Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

Help make the call.

8492 Views 40 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  TWall
On some other threads people were all over my butt about being hard nosed about our cancellation policy with package orders.

Here is my current dilemma!!!

Last Thursday evening we sold out for our standard 2014 package orders.

On Friday we put a note up telling people we would notify them if we opened up for more packages. In 3 days over 100 people have expressed interest and provided contact information.

If the weather on our end is on the margin of what my experience says we can do it with a 95% probability of success should I offer these desperate package seekers the opportunity to purchase under the knowledge that if things fail ( 5 % chance I estimate at this point ) they will get neither refunds or replacement package bees? Would you let them hang without the opportunity to purchase in 2014 or let them risk "wasting" a wager with their money on potential bees?

Most if not all of these folks are not going to get any elsewhere at this point and if they do it will be way late in the season from some unscrupulous Joe who tells them bees can build in June for a winter survival....

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CALL? Sell or move on to the rest of the year?
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
So what do you loose in the deal?

are you going to sell the packages at a lower cost?
So what do you loose in the deal?

are you going to sell the packages at a lower cost?
What do I loose? The time could be spent on other projects.... Which are many. Since I posted this a package trucker called and said a supplier failed to show with about 1/2 his load this evening as promised. He needs another 500 hundred 3's ASAP. With 1300 queens in the banks as of this evening I'm working on it...

So the way I read it the demand is there and the supply is gone. I think you are asking if I will lower the price below what we are currently charging. Am I correct?

Why would I even consider it. Because of the increased risk? Nothing like a great disincentive to increased productivity than to reduce the rewards!!!! That would be a NO. A resounding NO. We will hold steady on price even thought in most cases they ought to be raised in these situations.

Am not about to be the bottom fish in this game. Desperate but not that desperate.....
I look at it like going to Vegas but from how I see it its a win win for you only if you are not going to refund the money.

I send you X $ for the chance of getting a package and IF you do not come thru I loose all of my money. I have to take you word that you will deliver. So am I willing to risk a non refundable policy IF YOU do not live up to you side?

Either way you get to keep the $$... WOW

I have no skin in this at all but there is no way I would play in that game.

I understand that you want the people to put their $$ where there mouth is
I would never buy anything under any circumstances under the policy of " If everything works out, i'll ship your item, but if it doesn't, I'll keep your money anyway"

Am I missing something here ? I get the feeling that you think you are doing these people a favor by offering to sell them packages, and because its late in the season, they should be willing to take a 100% loss if something happens on your end, even if its weather or "act of god" and not from negligence.
What He says next is a lot clearer about the whole thing.
Little clarification. The risk I am speaking of is the risk of overheating of the packages during shipment. The possibility of receiving some dead bees. There has never been anyone who we have taken an order from who has not received their bees.Never... Please reread what I wrote. Its not about our being able to make them up.

I beg you to find anyone who says and does the following: 1.We don't ship early , we don't ship late, only on the ordered ship dates. 2. For anyone who orders and we are not able to fulfill the specific ship date gets a full and complete refund. 3. 100 % reshipment of all dead packages ordered in our April ( date appropriate) time frame when notified on the day of arrival.

If you think I am going to take orders and then walk with the money under some bogus pretense you are plain nuts. I'm open to anyone showing me a link for a company who guarantees 100% success in shipping packages See as an example of a competitors policy.

You are all chiming in like we are new on the block and are out to scam people. You are welcome to ask anyone who has ordered from us what they got... Please don't read something into my question that was not there!

Now I know why Barry spends half the money he makes on this venture on pain pills.... Wow!
See less See more
If someone doesn't have a reliable way to ship the bees safely, and ships them anyway, he isn't competent to ship bees safely.

If you can't deliver live bees, don't ship them.

If you are concerned only that one or two may be neglected by the post office, give the customer a refund if it happens -- your reputation is worth more than the price of a package of bees.

