For Sale: Woodworking Kits

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Excuse the advertisement but I think some people may be interested.
I have (slowly) been working on starting a side business offering woodworking kits. I really want to be offering Craftsman style furnishings but for a starter I am offering some rustic Pine type kits. I have posted my first run on eBay but I am not geeting so much traffic so I I am posting here to try and generate some interest.
You can find my stuff at http://cgi.ebay.com/Woodworking-Kit-Pine-Nightstand-/150540323633?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ce70b31
Or just search on eaby for 150540323633
You can look at sellers other items to see all the various kits I offer.
You can see a pdf of the assembly documentation on my website www.sonomaproducts.com on the product page for each kit.
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better link http://shop.ebay.com/sonomaproducts/m.html
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On Tue, 04 Jan 2011 12:19:04 -0800, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Good value for the price. In fact I have to wonder if you're undervaluing your time.
Out of curiosity, how did you find the experience of setting up to sell on Ebay? Did they force you to use PayPal or was that your choice?
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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SonomaProducts.com wrote: ...

Not a bad-looking stand but...
What strikes me that would put me off of the sample picture posted is two things (well, one, really, just two incarnations)...
The top w/ the large know on the edge--it'd be ok _in_ the piece, but I'd have selected material so that it didn't get exposed on the edge (and the front edge is particularly egregious).
Second, I'd suggest a better job of matching material -- the left and right verticals in the two front legs are grossly mismatched material--one is nice, straight grained and nearly clear and white while the other is heavily grained and dark. It just doesn't match well.
Similarly w/ the door frame rails/stiles--they aren't quite so drastically mismatched but there's still a discordance between the various pieces in color.
I'd think the pieces would/could be much more attractive and eye-catching w/ some attention to those details. You could certainly use all the same material as you did; just pick and choose better in assembly and/or in initial layout.
$0.02, imo, etc., etc., etc., ..., of course.
--
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dpb wrote: ...

...
That should (I guess obviously) have been "knot", not "know"... ...

...
I'll add regarding the above something I learned 40 yr or so ago now when a young pup trying to earn some extra milk money making stuff on the side...
Even though a lot of folks aren't knowledgeable enough to tell you what it is, precisely that keeps them from choosing a piece or picking another piece instead, those stick in the mental picture and grate even if don't know why.
Good luck; 'tis (as you already well know) a very competitive bidnus...
--
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Thanks, all good and valid input.
I never really thought about it for these pieces because I (personally) paint these units or do a darker stain of sorts. Regarding the knots, this is why I like pine. When I am processing the parts my only consideration of knts is if they will create a structural problem. If a piece that isn't too wide for example has a transverse knot that spans the whole piece, I'll discard it for a better piece. Also, since I don't spend any time weeding out the location of knots I wanted to be sure I didn't misrepresent the kits in the images.
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

