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How is it even possible to compete with Ebay?! (Read 1,546 times)
 
Derek Goins
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How is it even possible to compete with Ebay?!
Feb 21st, 2014 at 4:33pm
 
At this point I'm not particularly interested in selling any of my turning.  I'm still learning and having fun...but I am seeing where it'd be useful to sell some of these pens and other misc turnings I'm doing, simply to recoup funds to make more.

I took a peek on ebay and saw some gorgeous goblets for $15?!! or $20 or all very low numbers...or at least in my mind.  Or pens going for $10 or so...It cost me $10 just in materials if I'm using crummy wood to make a pen...not even counting my labor.  I realize alot of you don't sell via Ebay, but how can a turner compete with the mass producers?  Now I'll feel guilty asking $40 for a goblet when I know they could go get for cheaper. 

Obviously there is a difference between art and utility and of course there are other places to market besides Ebay. But as a logical person I can't ignore the fact there is some really cheap stuff online that looks great, I just don't understand how we can combat that?
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Ed Weber
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Re: How is it even possible to compete with Ebay?!
Reply #1 - Feb 21st, 2014 at 8:53pm
 
Derek, I have seen exactly what you're talking about more than I'd like to, and not just on ebay.
Derek Goins wrote on Feb 21st, 2014 at 4:33pm:
Now I'll feel guilty asking $40 for a goblet when I know they could go get for cheaper.


To a certain degree you can never worry about what the "other guy" charges. I know you want to be competitive, but you have to do what's right for you. Never be ashamed or feel guilty about the prices you charge for your hard work and knowledge.
Derek Goins wrote on Feb 21st, 2014 at 4:33pm:
as a logical person I can't ignore the fact there is some really cheap stuff online that looks great,


Looks can be deceiving.
I realize you can't compete with the price of the mass produced products, that's where your quality and attention to detail come into play. An inexpensive way to find out is to purchase one or two of these less expensive pieces and give them a once over. I think you'll quickly find that there isn't much to worry about.
Derek Goins wrote on Feb 21st, 2014 at 4:33pm:
I just don't understand how we can combat that?


Keep your standards and quality high and the price will follow
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Derek Goins
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Re: How is it even possible to compete with Ebay?!
Reply #2 - Feb 22nd, 2014 at 10:17am
 
Thanks Ed, sure helps put my mind at a little more ease.  Just stick with high quality and make everything with a love of turning.  Thanks!
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Don Stephan
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Re: How is it even possible to compete with Ebay?!
Reply #3 - Feb 22nd, 2014 at 8:02pm
 
It's unlikely you will be able to sell similar items at a higher price on Ebay, Etsy, and other Internet sites.    I'd suggest you start visiting craft and art shows in your area to if any of them have items similar in quality to yours offered at prices you desire.  But when the entry fee for those shows is relatively low (under say $50?) there always could be people offering pens and other turnings for little more than the cost of materials.  It's unfortunate but there will always been hobbyists and retired people willing to price their labor at next to nothing.
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David Hill
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Re: How is it even possible to compete with Ebay?!
Reply #4 - Feb 28th, 2014 at 11:00pm
 
I've gone through the same dilemma- seeing what ebay and etsy prices are.
I do sell to support my woodturning habit--but not there.  Visit the local "Market" or "Trade Days", you'll see that nice items DO bring better prices, and you won't have heartburn about what to ask.
It's made my hobby (therapy) a budget neutral undertaking.
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Everyday liberating nice things from ordinary chunks of wood---and I like gnarly wood, the outcome is nearly always better than the start.
 
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Loyd Stutsman
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Re: How is it even possible to compete with Ebay?!
Reply #5 - Mar 20th, 2014 at 9:24am
 
"looks great" does not mean is great. Don't sell yourself short. quality will show and the price should reflect that quality.
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Psalms 23:1 The Lord is my shepard, I shall not want
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Anthony Yakonick
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Re: How is it even possible to compete with Ebay?!
Reply #6 - Mar 21st, 2014 at 11:51pm
 
In the past I have sold what I consider to be high end forms on Ebay with on problems, the key is picking the categories.
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Ben Goeller
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Re: How is it even possible to compete with Ebay?!
Reply #7 - Mar 23rd, 2014 at 5:28pm
 
Think of your work as "Art". You are an artist making a one of a kind object. I have found that people who appreciate art will pay the price to own.
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