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View Bruce Lemler's profile

Would You Join a Free Website that Delivered Custom Woodworking Jobs to You?

by Bruce Lemler
posted 04-23-2016 12:22 PM


28 replies so far

View davezedlee's profile

davezedlee

40 posts in 1391 days


#1 posted 04-23-2016 12:46 PM

SPAM or SPAM?

maybe SPAM?

how about some SPAM?

do you do SPAM?

View Bruce Lemler's profile

Bruce Lemler

44 posts in 1585 days


#2 posted 04-23-2016 01:16 PM

This isn’t SPAM!!!!!!!!! We are 100% seeking input from independent woodworkers on the business concept! We ARE NOT SELLING ANYTHING! JEESH! We don’t even offer the name of the company! HOW COULD THIS BE SPAM? Did you READ it??????????

-- Packernation2016

View Bruce Lemler's profile

Bruce Lemler

44 posts in 1585 days


#3 posted 04-23-2016 01:23 PM

If we receive positive feedback and helpful critiques, we can make this a reality, which would mean thousands of independent woodworkers, LIKE TONS OF PEOPLE HERE, could benefit! ALL we are seeking is input! If it turns out this is NOT something independent woodworkers would be interested in, then we kill the process now, before we put more of our time and money into it.

-- Packernation2016

View ArtistryinWood's profile

ArtistryinWood

107 posts in 4253 days


#4 posted 04-23-2016 01:30 PM

Sounds like a very innovative idea Bruce, and a bit quick to judge Dave, my fellow Canuck.

-- It seem's to me i could live my life, a lot better than i think i am. Andrew, Midland, Ont.

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1286 posts in 2240 days


#5 posted 04-23-2016 02:12 PM

I don’t think many experienced cabinetmakers or furniture makers will start custom work without a deposit or release a job until the final payment is confirmed.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117800 posts in 4143 days


#6 posted 04-23-2016 02:43 PM

Unique idea good luck.

View Bruce Lemler's profile

Bruce Lemler

44 posts in 1585 days


#7 posted 04-23-2016 02:43 PM

Good point. So, maybe a 50% DEPOsit upon receipt of order, and an email confirmation of payment release when the shipper arrives and confirms the item is ready for shipping?

-- Packernation2016

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1286 posts in 2240 days


#8 posted 04-23-2016 03:43 PM



Good point. So, maybe a 50% DEPOsit upon receipt of order, and an email confirmation of payment release when the shipper arrives and confirms the item is ready for shipping?

- Bruce Lemler

That could work.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

6794 posts in 2831 days


#9 posted 04-23-2016 03:48 PM

It is an interesting idea. I wish you the best of luck as this might be just the ticket for some woodworkers.

View Bruce Lemler's profile

Bruce Lemler

44 posts in 1585 days


#10 posted 04-23-2016 04:17 PM

THANKS! Truly appreciate your supportive words.

-- Packernation2016

View Scott C.'s profile

Scott C.

160 posts in 2617 days


#11 posted 04-23-2016 04:48 PM

I would be concerned about 3 things:

1) Do your customers realize how much “custom” woodworking should and does cost? Are they expecting mass produced furniture pricing? Is that $500 average sale base on custom commissioned work or mass produced furniture from overseas?

2) LTL Freight shipping, unless you have a good solution for the exorbitant cost of small scale freight shipping , this will be a deal breaker for many of your customers. If the table cost $1000, are they willing to pay $500 shipping?

3) Also, is “reclaimed” simply a matter of aesthetics, or are we talking actual previously used, reclaimed and repurposed lumber? How should an individual woodworker go about sourcing and maintaining a consistent supply of reclaimed walnut, cherry etc?

Lot’s of details that need development on this.

-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

View Scott C.'s profile

Scott C.

160 posts in 2617 days


#12 posted 04-23-2016 04:54 PM

Also, what value are you adding to the market vs something like custommade.com ?

