Fortunately many options present themselves when artisans and craftsmen seek out avenues to sell their handmade products. The Internet, local shops, flea markets and privately owned furniture stores that accept items on consignment or buy your items outright for less than retail prices. Word of mouth is also an excellent way to sell furniture, and sometimes placing a piece of furniture in a public place or donating a piece to a high-profile or public institution can give you exposure to the public.
Price your furniture for what it is worth. The cost of materials, utilities and your labour are the biggest factors in establishing a price for it. Visit furniture stores that sell similar furniture to see how much the stores are charging for their items. Since you are creating handcrafted furniture, you may be able to charge more for your work, especially if you sign and date it.
Take photos of your work and either put up your own website to sell it or find outlets online that will post your furniture for sale for a fee. There are lots of templates to use to put up a website once you have registered a domain name. Some people choose to hire someone to design and manage a website, and this is certainly a viable option.
Besides showcasing your work, having your own website gives credibility to your business as well as giving people a chance to see your handmade furniture without visiting your shop or garage.
Print the best photos of your work and put them in a portfolio to show people your furniture. You can also use graphics software to make some brochures yourself or hire a graphics artist to do this task for you. The brochures can also be optimised for the Internet and e-mailed to people who are interested in your work.
Rent space in a flea market or other retail outlet based on your budget. Although furniture purchases are seldom impulse items, being able to meet with the public to show them your handmade furniture may be the best way to spread the word about your work.
Advertise in newspapers or magazines, based on your budget. Sometimes local TV stations or radio stations will interview entrepreneurs about their businesses for local lifestyle or talk shows. Contact the producers or the reporters directly over the phone, or send them an e-mail with some photos of your projects attached.
If you pursue Internet sales, make sure you find accurate shipping costs before you list the shipping charges. Furniture is typically large and heavy, all of which add to the cost of shipping.
Tips and warnings
- If you pursue Internet sales, make sure you find accurate shipping costs before you list the shipping charges. Furniture is typically large and heavy, all of which add to the cost of shipping.