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Thread: nuc contracts

  1. #1
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    Default nuc contracts

    I am comtemplating selling nucs and and am curious if anyone has a bill-of-sale/contract they use when selling nucs? I want to sell the nuc 'as is' with no guarantee or follow-up support supplied. I indend to sell good quality nucs but want to make sure the buyer understands that I am not liable for its success or failure later on and I don't want to get in the free beekeeping advice business. While on the subject, does anyone supply a simple check list of what the buyer should do with the nuc? thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by wglord View Post
    I don't want to get in the free beekeeping advice business.
    Perhaps since you posted this in the commercial section, you don't plan on dealing with local hobbyist beekeepers, but if not, you may need to rethink that plan. I sell queens to a local community of beekeepers, and I will tell you that giving "free advice" is a big part of doing business. I would have a lot of wink-wink "failed" queens if I didn't take time to educate my customers on the proper care and treatment. I suspect that the same would be true in the nuc business.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    Don't want to give free bee advise, but here wanting some?

    I don't think there really is a release from liability.... if you want to sell bees you will have to accept that you are going to have to give advise. May be you should consider selling your nucs in bulk at wholesale to somebody selling retail.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    One of the things that has helped my sales of nucs has been my willingness to be available by phone anytime. I have many repeat customers or customers who come to me via word of mouth because of this. Why would you not want your customers to be successful? Your repeat business will be well worth it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    I try to contain my sales to recent students or folks affiliated with beekeeping clubs, many of which have had or currently have some sort of mentor. I found it challenging to become the defacto mentor to all of the nuc customers although like others here have posted, I have spent time with them before, during and after sales. I stopped selling nucs to folks who have not participated in a class or some other form of education. There are 9 counties in our area that teach a beginning Bee School (at a minimum) so this is not an unrealistic expectation. But, that being said, the class does not always = educated beekeeper. At least in our particular County class we spend time educating folks what is a nuc and what to expect from a nuc as well as how to install a nuc which helps.
    As for "contract" it is sort of a balancing act. We operate in good faith doing what we can to help folks out with problems while not promising replacement for "failure." which 9.5 times out of 10 is really beekeeper error. We sell a lot of overwintered nucs and the biggest issue is that they are very prone to swarming, but even with swarming, customers tell me that more of my nucs live through the winter compared to the packaged bees the same customer got.
    karla

  6. #6
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    I understand why Wg wants a contract... he is a very busy guy. And I can speak from experience that selling nucs can be very time consuming on the "consumer support" - most buyers are new bees and assume that your mentorship is part of the sale. We sold nucs for a couple of years... 95 one year and 200 the next... in the evening it was a full time job to field the phone calls. A contract might help to diminish the onslaught of phone calls.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  7. #7
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    Sell them as a cash final sale. Guarantee them a certain range of brood,honey and with laying queen.
    I have no contract, all you need is final sale on the bill.

    But advice and phone calls or emails goes with the territory
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    Don't want to give free bee advise, but here wanting some?

    I don't think there really is a release from liability.... if you want to sell bees you will have to accept that you are going to have to give advise. May be you should consider selling your nucs in bulk at wholesale to somebody selling retail.
    Sure hope you give good advice because so far the plan is a looser. I sell packages and queens and gear and have to go out to customers sites sometimes and help. It is all about your service and if you plan to give none you will only get the really newbies and no return customers.

    Sometimes you will have to replace or discount a stupid customer 2nd purchase because they did not listen the first time. Nordstroms built that company on CS and you will have to do the same. They took back a set of tires once and they did not carry tires, they sell cloths. All about CS and that includes advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by wglord View Post
    While on the subject, does anyone supply a simple check list of what the buyer should do with the nuc? thanks
    1.) Place in sunny location.
    2.) Feed Feed Feed
    3.) Find a Nuc sales guy that is willing to give post sale advice.

  9. #9
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    Lewistown,Pa,USA
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    I would say EastSideBuzz hit the nail on the head. I do try to limit the phone time and use email but there are times you need to talk to someone or go to their site to figure out the issue. The trick is to know what your limits are and only take on the orders you can handle but remember good people sometimes take on to much and are overwhelmed.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    I just started selling a few and find it very time consuming.
    I have people show up before dark and insist that they look at the Nucs they are purchasing. I ask them point blank if they are happy with the product. Sometimes people don't want to look at everyone or pull frames, I repeat that I want them to look and judge and be happy with what they choose to buy. I give them a basic overview get them to agree that I sold them a healthy product.
    That said I still get calls and have chose to replace queens, offer advise, go look at hives, give brood etc. Stuff that goes above and not nessecarily my responsibility but easy enough for me in my position to do.

