Suggestions For Marketing Lumber


From original questioner:

I have quite a bit of hardwood lumber that I have been trying to sell. I have not had any luck moving it. Does anybody have some suggestions. I have tried advertising on the internet but have had no luck with that. Are there lumber brokers that buy lumber in quantities? Any info would be appreciated.

From contributor Da

If you could give some details on your situation it may help. Where are you located? Is the lumber kiln dried? What species and how many bf?
In my area advertising of any kind does not bring in near as many sales as actually going to the cabinet shops and talking face to face. I have made some sales after the 4th or 5th sales call. Sometimes I will just give up on some shops, you can just tell they are politely tolerating you until you get back in your truck and leave. Consumers these days are wanting cabinets, flooring, etc. built out of lumber that 15 years ago could only be sold to pallet mills.
Your lumber does have a buyer somewhere. Be persistant and you will find them.

From contributor Pe

Hi Dave The lumber I have is walnut cherry curly maple quater sawn white and red oak. If I understand you right people are looking for wood with character? Knots and wavy grain? I live about 50 miles south west of Albany NY. Any more info would be appreciated

From contributor Br

The species you listed should FLY out the door!
If there are any woodworking clubs anywhere near your place, contact them and put an ad in their newsletter. Try Albany clubs too, 50 miles isn't too far for many to drive, but they are usually looking for kiln dried lumber. If yours isn't, think about setting up a solar kiln, but even air dried should move OK.
I would use brokers only as a last resort, they don't usually pay any where near what you can get selling it to an end user.
I've never tried selling on the internet, but another guy I know does very well at it. Are you sure your prices are in line? Just a thought.

From contributor Vi

You'll have to sell it to a hobbist. A cabinet shop will want to buy a specific grade, sometimes color sorted, sap requirement, planed 2 sides and SLR1E. He will also want a specific amount of board feet. So, unless you want to "bargin" it out, seek a hobbist/retired woodworker. Just MHO.

From contributor Jo

I know people that would buy large quantities right now but.............You are in a bad location. I would suggest you try selling to hobbiest. It doesnt seem like there would be any big buyers in your area and it would cost too much to ship. Do you have whole truckloads of the different species you named? What is your price on the cherry?

From contributor ch

how much do you have and how much do you want for it?

From contributor Ph


I tried and "auction/sale" this summer which cost me a lot but did not sell my stacks and stacks of lumber. On the other hand, it did begin a process - building up small-quantity-purchase repeat customers. Now there is hardly a Saturday morning that I don't have someone planning to come by and buy.

You can be patient, advertise on Craig's list on the internet and people will find you. Print-up cards and give em out. Find those wood workers in the metropolitan areas near you. Use the cheapest bargain shopper papers' classified ads, too. Direct mail is still cheap and the internet let's you build your own mailing lists very easily.

From contributor Fr


Another suggestion, try marketing to woodturning club members. They are always looking for character wood. Search the clubs on the internet. You might consider a minimum purchase amount so that your time is not wasted.

I have a portable sawmill business here in west central GA and sell to the woodturners here and occaisonally on Ebay.

But a person's time and the value of it usually defines how we market. Good Luck, Fred