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Author Topic: are the buyers the same everwhere?  (Read 11053 times)
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Geckert
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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2006, 04:22:55 PM »

I have been on all sides retail( Mcnasbys, annapolis seafood , wild goose seafood) the wholesale side (Mcnasbys ,American softshell crab co) and I work on the water and as much as I hate to say it shesellscrabs, It is a buyers market in this line. You know it as well as I do. You and any other retail outlet has bought junk once in a while and you always get a credit or at least a partial credit. I know it doesnt always offset the loss that sometimes happens. Yes there are other expenses to running a retail market but when 95% of those same retail markets have decided to precook the crabs so they have close to a 2% dead loss instead of the usual 15% 2days in well most sympathy for the retailer is generally gone. Crabs are marked up close to 300% from purchase price and then graded yet again at the market. So that 60.00 bushel of 1's graded and sold by the dozen will bring in close to 200.00. Anyway dollar for dollar your expenses are close to bing equal to a comms with help ,insurance, maintence, bait and fuel but we cant mark up our product to adjust for market fluctuations,like retaiers, ours usually get cut. Just a little FYI
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genecrabman
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« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2006, 07:29:49 PM »

Geckert  good points. I'm on both sides also, The crabbers side seems to have way more overhead and way less profit..I'm a full time Crabber-Fisherman and part time retailer. So I have to sell a good product,I'm 6 foot 4 inches tall but hate to get my azz chewed..Back to the commercial side, our gear prices have skyrocketed in the past year and a half.. Boat priceshave gone the roof, Outboard motors have risen to near 20,000 for the 4 strokes, $3.25 for gas, Crab pot are close to $32.00 each by the time they go in the water. My expense is about $500.00 a day, That's before insurance, boat and truck payments or any break downs.Our side is not "CUSHY" either,the dealers expect us to put our product on the dock for less of a profit than they are willing to take on their end. This is a nice place to vent all sides of the industry, hopefully we can all help make our livelyhood better..But I do have a problem with people "KNOCKING" a State for having DOG SNOT CRABS Maybe it's time to name those Dealers,don't lump everyone together. After a shed all crabs are lite or poor that's everywhere from Md.to La. and all states in between. Not looking to Ruffle and feathers, have a good day.  LOL Gene
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shesellcrabs
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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2006, 09:06:57 PM »

Didn't mean to knock N.C.crabs ( Hey, I spent years crabbing in Corolla before anyone knew there was a Corolla) all crabs everywhere are dog snot at one time or another, it's the cycle of the crab. It's just mostcrabbers know this when they dump pots, and some just pass it on to the retailer anyway---I mean the ones selling quality product, not the illeagal guy in the truck on the corner.

No end of this business is cushy, I know the dealer, the crabbers and the retailers all have hard work and long hours, with sometimes little profit. 

I was saying to the person who asked the question about are all buyers the same.  I was speaking for myself and my business.  I do pay more for crabs, that was what he was asking.  And, when I am paying $85.00 a bushel and cooking and selling that bushel for $145.00, I don't see that $200.00 profit someone spoke of.  These are todays prices.  And after cooking 20 bushels, 4 bushels are dead.  So, What really is my cost?

Just FYI.
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Geckert
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« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2006, 09:28:35 PM »

Shesells I it's all good I just dont want people reading to think that the crabbers are the ones making a bunch of money or selling a bucnh of junk. The whole thing about wholesalers is that if you dont buy their crabs today and buy some tommorrow you are usually still buying the same crabs they didnt sell today. I know the retail end has a higher profit margin for the simple fact that they set the market on both ends, purchase and sale. I  said the when you break down the bushel and sell it by the dozen you make 200 on a bushel that is not profit just what it sells for. I am not putting down the retail trade since I need them on a daily basis. I am glad to see you are in business after so many years and I hope you are in business for many many more.
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shesellcrabs
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« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2006, 08:50:55 AM »

Geckert, I don't think the posts implied crabbers were making all the money or all of them were selling only junk.....there is a market for almost all crabs caught (females, 2's, 1's, papers, soft), just match the product to the buyer.  I buy from crabbers and wholesalers daily, but I do not set the purchase price nor the retail.  If I don't pay the asking price to the crabber or the wholesaler, they will sell to someone else.  My customers set the retail price, if I am not in line with everyone else when they call around for prices, I get "Thank-you"...click.  Parts of Maryland and Northern Virginia sell the same jumbo (7-8 1/2") crabs for $75.00,  I can charge $45.00 for the same ones and still customers gasp at the price. Some customers  call every retail outlet in the phone book checking prices, thinking the lowest price quoted is the best deal.  I have had to educate my customer on checking quality instead of prices.  Some retails are buying crabs at $55.00 a bushel when I am paying $85-95.00, so it's hard for me to set retail prices to compete.  But, the crabs I am buying are not the same quality as  those and I expect to pay more. When a customer leaves my restaurant with a dozen crabs in a handled bag, it feels like a bowling ball. I wanted to let seasider know that not all buyers are the same or pay the same, that's the information he was seeking.   That's all I was telling him. 
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« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2006, 11:54:21 AM »

