Is it just me? No prices?

grizzlywon

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Am I the only one that hates it when he goes to a bonsai nursery and there aren't prices on anything? Or at least the nicer trees aren't marked? I feel like, if it isn't for sale, fine, put that on the tree. But if it is, know what you want for it and mark it.

It just feels like a game sometimes and that the buyer is the one who is the one that stands to loose. I have gotten the feeling that the prices changes on a daily basis or the seller judges the buyer and tries to get what he thinks he can from they buyer. I

What do you guys think?
 

Tachigi

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In a nursery...everything is for sale. If you need a price tag you probably can't afford it so ..no issue:D
 

M.B.

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It just feels like a game sometimes and that the buyer is the one who is the one that stands to loose. I have gotten the feeling that the prices changes on a daily basis or the seller judges the buyer and tries to get what he thinks he can from they buyer. I

What do you guys think?

I think you're exactly right. It is a game of sorts. If you roll into the bonsai nursery's parking lot in your shiny new Mercedes or Jag or ? you better believe the price goes up for no matter what you're looking at. On the other hand if you are a regular customer that shops there often, they know your affiliated with the local club, ect. The owners usually evaluate what you can afford or willing to pay by what you've bought in the past and you usually can get a better deal. Sometimes, if there are two owners, you might find one owner is more generous than the other when asking prices, then you know to ask that person everytime you are interested in something.
I know the fact that there are no posted prices is rather annoying, but that's just part of the game. Prices do change daily for various reasons. After you've been doing bonsai for awhile and asking prices, going to lots of shows, lots of nurserys, you usually know roughly the ballpark figure even before you ask.
Mary B.
 

Bonsai Nut

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I do not like it at all. In my opinion if a tree is not for sale, it should be clearly marked as such, or moved to a special display area. Unfortunately, many of the nurseries I visit co-mingle their retail and grow-out areas so you can't tell exactly what you are looking at.

There is one nursery in particular where in excess of 50% of the trees in public display are not for sale. Some are exhibition quality, while others are being used for grafts, or for cuttings, or whatever. I truly spent an hour there one day and asked about 10 different trees and was told each time they were not for sale. I felt like I was wasting my time, as well as wasting the time of the proprietor by constantly having to get him, ask him to price a tree, and then be told it wasn't for sale.

This nursery knows who I am - I have been going there for years. I personally think it is just a little disorganized - and that is the way they like it. However it is almost an hour's drive from my house (one way) and I have stopped going there as frequently because the shopping experience is so challenging.
 

flor1

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Have to agree with you 100%. When I go to a Bonsai Nursery I may only want to spend so much if priced saves me and the nurseryman both time. I can spend hours looking at plants then find out that it's not sale is a waste of both our times. Thats my rant for the week. :confused:
 

bonsai barry

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I like it. It's "Let's make a deal." I find a few that I like (I'm usually buying pre-bonsai), group them together and get a price. Usually there is some discussion (which I learn something about the plant and the seller), a bit of shuffling the mix around before a deal is made. I always let them know that I'm paying with cash.
 

rockm

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Most of the bonsai nurseries I've been to around these parts physically separate their "NFS" trees from the sale stock with separate areas. All of the not for sale trees are in their own fenced area, or an area separated by a barrier of some sort. Those trees don't have price tags on them.

However, if you're not familiar with the set up, you might wind up asking "how much" for an unmarked tree. The old "if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it" applies to unmarked bonsai. Asking, however, doesn't hurt and it might even be a starting point for negotiations--if you're really interested...
 

Bill S

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I see this thing in a lot of differant places - usually ruins a sale for me.

"The owners usually evaluate what you can afford or willing to pay by what you've bought in the past and you usually can get a better deal." - Can't see this happening much, not these days or in America, a bussiness man has a price he needs to meet to cover costs and overhead.
 

Tachigi

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Asking, however, doesn't hurt and it might even be a starting point for negotiations--if you're really interested...

I agree with Mark here, but would expand it with a personal example.

At two separate nurseries here on the east coast, one being local and one being in New England. I lusted after a couple different trees that each nursery respectively had. These trees had no price tag and when I asked the price I got the response "these trees are not for sale".

