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Re: Daylily Vs. Hosta

  • Subject: Re: Daylily Vs. Hosta
  • From: halinar@open.org
  • Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 22:02:06 -0800 (PST)

Chick:

>..but I think essentially what he is saying is - Daylily People Are 
>Nuts.

Only SOME daylily people are nuts!  In some respects, buying a really 
nice new daylily for $100, propagating it for a few years and then 
selling 10 fans for $50 each is a much better return on your 
investment then putting it in the bank at 3%.  

>But if I remember my Economics 101, since there is no shortage of 
>daylily breeders or daylily sellers, and certainly no shortage of 
>high quality daylilies, you would expect this over-abundance to lead 
>to lower, not higher prices.

You are assuming that Economics 101 is at work here.  The law of 
supply and demand isn't perfect and isn't without its rough edges.  
The daylily market is more like the diamond or art market then an 
agricultural market.  There is a lot of daylilies on the market, or so 
it appers, but in fact a lot of these daylilies are not in much 
demand.  Every year there are only a few dozen daylilies that really 
attract a lot of attention and demand.  The big named hybridizers keep 
the supply on the short side so they can keep the price up.  Even 
though several hundred daylilies may be offered for sale every year, 
in fact relatively few of them are hot items that attract a lot of 
attention.  Thus, there appears to be an over abundance, but in fact 
there is a lot more demand for a limited number of these 
introductions.

On top of this you have to throw in the snob factor.  Some people just 
have to have the best of the latest introductions because its a 
prestige factor.  They don't really need it, but they want it because 
they want to stay on top of the social scene, and they really don't 
care about the price as long as it's not too unreasonable.

>...a logical person simply says, I'll take one of those $20 
>daylilies.

But a lot of those $20 daylilies don't have the newest traits that are 
most attractive.  Even though a lot of people can't affort to buy the 
$100 daylilies, they still desire those daylilies.  So, what they do 
is pospone buying some of those $20 daylilies and wait for the $100 
daylily to come down to a more reasonable price.  Thus, people buying 
for the secondary market will pay the high $100 price because they 
know there is a demand for the plant at a lower price.

Now, there is one more important consideration that messes up the 
Ecomonics 101 theory.  The law of supply and demnad works only the way 
you think it should when you have a real business - real buyers and 
real sellers.  If I had a full time job making $50,000 and I had a 
wife making $50,000 and I was hybridizing daylilies and I had some 
really nice seedlings I could price them at $100 or $150 and it 
wouldn't make any difference to me if I sold 10 or 20.  If, however, I 
had my own nursery business and hybridizing and selling daylilies was 
my total source of income, then I have to consider how to maximize my 
income/profit on each introduction.  The hobbyist hybridizer/grower 
doesn't have to consider this as much.  Personally, I think a lot of 
the big named hybridizers could do a lot better by propagating the 
plants to far larger numbers and offering them at a much more 
reasonable price, because in effect that would put a real dent in the 
secondary market and that money would flow into the hybridizers pocket 
instead of the secondary grower.

>Sorry, I was kidding.

Shucks, I thought I had a sucker baited! <G>  The prices are going to 
be very reasonable!

Joe Halinar


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