How to Sell Firewood

How to Sell FirewoodAs with any business, nothing happens until something is sold. Fortunately, firewood is easy to sell since your potential customers already know they want it. You don’t have to convince them that they want it. Every year they have to look for more wood to buy to replace what they have burned over the previous winter. This is the beauty of selling consumable products.

Firewood dealers don’t usually use expensive media advertising like radio and television. Although you could if you wanted to. Most of the firewood I sell is through low cost or free advertising.

Road signs. If your home or business is next to a busy road, you can put out a firewood for sale sign. My grandfather used to get most of his customers that way. He was fortunate to live next to a very busy road that accessed a lot of rural homes that burned wood.

The other variation of this is to park your truck or trailer on the street with a load of wood and a for sale sign on it. I see people doing this all the time but I haven’t tried it. What I don’t like about this method is I can’t use my truck or trailer while it is busy trying to sell wood.

Build a Website. I get most of my firewood customers from the internet. I have a website that shows up at the top of search engines when people search for firewood in my area. I would put a link to my website here but I don’t want this article to be about promoting my firewood business, this is to help you promote your own.

If you know how to build websites, and more importantly, how to promote them, this can be a great option. You can hire someone to build one and promote it for you, but that can be expensive. Another option is to go to the contact tab on this website and send an email stating you would like to advertise your firewood business. This site offers some low cost and even free website and advertising options.

Sell firewood on Craigslist. Probably half or more of the customers I have received over the past few years have been from Craigslist. That site is a woodcutters dream come true. It’s free and a lot of people go there searching for firewood. The downside is there can be a lot of competition. Part of my secret is to put a link to my website on my Craigslist ad. This way people can go to my site and read more about my business. The website makes it look like I am professional and trustworthy. This gives me an edge over the competition.

Sell firewood with classified newspaper ads. Before the internet, I used to sell most of my wood in the newspaper classified section. Many papers have a section for firewood. In one of our local papers it was “fuel and heating”. Believe it or not, people still do read newspapers. Although this is decreasing, classified ads still work. A lot of times it’s the older demographic that is more likely to read the newspaper and less likely to use the internet, and that’s who a lot of my customers are.

Now I have plenty of repeat customers and new customers from my website, so it has been about 2 years since I have tried advertising in the classifieds, but it worked then. A lot of wood dealers advertise in the cheaper low circulation or weekly papers. I used to pay more for the higher circulation papers. More readers and less competition.

Word of mouth. This is always a powerful selling tool if you provide a good product, reliable service and a good experience for the customer. I have several situations where I sell wood to several people in a neighborhood. It all started with one customer.

Just a few weeks ago I got a call from someone from one town, who was taking a walk through a park in a nearby town, and saw some wood I left in one of my customer’s driveway near the park a few days earlier. They really liked the loos of the wood, so they went to my customer’s door and got my number from them and it ended up being a 2 cord order for me. A quality product can help a lot with word of mouth.

Business cards. Get some business cards and leave one with your customer when you deliver their wood. You can try posting them on bulletin boards around town, although I have not tried that. I mostly use them so customers can keep my number on hand so they can call me when they want more, or so they have my number when someone asks where they got the wood.

You can get business cards printed free, plus a few dollars for shipping and handling, through vistaprint. You can find them by doing a web search for “vistaprint”. The only catch is they print their website on the back of the card. Not a big deal, it’s in small print and most of the back is blank. I use them.

More obnoxious ways to sell firewood. If you want to try being more obnoxious you could do things like look for homes with smoke coming out of their chimneys, knock on their doors or leave a flier or business card. I have never had a need to do this so I don’t know how it would work.

Keeping a customer list and calling them every year to remind them to buy wood will increase your income dramatically. I know people who do this and it works great. I don’t do it, except for a few customers who request that I do. Mostly because I get enough orders as it is.

Selling wood is easy. The hardest part can be the first few years while you are building up a customer base. As you get a list of repeat customers, the less advertising you will have to do. Eventually you can get to a point where you have enough repeat customers to keep you pretty busy, then maybe do a little advertising to keep a few new ones coming in.


How to Outcompete Your Firewood Business Competition

One of the advantages of a firewood business is it is very easy to stand out and beat your competition. Because the firewood business is so easy to get into, it can be done and often is done by people with very little business sense. Because of this, someone with just a little common business sense can blow the competition out of the water.

