Wednesday, May 16, 2012


We've been selling a lot of piglets recently.  Most sales are 2 to 4 pigs, with the occasional 10 pig order.  

 "Hi.  Is this Bruce?  "

 yes, indeed.

 "Do you still have piglets available?"

  yes, quite a few.  How many are you after?

"Well, we usually buy a whole litter at a time.  What kind of a price can we do if we buy a whole litter"

hmm...  right off the bat inquiring as to price. 

"What are you asking for your pigs"

Well, in quantity 1-4, we get $95 a piece for them.  If you're interested in 5 or more, I could come down a little -- $85.   How many are you after? 

he asked me for a discount before asking me what I sold them for.  Got it. 

"We'd like a whole litter; maybe 10?"

I'm sure we can handle that.  When would you like to pick them up? 

"Well, can you do any better on the price?"

This is where I made a mistake; when the conversation happens this way it's almost always someone who is just shopping for the cheapest piglets; they're almost never a serious buyer.  that said...

If you'll buy 14, I'd go to $75 per pig. 

"ok, that sounds great.  Can I pick them up in a week or so?" 

We sell pigs every day.  if you want to reserve those pigs, you'll have to put down a deposit.  Otherwise, the first person to the farm gate gets them.  I'd take $25 per pig, and hold them for 2 weeks for your pick up.  If you don't pick them up I'll keep the deposit.  Sound fair?

"oh no!  I don't do business that way!  I won't put down a deposit!"   quite emphatic

To hold that many pigs I'm going to be telling other folks that they're sold.  Otherwise they're for sale to whomever -- and I could sell them as you drive down here.  We've never done business before; I feel that a deposit is fair to both of us.  And the deposit applies to the pigs.

"I completely understand what you're saying, but I just don't put deposits down.  I'll call you in a few days and see what you have"

I sold that entire litter the next day for $95 a pig.

[a few days later]
"Hey, do you still have that litter?"

No, I don't.  it was sold a few days ago.

"What price did you sell them at? "

$95 each. 

"oh.  Would you have any more?"

Why yes, with a deposit.  But otherwise I'll sell them to whomever gets to the farm gate first.

"I won't put down a deposit!"

That's fine with me.  Perhaps I'll have some pigs left when you stop by.  Have a good day.

The fellow negociated a very good price 


Sagecreek said...

Haha! I wont hold anything without a deposit. And all deposits are non-refundable. I'm also thinking about charging by the day to hold anything longer then a week.

Joanne said...

Yup, you did it right Bruce. Never hold anything without a deposit. I was a construction contractor and I never did work for anyone without a deposite either. I paid cash for all materials and I'd explain that the deposit was to buy the materials for their job. I didn't bankroll anyone. That held true even when I did work for government agencies (unless it was a little one day repair job). They didn't call it a down payment, they liked to call it start up money. What ever makes them happy.

Now, with my CSA program, people have to put up half the money when they sign on and the rest is due when they start receiving shares. If they decide that they don't want to do the program after all, if there's someone on the waiting list to take their place I'll refund their money, or if they're leaving for extraordinary circumstances, but other than that, I keep the money because I could have signed up someone else who has now signed with another farm.

Barefoot Farm and Flowers said...

We require nonrefundable deposits as well. Just makes sense.

When we were first starting out and buying pigs from other producers we were also charged a daily rate to feed the piglets until we were able to pick them up. Once we had placed a deposit on them they were on my dime. That encouraged us to pick up in a timely manner, for sure.

Walter Jeffries said...

I get these. They are generally in mid to late spring. They haven't reserved. By mid-spring piglets are sold out through June easily with reserves ($15) per piglet. That reserve list keeps moving through the summer. It isn't until fall that someone can call and just come to get piglets. Late winter, spring and summer piglets have all been reserved as much as a year ahead. Like you, I don't hold piglets without reservations and certainly not during the high sales seasons.

Likewise on individual meat orders we do a $100 deposit.