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  #1  
Old 04/12/10, 11:16 AM
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Selling Rabbits

I have got to the point where I am starting to try and sell some of my Rabbits. I raise Champagne D'Argent's and have the pedigree's. I have browsed my local craigslist to get a feel for what people are selling rabbits for. To my suprise people are trying to sell rabbits for $5. There is no way that amount will even pay to get a rabbit to selling age. I guess that they just have not sat down and worked out their costs properly.

My wife says that this is a big problem in the horse world to, where people just churn out large numbers of poor horses and then sell them for about $100.

I could lower my prices, but what is the point in that? I have been think I should put up a website and make my sells look better than the poorly raised rabbits. I doubt that people stay in business sell rabbits that cheap.

I am not trying to make a living raising rabbits. I originally got them to raise for meat and my wife suggested that I try to sell some to help offset the feed cost (which isn't much).

Does anybody else have this problem?

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  #2  
Old 04/12/10, 12:54 PM
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Yes! My area has the same problem. Lots of people selling poor quality rabbits at extremely low prices. You know they aren't breaking even - their loss. But it also makes it harder for someone with nicer rabbits to sell for any more than what these breeders are asking.

A website will probably help, especially if you show your rabbits. I think its important to play out special features of your rabbits - farm raised, show quality (if they are), pedigreed, socialized, and so on. If you offer a guarantee, be sure and mention that as well. You know your rabbits are worth more than $5, the problem is convincing others to believe it. If you can't get a decent asking price, then you'd be better off eating the rabbits. That is still considered a profit!

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  #3  
Old 04/12/10, 01:01 PM
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I have a problem selling my Silver Fox for my very reasonable (I think) price of 30.00 - on craigslist, at least. I've sold/come in contact with breeders through other classified ads, mainly. Mine are pedigreed, hefty, healthy, tattooed. The only reason I don't price them higher is because I'm just starting to raise them and have only been to one show - so I don't have the 'eye' for good quality rabbits. I'm constantly learning though and have gotten a LOT of good information from other breeders.

I rarely see pedigreed rabbits on craigslist, let alone rabbits selling for more than 15.00... Usually it's an ad titled 'rabbits 10.00' with no additional info.

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  #4  
Old 04/12/10, 01:57 PM
 
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Location: northern Kentucky
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If it takes 1 50lbs bag of food for 12.00 to feed all my rabbits for the week, and I sell 3 out of 9 weaning age babies for $5 a piece then I have covered the cost of feeding my rabbits.

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  #5  
Old 04/12/10, 02:45 PM
 
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I've sold mine ... the few I have had for sale ... between $10 (for some of the small pet types at 9 to 10 weeks) to $20 to $25 for some of the breeding age or almost breeding age purebred Rex (meat rabbits).

I don't show (can't drive so difficult to get to shows) so I don't have a market for "show rabbits". We eat most of the meat rabbits ourselves, do some swapping for fresh garden stuff.

I do see "backyard" rabbits advertised occasionally at $5 at the local feed stores but I suspect most of these people are raising them for themselves mostly and if they have a few more than they can eat, whatever they get is "gravy" ... and they aren't feeding them any longer.

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  #6  
Old 04/13/10, 09:16 AM
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I sell pet quality red satins for $10... I charge $10 to take them back too So far I've taken back 5 rabbits, not because they were mean and nasty, just because the kids got tired of them. I make my return policy very clear when they take the bunny and I've been told it is much appreciated. Returns usually go straight to the freezer so it is a win-win in my book... except for one, she turned out to be nice looking and was SUPER friendly from all the handling. Turned out to be a very good momma, too... one of my favorites.

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  #7  
Old 04/13/10, 09:29 AM
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You can sell your bunnies for $5 each as well OR you can list the price that makes sense to you AND explain the advantages of getting one of your rabbits.

from purebred stock, handled daily, good quality, etc. It's all in the marketing.

This Easter I played around a bit with the wording on some of my ads because mini rex kits tend to be harder sell lately (at the pet quality ones are). I found it helpful. And managed for the most part to sell the bunnies I wanted to.

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  #8  
Old 04/13/10, 09:39 AM
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I sell mine for alot more than $5 each....... I just turned down a lady who wanted to wheel and deal me down to $50 for a pair of pedigreed flemmies. That's 1/2 of what I charge for a pair (m/f) of my flemmies. I don't market to the pet crowd unless it is the people who want the largest rabbits around and are willing to pay for them. Believe it or not, I get alot of people who want them to raise super friendly meat rabbits for their table- they love the idea of butching and roasting monster rabbits for their families. Apparently it used to be common practice around here- raising flemish for the table- as 1 would feed a large family and they do REALLY well on alot of weeds and hay and stuff grown in gardens. Sorry for the drift- I'm blaming it on the sunburn.

