Smoke billowing out of chimneys and crackling of fire logs is something that many people enjoy during the colder months, and it’s a popular method to heat a house.
But of course, to burn firewood, you first have to buy it; and if someone buys it, there has to be a seller. And if you’re looking to earn a few extra bucks for Christmas, you might want to jump on the firewood train. So, this leads us to the question:
Is selling firewood a good way to make money?
Yes, you can earn some extra cash selling firewood – if you do it right. With the ability to sell a cord of wood for $120 to $180, you could easily supplement your income. This is dependent, of course, on having a consistent supply of wood and knowing how to sell it.
In this article, we’ll give you all the information you need to know to start selling firewood successfully.
Is There A Demand For Firewood?
The first thing we need to establish is the demand for firewood. And there is a demand, if you live in the right places.
In the United States alone, approximately 11.6 million households use wood as a source of primary or secondary heating.
But how much wood does that equate to?
Well, a modest-sized, well-insulated house in the northern U.S. and Canada would need around four cords of wood per winter.
A cord of wood is equivalent to a stack of wood that’s 4 feet x 4 feet x 8feet, or about 128 cubic feet. So, that being said, four cords of wood would be about 512 cubic feet of wood.
That already seems like quite a bit, but to put that into perspective, it takes a tree that’s 18 inches in diameter and 90 feet tall to give about one cord of wood.
That means that, in the United States, if those 11.6 million houses burn 4 cords of wood, that means that 46.4 million cords of wood are needed each winter to supply heat.
So clearly, there is a strong need for firewood in areas with cold winters. But in areas where it doesn’t really get that cold in the winter, the demand would significantly decrease.
How To Get Firewood
If you know somebody who is a logger or you are a logger yourself, then getting firewood is pretty easy. If you have a property with a lot of trees and you don’t mind cutting some of them down, that would be ideal.
If you have trees but don’t know how to log or don’t have the equipment, reach out to some people who do and try to strike a deal with them.
One option would be to suggest splitting the profits. A lot of people are also willing to barter if you bring up the option to them. You could offer to let them keep some of the wood in exchange for them cutting the tree down.
And if you don’t have trees, but are willing to sell the firewood, you could find a dealer that would be willing to give you good prices for you buying in bulk. Then you could sell it at a normal retail price and still make a profit.
How To Sell Firewood
There are a couple ways you could go about selling your firewood. Some of those are:
- Selling Online
- Word of Mouth
- Putting up signs
- Going door to door
Selling online is an easy way to find customers. Once you have a supply of firewood, you can list it on sites like:
This is the main way people will search for firewood locally. You would need to decide whether you would have them pick it up or if you would deliver it to them.
If you decided to deliver it, then you would need to factor in the cost of gas into your pricing, or you could charge a flat rate per mile as a delivery fee.
Word of mouth is an easy place to start building up clientele, especially if you have family and friends that use wood to heat their house. All you’d have to do is simply ask if they would spread the word to their friends and coworkers.
In a similar fashion, you could hang up some flyers around town advertising firewood for sale. You could also hang some up in grocery stores and supermarkets, if they allow it. This is really common in rural areas.
If you’re really motivated and are a good salesperson, you could try doing door-to-door sales. Although this would require significantly more work, it has the advantage of being able to see whose houses have fireplaces and who would most likely be interested.
Of course, using this method, you would have to transport at least some firewood with you to account for immediate sales, which would result in a higher cost of gas.
How much can you make?
How much you can make from selling firewood really depends on what you choose to sell it for. Obviously you want your pricing to be competitive, because you don’t want to steer people away from purchasing because it’s too expensive.
A cord of wood can cost an average of $120 to $180. This means that if an average house takes at least four cords to heat for the winter, and you sell to 5 people a season, you could make between $2,400 to $3,600 off of those five people alone.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that if people are satisfied with your wood and your pricing, it’ll be cold again next year, so they’re going to need firewood again. This is definitely a business where you could see repeat customers.
What is Seasoned Firewood?
A tip for selling firewood successfully is knowing about seasoned firewood.
Seasoned firewood is firewood that has been left to dry so that the moisture and sap have evaporated. This helps the wood burn better and makes it easier to light.
Selling pre-seasoned firewood might have an extra appeal for people wanting to buy, and you could potentially sell it at a higher price point.
It does take about six months for the firewood to be seasoned. And if you aren’t selling it already seasoned and that’s what your customers want, they may not want to buy from you.
If you don’t want to season the firewood, however, you should start selling your firewood right after winter so that your customers have the opportunity and time to season it themselves before the next winter comes along.
This video explains more about seasoned firewood:
What I Like
- You can make your own prices
- It’s always in demand every year
- Has the potential for repeat customers year after year
- Can be extremely lucrative
What I Don’t Like
- Finding a consistent supply of wood can be difficult
- Certain locations would be difficult to sell in
Summing It Up
All in all, selling firewood is not a bad way to make some extra money. It’s very easy to do if you have the supply available. You can make a lot of money this way.
Yes, it is definitely worth it, if you have the ability to get wood easily. However, if you do not have an excess of trees to cut down and therefore cannot get firewood, it can be difficult.
Burning wood is something that many people do and a lot of people may want a different option than buying it from the store and if there is no one else doing this in your area, this would be the perfect time to start!