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By Matt
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Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#374945
Apollyon wrote:*Cough* Matt *Cough*
Carnies wrote:*SNEEZE*
That one plant boi wrote:*WHEEZE*
Carnies wrote:*FURBALL*
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: You all crack me up!!!

I'll get to TCing all the GJ plants eventually. I got a nice specimen of GJ Bloody Nurse from Adrien and also got a quite large one directly from Matze (owner of Green Jaws Nursery) in Germany. So, I will almost certainly get GJ Bloody Nurse in TC this year and likely will have a few to offer later this year or early next year.

I'm also on the hunt for GJ Mariachi, the other very high-dollar GJ plant in the US. I didn't get one of those from Matze this winter. Didn't think/know to ask for that one!

If a person or group of forum users here wants to chip in and buy one for me so I can get it in TC, I'll pay half the $220 (I can't bring myself to pay $220 for a single flytrap) and send everyone who chips in a plant first-thing once I get it propagated ;) If a large enough group of us buys it, then I might not even have to pay half!

Apollyon wrote:I call them "meme plants." GJ Bloody Nurse is a cult hit. The market here in the US is limited though and people try to put a choke on it, like Jeremiah there, to keep its value up. That's great and all, I wouldn't want my black miracle to sell for 20 dollars today but 220 for a flytrap is absurd. Last I heard someone was pushing this one for 300. Eventually saturation will occur.
The good news is this sort of "meme plant" phenomenon where plants command a very high price is relatively new to the Flytrap market and I'm hopeful it won't last. Over the years, I've tried to do my best to keep up with acquiring new flytraps and make sure that prices in the market don't get so ridiculous. While Leah and I do have bills to pay, thus we need to earn money by selling these plants, our primary motivation isn't to get as much cash as possible from each plant but try to make them affordable to most hobbyists while earning enough for us to live. We're not trying to cut down the amount of work we need to do by selling every plant for the highest possible price. We actually enjoy working with plants every day and filling lots of orders for our customers! For that reason, we always try to be fair with our pricing. Yes, new varieties that are in high demand do sell for more on FTS and could be on the upper end of what most hobbyists would consider paying, but I would consider the vast majority of the plants offered at FlytrapStore.com fairly modestly priced in the current market.

The most I've ever sold a flytrap for was nearly $300 and I felt pretty bad about it after the fact. At the time, I wanted to gauge market value on a new release (Korean Melody Shark), so I put the first one we ever sold on eBay. I've basically avoided eBay and other auction sites since then and just sell plants in our FlytrapStore. New releases at FlytrapStore for very high-demand plants are typically priced in the $60-$80 range. I could be out of touch, but I feel like that's a fair price to ask for a Venus flytrap that's relatively new and very high demand (i.e. a "meme plant") to the point where Leah and I can't propagate enough to adequately meet demand in the short term.

But the last few years I've been busier with swimming-related activities (competing, coaching, building a local Masters team, etc.) and have largely neglected to acquire new flytrap cultivars, particularly from overseas, so I fell behind. Thus, some plants that I've not ever grown or not grown much in recent years are fetching pretty high prices now that many of us would consider ridiculous, though it's just a few. I'll get to TCing all of them eventually, particularly if there is high demand.

In some CP plant circles, I see "price fixing" or what appears to be withholding of plants to create a sense of rarity or scarcity of some plants to artificially create a high demand and keep prices inflated. I recently watched the "Fear City" documentary on the mob in NYC and how they controlled some of the businesses there and were able to price fix and overcharge for services/work. Some of the CP markets these days remind me in some ways of how the mob runs a business. This summer I rekindled and actually significantly grew my interest in Sarracenia. The pandemic was good for shifting interests for me!

When I started looking at current Sarracenia prices, I couldn't believe what had happened to them since the last time I purchased any Sarrs. Some plants I've owned for over 10 years have INCREASED in value by 3 or 4 times!! And there are some plants that are fetching over $1000 and up to $1500 for a single Sarracenia. How and why can that be? Sarracenia grow very quickly and propagate quite easily, even without TC. So these very high prices don't make sense to me. But I paid the prices asked this summer for the plants I really want and hope that I can get them in TC too and bring down the prices for some of the best Sarracenia clones so they're more affordable for more collectors.

