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General Forestry => General Board => Topic started by: WV Sawmiller on May 02, 2021, 05:48:25 PM

Title: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 02, 2021, 05:48:25 PM
   I loaded my truck and 5X8 trailer yesterday, hooked up and pulled out of my yard at 0600 this morning. I got to the flea market 20 miles away about 30 minutes later and ended up setting up in the back lot next to the parking lot which is not my preferred location (No shade) but not a bad location as far as the foot traffic goes and it is close enough people can carry or stop by and load on their way out for heavy items like most of mine. I left the trailer hooked to the truck and set up display all around the sides and back.

From the drivers side - some of my trimmed out "Square inch pricing" walnut, a few walnut cookies, several benches and tomato stakes. New MM copy planters.

 End view - Planters, raised bed planter box, birdhouses, big walnut cookie, crates and a few benches. I later moved my wife's pictures here. Prices and past bluebird pictures tacked to the planter box.

Passenger side - benches, crates, photos. Business cards laid out for people to take. These trips are mostly advertising for future portable sawing jobs and to get people interested in coming here for other items too big to transport.

 No benches sold but sold more small things than usual. Sold a couple of the new planters, several bundles (dz) tomato stakes, several crates, a couple of walnut cookies, and 5 birdhouses all at once forcing me to assemble several more on the spot. One guy asked about the small walnut pieces and when I told him they were 5 cents/square inch he angrily replied "That's too complicated." I told him "well a 2" X 10" piece is 20 square inches X 5 cents is a dollar." What I should have told him is "Its a safety regulation dictated by the state of WV - anybody who is not smart enough to calculate square inches is not smart enough to operate power tools."

 I talked to several hundred people and gave out cards and may/will likely get calls back for future sawing and several indicated they wanted to come here to look for larger pieces than I had brought for samples. I met 2 couples who had moved here from NJ and asked them if they were enrolled in WV language classes. I told the lady with the Roll Tide backpack my typical UA discount applied to her - just double anything marked. One lady with a French logo on her bag turned out to be from Belgium and we talked about world travel and I am pretty sure she and her woodworker husband will be making a visit. They were very pleasant and she seemed surprised to meet. Met another regular who is a part time sawmiller there and we discussed techniques and such. Except for the square inch jerk it was a pretty good visit.
Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: doc henderson on May 02, 2021, 06:10:11 PM
looks like fun!
Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 02, 2021, 08:44:43 PM
   I'm a pretty social animal so I enjoy these outings. I'm working out the details now from an e-mail I just got from a repeat customer who saw me there and is now wanting to build about 50' of lean to on a 40' and a 10' shed. The last time I sawed a bunch of lumber for him I had to get a guy in here with a pair of mules to pull the big poplar logs out of the holler behind my house.
Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: DbltreeBelgians on May 03, 2021, 11:23:41 AM
I got the chance to see most of everything Howard took to the flea market during my visit with him and Becky last Friday. He has some very nice pieces that he shows in the picture. I will say I was very impressed and enjoyed the tour he gave me. Hes quite crafty.
Thanks again Howard for having us on a short order notice.

Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 03, 2021, 11:36:32 AM
  Thanks Brent. We enjoyed this visit. You probably did not know it but you just barely escaped without having to help load the trailer. :D
Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: hedgerow on May 04, 2021, 02:22:46 PM
Its good to see the flea markets, garage sales and estate sales coming back on line this year. Years ago I had a uncle that when he retired started making benches and different wood working crafts. The next thing I knew he was traveling the midwest in the spring till fall going to flea markets and would go south ever winter and sell wood working crafts. He love to visit with folks. It kept him busy in his retirement.  
Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: Magicman on May 04, 2021, 03:57:22 PM
I did flea markets for several years and do not recall ever selling anything, but.  The "but" was giving out cards and the folks that called a few months later wanting to buy Christmas Gifts.  During those woodworking years I made and sold over 100 clocks plus the furniture items.

Strangely enough, I do not miss the woodworking nor the selling and am very content sawmilling.
Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 04, 2021, 04:50:00 PM

   I am sure I sold more this trip than at any I have been to in the past. Usually I do good to sell enough to pay the lot fee. I always describe these trips as advertising trips as I do the same with talking and passing out business cards and in almost every case I pick up a portable sawing job and sometimes several. I took the mill with me to one trip last year and am seriously considering taking it back and sawing some logs as a demo later at the back of the parking lot. There is a young couple near there with a few logs they want sawed and I'd saw them for free to use with the demo. Actually there is a nook on the side of the lot they sometimes set up a couple of booths. I sawed 2 big hickory logs for the owner there one time so he might let me use it . It is close enough but far enough away to be perfect. You've got me thinking now.
Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 15, 2021, 11:25:10 PM
   Well, I tried a big flea market at the fairgrounds near Lewisburg WV today, Sold about $300 worth of stuff but no benches or even tomato stakes (which surprised me). About half that were photos my wife had taken and printed to sell and a $5 military sleeping bag that brought $50 for him. Sounds like I am selling the wrong things! I did sell some square inch walnut and several planters and birdhouses. I need a big market for my benches as locally people love them but won't pay what it costs to produce them and this was a much higher end clientele. I did see one repeat customer I am pretty sure I will end up going to Huntington, 130 miles away to saw for him as he says nobody up there closer will come to him. He has a vacation home near here and brought me a bunch of 4' oak logs because his tractor would not move them when 8'. I told him next time just have me bring the mill as much easier and faster on all of us but I am glad he is still happy with the work.

