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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Danbury, CT
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    Default Too many turning to the internet?

    Bee people are a special breed who have a tendency to spend their days working around the homestead or at the local library rather than spend it searching the internet. I frequently get calls from people looking for bees who do not have internet or email or facebook. They get my name from the local bee club, extension agencies, word of mouth etc. I often hear the complaint that they can't find bees anywhere and when I ask if the searched the internet they just laugh...

    Are too many of us forsaking a huge customer base by moving operations to the internet? I don't operate a website as I don't need to. I could not meet demand if I did. I spend a little money on local news paper ads which is where the bulk of my sales come from. I do place ads online, but from what I can tell it only accounts for a small % of my sales.

    I think too many are depending on the internet and forgetting that, even today, there are many without internet access.. When planning your marketing strategy don't forget the value of black and white print ads or showing your face at your local bee meetings.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
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    1,472

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    I agree with you,Bluegrass. If you get your face out there, you will be known.
    I'm really small-time, harvesting 300-400 lbs of honey a year on average. I was secretary of our beeclub for the last 5 years, and have a modest blog page.
    Some other things I've done that all beekeepers can do are:
    Sell at the local farmers market if you have enough honey
    Write a one time guest column for your local newspaper.
    Give talks at schools and libraries, and local grange if you have one.
    Partner with your local independent movie theatre to show a bee-related movie followed by a Q&A session.
    Do a hands on demonstration in your beeyard for interested newbees.
    We just help organize a "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" and had a great turnout of local farmers and the public.
    But, Don't underestimate the value of the internet. Just to see, I typed in the the city I live in and the word honey and was the first entry that came up. When I tried it with the county and the word honey, I came up first and third, so people looking will find your info on the internet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brandon, Florida
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    I agree with you but my kids would not. With out the internet they would never find you. I have started to dislike the new internet. I like the old internet. Something GOOGLE did was too en-personal I find the new search goes to not fun stuff but all to business. I think it is called the internet two. Or the second internet. Ya it kind of sucks. But not if you are a business.

    If you think this is bad wait till you break down and need a phone . There is not any pay phones any more.

    The last two nukes I bought was from a member of the local group so ya some times the internet is not all .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Danbury, CT
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    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    I would like to leave the internet completely, return to a time when you had to go to the library to do research. knew who your friends were because you saw them regularly, not because they "liked" something you posted.

    The next generation is going to have absolutely no personal skills.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    I agree with the intent of this thread, but (as was already stated) don't underestimate the power of the internet too. I posted an ad for "bee removal" on Craigslist before the swarm season came into full swing here, and I'm still getting calls to remove hives faster than I can build boxes to put 'em in! Definitely the best $0.00 I EVER paid for advertising!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
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    1,472

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    we still plant a garden, compost, recycle,put up sauce, make our own soap, and don't have tv service, but there have been countless instances where I've found things or information I needed that I would never have found without the internet. Then again, I have searched for simple bits of information and gotten the runaround trying to find a place that has it. One place I really dislike is Amazon. Because they are such a dominant force, you can look for anything and amazon comes up, but clicking on it usually doesn't get you what you're looking for and is a big waste of time. I wouldn't mind going back in time to having lots of stores on main street and ordering from a sears catalog.
    I can just imagine someone today placing an order for something and seeing the print that used to be on the bottom of the form saying "allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MN, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    I miss rotary dial telephones.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,217

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    You had a dial? When I was a kid there was no dial. You just picked it up and a very nice lady said "Your number, please" and after you said something like 378, she said "On moment, please"...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    You had a dial? When I was a kid there was no dial. You just picked it up and a very nice lady said "Your number, please" and after you said something like 378, she said "On moment, please"...
    Or she might say "actually Don is gone to Omaha for the week end to see his mother.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    Michael - you at THAT old?!?! I remember having to dial. But we used RO-7625. Or whatever. And sometimes there was another party already on the line and you had to wait till they hung up. Oh yeah - those were the days!

    I am an avid Internet proponent. This is obviously the way things are headed, for sure. But most keepers are "old timers" in my neck of the woods, and they are an important segment not to be forgotten. Again, for sure.

    But I gotta laugh still. I set up a website for our local club. When we put it to vote, all the old-timers were absolutely certain that if we set it up and put their name "out there" in cyber spacce that their checking accounts would be promptly and immediately drained of all funds. It took about an hour of explaining and promises to never, ever put their name out there in the public (regardless that the phone book has all that information anyway), but we got it through.

