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Discussion Starter #1
Somehow that doesn't look right. "stole"? "stoled" probably should have been "stole". Is there a correction function for the Thread Title?

Or maybe it should be "Why did I loose my honey account?

I didn't really loose one, I just wanted to discuss something that was brought to my attention this morning. Something that I should already know, but needed reminding of.

If you, like I, sell honey, in other words, have wholesale accounts w/ stores, you are going to have people who think that you stole their account, their outlet. And they are going to hate you for it, no matter how you see it and no matter what you do to alleviate the misconception.

I have never stolen an account. There is only one case in which I ended up w/ a customer because I had a better price. So, I can see how that could be seen as stealing the account, undercutting the other beekeepers price. What should I have done, since the buyer called me and inquired about my prices and ordered honey from me? I didn't know that the other guy sold honey there.

I guess to me you can loose an account, but it can't be stolen from you, because it belongs to the outlet. It is theirs to allow someone to use. I don't own my accounts. So, if I can't keep my customers happy, they will find someone else or someone will find them. It's a matter of time.

When I have replaced someone else, it is usually w/ a higher price anyway. So, I don't see how that is stealing. And unless I am establishing a brand new account w/ someone who has never or doesn't sell Locally Produced Honey I don't horn in on another beekeepers existing account(s). Everyone needs an outlet.

I don't sell just honey. Yet honey is the commondity that I sell. The rest of what I sell is "quality" and "service" and "dependability".

I provide to my customers, and they in turn to their customers, a quality, and nice looking, jar of honey that is locally produced. My farthest account is 100 miles away.

The service and dependability are that I keep up w/ my accounts and get product to them when they need it. that being done on a regular schedule, though some what flexible depending on how far I have to go. If one or two stores call for honey I call the rest in that area to maxamize the efficiency.

The dependability is also that I will always have product available all year round.

All of this because someone reminded me that you can't be friends w/ everyone and not everyone who you are friends w/ face to face is friendly when you are not there. Oh, well, life goes on.

Have a nice day.
 

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Re: Who stolled my honey account?

dang theives.....JEEZ SQ..>Come on.... I am only kidding as noone else posted here so I thought i would....but I digress...

Sometimes beating someone's price come's across as theivorie, which in turn is NOT the case. Thats what an open market is. If someone was bidding on your house, who do you sell it to, the guy who offers you 130k or the guy who offers you 140k? Is it stealing? People often forget that price competition often drives the prices of goods and services DOWN. Everyone has a choice as to what they think their commodity is worth. It's up to the individual to sell it at what THEY think it is worth and they need to understand if they are too high, they will be beaten. EVERYTHING is negoitable to some degree, its just that some don't negotiate at all, some do, and some are talented enough to get something at cost. I did on my 2010 truck....dealer cost, literally. Did I steal it or did i know that since Toyotas numbers were down that they needed to sell for numbers sakes to keep the dealerships open. Did i call my buddy and find out EXACTLY what the dealer paid for it and what kind of incentive they got if they met their sales numbers? Is it theifing or homework? I call it paying attention to your enviroment, and in business, you have to know your enviroment. If you cannot make the deal, no hard feelings! Just my $.02 worth which, btw, isn't worth a penny!
 

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Re: Who stolled my honey account?

we think of it like this:

A customer has a choice. No one is pointing a gun to their head and making them do or buy anything. With that said, people..... consumer that is.... fit into different catagories and usually you sell to one... maybe two.... major catagories.

It really comes down not so much to price (unless you are what we call a Walmart shopper.... NO OFFENSE to anyone who shops there.... it is just a mentality). Some people want cheap. Thats ok to. Those are the people who want foreign honey for cheap. People also are looking for serives... someone to talk to... looking for ideas on how to use the honey.... they are looking for education and looking for an EXPERIANCE. We are looking to give them just that.... a quality positive customer experiance.

So to say YOU stole an account is BS. The customer had a choice and they choose to go with someone that has better quality, services, etc.

There is a great book called "When $hit hits the fan". Great read. He talks about sellers getting to laxed and thinking the customers are now theirs. Not the case.

In the end.... the customer has the final say.

