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Thread: Better bee

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    Hello everyone,

    I have ordered regularly from betterbee for about 6 years now, and my overall experience has been a positive one.

    I have experienced a few of the problems mentioned above, but not often enough to cause concern. If I were to make a recommendation for improvement, it would be to have more inventory on hand as I have had problems, at times, getting product when I needed and having to backorder or go somwhere else.

    Edited 1/20/07 for spelling.

    [size="1"][ January 20, 2007, 09:03 PM: Message edited by: ikeepbees ][/size]
    Rob Koss

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,549

    Post

    I use Betterbee on a regular basis, and have for years. I get my labels from them and can find things in their catalog that just isn't offered elsewhere, they have a great selection.

    My experience with them has been mostly positive. There have been a few backorders, with at times an entire order held up waiting for one particular piece, unbeknownst to me until I call asking about the delayed delivery. This can be a problem when waiting for an important item. I now make sure shipping is NOT held under those conditions. Telephone contact has been a very few times overly abrupt, with the operator not willing to take the extra step to facilitate customer satisfaction, but never outright rude. Mostly it has been friendly and helpful. I am a patient person and the few issues were resolved in a timely satisfactory manner. When a time or two an item was not shipped it was sent along no questions asked.

    My one complaint, and it is a big one, often influencing my decision to buy elsewhere if I can, is the often slow fullfillment/shipping. It is not uncommon to wait 2 weeks+ for an order, and I always assume a week-10 days. I do lots of purchasing country wide (just ask my husband, ha!) and their shipping is amongst the worst of any I have dealt with. They are loosing lots of business, I see from this thread, much of it due to fullfillment issues. I too would be ordering a much larger percentage of our needs if this problem could be assuaged.
    Their policy does allow for expidited shipping but at extremely exhorbitant prices. I do a mail order biz also so I know the costs involved and the options available, it would behoove them to take a serious look at these fullfillment/shipping issues.

    I am so glad to see the attention to this thread that Shane is giving, and I commend him and his company. I hope this attention results in positive changes and improvement in the areas of concern. I as a customer would surely welcome them, spring buying season is coming up fast. 8-)
    Sheri

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,650

    Post

    I looked at the first post and noted that Shane, the manager of Betterbee, responded to the complaint in about 3 hours. This on a public forum, to a message that wasn't even addressed to him. That says a lot about paying attention to customers in my opinion. Good for him.

    I don't order much from anyone east of the Mississippi. Shipping costs are just too high. For example, an assembled nuc from Betterbee that sells for $23.95 costs an additional $13 dollars to ship to me in the middle of nowhere. That's not Betterbee's fault of course, everyone has the same problem.

    What's intriguing about this thread is that a company goes to the effort to come on a public forum and is willing to suffer the slings and arrows for some reason. It suggests to me that not only are they interested in the customer who had a problem, but also that they recognize that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of existing and potential customers who are reading this. Which leads me to the purchasing power of the members here.

    A couple of years back we discussed a buying club or co-op of some sort to pool orders and solicit bids from either supply houses or directly from manufacturers. It seems that with over 5,000 registered members it might be time to take a look at that again. I know of co-ops that serve the building materials industry and the retail furniture industry. For the most part they can provide a method to lower costs to the buyer without compromising the profits of the manufacturer or supplier. I believe there are other suppliers on this board who might be interested.

    I volunteer Bjorn to explore this avenue since he's already buying a considerable volume. I would expect that if it came to fruition that the person in charge would be compensated by commissions or really, really deep discounts.

    [size="1"][ January 21, 2007, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: coyote ][/size]
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Andover, Massachusetts
    Posts
    143

    Post

    In defense of Betterbee customer service. . .

    Anytime I have ordered and items are on backorder, I have received an email stating that some of the items are on back order and to email them if I want the instock items to ship immediately, or to do nothing if I want to wait and have everything shipped together.

    Whever I have had them on the phone, customer service has been polite and helpful.

    The only time things I have tried to get were backordered were when I was trying to buy something that was "in season" like trying to buy hive bodies in April or May, the same time everyone else was trying to buy them.

    I have found that it is sometimes easier to just pick up the phone and call them and place the order if it is something I think might be backorderd and I need it right away. That way, I know if it's in stock and will ship, and if it's not then I will have to go with someone else.

    Thank you Shane for taking the time to reply on here, regardless of the criticism.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    75

    Post

    I order from several suppliers, picking and choosing items from each, and I will say that Betterbee generally has the best service of any of them! Much better than Mann Lake.
    Garry

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Post

    I have nothing but GOOD things to say about Betterbee. I buy almost all of my plastic bottles/containers from them.

    Here is a tip: when you order a "free shipping" bulk order of plastic containers, make that one order.

    If you order anything else, have it shipped separately. Mixing bulk "free shipping" and regular paid shipping items messes up the order. But this is an observation based on experience, not a complaint.

    Other than that, I'll order from them again and again.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    I've ordered bee equipment from all of the major suppliers, Betterbee among them, and most of the manufactures. And I can't complain about any of them. No kidding. I've certainly got better, more honest service from the bee side than I have from some other segments I've dealt with.

