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Author Topic: Marketing lumber  (Read 1210 times)

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Offline Dwight

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Marketing lumber
« on: March 29, 2018, 12:08:04 PM »
Hello,new member here with a brand new woodmizer lt40 wide! My family has been sawing lumber and logging for 6 generations. Anyway my question is how do you market your southern yellow pine? I'm having a hard time selling it to people.

Online SawyerTed

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Re: Marketing lumber
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2018, 12:17:27 PM »
Welcome to the forum.  Around here pine is the least valuable lumber aka plentiful.  Mills pay something like 17 cents a board foot.  It is hard to compete on pine with the big box stores.  On pine I'm only sawing to order.
Woodmizer LT35HD25, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins

Offline Magicman

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Re: Marketing lumber
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2018, 01:45:04 PM »
First, Welcome to the Forestry Forum.  Adding your location will help with questions and it will also help us to remember where you are located.

I seriously doubt that you could compete with the Box Stores, etc. with selling SYP framing lumber.  That would leave timbers and various widths of 1", etc. lumber.  You also would have to consider whether it would/could be sold "green" or whether drying would be necessary.  Next would be possible inventory and storage.

There are several FF members such as @POSTON WIDEHEAD that specializes in sawing and selling SYP lumber.  I am sure that he can offer a different view.

These are the types of questions that put me out of the lumber business 16 years ago and into the portable sawing business.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline Dwight

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Re: Marketing lumber
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2018, 02:06:46 PM »
I'm in north Arkansas. I guess a better question is how do you deal with the hoards of people who call you and either have no idea what they want or how much they want or want it for nothing.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Marketing lumber
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2018, 02:33:08 PM »
Now so that we can always know/remember, go to Profile, Forum Profile, and add it in the Location box.  Then scroll down and click on the blue Change Profile box.  

You will get some responses to your lumber questions as some of the other members see this.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Marketing lumber
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2018, 03:11:25 PM »
   I get the calls from people checking prices and don't know how much they need. Also when sawing their lumber they don't know what they want made out of their logs. 

   I tell them my prices per bf for selling or for sawing. One thing I find that helps, since most can't visualize a bf easily, is to tell them a 5X8 trailer stacked 13" high (13 rows of 1" lumber) is just a hair over 500 bf so 2 trailer loads would be about 1,000 bf. That is a measurement they seem better able to understand. I tell them to design/draw off what they want to build then figure up how much lumber they need for their project and if they want to call me I can plug it into my spreadsheet and tell them bf and prices.

   Same for sawing their lumber. I tell them figure how much they need for their projects and that will be the cut list we start with. My business card has an international 1/4" log scale on the back so I tell them use that to estimate/determine how many logs they need.

   Depending on how much time you have available and your personality determines how much patience you have for explaining this to potential customer. I haven't kept track of how many such calls actually result in future sales/work. If you don't have the tolerance level to deal with such you might need to reconsider sawing and selling lumber as a career - no offense intended either. You might just have to pick another aspect of the work or pawn that part off on others.
Howard Green
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Marketing lumber
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2018, 03:49:01 PM »
I do not buy logs nor sell lumber but I just got an inquiry wanting:

1 each         611 Long x 23W x 39H
 
2 each          33 Long x 23W x 37 H

I have not gotten an answer back on whether they have to be solid or can be laminated to get that width/thickness.  He requested "hardwood" and stated that he would handle the transportation.

Anyway, I ain't supplying them.   ;D
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Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline starmac

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Re: Marketing lumber
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2018, 03:51:54 PM »
Just a suggestion, if you have mostly pine and no profitable market for it, look around your area and find different things that you can easily build out of rough cut lumber.

It may very well be that you can cut less lumber, and get several times the value of the lumber itself.
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Marketing lumber
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2018, 04:25:09 PM »
Welcome to the forum Dwight.
There are different ways to answer your question.

First of all Big Box stores really should not even come into play.....at least they don't in my area.
I have a Lowes, Home Depot, Carter Lumber and The Newport Building Center ALL with in 6 miles of me.
People who are looking for the rough cut sawmill "look" are not going to Big Box, they are coming to a sawmill.

Its like Sawyer Ted said, if a customer wants x amount of Pine at x dimension.....yes its hard to compete with the big boxes.

But if they are wanting the look of early times, they will come to you.
A lot of my customers build a structure and use box store lumber for the structure part and then I saw Board and Baton for the outside look.
95% of my business is board and baton....the rest is custom sawing.

So the first thing you need to find out is how many other mills are you competing with on selling Pine Lumber?

Get into the Mantel business, the slab business, build benches and any other market you can....these are a drawing card to sell your lumber and to custom saw log.

Depending on how much competition you have, you may have to adjust your prices accordingly.

Sometimes, with a wide head you can take a huge Pine log, saw slabs and sell the slabs for more money that you could get for lumber.

Learn your markets and find out what your competitors are charging. Do what ever it takes to get people to WANT to come see you.

Advertise on Craigs List, the Market Bulletin, get a web site....etc.

When I started 7 1/2 years ago it took me a year to get cash flow coming in steady. But slowly the word got around.....now I stay covered up.
The older I get I wish my body could Re-Gen.

Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Marketing lumber
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2018, 07:35:41 PM »
Good luck, people think that buying direct from the mill means you should give it to um around here.
2000 LT40hyd remote 33hp Kubota, 160 Prentice, Frick 2 saw gang edger, Wright W-37 ABG, Suffolk dual tooth setter, Cat claw single tooth setter,'96 F-250 7.3 PSD 4x4, CS-590 Echo, MF 20c, M681 Memo.

Over 2.5 million bdft sawn with a Baker Dominator and counting.

Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Marketing lumber
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2018, 09:11:16 PM »
Good luck, people think that buying direct from the mill means you should give it to um around here.
Took me a year but I weeded them out....quick!
The older I get I wish my body could Re-Gen.


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