Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  drgonzo on Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:34 pm

Thank you all so much for these excellent and detailed responses. I'm glad there are other folks that were wondering the same thing as I was.

I think as we progress in the hobby and our confidence builds we begin to be attracted to more expensive material, Bonsai has an ephemeral quality to it, but its nuts and bolts are simply "potted plant for sale" Its indeed difficult to explain to folks why a "plant" might be worth multiple 1000's. And the answer ultimately is... time. My wife understands this (thank God) after a few years of watching what I'm bringing home.

Thank you Marcus for the very detailed example of nursery practice overseas, In the USA we don't pay nearly the percentages to the government, not yet, that you folks do. The only experience I have with not paying face value for trees is if I'm a repeat customer as I am for a few nurseries around my parts. They know me and sometimes I get a plant for free or a discount if I buy a couple trees from a fellow. But with regards purchasing a "specimen" tree its nice to know I'm not the only one with the inclination to talk prices.

-Jay

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:16 pm

However, it would be rude to discuss with others the price you paid, regardless of the effect negotiation.

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  marcus watts on Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:41 am

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:However, it would be rude to discuss with others the price you paid, regardless of the effect negotiation.

I fully disagree with this...........this is primarily a forum populated by the general public ie customers, rather than traders trying to guard secretly their prices. If the knowledge of what price trees are changing hands for is shared it empowers the buyers with the knowlege of comparison and a wider understanding of average market value. The only people with reason to be illusive about price would be someone who bought cheap and was looking to sell on expensive !!. - some newcomers to tree buying are charged a lot more than they need to be, especially if they only shop in one outlet and know no different, this is bad for the hobby as prices stay high if people just pay.

I'm happy to indicate the prices i've paid for trees and would welcome others to do so, so we can all learn (password protect the forum from the better halfs !!!! Laughing Laughing
2009 - price tag £345, price paid £345 ($545) Satsuki are still cheap as they are not (were not? in 09) QT'd at source for 2 years

2011 - (Red maple, Tokoname pot) price tag £1600, paid £1600 ($2500) + free tree to value of £400 (i chose a tree priced £300)

White beech price tag £395, paid £395 ($625) but traded in £40 of wire into same price

Yew raw material £250 tag, paid £250 ($395)

Hinoki part styled at time £2750 price tag, Paid £1700 ($2685)

juniper price tag £5000, bought in half price winter sale £2500 ($3950)

trident on rock - price tag £90, paid £60 ($95)

juniper rigida - price tag £4000, paid £2500 ($4000)

These came from 4 seperate outlets in the Uk, one is my local nursery, two I have only visited twice each and the other I try to visit 2 or 3 times a year to socially keep in touch and to see some great trees

hope others will add to the thread so we can all learn a bit more.

Marcus



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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:38 am

If I were a dealer and you negotiated a price with me, then published that price in some way, I would less likely to negotiate with you the next time.

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:49 pm

I think, perhaps, it is a cultural thing. We over here are much less likely to discuss such specifics.

I, for one, would be very uncomfortable even asking. Or, maybe it is generational.

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  my nellie on Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:00 pm

Being able to negotiate prices effectively is a virtue, you know...
On the other hand, not being able to express a word about the negotiability of a price, it's also a matter of one's character which perhaps one cannot overcome...
I can understand what Jim says because unfortunately most of times I also feel uncomfortable to ask even though I can see the very obvious over-rated price...
Nevertheless, I do believe that bonsai prices are negotiable.

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:44 pm

I have negotiated prices with the manager of Wal Mart. If I think something is over priced I will say so and negotiate. If I think it is over priced I have to want it very bad to buy it, usually I just walk away.

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:09 pm

JimLewis wrote:I think, perhaps, it is a cultural thing. We over here are much less likely to discuss such specifics.

I, for one, would be very uncomfortable even asking. Or, maybe it is generational.


I totally agree, especially about the generational part.

Having said that I can't believe you paid only 545$ for that beautiful satsuki Marcus!

