ArboristSite.com Sponsors
 
 


Where to sell slabs and how to determine value

Discussion in 'Milling & Saw Mills' started by JS929, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. JS929

    JS929 ArboristSite Lurker

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    11
    I was curious if anyone knew of an outlet in which to sell some nice slabs, mostly spalted figured maple and figured cherry? Anyone know roughly what price per board foot the stuff in my pics should bring? Thanks in advance.
     

    Attached Files:

    lone wolf likes this.
  2. Haywire Haywood

    Haywire Haywood Fiscal Conservative Social Retard

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Messages:
    6,316
    Likes Received:
    2,195
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Just guessing, but I would maybe seek out a woodworking group or a woodworking hobby store. They might know the regulars that would want something like that.
     
  3. marti384

    marti384 ArboristSite Guru

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    337
    Location:
    Michigan
    Would need to know some dimensions to give an accurate idea on value. Ultimately it depends on someone "falling in love" with what you've cut.

    Here is a company my buddy works for and what they sell.

    http://www.treepurposed.com/live-edge-slabs/
     
  4. JS929

    JS929 ArboristSite Lurker

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    11
    Everything I have at the moment is 9' in length. The cherry is 8/4 and is 15-20" in width. The maple is 11/4 and the large stuff is 30"+ to 27" in width. I'm really just wanting to establish of this is worth doing outside of what I need for my own projects, or I am just enameled with it and thinking it is worth more than it is. I see all sorts of prices for these slabs. Take figured cherry for istance, 15-17"x72"x8/4 air dried can range from $7 bf to $15bf. As with anything, One can ask whatever they want. I thought about taking some slabs up to Atlanta to some of the festivals this spring and fall and maybe the farmers market. I bet if a premium could be had for it, thst it would be in the heart of a big city like Atlanta.
     
  5. green or seasoned bundles go for 10$ each at the local sawmills here.
     
  6. JS929

    JS929 ArboristSite Lurker

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    11
    Well, look at the price for this one slab of maple at the bottom left hand corner of the pic. I don't know if the guy lied, but he said he had five prime maple slabs that were used for a table like the one in the pic. He had the five tables up until a few months ago and has sold all but one since then. That is a chunk of change for sure.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. betterbuilt

    betterbuilt I build stuff from milled slabs

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,448
    Likes Received:
    209
    Location:
    Hammondsport, ny
    You could slap a $9500 sticker on it and see what happens. Places like in the picture and Hearne hardwoods and other sell stuff because of who they are. A fancy shop with a fancy name will sell a more expensive product. I was pretty happy to get 3-4 dollars a bft for a slab. I even sold slabs, as I was milling a log.

    I went to a place in Cleveland Ohio called metro hardwoods. This guy had logs as far as you could imagine piled up to the sky. I thought I could get some thing for a fence. all he had for sale was in a room with maybe 100 boards. His reply was, He didn't have anything. Logs piled to sky and he didn't have anything. Don't be a wood hoarder, its annoying. :cheers:
     
    groundup likes this.
  8. SDB777

    SDB777 I find unique timber and cut it up

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Cabot, AR USA
    There are a bunch of 'groups' on Facebook....

    I can't afford to store thousands of slabs and hope to sell one that is easily accessible.
    Be ready to hear from dozens of 'lowballers' and 'wannabes' that will do nothing but waste weeks of your time.



    Scott (good luck) B
     
    betterbuilt likes this.
  9. JS929

    JS929 ArboristSite Lurker

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    11
    Scott that is about what I was expecting honestly. A lot of lowballers! They'll want it for next to nothing.


    I for sure won't be a hoarder. I do have intentions of keeping the few pieces I need for the projects I want to do, but that is about it.
     
  10. SDB777

    SDB777 I find unique timber and cut it up

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Cabot, AR USA
    @JS929 - that is probably the best thing to do. Cut the stuff you want to use, and if someone comes along with cash in hand and really, really wants the slab.... Great! Take the cash, let the slab go and use the funding to go cut more.

    I did for a short period of time think that by putting slabs and flitches on my website I would do nothing but sell, sell, sell. Only to find that shipping logistics are a huge pain(unless you have no 'real' job and can spend hours trying to arrange things-that people will typically 'back out' on), people think 'your time' isn't worth anything, and "such-n-such could cut that for me for $5"!(Really love that one...) On the flip side, I do sell a lot of blanks that come from slabs I cut.....
    I've taken the slabs and flitches off the website, and have great days without worry....I still cut them, but for people that have their own logs for either a percentage of the product(if I like and/or want it) or a straight 'fee'. I still answer a whole bunch of questions about chainsaw milling, get those calls about come buy my highly valuable Black Walnut and so on...

    On the flipside, there are a ton of internet commando's that claim sales on $20,000 slabs five times a day, are cutting 240" wide slabs all day but can't keep up with the demand, and basically lying their backside off.




