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Author Topic: Selling Yourself Short?  (Read 7278 times)
BjornBee
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« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2009, 09:28:02 AM »

Just a couple of observations about selling honey. I sell "raw honey" for $2.50 per pound + container. I get comments all the time from cutomers about how inexpensive my honey is. I tell them that if they would like to pay more I'd certainly accept it, they never do.

  I produce 60,000-65,000 LBS per year and sell it all from my honey house from April til Nov.

 I get beekeepers stop in all the time, the conversation is always the same. The first 15 minutes they moan about not being able to sell their honey, they spend the next 15 minutes telling me how I should be selling mine.
 I make a very good living and actually enjoy giving people excellent value for their money.

 I guess I'm one of the dumb ones  Smiley

Dumb, I don't know. Sounds like anyone pushing through $150,000 dollars in sales from your honey house is doing something right. Do tell.....are you suggesting your selling 60,000 one pound containers to consumers stopping in and driving by? Or are you selling your $150 buckets to other beekeepers, butchers, bakers, etc? In which case that is a little different than bottling up, labeling, carting off, and selling at markets.

I'll probably never take on more markets than I have now. Much more proffitable to sell buckets to the endless supply of beekeepers needing buckets to fill their own markets. I've told my wife if we ever decide to produce more honey, we would sell, in the bucket, cash and carry, and will probably still be sold out. But that is a bit different than the marketing model than selling it to the buying public in smaller containers, etc. Bulk sales come with a discount.
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« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2009, 09:30:04 AM »

Quote from Bjorn---  "As for "high-fallutin" honey.....just because a beekeeper marks his honey at a fair price, taking into account his time, cost, and wants to put a few dollars on his families table, there is nothing wrong with that. Call it "high-fallutin" if you want. But I know local raw honey should be selling for more than supermarket honey."

^ in red was the point of this post.

I did not buy any of this honey on that day because I felt the price was too low, I would have if it were a little more appropriately priced. It just didn't feel right to me. I looked it over real good and in fact wondered if something was perhaps wrong with it for the price to be so low for locally harvested honey.

This particular store owner is not an idiot, he is far from it and I consider him a friend, and this is why I told him the price was very cheap and this is when he said "this is what everyones been saying" and "I don't really even know what we paid for it."  Which leads me to believe that perhaps his wife paid for the honey.

As a beekeeper and a patron of this guy's store, I felt it was my duty to mention the prices were very cheap. What I didn't expect was his response about agreeing they were cheap.

I don't know what the going rate is in that area but I mentioned to him that across the board it is not uncommon to pay $6.00 lb for raw local honey, as it is the good stuff, premium honey, which commands a higher price.


...JP
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BjornBee
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« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2009, 09:53:27 AM »

JP,
I agree. Some of those concerns were pointed out in the other thread I made this morning concerning this.

When I see honey selling cheaper than what I know it took most to produce, red flags do go off.

As a example of public perception, look at these two situations.

Honey seller # one, is a vegetable seller with a nice setup at the market. He sells his honey for a friend, and has the honey located at the end of the table, but where all can see.

Honey seller #2, sets up a full length 8 foot table. It is packed with various bottles of honey. It has many bottles of different sizes and types. He also sells it for about 1 dollar more than the guy down the aisle.

I've talked to sellers in the first category. And I have been that #2 seller.

Reality is, seller #1, although selling many thousands of dollars in produce, averages 5 bottles on a Saturday morning. Seller #2, although his honey is priced higher, sells (as I have done) on average over 300 dollars worth of honey.

Yes, more were attracted to the honey table, in comparison to the honey bottles next to the produce. But the honey stand, is part of the marketing plan. Having someone be able to talk about it, explain it, and answer questions about bees, all make sales. But it also is the perception of the buyers. They perceive the honey stand as THE place to buy honey, and will pay a higher price.

Here is another example....

