There’s nothing like a beautiful piece of hand crafted timber furniture and with so many different things you can make I think this a very interesting business to be involved in. Every time something is made, it is truly unique and something that people can admire for many years to come.
The purpose of this article is to help you understand the best way to sell your handmade furniture online and give you some options to consider. I am not an expert in making furniture, but I do know something about selling things on the Internet and I know I can help you as well.
Some Things To Consider
Before I get into how and where to sell I just wanted to point out a few things to consider for your business venture. These things are pretty much critical to any business in this space and I think understanding these could really benefit you.
Understand Your Target Audience
This is one of the most important things you could do with any business, knowing exactly who your customers are and what they want.
I guess in the most obvious sense they are looking for ‘handmade furniture’. But what else is it that you provide that they might be looking for? Is there something unique that you offer that your competitors don’t?
Are your products likely to cater to a younger or older generation and what sort of setting will they be in, indoors or outdoors?
Answering these questions and really trying to dig into who your customer is can help you create a better picture of who your ideal customer is and in this way better meet their needs. The better you help your customers the more they will buy from you.
Name Your Price
Are you pricing your creations for the person looking for something cheap or something more exclusive? Believe it or not even if you have a great product, put your price too low and people may perceive your furniture as lower quality. Price and quality go hand in hand in the consumers mind and perception is everything.
Take a look at what others are selling for and what your costs are and work out what sort of profit you want. Sometimes selling for less can be good to get your name out there also. Think carefully about this but the best thing to do is test and measure your results. Don’t procrastinate.
Shipping & Material Costs
It is important for you to do your homework and determine what kind of shipping costs you may be up for as this will have a strong bearing on your price as well. Furniture is not light, so shipping will not be cheap.
That said, if people can buy beautifully hand crafted furniture for less than in the shop the shipping costs might still allow you to be under the status quo. Factoring shipping and material costs into your pricing will allow you to know what kind of price you can sell for to maximise sales and profits.
Brand Your Furniture
After all the hard work you’ve done creating these pieces you want to make sure that you are branding your products as unique in some way. This could be a simple plate you nail on, an engraving or anything for that matter. Branding your wares can help spread the word that you make great furniture and will often result in additional sales over time.
Ask For Feedback
Being someone that asks your customers for feedback and takes it seriously will make or break your business. Your customers are the life blood of your business and sometimes business owners that are so involved with their products can lose site of this. Allow yourself to be objective and listen to what your customers are wanting. The more in tune you become with their needs and wants, the more you’ll satisfy them and the more money you will make as a result.
Reward Your Customers
Repeat business is always more cost effective and rewarding than trying to get new customers. It cost many times less to get a repeat buyer than to get new customers every day. The point here is to offer your existing customers incentives to buy again and to spread the word with their family and friends. Maybe a discount voucher or something of that nature would be a good starting point.
Don’t Give Up!
I really admire people with an entrepreneurial spirit and the fact that you are trying to sell you products online is a great thing. It will be hard at times and nothing in life is ever easy that is worth doing. Keep at it, don’t give up and eventually you WILL succeed. You’ll make some mistakes no doubt, but that just means you’ve learnt something and can do better the next time around.
Ways To Sell Online
Ok so now that we’ve gone over a few fundamentals let’s look at how exactly you’ll do this.
There’s a couple of different ways you could go about selling your furniture wares online for free such as eBay, Gumtree or Etsy to name a few. These are marketplaces for people to buy and sell their items online and cost little to nothing to get rolling with.
There is one problem with those options though in my opinion. There is a HUGE amount of competition and you will be competing on price a fair bit. There are many sellers already doing the same thing and while that’s not always a bad thing it can be counterproductive.
By all means give those websites a go but if you’re looking to get the maximum return on your investment keep reading…
Build Your Own Website
It’s actually super simple for anyone to build their very own website and get targeted buyers coming to it. Gone are the days of needing special web building skills or a degree in design. In fact I built this website and another without having a scrap of knowledge before starting.
The reason I suggest this route to people trying to sell their own products on the Internet is because you can truly establish your own unique identity online and in doing so build your brand and increase the perceived value of your products. In other words, when people see you have your own website, they are MUCH more likely to do business with you than if you’re just selling stuff on eBay.
People are actively searching for homemade timber products online and theres never been a better time to get started and take full advantage of this. If you have something valuable to hare with people, all you need to do is get your products in front of them and you can become very successful in doing so.
If you want to learn how to sell other people’s products online and avoid the drawbacks associated with a traditional business, watch this video.