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Forum topic by jcsterling posted 02-16-2011 04:41 AM 1415 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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405 posts in 2673 days

02-16-2011 04:41 AM

Last year I sent an invitation to the Phila furniture show to my main lumber supplier. He came to the show with his wife and visited my booth. While there she admired a small cabinet that I had made. After asking many questions about the cabinet it became apparent that he wanted to make hte cabinet himself. At first I was a little put out by that but told myself that his would never be quite the same as mine. Well, last week I was as his place of business purchasing some material for a similar cabinet. He asked what I was going to make so I told him it was a cabinet similar to the one his wife had admired in my booth at Philly. This gave me an opening to see if he had made his own or needed one made. Well long story short he attempted to make his own but found he didn’t have time to committ to it so he had someone else make it for him. When I said “ya know i would have been glad to make that for you” he quickly changed the subject. So here’s the rub, at my last show i had a fellow woodworker come to my booth and the discussion went ot who my lumber supplier was. I happened to have a card for my supplier in my wallet and passed it on to this woodworker. Turns out my supplier got a $2000 order from this guy. My question to y’all is am I being petty thinking that I really won’t be handing out his card anymore nor will I give him my regular business if I can find someone within a resonable distance further?

-- John , Central PA , on facebook:!/pages/JC-Sterling-fine-furniture/104430802928776

20 replies so far

View lc48's profile


22 posts in 1777 days

#1 posted 02-16-2011 04:45 AM

just keep being yourself. you are a good person

View Resurrected's profile


671 posts in 1780 days

#2 posted 02-16-2011 04:46 AM

I think I see your drift. Nothing wrong with your thinking.

-- Who can I block now???????????????????????

View GuyK's profile


356 posts in 3167 days

#3 posted 02-16-2011 12:22 PM

John, sorry to hear this. I am sure you feel you have lost your trust in the person and I agree. There are plenty of wood suppliers around, I am sure you can replace him. As far as his business cards go, that is why the make shredders.

-- Guy Kroll

View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3306 days

#4 posted 02-16-2011 05:22 PM

I agree with bentlyj. Unless there is more to the story, this seems like a pretty small deal to feel slighted over. There could be factors you are not aware of.

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

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

7022 posts in 2516 days

#5 posted 02-16-2011 05:30 PM

I’d be highly pissed…...but I’d get over it.
I wish I had bentlyj’s attitude and insight. Then I wouldn’t have to go through the “pissed off” stage.
He’s right, too.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View HorizontalMike's profile


6978 posts in 2002 days

#6 posted 02-16-2011 05:32 PM

IMO, this world would surely be a different place if everyone HAD to buy from the FIRST person (manufacturer) that came along EACH time they made a decision to buy a chair, cabinet, car, shirt, shoes, home, etc… Not sure I would enjoy living in such a world.

But then again, attempting to strike up a business relationship with the spouse of an existing business relationship has its own challenges and potholes. Just my 2-cents worth since you asked…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View HerbC's profile


1437 posts in 1947 days

#7 posted 02-16-2011 05:45 PM


Obviously you previously thought the lumber dealer provided good value. Has his merchandise changed in any way? He may have had many reasons to get another craftsman to complete the project. Perhaps he was unwilling to ask you because he either felt guilty about “copying” your design or ashamed that he had blotched the job himself. Perhaps his wife pressured him to use the other craftsman for some reason (price perhaps???).

I think you should continue doing business as usual with this supplier. Of couse if another supplier provides competative quality, pricing and service there’s nothing say you wouldn’t move to them.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2071 days

#8 posted 02-16-2011 06:46 PM

I wouldn’t worry about it. You were satisfied with the business you were doing with him to invite him to the show. Wives have a way of getting men to do things that they may not have done otherwise. Continue doing business with him unless you can find a better supplier. As for handing out his business card and getting a large order from it, may just be chalking up some brownie points. One suggestion when handing out another’s business card is to write referred by and your name in a bright color not on the card. When this business see’s this they tend to take note of such referrals. I have done this and have received benefit at times for such referrals.

When I was a handyman I saw a lot of the competition copy each other trying to out do each other. I didn’t let it get to me as my work spoke for itself. There were a few times I had been called back to redo their work. So let your work speak for itself. I found copiers usually don’t last long in the business.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Sawmillnc's profile


150 posts in 2142 days

#9 posted 02-17-2011 01:24 AM

Do business elsewhere. Nothing makes a statement like buying elsewhere.

-- Kyle Edwards,, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

View Blue Mountain Woods's profile

Blue Mountain Woods

110 posts in 2022 days

#10 posted 02-17-2011 03:36 AM

IMHO… is business. The personal side is a social nicety, but I think not to be taken personally. If a supplier exists that can beat his price and/or quality, change suppliers. If not, then stay with him. That said, you’d have to extend the same privilege to him. Keeps business business, as it should probably be.

-- Pete -----

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 1850 days

#11 posted 02-17-2011 05:03 AM

Yeah I agree with sawmillnc I used to order all my stuff no matter thier price from one guy but one time I ordered a lazy susan kit and it was missing pieces and instead of just shipping me a new kit and me shiiping the old one back to him he wanted to just order the part. Might sound okay but not when thats the only thing in between me and a check. ( btw I get orders on wed and I called him on tues so I could have had the new one wed and he the old one wed) So for that I take my money somewhere else So yeah I would be mad and I would ask him for an explation and if his answer wasnt up to par I would tell him to lose my number

-- As Best I Can

View BobG's profile


172 posts in 2049 days

#12 posted 02-17-2011 05:04 AM

How much money have you made from the wood you get from him. I don’t mean to tell us figures just a hint to you as to how valuable his business is to yours.

-- BobG, Lowell, Arkansas--------My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am! Make more saw dust!!

View Puzzleman's profile


385 posts in 2032 days

#13 posted 02-17-2011 07:40 PM

I agree with GregN. If you were happy with the vendor before why change now to spite yourself??

Besides, maybe he changed the subject because he was embarrassed. Maybe his wife farmed it out to someone else. There are too many variable that you don’t know.

Remember that it isn’t personal, it’s business. If you are happy with his business in your dealings, that is all that should matter.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View dbray45's profile


2990 posts in 1865 days

#14 posted 02-17-2011 07:56 PM

You are there to buy his lumber. If it is good value, buy from him unless you are doing better elsewhere – then buy there. I try to have several suppliers so I don’t have this issue. One of my suppliers is retired from making piano cases and has been a great help to me. I rent time on his equipment that I do not have like 12” jointers, 20” planer, etc…

Keep business as business and personal relationships seperate – best policy.

He will buy from whom he desires – its business.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Paul M's profile

Paul M

73 posts in 2808 days

#15 posted 02-17-2011 08:11 PM

I agree with deke, and I find this behavior somewhat shady. Not dishonest, but not the kind of person I would chose to confide in.

Unless you sell used cars, trust is a most important part of business. If you only want to sell once to a customer, it doesn’t matter, but any good customer or vendor should be in it for the long haul. As long as he has what you want at the price you want to pay, I would continue to buy from him. However, if you should find a new source I would not hesitate to change with no feeling of regret or being disloyal.

Oh, by the way, in business a important part of ongoing relationships is reciprocity. this can be either purchasing both ways or giving referrals. You seem to be the only one performing your side of the equation.

-- Paul from New England "No man is a failure who is enjoying life". William Feather

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