I go to flea markets on a regular basis. I see those once or twice a year setups where they are cleaning out the garage, etc. And some of these places, there is always a few bags of cucumbers, maybe the very overgrown squash, and some backyard grown tomatoes that the wife thinks it would be good to sell. Maybe it's just me (but I know it's not since I ask many people such things) but I still find myself buying produce from the vegetable stand where they are actually in the business of selling produce. Even though the cucumbers are cheaper at the family setup next to the bags of baby clothes, and unwanted toys, I still for some unknown reason buy from the veggie stand down the aisle.

People see low prices, something less than what they should be buying it at, and people do have all kinds of perceptions. It's crazy if you think about it...
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CaptainCanuck
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« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2009, 09:55:23 AM »

Just a couple of observations about selling honey. I sell "raw honey" for $2.50 per pound + container. I get comments all the time from cutomers about how inexpensive my honey is. I tell them that if they would like to pay more I'd certainly accept it, they never do.

  I produce 60,000-65,000 LBS per year and sell it all from my honey house from April til Nov.

 I get beekeepers stop in all the time, the conversation is always the same. The first 15 minutes they moan about not being able to sell their honey, they spend the next 15 minutes telling me how I should be selling mine.
 I make a very good living and actually enjoy giving people excellent value for their money.

 I guess I'm one of the dumb ones  Smiley

Dumb, I don't know. Sounds like anyone pushing through $150,000 dollars in sales from your honey house is doing something right. Do tell.....are you suggesting your selling 60,000 one pound containers to consumers stopping in and driving by? Or are you selling your $150 buckets to other beekeepers, butchers, bakers, etc? In which case that is a little different than bottling up, labeling, carting off, and selling at markets.

I'll probably never take on more markets than I have now. Much more proffitable to sell buckets to the endless supply of beekeepers needing buckets to fill their own markets. I've told my wife if we ever decide to produce more honey, we would sell, in the bucket, cash and carry, and will probably still be sold out. But that is a bit different than the marketing model than selling it to the buying public in smaller containers, etc. Bulk sales come with a discount.

 It's all sold to the consumers. I have been in the same location for 25 yrs so the sales have grown over the years.

  I never discount the price. 1 pound or 100, the price is still $2.50. My average sale is 15 lbs. I've found that the casual honey eater tends to buy their 3 lbs a year from the grocery store.

 Loyal customers are money in the bank.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2009, 09:57:31 AM »

My loyal customers pay cash, and it does not go to the bank..... grin
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CaptainCanuck
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« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2009, 10:00:11 AM »

My loyal customers pay cash, and it does not go to the bank..... grin

BINGO!   grin
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2009, 10:48:15 AM »

Everyone presumes it is truly local raw honey, as opposed to something from abroad. Maybe the store owner doesn't even know it. Maybe a local beek is buying from China?

I only sell retail. I charge $7/lb or 4 for $24,  $3 for a 6oz bear or 4 for $10. I will disocunt larger orders a little. I wont go below 4.50/lb. Everything costs more when you're a smaller beekeeper as you cant leverage better costs on supplies and other costs are spread out or amoritized over fewer pounds of honey.I cant make enough honey to sell so I buy from another beek whom I trust and resell. I dont make as much, but I keeep my customers from going elsewhere. I also give lots of honey away and do free removals for the elderly.
It is true that local honey should demand a better price than Walmart honey, but many people wont. You have to find the right local market. I call them the "granola crowd" The granola crwod will pay the most, particularly if they are from a more urban environment. I even sell honey from tree removals as "wildbee honey." I get $10/lb. I cant get enough of it.
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« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2009, 11:19:42 AM »

Everyone presumes it is truly local raw honey, as opposed to something from abroad. Maybe the store owner doesn't even know it. Maybe a local beek is buying from China?