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  #9  
Old 04/13/10, 10:06 AM
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It is like this with rabbits and any other animal. People look on craig's list for good deals. They are not looking for quality, production, etc... they only want to get a low priced pet and if they find something of better quality for the price- its a bonus. I could never expect to get my price on CL for my dogs even if they did allow posting of quality puppies.
Now add to that the economy is bad....many people can't justify paying for quality when they have a lower income and it is eatier buy a lower priced animal or don't get one.
I took a break from breeding almost everything here because of the economy. I am getting ready to start breeding again only because it is that or I will lose my lines (due to age of animals). I still have 3 frech lops sitting here from a litter a year ago...the only french lop litter I bred, but I haven't been doing much advertising either. Just recently sold one to a 4H'r and they also want another breed I have so I went ahead and bred those so i could sell them one- and those are my meat rabbits anyhow- so if they don't buy, its ok- I will use it for dog food.
You may want to try different places to market that are willing to pay more for a quality animal. Shows, hand out to 4H leaders...go where people who will be interested in paying the higher prices go. Kiji is generally higher priced animals....but then again you always have the cheap ones there too. I have started going to a local swap to sell rabbits...people there will try to jew you down, so it is best to price a bit high so there is some wiggle room when they try to haggle and they feel you are giving them a deal. The only nice thing about rabbits is that if you have a slow market, you can always eat them rather than pour more than you can get out of them into them with feed. Not so with dogs I know I will sell rabbits that are getting to that point that could be a loss soon at a rate that will break me even just to keep from having to go into the red. The dogs, heck I lose money on them every year...but I knew that when I got into them. My other animals at least have to cover thier feed bill.
So in a nutshell...diversify your advertising. Market highlighting the selling points. Price high to start with but lower the price as they get older just to keep from going in the red. It is better to sell a 4 mo old for half the price of a 2 month old than to feed it for another year....or decide upon an age that the rabbit is worth more in the freezer than to sell. Now I can't do that with my French Lops...can't butcher them- they are just too sweet and personable and that face!...really should have never gotten back into them because of that But the meat rabbits do pay for the feed bill for all the rabbits as they allow me to save on dog food.

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  #10  
Old 04/13/10, 10:08 AM
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Oh one more thing- since you have meat rabbits- figure how much they are saving you by subtracting the amount you would not have to spend at the grocery....see if it covers the feed cost. If so you are breaking even.

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  #11  
Old 04/13/10, 10:56 AM
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Market your rabbits towards 4H as they are pedigreed. You will be surprised at what these kids know. I have learned alot about typiness and such from 14 yr old kids who have been showing for a few years. Their parents are usually pretty well informed too. Contact your local 4H and see if they would be willing to evaluate your litters as a project. It will at least give you a good idea as to how much they are worth and whether any are showing signs of being show quality. If your buns are nice, it may open up another revenue stream for you.

I use craigslist and have alot of success with it. There are $5 buns on it, but technically they are not supposed to be selling pets of any kind on craigslist. Mine are marketed in the livestock page and marketed towards 4H and meat. Yes Flemmies were originally a meat breed and I think their meat is awesome and I do butcher what I don't sell so I don't think it's unethical. Flemmy's are PERFECT for raw-feeders as there is more bone in them (a good point for rawfeeders who want to raise their own meat). Flemmies can thrive on alot of weeds and garden produce and as such are fairly cheap to raise, makes the cost of raising them almost on par with NZ's. Flemmies are known for being extremely friendly. This paragraph is to show you how I market my buns. Find all the unique positives of your breed and make sure you tell others about how awesome your breed is and why you think YOUR buns are worth what you are charging.

I agree with almost everything that Willowynd says, except to lower the price of olders buns. A 4 month old bun is much more marketable than a 2 month old bun (to other breeders) and I would raise the price of it. When selling it, make sure to stress how much better it is to buy a 4 month old vs a 2 month old. Yes it's not as cute, but it less waiting to be able to breed it and for them to produce their own buns, etc. I also charge more for females as then most people who want pets buy my males (My females sell out really fast). This helps me to have less males to butcher.

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  #12  
Old 04/13/10, 11:01 AM
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You eat your buns- market them (also) as a meat rabbit and explain the benefits of people raising YOUR meat breed. It's a fairly rare heritage breed, right? If so, make sure you mention this!!!!! Raising heritage breeds is big right now. Alot of people hate the way NZ's look (white/red eyes). I know they come in other really cool colors but alot of people don't. Your breed is really pretty, make sure you post a pic of the parents when you are selling. Also post a pic of the litter. People love to see baby bunnies, which may get pet sales.

