As the owner of a home improvement retail store, you want to provide your customers with the highest quality products at the most competitive prices possible. Lumber plays a key role in many home improvement projects, so it is worth making the effort to establish a good relationship with a dependable and reputable wholesale lumber supplier to ensure a steady supply of high-quality wood for your customers.
When you are comparing wholesale lumber suppliers, be sure to ask these eight questions so you can make an informed decision about which supplier will best meet your needs.
What Species Of Wood Do You Sell?
One of your first questions should be whether the wholesale lumber supplier you are considering sells the species of wood your customers want in the right thickness.
Wholesale lumber suppliers can often place special orders to get the species that you seek, but it is a good idea to ask which types they normally have on hand to get an idea of how dependable they will be when it comes to the species and grades you use most.
It is also useful to find out what other products they generally keep in stock. Some may offer products that your customers will often buy alongside wood, such as stains and oils.
Consider whether you are catering mostly to customers who will be buying higher-grade wood for furniture and similar products or those who need the wood mostly for construction work.
What Specialty Products Do You Sell?
Customers are increasingly seeking specialty types of lumber for various construction projects. For example, pressure-treated fire retardant lumber is necessary to meet building codes in many areas. Products such as Exterior Fire-X and PyroGuard provide important fire safety benefits to your customers’ wood projects.
Products like Microguard lumber and plywood are pressure treated to offer protection against common wood complaints such as fungal decay, termites and corrosion. Lumber that has been treated with copper azole can provide your customers with long-lasting resistance to rot, termites and decay.
Is There A Minimum Order?
Some suppliers might have minimum orders, but not all of them do. It is a good idea to find out about this beforehand to ensure the supplier you are considering fits with your business structure. You should also ask if they can fill special orders and find out the average turnaround time for such orders.
Where Does Your Lumber Come From?
Wholesale lumber suppliers should be happy to tell you about the lumber they stock and where it came from. If their lumber is being imported directly from the source, you might be getting a better price than you would from those who have to pay for a middleman.
This will also help you determine if the lumber they stock is being harvested and imported legally. Ask if they inspect their inventory thoroughly and what steps they take to ensure it comes from a reputable mill.
Wholesalers that import directly have greater control over these aspects and can give you documentation showing their product is legal, which your customers might ask you to supply.
If you have any doubts about the quality of the wood, you can ask the wholesaler to supply you with a sample. You can also ask to come to their warehouse to inspect their inventory in person.
Is Your Lumber Sustainably Sourced?
If you are selling lumber for green projects, it is important to find out whether the lumber your supplier sells has been grown and harvested sustainably. Customers are increasingly seeking environmentally-conscious products for home projects.
Do You Deliver?
As a retailer, you may not be able to transport the amount of lumber you need with the vehicles you have available. In that case, you will want to look for a company that can deliver lumber to your site. Ask them about their delivery area, charges and how frequently they are willing to deliver lumber to your shop’s location.
How Long Have You Been In Business?
Although you should not discount new suppliers entirely, a wholesaler that has been in business for many years will have the experience needed to provide you with affordable yet high-quality wood on a steady basis.
Established suppliers with knowledgeable staff can advise you on the various types of wood they sell and the best uses for each variety.
What Are Your Payment Terms?
Each wholesaler sets its own payment terms, so make sure that you can agree to their requirements. Some might ask for cash on delivery, while others will offer a credit limit or require pre-payment.
Talk To An Experienced Wholesale Lumber Supplier
If you are looking for a reliable wholesale lumber supplier in the Northern Virginia area, reach out to Curtis Lumber & Plywood. Their convenient location in Springfield and fleet of delivery trucks enables them to serve retail lumber dealers in the Mid-Atlantic region, and they carry an extensive stock of specialty wood products.