I only sell retail. I charge $7/lb or 4 for $24,  $3 for a 6oz bear or 4 for $10. I will disocunt larger orders a little. I wont go below 4.50/lb. Everything costs more when you're a smaller beekeeper as you cant leverage better costs on supplies and other costs are spread out or amoritized over fewer pounds of honey.I cant make enough honey to sell so I buy from another beek whom I trust and resell. I dont make as much, but I keeep my customers from going elsewhere. I also give lots of honey away and do free removals for the elderly.
It is true that local honey should demand a better price than Walmart honey, but many people wont. You have to find the right local market. I call them the "granola crowd" The granola crwod will pay the most, particularly if they are from a more urban environment. I even sell honey from tree removals as "wildbee honey." I get $10/lb. I cant get enough of it.

The beekeeper was local out of Bougue Chitto.


...JP
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2009, 01:29:39 PM »

I don't know the details of the beekeeper.  He/she may have had enough to get rid of but they don't like sitting at farmers markets selling to the granola crowd.  Maybe a bigger producer but wants to make a little extra local money without selling their honey wholesale.

As I said, this is a feed store, and if my local feed stores are any indication, the honey is probably priced for that market.   That beekeeper is likely still making money on it, at a margin they are comfortable with.  Sure, can probably get a little more for the honey, but likely wouldn't sell as much either.  I hope that there are a lot of people enjoying local honey, if that is what it is, from that feed store.

My opinion?  This is honey, not gold.  Sell it for whatever price you think that you can get it for.  If you are a better sales person than me, then you will get more for it, congratulations.  The more, the better.  But please don't insult people for selling it for less.   We all have our reasons, just like you have yours.

That is called capitalism.  grin

If they are selling imported honey as raw, local, then yes, I agree that that is wrong.  That has been mentioned but not proven.  I'm assuming this isn't the case.
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« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2009, 03:50:17 PM »

i use A LOT of honey and no day is quite good unless I have several tablespoons for my tea or lemonade. My own hives are just entering their 2nd year - fingers crossed I will soon be self sufficient in this matter.

That said, I have long watched the price of honey  because I am so dependent on it for my joy!

In California, honey prices have gone through the roof. I am so lucky to find it at $9/quart (3lbs) at a feed store 50 miles north, but at my neighboorhood markets (which are over inflated in all respects ...) the price for a locally produced quart is (brace yourself) $16 - for a quart!  :'(The cheep stuff is over $12 quart. Even a local beek at the farmers market was charging 13$ for a quart w/no price break, even on a gallon!

Seems like gold...might be worth the drive from Missisippi...? rolleyes
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« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2009, 05:46:11 PM »

A florist a few towns over from where we live is selling their 8 oz. jars for $6.99 each. We're selling our 8 oz. jars for $5 and our lb. jars for $8. Might take a little longer to sell but we've got to make some of our money back. Many of our customers have bought from us before.
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« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2009, 06:00:55 PM »

My point was (and I probably did a poor job of making it) was that there are a lot of variables in determining  your selling price with volume being a major factor.

 I'll go back to lurking now  Lips Sealed
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« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2009, 07:21:30 PM »

...I'll go back to lurking now  Lips Sealed

I'd like to see that NOT happen.

Sorry everyone.

It's time.  I'll sit back and cool down for a little while and maybe get my thoughts a little straighter, then I'll post my thread in the intro section and explain my views on why I came over here to the Beemaster site.  I really thought I was getting away from some of this by coming over here from the other site. 

It's time we all had a talk about how we treat new members.  What's the deal??  Did I end up on the wrong site?
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BjornBee
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« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2009, 07:41:02 PM »

What are you guys talking about?...  I dunno And I'm serious. I see some difference of opinion, but nothing that could bring up images or comments about beesource.

I think the people reading the comments, are "reading" into them way too much.

Captaincanuck made some statements, I ask a follow up question about selling bulk, he explained where he was coming from, I agreed, we both like cash, and beyond that....what the heck am I missing?
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« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2009, 07:49:53 PM »

Um..I dont see a problem here. Sorry if anyone took my comments to be hostile toward anyone. I was just stating an opinion in a discussion. I did not get from these post that anyone was trying to belittle anyone for selling their honey however they wanted to. It is just a discussion on honey prices and the reason for it. 
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« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2009, 07:52:50 PM »

Quote
In California, honey prices have gone through the roof. I am so lucky to find it at $9/quart (3lbs) at a feed store 50 miles north, but at my neighboorhood markets (which are over inflated in all respects ...) the price for a locally produced quart is (brace yourself) $16 - for a quart!  :'(The cheep stuff is over $12 quart. Even a local beek at the farmers market was charging 13$ for a quart w/no price break, even on a gallon!

 jojoroxx  you are getting a great deal. I live in Sac. and I am selling mine for $7 a pound. So I guess that would make it $21 a quart. I also don't have any left sitting in the basement!

