see your projects in person at some upcoming public market.
When I came back later, the birdhouses were sold, and the tires were not ...
Colin's Best Advice
.. Is just to get out there and do it. Everyone will have a different take on what works for them and we all learn by doing and adjust what we do as I go along. What might seem scary at first, I'll bet it turns out you have a great time, meet new people and even sell some of your projects, but best of all you learn what sells, get a better idea of pricing, and will likely uncover new opportunities for selling your woodworking projects.
Copyright Colin Knecht