Firewood dealers often have a reputation for the following:

  • They bring less than the full amount of wood that the customer ordered.
  • They bring wood that is green or wet when they say it is dry.
  • They don’t show up to deliver the wood when they say they will.

So here is the big secret to out competing your competition. Are you ready for this? Here goes. Don’t do those things. It’s that simple. Instead of doing those things, do the opposite. Show up when you say you will, and if you can’t make it for some reason, call the customer and let them know. When you show up, bring the amount you agreed on. I like to throw a little more on, which makes customers very happy. And bring them wood that is dry if that is what was agreed upon. If it’s not dry, make sure they understand that before you sell it to them.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Assuming the quality of your firewood is good, if you can do those 3 things, you will out compete probably 90% or more of your competition. This is why my customers continue to buy firewood from me year after year.


What is Biochar?

Biochar has been used by humans for thousands of years as a soil amendment. Long forgotten by much of modern civilization, it is recently becoming talked about more as both a soil amendment as well as a carbon sequestering tool.

What is biochar? Biochar is the material that is left over after burning biomass, such as wood straw and other plant materials in the absence of oxygen. This material is mostly carbon, in the form of what is commonly known as charcoal.

Biochar has been used as a soil amendment for thousands of years. One of the most well known examples is the terra-preta in the Amazon. These are areas that have deep carbon rich fertile soils. The carbon in these soils are remains of large amounts of biochar that were added to previously infertile the soils by humans over 2000 years ago. To this day these soils are extremely fertile from the biochar that was added over 2000 years ago. Studying the success of this example is a big part of what has created a recent interest in the benefits of biochar.

Biochar works by its ability to absorb water and nutrients. It holds them in place, instead of them leaching away and eventually becoming runoff. This moisture and nutrients are held in the root zone where the biochar is so they can be available to plants and other soil organisms.

Turning biomass into biochar is called carbonization of biomass, which is done through a process called pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is simply done by heating biomass to temperatures high enough to support combustion in an environment without oxygen. Without oxygen, the material cannot combust, instead it breaks down and gives off gasses until all that is left is the biochar.


Texas Deer Hunting Leases

Texas deer hunting leases are available on both private and public land. Leases are available for deer, turkey, hogs, waterfowl and many other forms of wildlife, but deer hunting leases are by far the most sought after. With the enormous size of Texas and the amount of land now available for hunting, you will likely be able to find what you are looking for in Texas.

This site is not in any way connected with the organizations in the videos below. Please contact them directly with the contact information in the video. I am only posting them because they are very cool videos. Feel free to use the comment section below to find or sell hunting leases. To promote your hunting lease on this site free, use the contact tab on this site and send me an email.

In Texas you can find a vast number of different habitats to choose from for your deer hunting lease. The entire state of Texas is well known for deer hunting but there are certain areas that you will most commonly find leases.

East Central and South Texas deer hunting leases provide rich deer habitat with trees and vegetation that provide plenty of feed. South and East Texas have pine and hardwood forests that can be very prolific when it comes to producing whitetail deer. This part of the state differs greatly from the plains and deserts of north and west Texas.

Texas deer hunting leases on private land can offer more opportunities and amenities than leases on public land. With hunting leases on public land all you are getting is a place to hunt. With public land, you are usually on your own and have to supply all your own equipment. On private hunting land, a lease will sometime come with lodging, deer stands, blinds and other equipment.

Many private land owners also provide guide services and actively manage their deer populations for quality deer. By working to produce better deer habitat and nutrient rich feed their deer herds can be bigger in number and size of the animals. For trophy hunters this can be ideal.

How to Find Texas Deer Hunting Leases

There are many ways to find Texas deer hunting leases and the most common is to search online. Leasing hunting land is a big business now and there are leasing agents that will help you find the lease you are looking for. You can find them with an internet search. But keep in mind they get paid a commission which you ultimately pay.

With leasing agent you are more likely to find landowners with experience or who are educated in leasing. Many of them may be more expensive but may also provide more services. That’s not always the case though, with a leasing agent you can find just about any type of lease you are looking for.

As with many things, Craigslist can also be a useful resource. You may be able to find landowners advertising their land for lease or you could place an ad listing what you are looking for. If you are just looking for land for less money you might be able to negotiate a low price just by approaching landowners who are not leasing their land to hunters and ask them if they would consider leasing to you. You will probably find a lot who won’t but you may end up finding an unknown gem that way.