    Scott (just have fun) B
     
  11. Jim Timber

    Jim Timber 1/4 bubble off

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Messages:
    2,027
    Likes Received:
    1,188
    Location:
    Brainerd, Mn
    I was in a little retail shop which had some hand made pine furniture in it last week, and was surprised with how cheaply it was priced. The store is in a reasonably affluent area, but it's a seasonal destination (they have about 4 months to make or break for the year). I'm going to try to remember to go back this summer and see if they jack the prices up when the tourists are around or not.

    Selling is more about your customer than your wares. If you're priced low, you want that impulsive buyer who just doesn't consider the purchase worth mulling over and they're out the door - sale complete. If you're priced high, you want someone who's pretentious or gets off on their affluence so they can brag up how "rare and unique" their purchase is and it cost $$$$$$. If you go for the middle ground, you can have high quality stuff, charge a bit for it, and might have some customers grumbling about it being expensive (if you don't, you're not charging enough!), but you'll still make more with less work than being too cheap and pumping out volume.

    I'd rather make $10 on one sale than $2 on 5. YMMV
     
    JS929 likes this.
  12. Ax-man

    Ax-man Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    2,353
    Likes Received:
    621
    Location:
    NE Illinois
    I'd keep those slabs and make something out out them, definatly keep those spalted Maple slabs for sure. Cherry wood is fairly common , figured or not it won't bring much. Whatever you make out those slabs will probaly be worth more than what you can sell them for. Unless you live near some mountains where people have log homes and lots of disposable income where eye catching wood will fit the decor of the home the market for slabs, rustic furniture, ect.,ect. is very, very limited . The percentage of the woodworking community who might have an interest in slabs is probaly well under 1% based on my same type scenario of trying to sell slabs and rustic benches using slab wood. I think I am speaking the truth is that most people weather they work with wood or not don;t know what a live edge slab actually is. . Most wood guys think in terms of planks and planed boards measured in inches, not by quarters of an inch.

    It is hard to put a price on an item that has taken time, money and sweat to achieve a certain goal, in this case an eye catching slab. Most people have a mindset of what they are going to pay for an item. In this case a colorful, large ,thick piece of wood. It doesn't mater what the dimensions are, nor the grain or what tree species it is. Most people just see a piece of wood, period and have a certain price they are going to pay. I'll be honest based on my experience is that if you get $50 bucks for one maple slab your doing good, if your lucky enough to find a buyer, hardly worth the effort to cut it,I know. You could get lucky and sell it for the big bucks to a wood guru with all the tools to make a nice table out of the slab , but those type of buyers are few and far between, most of them probably have access to free wood and only need to have the wood milled.

    I myself have never sold a slab per say, only benches. Doesn't seem to matter how big or what style the bench or how much finish work they received they only go for $ 80 to $100, this what I based my $50 slab price on , again hardly worth the time or effort to make a bench. The prices on the internet for slabs are just unrealistic to me. If they do get those prices you can bet they have tons of storage and there is a very slow turn over.There customers are probably large corporations or companies who make these large conference tables for large corporations. If slab wood did bring in these internet prices there would be many many more people selling slabs.

    I wish you luck J S 929 in your marketing and selling, going to be tough but there are always some individuals who make it to the top of heap and make the big bucks, maybe that will be you. Myself, I have never been a top of the pyramid type guy but more in the middle of the pyramid when it comes to selling things.
     
    SDB777 likes this.
  13. sixteenacrewood

    sixteenacrewood ArboristSite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    hickory grove sc
    I always start with my "cost to produce", you have to know this before even considering selling anything from lumber, slabs, or finished furniture.

    Second is research what other sell or have sold similar product for.

    Third, consider the comparison between selling price and demegraphics of your area or market you plan to sell in. (I sell 85 miles from home so, to me, it doesn't matter what local prices are)
    Fourth, consider what "Branding" efforts others have established and how it affected the price they got for their slabs. You may not get the same price as an established dealer who has an established track record and reputation.

    This is the process I go through anytime I market my work
     
  14. chads

    chads ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2011
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    156
    Location:
    columbus ohio
    I see slabs at the local woodworking store and they are pretty and will have a price of $1-2k .
    They are dry 2.5" thick, flat, no checking and 25-35" x 9'
    Most have traveled half way around the world.
    I would think passing thru 5 hands so marked up each time and 50% is shipping.
    I'm guessing they brought 1-200 green. and 3-400 dry. If it isn't massive or extremely figured they aren't worth much.
    They can't really be used for anything of value till they are dry and flat that takes time and space = $$$.
    I cut a bunch of walnut 16/4 and have a couple years till that is ready for anything.
    Chad
     
  15. groundup

    groundup ArboristSite Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    929
    Likes Received:
    428
    Location:
    Maryland
    I sell it for what my time is worth. If i can mill 6 big slabs and get $100 a piece, that's a good day. those are green figures, if you have to dry it then obviously you need more to make it worth it.

    Unless you have regular customers, or a fancy lumber business as mentioned, it's tough to get premo $
     

Share This Page