Slingshots Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the second slingshot that I've made. As you could see, I have began numbering them. I'm starting to think about selling my slingshots, which will be similar to this only using better wood. Honestly, do you think that anyone would buy them at $25 shipping included? These pictures are just before I added more stain and polyed it. Any feedback would be great.
 

Attachments

·
Brotherhood Of The Slingshot Nutz
Joined
·
2,153 Posts
I think you could sell them just fine.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,465 Posts
I am sure there is a market for people who want a good one but can't make their own. Some of the members of this forum make a business of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm almost done staining it and have a few more in the works. They don't look spectacular by any means, but I think I just about nailed the ergonomics.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,465 Posts
It's a tough business. Here are a few strategies for marketing and making handmade catapults:

(1) You could make elegantly sculpted and finely finished works in beautiful varnished hardwoods like Flatband, pallan65 and bunnybuster. Their frames are sculptural art finished with a craftsman's skill. Everyone aspires to own one or make one to their standard. bunnybuster's catapults use translucent laminates and/or exotic woods. pallan65 sells his for $35-$40. Flatband is in the $30-$35 range. bunnybuster sells his for about $25 and up. I'm not sure how profitable this approach is because of the labour required per dollar, but it's accessible to anyone with talent and an eye for detail.

(2) You could make a classic design like the Milbro in cast metals that are finished in the finest natural materials for sale to the wealthy and the obsessive. Bells of Hythe produce some of the finest functional collector's items for $80 and up. As a hobbyist maker of things that require a similar degree of fit and finish, I expect this approach will still deliver you more pride than profit, but using high-end materials should maximise your perceived value added per hour of labour on a custom product.

(3) You could make a simple but functional boardcut Y-fork that is technically exceptional, with excellent bands that are powerful, fast and/or super accurate. fish's sell for $30 and up. fish's accounts of his sales are truly inspiring, but he must spend 36 hours a day up to his elbows in sawdust. If you can farm out the grunt work and manage the business, this looks like a good earner.

All these successful makers of handmade crafts use different marketing points, but with a common theme: a distinctive high quality product. Yours is a nice shape, but a bit rough and ready. While I like your design and would like to be put down first on the waitlist for as soon as you're ready to sell, you will be going up against some really stiff competition and may have trouble getting enough orders to make it worthwhile unless your product can be made to a comparable degree of craftsmanship. Use a nicer wood as you said but really work on your finish. 5 more minutes would give you sharper more accurate band slots like pallan65's; 10 more minutes per slingshot would allow you to clean up the deeper scratches and apply a varnish like Flatband's, 5-10 more would allow you to do something creative like bunny buster's lamination or fish's dyed woods. OK, maybe these times are a bit optimistic, but what I mean is it doesn't have to be scratchless and varnished to a mirror finish, but it should be unique and beautiful.

I don't mean that your slingshot is over priced. There will be buyers at $25, but there probably won't be a big sales volumes. If you simply try to undersell, you'll be crushed by overheads. Say you pitched below bunnybuster at about $15 shipped. A priority mail flat rate envelope or box is about $5, you've about $3 of materials and consumables, presumably no rent if done from home, I reckon 1 an hour including product promotion, order taking, manufacture and shipping is optimistic. Even with no sales taxes, the profit would be below minimum wage in your state.

Of course, if you just plan on spending a couple of hours an evening like I do, with a beer in reach and Clapton on the speakers, alone in my man-cave, reliving my youth, then you'll be sure to sell all you can make of this design to this standard, and you'll enjoy every minute.
 

·
Member, Brotherhood of Slingshot Nutz
Joined
·
11,245 Posts
Of course, if you just plan on spending a couple of hours an evening like I do, with a beer in reach and Clapton on the speakers, alone in my man-cave, reliving my youth, then you'll be sure to sell all you can make of this design to this standard, and you'll enjoy every minute.


Make that a cup of coffee and the STONES and we be cookin'
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top