How to Sell Homemade Woodworking Projects

By Judy Filarecki
Nobody knows that your items are for sale if they just sit in your back yard.

Whether you are selling kits for woodworking projects or your own completed projects, the key to making a sale is getting them out in front of the public. And promoting yourself as the expert is just as important as selling the product. Internet sales and craft fairs are two common venues for newcomers to the trade, and the steps for how to be successful at either one are the same. Craft fairs tend to be the better choice, because people can get to know you, ask questions and see and feel the product.

Craft Fairs

Present a wide variety of products for sale. Display them so they are easily accessible to customers, who may want to inspect them close up. Give shoppers room to browse.

Display eye-catching products out front so people will stop to look. Add color to your display that represents a function of the product. For example, place a vase of flowers on the wooden end table you made, fill a wooden bowl with seasonal fruit or wrap an item with a bow to show it would make a good gift.

Clearly mark the price of the item. When there is no price sticker, people tend to walk away, figuring it is too expensive. When they know the price, they can figure out how to pay for it.

Interact with potential customers without being intrusive. Once they feel comfortable in your booth, explain the function of an item they show interest in: how it was made, what wood was used and what makes it special.

Demonstrate a process for making the product whenever possible. People love to watch the artisan at work. It gives you credibility and prompts shoppers to stop, look and maybe buy. Explain what you are doing; interact with people by engaging them with questions with your own questions, too.

Create a sample book of photographs of additional items that are available for special orders, and have it open for shoppers. Take the photos at different angles so the customer can better visualize the item. Keep wood samples handy for people to see and touch.

Place contact information up front, perhaps in the form of business cards, fliers or small brochures, and encourage visitors to take one. This is important for future sales.

Internet Sales

Write a thorough description of the product. Explain its benefits, functions, construction, dimensions, type of wood, care recommendations, price and anything else you would like to include, on your site.

Create a brief summary of your qualifications and interests that sparked your interest in woodworking projects. Help people to see you as an expert who cares about the needs and wants of customers.

Take good, close up photographs of the items from several angles, giving customers more accurate, visual feels for the products, and post them on your site.

Include contact information, payment instructions, estimated time to fill the order and return policies.

About the Author

Judy Filarecki has been a health educator and writer for 45 years. Her published work includes (under the name Judith Schwiegerling): "Down Syndrome: Optimizing Health and Development," Msall, DiGaudio and Schwiegerling, 1990; "Diabetes and Exercise," Schwiegerling, 1989. She has also published "Painting with Acrylics: Sombrero Peak." She has a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy and Master of Education from SUNY at Buffalo.