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C.L. example of Alaskan wood dealers knowing that no one knows what dry wood is...

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by AKSHADOW, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
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    13,994
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    "If they simply prepared their stock before going into full swing, I propose that they would make more money in the end as more customers would want to purchase from them as well as being able to offer product that was, maybe not cheaper but at least the same price as wet wood does currently."

    Storing wood has a cost associated - these costs need to be reflected in the price of the product - simple business logic. Therefore - logically - dry wood is worth more than green. It is no more the duty of the seller to provide dry wood, than it is the user to assure he/she is using dry wood. If you want to use the logic of the seller storing it - I will apply the same logic to the USER storing it to assure the quality. Holding the seller to a higher level of responsibility than the end user of the product is the same logic that brings us luke warm coffee from the drive through at McD's or lawsuits from the operator of a chainsaw that cut himself because he stumbled.

    Now misrepresentation is a whole different thing....

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  2. krex1010

    krex1010 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Messages:
    661
    Loc:
    southeast pa
    Akshadow
    I do want to address you statement about the wood dealing " community". There is no wood dealing community, this is not an organized industry, there are no trade shows or industry conferences for firewood dealers where this issue can be discussed. From what I have seen the vast majority of firewood dealers do it as a side gig to there normal jobs, usually they are landscapers or tree guys or have logging businesses. They split wood when business is slow, when the weather is preventing them from working or on nights or weekends. Most of these guys work in true feast or famine businesses so they know they have to make money when they can, because they know that a slow period in their work can happen at any time. For people to expect them to turn down offers to buy their green wood is unfair in my opinion. Even if they may be able to charge more for seasoned wood next year there is no garuntee that that customer will be there next year. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I disagree that wet wood is a danger to anyone, I have a bunch of it in my yard, it's not hurting anyone. Now burning wet wood, that can present problems (chimney fires, air pollution etc) but I really, truly believe that the blame for those problem lies with the person who is putting a match to the wet wood. Just like I think if someone is shot the blame lies with the triggerman not smith and wesson, if someone drinks 10 beers and kills someone in a car accident the blame is on the guy behind the wheel not budweiser. There are thousands of products that can be used in an irresponsible manner should they all be prevented from being sold? Most cars are capable of speeds well above the speed limit, should we expect ford and chevy to put governors on their products to limit speed? The sale of green wood allows savvy people to plan ahead and buy firewood at a cheaper price so they can save money, and let's dealers make money on the deal too. What's wrong with that? I just really believe that as wood burners it is our own personal responsibility to sure we have good fuel, safe stoves and good burning practices. I just will not agree with you that if I don't have seasoned wood to burn then it's Joey logsplitter's fault and not my own.
  3. Mcbride

    Mcbride New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    202
    Loc:
    Mcbride BC Canada
    It would be a lot easier for someone that buys wood, instead of getting their own, to buy what they need, and store it for a year to dry. Than for a wood seller to have to store many hundreds of chords of wood.
    I have had people think myself, nad my Dad insane due to the amount of wood we both have at our respective homes.
    And yet the measly amount I have is nothing compared to what a dealer would have to store.
    I am taking a guess that i maybe have 25 to 28 chords cut. My Dad varies year to year from 20 to 30 chords cut and stacked.
    I just buck mine to length, and dump it on the pile with my skidsteer loader. I am fortunate that when I bought here the place had a huge old barn for me to pile wood in, as i have no other use for it, and its in bad shape, but the roof does not leak.
    Its piled up whole, not split. But it dries good enough after a few years, and its easier splitting then.
    So i scoop out what i want with the bobcat, and take it to the chopping block.

    No way would i want to have to fall, buck, haul, split, and stack 300 to say 800 chords, and then leave it sit for a year to sell it for money.
    And whom here has the covered storage at their place for 300 plus chords of wood. Actually needing to always be ahead, you would have to have storage for 600 chords if you sell 300 a year.
    I talked to a guy that sold 500 to 700 chords a year, depending.
    He is honest, and says its mixed wood, and you get what you get. Furthermore its been sitting a maximum of 4 months. He does not lie and say its fully seasoned, or pretend to sell only birch or some other very desireable species.
    He sells every every piece he has every year, and most are repeat customers.
    I admire him, as no way i want to process and store that much wood each year.

    I plan to build the new place with a bigger outdoor boiler, as no carrying it inside, and no need to split it unless its too big to fit the firebox. and a portage & main ML42 has a big firebox.
    Yeeha even lesswork soon. :)
  4. AKSHADOW

    AKSHADOW Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    Fairbanks, AK
    I do appreciate the more logical responses from everyone - it's nice to know that we can have this debate civilly. A lot of points to respond to sooo, I will do my best.

    - I agree that storing wood at buyers location is easier logistically than at the sellers location, good point

    - The wood dealing community is intended as a looser term than taken. I use it as tool to "collect" said dealers into a general statement. As was pointed out, most are doing it as a side gig, so it is not their
    sole means of income. So wouldn't it be easier for them to sit on wood to season since they are not wholly dependant on wood to pay the bills?

    - I disagree that I am holding the seller to higher responsiblity than the buyer. But I will say that if a seller is going to sell wet wood, I think it SHOULD be their responsiblity as a good business practice to
    inform the users who may not have as much knowledge about the properties of wood burning as others. This would make a more personal relationship between buyer and seller. Buyer would appreciate
    this intimacy and seller would benefit by having more confident and frequent purchasers.

    - Back to the price. Well, I guess there's no fix to this. I must say this is the weakest point I have. Maybe it's just simple dissatisfaction. But I feel like the current going rate of wet interior alaskan wood (not
    split, just bucked) is not on par with what it should be. I would liken it to the price of diesel up here. It is more expensive than any grade of gasoline. Yet, it is the first thing to come off when petroleum is
    refined. Also - there are more gas users in the state than diesel users so...it doesn't make sense to me. The refineries up here are barely refining gasoline, we have to get most of our supply shipped up to us while the majority of Alaskan refinement goes to diesel fuels and jet fuel. But I suppose this is a little off track.

    - All of this goes back to the fact that in the original CL posting the seller was speaking of wet wood like it had some benefit to burning. I think that we all know that there is no reason why one should have to burn wet wood to: get more "economy" out of the wood, slow things down, make the fire last longer, etc.. All of these concepts can be achieved through safer means by properly operating a stove that is in good condition. The seller should have explained on his ad the whole truth. What he was advertising was a partial truth - he left out very pertinent information that completely changes the overall sense and meaning of his "wet wood". So he should have explained, or said nothing at all. A partial truth can be potentially more dangerous than no information at all.

    Anyways, I think I've beat my dead horse enough. Obviously what I have been writing about has holes and flaws, but that's how we get places, by debating in a dialectic process. Kudos to those who have offered up thoughtful and mature points. Krex-happy trails, see you between the lines!
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    15,968
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana

    Its even harder for the small guy to set on inventory....Cost money to move wood setting there is no issue moving it is. I will only sell to a few people who know me or have sold to them before. Just cant stand people trying to hangle over price and how much they are getting. Heck its stack in Rowe's nothing to hide there, but people love to argue the point nether the less. I still have people knocking on my door I just tell them its not for sale. This is with anything thats for sale though.

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