The other side of local

Much discussion about buying locally lately. And I do, as should be obvious by now, completely support the concept. But when selling? Now that’s a horse of a different color.

I love the idea of being able to sell my work anywhere in the world. Of course, trying to sell kitchen cabinets to someone in France is going to be a bit rough unless you are a huge shop. But I am looking at making much smaller items that can be easily shipped. With the Internet, marketing these items anywhere in the world is within easy reach. I did this when I was making a lot of chessboards. I shipped them, not only all over this country but to at least a dozen other countries as well.

There are quite a few venues on the net that can be used for this. Setting up an Etsy shop, for example, which is well suited to smaller artistic” items or a store on a site like Amazon for larger scale production items can be done with a few mouse clicks. Sites like Paypal make it possible for funds to be transferred to and from anywhere. It’s easy to set up an account with them and their fees are typically very reasonable.

I’ve also been looking at some very attractive sites that are owned and maintained by individuals. This can be a bit more complicated if one is not conversant with Internet technology. I have done enough along these lines to be able to set up a site and configure a payment gateway. But doing so requires a lot more time than setting up a storefront on a site like Etsy. The fact that there is little or no learning curve and that all of the site maintenance is done for you makes the fees seem even more reasonable.

D.D.

COMMENTS

  1. Chuck Riccardo wrote:

    This is an excellent column, David, and it should spark a great many ideas from your readers. A good woodworking shop coupled with some eBay knowledge could produce a fair amount of sales.

  2. A.J. Hamler wrote:

    It’s a paradox, ain’t it? By all means we want our local people to buy local to support local small business. This is a Good Thing.

    But then we want people who live elsewhere NOT to buy local, but rather make a non-local (to them) purchase and buy from us instead.

  3. Chuck Riccardo wrote:

    I don’t think that is what we are doing at all. We support those stores that offer us what we want locally and we buy across the world wide market otherwise.
    I don’t need any local store to offer me a Lie-Nielsen plane and I don’t want to buy a gallon of denatured alcohol from mail order.
    I just bought a Nikon Strobe from a New York mail order house – and I wouldn’t have bought it from the local camera store even if he were still in business.
    However, the same goes for what I sell – I want to sell some custom items locally, but, if and when the markets are soft, I would like to be able to have the resources to fall back on, and start making widgets that have a national or international market.
    David has it right – (at least when he stays out of politics! ;) )

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