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Thread: Selling Honey

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Rapidan, VA. U.S.A
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    Hi, after a wet, wet spring and summer here in central VA, and thinking I would not have much of a honey crop, I find myself having much more than expected. I got 160lbs off of two hives. Now I need to sell some of it.

    I have talked to a local country store near by, and they are interested in selling it in their store. My question is what is an appropriate money cut for them that will be fair to both parties. There is another little store near by that sells someone elses honey for four dollars for a 13.5 oz hex jar, but it doesn't get near the customer traffic that the one I will be selling at. I was thinking somewhere in that price range for mine.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Kansas
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    I have a women who wants honey from me real bad. She offered to pay 2.25 a pint to resell for 5.00. She even offered to buy the bottles for me....

    I don't have any to sell her this year but maybe next year. Her customers want local raw honey from beehives that haven't been treated with medications.

    And I don't blame them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Wyoming MN
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    406

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    In the retail market where I am, the gift shop markup is usually 100%. If they buy it for 1.00 they sell it for 2.00. With food products, it isn't usually as much of a markup.
    Then there is consignment. That means you get back what doesn't sell, but you also don't get paid until it sells. There, the cut can vary, right now where I sell mine, they take 25% of the price I put on it. Each place is different.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    >Her customers want local raw honey from beehives that haven't been treated with medications.


    Organic should bring a premium over regular production products. You should study the markets closer in your area and make sure that your honey reflects that.

    Bill

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
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    Hey Bill, I haven't studied the local organic prices. I don't even know what organic means in terms of honey. I don't think such product could literally exist.

    But, if standards have been prepared to allow for my honey to be considered organic, then I will have to learn what they are and follow those standards if possible.

    It could be that my brood spraying practices with wintergreen could affect it's quality/value, I don't know. But, I'll sell my products on the side of the road before I'll give my honey away at a dollar a pound or what have ye.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    >But, I'll sell my products on the side of the road before I'll give my honey away at a dollar a pound or what have ye.

    And which road would that be?

    Bill

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Be careful about labeling anything organic without checking the state first. Here in Pa, there is an extensive approval process and the cost is high. The state contracted with a firm to handle this requirement and its in thier best interest to enforce the standards. I found it not worth the cost when other terms such as "Wild", "Natural", "local", "Raw", "Pure", can be used for marketing. These words unlike "organic" are free.

    As for cost of honey. The two roads are different. One is what you may sell for at a market, flea market, bazarre, or from the house. You can fetch 3-4 dollars or more per pound. Of course you factor in the time your spending on a Saturday to sell your product. Is there a table set-up fee, etc? Count all the costs.

    Markets - The other road is your paying them, through lower cost to the vendor, an amount so they can profit for selling the product. An example would be to figure $1.50 per pound, throw in the cost of the bottle and label, and sell to the market at 1.95. They can turn around and mark-up 100% and sell for about 4 dollars a pound. Very reasonable around here.

    I personally preferr to sell to markets for the lower rate and not tie up my weekends etc.

    I won't elaborate, but sometimes tax advantages and accountability come into play as to who sells your honey. You figure it out.

    [This message has been edited by BjornBee (edited August 19, 2003).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    brown county,indiana,usa
    Posts
    571

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    i consider my honey much better than anything people around here can buy in a store, i don't use chemicals,my honey is usually very dark wildflower honey,nonfiltered.when people try it they are usually hooked.i sell it in quart mason jars for $10 a quart,no label,nothing fancy.if they can't appreciate it,they don't get any.i'm picking up regular customers by word of mouth on an ongoing basis.working out fine,no hassles,i'm a beekeeper not a salesman, and plan on keeping it that way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Kansas
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    Hey Bill

    "where're you at"?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
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    High Five me, hoosierhiver!

    I hear ya loud and clear.

    If I read the gov standards that meet with it's criteria for what they consider "organic" and if I decided for myself to label my products "organic" then I will.

    I will add that I have not paid the government for the use of the word "organic" but I will claim my first amendment rights.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Hoosierhiver,

    I never sold it in quart jars before. How many pounds make up a quart? Thanks.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Kansas
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    Coyote

    What's the difference in starting this year as opposed to next year?

    If I start this year, it's just start up costs and losses.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    97

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    Bjorn:

    60 # / per five gallon bucket, 12# per gallon and 3# per quart.

    This year I'm selling quarts in central Iowa for $9.25, two pound bears for $ 6.25, 12 oz. bears for $2.50 and 8 oz. bears for $1.75. This year I'm getting about $ 3.00/ lb. but that price does come down a litte for larger quantities. Refil containers are also based on quantity.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    859

    Big Grin

    do I have to label my honey? or not I sell to a fruit stand they mark it up 30 percent.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
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    393

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    You dont want to be trying to explain to the department of Ag why there is no label on your honey. It is not even legal to give honey away that is not properly labeled.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Coyote,

    All is true except I would like to expand on the comment about the losses only amounting to profit.

    All equipment bought prior to your first day of beginning a business can be deducted but must be depreciated or spread over a 5 to 6 year period. Except property, then its for 39 1/2 years. The first day of business is determined by you. But from that day forward, you better keep good records. Sometimes its hard to know when it went from a hobby to a business.

    Once you "officially" start a bee business, as long as it is a sole owner, the full amount of loss, like you said, can not exceed your profit. On a 1040, you would use schedule C, and the loss would carry over to the 1040 and deduct from your TOTAL income. This means that if you have another income producing job, this amount does come off the 1040 total.
    Example, you make 30,000 at your day job, made 2,000 from bees, but bought equipment at 6,000. On your Schedule C, it would show a business loss of 4,000. This amount would carry over and then be deducted from the 1040 total.
    The loss can only be carried or shown this way for no more than 2 of the first 5 years.


    Pay an accountant/tax professional, it will be the best hour spent.

    [This message has been edited by BjornBee (edited August 19, 2003).]

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    South Mississippi
    Posts
    128

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    So the best way is just cash for the small beekeeper, right?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Thats the secret as to when you "officially" become a business. Even as a business, much can be under the radar screen. I have markets who like the fact that they don't get invoices from me. They won't admit it but they are selling inventory and not recording it.
    There is a definite point that the penalty/chances of getting caught outwiegh the advantages of reporting income. I personally like reporting the deductions. It says that you must show profit 3 out of 5 years. They never said how much.

    When you sell to other markets who then resell to the consumer, they are responsible for collecting the state income tax.(In Pa.) You do not collect tax in selling to the markets because they are not the end-consumer. This is where alot of people get caught, selling the product themselves and not COLLECTING sales tax and RECORDING it and PAYING it. If your selling at the local Saturday market and do not have a tax number, although alot do it, it will be a matter of time till they catch you.

    I guess it comes down to your tolerance level in these type of matters. In any business, its easy to record the expenses, and easy to forget alot of the profit.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Wyoming MN
    Posts
    406

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    Check with your state's Dept. of Agriculture. In MN, honey is considered a food, and can be sold like tomatoes or sweet corn, as long as it is pure honey. As soon as I make creamed honey, it is considered a manufactured product, and must be done in an acceptable kitchen etc. There are label requirements, but no sales tax. Each state is different though, so the best thing to do is contact your state dept. and find out.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Thats what sucks about Pa. Comb honey is considered a pure agricultural product but the moment you extract it, it now becomes a manufactured product and is required to have all the certification crap and kitchen inspections. We are probably one of the most regulated states. I will say that most just operate untill they are caught and then you plead ignorance. This may work with the Ag. people but I know people who have done this with the IRS and it does not work so well.

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