Sometime later I returned to these nurseries and plunked down several thousand dollars on trees that were marked. At both nurseries following the transaction the owners of the nurseries informed me that they had some other trees that I might be interested in. Then both owners walked me straight up to the "not for sale" trees that I had inquired about previously.

Lesson learned: Actions speak louder than words and opens up new doors if your perceived as a player. This isn't limited to just the bonsai arena if you think about it. If you have ever been to a casino, night club, or other venue where joe average and daddy warbucks co-exist under the same roof there is always avenues and features open to those with above average cash to spend. You may not like this double standard, but none the less its a fact of life and the way things work for whatever reason the owner has deemed.
 
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Bonsai Nut

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I think there is a difference between cutting a deal, and a tree being not for sale.

In the nursery I mentioned earlier, there are price tags on about 10% of their trees :) I will sometimes ask for a deal if I buy a fair amount of trees, or extra pots - and sometimes I will get one :)

The issue for me is not whether a nursery will flex their pricing - it is a question of whether trees are being sold at all. I walked around the nursery and found a nice (small) hornbeam buried way in the back. I got the proprietor, brought him all the way to the back, asked for a price on the tree. "Not for sale" I am told "I am going to use it for cuttings because I am almost out of hornbeams". Ok... any other hornbeams? "No I need to use them all for cuttings. Demand is up for them and we used to have a ton but not any more."

So then I walk around a little more and fine a nice plum. Go get the proprietor. "Oh, that tree belongs to my mom." "Will she sell it?" "Let me check." Five minutes later: "No she doesn't want to sell." Do you have any other plums? "No that is the only one."

Etc, etc. I could go on but that was my experience. This is a very reputable bonsai nursery, by the way, not some fly-by-night operation. But I still wish they would organization their setup a little better...
 

mcpesq817

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In a nursery...everything is for sale. If you need a price tag you probably can't afford it so ..no issue:D


That's what I figure too, though your personal anecdote doesn't really surprise me :)
 

rockm

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"Lesson learned: Actions speak louder than words and opens up new doors if your perceived as a player."

Not really perceived as a "player" as that can be taken wrong:D. I'd say "serious buyer worth the seller's investment in time and effort." I've heard from reputable sellers that they get "talked up" about a certain tree, only to find that the buyer is only interested in talking them down--STEEPLY and sometimes loudly and obnoxiously--from their asking price. Look at it this way, why invest the time and effort in talking with someone who's trying, basically, to steal your tree, or beat you into embarrassed submission? Sellers have horror stories too--they deal with people who think nothing of "offering" to buy something at a 75 percent or steeper discount and then get offended when that "offer" isn't considered by the seller. It's a waste of time on both sides.

Unmarked trees might be a way of thinning out the lowballers.

This isn't to say you have to be rich to get into the inner circle or something equally paranoid. It's just that if you're interested in stock that's unmarked, be serious about actually plunking down money and not just yanking the seller's chain. If you've not done alot of business with them, they have no idea whether you're serious about buying or not.
 

greerhw

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Money talks and bullshit walks.............:cool:

keep it green,
Harry
 

rockm

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"The issue for me is not whether a nursery will flex their pricing - it is a question of whether trees are being sold at all. I walked around the nursery and found a nice (small) hornbeam buried way in the back. I got the proprietor, brought him all the way to the back, asked for a price on the tree. "Not for sale" I am told "I am going to use it for cuttings because I am almost out of hornbeams". Ok... any other hornbeams? "No I need to use them all for cuttings. Demand is up for them and we used to have a ton but not any more."

So then I walk around a little more and fine a nice plum. Go get the proprietor. "Oh, that tree belongs to my mom." "Will she sell it?" "Let me check." Five minutes later: "No she doesn't want to sell." Do you have any other plums? "No that is the only one."

