For Sale: Woodworking Kits

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On Tue, 4 Jan 2011 21:53:28 -0800 (PST), "SonomaProducts.com"

I guess I'm really going to be waiting a long time then. I prefer cherry. ;-)
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The Jack London and some of the Vintners Estate line will come in Cherry. The coffee and end tables for sure. Maybe by summer.
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On Wed, 5 Jan 2011 19:16:01 -0800 (PST), "SonomaProducts.com"

I know your site said they came in the various woods, but if you were waiting until you could get a carload of white oak I figured I wouldn't live long enough for the cherry. ;-) Please post here if you do start selling them.
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You might want to consider a couple of things. One is offering oak and/or maple as an option on the nightstands with a mark-up according to what they select. I know that many people have oak as bedroom furniture. Just have one of each made up for shipping purposes. Another is maybe cross posting in the furniture section as well.
Otherwise you are decently priced and I might add that you might want to change your display photo so that it is a good display of the unit. The knot on the top is a big distraction. Allen
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One is offering oak

Thanks. I do plan to offer these kits in a few different materials. To actually make a profit I have to buy wood in pretty big quantities to keep the cost in reasonable limits. This test run was just done in Pine. The plan for this line is to also offer it in Poplar (if you want to paint it) and Knotty Alder, I just love that stuff.
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I agree with the comments you've received so far.
However, if you want to get a better response then you should target a broader customer base. ie. anyone who has some familiarity with common handyman tools.
Take a look at the text. The way it is I think you are scaring off many potential customers who have little or no WW skills. Phrases like: "woodworking experience for the novice and expert", "not IKEA type furniture that just require some minimal assembly", and "projects requiring mechanical skill" don't make the average person feel comfortable about tackling this project. The WW terms, like cope and stick, also don't inspire confidence in non WWers.
Instead promote the easy assembly, foolproof drawings and instructions, no special skills needed, etc. Just don't go overboard and guarantee success - imply it, but never state it. Unless you really want to - don't imply any "assistance" beyond the included instructions or you may find yourself spending long hours at the keyboard or on the phone. And never, never mention a competitors name. They can afford more lawyers than you can.
I took the liberty of revising your text on the nightstand page. Feel free to use it, change it, or completely ignore it.
I wish you the best of luck with this endeavor.
Art Engineer & marketer by profession. WWer by hobby
*********************** Petaluma Farmhouse Series Furniture Kits
About Our Kits Sonoma Products Company is proud of our furniture kit offerings. Our kits provide a great experience for people of all ages. If you want to build heirloom quality furniture and furnishings but don't have access to a complete woodworking shop, we have just the products you need to fulfill your dreams.
These kits are high quality alternatives to imported particle board or pressboard "assemble it yourself" junk. These are made of solid wood that was grown, harvested and machined in the USA. They do require some minimal skills like gluing, clamping, drilling, driving screws, etc. We have taken the raw lumber and performed all the complex milling operations that are just not possible in the typical handyman's garage. With each kit we provide complete and detailed, step-by-step instructions, and all of the required hardware for foolproof construction. You can see the instruction PDFs on our website at sonomaproducts.com.
About the Petaluma Farmhouse Series Our Petaluma Farmhouse Series is based on furniture found in old farmhouses in and around the quaint town of Petaluma CA, which sits to the west of the main wine growing region of Sonoma Valley. The rolling hills surrounding the town are home to egg and dairy farms dating back to the Gold Rush era.
About this Kit The Petaluma Farmhouse Nightstand is a simple piece that evokes that nostalgic feel of farmhouse furnishings. It can be finished in a variety of ways to suit your decorating tastes. You can use a distressed paint method, crackle paint, milk paint, or even natural wood finishes. It features one adjustable shelf, an optional drawer (see separate eBay listing); a raised panel door with an antique style glass knob in a color of your choice, and a choice of various hinges. The size of this unit is H 30", W = 21", D = 13".
You have two options that you must define when ordering.
* Select a knob color from the available antique glass knob options * Select a hinge type from the listed options
In addition, the construction of this unit utilizes pocket screws(included). These screws require a #2 square drive bit or screw driver. We can provide a 4" #2 square driver bit for an additional $2.00.
Finally, (and unfortunately) all deliveries to California addresses must include an additional 9.75% tax in addition to the product price (not including shipping)
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Thx, super good input. I will adjust my approach in the future.
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On Tue, 4 Jan 2011 09:46:18 -0800 (PST), "SonomaProducts.com"

