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Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

A place to discuss the particular challenges and ethical issues facing the breeder of pet rabbits today.
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Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#1  Unread postby ladysown » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:51 pm


So here I am wondering if I am somewhat shooting myself in the foot.

I raise rabbits for three reasons
1. because I like breeding rabbits, minding the babies, watching offspring mature that are the result of rabbits I raised
2. because they bring in an income and I've been selling long enough people come back to me now. :) I offer good support and I like talking rabbits with people.
3. to provide some offshoot food for the table, or for other critters.

The bulk of my sales is for pet rabbits. I know some folks struggle with selling buns for pets and dealing with pet folk and that's fine. Some are a pain, but most are not.

My current wondering/learning curve is this

sometimes I just want babies gone. People aren't buying them for my orginal asking price, I'll drop it no probs by $5-10 dollars but then I get ... I just want these babies gone and INSTEAD of dropping their price dramatically... say to $20 I'll just take them to the pet store. There I have no obligation to them any longer. They are just gone to the store.

My mom-in-law asks why not just charge $5 more than the pet store will give you for those harder to sell bunnies? I just say it's doesn't feel right but I don't know mom. :)

Why is this a struggle?

1. part of me feels that the bulk of my asking price is the fact that most of my rabbits are pedigreed upon request (some aren't but they arent priced as high) and also that WITH the purchase of my rabbits come my guarantee of continued care and concern. I'll take the bunny back, I'll help you troubleshoot issues and such like. So that's worth something right?

BUT
2. MOST of my bunnies sales are simply rabbit is sold and I simply never ever hear from the person again. Bam, sold gone.

Knowing the later... it makes me wonder if I am simply being stupid for not wanting to drop the price to $5 more than the pet store will offer me. i could always increase my delivery fee charges for those lower priced rabbits (as most pet folk will willingly offer me $10 for delivery rather than the $5 I charge).

BUT.. is that ethical?
Am I overlooking something?

i just don't know.

So looking for some outside eyes to give me some feedback.

thanks.
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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#2  Unread postby macksmom98 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:09 pm


I saw that as ethical. A lot of marketing will move cost from one place to make an item more attractive, but you are really making it up somewhere else. It's all in how it's presented, and that happens with most things we buy. Stores up the price on the tag, slap a sale sign on merchandise, and customers flock in. When the price really hasn't changed much at all. I am not sure I fully understand your question but this answers the last part anyway:). And I sell mostly to the pet market too! In situations where we have a few stragglers and can't get them gone, we sell in the parking lot at the feed store and at the flea market.
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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Tiny Buns » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:20 pm


I am reading this and nodding.

I am in the same boat with sales and dilemmas.

I sell my pedigreed rabbits for $80. The pet store sells whatever and calls it pedigreed for $80. They give me $25. IF I have any left I am more than happy to sell them to the pet store to avoid the endless emails and visits and rejections. The ones I have left are always 'rejects' so I'm happy to hand over the burden to them and they are always grateful to get my 'quality' bunnies. Seems win win to me.

There is a time component to selling rabbits and dropping my price doesn't compensate me enough for all the emails and phone calls and photos and hassle that comes with trying to sell my 'leftovers'.

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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Deer Heart » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:00 pm


I'm not sure if I read correctly. The dilemma is that you make less by selling to pet stores and never have to deal with the rabbit again (also a fast sale) vs. making more money but being held accountable for the rabbit for life (if the new owner wanted) but being a slow sale that could still take weeks to months? I'd say it's a bit 50/50 there. Personally, I'd go for the pet store because that $5 difference could be used up very quickly trying to sell a rabbit that no one is buying - even discounted. Rabbits can very quickly eat $5 in profits and then some when no one's interested.

Also as the saying goes, time is money... so I guess it depends how fast your discounted buns sell for and how much more you can get, so you might have to experiment a bit? If $5 less than pet store still sits unsold for a week + then you are losing money.
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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#5  Unread postby ladysown » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:23 pm


Sali

You hit the nail on the head. Thanks. :)

I may experiment to drop prices to $10 more than pet store prices for those last of the litter kits. I just don't want them taking up room in my cages when I need the space. :)

Even to do it for a week and then sell them to the pet store...gives me that grace period. :)

Macks Mom

Thanks as well... that answers the ethics of it to a certain extent. Part of my dilemma is weighing it out in accordance to my faith. is it right to up the price in one area, while lowering in another. I could just overall raise my delivery fee to $10 as often that's what I'm offered.. and then it's just another bargaining chip. :) People always like to make a deal.
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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#6  Unread postby macksmom98 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:34 pm


I am a person of faith myself and like to think I have a good ethics and values system. I also think it's really easy to become desensitized in today's world, and compromise those values if you aren't careful. It's great that you are concerned and looking at this situation, to be sure:). As long as you aren't hiding costs or really deceiving people I would be ok with that. You are talking about lowering the rabbit price but increasing your delivery charge, and both will be fully disclosed and interested folks will see the breakdown right away. It may seem more attractive to them to have a cheaper rabbit, but they will know they have the pay the $10 delivery fee, and still have a choice to make for themselves, if they agree to that:). I see this situation similarly to writing a craigslist ad. There are words and ways of advertising that are more attractive and more effective. As long as you are honest, you can do that and still hold your head high:)

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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Preitler » Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:18 am


Hm, in my opinion it's not the price that sells. I mean, most pet animals can use up an used cars worth in their lifetime, not that many buyers are aware of that, but people tend to think that they get what they pay for, and some discount animal just doesn't feel right for a ten year commitment.
You can buy some crap chinese video cameras for 15$ on ebay, or, exactly the same classified special spy equipment for 200$, both sell.
There are hundreds of rabbits for free on our equivalent of craiglist, but those who want to buy do pay anyway, charging them actually is a kind of extra service.

