Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yea, I'm the one who's being a dick

I posted an ad on the local craigslist to sell some turkey eggs. My incubators are full, so until I hatch some turkeys, I've got some surplus eggs. Here's the ad:

Hatching eggs: Chicken, turkey
Fertile chicken eggs:

Barred rock, $1
Cuckoo Maran, $3

Fertile turkey eggs
Narragansett: $3
Bourbon Red: $5
Blue Slate: $4
Eastern Wild: $6
Black Spanish: $5

Eggs are collected twice a day and carefully stored. You'll get eggs that were laid less than 24 hours ago. Farm in Everett, but I live on capitol hill in downtown Seattle, so you can pick up either place.

After I posted that ad I got various responses, and sold 10 dozen eggs of various sorts. And then this fellow wrote me:

From: Dominic
Per dozen?

And I responded the price listed was per egg. His response?

From Dominic
that's unfortunate, its too expensive.

At this point I could have just ignored the guy. But maybe he's got a source of heritage eggs somewhere. It does happen; people sell stuff for silly prices, and I'm not against buying out another farmer if they want out of the business. So I write:

If you can find fertile turkey eggs for $3/dozen, let me know. I'll buy every single one of them

He wants purebred heritage turkey hatching eggs for 25 cents each; clearly he has no idea what they sell for. So I go about my business. his next message:

From: Dominic
Well, there's a big difference between the $12 a dozen I can get by driving a bit and the $36 a dozen you propose, isn't there?Its fine: obviously if you have a local market that can support that price, than that's what you should be charging. I just wanted to let you know, you'd have me as a customer if you weren't charging so much: that's all.

Hmm... Maybe he doesn't know what it costs to produce the eggs. Ok. I'll bite and try to educate the guy a little. So I write:

I'm asking where you can buy them for $12 a dozen. I'm serious about buying them. That's below the cost to produce. Save me some money. Even chicken eggs sell for $5/dozen.
Once hatched the poults are worth $9 each.

His reply:

From: Dominic Just ask around - I've found multiple breeders in the past willing to offer them at that price. People who aren't so greedy.But hey, whatever you can get, right?

Ok. Now I'm greedy. This guy is pretty annoying, but in the interests of education, I offer:

Would you be willing to bet $200 that you cannot find 3 dozen heritage hatching eggs for $12 a dozen or less in the next two weeks?Turkey feed costs $400 a ton or $0.20 lb. To get a turkey to laying age takes 140lbs of feed or $28. Then you have to pay for equipment, land, mortality and the turkey poults, which cost $10 each. It ends up costing about $60 per hen. The hen will lay 15 eggs a month for 2-3 months. I'm not including any allowance for labor, predators or hens that don't lay. Keeping the hen after her first season is more expensive. So the $.50 net profit per egg is greedy? Do YOU work for minimum wage?

Anytime that I'm willing to bet a couple of hundred dollars, I'm pretty sure I'm going to win.

his reply:
From Dominic: Would you be willing to bet $200 that I can't?

A sucker is born every minute

Yes, absolutely. $200 that you cannot find 3 dozen purebred heritage turkey eggs within a 50 mile radius of Seattle for $12 a dozen or less.
$12 a dozen is below the cost to produce. Going out of business sales are great for saving money but then the store is gone.
If you enjoy having local farms I suggest you support them.
There are no farms offering purebred heritage turkey eggs for $12 a dozen
Check eBay for national prices. With shipping the market price is $45 a dozen

I think i won this bet but he'll never pay up. His reply?

From Dominic: If you are my local farm choices, I'll pass. You're a dick.

Ok, so first I'm greedy, then I'm just a dick. Fine. But he's grist for my blog, so I ask his permission before I post this:

With your permission, I'll post this entire thread to my blog and expose to the world exactly the sort of dick that I am. That will certainly teach me a lesson, right? If I do not hear from you by midnight Sunday, I'll post the entire thread.

His reply:

From Dominic: Yes, I have been able to obtain turkey and goose eggs for less than $15 in other circumstances. Egg are available via eggbid for $2-4 each, which is in your price range: http://eggbid.com/listings/index.cfm?category=960337805

A few years ago there was a nice lady who had a farm near centralia who offered me those prices.

Do I believe in supporting local farms?
Yeah, sure I do - but dude, you've got to work on your customer service. Whatever the price, your customers need to believe in YOU, that's why they are going to support you, and they can't believe in you if you are standoffish or disagreeable.