Granted, propagating, growing, and shipping plants is a lot of work! Soooo much potting!!! And there's always some loss and a risk of significant loss when dealing with any living product. But given how easy most are to propagate and grow, it doesn't make sense for plants to fetch multiple hundreds of dollars or over $1000. Over the years as I built FlytrapStore from the ground up, learning tissue culture propagation of Flytraps, I thought someone would come along and create an online presence similar to FlytrapStore, but for Sarracenia, after figuring out how to efficiently propagate Sarrs in TC but it hasn't seemed to happen yet. So I'm trying my hand now to fill that niche! I probably won't do as many types of Sarrs as I do flytraps, but maybe someday. Gonna be a multiple-year endeavor to get established, but I've started working with Sarracenia in TC again for the first time in over 10 years and am having good success so it looks like it will happen!
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By Apollyon
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#374960
That's great man! I look forward to seeing the sarracenia thing take off. I can definitely appreciate the work that goes into it particularly now. I think I'm going to finish potting after this actually.

There's a lot of work and care that goes into the plants and the quality and integrity/care you guys show is what made me support FTS and do what I'm doing lol. Everyone has to eat.

I don't think you're far off about the mob mentality though. Reminds me of the pink princess philodendron which sold for about 40 bucks a few years ago and went as high as 500+ in the summer. It's the people's fault for paying it though and making those prices possible. In the days of tissue culture, the fact that they command prices like that is ridiculous, though if nobody is doing it on the plants, I suppose the possibility is irrelevant. I have several expensive plants as well and I look at them and go "maybe I'll retire in 5 years"

I'd contribute towards the purchase but like you I couldn't bring myself to pay 220 on principle. I love the gj clones though. They must be breeding them together because those plants just look entirely different.
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By Matt
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#374963
Apollyon wrote:That's great man! I look forward to seeing the sarracenia thing take off.
Me too! I told Leah I'm super excited about the next 5-8 years for FlytrapStore, as I learn to get proficient at initializing high-demand Sarracenia in TC and build inventory. She thought that was funny to hear someone say they're "excited about the next 5-8 years!"

Apollyon wrote:I can definitely appreciate the work that goes into it particularly now. I think I'm going to finish potting after this actually.
Haha, I bet! And for someone whose primary income comes from selling plants, it is essentially a non-stop potting job.

Apollyon wrote:There's a lot of work and care that goes into the plants and the quality and integrity/care you guys show is what made me support FTS and do what I'm doing lol. Everyone has to eat.
For sure! I certainly don't judge anyone too harshly who charges any price for any given plant. If someone is willing to pay the asking price, by definition that's a fair market value for the product or plant. And it's not like these plants are essential items to anyone's survival. No one is going to die from not growing a plant. If we were talking about this related to some pharmaceutical drug that could save millions of lives and people were monopolizing and overpricing the drug, that would be an entirely different discussion to be sure. Though, that sort of thing is happening with the big pharmaceutical companies.

Apollyon wrote:I don't think you're far off about the mob mentality though. Reminds me of the pink princess philodendron which sold for about 40 bucks a few years ago and went as high as 500+ in the summer. It's the people's fault for paying it though and making those prices possible.
Exactly. Where there is demand and supply is limited, elevated prices will almost always follow. That's just the way a capitalist system works. But when multiple players come together and create artificial demand and agree to withhold plants to drive up prices, which I have seen happen in the CP hobby a few times over the years, that's something else entirely. And I think the withholding of certain plants happens more frequently when someone pays a very elevated price. That's the only way to keep prices that high long term -- limit the supply. Our hobby isn't so large as to believe that there are millions of people out there looking to buy any given "rare" plant. If no one pays those high prices, people will either drop prices or just sit on the plants. Of course, the other alternative is for someone to work diligently at propagating the high-demand plant and distributing it well, thus driving down demand and ultimately prices.

