Customer dilemma

Discussion in 'The Wood Market' started by Ohio dave, Nov 3, 2020.

  1. Ohio dave

    Ohio dave

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    I have a very limited amount of wood to sell right now. I had a customer contact me wanting delivery 3weeks from now and later the same day another customer contacted me about a delivery this week. If I deluvery to 2nd customer I'd have nothing for the 1st one. Would you guys hold for the 1st person
     
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  2. jrider

    jrider

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    I mark them down according to when they contact me, not when they want it. That first guy is counting on getting wood from you in 3 weeks. How would you feel if you were him and suddenly find out you're not getting any wood even though you ordered it?
    Also, as my supplies dwindle, I tell my customers they have to take delivery right away so I can figure out if I have any left for other customers. Never had anyone complain about that.
     
  3. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

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    Hmm...that is a dilemma...what if you made them pre-pay...or at least make a deposit if they don't want it delivered now? (which, why would you not want it delivered now?)
     
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  4. MikeInMa

    MikeInMa

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    All things being equal - First come, first served.

    Let the 2nd customer know that if you have enough wood, that they'd be next on your list in 3 weeks time.

    Being upfront and honest, is how I'd want to be treated as a customer.
     
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  5. Dumf

    Dumf

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    Wait ! This is business, never "first come".
    Take care of BOTH.
    Tell #1 and #2 what the situation is.
    Ask #1 how much he needs now and #2 the same.
    Be honest. You need both customers.
    You'll be making more later, right ?
     
  6. jrider

    jrider

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    If he's selling out, he doesn't need both customers. There comes a time in the season where people just waited too long. Maybe they will and maybe they won't be if they get crappy wood, you better bet they contact you earlier next year.
     
  7. TurboDiesel

    TurboDiesel

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    If he's a return customer, yes.
    And if you promised him the load, definitely.

    Call him back, tell him you have other orders wanting his load. Make certain he still wants it and offer to deliver earlier.
     
  8. TurboDiesel

    TurboDiesel

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    :handshake:
     
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  9. stuckinthemuck

    stuckinthemuck

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    Maybe see if your customers can find you a lead on some dead standing or dead and down wood (that's assuming you have the time to process it). Might be something that you can process for them now and deliver it straight to their houses for burning later this winter. Could also offer future leads to more wood.. I think if I was selling wood, I'd prefer to get it to the customer and soon as its processed as long as they know what they are getting for moisture content and it matched their planned use.
     
  10. Dumf

    Dumf

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    Better not do biz like that here. "Punish" customers ? :doh::doh:
    Besides, firewood sellers are always "making" stock ( or they should be ).
     
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  11. woody5506

    woody5506

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    I'd hold for the first person for a small deposit. Unless you know and trust them, but in my non firewood related business I can't tell you how many phone calls I get from people all gung-ho about their jobs and they just end up being no-shows at our shop. You just have to know the guy who wants it in 3 weeks is a serious buyer. That's a long time for him to find another "cheaper" dealer, hypothetically.
     
  12. mat60

    mat60

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    This is the way I look at it also
     
  13. metalcuttr

    metalcuttr

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    What he said!
     
  14. jrider

    jrider

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    “Punish”? You call and ask for wood and someone is sold out and doesn’t have any for you, that’s on you. I’ve held wood in the past for customers saying hey this looks great, I will call and get another cord in January only to never hear from them because it was warm or they were too busy to burn or were short on money. So I don’t hold wood for anyone. If you want it, you will take delivery when I have it. If I run out, I run out. You know what’s happened because of that? I sell out earlier and earlier every year even though I produce more wood each year. And yes, making stock when they can but what are the chances that’s going to be anywhere near seasoned.
     
  15. Horkn

    Horkn

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    This...
     
  16. billb3

    billb3

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    1. Ration , tell each customer you only have half of what they want left. Maybe one will get mad and cancel though.Forever.
    2. Tell customer two that you are out. Unless you have some green wood to offer they'll either understand or not.

    3. Customer two should be apologized to profusely because he should have been told there was no more stock left.

    4. Find some wood somewhere, someplace for customer one even if it is from a competitor supplier. Given that you have three weeks to do so. Only if you can find wood that matches what you would be sellijng.


    * Be honest with both about the situation. Liars are cowards.
     
  17. Dumf

    Dumf

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    Selling "seasoned" firewood ( except for those who kiln dry it for $$$$$ ) is a losing game.
    It's why few even try.
     
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  18. yooperdave

    yooperdave

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    So what did you do, Dave?
     
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  19. Dumf

    Dumf

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    Door #5. Classic B-School dilemma, but easy choice.
    K.I.S.S. .
     
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  20. JustWood

    JustWood

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    At my peak in the wood business I had a rule that I told customers at time of first sales call. I was a broker/hauler so I had to make mad, fast moves year ‘round.
    I told everyone when they asked when they could expect delivery,,,,,, “the first person that I call that answers their
    phone and says yes I’ll take it ,,, gets it. If I go down my entire list tomorrow and no one in front of you answers the phone ,, you answer, and you’re my huckleberry “. I had to do it this way as I had a contract to move so much a week / 52 weeks/year.
    If a customer demands wood be delivered at a certain time and it postdates other potential business it’s no longer just a product it’s a product with special services which commands more $.
    If I we’re you I’d try to get customer to take wood early or prepay cash with the understanding of no refunds regardless and next year adjust your business plan accordingly.