How to sell Carved goods

Alright folks,
We have a CNC Router, we go thru all the difficult tasks to make system up and running flawlessly.
I know many of you already in Professional business. Unfortunately most of us not. I would like to turn this hobby into money making business. I’m expecting those pros will give heads up and this Forum will be much more handy. Like a Wood Carvers Network. Anyone wants to make at least little amount of money, can take advantages of been Forum friend of good guys, who is willing to share they’re knowledge. I know you guys out there, common raise the voices. I’m not talking about stealing the ideas, just heads up.

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Hi there :slight_smile: I totally understand you.
From start I got CNC to make my own design and make molds for concrete(thats what we started: art stone from concrete)
But of course you can’t have such a machine and not use it :smile:
I was thinking about that and from my experience: was managing couple moving companies in Los Angeles and I was first who started selling vouchers and coupons for moving services( they took off very good).
My personal way and sugestion is: go with any site that offers discounted deals on items.
all they need is you having website with your items and prices, so they can sell your items with 50% discount to there subscribers and they keep % for them self. depending on how much % is goes to them and knowing how much you want for your goods, you can make site with calculated prices and give up 50% discount deals.
as for getting customers to come back straight to you next time, you can make sign up, house discount for next purchase in receipt, social media add gives discounts,…

here is some sites I’m familiar with:
https://www.groupon.com/


http://local.amazon.com/ - diferent from amazon original
https://instagram.com - you can make pictures with prices and link to site
https://jet.com - just started, new site and grows good.

I was selling about 250 vouchers for moving services
if you can push 10 items on each site, you should be good.

well, I have in mind to take some items to vendors on Venice Beach(lucky me in California:) )
if you can make some small items you might be able to give to some little souvenir stores or kind of jewelry stores(accessories)…
depends what you be making :smile:

if I’ll be able I want to try making long-boards, skateboards (again: lucky me in California they are in style)

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Thank you so much. Good advises. I use to leave in Anaheim Hills for 6 years, then Company transfered me back to Atlanta Georgia. I really miss California. Thanks again.

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a bet you missed it:) I have to go to NY for 2 months in September (even after living in NY for 11 years) not sure that I like that idea :slight_smile:

I’d love to hear more ideas and of course love to see items on net from our community.

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Etsy.com

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I think a business card and reference to online venue is a good idea too, and does not need to offer a service to potentially interact on a local level, as well as beyond, in much of the same way.

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I agree with Etsy.com bring the first place to start. There is quite a bit there already:

https://www.etsy.com/search?q=cnc

… aslo craigslist and flea markets.

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Yeah we’re on Etsy and it’s pretty easy to setup. I say that because my wife does all of that, including the photography, etc.

I don’t have my X-Carve yet but these online marketplaces are a big reason I ordered it - it’s clear that the most popular offerings involve (sorry, but…) cheesy engravings, at least for the cutting boards that I focus on. I don’t want to do a lot of cheesy engravings that mar the otherwise-beautiful pieces that I hope I’m creating, but I may be able to sacrifice some of my morals to fund my habit. :smile:

Be aware, though, of a couple of important aspects when it comes to online marketing/selling:

First, you’re competing with a lot of entities who are clearly not “mom and pop” organizations, even on Etsy. When “someone” on Etsy offers a custom-engraved cutting board for $25, you can guarantee that they have a production setup and employeeS; there’s just no margin, otherwise. So if you want to make any real money you’re going to need to differentiate yourself and your product so that your prospective buyers feel like there’s value in your offerings, over the much-cheaper competition. Exclusivity has been my angle so far.

Second, if you’re not into social media, you’d better start learning quick. You need to drive prospects to your site in order to make a sale, and social media is the best way to do that. My wife handles all of that because I simply don’t have the time (I have a different job that pays the bills) or the stomach for it.

Like anything in life, it never hurts to expand one’s portfolio. So, it also wouldn’t hurt to try renting a table at a craft show or two. You also might want to consider some branded tchotchke ideas that you could market to local businesses (coasters, etc.). It doesn’t cost too much to engrave a company’s logo and drop it off (make sure you find the person in charge of marketing) as a sample. Selling small batches to businesses is a great in the sense that you can accurately determine your costs and confidently assess your margins.

