A little lesson in retail sales.

orchidnickApril 19, 2014

No wonder used car lots are flying red and yellow flags and have streamers everywhere. People are incredible and respond in such a predictable way. I visited Andy's this week and lost my shirt but gained a dozen unusual Coelogynes. I thought I'd make up the emptiness in my pocket by selling some divisions at our monthly meeting tonight.

I took 14 plants to silent auction. In my opinion they were all of roughly equal value and I put an equal asking price on them. Half were in bloom the others were of equal size but not in bloom. Some were duplicates, eg 2 Masdies with an equal number of leaves, identical tags, one in bloom, the other not.

Every one of the plants in bloom sold, none of the ones not in bloom were taken. The Masdie in bloom was bid up while the identical non blooming plant was ignored.

Oh well, human nature is so easily influenced. Retailer know this and play on our weakness. Now I can go back to Andy's, he has 250,000 more plants I need to consider.


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Darlene (GreenCurls)(6a)

People will always pay more for blooming plants. Since the bloomers and the non-bloomers were equally priced, I wonder if people felt like the out of bloom plants were not as good of a deal by comparison. Next time maybe you could mark the bloomers up by a couple of dollars or mark the out of bloom knock down by a couple of dollars.

BTW if I lived near Andy's I would end up needing to sell a lot more than 14 plants.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 5:49AM
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daveh_sf(San Francisco)

Did the non-blooming ones have pictures with them? That helps a lot. I won't hesitate to buy a healthy non-blooming plant if I know what the flower looks like.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 10:44AM
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No pictures, on the other side of the hall however, large plants in bloom were on display. Takes a minim amount of ingenuity to connect the two. I thought people who are into collecting orchids are more savvy.

No problem I usually only bring plants ion bloom to the silent auction table, need to continue with that policy.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 11:07AM
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Darlene (GreenCurls)(6a)

These days most of the orchids I buy are out of bloom, especially at our member auction.

Do most members only bring blooming plants?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 7:44AM
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Before we sold our house and moved from NY, I donated a bunch of plants to my OS. The rest I decided to try and sell on Craigs List.

I didn't want all sorts of people coming to my house so decided to advertise that orchids would be for sale on one weekend. It was early spring and I put them outside on my driveway and arranged for everyone to come that Sat/Sun.

Many of the plants were out of bloom so I asked my hubby to print photos of them (which I had) and place the photos with the bloom dates next to each pot. Large specimen sized plants got an 8x10.

I was suprised at the turnout. I had so many people show up I had trouble handling the crowd! I was not organized and wound up with people going in my house and offering me money for some of my tables, lamps, etc. I even sold some artificial plants.

I thought, 'maybe I could get some of these people to buy my house'!

I sold most of the plants I had for sale. Everyone seemed to be happy enough to take the plant with the photo and the expected bloom date.

I have no doubt, if I didn't have the photos, those non-bloomers would not have sold or I would have had to sell them for practically nothing.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 1:22AM
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I know what you are saying but I'm still amazed how unsavy people are. 2 Masd Angel Tang, each about 10 leaves one with one flower, both priced at $10. These are identical plants and orchid growers should know that. The one with the solitary flower was bid up to $17, the other one was ignored. Someone bid less than $17 and did not get the plant, that person could have gotten the other one for $10 which is less than the loosing bid of $16. But they are so fixed on the flower that they cannot see that.

My daughter is a physician so is suspect of being intelligent. Yet no matter how any times I prove to her that one large pizza has more pizza than 2 mediums and costs less, she continues ordering 2 mediums even though they are willing to split the large into 2 types of toppings. Same thing as the 2 Masdies, just illogical knee jerk reactions. Flower--YES, no flower---NO.

The silent auction did produce an unexpected side effect. I took a gigantic Onc sphacelatum for display, a guy showed up the next day and took $100 worth of divisions from it. The photo I put up on the gallery today is taken after the divisions, does not look any different. 2 gals showed up and took $240 worth of Pleuro and Masdie divisions. They did not want to deal with the silent auction but got a taste of what I have. Now I have to go back to Andy's before that money burns a hole in my pocket.

The beauty of having large plants is that I can tell them that they can have a division of any large plant for $10. They went wild. 24 divisions later my collection does not look any different but everyone is happy including Andy only he doesn't know it yet.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:10AM
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gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

How many of us has purchased a labeled plant, only to discover when the blooms arrived that it was something else? Is that D. kingianum really white-flowering? If there are blooms on the plant being sold, you can see. If there are no blooms, it can be a case of wait and see. Some growers are rather sloppy with label accuracy. Others take great care and if I am aware the offering is from one of those growers, I can be more confident that the plants will be as labeled. Plants sold with photos of the flowers to be expected can give the impression that the labeler takes greater care for accuracy. Some past disappointments can cause buyers to be more cautious with their non-flowering orchid purchases, whether they hesitate consciously or not.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 2:32AM
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