Apollyon wrote:In the days of tissue culture, the fact that they command prices like that is ridiculous, though if nobody is doing it on the plants, I suppose the possibility is irrelevant.
Totally! Again, as I mentioned in the previous post, I find it perplexing that no one else has come along and basically done the FTS model of flytraps (TC propagation of select high-demand clones) for Sarracenia. The market is there to be tapped and I figured it would have been by now. But if no one else is wanting to do it, I'll take a shot at it! Leah is a beast of a workhorse and, over the years, has become extremely efficient and skilled at working with the flytraps. Now Leah largely plants all of our flytraps and does all of the flytrap orders for FTS. I do all non-flytrap orders (i.e. seeds, pots, soil, Sarracenia, etc.) and most non-flytrap potting. Leah's ability to carry a very high workload has freed up my time to propagate more in TC and work more with my Sarracenia, which I had basically neglected for the better part of a decade. I love new challenges too, so learning to initialize Sarracenia clones in TC is appealing to me. Also, the love of the Sarracenia genus of plants has always been there for me, so that also helps with motivation. I still have dreams of entire greenhouse benches full of my favorite Sarracenia and flytrap clones when we are able to move somewhere with a bit more space. When I started TC, my dream was to have thousands of red-leafed flytraps -- a dream that I realized a few years later :)

Apollyon wrote:I have several expensive plants as well and I look at them and go "maybe I'll retire in 5 years"
:lol: I am sure that a number of people are actually thinking that! This current market bubble that is driven by the pandemic likely won't last too long so many people are just trying to cash in as much as possible right now. I've always been more of a long-term thinker and I plan to grow until the day I die! Granted, as I age I'll probably be less productive, which might mean hiring some young, energetic help at some point and training a successor. But I always want to work with plants and have no plans to ever retire from running FTS.

Apollyon wrote:I'd contribute towards the purchase but like you I couldn't bring myself to pay 220 on principle. I love the gj clones though. They must be breeding them together because those plants just look entirely different.
Yeah, Matze has done a great job breeding plants, and creating a lot of very different-looking cultivars. Granted, some of his named plants look quite similar like 'GJ Explosion' and 'GJ coral' which look a lot like 'Cheerleader' and GJ Equobia which looks like 'Kayan'. But overall he's made a hugely positive contribution to the flytrap cultivars available and created some very unique and obviously very desirable flytraps!


One other correction on what I wrote above:
Matt wrote:The most I've ever sold a flytrap for was nearly $300 and I felt pretty bad about it after the fact.
You know, now that I think about it a bit more, the first DC XL we sold was auctioned too and might have gone for nearly $400!! That happened around the same time as the $300 Korean Melody Shark. Again, we were trying to ascertain the market value and never dreamed it would fetch that much. But both Steve Doonan, my business partner at the time (this was pre-Leah's involvement in FTS), and I again felt uncomfortable with a single plant selling for that much. Since then, I've put high-demand plants directly on FlytrapStore.com instead and basically just set the price on the higher end of what I'd consider paying as a hobbyist myself, which is under $100, and usually somewhere between $60 and $80.
By DragonsEye
Posts:  257
Joined:  Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:22 pm
#374966
There isn't any plant for which I would shell out that kind of money. Personally, I find it ridiculous. But, if people have that much excess cash lying around (they could just give it to me, heh) and are willing to fork it out, I can't fault the sellers for taking advantage of them.
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By Carnies
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Joined:  Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:48 pm
#374967
400$?? I thought nepenthes sold for that! Not those little snappy traps at Lowes. :lol:
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By Matt
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#374969
DragonsEye wrote:There isn't any plant for which I would shell out that kind of money. Personally, I find it ridiculous. But, if people have that much excess cash lying around (they could just give it to me, heh) and are willing to fork it out, I can't fault the sellers for taking advantage of them.
Well stated and much, much shorter than how I did it :D
By Adrien
Posts:  515
Joined:  Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:13 pm
#374973
Hehe... it’s not for everyone you know. I still support Jeremiah to the fullest, he’s a great man. He doesn’t do Tc and propagates his plant solely on divisions. On my thread for Gj Bloody Nurse the fist few pictures is exactly the size I got my plant at for $200. Very small, but I thought it was worth it. It grew really quickly into a large plant and I love it! If you want to see some overpriced plants hit up CC :P

