Red Oak and Price Setting

Of the materials that go into our toboggan and sleds there is none more important than

Red Oak. It is the traditional material that my mentor used, and it is the preference of our

long standing partners in the great north.

 

Being a small business owner, I have enjoyed dealing with my supplier out of Manitoba

and over the years we have developed chemistry with them getting better and better

at keeping an eye out for the high quality lumber needed to craft our wooden sleds.

Traditionally Red Oak has been a very stable commodity, not experiencing the

fluctuation that you often see in many other commodities markets. However, as in many

industries, 2008 brought a major downturn in most markets including Red Oak lumber.

 

Apparently since 2008, when the demand for Red Oak lumber dropped significantly for

many reasons, it brought with it pressure for the smaller saw mill operations that typically

produce most of the hardwood lumber around North America. The market got worse and

since then many of these smaller mills have gone out of business.

 

Like much of the economy, the last few years has brought a return to the demand for Red

Oak in North America. On top of this “local” market return, there has also been a new

increased demand coming from overseas! Apparently the interest in North American Red

Oak lumber globally is at an all time high. So the demand is quite high, while the supply

is considerably down from previous years. Due in large part to fewer saw mill operations

in the business of producing Red Oak lumber..

 

In a nut shell the demand is way up and the supply is way down, which has increased our

cost for Red Oak by nearly 50% in just one year! This truth combined with the increase

in operational cost due to factors such as electricity and increased costs for other raw

materials, we have had to slightly increase our prices this year for the first time in a

while.

 

I am grateful for the loyal customers and new customers that recognize that with each

sled there is diligent process that allows me to produce the best of quality. I am further

grateful for your understanding that I run a small boutique business that maintains 150

year old tradition, and like every business we need a fair profitability to continue doing

what we do.

 

With a changing global economy, we will continually adjust, but the quality and

craftsmanship of our products will be unchanged.

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