ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Making Children's Furniture to Sell

Updated on August 24, 2011
 

If you are thinking about getting into the E commerce business you might want to consider making or supplying children's furniture as a product line. This is exactly how we got started and I am going to show you the steps of how we did it with a particular product line that we manufactured. You many wonder why I am giving away this knowledge. Why would I not want to keep it to myself? There are a couple of reasons why. First is that everyone will approach a product line differently than I would. The end products will be different and the process will also be different. The real value comes in avoiding the mistakes that we made so that your experience is better. The second is that business morphs. Here is what I mean. The business of E commerce is a journey; you start in one place and usually end up in another. This process takes time and the concepts that you learn are what shape your business sense. No two approaches are the same just as no two people are the same. That is why I am willing to share this information.

Selling Children's Tables and chairs

I am going to use the item of children's table and chairs sets. You will see a lot of pictures and examples of how we made them and the processes that we used. Some are good and some are not so good. Knowing the pitfalls makes the journey a little easier and will help you be more successful.

Design with Artist overlay

The hottest demographic

We choose children's tables and chairs sets for one reason, we had kids. We needed a table and decided to build one for a Christmas gift. After it was done, we thought it looked pretty good so we decided to make another one and put it on eBay. I did the woodworking and my wife did the art work.

In the beginning I realized that I was not that great of a woodworker, so I bought the items that were a challenge to make. We went to Home Depot and bought a 24" pre-cut plywood circle. (which we later learned is a tad too small, 30" is best)

Making chairs is also an art form requiring some advanced woodworking skills. So we bought ours unfinished at a naked furniture store. These were about $20 a piece which gave us a pretty high cost to start off with. The top cost around $10. When you build a table and chair set, there is a learning curve that goes with it. First you have to design the set, and then you have to create a system to build a lot of them. This is key since building the sets is a timely process.

Construction

You have to prepare your wood, then cut it and do a lot of sanding. The sharper your blades, the less sanding you will have to do. Then the sets need to be primed and sanded again. After that you will need to paint them and let them dry thoroughly. Then comes the artwork. This can take a while, and then you have to seal the whole unit when it is finished. After that I found it best to let the sets cure for a while (a least a week) so that the sealer is completely dry and not sticky at all. This time will vary with the humidity.

Time Savers

Here are some quick points that we have done to speed the process

  • Cut many parts at one time.
  • Make a painting jig to hold small parts upright so that you can paint them faster.
  • Hire an artist for unique pieces
  • Develop a "product line" by having a standard table that uses a template. These tables can be done faster than unique items.
  • Pre order boxes so that you will be ready to ship without trying to find the perfect box.
  • Buy all your paint at once and buy primer and sealers in the gallon size.
  • Set up a painting station that is far away from the workshop, dust is the enemy.

Shipping

One of the biggest enemies of this product is shipping. I could go on for chapters about shipping damage and the perils of the temporary worker at the big shipping firms. The top needs to be boxed separately from the chairs. If you can develop a way to ship your chairs as flat stock, with some assembly required, you will be better off. Our chairs shipped fully assembled so we had to develop a box system that would keep the chairs from being crushed. Nonetheless, shipping companies will find ways to crush the best laid plans, so it is something you have to get used too.

Order a box for the top that allows you to protect the edges of the table. If you can encase the entire thing in Styrofoam, you will be better off. This raises the cost of the unit but will give you more peace of mind.

Starting out

We tested the market on Ebay, there is never a shortage of qualified traffic their and you can take advantage of EBay's advanced marketing techniques. Take lots of pictures and be prepared to answer a lot of questions. I made very thorough templates that gave as much information as possible. I ran fixed price items in a store concurrently with auctions. The auctions drove traffic to the store and once in a while you would have to eat a low price. Most of the time we would get around $150 to $180 per set. After a while we lowered our costs considerably by making the chairs ourselves. This was a huge money saver; however it increased the time factor. Be prepared to attach a dollar amount to your time. You absolutely need to know how much time you have into these sets since they are handmade items. You may enjoy making them, but you are in business.

I hope this has helped you if you are considering going into business.

Childrens Furniture Walk Through

Making children's furniture

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • WillSteinmetz profile image

      WillSteinmetz 

      6 years ago

      Great hub!Thanks for this great information.

    • profile image

      Patrick 

      8 years ago

      Something to really think about.

    • Router Maniac profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken Schulte 

      9 years ago

      Thank you kindly, we did it ourselves!

    • profile image

      Jeanne 

      10 years ago

      Great site I love all the detail in the furniture is is beautiful!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Steve Austin 

      10 years ago

      amazing stuff, how did you learn all this?

    • profile image

      Tony Scorch 

      10 years ago

      Nice quality work

    • dniemi14 profile image

      dniemi14 

      10 years ago

      This is very helpful for those of us just starting out, thanks.

    • profile image

      Larry Ragnoni 

      10 years ago

      This is a great site, Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      BobLaGatta 

      10 years ago

      Very informative and complete. Great Job.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)