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  #13  
Old 04/13/10, 02:50 PM
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Thanks for the ideas everyone. It is good to know that I am not the only one with the problem. I was wondering because I come from an area that is historically farm/ranch land that has had a large influx of yuppies, etc. in the last few decades. A lot of the surrounding farm land has been turned into housing developments so I was wondering if part of the problem was Californians playing farm. (No offense to the Californians here on HST, you know what kind I'm talking about).

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  #14  
Old 04/13/10, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadejackal View Post
Thanks for the ideas everyone. It is good to know that I am not the only one with the problem. I was wondering because I come from an area that is historically farm/ranch land that has had a large influx of yuppies, etc. in the last few decades. A lot of the surrounding farm land has been turned into housing developments so I was wondering if part of the problem was Californians playing farm. (No offense to the Californians here on HST, you know what kind I'm talking about).
I don't know about the rest of you, but I LOVE it when yuppies play farm! They will pay top dollar for anything if you know how to market your product. Anything that makes your animals "different" is what this type is usually after, so you should be right up their alley with the Creme D'Argents. Like others have said, really emphasize that these are a "rare heritage breed perfect for the small homestead". Those types are often after status symbols, even after they start playing farm, so if you have pedigreed, registered stock free from disease, say so! You might catch the interest of someone who wouldn't otherwise be interested in rabbits at all.
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  #15  
Old 04/14/10, 10:00 AM
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I posted an ad for bunnies for sale yesterday and already had two contacts. One man wants to come get both rabbits on Friday. That's the fastest I've ever gotten interest in my rabbits. I tried a new wording scheme:

2 pure Harlequin rabbits for sale. Both does (female) approx 6 mo old. Harlies are a friendly medium size rabbit, good for pets or breeding for home use. These 2 can be shown. $20 each, $30 for both, or trade for other pure rabbits. I guarantee my rabbits & have a lifetime return policy. Call or email for more info.

In bold are the pieces that I feel helped my ad. I also linked to a webpage with some general information about my rabbits and has additional pictures of my rabbits. http://denjak.bravehost.com/rabbits.html

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  #16  
Old 04/14/10, 07:08 PM
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I've had luck with kijiji.com selling my chinchillas.

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  #17  
Old 04/14/10, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AprilW View Post
I posted an ad for bunnies for sale yesterday and already had two contacts. One man wants to come get both rabbits on Friday. That's the fastest I've ever gotten interest in my rabbits. I tried a new wording scheme:

2 pure Harlequin rabbits for sale. Both does (female) approx 6 mo old. Harlies are a friendly medium size rabbit, good for pets or breeding for home use. These 2 can be shown. $20 each, $30 for both, or trade for other pure rabbits. I guarantee my rabbits & have a lifetime return policy. Call or email for more info.

In bold are the pieces that I feel helped my ad. I also linked to a webpage with some general information about my rabbits and has additional pictures of my rabbits. http://denjak.bravehost.com/rabbits.html
Great ad!! The only thing I would add is that if you have pedigrees to mention that in your ad in addition to being able to show them. I might also specify what the guarantee is.
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  #18  
Old 04/14/10, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamerTheresa View Post
I've had luck with kijiji.com selling my chinchillas.
kijiji is really cool but the closest location to me is over 3 hours away, doesn't work well for people who are REALLY far in the country. Although I would probably drive 3 hours for something I really really wanted.
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  #19  
Old 04/15/10, 05:58 AM
 
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Quote:
2 pure Harlequin rabbits for sale. Both does (female) approx 6 mo old. Harlies are a friendly medium size rabbit, good for pets or breeding for home use. These 2 can be shown. $20 each, $30 for both, or trade for other pure rabbits. I guarantee my rabbits & have a lifetime return policy. Call or email for more info.
OT, but awww I wish we could have hooked up at Conyers- I would have loved to have purchased your harlies.

Lauren
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  #20  
Old 04/15/10, 10:30 AM
 
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Well, not every pure bred rabbit needs to be sold at a high price. I show and would only sell a rabbit with pedigree if it were a rabbit that I would be willing to keep and breed myself. Not all rabbits in a litter should be kept for breeding. Only the best specimens of that breed should be bred. The rest I either put in the freezer or sell on Craigslist for $10. That's without any peds ofcourse. That is what a nice rabbit for the stew should bring. Save the best of your rabbits for your web site and sell those for a nice price. You never know. Some of the people that come out for the $10 rabbit decide that they want to breed better rabbits and will buy higher prices specimens. Be sure to point out the advantages to breeding better typed rabbits.

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  #21  
Old 04/16/10, 10:28 AM
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I agree completely KimTN, the only problem with doing that in my area is that people want to breed them for big money and don't care if they are show quality or pet quality. This is why I butcher everything that is definitely not show quality.

