Woodworking has become one of the most popular hobbies in America. Some woodworkers make money from woodworking; some even make a solid living by selling their woodworking projects.
If you intend to profit off your craft, you need to choose the right place to sell your projects. I will explain the details of the many places you can sell.
- Flea markets
- Craft fairs
- Renaissance fairs
- Furniture shops
- Amazon Handmade
- Personal brick-and-mortar business
Flea Markets Are A Great Way to Show Off Your Products
Flea markets are good places to start to market your woodworking projects. They usually are low cost to form a stand, and you can set up a vending station with as little as a tarp (sometimes even less).
Flea markets also have good foot traffic. It is hard to find one without a decent number of customers, especially those interested in buying woodworking projects.
Also, flea markets are excellent places to grow your network. Many other vendors at flea markets sell crafted projects and may even exchange advice on how to sell goods or craft your goods.
However, at a flea market, you should expect to sell your projects at a discounted price. Many woodworking vendors report that they make $200-$500 each day at a flea market after the vendor fee. Despite that, selling at a flea market helps you set up regular customers, so you may expect some consistent income selling at a flea market once you have established your business.
However, selling at a flea market requires time to sell your goods and get a feel of handling your business. You will need to give up some of your free time to do that.
Craft Fairs Usually Grab More Attention For Artisanal Good Lovers
Craft fairs, or craft shows, are like flea markets, except they are intended to sell handmade artisanal products. They can specialize in certain types of crafts, and yes, even for woodworking.
Craft fairs are juried or non-juried. Juried craft shows are known to house higher-quality projects. Juried craft shows usually require an application and a fee, which can cost thousands. These may not be the best place to start selling some of your woodworking projects, but to sell your projects later in your business development.
Non-juried does not require the application. There could be a venders fee, but it usually only costs up to $100. They may not be well-managed or advertised and may not have too much traffic, but they are an excellent starting place.
Unlike flea markets, craft fairs specialize in handcrafted goods. You are more likely to make connections at a craft show than at a flea market.
Renaissance Fairs Invite Artisanal Shoppers
One of the least talked about places to sell woodworking projects is where woodworking is performed for an audience: Renaissance fairs. Many people who visit Renaissance fairs like the medieval feel of the environment attract craft vendors, especially if their goods are handmade or made with techniques used during medieval times.
Your woodworking projects would be displayed like they are at home, and customers who love the old-time feel may be more inclined to buy your projects.
Just make sure to have a medieval costume to complete the medieval look. In fact, if you do the woodworking projects by hand, you can even attract customers and visitors by showing them how the wood was carved and finished during ye olde times.
You Can Show Full Practical Use at A Furniture Shop
While woodworking projects can be applied to almost anything, it is hard to imagine furniture without woodworking. Many furniture pieces utilize woodworking, including but not limited to:
- Bed posts
- End tables
Many furniture shops invite woodworkers to sell their goods at their shops. You should expect lower profits selling at a furniture shop, but unlike a flea market or craft fair, a furniture store already has a marketing campaign. Besides, you do not have to pay a fee since you are selling directly to the seller.
Using a furniture store is a great way to sell your woodworking projects if you want to focus more on woodworking instead of a marketing campaign to sell your projects directly to customers.
Selling Woodworking Projects Online
While selling your projects in person has many advantages, you can only be in one place simultaneously. But the internet has allowed people to reach out to anyone with an electronic device. If you want your market to have its most extensive reach, you may want to sell your woodworking projects online.
However, selling your woodworking projects online may make selling your projects online less personal. Also, it comes with its risks. You may make sales where the payment is unfilled, or cybercriminals could target you, but those are risks everyone needs to take if they wish to push their sales into the digital world.
Amazon Handmade Is A New Platform Backed With A Proven Brand
Amazon is a name recognized by almost everyone because it is a proven brand that has not only been around for decades but has also taken the world by storm. However, Amazon Handmade is a newer part of the Amazon brand that many people do not know about.
