lumber sales how small stores compete

Lumber Sales: How Small Building Materials Stores Compete

If you drive across North America and start counting big-box building materials stores like Home Depot and Lowes, you might be amazed at just how many there are. That can be a daunting situation for smaller hardware stores from a competitive standpoint. But those smaller, local stores can often provide wood products the big guys can’t. Besides having the advantage of location, small to midsize building materials stores compete in lumber sales by building relationships, offering added value products, and in-house expertise. 

Knowing Your Customers

One of the greatest advantages of buying lumber at a smaller retailer is the capacity to build a relationship with the store employees. Knowing your customers and their needs is key. A local builder might come in wanting a large quantity of 2×4 lumber, and another industrial company might need low-grade lumber to use as pallet wood material. Stocking a wide range of products that some of the bigger stores don’t carry is essential to building customer loyalty.

Offering Discounted Off-Grade Lumber

Smaller stores have the flexibility to provide value-added services or products. One way to do this is by offering a discounted, off-grade lumber product that satisfies the needs of your DIY, industrial, shed/garage builders, and certain remodelers.  These wood supply products can offer much higher returns to the store, which reduces the need to operate solely based on gigantic volume and inventory levels. 

Adding Value

Finally, in-house expertise sets a store apart from its competition. Make the purchasing process as easy and seamless as possible, and help your customers understand the value of low-grade dimensional lumber or B Grade building materials. It will save them money and get you a customer for life. 

By focusing on what the big box stores cannot and giving the best customer service possible, small to midsized hardware stores can stand out above the big guys…even if they are just down the street. There is no shortage of opportunities to provide unique lumber and other materials to an appreciative customer base and increase your competitive edge. 

Looking for a Building Materials Supplier for your small to midsized store? Contact us for further information.

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Low-Grade Panels for DIY

Low-Grade Panels for DIY Customers Needs

There are some great options when it comes to meeting low-grade panels for DIY customer’s needs.

Discount Materials to Sell Locally

In an increasingly competitive landscape, local retailers need to be nimble and creative. The strength of a smaller company’s footprint lies in the customer relationships it builds. Providing customers with a wide range of products at the best prices is key.

The vast majority of the many smaller building materials retail stores are in less populated areas, targeting clients who are likely more rural and have larger lots with a variety of activities and building materials needs. These retailers know they are providing the goods used to make things like outbuildings, sheds, chicken coops, cattle guards, and windbreaks. But many retailers don’t know that they can buy OSB board or plywood at much cheaper prices and pass those savings along to their customers.  

A Win-Win for Everyone

Buying low-grade siding, OSB, or plywood is a win-win situation for the retailer and their customer. While these products are not covered under warranties, utility panels are much less expensive and often have very little noticeable difference from the construction grade panel you’d buy at a big-box retailer. For a customer that needs an economical outbuilding or good solid trailer skirting this is perfect. They can easily work around small imperfections in the board and get the same performance. 

Local retailers who stock discount building materials can go a long way toward maintaining the loyalty of their valued customers. Providing an affordable alternative such as low-grade panels for DIY customers to build cheap outbuildings, chicken coops, and barn interiors is the key to keeping clients happy and still turning a profit. 

Looking to provide Low-Grade Panels for DIY customers for your business? Contact us for further information.

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Buying Wholesale Building Materials Online

Buying Wholesale Building Materials Online

It’s no secret that everything under the sun lives behind a screen these days. It’s been just under 30 years since online shopping first became possible. Travel agents and airlines led the way, and the first consumable product sold online was Sting’s album “Ten Summoners Tales”. Buying goods online has come a long way since those days. Ok, maybe it’s no big deal to buy a pair of jeans or your favorite sunglasses online and have it shipped to your house. But online building materials? Really? Yes, really! Buying wholesale building materials online is a viable way to purchase.

The growth of internet technologies has evolved the way busy purchasing agents do their jobs.

Traditionally, manufacturers, contractors, builders, and retailers had to find a wholesale building materials dealer (or be found by one) and create a relationship with a salesperson to be able to capitalize on the best available deals. However, in a climate of shrinking margins and intense competition, sellers, wholesale dealers, and buyers alike have to find more efficient ways to transact business. And computers are all about efficiency. 

That doesn’t mean that relationship sales are dead. Not by any stretch. Selling building materials online gives the parties involved another tool with which to communicate – and gives dealers a wider range of options at better prices to offer their customers. The internet will never take the place of people – but the smartest and savviest companies are expanding those relationships by creating a path for customers to order online.  

The best online sellers understand that customers need assurance that what they are buying is what they want.

It’s a pretty new thing to buy lumber online! That’s where communication technologies like chat and email come into play. Your salesperson is still there – you just have a lot more ways to reach them to get your questions answered before you click the buy button.

Online sales of building supplies are here to stay. It’s a growing trend in all industries and many wholesale companies are embracing it, while still maintaining those longstanding customer relationships. In a competitive world, the ones who don’t evolve get left behind. So take a peek at that screen – you never know what deals you might find! 

Looking at buying wholesale building materials online? Contact us for further information.

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