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  Poink88 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:03 pm

marcus watts wrote:
Billy M. Rhodes wrote:However, it would be rude to discuss with others the price you paid, regardless of the effect negotiation.

I fully disagree with this...........this is primarily a forum populated by the general public ie customers, rather than traders trying to guard secretly their prices. If the knowledge of what price trees are changing hands for is shared it empowers the buyers with the knowlege of comparison and a wider understanding of average market value. The only people with reason to be illusive about price would be someone who bought cheap and was looking to sell on expensive !!. - some newcomers to tree buying are charged a lot more than they need to be, especially if they only shop in one outlet and know no different, this is bad for the hobby as prices stay high if people just pay.

I'm happy to indicate the prices i've paid for trees and would welcome others to do so, so we can all learn (password protect the forum from the better halfs !!!! Laughing Laughing
2009 - price tag £345, price paid £345 ($545) Satsuki are still cheap as they are not (were not? in 09) QT'd at source for 2 years

2011 - (Red maple, Tokoname pot) price tag £1600, paid £1600 ($2500) + free tree to value of £400 (i chose a tree priced £300)

White beech price tag £395, paid £395 ($625) but traded in £40 of wire into same price

Yew raw material £250 tag, paid £250 ($395)

Hinoki part styled at time £2750 price tag, Paid £1700 ($2685)

juniper price tag £5000, bought in half price winter sale £2500 ($3950)

trident on rock - price tag £90, paid £60 ($95)

juniper rigida - price tag £4000, paid £2500 ($4000)

These came from 4 seperate outlets in the Uk, one is my local nursery, two I have only visited twice each and the other I try to visit 2 or 3 times a year to socially keep in touch and to see some great trees

hope others will add to the thread so we can all learn a bit more.

Marcus
WOW! Shocked The most I've spend on a single tree I think is about $150 (tax and/or shipping included). About half of my stock is acquired just with sweat equity. Though I cannot see the pics, I am sure none of my stump/pre-bonsai is even remotely close to these.

I agree, I hope others share theirs too. It is nice to know how much people buy/sell their trees...it gives some of us (with less exposure and funds Embarassed ) proper perspective.

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  Fore on Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:52 pm

I have to agree with Marcus. Telling someone the price you paid for a tree shouldn't be a taboo. It helps us all to get a good grip on the street value of trees, and what to expect to pay for the quality of the tree purchased. So Thank You Marcus for sharing yours.
I did the same on another forum but am not sure I'm allowed to post that link. Someone asked and I told them. I was not embarrassed about what I paid as I felt they were worth the money.

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  Poink88 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:58 pm

Fore wrote:I did the same on another forum but am not sure I'm allowed to post that link.
You can just copy-paste your post here. Wink

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:14 pm

The thing my wife and I were discussing last night was that, in my opinion, the dollar value of a tree really only comes into play when its time to buy or sell one. Somehow the owner must be compensated for their time and devotion. I have read a few stories about Artists who prefer to trade trees as that would be the only way to truly be compensated. How can one really pay a person for 20-40 years worth of work?

When I look at one of my trees I don't ever see a price tag, I think of its age, others who have had it before me...the joy it's brought to my life. BUT a price tag is a necessity in our world. Only recently have I moved past thoughts like "man that tree is the same price as a used car.." and just see the tree for what it is first, and its "dollar value" further down in importance....

I agree with Russell that Azalea was a STEAL!

-Jay

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:15 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:I have negotiated prices with the manager of Wal Mart.


Billy, you sir, are my hero. Very Happy
-Jay

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:20 pm


I dunno...

Between friends is one thing, but to broadcast it to the world is another. Maybe it's a Southern thing, but the way I was reared asking and telling like this would be considered really trashy. And if I did I wouldn't want to be around my mother when she found out about it.

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:01 pm

I was lucky enough to be able to travel over seas in my 'salad days' and one thing that struck me profoundly and made me really re-think my life was how the emphasis and cultural taboos we have in America with regards to "money" are really only indigeanous to our country. People in Canada. England..etc think and regard things like money, careers, and thus personal value in a different way then we do in the states. They are much more relaxed about it. It was very refreshing. Admittedly that was many years ago, things may have changed since then.

