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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    114

    Default How do you compete?

    I just walked through our local farmers market, there is a guy selling liquid honey for $7 per kg and $18 for 3 kg ($3.2 per pound and $2.72 per pound) . How do I compete with that? is my honey really worth more if it is creamed?

    With those prices I may as well sell to the co-op and not have to worry about packaging and the labor involved in the packaging and come out ahead!

    I thought local honey was supposed to be worth more to people but these guys were just giving it away!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,575

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    Yes, creamed honey is worth more. You figure out what you have to have that makes bottling and selling your honey worthwhile to you and then sell it. Pay no further attention to what the other guys sell honey for. You may not sell as fast as you think you should, but you will make more profit than those other guys.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    mineral county,Montana USA
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    trying to compete with others pricing is a race to the bottom. make it look good, explain what it is and people should buy it. you don't want to sell out to quickly right?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    I sell honey at a local market for $10 a kg, my competitor $8 kg , specialty honey, I sell for $25 kg, my competitor $15 . I suggested to my competitor he should lift his price. His comment, " people complain about the price, has pensioners who regularly buy. etc etc". When he is there my sales are down a bit but not that much. I have a 2 frame observation hive with bees. Really attracts the people and kids. Have a good display, be friendly. Enjoy yourself. VALUE YOUR PRODUCT AND OTHER WILL TOO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    I never pay much attention to what others sell, I sell at $10.00/lb. and still sell out before I really want to. One thing that helps is I use an observation hive and it pulls people to my booth. Once they get there I talk a to them about what they are seeing, it doesn't take long and they start asking questions. Be willing to answer there questions if you know the answer and talk to them as much as possible, it makes them feel more comfortable. I use it as a chance to educate the public. To me the observation hive is a value-added product for my booth. People tend to buy if you've taken some time to talk to them. Also use a unique packaging that is different from your competitor. I use muth jars, syrup dispensers, and different size containers. Most of the people that sell around here generally use mason jars or just a couple sizes. I track the sizes I sell most and carry plenty of that size. If my competitor uses plastic, I use glass. If they sell quarts and pints, I sell smaller sizes like 12 and 8 once bottles. The main thing is to set yourself apart from your competitors.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    I think an observation hive would be a great thing to have I remember years ago when mom and dad used to sell vegetables at the farmers market in Winnipeg the vendor beside us had an observation hive. Anyone have any plans to build one?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    Quote Originally Posted by justin View Post
    trying to compete with others pricing is a race to the bottom. make it look good, explain what it is and people should buy it. you don't want to sell out to quickly right?
    I do not want to sell out too quickly but I would like to sell out before next years crop.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,575

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    How much do you have?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    I have not harvested yet, but I am expecting about 750 lbs this first harvest with another times that much after next month.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,306

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    It is not a lot of honey to sell. Once you start selling honey you will find you need more. $7.00/kg does not seem like a lot. At that price, best to sell it to the coop especially seeing that prices are around $4.60/kg. a smaller producer will need to shell out at least $1 for a jar and label probably more seeing as how you do not get volume discounts. Not a lot left to bottle it and sell it.

    I agree with Mark's strategy, figure out what you need to make it worthwhile and go from there.

    Jean-Marc

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    mineral county,Montana USA
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    when you have regular customers you will want to have some left when you harvest next years crop. you miss a sale, and people remember you running out. maybe not a big deal in your market, but huge in mine. these people never forget. you miss one farmers market and they spend the rest of the summer asking if you'll be here next week.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,575

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    One of the first rules of show BUSINESS is "Leave them wanting more.".
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,808

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    I never pay much attention to what others sell, I sell at $10.00/lb. and still sell out before I really want to.
    me too. I never worry about what others charge.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake County Ill
    Posts
    390

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    What type of observation hive do you use? Is there a observation hive into which i could slide a couple of frames?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpbees View Post
    I never pay much attention to what others sell, I sell at $10.00/lb. and still sell out before I really want to. One thing that helps is I use an observation hive and it pulls people to my booth. Once they get there I talk a to them about what they are seeing, it doesn't take long and they start asking questions. Be willing to answer there questions if you know the answer and talk to them as much as possible, it makes them feel more comfortable. I use it as a chance to educate the public. To me the observation hive is a value-added product for my booth. People tend to buy if you've taken some time to talk to them. Also use a unique packaging that is different from your competitor. I use muth jars, syrup dispensers, and different size containers. Most of the people that sell around here generally use mason jars or just a couple sizes. I track the sizes I sell most and carry plenty of that size. If my competitor uses plastic, I use glass. If they sell quarts and pints, I sell smaller sizes like 12 and 8 once bottles. The main thing is to set yourself apart from your competitors.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    I use one that I purchased from Kelley's. Many of the major beekeeping suppliers carry observation hives it's just according to how much you want to spend or how fancy you want it to be. The Kelley hive is not the prettiest but it isn't expensive and I can add onto it when I want. Currently mine is set up for three frames.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,944

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    Be unique.
    Maybe I'm way off but if I was in Manitoba I'd pay good money for your honey if you had a custom one of these to sell me with it

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoZSS156l3Y&sns=em

    (I understand my brain doesn't work like other people!)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,834

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    Josh, for us, the money is in wholesale. We dont have a large enough population base to market to here, too much local honey, not enough customers. Keep up the hustle and make a premium on your sales but dont let it get in the way of your beeyard work otherwise your going to loose more in the long run. I price mine close to the stores, sell a couple of pallets worth just to please my neighbours.
    The biggest reason I sell honey house honey is that it is a fantastic way to keep good relations with the surrounding public. When my bees are buzzing in their yard, they know its my bees. And when Im chugging slowly down the road with a load of honey or hives on, they drive patiently.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    JoshW - don't compete, find a niche.
    We are very small producers ( about 15 hives - 330 kg of honey last year)
    At our regular market we have another seller which sells for 20 % less. At one event there where 6 of us selling honey.

    We bottle in glass, we do not heat the honey, we don't blend, we provide tasters so people know what they buy. We only sell localy.
    We close to sell out every year.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Santa Clara, California, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    Yours is different it is made by your bees. Like others say don't pay attention to what others sell their honey for. Also being a beekeeper and telling someone you have no honey is not something you ever want to do or say to someone who wants to hand you some money.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: How do you compete?

    Quote Originally Posted by max2 View Post
    JoshW - don't compete, find a niche.
    We are very small producers ( about 15 hives - 330 kg of honey last year)
    At our regular market we have another seller which sells for 20 % less. At one event there where 6 of us selling honey.

    We bottle in glass, we do not heat the honey, we don't blend, we provide tasters so people know what they buy. We only sell localy.
    We close to sell out every year.
    In my post I made us into smaller producers then we are - it should have read : about 15 hives - 3300 kg of honey last year ( I guess that is about 7000 pounds)

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