And one last point... it is key to keep a look out for what other companies (not honey companies) and see what they are doing. A lot of companies are leader in quality and customer service. Some companies are great examples of bad customer service. It is also important to keep a look out on the competitors.... the other honey vendors. Yes, the other beekeepers are my friends and some are pretty close to me but I know what they sell, how they do it, what they do well and what their faults are.

End of the day.... it is just business! :)
 

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Re: Who stolled my honey account?

I would add one more thing... something I have experianced in the last 7 years. The customers are used to cheap honey because beekeepers sell it cheap. I dont think beekeepers in general know how to price their honey and figure out what the TRUE cost of their labor is and equipment, etc is.

just my thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Who stolled my honey account?

All good points devdog and Chef. You pretty much said it like I was trying to.

When one is selling, you have three things that matter, three selling points. Quality, price and service. If someone wants Low Price, then they are going to loose one of the other two. An outlet can't afford to have Low Price and High Quality and High Service.

Case in point, Walmart. The few times I have shopped Walmart I have hardly ever had any, let alone low quality service. Walmart is Low on all three. Otherwise they wouldn't maintain their business.

Whereas Neiman Marcus is High Quality, High Service and High Price. And they demand that their suppliers follow that model, or then they can't.

So, as honey sellers/marketers, who do you want to be, where do you want to sell your honey, Walmart or Neiman Marcus?
 

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Re: Who stolled my honey account?

The customers are used to cheap honey because beekeepers sell it cheap. I dont think beekeepers in general know how to price their honey and figure out what the TRUE cost of their labor is and equipment, etc is.
Yes, they are afraid to ask a decent price for their honey because then they will be stuck w/ it. They want to get rid of it. Wrong attitude, imo.

I have tried to figure out what my honey costs me per pound to produce. But I can't tell you. I know what I took in and what expenses I had, but that doesn'treally tell the story, imo.

So I have stopped trying to figure that out. I decided to try to figure out what price to set on my honey to make what I wanted from it. It's a different way of looking at it, I think. So far the result has been good. Even though I lost an account to a grocery chain going bankrupt and then the new owners not returning my calls.

They are my goal. I have to think about how to approach them in a way that they will want my honey in their store and where in their stores that my honey will sell the best. It will take time, but I will prevail. Or the sales in their competitors stores will make up the difference.

I may need some advice on that one.
 

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Re: Who stolled my honey account?

Mark:

We should talk sometime via phone. I can help you in the pricing area.

This is the point we are at actually. We sell almost all of our honey at the farmers markets, crafts shows and street fairs. We do a small amount of whole sale. We would like to do more but to be frank, I can sell more and make moe profit at the markets. The only thing a store has is pretty much free advertising. The honey is on the shelf and to be honest, once that customer pays for the honey in the store, I am hoping they contact us direct. They will save money buying from us directly and we will make a better profit that way too! :)

Wholesale is not the best way to go for our operation. But for some, I can see it. We are not looking to be a walmart brand but I do have some ideas around that school of thought though! :)

It's funny to watch beekeepers sell honey at such a low price. They are cutting themselves at the knees. They worry about getting rid of the honey. It's not going bad at all and after a short while, the customer will understand about the higher prices. Lets face it, honey is a limited comodity. You want cheap..... thats ok. You want the best... no problem!

If Sam Walton could see how Walmart is now, he would be crapping his pants. He was a true beliver in customer service. Now, it is all down hill.

I just wish beekeepers would come together and be unified about their retail pricing. There is a guy here that sells 5 gallon buckets for $125. We sell our 5 gallon buckets for $300. We make profit out if that. And if we retail that bucket in one pound bottles, we gross $600 per bucket.

Beekeepers work too hard... especially in this day and age.... to sell the honey so cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Who stolled my honey account?

At my prices I feel as though I am towing other beekeepers along, but they still sell cheap.
 

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The past tense of to steal is stole. Lose is the present tense, and lost is past tense. Loose is what your shoe strings are when they are untied.

Fair competition helps everyone. It weeds out the poorer performers. The poorer performers try to stay in business by establishing monopolies, price fixing, etc.
 

