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Author Topic: Marketing sawn lumber  (Read 2041 times)

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Offline mrcaptainbob

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Marketing sawn lumber
« on: March 19, 2010, 01:02:55 AM »
Okay. So suppose we saw up some logs. Maybe cherry, maybe black walnut....how would we go about marketing this? Are there purchasers for this? Or does it work that people would bring a log over for milling? How does something like that work? It's not like we're looking for a job, but just suppose...

Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Marketing sawn lumber
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010, 04:18:31 AM »
Well, Bob,  you asks some real broad questions.  The broad answer is – you have to let people know you’ve got something to sale or a service to provide.

Small sales from small producers are usually done local.  I seen one small sawmill operation stack lumber out in their front yard and put a sign on it.  You could run an ad in a local trade paper.  You could put it on eBay or Creigslist.  Just think, “If I were looking for this product, where would I start the search?”.

But many of us got started and keep going by good ol’ word of mouth. We have never, ever advertized and still people find us from great distances and from the oddest sources.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Marketing sawn lumber
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2010, 07:32:54 AM »
Do you live in the country?  Just like Bibbyman said,need to show your product.Signs to help,ALOT. But make them big enough to be read at 40 mph too. Can you put up a sign in a small store? Have any wood workers club near you.Some more only want a few boards at a time,but it will all add up. May have to build a building to store it in first,unless you are lucky enough to sell it fast. There is a member that built just a low roof over his lumber.Don't really want a high stack of lumber because the customer will want the ones at the bottom.Than you pull out 20 boards and they only buy 2.
One more thing too.If sawing at your place,saw down by the road where everyone driving by can see you.
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Offline Cedarman

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Re: Marketing sawn lumber
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2010, 07:41:15 AM »
Call or stop by every business that might be able to use your wood.  Let them know what you are doing. Also that you can cut to their specs if needed.  Keep a list of all your visits and responses. Listen to what your customers say they wantl.  Later at the appropriate time revisit selected businesses according to what your notes say.  Signs on bulletin boards.  Every time you talk to anyone, mention what you do and what you have.  Be sure to have business cards.  Pay extra to have something worthwhile on back of card.  Maybe lumber chart?  Give person receiving the card a reason for keeping it.  This in addition to what Bibbymand and thecfarm say.
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Offline woodman58

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Re: Marketing sawn lumber
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2010, 08:14:31 AM »
Mrcaptainbob,
 I don't have a mill yet, but I sell lumber. I buy cherry and walnut logs and take them to a mill to process. I have a solar kiln to dry them. I post my lumber for sale on craigslist. When someone respondes to the ad, I add their name to my email list. One week before the wood is dried I send out emails to everyone on my list as to what I have available and prices. This gives them first choice. If I have anything left I post a new ad on CL to get more email addresses. I sell about 1000 BF a month. (Its a nice spare income). I have customers that will buy wood this month and place orders for wood out of the next charge. I do not seperate by grade. Everybody knows that the  first to come get the best pick. On the last 50 to100 BF I give a small discount it if they but it all. This has been working well for me for 10 months. Good luck.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Marketing sawn lumber
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2010, 03:25:13 PM »
I sell a fair amount of cherry to homebuilders.  They use it for shelving, etc. and for framing/facing entrance doors.  Poplar goes for paneling.  If/when I have a sawing job close to a major highway, folks will stop.

I sawed about 10Kbf of my own beetle killed SYP.  I sawed it close to the road and put a sign out that said "Lumber".  Sold every bit of it, and made others' mad because I ran out of logs.
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Offline Ernie

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Re: Marketing sawn lumber
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2010, 04:04:06 PM »
I sell a fair amount of cherry to homebuilders.  They use it for shelving, etc. and for framing/facing entrance doors.  Poplar goes for paneling.  If/when I have a sawing job close to a major highway, folks will stop.

I sawed about 10Kbf of my own beetle killed SYP.  I sawed it close to the road and put a sign out that said "Lumber".  Sold every bit of it, and made others' mad because I ran out of logs.

Do you have a kiln, I looked through your very interesting photos and didn't see one any where.  or do you sell the timber green?
A very wise man once told me . Grand children are great, we should have had them first

Offline Magicman

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Re: Marketing sawn lumber
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2010, 06:17:04 PM »
I do not have a kiln, and have no intentions of getting one.  I do sell some lumber, but am not in the lumber business.  If I have some, it's for sale, but I have no means of storing it. 

I just sold some cherry that had air dried for a couple of years.  I have another stack that is over 8 years old.  I intended to use it to deck a utility trailer.  I'm sure that same builder will buy it.

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

Offline mrcaptainbob

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Re: Marketing sawn lumber
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2010, 10:59:55 PM »
Thanks all for the suggestions. All good points.


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