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Author Topic: I've been given the 'green light' to turn my hobby into a full time business!  (Read 2070 times)

Offline Spear

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My step father has seen that beekeeping can 'pay the bills', and has offered to help me build up my 'little' hobby - currently working 13 hives - into a full time business over the next 5 years or so. My plan is to not only sell honey but to sell nucs and other bee related products as well. Now my question is When you sell a nuc do you sell just the frames and bees and the buyer brings their own box or is the box included in the price? Or should I give them the option of buying with or with out the box and adjusting the price accordingly?

I've always wanted to keep bees but never really thought that my dream would come true in such a big way!

Offline Better.to.Bee.than.not

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Good luck. you sell nucs generally with the box, at least in this neck of the woods. you sell packages with just the bees. Or you can sell just bees and frames for whatever you wish also. I see no harm in allowing the choice. 

Moots

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When I purchased my Nucs to get started, it was a bring your own box situation.  I think that's the norm in my area.  The transferring form sellers to buyers equipment is always a good time to look things over and let the seller show the buyer exactly what they are getting.

However, I've heard of it being done many different ways and see no downside to offering your customers options and letting them choose what works best for them.  If they wish to buy the box, adjust the price accordingly.  Another option is to collect a deposit for the box, if it's returned in X number of days or weeks, you refund the deposit, if not you keep it.

Good Luck!

Offline Better.to.Bee.than.not

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Ya the deposit is a good idea.... or even a deposit and a bit of a extra charge. You are surely not in the business of letting people borrow your equipment, just for the sake of them doing it. course you are getting the sale of the nuc, it would be extra start up money to provide boxes, and then sort of a hassle to have people showing up again with them later saying they want their deposit back.

Offline mikecva

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We use the treated cardboard nuc boxes and ask for them to be returned. We added 1/2 the cost of the boxes into the cost of the nucs. Over the years this has worked out so that in some years or returning customers I can reduce the basic nuc cost.   -Mike
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Offline AliciaH

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Use of equipment with a deposit based on return is a hassle.  You have to track the deposit money separate from the cost of the bees, you have to track the time frames in which the deposits are refundable, you have to track who has what equipment (in my experience, that equipment rarely comes back in a timely fashion).  It can be done, yes, but in the height of the season, it's a lot of tracking.  And if someone's helping you (usually a family member?) then it might be hard to keep all those options straight.

Just use a cardboard nuc and call it good.  They aren't that expensive and you don't have the hassle of different pricing based on whether or not someone brings a box.  Also, it's a good way to get an extra box into a customer's inventory.  I've never had anyone say, "It was a hassle storing that box."  But I have had many people say, "I was really glad I had that nuc when my hive swarmed!" 

If they really want to return it and ask about doing so, take Mike's advice and pay back 1/2 the cost of the nuc.  But don't make it a deposit.  That way, if it doesn't come back, you haven't lost anything because you already factored it in to the overall price of your product.

Oh, and congratulations on getting the green light!