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Question for those in the firewood business or those who buy c/s firewood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by mbcijim, Mar 2, 2009.

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  1. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
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    Loc:
    Schuylkill County, Pa
    I am getting 20-30 cords of wood delivered in the next month from some land I own a bit far away in exchange for him clear cutting the woods for me. So the wood delivered is 'free', sort of.

    So a friend, his 2 teenage sons, and I are going to cut & split the wood. I have 2-3 high traffic locations that I can stack up some wood and put up a sign 'Firewood For Sale'. There is one guy about 15 miles away that sells 400 cords/year. There is another guy 15 miles the other direction that has a big operation, but no clue how much he sells. We are in a rural area, with probably 40,000 people in a 10 mile radius. There are a few other guys that put out firewood for sale, and the signs/wood usually only sits around for at most a month. But not really sure how much wood they have.

    The wood is mixed hardwood. It is being cut down now, and we hope to c/s it in the next two months.

    My questions are:
    1. Will people buy firewood in spring/summer? Or should I plan on not selling any until at least September?
    2. Not having any customers lined up, can I sell 20 cords this year? Our only thing going for us is good advertising spots.
    3. Do I have to deliver it? We've talked about it and would rather not offer delivery. Our area wood sells for anywhere from $150-$200/cord but I've never asked if it is delivered. I don't think it is. If you pay for delivery, how much do you pay or charge?
    4. Any business aspect I've missed? Tips/Suggestions?

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  2. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
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    Loc:
    Griffin, GA
    I realize that you're probably wanting the money now, but my business plan would say wait. What I would do is split and stack asap to get it curing. I would wait until January and try to sell it as premium stuff and dry (if it is). I would make sure you differentiate yourself from others selling 'seasoned' wood. Lots have been burned and should flock to an ad that is honest and providing good wood. I think the $150-200 a cord should move pretty well.
  3. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Midwest
    WOW! Around here, we'd call that a major city! Either way, good luck with your wood endeavor.
  4. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
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    419
    Loc:
    Schuylkill County, Pa
    My plan is to tell people when I split the wood, not to advertise it as wet or dry. Their seems to be so much disparity on this board as to even what is wet or dry, I'll let the customer decide.

    We don't really need the money now. We are doing it for a hunting trip. We're going to throw the money into the pot and then use it to go off somewhere.

    The comments lead me to another question, can I charge a premium if I wait until next February and it is truly dry?
  5. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    MD near DE&PA;
    [.
    3. Do I have to deliver it? We've talked about it and would rather not offer delivery. Our area wood sells for anywhere from $150-$200/cord but I've never asked if it is delivered. I don't think it is. If you pay for delivery, how much do you pay or charge?

    I think must people who buy wood would need it delivered. .
  6. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    3,700
    Loc:
    CNY
    We are doing it for a hunting trip. We’re going to throw the money into the pot and then use it to go off somewhere.

    Well that's an excellent ideal and project to motivate the guys going.
  7. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    I am up in Monroe County PA, not that far from you. Prices are running between $150-$180/cord for cut, split and DELIVERED within a certain radius of the source, usually up to 10 miles or so. Undelivered wood is typically $20-$40 less per cord, or that much more for longer delivery distances (varies with the vedor).

    I also humbly suggest you check the PA regs on cord wood sales and advertising. You can find them listed in most local papers this time of year in the classifieds where wood is listed for sale. You dont want to get a fine for making a small mistake out of ignorance and wind up using up all your hunting trip kitty to pay fines.
  8. bambam

    bambam Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    south/central Pa
    I am up in Monroe County PA, not that far from you. Prices are running between $150-$180/cord for cut, split and DELIVERED within a certain radius of the source, usually up to 10 miles or so. Undelivered wood is typically $20-$40 less per cord, or that much more for longer delivery distances (varies with the vedor).

    I am down here in York,Pa. and the prices for wood are pretty much identical to you.
  9. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Schuylkill County, Pa
    Thanks guys. We'll have to figure out how to deliver :( Bummer.
  10. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    1,618
    Loc:
    Champlain Valley, Vermont
    Or you can charge less and require customer pick-up. You won't sell as much, probably, but if it's a rural area, there will be folks with pick-ups and SUVs with trailer hitches, etc., who will buy it.

    I'd suggest your best bet is to stack it and wait until fall and sell it for a premium as seasoned wood. If you're going to get it cut and split and stacked this spring, by fall it will be plenty seasoned for most people's needs. Just be honest in specifying what you mean by "seasoned"-- ie, "cut, split and stacked for 6 months."

    I live in a much more sparsely populated area than you do, one where most people have their own wood lots, and I see lots of notices on general store bulletin boards and the like for cut, split firewood you have to pick up yourself. I can't take advantage of that, alas, but it's clearly something people do around here at least. I think there are enough people who normally cut their own who for one reason or another just don't want to or can't, and they're very willing to pay and pick up.
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