death of the local lumberyard: good riddance?
Just hear me out:
So I went to my local yard recently, the biggest one in my area. They have alot of wood, at pretty high prices, but at least (I thought) they have a good selection. I was looking for clear fir lumber. They had nothing bigger than a 2x2 available. I went to look at a pile of wood to see if any decent pieces were in there, and the employee who escorted me into the yard hassled me on, I was being too "picky". I only looked at the top pieces, taking probably 30 seconds, but that was enough to annoy him. This is the same story every time I go there, whether to buy plywood or anything else. If I ask too many questions (questions like, "do you carry clear wrc?") I get eye rolling. There is only one guy who works there who is nice enough to actually give some customer service. (PS I am no pain in the butt customer either, I try really hard to be courteous and not waste anyone's time. Plus I have bought alot of wood from them, and consider myself a regular customer)
I called up several local lumberyards today. All I wanted was clear pine 2 by's (to make a set of oars). Nobody had them. Nobody. I have called for clear fir in the past. Nobody has it. They won't order it either, and alot of people told me they had clear pine/fir planks but when I showed up it was just grade 2 construction lumber, knotty as hell.
How can major lumberyards in the new york city area not carry clear pine planks?!?!? In fact, they don't carry any clear planks of any softwood at all in greater than 3/4 inch thickness. And worst of all, how can they have such terrible customer service skills? Yet these are the guys who b*#@% when a big box store opens up nearby and "unfairly" steals their local business.
So I will have to do what I did for my last set of oars, goto the local mega store and buy the clearest 2x4's I can find. I can spend all day there, picking out what I want. I will rip off the clearest 1.5"x1.5" strips for the looms, then I will have to nail/glue on strips for the blades. And as un-knowledgeable as the service is at home depot, I never get any eye rolling, despite not being a regular customer.
My point is, I have always been in the "don't open up big box stores in my neighborhood" camp, but between the high prices, limited choices and poor customer service that I get universally at all of the local lumberyards I have visited or called, I give up. I just give up. Sorry small business owner, but you did it to yourself.
“The difference between an adventurer and anybody else is that the youthful embrace of discovery, of self or of the world, is not muted by the responsibilities or the safety-catches of maturity.” Jonathan Borgais