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What cost for European Ash

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marcros

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I was just thinking I wonder if they interpreted
Item 1 - 6No legs which are 120x120 and 713 high (3 pieces to be laminated).
as 18 pieces (6 times 3) but your invoice clears that up. If that had been the case, and assuming 30% overage on their side then they would have been supplying something like 12 cu.ft. making it a less-unreasonable £116/cu.ft. But they aren't, making it £220/cu.ft at the same overage (or £286 per finished cubic foot), which is very steep.

FWIW I gave a cut list like yours (finished dimensions) to actimber.co.uk near Ely last summer, and they charged me around £74/cu.ft inc. VAT for American Ash (measuring to the finished part dimensions, so ignoring both my wastage in milling the timber and cutting out any knots (there weren't many), and their overage in terms of available board sizes containing the sizes of my pieces). They picked out very nice straight boards for me and brought them all outside for me so I could load up the car. It wasn't a particularly large order – total including some other timber around £420.

I ended up with quite a bit spare too (maybe 20%?), so I think they allowed for me to discard more for knots/etc than I did (I left some minor ones in and filled them). This was on 1" sawn stock, which is normally a bit cheaper than the 2" you're needing for most of it. I milled the one inch sawn boards down to 21.5mm, so that's a 16% wastage right there. Together at a guesstimated 30% overage, that works out at £50 per cubic foot sawn lumber supplied.

(At the time I thought I was getting a bit of a naive hobbyist premium, but now I think I got a good deal!)

Edit to add: AC Timber didn't give me a price breakdown per board and just gave me a total, which was a strangely round number (£320 + VAT for the ash).
British Hardwoods do this too. "£323.44, call it £320 plus the dreaded..." working out the price per board means multiple calculations, and the rounding that I have had and seen has always been in the customer's favour (as has measuring of defects).
 

Woody2Shoes

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The irony in all this is that English ash is being cut down left right and centre because of ash dieback. There ought to be a glut of supply (although some may be discoloured/damaged by the effects of chalara), also, by rights, American ash ought to be proportionately more expensive because of the cost of transporting it several thousand miles. I suppose the canny amongst us may be stocking up on English ash (a bit like those who stashed away some elm when Dutch elm disease struck) in the hope of "rarity value" increasing over the coming years....
 

Mhop74

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Does the seller have a website? Most will display terms and conditions of sale. Would be interesting to see if they made any reference to cancellation of orders.
 

TheTiddles

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So far he’s been very coy about not naming the company, which is funny as if someone bought some overpriced rubbish pine from B&Q nobody would hesitate to name them, is a common double standard here.

I think the understanding of the legal position is slightly off as although a quote is only an invite to treat, paying them moves you long past that point to voluntarily accepting a binding contact (I think, haven’t studied contract law in a long time...), there’s also no obligation to offer a refund if someone just doesn’t want the item contracted for (though many places do these days, it’s not a requirement), but it is under distance selling, after you’ve returned the goods, which he hasn’t even received yet... so I think they’re trying it on.

I think charging for returns can’t be arbitrary either, that’s what stung the banks on overdraft fees which were massively higher than the actual cost of arranging, you can be (legally) forced to justify the cost, at which point the company has to show the hours and the rate etc... so it’s often cheaper to just say “we’ll make an exception this time”, and save the aggravation.

Aidan
 
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TheTiddles

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British Hardwoods do this too. "£323.44, call it £320 plus the dreaded..." working out the price per board means multiple calculations, and the rounding that I have had and seen has always been in the customer's favour (as has measuring of defects).
That’s why it’s worth establishing a good relationship with your timber dude, one of mine waits till there’s no other customers around, then WAGs a total far lower than all the prices written on the boards :)
 

starlingwood

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Why is it double standards by me not naming the company? Is it even relevant, besides my main reason for withholding their name is that there not here to defend themselves and I don't want it to turn into some mudslinging exercise what would be gained by naming them?. My reason for the thread was to sound out whether I had received a fair price then it developed this morning into whether several hours for choosing a dozen or so boards was a fair reason for them to refund me less £250.