Amazon Handmade was founded in 2015 and has been a platform for artisans worldwide to sell their handmade goods, including but not limited to woodworking projects.
Amazon is a proven brand where you can expect services to help your business, including:
- Well-established market
- Same secure payments expected for any other Amazon marketer
- Access to Prime shipping
- Allows light machining (You should clarify what this means with Amazon. But essentially, if the woodworking is not made on an assembly line and you use hand tools for much of the work, you should be allowed on)
- A market where only handmade items are allowed.
The last one may sound confusing or even like a downside, but one of the problems with crafted goods markets is that they do not always verify the woodworking is handmade, much like an unjuried craft show. Some of those projects may have been manufactured, giving them a certain feel and look handmade objects cannot mimic, for better or worse.
The application requires verifying your projects are handmade, but it will help you avoid some unfair competition.
However, there are some downsides:
- The 15% referral fee – if you sell any good on Amazon Handmade, you need to pay a 15% referral fee. If you sell a good for $50, Amazon will keep $7.50 from that cost. This could eat from your profits. Keep in mind, and you pay for your woodworking with materials and labor, you will not have too large of a profit margin.
- You have little control of pricing – Amazon could dictate the price of your goods.
- Amazon is a well-established market – I know I said this is a benefit, but if the market is far-reaching, that means you will need to participate in a highly competitive market, so you will need to try to stand out more.
Etsy Is Another Proven Online Platform for Selling Woodworking Projects
Etsy is a well-praised platform for selling crafted items, including woodworking projects. In fact, like Amazon Handmade, every item on Etsy needs to be handmade. Etsy sells over $5 billion in items every year.
There are many benefits to using Etsy, including:
- A lower sales fee (5% including price, shipping, and tax)
- Assistance for in-person sales
- Ad assistance including off-site ads
- The ability to sell made-to-order items.
These features give Etsy an edge many artisans want over other online sales platforms, including Amazon Handmade.
Unfortunately, there are some additional fees Etsy will charge, including:
- Listing fees
- Advertising fees
- More costly currency conversion fees.
Aside from the additional fees, Etsy is a brand with arguably more of an edge than even Amazon Handmade.
eBay Is An Online Market For Everything Including Woodworking Projects
If you want to reach a broad market, eBay is a great place to sell and a good brand to back your sales. However, eBay does not specialize in selling anything, particularly, and sales can be competitive since eBay has many buyers and sellers. However, eBay can make market research easy by looking at “what’s hot.”
Also, eBay offers a good fee structure for beginners. The first 200 listings are free, and every listing after that is $0.35. Every item is sold for 10% of the price. This is not very costly for people just starting and can help you find what is best to sell.
Zibbet Is A Good Platform and Manager
Etsy, eBay, and even now, Amazon Handmade may be the largest competitors for online sales of woodworking projects. Still, other platforms, including Zibbet, offer other markets for woodworkers to sell their goods.
They are considered among the best for selling crafted goods and do not charge for listing on their pages.
In addition to selling your woodworking projects on Zibbet, you can also manage your other sales channels, including but not limited to Etsy.
Artfire Provides Great Options for Beginning and Seasoned Sellers
Artfire is another site online that sells exclusively crafted goods and is excellent for woodworkers trying to sell the projects.
The standard account includes the following:
- $4.95/month fees
- 250 active listings
- $0.23 per listing fee
- 12.75% fee for every item sold
- Listing is active for 2 months
This account is great for people who are just starting and do not want to pay too much straightforward. However, when you start selling, this account will not be the most economical.
There are more economical accounts when you have established a brand and are starting to sell, including popular shops and featured shops.
The popular shop account includes the following:
- $20/month fees
- 1000 active listings
- No listing fee
- 4.5% fee for every item sold
- No limits for the time of listing
- CSV importer.
This is more for established businesses and will cost less for sales over time.
The featured shop account includes the following:
- $40/month fees
- 2500 active listings
- No listing fee
- 4.5% fee for every item sold
- No limits for the time of listing
- CSV importer
- Enhanced site exposure.