The Importance of Hunting as a Forest Management Tool

Hunting has been important to humans since prehistoric times. Without hunting, people in many parts of the world would not have been able to survive where other forms of food is not available year round.

In modern developed civilisations hunting is no longer a part of survival but the hunting instinct in humans still runs strong. Hunting gives humans an opportunity to get back in touch with and align with their deep human nature. Getting out in the wild and being in touch with who we really are and where food comes from can be a therapeutic break from the artificially created world that most people now live in.

For men hunting has long been a way to leave the home with other men and bond friendships with a common interest and goal. In prehistoric times, going hunting daily was probably as routine as going to our jobs is today. The urge to leave the home to go hunt is a deep part of us that most of society has lost tough with and is a missing part of most humans.

Although hunting is a male dominated activity, it is becoming increasingly popular with women. More women than ever are now discovering how therapeutic and enjoyable hunting and the shooting sports can be.

Hunting is not only good for the sole, it is also healthy for the body. The fresh air and exercise are great for the body and so is the organic fresh meat from a clean kill. The “organic” meat people buy in the health food stores doesn’t compare to real organic meat from the wild.

Hunting is looked down upon by much of society as though it was something barbaric and cruel. At the same time the same critics are eating meat they buy from the store. The only difference is they hire someone else to do the killing for them. And in the case of vegetarians or vegans, somehow they are fine with the idea of animals hunting each other and ripping each other apart in the wild but when humans are involved somehow in their mind hunting bad thing. In the case with most human hunters, great care is taken to make quick kills with as little suffering as possible. This is not the case when animals eat each other.

Hunting is an important tool for wildlife management. In many areas of the world the large predators are no longer around. These predators kept many animal populations in check. Without them animals populations overpopulate and die slow painful deaths from starvation and disease. Hunting solves this serious problem and bypasses the starvation and disease by humanely thinning the populations to healthy levels. Not only is this good for wildlife populations, it also provides high quality food for people.

Pickup Logging

The Pickup Loggers in Southwest Oregon have a different way of logging. Instead of using expensive to buy and operate heavy equipment, they use the same equipment they commute with, their pickups. Here is how Mike, the owner of Pickup Logging tells the story.

Sometimes if you have a small job it can be cost prohibitive to truck in logging equipment. If there is a small amount of bug kill or a small thinning project, there is often times not enough volume to cover the cost, let alone make a profit. In these cases, timber often goes to waste. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Most loggers don’t realize how much a full size four wheel drive pickup truck can pull. In cases where we only have a load of logs or even several loads, a pickup makes a fine make-do log skidder. They can’t pull as much as traditional logging equipment, but they are low cost to transport, operate and repair. Plus they are comfortable to sit in, quiet, and have comforts like air conditioning and heating.

As long as your roads and skid trails are already in place, a pickup, some cables, blocks and chokers may be all you need for log skidding. With self loading log trucks available, this may be all the equipment you need for some jobs.

On flat land or even on a slight uphill grade, I can usually skid a little over 200 board feet per turn with softwood logs. That is long logs with westside scale (diameter measured only at the small end). On downgrades I can pull more. Pickup logging is also convenient when cutting the tops into firewood, since it is convenient to throw the pieces in the bed while choking the logs. The weight in the back also helps for getting better traction.

We have used Ford F Series trucks, both F-150s and F-250’s for skidding and they have both held up well. But we don’t drive them like we are in the 4×4 pulls. If something hangs up, instead of stepping on the gas and spinning the tires hard, we stop and fix the problem, then try pulling again. If it is just too heavy, it’s time to get creative with things like a block and double line. This takes some patience but it keeps the trucks from breaking. I would rather get out and re-choke a log than replace a u joint, rear end, or transmission.

The 1976 F-150 in the pictures has an automatic transmission which is good for skidding. This is nice because I can regulate the power. If a log isn’t coming, I can push the power to a certain point and then back off instead of breaking something.

Keeping the transfer case in low range is a must for the extra torque. In cases where a log is too heavy to pull, sometimes we will hitch two trucks together and pull. In this case we have to be careful on tight corners since the truck in the rear can be pulled sideways and over the edge or into trees.

It’s slower going skidding with a pickup, but with lower operating costs we don’t need to produce as much volume. And as far as low impact logging goes, it’s hard to get more low impact than this.