One thing they are not relaxed about is football (soccer) Very Happy
-Jay

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  coh on Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:16 pm

Russell Coker wrote:
I dunno...

Between friends is one thing, but to broadcast it to the world is another. Maybe it's a Southern thing, but the way I was reared asking and telling like this would be considered really trashy. And if I did I wouldn't want to be around my mother when she found out about it.
That's kind of the way I feel about it (and I'm a native New Yorker, so I don't think it's a southern thing...unless it's a by-product of living south of the Mason Dixon line for 10 years along the way). Among friends, sure I'll discuss prices. And maybe I would post a tree and say what I paid for it (like Marcus did) - but I don't think I'd broadcast the name of the nursery or seller, especially if I got a discount. Maybe I got a "friend" or repeat-customer discount, or a special deal for helping out with something else...deals that others wouldn't be able to get.

Ultimately, as I stated previously - it comes down to what someone is willing to pay (and what the seller is willing to accept). So if I go to bonsai nursery xyz and pay $500 for a tree, and then find out that someone else has only paid $300 for a very similar tree...I shouldn't really be upset - because at the time of the deal, I was willing to pay $500. The extra information hasn't changed that. On the other hand, if I had that information before hand, it would possibly change my view.

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:11 pm

Telling someone the price you paid for a tree shouldn't be a taboo. It helps us all to get a good grip on the street value of trees, and what to expect to pay for the quality of the tree purchased.

TELLING someone what you paid is fine. But ASKING someone what they paid is rude, pushy, nosy and obnoxious.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Prices

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:53 pm

To everyone
I guess it is kindfa southern thing about asking what someone pays for anything, I also think its kinda intrusive whenever I am asked. I have talked to some that have studied in Japan/ have relatives there and I Know they would never talk about the pricing of thier Sensi's trees. I do think they haggel on pricing but it is a personal thing between buyer and seller only. Talking about it otherwise would be disrespectful to the other party. I feel the same way.

On another note , I would be very careful about publishing the "estimated value of my Bonsai" or someone of lesser means may siber back track you and releve you of some of your valuable trees. This has happened more than you may think.

About the masks and being considerate is spot on. They also never sneeze into thier hands and also very rarely if ever will they shake your hand like in western countries it is taboo.
Mitch

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  SamC on Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:37 pm

JimLewis wrote:
TELLING someone what you paid is fine. But ASKING someone what they paid is rude, pushy, nosy and obnoxious.

I think (and I may be wrong) that if one were to ask, "I am curious about what such a tree might go for"?, this makes it more about the tree, and also makes the question less specific. Obviously familiarity with the other party would be a factor. In either case the person being asked can always decline. I think in this sense, asking about a price isn't so different from negotiating in the first place...some people will, some people will not, how can one know if one does not ask? Being respectful and polite are, in either case, key.

I find myself loathe to ask about negotiating a price, as even with my few trees which are far from being show worthy, I know the amount of care and attention they demand and I do not know how to put a price on that!

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  drgonzo on Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:03 pm

This sure has become quite the topic!
-Jay

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:13 am

drgonzo wrote:This sure has become quite the topic!
-Jay


Yes, and the best part is that I was dying to know how much Marcus paid for that juniper I covet. I have no idea how much stuff like that costs since it's outside my reality. And to think, all I had to do was ask! Mom would be glad I didn't.

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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

Post  drgonzo on Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:28 am

Russell Coker wrote:
Yes, and the best part is that I was dying to know how much Marcus paid for that juniper I covet. I have no idea how much stuff like that costs since it's outside my reality. And to think, all I had to do was ask! Mom would be glad I didn't.

Alright, Alright!

I was secretly wondering about the Beni Maiko Deshojo.....I'll admit it!

I love that tree with a great intensity Very Happy


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Re: Are Bonsai Prices Negotiable?

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