With the pet store you just reach another kind of buyers that would not buy directly from you anyway, really a win-win situation, if you want a rabbit gone it's great you have that opportunity.
Also, with doubling the price it could be that you attract another layer of customers, but that would somewhat stretch the ethical part of the deal, and it woul be hard not to grin ear to ear if really someone shows up for that limited special edition rabbit :D

I sold rabbits as pets and lifestock while living close to town, it was a very small market and I only sold those who were too cute for the freezer, about 2-3 per year. Didn't charge much, just enough to fend off snake folk and the "If it's free I'll take anything on a whim" category. I also took care to not advertise them as cheapest, nobody ever haggled about the price (which wasn't much anyway). As I said, there are always hundreds of rabbits for free.
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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Marinea » Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:04 am


macksmom98 wrote:I am a person of faith myself and like to think I have a good ethics and values system. I also think it's really easy to become desensitized in today's world, and compromise those values if you aren't careful. It's great that you are concerned and looking at this situation, to be sure:). As long as you aren't hiding costs or really deceiving people I would be ok with that. You are talking about lowering the rabbit price but increasing your delivery charge, and both will be fully disclosed and interested folks will see the breakdown right away. It may seem more attractive to them to have a cheaper rabbit, but they will know they have the pay the $10 delivery fee, and still have a choice to make for themselves, if they agree to that:). I see this situation similarly to writing a craigslist ad. There are words and ways of advertising that are more attractive and more effective. As long as you are honest, you can do that and still hold your head high:)


This. You have stated prices and delivery fees. No one is forced to buy from you.

For me, the real question would be how much of a price reduction would make it not worth my time. That is something obviously only you can decide.

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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#9  Unread postby a7736100 » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:04 am


IMHO unsold pets should be eaten or processed for pet food. No sense in flooding the market when demand is low. I would also not compete with the pet shop. If it can't sell them it will offer less in the future. Also offer the pet shop to exchange unsold ones for new ones. That way you'll not be processing pets that you've been petting and hugging just before hand.

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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Prisma » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:21 am


Another problem comes with price reducing I've found, or at least in my area. You get people not so apt to take care of them, at all and only call after it is too late to save them. I have had horrible experiences granted that made me stop completely selling any pet. I decided to give it another shot, keep prices higher, and not discount. I keep my prices at or above pet shop price now (nearest is an hour and half away and I check it once a month if have pets to sell (or even brood/show prospects) ). I have not sold any pets still, all have gone for feeders as no one wanted to pay $35.00 and $45.00 for a pet and I refused to sell cheaper. Not saying they aren't worth just as much before discount, but more people have issues with "discounted" rabbits in this area than others. An increasing number of people, still think if you pay good its worth it...if not then its not worth trouble over.

I wouldn't see a problem with discounting if you choose to go that route and then up the delivery price. It is all out in the open, no one is holding any one at gun point so to say, and people are at their free choice to buy or not buy. Its funny, but I've seen this before in sales too (buy x product for 0.99 but pay shipping and handling fee of 29.99) and people snatch up the offer....
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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Bad Habit » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:34 am


I'll keep this short and sweet.

I've been contacted by pet stores in the past asking to buy rabbits. I always say no, because I cannot handle letting go of control like that. I screen the people I sell to, talk to them for a period of time, answer questions and offer advice/opinions. I have no problem refusing a sale if I don't feel the buyer is a suitable home for a rabbit. Pet stores sell to the first person to come along with money, no screening, no questions, just hand over the cash and you own a rabbit.

On the flip side, I also currently have enough room to hold onto those rabbits and offer them as $20 rabbits until they sell, or until they're full grown and I can put them in the freezer.
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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#12  Unread postby ladysown » Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:02 am


If I have the room, I'll happily hold on to them and lower them by $5 a week until I have them sold or say eh.. big enough for the snake guy or to help me make soup. :) But I really have no issues selling to the pet store that I sell to. They have good folk working there.

but usually... I don't have the room and if I do have the room it goes to meat growers as I get more bang for my buck from them as they grow. (food wise).
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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#13  Unread postby akane » Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:11 pm


I would love to have guaranteed sales to a petstore even at low prices. They actually want me to pay them $20 to take my rabbits.
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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#14  Unread postby AprilW » Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:02 pm


I second the opinion not to sell to the pet shop and flood your local market. A few years ago it seemed EVERYONE was breeding rabbits and not good ones, just whatever they could get their hands on. The market became flooded. Rabbits (for pets/unpedigreed meat stock) went from prices in the $20-$30 range to $5 or $10 if you were lucky. Pedigreed, good examples of a breed could not sell for even $20. People wanted to haggle you down. You might get lucky and sell for decent prices at a show, if you had good stock and showed often. The pet store nearest me wants 5-6 week olds and will give you $5 each (which they turn around and sell for $40 each). I don't feel comfortable selling bunnies that young (it's also illegal, but the pet store does not seem to care) and I usually don't decide who to keep until they are at least 10-12 weeks old. So we or our dogs will eat what I don't keep.

Just something to consider. :) Other pet rabbit markets are not quite so saturated but we still have not recovered from this bunny boom.
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Re: Selling to a pet store vs dropping prices

Post Number:#15  Unread postby ladysown » Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:26 pm


pet market here is not saturated from what I can tell. Considering that people drive for a pet bunny 2+ hours to get bunnies from me... and getting more as time goes along. I have no problem selling to the pet store if they want the bunnies.

People are funny... sometimes they wait for me to drop them off at the pet store and then go buy them from the store two days later. :) Go figure. had that happen three times this summer with guinea pigs. Just floors me but they say that if they buy from the store it just seems more "business like". So it's all good. :)
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