Quote
Quote from: rdy-b on January 19, 2009, 08:54:44 PM
So who is the bad guy the poor keeper or the dumb store owner-or are they one and the same  RDY-B


If they are splitting the profit, if any, then I would say both. The buying community already told them that.

If the beekeeper is getting all of the profit, then it is the storeowner.

As for "high-fallutin" honey.....just because a beekeeper marks his honey at a fair price, taking into account his time, cost, and wants to put a few dollars on his families table, there is nothing wrong with that. Call it "high-fallutin" if you want. But I know local raw honey should be selling for more than supermarket honey.

As for this notion that a beekeeper should lower his honey to ridiculously low proces in attempts to expand the market selling to people who can not afford it otherwise......wait a minute, that sounds like your selling mortgages...

I'll talk to the wife about lowering my prices to sell twice as much, for the goodness of the market. Although we would not be making a pennie, I'll try to sell her the idea that all should have some, and selling below market prices (As the buying consumers are telling the store owner and beekeeper) will give us that nice warm fuzzy feeling.

rdb-b, at least you give a choice of the two options. A "poor" beekeeper, and a "dumb" store owner.

I'm all for people doing whatever they want. I'm also for telling you what I think about it. Don't like my opinion on thinking the beekeeper AND store owner are idiots? Then take a lesson, and listen to what the buying community already said. They have said, according to the store owner, that the public was nice enough to suggest that the honey is selling for way LESS than what is expected. We can debate about unknown crap like "maybe" this beekeeper has a bucket in his basement, etc. But the one fact in this is the buyers have already spoken. And the honey is below what the local market calls for and dictates. And if the beekeeper and store owner can't listen to the market, then they are doomed anyways.

DITTO! and Amen
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sc-bee
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« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2009, 07:56:18 PM »

>>It's time.  I'll sit back and cool down for a little while and maybe get my thoughts a little straighter, then I'll post my thread in the intro section and explain my views on why I came over here to the Beemaster site.  I really thought I was getting away from some of this by coming over here from the other site.

It's time we all had a talk about how we treat new members.  What's the deal??  Did I end up on the wrong site?

 huh shocked huh       Kiss


Back on the subject. I get $5 a pint trying to raise to $6. A friend of mine wholesales case pts for $45.
Not a big market--- he says if he goes in higher it crystallizes in the barrel.

Same with me just now trying to build a word of mouth market. Wish I could get about 6.5o to 7.00 a pt.
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« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2009, 08:03:02 PM »

As with any other time, I'll admit that I very well could be a little off.  I'll try and keep an open mind.  I will however say this though:

Anytime we say things in such a way as to make a new member want to stop posting, we've done something wrong.  I don't care if it was was lack of tact, too much pressure, or whatever.  Maybe we can save it for established members.  I took your jest toward me as just that - pure jest.

However, when I see us (as a forum) cause someone to not want to post anymore, I feel that we've misbehaved a bit.
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« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2009, 08:08:33 PM »

 Is it possible that beekeeper was just trying to raise enough quick cash to pay an overdue electric bill or house payment?
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BjornBee
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« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2009, 08:10:49 PM »

My point was (and I probably did a poor job of making it) was that there are a lot of variables in determining  your selling price with volume being a major factor.

 I'll go back to lurking now  Lips Sealed

I understand completely. And I only dream of the day I could push that much product, collect cash from repeat customers, while selling in bulk volume.

There are variables. That is why I asked the questions I did. And based on your responses, I got nothing more to say.... grin
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