Submitted by No_Stress_1313 t3_10qficf in Pennsylvania

I am developing a new product to help people in PA more easily buy and sell firewood. I am still very early on on my discovery process to validate or invalidate my assumptions of whether or not it's a good idea. Looking for help from folks who have either bought or sold firewood in the last 2 years or so. If you're willing to help I have 5 questions listed below:

When's the last time you bought firewood? What were you buying the firewood for? How did you find where to buy firewood? Did you have any issues finding or buying firewood (if yes, please explain)? If there was a better way to find and buy firewood, what would that look like to you?

Hopefully this provokes some thoughtful discussion!



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IamSauerKraut t1_j6pru3c wrote


No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6sm9p8 wrote

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing. To be clear, I am not intending to hold inventory or sell directly. I am looking to build a product similar to Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, but better and specifically for firewood. So filtering by distance, per the regulations, is a key feature. I see these policies as a benefit, not a threat, to building a defined marketplace. Curious to get your thoughts!


Peaceoorwar t1_j6sdms7 wrote

I recently bought a cord of "seasoned" firewood and it was all greenwood. The seller got me. I want to use it for my wood stove for heat. I searched online and it was probably one of the top 3 places that came up in the search. I would never buy from them again. I would definitely buy wood if I knew it really was seasoned


No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6smjku wrote

Sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, that seems to be the norm with the current options online. I am looking to change that!


Peaceoorwar t1_j6smtsn wrote

Well let me know I would buy good firewood off you if possible and good luck


No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6sqsnp wrote

Thank you! I'll let you know when we go live. Still in discovery stage and just to be clear we would be the aggregator for local wood, so sort of like a Facebook or Craigslist Marketplace specifically for firewood with ratings/quality/distance filters etc.


Peaceoorwar t1_j6sr527 wrote

Sounds great keep us updated


DinoReads t1_j6t3jio wrote

I think it is a great idea. I’m looking for fresh cut oak branches or logs to grow mushrooms in my back yard. I didn’t know where to start looking.


No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6uq452 wrote

Most landscaping companies have excess supply constantly, you could start there. But to your point, it's not the easiest customer journey to get to that point. Would you find it more valuable if local companies had their supply/availability listed online?


DinoReads t1_j6v7znr wrote

Yes it wood. I mean it would. Indiana County.


No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6pphj6 wrote

If you sell firewood, let me know. I have a shorter set of questions!


Unique-Public-8594 t1_j6pq649 wrote



No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6smbmi wrote

Lol the good kind of genius or the bad kind?


downsly46 t1_j6q1nqc wrote

I buy firewood from a farm in Lancaster. I can DM you the exact address.


No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6smf5a wrote

Sure! Were you happy with the wood quality? How did you find this supplier?


Pink_Slyvie t1_j6seblb wrote

Buying firewood for heating tends to be less cost-effective than installing a heat pump. If you have the land and the means to farm your own wood, do that. Else, use an alternative.

Of course, its not all about finances, but in these times, we should all be doing what we can.


No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6slzwz wrote

Interesting. Would you say wood heat is more expensive than natural gas or oil heat?


Pink_Slyvie t1_j6sm9ip wrote

Time is money. Calculate how much time it takes you to manage your wood stores, figure out the cost value, and compare it to gas or oil.

It's going to vary from person to person.

Oil/Gas is a poor choice now though.


No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6smqo7 wrote

The hidden cost of managing a wood stove. I agree it adds up. In general, it's still cheaper than natural gas/oil though it seems.


Pink_Slyvie t1_j6spxvt wrote

If you have land, sure, and if you value your time in a low enough amount.


axeville t1_j6u77nx wrote

A bundle delivery service would be cool. I don't want a ton of termite infested wood laying around. A fire is nice to have but I don't want to lug dirty wood around in my pristine white eldorado.

I buy bundles of wood from a guy around the corner. He buys cords and bundles them w string. Honor system drop money in the box. $25 for 3. Not sure either of us want to pay you for an app bc it's not that much anyway. Apps have meant the wood seller gets less, I pay more, some guy in the middle w an app gets rich.


No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6um30c wrote

Correct. Typically marketplace apps connect buyers (demand) with sellers (supply) and take a cut (10-15%). It benefits the seller if they're able to reach new buyers they otherwise wouldn't be able to without paying for marketing or adding an online shop or something else. In your case you already know the buyer so you wouldn't need to use the app. You would continue to pay $25. Other buyers who otherwise didn't know this seller existed could pay we'll say $30/3, a 20% increase to the seller (win!). Middleman takes 10% (win). Buyer gets good wood (win). The question is there enough unmet demand in the marketplace to validate this type of marketplace? Are there seasonal buyers who don't know any wood sellers? Is there a lot of competition in the market? I don't know.. Just trying research more.


axeville t1_j6uu5ed wrote

The minute you connect the buyer and the seller they don't need to complete the transaction via the app unless you are delivering it. Once they have done business one time they can pick up the phone. The fireplace isn't moving and the person selling the wood isn't either. Just stuff to consider.
If the people are serious about wood for heat they are looking for high quality seasoned wood bc a load of green or poorly seasoned or mixed wood is really a pain. For that reason they are going to go back to the same person they trust vs using an app to shop. One load of bad wood is painful. (We heated with wood in Lanc city row house in the 80s w a Swedish combo stove, I was the free labor to stack wood and manage the firebox. Many more trips w bad wood than a quality seasoned hardwood)

I don't mean to rain on your parade btw. But don't spend money on development wo thinking thru some of these issues.


axeville t1_j6uuj6v wrote

The number of fireplaces in reasonable distance of the wood seller is fixed. Your app won't bring any more fireplaces to the market.


No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6uw6ay wrote

100%! This is exactly the feedback that I am looking for. Do you think there's any correlations to take from food delivery apps where users could also pick up the phone but choose to order online instead? Offering delivery services is one of the options we are considering, but first want to determine if there's enough unmet demand from consumers looking to buy online. For the record, 100,000+ people look for firewood online every month, so that's one data point. But of course the real world operates differently.


axeville t1_j6uyrc8 wrote

Uber eats is generous w messed up orders I think. Delivering a large (cord) of wood is expensive for everyone. Load and unload and then find out it's smoky af maybe a month after delivery. That's an expensive mistake. And is also subjective. My wood standards are different than the next guy. Also Uber eats delivers daily and I might get a cord or 2 max each winter for 2500 sf house. Last, in nyc everyone delivers and always has, no need for an app. The food comes from a block or 2 away max or it's cold. The delivery guy comes up the 5 flights of stairs so you don't have to.


No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6uq9zo wrote

By the way I think a bundle delivery service is very interesting! Everyone is moving to on-demand delivery services for everything now. Thanks Amazon!


axeville t1_j6ut7jx wrote

I just ordered a bundle from Instacart. Wood is designed to look cute and romantic but won't keep ya warm.


No_Stress_1313 OP t1_j6utz1k wrote

Lol well you have to light it up first! Interesting though, just buying it for the ambiance?


axeville t1_j6uwqby wrote

Most of the time. Heating w wood can make sense in limited circumstances but mostly it's just nice ambiance and my gf likes to snuggle. 😍