    If I had to sell as is I would try to shoot for the following.
    Sell only to people that I had a long standing developed good relationship with.
    Sell an exceptional product at a price shy of market
    Sell all my product to one contact ( I don't think you can hang up on someone you sell to,so that limits time spent)
    Inspect with contact and possible delivery with re inspection upon delivery. Takes time but you can schedule it and gives you a chance to reinforce as is status.

    Can you wholesale them?
    Hire someone to sell them for you?
    If you know someone that wants to deal with the hassle has extra queens and time maybe you could drop Nucs off at there place and forward calls to them. They maybe able to mark up enough being full service to make it worth it.

    I've little experience so take it for what it's worth

  11. #11
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    When I first started selling to hobbyists my intentions were good I gave heaps of advice plus made site visits. But this eventually became impossible, when you are getting called every 1/2 hour you just can't run the actual business, plus definately can't go and see them all. And it's amazing how a nubee can have so many problems when they started out with a perfectly good nuc.

    What I do is tell them upfront that time will prevent me giving good backup service, but I can be called if it's serious. I get them to buy a locally published book that covers everything in a very understandable format, tell them to join the bee club, and introduce them to our local bee forum. The bee forum is great, I can chat with them, and other knowledgeable people can also so the burden is not just on me.

    I had a hard lesson with one of the first nucs I sold when I started doing this again a few years ago. It went to a mother and daughter combo, no man in the house. They kept calling me and asking me to go there to fix this and that. I would explain on the phone but there would always be some reason I had to go there. towards the end of year 2, I realised they had never actually opened the hive, unless I was there. When I mentioned this was costing me in time and travel costs, she said a good way to solve that would be move the hive to my place.

    Presumably I would then just give them a call when their honey was ready and in jars so they could collect it!

    At that point I realised I would have to cut them loose, which I did, and it did cause some ill will. But it also brought home to me there has to be limits.

    I agree with the other posters that customer service is paramount. It's a hard line to walk though and there is no one answer.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #12
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post



    I had a hard lesson with one of the first nucs I sold when I started doing this again a few years ago. It went to a mother and daughter combo, no man in the house. They kept calling me and asking me to go there to fix this and that. I would explain on the phone but there would always be some reason I had to go there.

    I think they just liked you....

  13. #13
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    "Toward the end of year two"


  14. #14
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    It went to a mother and daughter combo, no man in the house. They kept calling me and asking me to go there to fix this and that. I would explain on the phone but there would always be some reason I had to go there.
    Surrogate Dad and hubby.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    I would forget the contract and perhaps have a brief dislcaimer on your receipt that indicates beekeeping is an ongoing repsonsiblity for beekeepers to gain education and conduct good animal husbandry with their bees. We send every beekeeper a link to an educational video when we get an order and usually have a pretty steady few that we "advise" on problems through out the season. You sometimes have a customer you can't satifsy no matter what and often it is better to refund them and put them on the no sell list in the future. They'll let you know who they are long before they ever get their nuc. We alway get the in depth e-mail and people learn quick a picture of a problem is worth a thousand words in many cases. The phone is a time killer as is are the lingerers at the time of nuc pick up but it's part of the "deal". Have video's and books you can reccomend as resources. E find e-mail is the only way and if you sell nucs plan to spend some time with customer support before and after the sale. I hate nuc deposits and sell mostly in 5 frame MDA's. We don't transfer nucs nor do we let customers as too often we find a queen on a lid or dead in the bottom later in the day. Make good rules, let your customers now them and stick with them. Nucs are time consuming to make, check and deal with, queens are expensive and frames and foundation eat up honey production so don't under price. If you are selling 100 and doing a good job 5 or 10 will have a problem of some kind that's your fault, their fault or the bees fault and with all the newbees that may increase so customer service and follow up will be the norm.
    The good news is if you do it right you can get rich quick like the rest of us :-)

  16. #16
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    Joel what is that educational link you mentioned, can you post it?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #17
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    I'll pm it so we don't crash the clubs bandwidth with 24,000 views in the next two days.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    LOL

    I'll look forward to getting it, if it's applicable to people I sell to I might share it with them.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #19
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    Default Re: nuc contracts

    I sold 45 nucs last year with great success. In talking to customers on follow ups 2 of them failed before fall the customers stayed in touch and I gave advice when it was needed no charge. Free bees I told customers I would replce the nucs this spring just cause they stayed in touch sent pics. One that failed was their fault the other don't know. I will replce them just good business and I already have 50 orders and haven't even started yet. Don't give advice might jump up and burn you.

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