I am pretty confident the contact between me and the merchant will be covered under distance selling regulations. If you have a moment take a look at this page about it on the gov.uk website.


The customer has the right to cancel their order up to 14 days after their order is delivered and they dont even have to give a reason. Well in this case its not even been delivered and I don't see the point in waiting until it's been delivered. It also clearly states that before an order is placed [the buyer] must provide how they can cancel and when they lose the right to cancel. Also if they will still need to pay reasonable costs for using a service after they cancel. I had nothing other than the invoice from them.

Perhaps this could be a learning curve for both customer and timber merchant in this case?
 

TheTiddles

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Why is it double standards by me not naming the company? Is it even relevant, besides my main reason for withholding their name is that there not here to defend themselves and I don't want it to turn into some mudslinging exercise what would be gained by naming them?. My reason for the thread was to sound out whether I had received a fair price then it developed this morning into whether several hours for choosing a dozen or so boards was a fair reason for them to refund me less £250.

I am pretty confident the contact between me and the merchant will be covered under distance selling regulations. If you have a moment take a look at this page about it on the gov.uk website.


The customer has the right to cancel their order up to 14 days after their order is delivered and they dont even have to give a reason. Well in this case its not even been delivered and I don't see the point in waiting until it's been delivered. It also clearly states that before an order is placed [the buyer] must provide how they can cancel and when they lose the right to cancel. Also if they will still need to pay reasonable costs for using a service after they cancel. I had nothing other than the invoice from them.

Perhaps this could be a learning curve for both customer and timber merchant in this case?
Where has anyone stated you have a double standard? I think you are getting worked up and need some tea
 

Danieljw

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No real consolation..
I buy 2.5 cubic meters of ash from my local wood mill for €400.00, slab sawn.
I'm in spain and could have supplied you cut to size for the price you paid.
Legal recovery will cost you more than the £250...
Write it off to a bad experience, and buy cheaper elsewhere, I'm sure you will come out better in the long run.
 

johnnyb

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I'm sorry but I find this completely unacceptable and its rife in the world of timber. let's con newbies because we can. at least the Internet has allowed us to have a few references re cost.
in a general way though the price of raw wood is out of step with the price of finished products(unless its pallets or scaffold boards!)
 

paulrbarnard

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in a general way though the price of raw wood is out of step with the price of finished products(unless its pallets or scaffold boards!)
This is very true. Most of my recent projects have been from reclaimed materials. It’s more economic to buy or freecycle old furniture than to buy raw lumber.
it’s a positive that old materials get a new life but it gives the bespoke maker a very hard time justifying costs.
As an example from two weeks ago; my daughter needed a narrow desk for her bedroom. She asked me to make one and I said no problem just buy a sheet of ply. A sheet of ply was more expensive that a desk from IKEA and they delivered...
 

Snettymakes

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This is very true. Most of my recent projects have been from reclaimed materials. It’s more economic to buy or freecycle old furniture than to buy raw lumber.
it’s a positive that old materials get a new life but it gives the bespoke maker a very hard time justifying costs.
As an example from two weeks ago; my daughter needed a narrow desk for her bedroom. She asked me to make one and I said no problem just buy a sheet of ply. A sheet of ply was more expensive that a desk from IKEA and they delivered...
It's sad isn't it.

The way I've been thinking about it recently, is that to justify the cost of lumber, the piece should really be made to a very high standard (such that the value is in-proportionally higher than the material cost), otherwise the material is largely a vanity/fashion choice.

I'm not yet in a position to be able to say that I'm making things to a really high standard, but I strive, and I make my peace with doing things for fashion's sake.
 

Skydivermel

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The distance selling rules are in your favour. You have the right to cancel (for any reason) up to 14 days from placing order. The fact they want to charge you £250 for selecting the boards/restocking/admin or whatever doesn't come into play here. Say they are paying their yards men £25 an hour that's 2 men for 5 hours to select a dozen boards. It's boll*(ks.

If it were me I'd make it clear to them that you are well within your rights to cancel within the distance selling rules. A simple phone call telling them you want a full refund paid back to the card you used to pay with within 24 hours. Failing that a solicitors letter (which will cost less than the £250 they want to keep) as a reminder that they will end up in court. Or just ask your bank to do a charge back on the card. The bank can't refuse.

