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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Ithaca, New York
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    73

    Default I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    I've got 1600 lbs of honey so far this year, and I go to the "Marketing" section of this forum and there are only 10 threads in the entire forum. Apparently people on this forum are only interested in keeping bees, but have no need to do anything with their honey?

    How does one sell their honey if everywhere you look, there is someone else all ready offering honey. The farmers markets are full, the shops, groceries, and wineries all ready have someone supplying honey to them. So how does one either find new locations (when they all seem to be taken all ready), or 'convince' shops to stock your honey instead of someone else's? I know I don't want to undercut the competition pricing since that doesn't help anyone in the long run. 1600 lbs of honey is a bit more than I can just sell to friends/family/coworkers. I've gotten an offer from a local guy who is setup in the farmer's market to buy my honey wholesale, but when I can make 3 to 4 times as much by selling it retail I am not in a big rush to take the wholesale approach.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,939

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    nice harvest! how many hives are you running?

    if your not in a hurry some of those other suppliers may run out as the year progresses and there may be more of a market for yours.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    694

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    I'm one on this forum that is in it for the honey and there are many others.

    How much more is this harvest compared to what you normally harvest and sell to friends/family/coworkers?
    I guess it was unexpectedly large or a plan would have been made to sell it.

    Selling to shops, groceries etc. is not selling at retail prices, though it's better than wholesale in the bucket prices.
    Don't lose that wholesale guys number because you can't make 3-4 times as much money selling retail if you have no customers for it.
    Get to work finding retail customers who will pay the big bucks. Having an idea in mind about what to do with a big harvest before it happens helps.
    Or sit on it for a while a see what markets develop later in the year and next spring.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    Quote Originally Posted by keqwow View Post
    I've got 1600 lbs of honey so far this year, and I go to the "Marketing" section of this forum and there are only 10 threads in the entire forum.
    Really? When I go to " Forum > Business Side of Beekeeping > Marketing ", I see 211 threads.


    Quote Originally Posted by keqwow View Post
    How does one sell their honey if everywhere you look, there is someone else all ready offering honey.
    You're asking this after you produced 1600 lbs? Seems like it would have been good to figure this out before hand. But that said, when I look at most of the mom and pop shops around my area offering honey for sale, they don't just offer honey from one supplier. Most have several on the shelves and occasionally I'll see them sold out. So why assume that just because a shop has honey on the shelf today that they aren't interested in your honey or that the only way to get the shelf-space is by undercutting.


    By the way, you posted your message in the General Beekeeping section, not the Marketing section.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,367

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    Yes indeed in the middle of winter there can be shortages that you will be able to capitalize on.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    733

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    You could try selling it to the organizers of the local food coops that are probably in your area. The kind where the customers buy shares in whatever may be harvested at particular times of the growing season. Quick way of getting rid of quite a large amount if you contact more than one. I never sold it at wholesale to them, but close enough to retail deducting what was felt the worth of the bottling and labeling labor time. OMTCW

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    733

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    Craigslist is also an excellent adv. spot for honey near large cities. OMTCW

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    906

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    I had that problem too after spring harvest last year. Farmer's markets full, I can't sell to stores, because of Florida laws I can only sell face to face unless I want go commercial.

    I started going to a "community yard sale" e.g. flea market, that a local church holds 3rd Saturday of the month and I do well there. All I sell is honey and candles. I get a lot of people who call me between the sales dates.

    I envy your problem...I only had 100 lb surplus from spring harvest, and holding my breath for fall flow. Nice going!
    Don't be in a hurry to sell in case you get a bad season, you will still have plenty of honey. I'm out of honey and people asking when I'm going to get more. If I hadn't bulk sold some of last spring's, I might have had enough to get through til fall harvest. IMHO
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,041

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    I sell a lot to other beekeepers who are better salesman than I am and do not produce enough to fill their markets. I have found that as soon as they have a few bottles of honey they jump into a farmers market, and quickly run out. I am not sure that all the time it takes to bottle and label, load up and sit at markets and unload, pays for the difference between wholesale and retail. Unless you do that full time. I can make much more hourly as a landscape contractor. I am lucky to have had decades of established customers before all of the newbees flooded the market. I sold out last year, we will see how it goes this year. I don't feel that Craigslist works for selling honey in small sizes. I have sold five gallon buckets on Craigslist.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,149

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    Get a hat or pin that says "Local Honey For Sale" - wear it and keep a supply in your car all the time. Run free internet adds with your cell number, and be willing to deliver locally at some volume point. You will sell a steady stream and as the farmers markets and whatnot wind down your sales will pick up. Of course put your phone number on your labels. Over time you will establish customers who will call or want you to call them when the new crop comes in. Others might buy early and ask you to contact them again before you sell out.

