Farmers undercutting prices

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Farmers undercutting prices

Post by Journey's End on September 22nd 2014, 7:43 pm

I'm frustrated. I'm trying to make a little money off some of the extras around here. I keep records of how much it costs to raise animals and such. It costs me $2.50 a pound to raise and butcher a chicken. I charge $3.75. Then I see a person charging $2.25 a pound! I can't sell adult Muscovies for more than $5 and anyone knows it takes a lot more than that to feed them, so extras get eaten. Eggs get sold for $2.50 a dozen.

How can I make any kind of profit if people are selling for a loss?

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Re: Farmers undercutting prices

Post by prairie dog on September 23rd 2014, 8:22 am

I'll assume that the person is buying feed in a mass volume thus getting a rebate on the cost , that or maybe the feed was free ?? You'll have to change your marketing a bit is all that I'd do .Sell your chicken as better , healthier , and if feed organically or if they are free range then make sure to mention it . And last but not least , there are those who will undercut to get the business and shut down as many as they can so that once they have the business they jack the prices ............................
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Re: Farmers undercutting prices

Post by Chickenlady on September 23rd 2014, 9:42 pm

charge your price..and stand behind it....I sell eggs, 2.50 a dz...other here do for 2 a dz. If people comment about it..I tell them to buy from the other. explain them that 2.50 a dz is still cheaper then a free range omega whatever egg in the store.
Never lost a client because of it.
With chickens same thing..I I have so sell with loss...I keep them and eat them myself.Do NOT lower your price..only clients you get then are the ones who run to another when they find a cheaper one...you can do without those.

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Re: Farmers undercutting prices

Post by Fowler on September 24th 2014, 8:56 am

You do yourself no favours in selling at a loss. If the other guy is selling at a loss then they can't do it forever. but then you don't know what you're up against.

I'm sure that there was a guy around here that was acting as a front to sell over quota eggs for a big producer. He was getting them for $1 per dozen and reselling for profit. Have to think it was a producer dumping their over quota production. Can't compete with that. Better off to reduce the flock and just produce for myself.

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Re: Farmers undercutting prices

Post by Chickenlady on September 26th 2014, 12:08 am

Yes you can compete...because big producer eggs are tasteless and the yolk is white and gross. If people want to buy those eggs, that is their choice..those eggs are not farm eggs..and that are clients you don't need.
Stand behind your product

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Re: Farmers undercutting prices

Post by Journey's End on September 26th 2014, 6:56 am

The good thing is I have no problem eating what I don't sell. So if the other farmer wants to lose money he can.

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Re: Farmers undercutting prices

Post by Fowler on September 26th 2014, 10:20 am

You can only compete if the customer is interested. Around here, I had no interest even when I charged the same price as the grocery store. I am often envious of the better prices people seem to be able to get out west for their products and stock.

Mind you, you can get those prices if you get a booth at the farmer's market. I never produced enough for that.

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Re: Farmers undercutting prices

Post by Chickenlady on September 27th 2014, 12:15 am

Are you on Facebook? most communities have those garage sale pages...when I have to much I post there, For Sale, fresh brown farm eggs, size XL, very tasty, dark yellow yolks very tasty, 2.50 a dz.

and whatever extra's I have I sell in a heartbeat, plus get steady clients from it.

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Re: Farmers undercutting prices

Post by prairie dog on September 27th 2014, 8:31 pm

Yea , most communities have a local web page and there are also community garage sales where you could sell if allowed ? Once you have some clients who like what you're selling they will keep coming back .That and "" Sell "" the produce , tell them how much better it is then grocery bought
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Re: Farmers undercutting prices

Post by Davinci on September 29th 2014, 2:50 pm

I am of two minds on this issue.

As a seller, I also cannot compete against buyers who buy feed in bulk, at lower cost, and can sell their finished meat birds or eggs at a lower price.

