Traditionally, woodworkers would go to a lumberyard or a retail outlet to pick through the lumber for the boards they would want to purchase. But times are changing, and so is the lumber buying process. As people have gotten more comfortable with buying products online, lumber suppliers have started to turn some business to the eCommerce world. Although it will never be the same as getting your hands on the lumber, it offers some great benefits, like being a huge time saver. But if you have never bought lumber online before, here are some tips to help you out.
Know What You’re Looking For
The best place to start is to know what you’re looking for. There are loads of different species out there, so do some research on species before you begin shopping. Another thing to consider is grade and quantity. Most online lumber suppliers sell Select and Better grades, which are the three highest grades. Quantity is where things can get tricky. Typically, suppliers sell lumber in less than 100 bf or more than 100 bf. Pricing and grade can vary based on the quantity. Attributes like kiln-dried, straight-line-ripped one edge, and sanded to thickness are the last things to consider. These can be deal breakers for some woodworkers.
Take Your Time
One of the great things with shopping online is you can take as much, or a little, time as you need. If it’s the first time you have bought from a company or the first time purchasing that product, take your time going through the stock to make sure it’s exactly what you need/looking for.
Don’t be Afraid to Price Shop
There are multiple online lumber suppliers. If the price is out there, don’t be afraid to find the best deal! Just make sure you compare apples to apples. Some places charge for SLR1E and sanding, while others include it in the price of the lumber.
Don’t Forget About Shipping!
Shipping lumber can be costly. Some suppliers offer free shipping. But if the lumber ships for free, expect to see higher prices on the lumber. When you are price shopping, compare the cost of the shipped product, not just the sticker price of the lumber.
What We Do
At Fine Craftsman Lumber, we sell Value Packs and Shop Packs. Value Packs are 10 or 20 bf packages with lengths of 4-7’ and grades of either Fine Craftsman Grade (95% clear), Select and Better, and in figured woods, #1 Common and Better. Our Value Packs include the cost of shipping. Our Shop Packs range in size of 100-500 bf with lengths of 8-10’ and grades of Select and Better or #1 Common and Better for figured woods. The price of shipping on shop packs is calculated during the checkout process.