-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

View 000's profile

000

2859 posts in 1465 days


#13 posted 04-23-2016 05:19 PM

Who prices the jobs?
How do you guarantee quality, I see a lot of problems (at least until you have select builders) you’ll be buying back a lot of furniture. How do you deal with the builder when their is conflict with the item.
Professional are going to demand top prices for their work, especially when they only get a piece here or their.
That on top of that, shipping costs is going to be a big factor when it comes to making the sale.
A portion of who’s profit goes to charity? From your commission?

I think you have a lot of work to get something like this to take off.
Best of Luck!

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2572 posts in 2364 days


#14 posted 04-23-2016 06:07 PM

Find me the customer then the wood.Im a woodworker that’s what I do.I don’t like meeting my customers.Sounds to good to be true.
Aj Aka the unknowncraftman

-- Aj

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12950 posts in 2946 days


#15 posted 04-24-2016 03:35 AM

Millennial If you’re going to target them, better learn to spell it, because they can. It also reflects poorly upon you as a business owner, gives the impression you might be sloppy or careless. Otherwise, best of luck, hope it works out for you.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View upinflames's profile

upinflames

217 posts in 2728 days


#16 posted 04-24-2016 10:35 AM

These are the same folks that post on social media links to ” make your own furniture with pallets for under 20 bucks”...yeah, they want something for nothing. I have dealt with quite a few of them, I’ll take old money any day. I wish you luck, but foresee lots of heartache.

View SuperCubber's profile

SuperCubber

1080 posts in 2850 days


#17 posted 04-24-2016 12:47 PM

I think it’s an interesting idea. I wouldn’t be interested simply due to the effort and cost of sourcing a consistent supply of reclaimed lumber. I think if you can figure out the shipping costs, it could work.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

983 posts in 1785 days


#18 posted 04-24-2016 08:58 PM

who sets MY wages constructing CUSTOM MADE furniture?

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1872 posts in 2883 days


#19 posted 04-24-2016 09:16 PM

I don’t deal with reclaimed lumber unless it is supplied by the client. Stocking inventory in anticipation of future jobs is too expensive and sourcing reclaimed materials on the fly is too time-consuming to do on short notice. That brings me to the biggest problem I foresee which is how to guarantee a reliable source of reclaimed materials. Internet sales conducted with an on-demand sales model requires inventory tracking of some sort.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 4214 days


#20 posted 04-24-2016 09:23 PM

It’s likely to appeal to woodworkers but your buyers
will tend to be picky and cause all kinds of problems.

Custom woodworking is kind of not a fun business, it’s
fraught with unforeseen variables and unrealistic client
expectations. What you’re proposing may have some
appeal but after all the development work is done
you may find that your business model can’t compete
on price with other supply sources in this instant gratification
seeking marketplace.

View alittleoff's profile

alittleoff

545 posts in 1842 days


#21 posted 04-24-2016 10:16 PM

Good luck.
Gerald

View Dave G's profile

Dave G

335 posts in 2614 days


#22 posted 04-24-2016 10:50 PM

I really like the idea and would consider making something. The target consumer is iffy in my mind. My kids are millennials and doing very well. They would rather pick something up used at Boomerangs, Goodwill, or free from the side of the road. I think this approach would seem pricey to most of them. It may attract some more established kids who are past the initial shock of monthly mortgage and are looking to add some comfort to the house.

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

1459 posts in 3551 days


#23 posted 04-24-2016 11:11 PM

I wouldn’t be interested in participating for a number of reasons, but here are some honest thoughts about it:

- Overall, I think the idea is unique enough to have some appeal, but it will need to be very carefully crafted
- You need to define very clearly what the commission scale is for you, where the money for the charity is coming from, how things get priced out, etc.
- When it comes to reclaimed wood, there is such a wide variety of it out there that there is a very high likelihood that the customer will have one thing in mind and will get something totally different, therefore creating a very high risk of return
- Don’t just stop at reclaimed wood, but make it an option
- I think inventory tracking will be a nightmare. If you have builders who are independent contractors to you and that do other work as well, how are you going to keep track of what they have at any given time?
- For things like your example with hairpin iron legs, there are many different styles, how do you guarantee that the style a particular builder uses is identical to what you show? Same thing goes for stains, dyes, glazes, etc.
- How do you manage quality control?