I'm a crabber who takes pride in his product, unfortunately not all waterman do. The problem is that if I put up a quality bu. of crabs (graded properly) I receive the same price as the guy who could care less, that is when you sell to a wholesale buyer. When working on the water, you don't have the time or the energy to petal your crabs all over the place, so you can see that is frustrating to those who do a good job, but get paid on the basis of those who may not. Its not the buyers fault and its not mine. I just hope that the buyer will treat me fairly. Good discusion
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« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2006, 02:31:07 PM »

shesellcrabs sounds like to me you are good buyer buy paying the crabber what his product is worth?
and thats all a crabber can ask for is a fair price for his product,sounds like we need more buyers like you
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« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2006, 03:09:35 PM »

Hi, first post for me on this board, but not new to the site.  I sell about 10,000 crabs a week, and I must tell you that the retail end is not what you think.  Buying a GOOD bushel of crabs is not that easy or cheap.

 Getting crabbers to cull at 5 and 1/2 inches and up, HARD (fat and full) with no dead ones throwen in to weigh it down, is costly.  When crabbers don't do this, customers COMPLAIN!!!! And they complain to ME, not you.  I am the one who hears the comments. So, I work very hard to provide only the best crabs for them.  (That is why most retailers in this business are rude and grumpy, they get tried of all the customer complaints) Customers pay good money and  don't want little and half-full, light weight crabs....period.

 I took 10 cooked bushels to the trash last weekend because I would not sell that kind of junk and risk losing my reputation.  Some of them were from N.C. (they were dog snot), and the rest were from York River. The rest from MD and VA were...ok.  The Louisana crabs were great.
When I pay $85-$95 per Bushel, after throwing away the dead, paying for the propane, the spice, the bags or wax lined boxes, and the overhead like insurance, help, electric bill, phonebook ad, etc..., I have to sell alot of bushels a day just to make $300-$400.  (that's at the end of a 10 hour day involving scrubing big stainless pots, culling, cooking, sweeping, etc., in the humid heat.....not that cushy of a job for the money).
The retailers who buy cheap crabs and sell cheap crabs have a bad rep with customers.  I hear this from my customers everyday.  In this business you get what you pay for.  A lesson learned once again from those N.C. crabs I bought over the weekend.  Good, HARD, HEAVY males over 5 and 1/2 inches are always in demand and expensive.  The light weight ones, no matter the size, are always cheap and plentiful. If you have a better product, you get a better price.

Just the veiw from a retailer who has been serving crabs in the same location for over 27 years.

Shesellcrabs,  please do not take this the wrong way and I am not attacking you.  I have been in the crabbing business for more years then I want to fess up to.  Regular wholsalers on the ES, MD use tickets placed on the lids of the catch.  It includes the body of water where they were caught, the crabber's name and wether they are 1s, 2s or 3s.  The buyer will tell their customer to return a ticket to them if they received a bad bushel.  1 too many tickets from a particular crabber and the wholesaler will cut him off.  I also cull the catch from a new crabber and from others that I have bought from before I cash out.  I will also at random times of the year do a spot check.  Thought this might help.
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This is how it's going to go.  After I kick your A$$ i'm going to run you through the wood chipper and put you in containers in the freezer to use in my crab pots!  The really sad part?  You let an old man kick your A$$!!!
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« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2006, 04:56:07 AM »

I'm still kind of new around here - but I just wanted to take a minute and tell shesellcrabs that I really enjoyed reading her comments.  I'd think with that business plan and way of doing business - folks around here would like to know what the name of her establishment is.  I know I would.
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« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2006, 02:45:16 PM »

DITTO.
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« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2006, 05:38:24 PM »

Shesellscrabs" you sound like a quality retailer that serves the public well....and like others, I appreciate reading your posts.
Thanks,
ChrisS 
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in·teg·ri·ty   
–noun 1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty
shesellcrabs
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« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2006, 08:49:30 AM »

Thanks, GV.  Sorry it took so long to get back, busy with the 4th holiday--UGHHHHH!  Glad it's over with.  The name of my restaurant is Capt. Jack's Crab Shack, located at 8624 Courthosue Rd in Spotsylvania, Va.  Our web site is WELOVECRABS.com  Have been using one of our wholesalers for over 27 years.  Also buy direct from watermen in Va and MD, and from New Orleans.  If you are in the area, please come by and say "hi" and let me know you are a Blue Crab member. My name is Shelly. ....Off to work I go .....
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