I know I'm really tired of every year hearing from the dealers EVERYWHERE that they are paying the top market prices then when you do due diligence and call around you find prices varying as much as $150-$200lbs dried with every dealer saying I'll meet or beat the next guys price. well if your paying top dollar why don't you all post up the prices?? Its not that hard to update the price daily in a post or online if you put up a web site. So the only reason I know of is to keep the price you pay to a bare MINIMUM only raising it when the competition begins buying the root you wanted.
If your paying top dollar post it otherwise all I hear is a bunch of hot air. What's the take on this from you other digger's out there.
Paul 36 years of stewardship, propagation & digging of ginseng.
I understand your concern…and I appreciate it. Myself and a few others used to post our price updates on the forum, however, that became unwise.
The answer to your question is twofold.
First, just like not every ginseng digger is ethical, not every dealer is either. There are dealers who will quote/post prices much higher than others in order to get unsuspecting diggers to drive hours to them expecting very high prices only to be offered much less. If you would think diggers are much more sophisticated than that, I would suggest you ask why American voters would vote for hope and change with no definition of what that hope is for or the change might be.
Secondly, buying ginseng is not a non-profit public service. Dealers have costs of doing business before we even see a dime. When you invest your money, are you willing to invest in a perishable commodity that changes daily and you might not be able to get out of without losing money? In the end, ethical dealers do not quote unreasonably high prices which are unsupported by the market. However, we must compete with those who do. I would much rather quote a guy or gal average prices and pay them more for better ginseng when I see it.
As a digger myself, I know that the digger makes the vast majority of profits in the ginseng trade. Last year a couple gallons of gasoline, a few miles of wear on a vehicle and a few hours or days spent digging ginseng in the wonderful outdoors might have made you well over $1000 profit. There will always be those who try to suggest the dealers are greedy thieves trying to steal the food from the mouths of the poor diggers’ kids. However, every time I’ve asked a digger how much profit s/he would have to make on a high risk investment of $10,000 or more, the answer is often much more than most dealers will make.
So Paul, while I understand your perspective well, and don’t really blame you for feeling the way you do about the posting of the current prices, please understand there is much more to the issue than trying to take advantage of the digger. Ask my diggers how they feel about the prices I pay. They come back and tell me they do because I treat them right. If I have to cull something out of their lot I explain why. If they have stuff better than average, I pay them better. – sometimes more than I quoted them. I’m sure I speak for all the ethical dealers out there in that we understand we need the diggers to stay in business. We don’t want to cheat them or take advantage of them in anyway.
Last year, I started the season paying about $150 more than my Ohio competition, however, I did not post it on the forum for these very reasons. I'm buying this season and looking for high quality Ohio root. However, once again, I'll not be posting prices.
wow...Mr. castle you stated that THE DIGGER MAKES THE MAJORITY OF THE PROFITS!! that was WRONG sir !! diggers do NOT make the majority of profits and you know that!! (no offense) the one statement i did like that you mentioned was that when he or she produces good root that you do give good prices for, i find that very respectful. The diggers as you know do ALL the hard work and risk the elements of the many dangers we are exposed to in the woods....for you to say that the diggers make the most profits was unusually absurd and i personally find that comment highly offensive....have a great day and good luck this season....oh please do not bother responding to my comment as i would never respond back as i am non confrontational and this would be a confrontation...bless you sir!!!
when it comes to prices ive always been told quality was the main driving force some parts of thecountry have such a better average root than others its hard for diggers to understsnd without seeing the differince first hand ive been told some buyers can tell where root was dug just by looking at it