nonsense, just how many times can you go in a complete circle in one post
anyway? If the old way of doing things isn't dying (dead was your version) as
you see no evidence for, then the days of $200 introductions are gone, then
where are we with this?
We are in sort of
a bridge period, I think, and nobody's all that sure where it's going. People
can go to wholesalers web sites and see the price of plants from them. Then they
can go to a retailer's site and see what the markup is. As we both know,
retailers now buy TC plants for less than $5 for most things, with some
hard-to-TC plants going for more. Plants that are generally available, then,
aren't worth too much more than that, say $15 maximum. Maybe some are really
hard to deal with and the price will be higher to reflect the number you
lost. Is $50 fair for plants anyone can buy
for $5 as liners? I don't think we have to wait for answers on that. Some still
try to get that much, but those days are fading as consumers wise up. Reasonable
markups (1000% isn't reasonable) is where things are headed with plants anyone
can buy from wholesalers. This is where the market stands now for those plants,
free competition driving the prices down to reasonable levels.
So what's worth
more than $15? Plants that are not available from 30 different retailers. Only
scarcity makes them worth more. Give your customers some credit, they are
learning to check prices with the Hosta Finder and on the web. If you have your
new plant TCed to offer it the first time, people don't know if you had 100 made
or 10,000. If there's a lot, they aren't worth much and everybody is learning
that now. If they buy a new intro for $100, then see it next year (the same size
and age, so obviously part of the same TC batch) for $15 at their local
society's spring plant sale, they feel they've been had. This has been done, as
many reading this know. Because of this and because of the quality control
problems Ran brought up, people are getting the message that new intros that
have been TCed aren't worth very much. This message came directly from the
nurseries, not from me.
In the last
paragraphs you give a pretty fair picture of the way things work today. The
nurseries can do whatever they want and the hybridizers get only what the
nurseries feel like giving them, unless they get a patent. Because the Plant
Patent system as it stands is so disfunctional that only the biggest nurseries
make use of it, no hybridizer has gotten a patent on a plant. If one
did, the nurseries would probably decide to go with a plant from
somebody else who didn't have a patent on it. The nurseries have all the
power when it comes to working out those agreements the way the laws stand now,
and the hybridizers don't have a leg to stand on. That's why those Breeders'
Rights laws were passed in other countries. Here and now, the breeders have no
rights as you've explained in your post.
I owned a big nursery and I saw you put out the next 'Satisfaction', I
could buy the first one, TC it for 20,000 plants and start selling it to anybody
who wanted it for $5 and there's not a thing you could do. I wouldn't have to
give you a dime beyond what I paid for the first one, and the entire $100,000
that I made would be my gain and your loss. Are you saying that you are happy
with a system that works that way? In the early 1900's most things worked that
way, now only a few still do. Sooner or later, I think the laws will catch up in
the plant industry, as they have with most others. The people who write, paint,
create music, invent things, etc. all used to be in the position that
hybridizers are in now, but today they receive a fair portion of the profits
made on their work by law, not by the whim of the businesses. The businesses
that sell that work once screamed too that they couldn't survive if they had to
share their profits with the people who created their products. They're still
around, aren't they? They wouldn't be if they weren't making money, so I guess
that wasn't really true, huh?
your turn, YIS.
The sky is falling! The sky is
Well, I'm probably going to get everyone pissed off at me again, but that's
never slowed me down before so here we go...
Bill Meyer, you're talking nonsense again.
Bill Meyer wrote:
system as it has been existing so far is falling apart.I see
absolutely no evidence that there ever was a system or that anything is
falling apart. Things change and we have to adjust to the changes.
Almost Don't forget that the "almost anyone" can be the breeder,
anyone can afford to either TC a plant,
BAP it, or pay to have it done
(about $300 for 100 TC
Once you sell it the first time, one of First of all, I'm not sure that your theory
that the market of high end OS plants is dead. I offered Satisfaction OS
for $75 in my catalog this year, the 6th year I've had it listed I think,
along with tc plants at $35. I had no problem selling all the OS plants
I had available. If I didn't have the tc plants to sell also, that would
have been the end of it. Personally, I don't think I would pay much more
for OS plants, but some people don't like tc and if they want the few OS
plants available, they have to pay for them. Their choice.
buyers can have plenty for sale within a year to undercut you and
destroy your ability to make money on your own plant. This is destroying
high end of the market, where you could sell a few of your OS plants
$100 or more.
