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Everything you need to sell online

Set up an online store in minutes to sell on a website, social media, or marketplaces.

How To Make and Sell a DIY Bookshelf

11 min read

Selling products online is a great way to make some supplemental income. Plus, if you already have a favorite DIY hobby, why not turn those passion projects into a small business and get some extra cash doing what you love to do? Even if creating DIY wood projects is still just an aspirational hobby for you, we’ll walk you through exactly what you need to do to make and sell a DIY bookshelf. Not saying it’s easy, but with the right knowledge and tools in your arsenal, you’ll be at building and selling in no time!

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Tips from e-commerce experts for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
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Starting Your DIY Bookshelf Project

You can sell wooden handicrafts online. You can start with an easy one—bookshelves. Come up with a cool shelf design, buy materials, and find an online platform to sell it. Take stylish photos for the store and social networks, and start your business!

Tackling a DIY bookcase project is ambitious, but the cool part about designing your own custom bookshelf is that you can make it look however you want. From color, to size and shelf height, the world is your oyster. There are so many directions you can take your project in!

But first things first, you’re going to need some inspiration. Come up with a specific design idea by doing a bit of product research. There are a lot of different types of bookcases, so your options are pretty endless. But if you want to have a greater chance of success- we know you do- there are a few things to consider in this step. Of course, you want to keep the whole project low-cost. Research ways to reach your end goal that are quality, but cost-effective. And secondly, who are you targeting with your product? Niche down so you can attract a strong group of customers. But make sure you find a way to stand out, too!

Now that you’ve got your idea down, we’re sure that you’re just itching to be hammer-in-hand, building away. Not so fast! It’s time to gather all the good stuff. First up, choosing which type of wood to use. The right plywood will be a perfect mix of durability, weight, and affordability. Some good options for making your own wooden shelf are pine, birch and oak plywood.

Hopefully, this comes as no surprise, but you’re going to need quite a few other things besides just wood. The next step is to gather all of these supplies so you can finally get started with putting your woodworking project together. You’re going to need a drill and screws, some wood glue, a rubber mallet, and any materials for making finishing touches. Do you want to paint your shelf? Give it a certain look with a stain?

If you’re a newbie to woodworking (or even if you’re not), there are a bunch of guides out there that will help you build your bookcase. Get your plan, gather your materials and start building your masterpiece!

make and sell bookshelves

Sometimes, you don’t need to be super creative to make an excellent product to sell.

Before you Sell

Hooray! Your amazing DIY Bookshelf has come to life and you’re ready to trade it in for some cash. We knew you could do it. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s cover some of the logistics for actually selling your bookcase. If this is something you want to keep doing, your best bet is to obtain a license to operate as a business. You’ll do this via your town office and you’ll have to describe your situation, pay a fee and officially submit a name for your business.

You should also get a resale license. It’s not necessarily required to get started but affects tax so you should probably check it out. For example, with an approved resale license, you don’t need to pay sales tax on the materials you buy to make your bookcases. You do pay it later, just after a customer makes the purchase.

And last but not least, open up a bank account (preferably both checking and savings) under your business name. A separate business account will be crucial in keeping your business expenses and income separate from your personal.

Pricing Your Masterpiece

You might think your fantastic bookshelf creation is worth a million dollars, but unfortunately, that might be a hard sell. So how do you come up with an appropriate price for your bookshelves that both makes your effort worthwhile and sells? Lucky for you, there’s a formula to help you get there.

Add up the amount of money you spent on the materials to create the table. Then, add up how many hours you spent working on it. You get to choose how much you make an hour for your labor. If you want to make $25 an hour and you worked for 2 hours, that’s $50 to add to the amount of money you spent on materials.

This is where it gets a little bit more complex. Compare this final number to what others are selling their similar bookshelves for. If similar bookshelves are going for cheaper than your final price, you might consider adjusting lower so people don’t automatically choose another bookshelf over yours. Sad, we know. But it works in the other direction too. If similar bookshelves are going for more, pad your price and increase your profit. We love the sound of that.

Choosing Where to Sell Online

Phew. That was a lot of hard work. But it was fun, right? After all of that though, you certainly want to find a solution for selling your custom bookshelf online that is straightforward and easy to use. And you want it to be attractive to your potential customers.

You’re not the only one who knows the power of selling online. That’s why there are several ecommerce sites to choose from now. There’s Amazon, Etsy, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace just to name a few. You can even sell directly on Instagram these days, or even on TikTok. How do you know which one is your perfect fit?

To find the best place to sell your DIY bookshelf, you have to consider both your (as the seller) side of things and the customers. Which platform gives both you and the customer an easy and seamless shopping experience? After you determine what factors into a positive experience for both parties, you also have to consider how much selling is going to cost you.

An online selling platform that charges you a lot of money each month or pulls out from your sales might not be the best option. Is losing this money worth it for what you get from the service? Is there a cheaper option out there that gives you similar features? Compare what you get for how much and make sure the platform meets the needs you have now and the needs you might have if your business grows over the next few years.

Using Ecwid To Sell Online

If you’re looking to open up your online store and start selling from a seamless platform ASAP, Ecwid could be exactly what you need. With no set-up or transaction fees, anyone can get started right now-wherever they are in their selling journey- without any financial commitment.

Ecwid smoothly integrates with other ecommerce platforms, so you can have control of everything from one user-friendly control panel. Which means you can use multiple selling avenues without the hassle of managing each on their own.

But that’s not the only thing that Ecwid makes simpler. Customers have it easy too- with check out options so they can customize their experience, the ability to favorite products to come back to and a calculator to see what shipping is going to cost.

Whatever you’re selling, DIY bookshelves or otherwise, you need a platform that makes everything easier for you. Focus your energy on the parts of your business that only you can do (e.g. creating fantastic wooden masterpieces) and let Ecwid handle the rest.

Need DIY ideas to make and sell?

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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