This is my first post, but I have been reading here on the forums for a couple of years.
My wife and I are relatively new beeks with six hives, and we started with two hives, three years ago. We are a couple of years from retirement, still in our early fifties, and plan to continue/expand beekeeping upon retirement.
It will likely always be a hobby for us, rather than a source of income, but a few extra bucks a year is fun to have as well. We have about $3000.00 invested in equipment (with our extractor being the biggest investment) and are probably about back to breaking even from honey sales so far.
To get to my question:
Am I missing something when it comes to prices of plastic squeeze bottles with flip-top caps ? I have had what I will call "sticker shock" from the beginning !!
Is there a cheaper route out there to buy these in a large gross number ? I realize that most of the big vendors out there offer a SLIGHT discount when buying larger quantities, but I still seem to be paying probably an average of 60 to 70 cents per plastic bottle. In my opinion, this is a HUGE bite out of the small profit on a bottle of honey. I realize that a profit has to be made in material and labor to make containers, but in our world of plastic today, many beverages (in plastic bottles) are less than 60 cents FULL OF PRODUCT. Yes, they buy and package millions of units (and would suspect that they have their own manufacturing facilities to make them for pennies each) but I would think that there could be a better price offered somewhere between a couple of cents, and SIXTY cents !
We bottle in glass jars as well, as it seems that 30% or so of our customers are "die-hard mason jar" people. We pay $8 a dozen for glass jars with lids and rings, but somehow I feel better about paying what I am for those heavy, reusable glass containers, than I do paying what we are for what I will call "throw away" plastic.
Perhaps I am of the vast minority here, but I would not hesitate to drop a grand or two of cash on what I would think could be a more reasonable price on plastic bottles.....say, 25-30 cents each.
I don't see our beekeeping hobby going anywhere anytime soon, and I have always been one to try and save some money in the long run by spending it up front.
Can someone chime in here with a suggestion, or am I a new beekeeper in a fantasy world ?
Any feedback would be appreciated !