Even at the prices you were posting with I probably would have bought 2 dozen from you - but am I going to do that when someone is being a huge dick to me?

No, c'mon, of course I'm not. So whatever else you got, you lost 1 good customer who is active in a local community that you could have tapped into: but you lost out on that because you wanted to get to feel morally superior or whatever it was that motivated your actions.

Please, we need a good functioning local farm community here - but for that to work people need to interact with compassion and to build and be part of something more and bigger than just their own concerns. I want you to succeed, but I also want to work with people who make me feel good about being me. Do you help your other customers believe in their purchases?

Do you talk with them, or do you just act like a dick like you did with me? You can post whatever you wish, I'd prefer that you didn't use my name or post my email address: but if you exclude those or use a pseudonym using the text of our correspondence is fine with me.

Ok dominic, now the entire web knows the kind of greedy dick that I am.

Why doesn't he go back to the farm in centralia? Because they're probably out of business. Selling stuff below cost does that to you.


Dave said...

Kinda reminds me of the post about the guy not wanting to pay up for the pig.
If he is able to get them cheaper elsewhere why even bother responding to your add ?

Anonymous said...

Hilarious, Dominic is obviously a poor loser, instead of paying up on the lost bet, he started calling names. hahaha.

Yeah . . . "A few years ago . . . " bwahahahahahahahaha. Too funny.

Bruce King said...

Yea, still waiting for my $200.00

MMP said...

Its a pretty hard and fast business rule, a producer that under charges for his products does a dis-service to his customers. His nice lady under charging for eggs is a good example. She's no longer available and Dominic now has an unrealistic expectation about price that is going to prevent him from enjoying his chosen activity, raising turkeys.

It's also funny that Dominics accusations make him guilty of the same behavior he is trying to criticize. Did he make any attempt to resolve the situation amicably? The thread looks like he escalated on every response. And calling himself a good customer? He hasn't bought anything. He's not a customer, he is a looky-loo. And no business can survive on looky-loos.

Anonymous said...

Lets see, you offered a product for a set price. He tried to bargain, you weren't flexible, he got angry and started throwing insults (equivalent of a temper tantrum).

I wish I lived near you. I want Cockoo Marans and Bourbon Reds. If they were my eggs I'd rather feed the excess to the pigs than sell them at a loss.

Chelle said...

You should email Dominic with the URL to this post and let him know that someone in upstate NY who's also active in her local community thinks he's the dick.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, it seems like he just misunderstood - you don't say that your prices are PER EGG, do you bruce? Lots of people sell hatching eggs for $3 a dozen in their communities, so its not so unreasonable to think that someone who is trying to get into turkeys from chickens might think that was a reasonable price. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

Bruce - how many times did you have to email Dominic to elicit those annoyed responses? You present it like you just got these unsolicited, but Dominic tells me that in reality you had to contact him several times before he called you a "dick" just because you emailed him 3 times and wouldn't leave him along.

Bruce King said...

I've posted all of the messages exchanged to that point, in the order they happened.

Regarding giving him a break; I'd agree, that there might have been some misunderstanding about the price, and that would explain the first message, and my response, but after that it was all dominic.

Anonymous said...

Give him the benefit of the doubt? lol, he's not only a poor loser, he must be an idiot, I reread the whole thing and it's so entertaining! As much as I would like the price to be per/doz, when I connect my brain cells, I can't even fantasize that would be anywhere near reality. So let's see, he paid $12/doz a couple of years ago and he really expects them to sell for $3/doz now? roflmho Sorry dominic, but you just crack me up.
I don't see Bruce's follow up as unreasonable, Bruce just wasn't giving dic, I mean, dominic the answers d wanted so d resorted to name calling, which of course is rather sophomoric. Of course, calling dominic a dic is really an insult to dick. must stop now so I can breath again. I've heard laughter is good for the bones, mine must be healing today!! Thanks, dominic!! and you too Bruce, lol
PS dominic, if you're not gonna pay up, you could at least apologize for the insults, although, I'm sure Bruce wouldn't mind if it were the other way around.

Unknown said...

Hi Bruce:

Do you still have black spanish, bourbon red and fertile eggs? could you gather like 30 of each? If so, please contact me joselitogomez@kaqik.com



Bruce King said...

I'm past the laying season for my hens this year and have had trouble keeping enough turkeys for the usual holiday demands. Sorry I can't help you either with birds or with eggs. I'll have more eggs in november.