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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 08-09-2014 05:43 PM 3163 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3105 posts in 2898 days

08-09-2014 05:43 PM

Hi guys.
I’ve been making a living off of woodworking and a little cedar fence and deck work.
I’ve found Craigslist to be a valuable tool in my marketing.
I run 7 or 8 ads at a time a couple times a day during peak hours of 10 AM, 2 PM and 7 PM.
I have been experimenting on the ads themselves. I have some with prices in the ad, and others without prices.
The ads without prices generate a lot of emails and texts asking the price but only about one in eight people will buy. So I now create all my ads with prices. This means I can only advertise one item at a time to avoid any confusion.
I’ve refined the design of my adirondack chair to only cost me $26 to make, which then sells for $100 unfinished.
I used to charge a small fee to paint, but it became too time consuming to paint them unless they pay more.
So now on large orders I only charge $100 to paint or stain everything.
I use White Pine and I don’t skimp on the design much.
I used to make these chairs with contoured seats and backs, but after making one without contours I found it to be amazingly comfortable. So I’m going with this design.
I still need to work on the back to make it look more attractive, but here is the new chair style I make.

As you can see, I used 2×6 and 2×4 for the structural parts and 1×4 or 1×6 for the seat and back. It’s a very strong chair and takes about two and a half hours to make. All edges are rounded and it’s sanded with 80G all around.

Things are going well with the addition of some new products that I’ve seen on Anna White’s page. She has a knack to design thing simply and beautifully.

I say all this to encourage those of you wanting to do the same.
I’ll list a few of the items I make which have kept me going this summer.
It looks to be a good fall season for chairs as well. Fire pits are the new thing, so I advertise a bit in that direction.

Thanks for looking.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

13 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8813 posts in 3189 days

#1 posted 08-09-2014 06:06 PM

Good ideas Russell

View firefighterontheside's profile


20750 posts in 2468 days

#2 posted 08-09-2014 06:25 PM

Looks good. Thanks for the info. Where did you get the cushions?

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 2898 days

#3 posted 08-09-2014 06:32 PM

firefighterontheside- I let the customer buy her own.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Bob817's profile


677 posts in 2994 days

#4 posted 08-09-2014 07:12 PM

Thanks Russ you do great work, I’ve always been impressed with your style your a classy guy and your not afraid to post or ask what’s on your mind you offer someone like myself trying to slowly get into this for a compensation were to start and what to ask for pricewise with that being said Thank you great work as always, a friend

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

View JFred's profile


217 posts in 2157 days

#5 posted 08-09-2014 07:43 PM

looks very nice, keep up the good work and good luck on your sales

View Fred_Woodworker's profile


5 posts in 2002 days

#6 posted 08-09-2014 07:59 PM

Good Work

-- try to make the Woodworking Better ,

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4197 days

#7 posted 08-09-2014 08:26 PM

hey it looks like you’ve been working very hard .I sincerely wish you all the very best with your new business and hope you do well as it takes off. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2802 days

#8 posted 08-09-2014 10:11 PM

glad to hear business is good.those are some great looking chairs.thanks for sharing!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3421 days

#9 posted 08-09-2014 11:33 PM

Looking good Russell

I’m glad to see you know exactly what your cost is. (Key ingredient )

Keep moving foreword on it !

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 2898 days

#10 posted 08-09-2014 11:44 PM

cabmaker, for the longest time I only had a vague idea of how much it cost me to make a cedar chair. Then I saw the price of cedar go up $1BF and I started paying attention. For instance, all said, a cedar chair cost me around $85 to make, and the same chair in pine only cost around $45 and I was selling them for $150 and $135. So the problem I had was that no one wants pine if they can get cedar, but the client who buys cedar usually makes a large order that I can’t afford to lose by just selling pine like a lot of these guys do. It makes for some interesting phone conversations with customers. I have to explain to them that pine is just fine as long as it’s painted correctly. Don’t stain unless you seal really well, but cedar you can leave plain and it’ll last 7-10 years. But I don’t have a show room full of different models and I need to make sure the customer is committed so I take a material deposit on Paypal so I don’t get stuck with a lot of wood. So far haven’t had a problem.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View dalethewhale's profile


19 posts in 2435 days

#11 posted 08-14-2014 12:25 AM


Thanks for being so giving of your experiences and tips. I just gleaned a thing or two.
Good luck mate!

Cheers, Whale

-- Merrily, Merrily, is but a dream - Whale, Coffs Harbour, Australia

View Holbs's profile


2262 posts in 2641 days

#12 posted 08-14-2014 12:32 AM

Russell… I am curious. If things pick up, will you continue to rely on Craigslist? Or is there a point where it becomes a ‘need’ to go official business with state license, taxes, etc ?

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View nate22's profile


491 posts in 3487 days

#13 posted 09-25-2014 10:23 AM

Great looking furniture. Hope your business keeps getting busier.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

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