Pricing Your Local Honey

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by sqkcrk, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Alfalfa Negotiations

    Retail? Too low.

    You will never know where the ceiling is until you break thru it. Until you consistently get turned down at a certain price, you won't know what the market will bear.

    Set your price rediculously high. What do you have to loose? If your prices are too high, you still have a good product and can sell it for less. Let your customers tell you what they will pay.
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Alfalfa Negotiations

    sqkcrc said:

    "You will never know where the ceiling is until you break thru it. Until you consistently get turned down at a certain price, you won't know what the market will bear.

    Set your price rediculously high. What do you have to loose? If your prices are too high, you still have a good product and can sell it for less. Let your customers tell you what they will pay."

    This makes so much sense it's scary.
    I know plenty of folks who sell for a lot less than me. Yet a year and a half ago other vendors at the market I was at kept telling me to raise my price simply cause I consistantly sold out. Even though all other costs had gone up I was always hesitant to do so , fearing the perception I was gouging. Instead I went to a less expensive jar.
    Now in the years absence from the market there is another vendor selling honey as a secondary product for 30% less (mentioned this on another thread a while back).
    Sometimes we're our own worst enemy! :oops:
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Alfalfa Negotiations

    You can scare the customers off with too low a price.

    We had a festival here about 3 years ago. One vendor was getting 20.00 per quart, another a block away getting 8.00 per quart.

    The 20.00 guy sold out while the 8.00 guy sold very little.

    The 20.00 guy bought the 8.00 guy out and sold out again at 20.00.

    The 20.00 guy is a member of the forum here, and can confirm this if he wants to. I'm not going to name him.
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thought i'd start a new topic on this (alfalfa negotiation was getting off topic :mrgreen: ) I sell honey and produce at the farmers market in my home town and people know me. I try to keep a local market price, yes i can jack (no puns please) the price up on my products to make more $'s and have seen it done at the market, but those people don't stay long. Customers will try there products because they think it may be better because it cost more,but word gets out (in small towns) that their product isn't better and sometimes not as good. Those vendors will come back maybe one or two more times, and they will be lucky if they sell enough to pay for there set up fee. I charge a little more for my products than the local supermarket and people don't mind because it's fresh and made in the US of A. Every thing i sell i raise on the farm,(except honey sticks) and people within a 30 mile radius know that and come to the farm also, to buy our goods. To me it's not how much more i can get for a product, it's what i can live with and keep my customers happy at the same time. :thumbsup: Jack
     
  5. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I try to keep my prices in ine with the rest of the local producers. However we do have a few that are way to low on there price. They are still stuck in the 70's getting 3 dollars a pound Im at 5.25
     
  6. PeeVee

    PeeVee New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've been sticking to $5 per 1 lb. classic (glass - no plastic!). This is at a roadside stand in a very rural setting. I had thought of raising the price to 5.50 but 5 ones or a five dollar bill ate a lot easier to pull out of your pocket and stuff in the self serve box. I also sell some 2 lb. jars at $10 per. Sometimes more than one to a customer. Many repeat customers and at least one drops off a cleaned return jar.

    I do plan on leaving a ledger there this year just to see where folk may be coming from. I believe one customer last year may have been from Quebec.

    Cheers, Paul
     
  7. Marbees

    Marbees Member

    Messages:
    983
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Re: Alfalfa Negotiations

    Here in Toronto I sell 500 gram jars for $10.00 (lb is 454 grams)
    Last month in my condo building, we had "craft sale", residents selling things they make.
    Sold 30 jars in just over 2 hours.
    There are three stores selling my honey for $9.50 - $9.90, and I'm getting $7.00 for it.
    In small towns honey is going for $12.00/kilogram retail. :confused:
     
  8. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Are you looking to sell honey wholesale or retail? Do you want to earn a paycheck every month? Do you have enuf honey to sell all year around? Do you want to Maximize profit or undersell because you can afford to?

    Or do you only want to sell all the honey you make from a small number of hives and do so until it runs out?

    An Instructor in a My Small Business 101 Class asked me one time, "Do you want to sell to Neiman Marcus or WalMart?

    Think about it. Decide what you want to do. It's all part of marketing. Or, maybe you'd rather just keep bees.
     
