The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Firewood and Wood Heating => Topic started by: NWP on February 09, 2013, 11:05:31 AM

Title: Firewood sales
Post by: NWP on February 09, 2013, 11:05:31 AM
Anyone else in the firewood business had a terrible last couple of years as far as sales volume?  We have had a couple of mild winters, but I've never been this slow in 22 years. I'm not sure if people see firewood as more of a luxury than they used to or what. Luckily we have some commercial accounts that are steady and have diversified into other things like landscape mulch production. Just wondering how others are faring out there.
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: thecfarm on February 09, 2013, 11:09:38 AM
pellet stove might of taken a bite out of buiness too. You can buy them by the 50 pound bag or by the ton in alot of stores now.
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: Slab Slicer on February 09, 2013, 12:06:20 PM
Firewood prices have jumped so high that I think folks are not willing to deal with some of the effort it takes to use it. If it's that close to heating oil, propane, or natural gas, and they are easier to deal with, why not just go with them rather than the wood. Around here, wood was $80 - $100 a cord. Now it's $150 / cord and up. Some as high as $225 - $250. JMHO.

Another issue around here is Hurricane Sandy. It put so many trees on the ground, that firewood is plentiful from just about any Tom, Dick, or Harry around. Again, JMHO.
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: NWP on February 09, 2013, 12:13:15 PM
I agree. If natural gas is cheap, it's easier to turn the thermostat on the wall than to fill the stove. There are also a lot of weekend warrior types on Craiglist selling cheaper than me. Although they don't have the overhead (liability ins., work comp., business taxes to name a few)
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: Slab Slicer on February 09, 2013, 12:19:31 PM
No telling what the weekend warriors are selling though. If you're offering quality, customers will be back after getting junk from some of those weekend warriors.
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: NWP on February 09, 2013, 12:41:49 PM
Yeah, I've had a lot of people tell me they tried somebody cheaper only to realize it was worth a little more for a uniform quality product. There are pellet stoves around here, but I don't think there is enough to make a major dent in the traditional wood burners.
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: woodmills1 on February 09, 2013, 04:13:43 PM
I have 3 full years with my multitek
34 cord, then 56, past year 86
all green, no poplar, no willow' at $170 (cheaper by at least 20 bucks here)
could have also sold around 50 cord of dry this year, if I took the time to stack some
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: r.man on February 09, 2013, 06:27:45 PM
Don't sell any myself but a big producer of logs says they can't sell all their firewood logs so they are leaving some in the bush. They are going to start processing next year and wholesale firewood as well as logs. A retired local fellow normally gets 5 tandem loads to process by hand and sell. Last year he cut back to 3 loads and he has some left over this year.
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: Firewoodking on February 10, 2013, 07:48:29 PM
I am indeed a weekend warrior and I believe the slow sales is due to the San Francisco Bay Area "spare the air" days.

You see, over here we have a bull$%#t thing called "air quality management control" which regulates which days you can or cannot burn firewood. Every few days a "spare the air" day is called and if you burn anyway, it's a $500 fine.

Is that bull$%#t or what?!?
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: NWP on February 10, 2013, 08:27:26 PM
Welcome to the Forum Firewoodking!  I assume you live near SF?  Tell us about yourself. For the record, I do think that is ridiculous that they tell you what days you can or can't burn firewood. 
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: saxon0364 on February 10, 2013, 08:52:36 PM
Just about the same as usual around here. And this is the time of year most ads start disappearing as guys run out of seasoned stuff to sell.    Im starting to see ads with green wood for sale.  Im raising my price next year, I'll be waiting to see how that pans out.   
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: Firewoodking on February 10, 2013, 09:05:27 PM
Nwp,
Well, I work full time as an electrician here in the napa valley, CA (45 mins north of san francisco) I  usually only cut and split 5 or 6 cord a year in addition to the 2 cord I use for my home.  I just bought a new log splitter a few weeks ago, I had been borrowing one occasionally for the last 3 years or so before that.
I am definitely a small time operation compared to some of the "Elite veterans" here in this forum.  I just enjoy this work and it is more of a hobby I do with my boys.  I make better money doing electrical work but this more fun to me, mostly because its something my boys and I do together.
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: NWP on February 10, 2013, 09:09:37 PM
  I make better money doing electrical work but this more fun to me, mostly because its something my boys and I do together.

Glad to hear you get your boys involved. Mine love to help me too and they get to learn the value of hard work.
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: Firewoodking on February 10, 2013, 09:21:15 PM
heck ya!
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: Firewoodking on February 10, 2013, 09:27:30 PM
the going rate for oak here is $300 a cord, is that higher than other regions?

oak is plentiful here, i never have trouble finging material.
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: justallan1 on February 10, 2013, 09:31:39 PM
I wish I had more fire wood to get to right now. I work for a ranch and cut wood on the side and usually sell about 30 cord a year. We had a lot of fires this last summer and folks just can't get any. I have some residential customers, a motel and a bar. The bar and motel have firepits outside for the workover crews that show up for 6-8 weeks and you just can't keep up. I think this year I'll give them all my punky wood and junk real cheap when it gets close them being done.
Allan
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: woodandtractors on February 10, 2013, 09:37:08 PM
NWP- I used to sell about 100 cords a year(chainsaws and splitter)as a part-time source of income. Bought a used Timberwolf(2001 Pro-MX)in spring of 2008 to try selling wood full-time. It takes a while to get new customers-there's lots of guys in this area selling wood out of pickups that are otherwise unemployed. They don't have as much overhead as I do and some are probably not too concerned with repeat customers. I think I've lost some sales over $10 or $15 a cord. I too could have sold another 50 cords or so of dry wood if we had taken time to pile more up. My total sales of firewood were off about $10,000 from 2011,that hurts a bit.
Mike
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: justallan1 on February 10, 2013, 09:37:28 PM
Firewoodking, for SF that doesn't sound bad. I'm originally from N.California and sold oak down there for $200 back in the 80's, but my customers used it for decoration and only bought 1/4-1/2 cord at a time.
In this part of Montana pine is going for $140 a cord for seasoned.
Allan
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: woodandtractors on February 10, 2013, 10:08:14 PM
Green mixed hardwood averages $200/cd here,dry or seasoned from $275 to $350/cd.
Mike
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: rick f on February 11, 2013, 05:00:24 AM
We've done 50+ cord so far this winter $225.00/ cord delivered. We'll endup at about a 100 cord including ours.
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: r.man on February 11, 2013, 06:57:22 AM
I know of three in my area that still have dry mixed hardwood for sale. Normally you would have trouble finding dry by now. Saw a notice last week, 85 a face so 255 a bush, with delivery extra.
Title: Re: Firewood sales
Post by: jcl on February 17, 2013, 03:49:50 PM
i sell only season wood over 80 cords a year last two years have sold out in 6 weeks.  i start selling in mid sept.  i post signs but 75% of sales or from craigslist i post pics of the wood.   the people love to see gray  colored firewood.