    I agree that relating personally is a skill that is being lost.
    As with all things, balance.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,013

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    Last I checked the internet is not a great venue for selling. And yes I have owned a web site offering items for sale. IF I where to try and sell bee related items on the net it is forums such as this that woudl get my attention. IF I want to sell bee products such as honey then I want to find groups with people that would be in that market. That is the only really effective way I have found to sell on the net. One advertiser here, a local beekeeper is getting some business from me. Other suppliers have gotten my business as a direct result of information I have gotten here. I believe that forums are a far more powerful marketing tool than suppliers have yet realized. Otherwise it has been shown people use the net for information gathering but still prefer the hand on shopping at a store to purchase.

    build a web site so that it is convenient to show others what you have. but you still have to get personal with your customer, actually speak to them etc. pictures do not sell products. web sites do not sell products, salespeople sell products and that will never change.
    I make writing pens and a sale can take as much as a year. I had a web site that consisted of over 50 pages. Not one person every just looked at my site and selected a pen to buy. there was always a lengthy back and forth of me finding out what they where lookign for and then directing them to the best selection for them.

    How this translates to bees. talking to a customer and recommending to them what will fit there need. an 8 oz jar of honey or a 1 lb jar. Do they need a package or a nuc? 8 frame, 10 frame, med, deep? you name it they have questions. and no web site ever answers all the questions. when they don't customers go somewhere else looking for the answers. That is why I think sales on forums such as this work better.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brandon, Florida
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    The phone thing is funny. I like the sound of the old phones the new electronic phones get on my nerves. And yes when I was young my parents had a rotary phone, black. And yes it was a party line with three on the line. And yes we did get out milk delivered to the door.
    Gash now I need to put something in my coffee to make me feel better.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cookeville, TN
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    There is a definite generation and location gap for internet use. I just moved down to TN in the last 2-3 years from a more suburban area in MD. I'm still surprised to talk to people down here that dont have the internet whereas in MD I dont think I even knew anyone that didnt have it. Its actually caused a couple of problems for the local beekeepers club since people that dont have the internet have missed meeting changes in location.

    I personally find the internet quite useful and rely on it maybe a little too much. I'd rather buy something online, most brick and mortar stores tend to only carry a few models of any type of product if your lucky, most times they usually only carry one. Whereas with the internet I can find through research and reviews exactly which model I want and usually buy it. And the best thing of all, they'll deliver it to my door

    I think if you forego a website for your business in this day and age you'll miss out on a significant amount of business since there is a large amount of people who will turn to the internet first for their shopping needs.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brandon, Florida
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    quevernick is correct and said it very well.

    I take it bluegrass you are thinking about how to do the internet thing. First I will say you do not need to set up a store to use the internet. It is very good for people networking. A good web site will help meet people and let people know who you are. So if you do a site spend a little and let some one with an art background in graphic art help you not some one that just reads the books on how the internet works. Heck the local high school may have a program. And get your own internet name the kids can show you how. You may judge a magazine by its cover and that is graphic arts at its best.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    St.Francis County, MO USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    Most people I know would not buy a house if it did not have broadband. I made sure mine did before i moved, i turned down better deals because no internet.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    I'm an advocate of the Internet as it has greatly reduced the time and distance that formerly limited our communication. I hate the Internet as it has reduced our personal contact and eliminated our voice inflections and tone...unless you type in all caps and I have to tell you to quit shouting!

    What amazes me is how the Internet, cell phones, GPS has made our brains quit working. No one can add or spell anymore! My kids can't talk to me without texting!

    I also stand amazed at people who feel the Internet is something evil that will suck their very souls right out of their finger tips as they type on the computer.

    It also seems Henry Ford had problems with his horse-less carriage. Look what that did for us! I also remember when Wal-Mart was evil and no one would shop there. Now there is no one who doesn't.

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

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
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    2,887

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    Um...Walmart is evil and I don't shop there

    I am not very old in comparison to many on here, but we also had a rotary phone on a party line when I was a kid. But that was Vermont, still plenty of areas there without access to cable TV. My fisrt cell phone was completely useless.... it would work if you were in-town where there was a dozen pay phones near by... other than that....

    Now to get back on track... Don't over look the yellow pages for advertising... it is relatively cheap and the www quickly pick up phone listing in the yellow pages. It is also print, so if you are in it for one year it is likely that you will be in it for 5-10 years as people don't throw them out.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    When you say you took out ads in the local newspaper, do you mean a classified ad? I had wondered for the price newspapers charge for the add if it would be worth it.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
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    2,887

    Default Re: Too many turning to the internet?

    Yes classified ads. I advertise in two different papers. The ads cost about $3.50 a week
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

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