So you want to go pro #3: Business Person vs Manufacturer

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Blog entry by odie posted 01-06-2008 05:37 PM 1387 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Business Plan or not to Business Plan Part 3 of So you want to go pro series Part 4: Photos for Karson and Tom(mot) »

Along the way, we made a very conscience decision to offer our products at prices most people that visited arts and crafts shows could afford. We are both very capable of making the perfect art quality products. You know what I mean, cut around the imperfection instead of putting it on the inside out of sight. Using 10 coats of finish instead of 6. My personal favorite, and the one I use, is to make 10 boxes at once instead of only one. Over half of my time is spent setting up a machine to do a task rather than the task itself. If it takes 15 minutes to set up the table saw to cut four sides of a box, why not cut four sides of ten boxes? You have to pass the cost of the wood on to the customer, so buy wisely. If you decide to go the very artsy path, you can take more time, price your items higher, and sell fewer of them. It will be a personal choice like deciding on a high priced hooker or a quickie in an alley.

Another very big decision is to sell wholesale or retail. I have for the most part done both. In a perfect world, a retailer will come to your house and pay you what you want, and leave with your product. After five years of doing this, I have some bad news for the woodworker. If your product has a use (no matter how beautiful) it will demand a lower price than a piece of fine art that hangs on a wall. Sorry, It is a “REAL” fact of life in the real world. Understand, I am talking generalities here. Not all buyers think this way, and some will tell you your prices are too low. Back to my thought, this retailer is going to double (yes double) your price. He will want you to put your work on consignment. If you can sell it for less and avoid consignment, do it! If the retailer didn’t buy it, what vested interest does he have in selling it or even taking care of it. I have had a lot of my work ruined because of uncaring retailers. So take less if you have to. After all, you incurred no expense trying to sell it.

By going wholesale, you will avoid all sorts of head aches big and small. Here are just a few: sales tax, craft fairs and their promoters, Credit card companies, insurance companies (to insure you against the clumsy), and tent and display needs. Also there is one thing that is near and dear to my heart, setting up your tent and display then taking it all down again after you’re done. It’s a lot of work and wholesale avoids this. However, there is one thing you would surely miss by going wholesale. This is the feeling you get when people enter your booth and stand there with their mouths open in amazement. All of the back pains, blisters, saw dust lungs, and cuts and scrapes just melt away. The questions you get to answer that make you feel like a college professor in front of a lecture hall. These things I can not and will not give up. That word “praise” somehow sticks with me.

Oh, another foot of snow fell last night. That brings the total to around four feet so far. After this I will be outside. According to YAHOO! News is raining iguanas in Florida. I’ll take the snow any day.

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-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

4 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35301 posts in 5898 days

#1 posted 01-06-2008 05:51 PM

Another great addition to your blog. You need to show a couple of pictures of your and your wifes item when you refer to them.

Otherwise – well you know the story.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5534 days

#2 posted 01-06-2008 06:01 PM

Yeah, Odie. You write well, but lets have some pictures, man! Thanks for this series. It’s a good one to follow.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5597 days

#3 posted 01-06-2008 07:23 PM

Odie, thanks for bringing this side of the craft to light. It is one of the areas most don’t think FORWARD to.

You brought up some great points. Thanks.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View gbvinc's profile


629 posts in 5444 days

#4 posted 01-06-2008 09:40 PM

I have had pieces ruined because of uncaring retailers also …very good point. Good job, keep them coming.

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