THat's just sloppy :D It's not convenient or sensible, but apparently that's the way the guy operates. I'd look on the bright side, apparently the person know an incredible amount about the trees he has (knowing where they are, what he's going to do with them, who "owns" them, etc). That's what I'd value, notsomuch his organizational skills:D

I'd rather have a knowledgeable seller who is not real organized than one who has no idea what you've brought him or what you're asking about, but has everything clearly marked with a price.
 

greerhw

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Back when my hobby was building street rods and restoring antique cars(and yes I did all the work myself) I found a guy with a nice orignal 32 Ford five window coupe, a couple of friends told me I was waisting my time, he wouldn't sell. I contacted the guy and just so happens, he was going through a divorce and needed the money, so I bought it. Now here's the point I want to make, he also showed me a rust free 1931 model A deluxe roadster, I had a friend that had been looking for one to reatore for a long, long time, this one was just a body but it had a beautiful windshield and top irons, but when I ask if it was for sale he said no way. I contacted my friend anyway and told him about it. He contacted the owner anyway, went over to see the car and offered the 1000 bucks, a lot of money then, and the owner said hell yes, it seems everyone else wanted to steal it. So just because someone tells you something isn't for sale, you can buy some things, if you're willing to make an offer.

keep it green,
Harry
 

Smoke

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Back when my hobby was building street rods and restoring antique cars(and yes I did all the work myself) I found a guy with a nice orignal 32 Ford five window coupe, a couple of friends told me I was waisting my time, he wouldn't sell. I contacted the guy and just so happens, he was going through a divorce and needed the money, so I bought it. Now here's the point I want to make, he also showed me a rust free 1931 model A deluxe roadster, I had a friend that had been looking for one to reatore for a long, long time, this one was just a body but it had a beautiful windshield and top irons, but when I ask if it was for sale he said no way. I contacted my friend anyway and told him about it. He contacted the owner anyway, went over to see the car and offered the 1000 bucks, a lot of money then, and the owner said hell yes, it seems everyone else wanted to steal it. So just because someone tells you something isn't for sale, you can buy some things, if you're willing to make an offer.

keep it green,
Harry

Money usually solves most problems. The big problem arises when you don't have enough to get the problem solved...."Haves" and "Have-nots" springs to mind.
 

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"The issue for me is not whether a nursery will flex their pricing - it is a question of whether trees are being sold at all. I walked around the nursery and found a nice (small) hornbeam buried way in the back. I got the proprietor, brought him all the way to the back, asked for a price on the tree. "Not for sale" I am told "I am going to use it for cuttings because I am almost out of hornbeams". Ok... any other hornbeams? "No I need to use them all for cuttings. Demand is up for them and we used to have a ton but not any more."

So then I walk around a little more and fine a nice plum. Go get the proprietor. "Oh, that tree belongs to my mom." "Will she sell it?" "Let me check." Five minutes later: "No she doesn't want to sell." Do you have any other plums? "No that is the only one."

THat's just sloppy :D It's not convenient or sensible, but apparently that's the way the guy operates. I'd look on the bright side, apparently the person know an incredible amount about the trees he has (knowing where they are, what he's going to do with them, who "owns" them, etc). That's what I'd value, notsomuch his organizational skills:D



I'd rather have a knowledgeable seller who is not real organized than one who has no idea what you've brought him or what you're asking about, but has everything clearly marked with a price.

Sorry Mark I have to disagree. There is a great bonsai nursery in Southern California which does not have material tagged. There is also an area in the back of the nursery in which all the plants that are not for sale are kept. This means everything outside of the fenced area is for sale. I don't mind asking for a price but I refuse to hear not for sale. If you have a retail nursery I respect your notion to have things not for sale, but please keep them from being mixed in with all that is for sale. This is just being customer friendly and makes it much easier for the shopper.

The nursery;

Kimura's on Roscoe Blvd.
 

grizzlywon

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For me when things aren't marked, that's fine, but the nurseryman or a worker who knows the prices needs to follow the customers around and be there to tell them if they ask (after all, isn't that the bottom line when you are shopping?)
A few nurseries I have been to are quite large and you can spend hours walking back and forth trying to find someone to tell you the price of a tree (that many times isn't marked with the species!) Then, I asking them, how much is the I get to the point of just giving up! At least have a price sheet that you can hand to people.

It just doesn't make since to me as it is a waste of time for the nurseryman and if buyers are like me, as I suppose most are, it just costs them money! My thought would be, to label the trees (species, etc), and have a price sheet that can be changed from time to time?
 

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