While stumpage sales involving a single buyer are commonly observed, we have no evidence that lack of buyer competition will, in and of itself, result in different stumpage prices. Nor do we have an explanation why such sales continue to be made in markets where stumpage owners can instigate buyer rivalry. Finally we have no theory explaining how buyers decide what to bid when direct competition from other buyers is not present. This paper addresses these three issues. We offer evidence that price differences can exist between single-buyer and multiple-buyer sales. We show why it can be economically rational for nonindustrial private forest owners to conduct single-buyer sales. And we offer a theoretical explanation of buyer bid and owner bid-acceptance decisions in single-buyer sales that is consistent with some previously observed relationships between stumpage prices and owner characteristics. For. Sci. 40(4):759-773.