A Word of Warning of the Pitfalls in Buying Kiln Dried Firewood Abroad

fireplace.co.uk A Word of Warning of the Pitfalls in Buying Kiln Dried Firewood Abroad

As we all know wood has become the preferred fuel for the masses for several reasons, firstly and most importantly the cost.

Log ContainersIn order to satisfy the growing need for wood based fuels many trade companies have turned to importing wood fuels directly from abroad. In a lot of cases finding a good producer capable of supplying on a regular basis, not just through the summer and autumn months, but also during the depth of winter is almost impossible. Promises are made to be broken by the more unscrupulous suppliers. In some cases the wood does not even exist. The con man is everywhere, working some times for the deposits paid with the promise of delivery. Buying from abroad is hard as the more honest suppliers sometimes do not get paid if delivering without advance payment, while on the other hand buyers do not get deliveries if paying in advance.

While we understand that suppliers require payment prior to shipping it is imperative to know who you are dealing with. The cheaper the price the more likely the goods will never arrive. Check out your supplier prior to paying any monies over. If it sounds too good to be true it’s usually false.

In our experience the following guide lines apply:- The cost of shipping is expensive, depending on location of the supplier, two lots of road haulage, the cost of a ship, import documents etc, can cost up to 50% of the total load cost. If inside the EU as long as you have a VAT number then no VAT should be charged. It can cost up to 1000 pounds to kiln dry the load. So always try to do your sums.

For instance  the cost of shipping from the Baltic States mid country to a destination in the UK will cost from 1600 to 2200 pounds, added together with the cost of drying (1000 pounds ) will give you a rough idea of the load cost before even paying for the wood.

So use only well-known supplier and where possible deal only with people that speak and understand English, information can get lost in translation. Also remember that because you found the supplier on the internet does not mean they are real. For some time now some unscrupulous supplier has been known to advertise on some of the more recognized web sites like Amazon and Alibaba. You may find the best and most honest of suppliers but remember buyer beware.

Once you decide on your supplier also remember, some suppliers cut corners. If your load is not correctly dried mold can start to show within days. A rule of thumb, you only get what you pay for, if you buy cheap you usually get cheap. If the wood has been a long time in a truck or container wood can also deteriorate. Does your supplier give any guarantees, remember its easy for a foreign company to make promises as it is rarely possible to take any kind of action should the goods not be to a required specification.

Buyer questions:-

1.  Is the supplier well known.
2.  Can the supplier keep you in stock at all times of the season.
3.  Can you get a workable guarantee. (quite difficult as all wood contains moisture and the weather can make a difference to the quality)
4.  Is the price quoted the total cost from door to door.
5.  Should any customs problems occur will the supplier take care of the associated costs.  ( Customs can pull random containers for scanning with costs attached.)
6.  If coming from outside the EU, are VAT and duty paid or extras. Very rare that VAT and duty are paid and hard to prove until arrival at customs and remember as the load is addressed to you, you are responsible for all payments.)
7.  Some species of wood weigh heavier than others. If the load is overweight and attracts a fine will the supplier make recompense.
8.  The best suppliers always take care of everything, so from order to arrival at your door is all taken care of by the supplier.

We hope this will give a guide line to buying from abroad. It is a very lucrative business if conducted in the right manner with the right suppliers.

Stacked Logs


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