When I am Queen...

When I am queen, I shall decree that all of the hybridizers who are introducing and selling their first batch of registrations be restricted from selling them at the current, assumed and cursory $100+ price tag. 

I didn't say I'd be a fair queen.

On an intellectual level, I understand the emotional attachment, monetary investment, and all the blood, sweat and tears involved in cultivating a plump daylily seed into several blooming-size divisions ready for market.  (this includes dirt, fertilizer, chemical or organic treatments, etc.) I also understand that as long as the consumer continues to pay a certain price, the seller's will stretch as far as the market will bear.  I do not understand it from a marketing perspective.  I say to you: You aren't a proven commodity yet.  You can't justify setting your price point at that of an established, proven, tested hybridizer.  You don't enter the market with your first products at a exclusionary pricepoint if you expect to develop a following. 

  • How else could you get your plants into gardens than to sell new introductions at more affordable prices?
  • How else can you start to establish yourself and your hybridizing efforts than to make your plants accessible to more than a few folks?
  • With all the daylily sources readily available with the click of a mouse, wouldnt it be smarter to undercut the others, and ride out that publicity of being the one with the affordable and accessible introductions?
  • Wouldn't you sell more?
  • Who established this imaginary, arbitrary, $100 price tag, anyway?  Who decided that if a daylily is new this year that it should be marketed for $100 or more?
On one hand, I applaud the bravado of someone who enters the market at the same price of the industry leaders.  I'm not immediately aware of any other industry where the rookie* runs with the big dogs on its first day out. 

So, when I am queen, the market gets the opportunity of buying current year introductions from rookie hybridizers* for less than $100 per double fan. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my new declaration. 

*rookie hybridizer:  an individual who has registered their first daylilies with the AHS and is offering them into commerce for the first time.


Phyllis Enriquez said...

Dear Queen,
When you do this, please also mandate that all humanity no longer equate price with quality. (As in...It's only $20? What's wrong with it?) You raise an interesting point but until the price/quality perception link is broken, I doubt there will be much change in the current practice.
This strong 'link' manifests itself in other ways; a couple of years ago a friend confessed to using a particular pollen quite heavily just because it was the most expensive plant in the garden . Luckily, she has since come to her senses and an intervention was not necessary.
Kindest regards,

Anonymous said...

Dear Queen,

A new hybridizer should not intro at anything over $100? And provide a double fan, as well?

That hybridizer may have been working for 10 years to produce and perfect his/her first intros. And "not a proven commodity"? That's ridiculous. He/she has observed those new intros for years and they most certainly are proven to him/her and quite possibly other visitors to their garden.

That new intro may also have won a Junior Citation or one of many other regional awards for seedlings. It wasn't just the hybridizer who recognized that plant as special, it was many other people.

I respectfully submit that you need to climb down off of that throne and proceed to the Time Out chair.

Nikki Schmith said...

Dear Anonymous~ Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate the time you took to read my first declaration as queen.

First, I never debated the investment a hybridizer has in their babies. I question the arbitrary, customary $100 price tag that gets slapped on almost every new intro out there. There is no formula that calculates that it costs every hybridizer the same to raise it to market. It is no coincidence that everything is this arbitrary $100. Phyllis (the commenter before you) hit the nail on the head. It is misperception that price=quality.

Now, the seedling has won a JC?
That's credibility.
That's a proven commodity.
But the JC list is a small list each year compared to the hundreds of hybridizers that are putting out flyers with their $100 price tags.

I know you know I'm a friend of the hybridizer. All of them.
I'm a true supporter of entreprenurial ventures of any kind.

But I'm also a realist and I feel taken advantage of as a daylily consumer when the assumption is made that anyone can ask at least $100 for an intro when they have no "cred" in the industry.

I am really appreciative of your comment and your point of view. I hope you come back for more daylily tales...I do much more than declare myself queen! :)

Tee said...

Hail to the Queen! :o)

El said...

Her Majesty is right to question the arbitrariness of the number. Why $100? Why not $98.50? Or $111? When I was a child, my Barbie dolls had a boutique where they would sell their belongings to each other. The price on every item was $17.93. The little pink sandals...the wedding dress...the convertible (yes, I was a little spoiled). I haven't a clue where that number came from. But now that I think of it, it looks like a possible lottery winner to me.


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