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Forum topic by Joseph Jossem posted 01-24-2015 06:09 PM 1608 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 2466 days

01-24-2015 06:09 PM

I have been cutting and selling hardwoods since out of high school. I used to get alot of satisfaction selling and seeing others use the lumber in projects. Now 80% or more of lumber customers either want to haggle on price or complain and then haggle. The majority of them build to sell and make good money at it. No more of that for me everybody can cut there own damn lumber!

When I first started I also bought and resold a lot of koa lumber. Main thing I was sure to be polite never try to bargain and be happy with what I got. I guess those days are gone respect I think is the main thing and a lot lack it. Not sure where the mentality of trying to bargain everything down but in a full circle sustainable operation everybody has to pay up. So think about the next time you piss off your sawyer it might be the last time you get lumber.

15 replies so far

View ric53's profile


194 posts in 1717 days

#1 posted 01-24-2015 06:18 PM

You won’t get an argument from me. I agree that there is not respect out there any more. People are looking to get something for nothing and then have the balls to complain. It’s madding and depressing. How far down do we have to sink before we decide enough is enough.

-- Ric, Mazomanie

View cebfish's profile


156 posts in 2886 days

#2 posted 01-24-2015 06:36 PM

I always pay the price the sawyer wants and I am always happy with what I get. I have found that most sawyer a great people

View Patch2020's profile


97 posts in 1439 days

#3 posted 01-24-2015 06:42 PM

I agree too. You have to charge what you need to charge to make a living. The only reason to haggle on price is you are trying to cut corners and make more money. If you can’t charge what you need to make money, steer them to cheaper lumber or tell them you can’t do it. There is no reason you can’t pay what everyone else is paying and not make money if your quality is good.

-- Patch2020, Tennessee

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 2466 days

#4 posted 01-24-2015 06:47 PM

I think it has a lot to do with Hawaii also. If you look on cl and other places people want more $ then the item cost new. I often go above and beyond to help customers out guess the majority see it as a weakness.

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 2466 days

#5 posted 01-24-2015 07:00 PM

Actually the lumber market is in really bad shape here now. All the past companies have raped the forests so much theres no more chances for the new companies coming up. federal departments haven’t been able to put a legal bid out since 2007. Now the companies that also caused the mess all of a sudden are instant tree huggers and blame others for the current market. You would figure with the most valuable wood in the world we would at least have a good koa source in this state. if you go to japan or others areas in the states they have more Hawaiian koa go figure..

View Patch2020's profile


97 posts in 1439 days

#6 posted 01-24-2015 07:01 PM

I have a lumber supplier near me that is a big company that ships truck loads across the country, but they keep a room stocked for smaller woodworkers. You can go in and pick through and get what you want. If you go in and shoe them respect and that you understand they have to make money they will help all they can. They have some 6’ lumber that is clear enough to be fas but because of the length they can’t sell it, but they will sell it to me and some of the other customers for 1 common price to get rid of it.

-- Patch2020, Tennessee

View MikesProjects's profile


172 posts in 2100 days

#7 posted 01-24-2015 08:22 PM

Monkey see monkey do, the cable networks make money showing how others haggle on pricing, craigs list is another place people learn how to haggle, I do it all the time. I make on offer of what im willing to pay,if they don’t like my offer then dont take it, that simple but if I ever do sell any of my junk I raise my price up 25% so someone can make a lesser offer, just the way it is now days especially coming out of the recession we were just in.

Lumber may be something completely different. I dont haggle lumber. Good luck with that though…....

-- -Mike, Southern California, YouTube User ( Give & Take )

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 2466 days

#8 posted 01-24-2015 08:30 PM

I look at it like this. If you go to Walmart and make a counter offer on your purchase they will give you a odd look. Based on the current retail market here I sell 60% cheaper and a better quality product then all the retail locations. To haggle it down more is ridiculous I would think people would know business have set costs to operate. If its a fire sale different thing then you can haggle.

View TheFridge's profile


10705 posts in 1684 days

#9 posted 01-24-2015 08:45 PM

I hear you. If people want to haggle with me about my prices for electrical work in the side, they can either pay or go elsewhere. This ain’t a market in Turkey.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Dave Witkus's profile

Dave Witkus

29 posts in 2343 days

#10 posted 01-24-2015 09:00 PM

The thing is, if the act of doing business is reducing the quality of your life, then
stop. Having lived in Hawaii for 21 years, I saw the koa business go from a pretty
rational business to the most cut throat of conditions that is driving you to leave it.
I’m glad that when I bought koa from you that there was no need to haggle over price.
You gave me a fair price for a good product so I have faith that I never added to your
choice to quit the biz.

Now, on a completely different subject. If I want to make koa bowl as a wedding gift
or if my wife wants a center piece for the dining room table, can I connect w you
for a single board? I know you didn’t like to do that when you were running the mill, but
if you’re shutting her down, maybe you can part with a board from time to time.

Anyway, ‘m sure you will enjoy turning bowls and making furniture.



-- After you wipe away all the hype, who you really are is synonymous w how you treat people.

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 2466 days

#11 posted 01-24-2015 09:06 PM

Dave thanks but I haven’t had koa in 7 years. 7 years ago I tried to expand my lumber operation and started bidding logging jobs. With in a months time I lost all my vendors I was cut from koa sources and was kicked out of my warehouse. I went from a really good monthly income to nothing over night. Warehouse was broken into and road flares thrown inside 1 of my 2 dogs was poisoned Koa is a very dangerous business.

Best part is I knew I was on the right track when all the trouble started. I have adapted my business to survive with out koa. Now I get a good laugh watching everybody going after koa.

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1028 posts in 1773 days

#12 posted 01-24-2015 09:48 PM

I have a price in my head when I buy,Then if the asking price is close not a problem but if it’s wayyy over my price and going price for run of the mill then I see no reason not to ask to step into reality.I don’t mind paying more for something special though.

View jmartel's profile


8230 posts in 2348 days

#13 posted 01-24-2015 09:54 PM

Basically, the way I (and many other people) view it, is that unless you are a business with a storefront, it’s usually negotiable. Craigslist especially. So I will typically offer something lower. If they don’t take it, no big deal. I’ll either pay them full price or walk away if it’s not a good enough deal for me.

Sorry to hear you are getting out of the business. Koa is crazy expensive. Beautiful stuff, though.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 2466 days

#14 posted 01-24-2015 10:23 PM

jmartel yes it is to expensive to deal with. I have found other woods here that are just as nice or nicer.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 1774 days

#15 posted 01-24-2015 10:26 PM

Usually whatever is on craigslist unless it’s a super deal I’ll offer lower. Of course when it’s come to lumber, if it’s through a sawmill that posts on craigslist I don’t haggle or anything, if it’s a regular guy selling off stuff he has left over or something then ill try and haggle but i suck haha

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