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Forum topic by richgreer posted 05-17-2010 05:19 PM 1416 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4541 posts in 3277 days

05-17-2010 05:19 PM

I buy some (but not all) of my exotic woods on e-bay. I think I know exotic woods and their market prices pretty well. I find that sometimes other bidders have no idea what a piece is worth and sometimes I get a piece for much less than the market price (including the shipping cost) and other times I see someone else take a piece for much more than the market price. In other words, you can get good deals on e-bay if you know what you are doing.

I’m curious – are there other LJs who participate on e-bay for exotic wood and if so, what have your experiences been like?

For the record, it is very rare that I am disappointed in an e-bay purchase of exotic wood. The same is not true for tools.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

17 replies so far

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 4001 days

#1 posted 05-17-2010 07:37 PM

No I have not ever dealt with e-bay but I am putting this thread on my watch list. I will be interested in knowing what others have to say about this! I was unaware you could buy exotic woods on e-bay!

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

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618 posts in 3567 days

#2 posted 05-17-2010 07:44 PM

You can buy Curly Maple on ebay.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4421 days

#3 posted 05-17-2010 07:57 PM

Rich, I agree with you 100%.

I have purchased quite a bit of wood on eBay over the past few years. I have scooped up on some excellent deals, and I have seen stuff go much higher than it should have. You really have to watch the shipping costs too, and factor that into your bid.

I don’t know about you, but I find the good deals are getting harder and harder to come by. Maybe I haven’t been looking closely enough, but most of the time when I see something that interests me, it has already been bid up higher than I care to go.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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4541 posts in 3277 days

#4 posted 05-17-2010 08:23 PM

poroskywood – - Yes you can buy curly maple on e-bay. However, when I need curly maple I normally need a larger quantity than is offered on a typical e-bay listing. Great curly maple can be purchased from MapleLeaf Hardwoods in PA. I recently bought 30 bf of beautiful curly maple and I know that it all came from the same tree so it is very consistent.

Charlie – you’re right. There’re too many fools out there who get caught up in the competitive spirit to win an auction and, in the process, bid the piece far above its market price. OTOH – I still find good bargains but they’re harder to find than they used to be.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


18393 posts in 3878 days

#5 posted 05-17-2010 08:39 PM

I have used them too, but you have to be very careful of shipping. It can make a bargin go sour really fast ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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618 posts in 3567 days

#6 posted 05-17-2010 09:08 PM

Well that back fired a bit. LOL

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

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238 posts in 3942 days

#7 posted 05-17-2010 11:35 PM

You can buy some really nice looking curly maple on ebay

I think the sellers name is poroskywood....

yep backfired! but you took it very well


-- Trevor Premer Head Termite and Servant to the Queen - Heirloom Woodworking

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3277 days

#8 posted 05-17-2010 11:55 PM

poroskywood – I’m sorry. I assure you it was an innocent mistake on my part. Now that I know, I think I do recall seeing some of your listings. I will make a point of checking you out when I need some more curly maple.

Actually, this turned out to be a little funny.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Chase's profile


448 posts in 3229 days

#9 posted 05-18-2010 12:33 AM

I just recently started doing the whole wood ebay thing. I think it is like a lot of stuff on ebay. There are good deals out there, but some people seem to be quite willing to pay through the nose. l

-- Every neighborhood has an eccentric neighbor. I wondered for years "who was ours?" Then I realized it was me.

View ToddTurner's profile


144 posts in 3526 days

#10 posted 05-18-2010 12:47 AM

Hi Richgreer. Todd here. I have bought a lot on ebay. Lumber and other stuff. Like anything else, you have to know what you are buying. Imagine going to the lumber store and just getting whatever they have? What would you end up with? That is possibly what you may get from Ebay. I dont like it because i like to hand pick my lumber. However, if you sell lumber you are probably a good guy anyways and will give a great deal. Basically, know what you are seeking. And, make yourself a little board feet calculator and calculate the cost in board feet and include shipping. Its worth a few bucks to have it sent to your door, that is if its good stuf. Hope this helps.


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618 posts in 3567 days

#11 posted 05-18-2010 02:11 AM

No No, I typically do not mix LJ and ebay. On here I’m a woodworker. Over there I’m in the business of selling Curly Maple. I try to be as fair as possible. However, the ebay market really dictates the price of my product. If I’m selling items left and right… the price creeps up, if its slow… the price creeps down. Supply and demand. I would not pay that much for lumber! Example: I’ve been wanting some PH for quite awhile now but I just refuse to pay that much for it! Sometimes I am blown away what some auction pieces go for! I’ve literally jumped up and down hugging my wife as a single board goes off for over 100 bucks.
Is it worth that much? Maybe not to you or me…but to that guy..yes it was. So what am I saying? I’m not sure. I’m very thankful… To be in the spot I’m in…. Woodworker with a endless wood supply…Ohh Yeah! Also, when someone contacts me directly outside of ebay I’m more able to use my knowledge as a woodworker to get them the product they need. like Rich’s example of matching grain and curl. Also the deal tends to be better. My ebay advice would be If you are looking for a deal contact the seller directly. Also take advantage of a sellers combined shipping discount. Multiple boards or items from one seller should lower the cost of shipping per pound, helping with the cost.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

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4541 posts in 3277 days

#12 posted 05-18-2010 07:57 PM

Todd – I agree with you that I like to see and even feel a piece of wood before I buy it. However, I really like exotic woods. I have two sources for exotic wood that are 40 and 70 miles away and their supply is very limited. I can drive 130 miles to a 3rd source that has a much more extensive collection of exotics. However, just yesterday I figured out that I needed another piece of Australian lacewood. I know the 2 closer locations would not have lacewood and the 3rd one probably did. OTOH, there was a nice piece of lacewood on e-bay, from a seller I have used in the past, at a fair price plus $10 shipping. Buying on e-bay sure makes a lot more sense than driving 260 miles and giving up 5 hours of my life.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Kieth's profile


39 posts in 3339 days

#13 posted 05-18-2010 08:47 PM

Theres a guy from Brazil, Indiana that I dealt with on ebay. He was selling 6×6x3 exotic bowl blanks for 3 bucks each… everyone else sells for 5 times that or more. lots of selection and since I drove there for pick up there was no shipping and I got to pick out the pieces I wanted. I will definitely go back for more.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3213 days

#14 posted 05-18-2010 10:40 PM

I just bought some exotic scraps for the first time on ebay after seeing your thread, Rich. There have been some nice boards on there but generally the price is a little higher than I’d like. Which is fine if the board is phenomenal, but then most of these guys seem to be on the East Coast and shipping REALLY kills it.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile


338 posts in 3216 days

#15 posted 05-18-2010 10:52 PM

I would consider it, but only from sellers in country. Cross border shipping costs are atrocious which is truely unfortunate. I see many deals that I end up missing because the cost of shipping is more than what the deal would save me by buying locally (EG Rockler or Eagle America etc.).

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

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