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Re: Breeders' Rights

  • Subject: Re: Breeders' Rights
  • From: halinar@open.org
  • Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 07:53:15 -0700 (PDT)

Chick:

>What I don't do is go looking for new plants to sell for $3.00.  If 
>you think your plant is worth $15-20 retail, I don't understand why 
>you can only get $3 for it wholesale.

First, I'm not actually out looking for new hostas to wholesale for 
three dollars and would consider propagating and selling wholesale 
existing nice hostas.  As a matter of fact I am in the process of 
doing that, but finding the right hosta is more difficult then it 
should be.  As far as the wholesale price, I'm talking about bare root 
plants, single fans, shipped in lots of 100 or more plus shipping 
costs.  That is different then wholesaling potted plants.

As to wholesaling potted plants, most of the mass merchants around 
here, western Oregon, only want to pay a maximum of $3 for a one 
gallon pot.  A local nursey not far away sells two gallon potted nice 
hostas for $10 to $12 and there is 6 to 8 fans per pot!  Now, if I go 
to that nursery and offer to sell them single fans bareroot for $3 do 
you think they are going to rush out and buy from me when they are 
already retailing nice hostas for $12 for 6-8 fans?

>I'm getting the impression that either you are wholesaling to 
>wholesalers, which is a whole different animal

Most of my daylilies go to other wholesale nurseries who pot them up 
and sell them to their local mass merchants.  These companies also buy 
hostas and really don't want to pay more then a dollar to a dollar and 
a half if they can for a decent single fan liner.  Although that may 
sound cheap, it's not all that bad for something that is easy to 
propagate when you are shipping off one to two thousand plants at a 
time to one customer with little or no advertising expense.  You take 
a one dollar hosta, 50 cents for the pot and planting mix and then 
water and care for the plant for a year, and you then have two dollars 
or more invested in that plant.  If the mass merchants don't want to 
pay more then three dollars, that doesn't leave you with much profit.

>It is not hard to find good, newer hostas retailing for $15-25
>here at local garden centers here,

There might be a few nurseries in the Portland area that might be able 
to get that price for a 2 or 3 gallon pot, but most of the top end 
hostas I've seen are in the 10 to twelve dollar range for 6-8 fans.  I 
recently bought a three fan pot of Elvis Lives and a very nice Yellow 
River for $7.95 each.  One of our local mass merchants, Fred Meyers, 
was last year selling some nice hostas in 4 inch pots for $1.98, which 
means they were buying them for 95 cents to one dollar.

>I would estimate that the average wholesale for a good plant is $5-8.

I assume you are talking about a one gallon potted hosta with several 
fans and that is delivered.

>if you are wholesaling to other wholesale growers, it seems to me
>that you are competing with the Dutch and the tc labs, and I wouldn't 
>know anything about that either, except I don't envy you.

Actually, you can make some decent money in this market IF you have 
the hostas the people want and you have something that is easy to 
propagate.  This past spring one of our local hardware stores that 
sells some bulbs and plants had bagged hostas for $1.98 to $2.49 and 
that was for one to two nice single fans.  They weren't the lasted and 
greatest hostas, but some of them were nice enough.

>Maybe your plant is not as ordinary as you make it sound to me.

Actually it looks rather nice, a beefed up Francee that looks a little 
bit like Patriot.  The problem I see is that I doubt that there is a 
great enough demand within the connoisseur/collector market to make it 
worth while, but I think it would do well in a national mail order 
nursery catalog.  You have to remember that these juys put a 8-10 fold 
increase on the price if they have a color picture and a 4 to 7 fold 
increase with out a color picture.  If I wholesale to them for one 
dollar they are going to list it for $10.

>The fact that you are not impressed with hostas

I never said I wasn't impressed with hostas.  All I said was that I'm 
not a hosta connoisseur/collector.  I also have a lot of other things 
that interest me besides hostas.  When I look at the hosta scene I see 
a number of big growers selling millions of plants a year.  It's hard 
for a small time grower to compete against them.

>it's hard for me to picture another Francee sport that would compare 
>with what I consider very good, but readily available hostas.

That's part of the problem.  It's nice, but there are a lot of nice 
hostas out there.  

>Maybe there is no market for really good hostas in your area.

Hostas grow well enough out here in western Oregon, but the market 
isn't anywhere near as good as back East.

>But if people would pay $4-5 for a really good hosta, as I think they
>would in most places,

Now, are you talking about $4-5 for a potted hosta wholesale or retail 
and for how many fans?  

Joe Halinar

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