Artfire may be a great place for all woodworkers, but the site does not provide as broad of a market as Amazon nor eBay. There will not be as many customers for Artfire as for more global sites. That means less exposure but also less competition.
Artfire does provide many tools to help you take advantage of your market.
- You can start a shopping campaign on Google with Artfire.
- Your items will be highly ranked on search engines.
- Order processing is simple.
- You can apply discounts and give coupons for certain items.
- Sales management tools on Artfire are easy to use.
- Widgets and blogs can make your site a fully immersive experience for visitors.
- You don’t need to do technical work. Just make good woodworking projects and list them.
If You Are A Beginner, iCraft Is A Very Affordable Option
One of the best sites to sell woodworking projects include iCraft. This may be a small online market set in Canada, but iCraft receives over a million visitors every year.
Also, iCraft is very affordable. Registration costs $25. Their membership costs only $10-15/month depending on how long your contract with them:
- $10/month annually
- $12/month for six months
- $15/month monthly.
The choice is yours; you can pay a little more to try them out, but if you like their services, you can save money sticking with them longer.
They claim to take no commissions, no hidden fees. You may have a good mixture of good market exposure and affordability.
Try to Make Your Own Woodworking Project Business Platform
With so many options to sell your woodworking projects globally, it is easy to forget that you can try to sell your projects under your very own platform. Building your platform can be expensive, and it will likely take longer to pick up than most online platforms. However, forming your own business makes it possible to sell your woodworking projects without too many transaction fees.
This will help to minimize costs and maximize profits. However, forming your platform means that its success is all but entirely dependent on your capabilities. It may be difficult to start your woodworking project business platform completely on your own.
Make Your Own Brand on Shopify
Shopify is a go-to software for people who want to make their own online business platform. Artisans love using Shopify to sell their work.
Shopify is a well-known brand in which businesses can build their online platform for a “low” start-up cost and is user-friendly. It also helps with listing your projects and shipping. Using Shopify is almost hands down the best way to save on shipping your woodworking projects online.
Shopify has plans starting from $29/month to $299/month. The more expensive plans come with advanced features, including:
- Advanced report building
- Professional reports
- Shipping features
The main difference is the number of accounts you can make and the processing and transaction fees. The more advanced your plan, the less you pay per sale.
However, there is a 0.5% – 2.0% transaction fee depending on your plan, and if you want any additional feature, you will need to pay extra for it, if available.
There are a few alternatives to Shopify to help you build your own woodworking brand online, including:
- BigCommerce – comes with additional features and has a yearly sales threshold in which they will automatically upgrade your plan to help you save more money and give you features to accommodate your business.
- Big Cartel – specializes in artisan goods and offers more affordable plans.
- Weebly – the eCommerce tool of Square that allows people to easily sell projects online and in-person.
- Volusion – an all-in-one eCommerce platform that is easy to edit and establish an online business.
Make Your Own Brick-and-mortar Business Platform
While you can easily sell your woodworking projects online, it is easy to forget that selling your projects in a brick-and-mortar store is still a good option. Research shows that a good in-store experience is important to most consumers.
Many people are trying to make smaller retail stores, which is opportunistic for people starting. You can develop a brick-and-mortar store at your own home (with the right legalities) and sell some of your woodworking projects within your own comfort.
However, it is important to make sure customers experience when they come to visit your store. Also, this experience can be enhanced using online tools, including:
- Omnichannel experiences
There are many options to try to sell your woodworking projects, and no one has ever said you should limit your options. Almost every successful business owner recommends trying multiple options to maximize your potential.
If you want to start selling your projects online, go ahead. But you should note that selling your items in person will not only allow people to see your work but to feel your work, an experience that is hard to mimic online. If you want to start selling in person, go ahead with that too. But know that the internet has volume and reach that you can never have in-person. You can either avoid that power or utilize it to have your business take off.
This is not a pick-and-choose list of how you can sell your woodworking project online. This is a list of options to take your first steps in selling woodworking projects and what you can do for your next steps.