Random thoughts but I hope some of it might help…
-Joe

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Sounds like my Etsy competition is ramping up.

Don’t have anything up for sale, or any sales yet…but darn it if I’m not going to have to compete with a few thousand new X-Carve owners…

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Competition is the juice of the business. No worries. I’m making Wall clocks, children room items. And I will start doing what ever you’re doing. :slight_smile:

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Awesome advise, Thank you.

When you are pricing your products on Etsy do you price it based on the time and material required to produce it or do you price it to compete with the other similar products. I ask this because when I look at other CNC’ed products being offered on etsy there appears to be very little (or no) labor cost. For many items just my material and shipping cost would be more than some are selling the finished items (including shipping) for,

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With a few exceptions, I plan to stay away from some of the ‘easy’ stuff. Maybe some house number stuff here and there, but I’m aiming for very few products under $100.

I’ll go after people who know what they want and understand the time it takes, not the Wal-Mart bargain hunters who just want some cheap plywood letters that factories can pump out in the billions.

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Yeah that (the no labor cost part) was what I was referring to in my earlier post. No matter the scope or texture of your goals, you just can’t compete with that kind of pricing. Some of these Etsy storefronts could be simple facades in front of sophisticated / well-funded manufacturing businesses.

I agree with @AlanDyke that you can’t (and don’t WANT) to go after the customer who’s considering one of the too-low-price as a viable alternative to what you’re offering…you need customers who are looking for quality and not the “best” deal. I can promise, too, that those quality-focused customers are the ones who have many like-minded friends, and they normally have more disposable income.

My goal is to start out in hopes of paying for some of the other projects that I like to do, and not necessarily what I’m looking to sell. I don’t need the money to continue this habit (or put food on the table), so for labor I try to hit my (regular job) hourly rate, divided by two. Anything less - again, for me - just isn’t worth the time and sweat that I put into each piece, only to sell to a complete stranger. If it takes off at all, I’m certainly willing to shift gears if the economics work out.

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Well encouraging. Thanks.

So true. The market gets flooded (in almost every niche) with cheap outsourced stuff. Lots of complaints from shop owners about stuff like that. My wife was going to sell paracord bracelets because she makes them for herself and thought it would be neat to add…but when you can get them for $1.50/ea imported and sell for $4 and still make a profit, someone that takes 2 hours to make it can’t work for $2/hour and that doesn’t include materials.

Find a good niche that you can mill some stuff in. I posted a thread yesterday (and apparently many people aren’t into) a game called Crokinole which is apparently a thing in Canada, and boards go for $200 and up…I’ve seen talk of $400+. A lot more work than just plopping them out of the CNC by the hundreds…but sell 2 of those a month and you’ve got enough to keep yourself in wood for your personal projects.

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Thanks Joec, Actually I’m not looking for easy money making opportunities, but at least I want to sell what ever I have done as hobby. I know zillion people out there seeking opportunities. All I hate is carve it and carve it than hang it to the wall. Imagine 6 months latter what happens to my rooms. But in other hand, I understand what you’re saying. Maybe I can put all together and try to sell them on local fairs or something.

The only way to make money on etsy is to create a niche market and not compete with a thousand others. I’ve had a site on Etsy for a little while now and my biggest seller is my rubberband guns. I change up the products that don’t sell, but mostly the site is because I enjoy making the products and have no space left in my house to keep things. But to get back to what I was saying, You will see I don’t price my products cheap but I redesigned that gun so it works fool proof, the original design that people buy does not work and you would be surprised how fast word gets around when you produce quality. I would rather sell a tenth of others at a higher markup and know the customer is getting quality. https://www.etsy.com/shop/Cre8tive3D

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Thanks Brian, you’re always helpful nice guy.
Why I started this post wasn’t only for myself. I’m well living person. But I know some people buying this equipment, spending all their savings to make some money. I was thinking those guys jump in. There is no reason to be shamed to look for money making way. But hey, take a look at this post. It is growing, people start getting tired reading others mechanical problems. Talking about some other subject might be a good idea.
Thanks again. I will visit your link…

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I visit your store and I like it. Incredible work. Laser cut make difference. Good job Brian.

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