  9. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I sell glass qts.(3#) for $13.25, glass pints (24oz.) 7.25, 24oz. bears $7.25, 12oz. bears $4.00 and a 8oz box of comb honey for $4.00. Our club members sold honey at the Ozark Empire Fair, Spfld. Mo. for $15.00 a qt. and chunk honey qts. for $18.00 and honey sticks 5 for a dollar and we sold out. :thumbsup: We had to raise our prices to cover what percent the Fair got.I keep my produceat a fair price, if you have to take much back home it will go bad,not the same with honey. Jack
     
  10. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    sqkcrk,i've had 72 hives the last two years, but only 40 some were honey producers and they made 35 five gal. buckets of honey and five shallow supers of comb honey. :thumbsup: The rest are new splits and swarms i caught. My customers (mostly friends and neighbors) want local honey and produce and look me up at the farmers market or come to the farm, they know where it came from. Vendors at our farmers market can only sell what they grow or produce on their farm.Some have been kicked out for breaking the rules.So yes, i sell what i produce each year and usually sold out by new years (i have 6 qts. left from last year). For the last two years i have been the top honey producer in our bee club (over a hundred members)maybe because i have 7 bee yards in 4 different counties? Anyway i love what i'm doing and one day i won't be able to keep it going, but until then. :drinks: Jack
     
  11. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "some have been kicked out for breaking the rules"

    I sometimes wish market boards were a little more stringent myself too. The market I was at was supposed to have a "primary" and "secondary" producer rule that was almost always being broken in order to keep tables rented out. Some of the stuff would actually belong more at a craft fair than a farm market. You have folks with no hives buying beeswax and then selling candles and such at the market. I know my candle sales dropped when this happened.
    There is also supposed to be no "predatory" pricing (undercutting other vendors by a substantial amount to drive them out) and yet the moment I was unable to maintain an active presence at the market, the maple-syrup vendor started selling a commercial guys honey for 30% less than what I was.
    We had a disabled guy with a fish trailer there every week for as long as I lived there but a couple years ago they allowed another outfit that had 3 stepvans in selling the same thing, just with a fancy setup.
    The pie is the same size folks, now everyone just gets a smaller piece.
    I know I mentioned this before and it probably sounds like I'm bi*c*ing, but sometimes I wish there was a little more "vendor loyalty" out there. There were days during the winter market that I barely made enough to cover the table cost, but I was there! But the moment life throws you a curve it's like "move over, get out of the way."
    I understand what's best for the market as a whole is the most important thing but it can be hard to swallow sometimes!
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    well Perry if you need to b@#$h at least you are doing so to a crowd that doesn't mind listening.

    we have much the same problem as Jack has referred to here. might I suggest it is time to get someone else to run the market. *warning Will Robinson*... anyone running such an outfit should know they are walking the fine edge of a knife blade here. more customers=more sellers or vice versa (this is in total contradiction to Perry's same size pie analogy). at the same time anyone running a farmer's market can add so many sellers that the net effect is to displace existing producer due to tendency of more sellers to drive down price. since agricultural producer are typically totally unfamilar with their cost structure this means they really have no concept of at what dollar figure they are loosing money. this also typically means they are totally incapable of having any idea of the shape of their own industries supply function <so they are incapable of recognizing the trade off between #/unit and quantity.
     
  13. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I never considered Farm Mkts worthwhile as a means to make money selling honey, especially after I built market presence in stores throughout my region. Were I to sell honey at a Farmers Mkt I would be competeing w/ myself in essence, since I would be selling honey in the town(s) where I already sold honey to stores.

    Besides, whether I did or not, I always figured I could make more money spending time working my bees rather than sitting at a booth selling honey.

    Unless you are selling more than just honey or you are selling honey and other hive products in a really big regional farm market, I don't see how they are profitable. Though I am sure they are profitable enuf for some folks or they wouldn't exist.
     
  14. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Our town (less than 2000 population) and surrounding area towns is our customer base. Our market manager will allow just so many to sell the same products (tomato's, corn, cucumbers, peppers, ect.) so venders don't have to take veg. back home. The old honeyman died (91 yrs. old) and she ask me if i would sell my honey there, and i'm the only one selling honey at the market :thumbsup: Our market only has 12 to 20 vendors (depending the time of season) and we ask each other what price they are selling their products for (like tomato's, corn, peppers, ect) and try not to under cut each other.( we can price what we want to) We had some vendors selling veg. at a higher price and still had these products when everyone else were out. Come to find out they were buying there products at a vegtable auction and had to sell higher to make a profit (a religious group?) and were kicked out,sad but they knew the rules.We have a good time at the market and make enough to pay our taxes and go to Big Mac once in a while. :mrgreen: Jack