Make a short video of yourself putting the table together from the kit parts. Better yet, have your wife putting the kit together in the video. Enclose a cd of the video with each kit sold as a supplement to the printed instructions. Link the video in your ebay listing to your website. Include the video on your website. Video instructions are much more palatable than written instructions. Lose the pine and use oak as the display photo on ebay.
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tommyboy wrote:

I think the pine looks great for a rustic style piece.
I agree with the video idea.
--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
  Click to see the full signature.
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At least a picture of what the kits come with should be shown. People want to look at the parts and think, "I could do that"
eg. Do I need a panel raising bit and a shaper table to make the raised panel?
Lose the pine. I wouldn't give you a nickle to have this in my house. I have built furniture from pine and oak is cheaper in the end and it looks better after you set something down on it, once.
I think the pine looks great for a rustic style piece.
I agree with the video idea.
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There is a piture of the cut material all bundled up and you can sort of see the panel has been cut if you look. for some kits I splayed out all the parts for the kit photo but on the cabinets I left them bundled. Maybe I'll splay them out too so you can see all the cut parts.
I guess I'll have to find my success without your nickle for now.
Fine furniture kits are on their way but I don't have the capital to invest in the more expensive wood yet and don't want to take on the risk of that debt until I can find a good channel to sell kits, if they will sell at all. I am just now starting some advertising to drive interest, we'll see how that works.
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On Jan 6, 1:02pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

After doing some thinking, How about.......
1) Assembling the door. Most people wont have clamps to do this and would shy away from doing it.
2) Combo head pocket screws. That way you could advertise as needing a Phillips head screwdriver which most people will have.
3) Screws instead of nails for the back and the latch block. I know pre-drilling the holes would be a pain but the less tools needed for assembly, the more attractive it will look for the potential customer.
4) Make any aligning marks on the pieces for assembly. Or maybe including 5" gauge blocks with the kit. That would be one way to get rid of your scrap as well.
Allen
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Interesting input. Looks like you reviewed the assembkt docs. That's cool.
I was actually thinking my target audience is guys who are starting out and buying a kit and a few clamps, etc. is a good starting point. I'll have to think about that.
From my experience of pocket screws you really want the square driver. It is really easy to cam out down inside that little hole and you want a really good grab. I considered just including the square bit. For my craftsman kits I should easily have enough margin to feel ok about adding them in for free.
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wrote:

He could add an optional clamp kit. Buying cases of HF clamps on sale would be cheap and easy.
-- A smile is the shortest distance between two people. -- Victor Borge
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I like how you think. Great idea. Sell more to your existing customers, the first plcae to exapnd your business. Thanks for the idea.
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On Fri, 7 Jan 2011 09:16:22 -0800 (PST), "SonomaProducts.com"

UPSALE is where it's at, dude. Your foot is already in the door so just keep selling them upgrades. Find a source for inexpensive tools and add them to your lineup. Ditto finishes, and make a profit on each and every one of them.
-- A smile is the shortest distance between two people. -- Victor Borge
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wrote:

Yeah, with the 4-hour video pared down to fifteen minutes after the cussing is edited out.
-- A smile is the shortest distance between two people. -- Victor Borge
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Oh, I see you have built some of my kits. ;^)
Actually, I could probably build one of the cabinets in 15 minutes, except for the time it takes the door to rest in the clamps after glue up. Of course I could use the Namh method and drop a few brads into the joints and get out of the clamps right away.
I cut shallow dados and rabbets to make all the parts lock into position, pocket screws and any other quick, easy, foolproof methods and they usually go together real easy, excepting for the Pine needing a liitle elbow grease now and then when it decides it wants to cup, etc.
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Skip the brads and glue. Just smash some framing nails in 'er. It'll be fine....
RP
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On Thu, 6 Jan 2011 15:32:42 -0800 (PST), "SonomaProducts.com"

No, I'm just savvy to the process. The sign in my shop says, of course:
"Measure once, Curse Twice"

Y'know, with a mere $1,500 worth of Kreg jigs and special screws and special billdrits, you could do just that.

Is elbow grease included in the kit or sold separately, as an expensive option?
-- A smile is the shortest distance between two people. -- Victor Borge
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