If you think the bees are worth more than your reputation, I doubt you'll be in business long.
Everyone should take a look at one of the larger companies out there like we'll say Mann Lake LTD. Their policy clearly states “Package Bees & Queens are for PICK-UP ONLY!
All pick up locations, dates, and times are subject to change due to weather or other extenuating circumstances. No refunds will be given for cancellations of package bee or queen orders after February 15, 2014. "

Now they can make that statement, and you know that if you buy your package that it will be there when it is time to pick it up. However, the act of taking the order, having the funds given to you, NOT being able to deliver the goods, and then give NO refund at all, just because you warned people is just morally disgusting . Things like that are what get businesses into lots of trouble with the attorney general.
Because your reputation is on the line with these 100 people, I would NOT risk it. There will always be a next better bee year. But once your reputation is damaged, these 100 ppl can spread their words of mouth really fast in this information age, you are putting your business on the hot spot. Why sell them something that cannot make it thru their winter, right. I would skip this shipment and move on to the next greater project since so many on hands for you to keep busy thru this season. If you have made your money for this year then it is time to move on.
Put these people on your waiting list for next year to get your bees first. If they don't want it there will be someone who does on the next list down. I would say the demand is still there the next time around given the unstable of our weather every year. People are not happy with dead bees and you are taking the major risk here.
As long as you've been in business and as experienced as your are. If you need to question yourself, then don't take orders and don't ship.
I wouldn't do it. Too much risk to your rep if you don't deliver them. Bad blood is not worth the extra dollars. Get those queens going.
There is a desperate need for bees this year and you are getting pressured to satisfy the demand, a line must be drawn in the sand and it is you who must draw the line. Don't let what cannot be supplied drive you over the edge, it's not your responsibility to satisfy everyone's needs. If you are sold-out for standard 2014 package orders then leave it at that, don't let others place the pressure of their needs upon you. Just say that it ends here and now, take a moment for yourself and sip an ice tea under a shade tree, you have done your part. :)
Most if not all of these folks are not going to get any elsewhere at this point and if they do it will be way late in the season from some unscrupulous Joe who tells them bees can build in June for a winter survival....
Say what? The 4-frame nucs I got in June last year all got put on plastic foundation... and they built up, and I split them when they built up to practically double the number of colonies I had, and I'm in Canada. Are you saying that in California, bees purchased after May won't have time to build up to make it through your winters...?
Sounds like the discussion is moving from packages to nucs. Certainly a June package, with all the inherent risks of shipping at that time of year, will build for winter just fine. If folks are satisfied with taking that risk and are happy with just getting their hives filled that's one thing. Giving yourself a chance at a honey crop in 2014 is quite another. The honey flow in much of the upper Midwest BEGINS in June. Anything less than a solid box of bees with a minimum of 8 frames of brood at that time of year is going to cost you in honey production. My experience is packages hived after the first of May have already cost you some production. June packages? Really??
Phil is not talking about June packages. He has the queens in the bank. Just needs to shake bees to make up the packages. His concern are the travel risks. Essentially if he pulls it off he is a hero. If the packages get cooked he is a zero in the eyes of the buyers. Personally I would sell. It is a company policy. If someone flashes money, take it and do the job. I am always unsure about the business so if and when an opportunity arises I take the money and get her done.

Thanks for you advice and the reasons behind them. Still looking to sort this out . Its all about the weather. As of this morning the list has 134 anxious people on it. 10 day forecast as of this morning is as follows from our ship points:

One is on the margin at this point and the other is OK.
Are these shipping on your trucks with your drivers, or a driver with no financial interest in the outcome? We would never take the risk if we didn't have total control of the load and then probably not at all this late with out a way to cool them on route if necessary. All it takes is an extra 5 minutes at that rest stop in the middle of the day to cook a good portion of the load.
Honey-4-All's packages ship via Next Day Air UPS.
Most if not all of these folks are not going to get any elsewhere at this point and if they do it will be way late in the season from some unscrupulous Joe who tells them bees can build in June for a winter survival....

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CALL? Sell or move on to the rest of the year?
there are plenty of local sources of bees available after the package bee rush is over for those 134 people. and a june package here is capable of building for winter survival.

is this a genuine request for opinions?
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.