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View leafherder's profile

leafherder

1871 posts in 2518 days


#24 posted 04-24-2016 11:15 PM

Interesting idea, you have put a lot of thought into this and you have some great ideas, but I think the business plan needs some work.

The social media savvy generation you are targeting also happens to be very fickle when it comes to fads and 4 weeks is an eternity to them. What is to prevent them from either changing their design during the construction phase, or changing their mind about the purchase because they found something they like better at this month’s trendy consignment shop? Will your woodworkers be left with half finished pieces? A warehouse can fill up with returned furniture REAL fast.

I worked in retail for 10 years – fine jewelry – dealing with those Millennials when they were getting engaged – we had to certify the diamonds as “non-conflict”, the gold as “environmentally friendly mined”, and the jewelry maker was not a sweatshop in a developing country. A custom piece could take up to 4 weeks from computer design to finished ring with customer approval of each step of the process. I lost track of the number of customers who demanded a refund of their “non-refundable” deposit because they found something they liked better someplace else ( No they will not stop looking after they make a down payment, because until they are actually in possession of the finished piece it is not real to them.) Even if they manage to take possession of the finished piece it is not over – there are uncountable details that were different in the computer rendering that must be changed for them to be 100% satisfied – and they are still shopping at other stores. And then you fix every detail and they still return it because they need the money for a trip to Bali, or Fiji, or Tonga, or whatever tropical island is THE place to go this season. All deposits are refundable when there is a lawyer in the family and someone else is a blogger with 10,000,000 followers – just try removing a bad customer review from the internet.

I think you need some more market research. Best of luck in your endeavor.

-- Leafherder

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2982 posts in 1506 days


#25 posted 04-24-2016 11:20 PM

I thought Millennials were jobless and still living at home? How can they buy furniture without income and why would they need furniture while still living at home?

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View KayBee's profile

KayBee

1083 posts in 3812 days


#26 posted 04-24-2016 11:37 PM

Not to rain on your parade but… This sounds pretty much like custommade.com. How are you really any different?

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View Puzzleman's profile

Puzzleman

417 posts in 3510 days


#27 posted 04-25-2016 04:09 PM

Maybe it’s me but I do not understand why everyone thinks that because a portion of the proceeds go to a charity that the product is better? Based upon my personal research by offering a product with a donation attached and the same product with no donation, there was no difference in the sales. People would by the product and not realize that there was a donation involved. The surveys showed that people bought the product because they liked the product. The donation did not figure into the decision.

Instead of promoting a charitable organization, how about promoting the fact that your company is helping many independent people start and maintain their business. I feel that this would be a better marketing advantage as you can push the independent struggling worker angle.

I would also have concerns about stocking wood in anticipation of orders that may never come.

I also have concerns about the 4 weeks. Since I am busy with other orders, I may not be able to guarantee the 4 weeks completion time.

Concerning the shipping, who is going to pay for the crating and boxing of the project.

I would also want to see a list of the pricing to determine if I feel that the price that I am getting for the project is profitable enough for me. Or would I be better to push the job back and finish the higher paying ones that I already have.

Another problem is that you expect many different independent craftsmen to build things all the same way from NY to CA and in between. When you offer a product that is to be made and shipped on a national basis, it has to be consistently made the same way and look the same way to every person who buys it no matter who makes it. I can make it one way and you make it another. While they may look similar, mine will look better (insert ego here) because the way that I make it is slightly different than yours. How do you explain that to the customer with them buying in that there will be a difference? If they find that the second one is better, what will they do about the first one? Would they want to return it or have the first one redone to match the second?

I think that if you solve these problems along with limiting the designs in the beginning, it might work.

Just a lot of questions that come to my head.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler, http://www.hollowwoodworks.com

View Puffball's profile

Puffball

44 posts in 1778 days


#28 posted 04-25-2016 04:33 PM

Sounds a bit like – http://www.custommade.com

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