I detest businesses trying to rip folk off. Name and shame them.
 

danst96

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I guess I will be an outlier with my opinion but I side with the wood supplier.

You went in and asked for specific items which they quoted and you accepted.

They are part way through completing the order and now you want to cancel.

They told you they have picked the wood which you don't seem to see a value in but they may have had to forklift their way through a bunch of wood piles to get to the material, picked through it to get the needed wood without incurring a lot of waste, setting it aside while they then re-stacked the wood and forklifted it all back again. Then taking your wood to the cutting area. Now they have to take it back and put it back into the piles again.

There is time involved in the paperwork including the cost of issuing a refund which you also don't appreciate.

Generally a cancelation/restocking fee here is 10% to 15% but they have put effort into it thus far so the 18% you are getting dinged for is not out of line especially as you didn't find out what the cancelation fee was before buying.

Here, in a city approaching 300,000, there is only one retail wood dealer, pricing accordingly and no custom cutting, that will sell to hobby buyers. The others will only sell to businesses, even if I want a couple hundred board feet off the top of the stack. They don't want the hassle of dealing with private sales.

When you are looking for a machine I bet dollars to doughnuts you shop around and research a lot before you buy. You made a mistake by not doing the same in this instance. It is an unfortunate lesson but I think it is the price of education and you should allow the man his fee without griping. If you give them too much grief and other customers do the same you will end up with only one dealer willing to put up with it and you will all pay accordingly. I can get cheaper wood but I have to drive 7 or 8 hours minimum one way to major cities in other provinces to get it.

Pete
Hey Pete, nice to see a Canadian on here. Im moving to Regina later this year, can I ask if you know any decent wood suppliers in and around the area as I will need to find one!
 

mr rusty

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Much as they may hate it, if the distance selling regs apply then you are entitled to a full refund. If you don't get it you can refer to your credit card supplier. The "services" element of the order is irrelevant (turning, selecting) unless they individually priced this service as a line-item in a quote. You asked for a price for goods, they gave it. If it's a distance sale, you can cancel it. No way does "selecting" count as "bespoke".

The distance selling regs trump offer and acceptance, by giving consumers additional rights. However, there is one "gotcha" - is this a consumer sale? if they say they are (genuinely) "trade only", then it's B2B and the distance selling regs don't apply...
 

Ozi

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I'm new to this but have built a couple of benches recently and to keep cost down built the carcass from cheep standard size rough sawn pine only using better wood for the top. Seems OK so far, I did let the moisture content settle to around 7% before starting. Eight foot by three foot six bench just over £300. If anyone with more experience wants to tell me why this is a bad idea I'm always happy to learn.
 

starlingwood

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The distance selling rules are in your favour. You have the right to cancel (for any reason) up to 14 days from placing order. The fact they want to charge you £250 for selecting the boards/restocking/admin or whatever doesn't come into play here. Say they are paying their yards men £25 an hour that's 2 men for 5 hours to select a dozen boards. It's boll*(ks.

If it were me I'd make it clear to them that you are well within your rights to cancel within the distance selling rules. A simple phone call telling them you want a full refund paid back to the card you used to pay with within 24 hours. Failing that a solicitors letter (which will cost less than the £250 they want to keep) as a reminder that they will end up in court. Or just ask your bank to do a charge back on the card. The bank can't refuse.

I detest businesses trying to rip folk off. Name and shame them.
Even though it is a ridiculously high price and I have now had another written quote this morning from Whitmores of £454.91 inc VAT and delivery I am messing them about a bit here by agreeing and paying them for the order. You are right I can cancel and perhaps I can ask for a full refund however I feel I ought to pay them something even on an ex gratia basis for their time thus far.

Once this is all over and I have been refunded I may ask them for a written explanation of it all and copy and paste it for all to see here. This way it's giving them a chance to explain themselves. I don't want to spread bad will about a company without it being a balanced account even if they have taken me for a ride. I would imagine a few of their regular customers are on here.
 
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