  After the flea market I stopped at Lowes and bought nearly $100 worth of stuff for my-coming compost toilet. The metal roofing will be about another $30. I won't get rich off this one either but will market some of my spruce and get decent price out if it and wages for the work.
Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 16, 2021, 05:43:27 PM
   Boy was I snakebit from the start today. I got up and the weather was threatening and 30% chance of rain but I was already loaded so I decided to go to our local flea market one last time. My truck would not make a sound when I tried to crank it and even the clock had lost settings so I checked the battery. The ground is in serious need of cleaning and the terminal was loose. I wiggled it a bit and checked and it cranked then so just a bad connection but still needs a good cleaning and tighten the terminal.

  I drove 20 miles to the flea market debating whether to chance it or not. Got there and set up. Light showers off and on and poor crowd. I did talk to a few folks including one guy who wants to build a 30X50 barn and live it it a while till he can finish his house. Of course he had no idea of his design and whether to use posts on footers or a pole ground with poles in the ground and really did not know the difference. He is going to put together some kind of plan with a cut list and I'll give him a price on poplar. The good thing is he lives within a mile or so of my poplar supplier. We will see if it pans out.

  I did not sell a single birdhouse, planter, bench or tomato stake! My son and gd came and brought their little 50 cc ATV to sell and he brought a shotgun and left with 2. On the way home I felt like my power steering was acting up some so will have to check that out and maybe put it in the shop a day or two. Later this next week would be the best time if it has to go due to other scheduled activities when I can spare it.

  I came home and unloaded the trailer and broke the glass in my driver mirror trying to back the trailer into a too tight spot backing through my barn. The only productive thing I got done was I went ahead and built and installed a 9.5' X16" wide shelf in my latest pole barn about 6' high to store my crates and such on. I already had 3 - 2X12 triangles, screwed them to the bottom of the shelf with a 2" spacer, hung it on the existing 2X4 runner the siding is nailed to then screws a short scrap 2X4 under the 2X4 to prevent sag. It is actually a very simple but very effective design IIDSSMS.

  I need to deliver 2  raised planters first thing in the morning and build another one or two. I'll check out the truck then with no trailer attached.
Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: Old Greenhorn on May 16, 2021, 06:48:39 PM
A, some days are gonna be like that, but at least you found your truck issues before you were headed out to a sawing job, and you pulled off some useful chores besides, so there is that.  certainly at least 10 times more productive than I was today. I just could not get out of low gear, in fact I could barely get into low gear.
 Not every hit can be a home run, but we have to keep swinging!
Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 16, 2021, 08:42:06 PM
   Yeah, I even got up the energy to go make another raised planter box to take to my dealer tomorrow. I had 3 already but 2 are walnut and one is in use storing my larger square inch walnut boards and I just hated to let the other one go too so I just knocked together another one out of ash and with fresh cut poplar legs.
Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: WV Sawmiller on August 08, 2021, 09:55:56 PM
Well, I didn't go to sell just to shop and took some scrap wood to my Lichtenburg dealer to pay him for the last 2 benches he engraved for me. I'd rather pay in cash but he said just look through my scrap pile so I found several pretty nice cherry slabs and such. He said it was way more then he expected so if he's happy I'm thrilled. I did pick up a couple more other treasures and ran into 2 former customer who wanted tomato stakes and I had a few on the truck in case I saw them so the cost between income and outgo was pretty much a wash.

 Picked up an old well windlass. likely was just a decoration but it was cheap and I can use or sell or trade it to someone.
 A new toilet seat for $5 was too good a deal to pass up. Will use on my next composting toilet. I usually pay $11-$12 for them and might could find them cheaper but this was a decent deal.
Half mile away we have an indoor flea market who is closing and they had these 3 bundles of shingles I'd seen before. I asked and he said $5/bundle so I jumped on that. I figure I'll put them on a small shed sometime. I don't know if they are the same but the ones I see on line look to run around $30/bundle so I don't think I'll get burned too bad on these.
Title: Re: Flea Market trip 2021
Post by: WV Sawmiller on September 12, 2021, 05:50:11 PM
 The lump under the moving blanket in the back of my truck is my shy/non-photogenic GD who was freezing in shorts and a thin shirt first thing this morning.
We had real pretty weather predicted so I assumed a good crowd would show up at our local flea market so I loaded my truck bed with benches, birdhouses, a few walnut boards and a walnut hat/coat rack, a display box of my wife's photos, hooked up the mill yesterday. This morning we left out early with my 13 y/o GD along to help mind the store and eat up any profits. I stopped at a local market and got us each a homemade biscuit then to the the flea market and set up to show off the mill, hand out business cards, maybe sell a few items and to talk to friends and potential customers. I had lots of local friends stop by and talk as well as lots of new faces. The first lady came by with a Crimson Tide shirt on and I told her to go back and get properly dressed. She was interested in a mantel and I showed her pictures of several I had in stock and she took a card. Another guy stopped later and asked about mantels also. Lots of folks asked if the mill was for sale and I told them I had not intended to sell it but for $200K they could have it. That usually shut them down on that issue. I had lots of people with other types of mills stop and look mine over and compare features. A time or two I cranked the mill and more often I'd just switch to accessories and run the head up and back and work the hydraulics. We discussed the hydraulics and I told many about how to use them with my Magic Hook. I discussed the SimpleSet and showed them my cheat sheet and taught them how that worked to save cuts and such.

  Several people took cards and discussed prices and the process and no doubt a few will call me in the future when their logs are ready to saw. I did not sell a single item but time will tell if it was profitable or just an enjoyable  outing visiting with old and new friends.

  I did drop off a 4' unfinished ash bench on the way home at a local shop on consignment to replace one they sold last week.