Is there profit in making and selling wooden pet caskets?

A member at asked this very question… for his father. If you’re a woodworking hobbyist looking to supplement your income with your skills with wood then this is a great thread for you!

Of course, this wonderful thread is as much about this guy’s father as anything. Well, here are some excerpts to show you what I mean:

“…With Dad, once he is locked onto an idea, no will convince him it won’t work. He is convinced that there is profit to be made making and selling wooden caskets for pets. So he has bought the stuff, purchased a bunch of special tooling and supplies from a local 100 year old casket factory here in Maine, and has been making pet caskets.

“But nothing is selling. Several stores he approached won’t let him put caskets in their store because its “creepy” and word of mouth just isn’t doing much either.

“Its kind of sad to see him pound out casket after casket to a non-existing market, but as he says “you can’t sell something that isn’t made”. I like his conviction, but I wonder if his niche market is too creepy and special to make any money at it?”

And here is some of the best advice I picked out from the FamilyWoodworking crew:

Make What You Can Sell:
“It is very difficult to build a business trying to sell what you can make. Always much more fruitful to make what you can sell.”

Advertise at Vets and Pet Cemeteries:
“Since I agree that this is more an urban/city/wealthy person’s purchase, these people are also going to need a place to put their pet once they have the casket. So, find the cemetery and try to place some brochures with them. Or, also check with some city/urban vet offices (they’re the ones who would be helping folks who need to put down beloved pets) and see if they would like some brochures as well.”

Make Urns Instead:
“I think urns are the way to go, and he can probably make them without coffin up any more money for tools.”

Make Pet Beds Instead:
“Just recently and I’m not even sure where, I noticed an article about beds for pets. Many different styles, beds with headboards and foot boards, creative contemporary, arts and crafts, even smaller reproductions of the bed their masters sleep in.”

Check out the thread at the Family Woodworking Forum: Woodworking for profit: Diversify?