When I started in chickens, pellets and scratch were $6 a bag. Now it's $14 a bag. Have my eggs gone up to reflect that cost? No. I started selling eggs at $2 a dozen, but in the last year I finally raised prices to $4 a dozen. My only saving grace is that I have very few hens and some dedicated customers. But if my birds had to support themselves, I'd be out of luck.

However, as a consumer, I dislike it when companies agree to no longer compete with each other, in effect, holding the consumer hostage. As the buyer of a product, I'd like to have CHOICES. Competition in the market is good for me, as a buyer.

But as others have said, I think what we have to hammer home, like a broken record, is the ethical quality of our eggs. The superiority of our product. If you want agony eggs, hell, they're cheap like borscht, go buy your eggs of suffering. If you want to not be part of the problem, I have eggs that reflect what they cost and what they're worth, so pay or go away. Even at $4 a dozen, my chickens do not pay for themselves. It boggles my mind that strangers think I ought to feed them for free! (or damn close to free!)

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Re: Farmers undercutting prices

Post by prairie dog on September 29th 2014, 9:34 pm

Yep ! it's the sell that is the most difficult ! Everyone , well almost everyone , is after ethical practices and it even has the larger cooperation's joining in on what is really the small consumers best sell ..........and practice ! But they have jumped in seeing that it's getting the small guy a few bucks that they feel the should have to ! But compared to there product and yours ? well it will be a cold day before that ever happens . I have cracked a store egg beside a Home grown egg and the comment is always ..........wow , that yolk is way more yellow compared to the store bought egg ? why is that ?? .....................quality sells
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Re: Farmers undercutting prices

Post by Chickenlady on September 30th 2014, 10:46 am

I don't buy feed, well I buy feed, but only the 37% that I mix with grain and whatever I'm getting from farmers.
That and whatever they find outside...I still make a little money on my chickens, but not enough to live of...lol.
However they paid for my 2 incubators..and Berg (accidentally?) put a rooster in my last bought batch of chicks...so this year I didn't buy chicks...neither laying hens nor meat birds. Now I'm totally selfsuporting...the hens are new stock, the little roosters my chickens for butchering, I thing it makes a huge difference not to invest in the 3oo dollars for new chickens every year. (there is my savings/profit)

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Re: Farmers undercutting prices

Post by niglefritz on October 4th 2014, 10:28 am

I think that most farmers do not take into consideration what their feed and time input is. I think this happens today in almost any businesses today. These sellers condition customers to expect more for less and then they demand it. Then there are also those customers who do not care about quality, only price and don't understand what it actually costs to raise an animal/make something, and will demand a lower than cost price. Many pay/lose money just to have customers. The money is in their hand...it wasn't there before...it is ALL profit in their minds. I think they need business lessons, starting at the very beginning.

We were told lately that we should be getting into selling eggs and organic chickens in a big way, that not many people raise chickens here anymore & also that there is money in it. It sounds tempting until you know more facts.

After the lady told us the "huge" price she paid for this chicken, we realized (no real surprise to us) that the seller should have asked way more. It cost no more than a store bought chicken. Even the butchering facility would have told her that hers were worth more. Sad We are not sure if it would be worth competing with folks like that. Even if I did a survey, I would doubt that any here who might say they would buy some would when the time came.

We know others who sell for less than what you find things for in the store, and even when you tell that their products are worth more, they refuse to raise their prices...thinking 70's prices are good enough. They raise their own grain after all...so it costs them less? Um, no it costs just the same. You put in more time and money.

The thing is, you need to know your product, be convinced of its high quality and be able to back your reasons, make sure your price reflects what you want to be paid for your time (remembering min. wage) and your cost. Failing to do this, you undercut others and are paying to sell your product.

I have one more thought on this subject. There is a kind of chicken that is sought after by top chefs. After Reading About them, all that I can gather about why they are special is that they are naturally grown, were marketed to top Japanese chefs and it grew from there. It is now exclusive to that producer to provide these chickens to this special market. Nobody else can do this because they covered all of their bases. They have a top quality product & they charge big money for these too. All this to say that smart marketing is very important. That producer is living their dream.
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