    I haven't found the bee side quite up to the speed found in say the jit based high tech industries. But I haven't really approached it from that angle either. I guess I'm just an old bee farmer :&gt

    Regards
    Dennis

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Thaxton, Mississippi
    Posts
    462

    Post

    The only problem I have had with Betterbee is like Grant says. Ordering Bulk (Free Shipping) along with other items. It seems the shipping charges get complicated. Only had problems on one small order, but after contacting them everything was worked out. I wish they were not so for away. They have some items that I cannot find elsewhere.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    I'm sure price increases are going to be across the board with all the suppliers. I did, however, place an order with Betterbee today while looking at the 2006 catalog (haven't received the 2007 model yet) and the price of one of the items I ordered has gone up over 19% for 2007. Might want to check the new catalogs closely as they come in this year.
    Rob Koss

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Randolph County, Indiana
    Posts
    693

    Post

    I recently placed an order for 25lbs of deep unwired brood foundation. They didn't wait until it was warm to send the foundation as other companys do. I don't remember the exact date, but they sent it in late Dec, or early Jan. About 60% of the foundation is broken and unusable, and all of it is brittle from being shipped in cold weather. Embedding will only break it. The best I can do with it is melt it down and use it to paint wax on foundationless frames.

    That being said, I emailed them about the problem. I was called the next business day, and the lady said they made a mistake and that they usally hold that until warmer weather. She stated that they would send me new foundation when its warm enough to ship. I haven't received it yet, and the reason is that its still cold. Lets see how they ultimately solve this problem. When the weather turns warm, I should receive a replacement order free of any cost or inconvience to me. Lets see if they keep their promise to make this right.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I got the new catalog the other day and it's got a lot of new items in it for this year. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    All of you people going to eight frame equipment should take a look, it's chock full of eight frame stuff.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    581

    Post

    I ordered about $5,000 of equipment about 7 years ago, and my attitude was: Better Bee needs better employees! I am happy to see that Better Bee is giving better service that just lip service. I will try ordering from Better Bee again.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Got my catalog today, great assortment.

    I have a hunch this post will be good for Betterbee and the customers. Shane apparrently has a great deal of pride in the company, has responded positively here and I'll bet has already had a staff meeting or 2 to make positive change.

    I can hardly wait to place my order! Anyone in my area interested in splitting the fuel for a trip to Greewich?

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Madisonville, Texas
    Posts
    438

    Post

    As a grower I know what it is like to feel you have been messed with. I also know because of my occurrence with a customer how important it is to have fellow beeks step up to the plate in support of each other.
    My deal was I picked, or had picked for me, several boxes of blackberries to a local store. Upon delivery the store canceled the order. This cost me a lot of money. Berries only last a few days. I had to freeze them thus losing money.
    Not one grower in the farmers market stopped doing business with that store. I felt there just isn't any cohesion among similar businesses any more. I felt others should stop doing business with this store because of what he did to me thus making a lasting impression. If you mess on one of us, you do it to all of us.
    I think we as beeks should have that attitude toward those who mess on us and don't make thing right. At least this type of action would only need to be done once or twice and the owners would make sure this does not happen again.
    This would not be done to those who made a mistake and cleared things up.
    We would agree not to give that business any of our business until the problem was properly resolved to the satisfaction of the one who was wronged.

    It is this type of brotherly cohesion that farmers had years ago and got respect, this is the same purpose unions use. When a business feels they offend one but there are many more to do business with them, they have the attitude of what the heck. I am not saying this is the attitude of the business mentioned above, I have never done business with them, I did order my first catalog from them today though.

    What say you?
    ;) Good Day Craig W.<br /><a href=\"http://www.weaversproduce.mysite.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.weaversproduce.mysite.com</a>

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Harriman, Tn
    Posts
    175

    Post

    Well I guess I’m a lot different when I get poor service from a company I will not support that company again and I will spread the word about how poor the service was. Some people were impressed about how the fast responses were from Shane in a public forum. Now I would have been impressed if they would have called me and worked out the problems or just shipped the order for free.

    But never less I bought my $8500 worth of supplies from Kelley, Dadant, and Brushy Mountain. Even a small time beekeeper should get great service out of a supplier.

    Thank you
    Keith

  16. #36
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edgefield County, South Carolina
    Posts
    651

    Post

    Great idea Coyote! Maybe a discount card issued by Beesource for a small dicount card fee, with the proceeds from the card going to help upkeep the site. Of course the member(s) would have an option not to purchase a card if he/she chooses.
    sc-bee

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,139

    Post

    I received a betterbee catalog last week and was impressed with the wide selection of items offered. When I first read this thread, I thought that I would probably stay away from ordering from betterbee, but after following all the posts, I have to say that I will absolutely become a customer shortly. You know, everyone and every company makes mistakes. When they sincerely try to make it right by me, I usually am pretty forgiving.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Frankfort, Kentucky
    Posts
    399

    Post

    Congratulation Shane – You certainly handled this in the professional manner that you are becoming well known for. Betterbee can certainly be proud to have a man of your caliber in the position that you are in.

    Rob Mountain
    Dadant Branch Manager
    Frankfort, Kentucky
    If a job is worth doing - Then do it well

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,068

    Post

    My 2 cents.

    I get most of my bottles from BB. I haven't had a problem with them. I continue ordering from them and frankly the turn around time for me seems to be fairly quick.

    I only have ordered online and so haven't had the "pleasure" of talking to anyone on the phone.

    I don't expect things to always go smoothly. I have had one issue or another with other bee supply places as well even the "bad attitude" or "condesceding tone" from others.

    Betterbee will continue to get my business.... and all you 8-framers out there outta be happy that there is another 8-frame supplier now.... [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Post

    My two online orders from BetterBee last year were filled/shipped quickly without any problems. They were small orders, one being bottles, buckets & misc supplies, the other being labels. I'm a satisfied customer.

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