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  #22  
Old 04/16/10, 11:04 AM
 
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Around here, there is no danger of that. Getting $10 per rabbit from these folks is like pulling teeth. We have a few newbies around here trying to breed and sell every rabbit in the litter for big bucks. They never get it though.

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  #23  
Old 04/17/10, 12:06 AM
 
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Let's face it... purebred doesn't always mean quality. There are plenty of breeders out there who don't know what they are doing, and their stock reflects that fact. Then there are people who bend over backward to produce healthy, quality stock. You can bet if each of them tried to sell their animals on CL for the same price the general public wouldn't know the difference. If a quality rabbit producer is selling their rabbits for more on CL than the goofballs who don't know what they are doing, the general public is going to buy the cheaper rabbit. This is simple economics. I raise Silver Fox, and have gotten more and more selective about selling them. My reputation is more valuable to me than a bag of feed... so I eat my culls.

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  #24  
Old 04/29/10, 10:46 AM
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Just a follow up on this thread. I have since modified my ad to take the suggestions into account.
I should mention that people have pointed out that not all purebreed animals are good animals. I agree with that and have worked hard to improve my stock. My current generation has not shown but their parents and grandparents all have high awards at shows. So I'm not just taking bunny "A" from the pet store and putting it together with bunny "B" I got for free off of craigslist and expecting to sell them.

I wrote up a little paper about new bunny care and what to do. When to breed, how to feed, what to watch out for, how to track pedigree's with some software suggestions, local 4-H contacts and ARBA information, etc.
Information about the breed and it's history.
Give a ziplock baggie of current food to mix with new food.
If the rabbit dies with in a week I replace it for free.
Can return a rabbit at any point in the future but with out a refund. (Pointed out this was to keep the rabbits out of the shelter, etc.)
etc.
I'm making a point of mailing the pedigree to the customer, then I have their information on file if I need it because of anything, and I also know where my rabbits are going to.
Every one commented that they had never thought about getting my breed but after reading the article and doing further research they were hooked.
I have even redirected some people to different breeds of rabbits after talking with them because it sounded like they were looking for something else. Then ended up buying a rabbit from me though because they liked mine and how they were cared for, that I wasn't trying to force the sale, etc.
When the customer comes to the house I also show them the parents, give them a quick guide for breed confirmation, show them the teeth, feet, sex and good and bad points of the baby rabbit.
I also want to point out that I did clean up a lot before hand because rabbits can be messy and not everyone is used to the reality of keeping rabbits, even if they are used to other farm animals.
Oh, and bussiness card. You can go to kinko's/what ever and get them printed for cheap. Let the customer call you if they have problems what. Hand it to them and stick one in with the pedigree.
I'm still working out the process but these are some of the things that I think helped.

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  #25  
Old 04/29/10, 12:33 PM
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very nicely put

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  #26  
Old 04/30/10, 02:36 PM
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Yes,I sell most of my better rabbits at shows.too many people raising a bunch of rabbits too sell keeps the prices low.

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  #27  
Old 04/30/10, 03:21 PM
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Rabbits are rabbits folks.
you REALLY don't want to fall into the mindset of dog breeders... he shouldn't, she should...
poeple have the right to breed rabbits be they mixed or not. quality or not and sell them for what ever they want.
I want pure and I want to breed the best I can but I don't look down on others who want to breed any ol' bunny or say they shouldn't breed.
so the price is low.... We all know your not going to get rich on bunnies. you do it becuase you like to do it.
With that say I don't mind paying top dollar (when I have it) for rabbits,dogs,cows what have you but that is becuase it is worth it to me to have the type or quality. not worth it to others when they can get their "needs" met at a lower price.

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  #28  
Old 04/30/10, 05:35 PM
 
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I just sold three more breeding age rabbits to another breeder. This makes six breeding age rabbits I've sold this year so far, plus two litters of "pet bunnies" to the local feed store at Easter. And with the litters now in the growout cages, I will have enough rabbit in the freezer for us for the rest of the year and enough to trade if I can find someone who wants to trade garden produce for rabbits.

I'm not getting as much for mine as I paid for my foundation rabbits. But I bought from breeders that were showing that breed successfully because I wanted pedigreed Rex and I wanted good quality. I don't show, can't get to shows. I'm not qualified to say which rabbits are show quality and which aren't. I do keep up the pedigrees. I also cull for meat type, good sized litters, and lack of health issues. If someone knows what they are looking at, they can probably find showable rabbits in my litters ... otherwise I have good, healthy rabbits for someone wanting a backyard meat rabbit.

Because I have purebreds with pedigrees, I get a little more for my breeding age rabbits from other breeders ... not as much, certainly, as the successful show breeders. But with the sales, meat on my table and some trading, I think I'm probably close to the "break even" point at least.

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