I’m glad I did get to send Matt a small clone of GJ Bloody Nurse so that he can start TCing it and have some available soon. I’ve invested so much money in this hobby over the years and I cannot stand how underrated flytraps are amongst the CP community. It pains me ( :lol: ) but it’s not for everyone :cry:
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By Carnies
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#374994
Adrien wrote: He doesn’t do Tc and propagates his plant solely on divisions.
Hmm, didn't know that. Does Sarracenia Northwest do the same?
Adrien wrote: If you want to see some overpriced plants hit up CC
Here we go again: https://www.californiacarnivores.com/co ... -tc-potted
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By Apollyon
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#374995
CC gets away with it because they have the Savage Garden so they're more of a household name when you first start and look more "trustworthy." I'll never forget an emarginata I got from them that was about 1.25 inches, 5 leaves, and 3 of them were dessicated. If other nurseries did that regularly they'd be out of business.
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By Carnies
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#374996
I know right? So far I've ordered over 500$ worth of plants from them and the sizes are horrible.
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By Carnies
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#374997
I REPEAT 500 DOLLARS
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By Apollyon
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#374998
Ouch man lol. Need to expand your horizons. At least I just saved you 75 dollars (in CC dollars) on pinguicula.
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By DragonsEye
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Joined:  Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:22 pm
#375014
Carnies wrote: Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:51 am I REPEAT 500 DOLLARS
You were far more persistant than I would have been. If I had received poor looking plants the first time it is unlikely I would have tried them a second time.
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By Matt
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#375021
Adrien wrote:Hehe... it’s not for everyone you know. I still support Jeremiah to the fullest, he’s a great man.
100% totally agree! Jeremiah is definitely one of the great guys in this hobby and super, super kind as I've mentioned before in other threads. Also, he sends probably the BEST plants out there in the business. They are expertly grown, super large, and super healthy. And, as I stated above, I don't hold it against anyone for charging whatever they want for a non-essential luxury item such as a carnivorous plant. If someone wants to pay it, then by definition it is a fair price. There's no harm done by selling plants for whatever price people are willing to pay. I don't think that's at the core of the discussion here. I think that it's simply that most of us personally feel that charging a very high dollar amount for a plant isn't something we'd be comfortable with and we're somewhat perplexed why someone would pay so high of an amount for a plant. At least that's where I stand on it.

Adrien wrote:He doesn’t do Tc and propagates his plant solely on divisions.
That's right. He does all of his propagation by division. Years ago he was asking questions about TC, so I know he was interested in it, but perhaps never spent sufficient time trying to figure it out. Learning tissue culture is a super steep learning curve and getting proficient at it requires spending lots and lots of time failing and retrying.

Apollyon wrote:CC gets away with it because they have the Savage Garden so they're more of a household name when you first start and look more "trustworthy." I'll never forget an emarginata I got from them that was about 1.25 inches, 5 leaves, and 3 of them were dessicated. If other nurseries did that regularly they'd be out of business.
Carnies wrote:I know right? So far I've ordered over 500$ worth of plants from them and the sizes are horrible.
I don't like bad-mouthing anyone in the business, but I do try to be honest when talking about other vendors and my experience with CC is the same as your alls. The plants I've received from them over the years haven't been very good quality and they're usually more expensive, smaller, and less healthy than you'd get elsewhere. In fact, this last summer I bought probably 150+ different Sarracenia and got a single plant from them: a $50 S. flava var. cuprea "Bill Hoyer"

Out of the hundreds of plants I acquired last year, that flava from CC one was the least healthy and it now looks like it will be the only plant I grow that won't make it out of dormancy this year. Boo! There goes $50. After another disappointing experience with them, I'll likely not order from CC again. As @Apollyon mentioned, they won't miss my business because they are the largest CP nursery in the US (perhaps the world) and are a household name at this point so they'll keep getting plenty of business.
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