When it comes to purchasing lumber, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. You may want a quick, easy answer about how much you’re going to pay for your materials, but there are plenty of considerations which dealers have to keep in mind when setting prices (see Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4). One of those factors is the size of the order you place.
The Size of Your Order can Raise or Lower Lumber Costs
As is the case with many products, buying in bulk is a smart move if you’re buying lumber. The size of an order that’s considered a wholesale order isn’t set in stone across the board. Each dealer has their own figure of board footage required to qualify for their wholesale prices. That’s why it would behoove you to find out where exactly that line is for the dealer you’re working with on your next project. If you need a quantity of wood just short of the number of boards to qualify for the wholesale price, it may be worth your while to purchase those extra boards and get the wholesale pricing. You could always use them for another project or pass them on to someone who can use them.
The reason why wholesale lumber tends to be cheaper is that the more wood you order, the less likely the dealer needs to get it out of the packaging material it came in from their supplier. Each time the dealer has to open and pick through a pack, it takes extra time and labor. Then there’s the issue of having to put the lumber that was left in the packages back on the shelves hoping for someone else to purchase them in another small retail order. These packs which have been picked open and had a few boards removed here and there can end up being difficult to efficiently store on the shelves long-term.
Hopefully in this series of articles you’ve been able to get a glimpse into what the secret pricing world of a lumber dealer actually looks like. There are even more complicating factors, but in this series, we’ve attempted to scratch the surface of explaining the factors that can affect lumber pricing. It’s probably a lot more complicated than the average customer ever imagines. Most lumber dealers aren’t out there to cheat customers. They are just bound by numerous variables, many of which they have no control over. If they’re going to make any kind of profit whatsoever, they sometimes have to raise prices.
Going into the lumber yard armed with this kind of information can equip you to gain a greater perspective on all that goes into determining the cost of your lumber. You can ask your dealer how the factors we’ve explored, such as lumber grades, board specifications, seasons, regions, political situations, fees, regulations, shipping costs, and order size will impact the cost of your purchase. The dealer will likely be impressed with your uncommon knowledge of the industry and try to get you the best price they can on the materials you need for the job.