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Poor performers also try to prevail by using low prices as a tactic. Then, once they run out of product they have to either tell their customers to go elsewhere or purchase from others, then lose their shirts on the latter. Just such a case happened locally. A fellow was virtually giving his honey away to retailers. When he couldn't fill orders he purchased from others to resell and lost money. Finally, the inveitable occured - he no longer keeps bees because he couldn't afford to. He had no money left over to buy equipment and other items needed. We all have to know what our operating costs are and work from that. My operation is still a fun hobby, but it's grown to the point that it is getting expensive and I'm covering costs. At the end of the fiscal year, it's amazing to calculate just how much cash flows out. No matter how small an operator is, one needs to at least pretend it's an actual business.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That guy must be related to the watermelon salesmen that decided to buy a bigger truck because when they bought melons at $1.00 and sold them in the big city for $1.00 they found they weren't making any money.
 

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The past tense of to steal is stole. Lose is the present tense, and lost is past tense. Loose is what your shoe strings are when they are untied.

Fair competition helps everyone.
Yes, i think fair competition does help everyone. I believe that it can help get someone like myself a better, more fair price too. And in turn get my competitors a better price then they would have gone for on their own, perhaps.

You never will know how much you could have gotten for something until you get a refusal because the price was too high. And I wouldn't count one or two refusals at an indication of what they market will tolerate.

If you don't ask enuf, you will be leaving money on the table.

Thanks for the English Lesson CB. Sometimes English is like a forgien (sp?) language to me.

Why isn't "lose" pronounced like "Loews"? What w/ the long vowel when followed by an "e" an the end of the word rule? And what is the purpose of the "e" on the end of "loose". Looks like loooose to me, not lus. even though I know you are correct.

So, we are all going to lose our shoes if our laces are loose?

"The rain in Spain is mainly [down the drain]." heh,heh.
 

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I laugh at $5.00/quart....Ha Ha Ha. I am sorry but i sell mine for $22/qt and if you want comb, it's $25.00 and I have no probelm selling it for that. Amazingly, my dad just bought sourwood honey(so they say) for $9.00 a qt. He is sending a sample to the lab to see if it is and I'll be my hiney that it's not.

As most of you have said, price competition is a great thing, but, i still refuse to sell it any cheaper. I am not moving in bulk either, but, i work and maintain my bees and if you want my honey, you are going to buy it at my price. I gave the clerk a discount on it, but he also lets my boys sell it at his gas station...LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As most of you have said, price competition is a great thing, but, i still refuse to sell it any cheaper. .
What most beekeepers fail to understand or appreciate is that if you charge more for your honey, you may sell a little less, but you make more. More profit per pound sold. And I find that I sell more when I raise my prices.

I wish more beekeepers would get behind this idea. But they are beekeepers, not honey salespersons, honey marketers. They don't realize that they are selling more than just honey.
 

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I know that i am. I am selling hard work, local fresh honey, sweat, a tear from a sting that will remain nameless for fear HM will PM me again...LOL. Your right SQ. It PROMOTES beekeeping just as much as making money. For that matter, I let the kids have the money, but they do some of the work too, they decap, they spin, bottle and cap it, but then again, I do this for fun. We will see how big fun gets..LOL, but, i still am not giving it away no matter what. It's me and my bees, thats the product, the customer service and special orders go a LONG way in helping and yes, I do take special orders for comb honey etc.....it's about the profession and the people you meet along the way. It's about good friends, good stings and good stories. Its about having to sit here and make the hives "pretty" so that my wife will let me do what I want. I have been taught so much about the enviroment, bees, creatures and such over the last couple of years that I actually feel blessed. Good times my friend...good times...and i still say my bees miss me......poor girls all alone at the cotton without me.......
 

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Discussion Starter #17
woof, woof, devdog understands. Good dog, now get down. Sit, stay. Good dog. sssss Good dog. :)
 

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LOL....it's the dog in me. Some people just bring it out...LOL
 

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Why isn't "lose" pronounced like "Loews"?

Lose comes from the Proto-Indo-European base leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart, untie, separate".

What w/ the long vowel when followed by an "e" an the end of the word rule? And what is the purpose of the "e" on the end of "loose". Looks like loooose to me, not lus.

Loose comes from the Old Norse lauss.

A male is a gander, but a female is a goose (not a goes).
It's a moose, and not a mose.
You tie a noose on the rope, and not a nose.

A singular vowel followed by an "e" at the end of a word is usually a long vowel, but double vowels can change the pronunciation.
 
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