I've heard more and more of these collectors say
that they are When I
introduced Satisfaction at $200, I did so because I only had a few plants to
sell. It was very difficult to find anyone to do tc privately then.
There was no trick involved, there just wasn't any way I could make enough
plants to sell them at a reasonable price. The day of the $200
introduction may be gone, but now a breeder can spend spend a few hundred
dollars, have 100 or more plants to sell before anyone else has even seen the
plant, price it at a reasonable level, sell a bunch of them because it's not
outrageously expensive, do it again next year while all these "pirates" are
getting it tc'd, and keep selling it for years after that. Just because
a plant is in tc doesn't mean you can't sell it any more. Sergeant
Pepper has been in tc for years and I still sell plenty of the OS for $30
each. I just got my first shipment of tc plants because I can't grow
enough OS to keep up.
starting to feel foolish paying that kind of money for
something that they
can buy for $20 next year. Some of them even say
that they do it now only to
support the hybridizers, that if it wasn't
for that reason they would wait
for them to get cheaper. In time, with
things going the way they are, Chick
won't be able to do what he did
with 'Satisfaction', because the only people
left willing to pay $200
for it will be those who want to market it
Just because things have changed doesn't mean we can't adjust to the change
and still sell our plants. It just means that people don't have to pay
$200 to get a good new plant anymore. Instead of selling one for $200,
sell four for $50, or maybe five. Thanks to the tc labs, you don't have
to be afraid of someone else flooding the market with reasonably priced
plants, you can do it yourself.
I think the main reason that the days of the $200 plant are gone, is
because it's no longer a fair price. When you could only make a few
plants a year, then there was a reason to charge a lot for them. No
anyone, including you, can have plants produced in quantity, quickly and
cheaply, and it's time to charge a reasonable price for them. Is $50
reasonable for a new plant? Who knows. The customers get to decide
that. Some would probably rather wait three years and hope to get it for
$25, others will be willing to pay more to get it sooner.
How do we go about forcing nurseries
to make legally binding agreements with hybridizers? You patent the
plant. And while I've not done it, I don't think you have to pay anything like
$6000, especially if your bright enough to go to the Patent Office site, read
someone else's patent application, and do the paperwork yourself. It may
be harder than it looks, but it didn't seem that complicated to me. If
you want to find an easier way, you have to change the law. That'll
I don't see what's
wrong with a change to a system where a small
percentage goes to the
hybridizer and nurseries must make legally binding
arrangements with the
hybridizer to sell the plant.
The end result would be Whoops, I see that's actually what you are
suggesting. My guess is that Congress will probably hop right on it.
slightly higher prices
for hostas (say 5%), with that 5% going to the
originator. Of course
sellers of a product would prefer to keep all the
Who wouldn't. What I'm suggesting is parity between
producers of plants
and those who propagate and sell them. Before there were
employers did whatever they felt like. They got so out of hand with
their behavior that unions formed to balance the situation out. Now both
sides must negotiate fair agreements. That's what the Breeders' Rights
bring to the situation-------fair agreements worked out between
Now, mostly there are no agreements, or there are
some which could I'm sure that very few hybridizers think they are
getting a fair share. But that's how it works. If you don't think
you're getting what it's worth, you find someone else to deal with who will
give you a better deal. If you can't find anyone, then maybe it's not
really worth that much. One thing you have to remember is that the
person who is going to do all the work of growing and selling your plant for
you probably isn't going to do it unless there is a profit involved. And
the kicker is that if the grower can choose another variety and make just as
much without sharing it, there is no incentive.
be a lot better for the hybridizers. How many
hybridizers feel that that
they got a fair percentage of the profits
made selling their plants?
Especially those who do not have their own
Let's say you have a great plant and offer it to a potential parter as
follows: "I have a great plant and if you grow it and sell it and share
the proceeds with me, you can make a larger profit. If not, I'll deal
with someone else and they will make the profit and you won't." What
happens next, I think, depends on how great the plant really is.