Can you make money off of woodworking? How do you go about this?
I enjoy woodworking. In fact, it’s a hobby of mine. It’s also been a lifelong interest. However, I don’t make my income from woodworking. So, I really didn’t know how to answer this question. Because of this, I did a little research. In this post, I’ll go over what I’ve found out.
So, what are the ways to make money? How do you turn that enjoyable hobby into actual profit? You can make all the products you want. If no one is buying them, you’re not making any money you’ll have to close shop. What can you do?
#1. Make Money Off Of Woodworking: Use Brick and Mortar Stores
Ultimately, people will have to buy your products. So, you’ll need some sort of store. There are really two situations to consider:
You Are The Store Owner
If you’re the owner of the store, congratulations! Your woodworking crafts can become part of your store inventory and you can sell them like your other products. This is great because you have control over store policies such as pricing. Also you’ll be able to control the location of your products in the store. You’ll have control over the selling process and be able to give your products the best chance for sale. You can “leverage” the fact that you already have a large customer base of potential buyers.
However, there is all the overhead of running and maintaining a physical store. There will be bills you need to pay such as electricity and heating. You may also have rent and property costs.
You Are Not The Store Owner
If you aren’t the store owner, other stores will need to carry your products. To do this, you may need to establish business relationships with owners. If you’re successful, you won’t face any of the “hassle” involved with running a store. You can just concentrate on producing you own high-quality products.
However, it can be difficult for you to work out the sales arrangements. This can be a time-consuming process. In addition, you won’t have control over “how things are sold”. As a woodworker, you will not be in charge of pricing and location in the store.
This is an arrangement where your product is offered for sale in a store and you only get paid if it sells. In addition, you may have to pay some sort of a fee to the store owner for this service. It’s great in that you don’t have the overhead of store maintenance. The drawback, however, is that you do not have control over store policy with regard to your item. So, your item could be in a corner somewhere, be overpriced, and might not sell at all!
Brick and Mortar or Online Store
The conventional brick and mortar store is not the only type of store that’s available today Due to technological advances and the Internet, it’s possible to open online stores. This process is quick, cheap, and does not require much effort. You can reach vast numbers of potential customers in this country and also around the world!
You can open an online store without the expense of a conventional brick and mortar store. The total costs are less since you don’t have to pay for electricity, utilities and so on. Instead, the store owner pays a small monthly fee and/or a fee for each product sale.
Total startup costs will probably be less since you won’t be paying for a physical building. Your money can go towards tools and supplies.
Another advantage is that you can access the Internet from almost anywhere. That means you don’t have to drive to work, you can work from home. Also, you’re not limited to business hours. You can work anytime of the day or night, whenever is convenient.
Of course, you need to find woodworking items to sell. I wrote another post about this subject.
Since you don’t need to drive to work, you can save on gasoline. This helps conserve natural resources and is better for the environment.
So, what sorts of online stores are available? how do they differ?
#2. Make Money Off Of Woodworking: Sell on eBay
This is certainly a large marketplace, with a worldwide audience. I’m actually amazed by the amount of business they do:
- There are 182 million active buyers
- The quarterly revenue is approximately 2.7 billion dollars!
- There are approximately 1.3 billion product listings on eBay
- In the United States a watch is purchased every 5 Seconds, a smartphone every 5 seconds, and a tool every 4 seconds
- German users purchase interior decorating items every 13 seconds while Australian users purchase home decor every 13 seconds.
eBay allows you to list your item for sale. Then visitors to the eBay site can search for items, find your listing, and buy your product.
eBay is noted for auctions. With an auction, you bid for items. You don’t pay unless your your bid is the highest. However, not all products on eBay are sold by auction. There are several other buying formats:
- Buy It Now – you specify the price and the user need not bid. He/she can get the item right away.
- Best Offer – This allows you to work out a purchase price with the buyer
These options are more like sales in ordinary stores. So, you might want to use one of them with your woodworking items. Of course, you could still go with auctions if you prefer.
What are eBay Stores?
eBay also allows you to set up actual online stores. This allows you to set a name for your store and create a header with your own logo / brand information. The store is a collection of your own product listings. You can establish your own custom categories. Customers can search for items within your store.
How can a customer find an eBay store? They can use the eBay search box with the advanced option checked. Also, each of your listings contains a link to your store (This is the one that says “Visit store”). This makes it easy for potential buyers to see more of your items.
It’s natural to ask another question: Do people sell wooden items on eBay? The answer is a definite Yes! There are all sorts of handmade items.
You also need to consider product shipping. How will you get your product to the customer after they purchase it? If your item is very heavy or extremely large it will cost a lot to ship it from one area to another. Because of this, many people keep the wooden items small and lightweight. Example of items like this are bowls, cutting boards, bird houses, signs, and wooden pens.
You can ship larger items if you want to. This really depends on your business model. You can also choose “Pickup Only” . Then, the buyer contacts the seller to arrange a time and place to get the item. You might want to use an option like this for heavy items such as cabinets or furniture.
To find out more about eBay stores, you can visit the eBay Stores Overview page. It gives a description of the different store types, fees, and policies. You can certainly make money off of woodworking with an online store!
#3. Make Money Off Of Woodworking: Sell on Etsy
Like eBay, Etsy is a large eCommerce platform:
- In the second quarter of 2019, the revenue was 181 million dollars
- There were 2.333 million active sellers in the second quarter of 2019
- The number of buyers in the second quarter of 2019 was 42.742 million
Etsy is a marketplace for handcrafted items, vintage items, or craft supplies. What is meant by this? I’ve listed some of the definitions below:
- Handcrafted items are made or designed by the seller. They can be made by hand or with tools.
- Etsy defines vintage items as at least 20 years old
- Craft Supplies on Etsy are tools, ingredients, or materials for the production of items. So, some examples are yarn, unfinished wooden bowls, and unfinished wooden pegs.
What is it?
The seller can set up an Etsy shop. This is a collection of the listings of items for sale by that seller, You can define a header and logo/branding information for the shop. The buyer can click a link on the listing in order to go to the shop. This allows him/her to find out more about other items that the seller has for sale. Also, you can use the site search feature to go to search for items or shops.
Most items produced by woodworkers should be considered handmade. You can also resell items on Etsy. However, they are not considered handmade and need to be in the Vintage or Craft Supply area.
For more information about Etsy policies, see the Etsy House Rules section for sellers.
How does it differ from eBay?
Etsy sells handmade, vintage, or similar items. The potential buyers are looking for items such these. However, with eBay, the visitors are looking for all sorts of items and might be interested in finding the lowest price rather than finding crafted items.
Most woodworkers “fit” into the handmade area. This is actually good for the seller in that the buyers know they are getting crafted, homemade items and you are attracting the right audience. It is true that Etsy is a smaller platform. However, many woodworkers prefer listing their items on Etsy.
Conclusion: Make Money Off Of Woodworking
I ‘ve only “scratched the surface”. There are many more ways to make money with woodworking, such as selling the wooden items on Facebook Marketplace, through Facebook Groups, through Craig’s list, through Craft Fairs, Shopify stores, and many, many more!
This post showed that some of the newer approaches, such as online stores, have distinct advantages and are very good ways of selling wooden products in order to earn money. Also, it’s very important to find a woodworking niche for your business. I wrote another post about this subject.
Why not make money by doing something you truly enjoy? Woodworking is relaxing, calming, and allows you to “escape” from the cares and trials of everyday life.
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