    I also give a dollar a jar back to my family members that sell to their friends.

    I prefer this to sitting at the farmers market and it results in a more or less continuous income stream until I sell out - about February last year.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,410

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I don't feel that Craigslist works for selling honey in small sizes. I have sold five gallon buckets on Craigslist.
    I agree with this one, I posted an add just for fun to see what would happen...........not one hit on 1 pound bottles that were priced the same or less than other postings, and I was the only one in my area!!! Word of mouth and repeat customers have been very good to me this year, had one person buy a bottle, then called me to buy 4 more the next day!!

    I even put a sign out in my front yard to see what happens....got two hits, both from neighbors across the street!!LOL Of course my street is not busy at all.

    I am going to try and set up a stand in a busier area of town in a friends front yard and set the kids and I up and see what happens!! I actually like to sell out as fast as possible so I don't have to store reserves and I can use that money to buy wooden ware to make over the winter!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    hanceville, al
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    make a bunch of mead then concentrate it. nothing like honeyshine to brighten ones day.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,287

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    Quote Originally Posted by keqwow View Post
    How does one sell their honey if everywhere you look, there is someone else all ready offering honey.
    Wixson Honey Inc is just up the road from you near Dundee, NY. Otherwise you are going to have to find a market niche and fill it. Since you don't seem to want to sell your honey to your friend, you can buy jars at Wixson too.

    You could spend the money necessary to find and buy expensive jars and labels and try to get into a gourmet foods shop.

    Do you have a bottling tank? Getting $2.50/# for your honey is not bad compared to what it takes to bottle all of that honey and distribute it. Take the money.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,752

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    I would think you could sell 1600lbs pretty easy from the house just by using free internet ads and craigslist. Bevy had some good ideas too, keep your eyes open for any kind of gathering, church events, lots of churches will have fall festivals, community yard sells, things like that. You should be able to move your honey. Just don't be in a hurry. You have to remember summer is just ending so a lot of backyard beeks have there honey to sell. But, most of them will run out pretty fast which will leave their customers looking for it somewhere else. My guess is you will easily sell out and wish you had more honey to sell before your next big harvest next year.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    I'd be baking a lot more buscuits and making more cornbread.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,506

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    What to do with a lot of honey?

    Put on a heart of gratefulness by seeing the problem as a blessing...... Then start the networking if you don't like direct sales.

    Unless you are totally broke do NOT offer your BST at fire sale prices. Right now I am holding out for a buck more from my long time customer ( another beek) who sold out of all I provided them last year by December. She says I want to much for it and then I see her quoted in an AP article a few days later about the honey shortage in California. The only shortage I know of is the willingness to pay what it will take to pry it out of my hands. I know its value. She goes through a lot to get rid of it but considering their retail price last year is 3x what I want wholesale its not leaving at the current offering.

    If you store it properly you can sit on it for 10 years unlike a head of Cauliflower. Be patient.

    Once you get started the sales will snowball to the point where what you have in stock is inadequate. Be that retail or wholesale.

    Treat the customers like you want their grandchildren's business. Keep the jars clean, label them honestly and deliver when you say you will show up. The rest will fall into place.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,287

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    1600X$2.50=$4,000.00. Do you think you can double that w/ little effort? Take the money and reinvest it.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    868

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    Put it a buckets and sell it all for $3 a lb. 1600x$3.00=$4,800.00, or take some time and bottle it up and find a market for it for $8 a lb. What is your time worth????? 1600x$8.00=$12,800.00. Thats some real money to reinvest.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ithaca, New York
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    At $3.00/lb I might consider it. I haven't inquired, but I am assuming I am only looking at $2/lb if I sell it all wholesale. Even so, the few bottles I have sold have been at $7/lb, which is a lot more than $3/lb.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,287

    Default Re: I've got 1600 lbs of honey, now what?

    True. So what is keeping you from bottling the whole 1600 lbs? The things you mentioned in the first post?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



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