I've nothing against the knots in pine in general; only in the one demo piece with the one specifically located as it is. That, to me, is a real distraction in that particular piece.
As for the time on weeding and/or selection, the remaining question is whether you want them to sell or not... :) (See my followup on some observations from my early career)
If you're adamant that you're not going to take any more time 'cuz don't think it would pay, I'd at least present a finished product picture or two as well as the unfinished you have presently. That _might_ counteract the reaction I discuss earlier. The problem w/ stuff like this is just like meeting folks or interviewing--you only have one time to make a first impression on a potential client.
--
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Well... I meant to add pictures of finished pieces to the ebay listing but somehow forgot. I'll probaby update that tonight.
If the ebay visitor goes into my website to see the pdf's of assembly docs, the additional pics are there and I can see that the ebay postings are generating traffic to my product pages with the pine kits.
I really appreciate the input. I'm not saying I won't adjust my methods, I was just describing my current approach.
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Yeah, I'd think to do that rather than count on a click-thru would be more effective. I'd expect most people to make the decision basic decision on that first glance, not later and the more you can keep looking longer, the better chance to close a sale.
The other thing I (_very_ painfully) learned in that time frame relates to another comment you made about liking pine and how you use it in the pieces. That object lesson was it doesn't matter what _you/I_ like or want to build; it's all about what somebody will spend their money for.
That hard realization eventually led me to leave the furniture-building enterprise behind and go into the architectural woodwork and such that came with the refurbishing of ante- and shortly after post-bellum homes in Lynchburg instead. There I could either restore the original or make something that was period that I liked if the original had been too badly destroyed in the intervening years and didn't have to rely on the eventual homebuyer to select it ahead of time.
Again, good luck with it...
--
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Well... I meant to add pictures of finished pieces to the ebay listing but somehow forgot. I'll probaby update that tonight.
If the ebay visitor goes into my website to see the pdf's of assembly docs, the additional pics are there and I can see that the ebay postings are generating traffic to my product pages with the pine kits.
I really appreciate the input. I'm not saying I won't adjust my methods, I was just describing my current approach.
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Here's what you are up against: http://www.stantonfurniture.com/ This stuff is USA made and the unfinished, alder, three drawer, shaker nightstand gets loaded into my truck for $110.00. I imagine every metro area in the country has at least one of these outfits..
Best of luck, but e-bay does not seem a good place to sell furniture.
--
"He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! "
Brian's Mum
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Those are cute little duffers. The price seems right too. Plus it's all ~real~ wood. I hope you make out good..
RP
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Thanks. There are few pieces of plywood for back panels on cabinets. I get a great price on the pine and it is ready to go s4s + sanded. I have fixtures and good equipment and decent planning tools so I think I have less than an hour labor (sometimes much elss) in any of the current products if I make at least a dozen at a time.
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Woodworking-Kit-Pine-Nightstand-/150540323633?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ce70b31
Looks good and I think it fills a need for utilitarian items for people who do not have a workshop and/or skills. Beats going the Walmart recycled sawdust route.
--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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I have the same belief, just finding these souls is the rub.
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My son works occaisionally for a contractor that in his off time builds planter benches, picnic tables etc. and seems to move quite a few of them via Craigslist.....if your halfway near a urban area (busy local list) it could help with sales....Rod
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On 1/5/2011 3:16 AM, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Woodworking-Kit-Pine-Nightstand-/150540323633?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ce70b31
Certainly much better that the Kmart flat pack crap weetbix wood and other disguised recycled stuff . One critisism for me is the glass knobs , when I first opened the Ebay listing the coloured glass stood out like a sore thumb . Personally I would go with a wooden knob or an antiqued metal drawer pul and door handle to match the hinges you offer. Otherwise it all good and good luck with your venture.
If postage wasn't such an issue I would look at buying some stuff , I could put a few together and sell them at the local Saturday morning markets..
--
Kevin (Bluey)
"I'm not young enough to know everything."
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Thanks for the comments Kevin, very good idea. Yeah, I usually do match hinge and knob on my own stuff but these were designed to be sort of eclectic (sp?). Plus, holding inventory of too many types of HW is expensive. Maybe I will add a few more options that mirror the hinges. I just figured folks could buy there own locally also. I pay like a buck for the glass jobbies.
When I sell these at the craft fairs (built and distress painted) the glass knobs are actually a huge pull (no pun intended). I set a bowl of them out in the sunlight and the kids love them. It lets me lead into a sales pitch that I can swap out to any color they prefer.
Shipping to the west coast isn't too bad but east coast gets up to $30+. I can offer free pickup in SF Bay Area.
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On 1/5/2011 10:39 AM, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Im in Australia ,so the shipping would be deadly , plus the quarantine delays and possibly costs because of the timber content of the shipment.
--
Kevin (Bluey)
"I'm not young enough to know everything."
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On Tue, 4 Jan 2011 09:46:18 -0800 (PST), "SonomaProducts.com"

What about your other kits? Are you selling them yet? The Jack London tables are awesome. They would be a perfect fit for our house.
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I'm sorry but I don't have them in production right now. I suppose I should remove them from the site. The Jack London stuff is my passion but I need to buy a train car of white oak at a time to make the economics work and I am not (yet) ready to do that.
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