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Re: Breeders' Rights

  • Subject: Re: Breeders' Rights
  • From: halinar@open.org
  • Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 07:31:21 -0700 (PDT)

Chick:

>I guess my question would be, if you have a new introduction that you
>think is only worth $3, why bother?

Three dollars wholesale isn't the same as three dollars retail.  I 
would probably offer it for $15 to $20 retail for a decent size plant. 
However, if I can wholesale it then I can keep selling it year after 
year without having to deal with hundreds or thousands of customers.  

>From a strictly business point of view, if you are going to grow a 
>plant, why not grow one that is worth more than $3.

At the wholesale level there are few hostas that are worth three 
dollars or more.  Some hostas go for a little as 50 cents and that's 
for a large eyed single fan. 

>If your plant isn't of much value, why do you want to bother with it? 

It does have some value, the question is to who.  I can put a lot of 
effort into selling a few plants at a relatively high price or I can 
grow it out into larger nunbers and offer it wholesale plus also 
retail it at a reasonable price.  With few exceptions Hostas are not 
that difficult to propagate.  The Francee sport I have is nice, and I 
think it will do well in the wholesale trade, but I think the market 
for the connoisseurs/collectors is limited.  If I sell off a few 
plants at $50 I might make a few hundred dollars with considerable 
effort and then discover that the plant is being TCed a few years 
later.  Instead of TCing it I can just as easily propagate it myself 
and retail it at a reasonable price and still make a decent profit.
The thing I see is that there really isn't that much demand for new 
hostas.  If you look at the national mail order catalogs you see 
relatively few hostas.  This market can easily be filled by 20 or 30 
good hostas.  I think my Francee sport has some potential here because 
it is a much larger version of Francee with a little bit of a Patriot 
look to it.  I do need to evaluate it more before deciding what to do 
with it.  It could turn out that no one is interested in it.  The 
problem with wholesaling is that you have to have the plants available 
when you offer them.  Therefore you have to take a chance and 
propagate it.  I've peopagated a number of daylilies that didn't go 
anywhere, and I've propagated some hostas, like Golden Tiara, that 
there isn't much of a market for.  You take your chances and sometimes 
you win and sometimes you don't win.

>Why not just grow a good plant that's already available in tc?

And who am I going to sell it to?  Besides that there will be lots of 
other people selling the same plant.  I don't have any intention of 
specializing in hostas at the reatil level and competiting with all 
the collectors who already put out a catalog.  Even at the wholesale 
level it's difficult because the buyers already have their vendors 
they buy from, so they don't jump to a new grower that easily.

Joe Halinar

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