Firewood bundles are in demand by campers and homeowners alike. If you are searching for a side business to earn some extra money, selling these bundles is an opportunity for you. The business requires physical work, but it can be rewarding if you do it correctly. Locating a supply and finding an outlet to sell the firewood are the biggest challenges. Once you find these two components, the sky is the limit.
Locate a supply of firewood that's consistent and inexpensive. One example is a lumber mill. Mill ends, the scrap wood pieces remaining after boards are cut, sometimes sell by the truckload for as little as $50. Another idea is to cut and clear felled trees for homeowners and then sell the salvaged wood. Or, cut your own firewood.
Price firewood bundles in your local area by visiting convenience stores, campgrounds and camping stores. Average the prices and try to make yours competitive with or lower than their prices. Also, take note of the size of the bundles and how many logs they contain. This will help you figure out a better price. You may decide to offer more wood in your bundles as well.
Bundle the firewood once you procure it from your source. If you don't have a shrink wrapper you can use burlap or plastic mesh bags, available through a specialty retailer or hardware store. Make all your bundles about the same size and weight. Then count them up and figure out what your profit will be for that load. If your yield is 100 bags from a truckload of mill ends that cost you $50—and you sell them for $5 each—you will earn $450 for that load.
Locate an outlet to sell your firewood. A convenience store, sports store or campground are obvious choices. Make an agreement with the manager to deliver some number of bundles to your retailer and to receive some percentage of the sale price (anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of the retail price). After you negotiate a price, deliver the bundles and then return a week later. Count how many bundles are remaining and subtract from the number of bundles delivered. This is the number of bundles the store owes you for. Make sure you invoice for the number of bundles delivered.
Or you can try to sell the bundles to the campground, convenience store or hardware store at a price you negotiate, paid to you upfront. To make this deal more attractive to the retailer, promise to pick up all unsold bundles and refund the purchase price. Arrange for delivery of additional bundles when their stock is sold out.
Continue to deliver and collect payments for your firewood bundles. Seek out new and cheaper ways to make the bundles and collect the wood. This will grow your business faster.
Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.