Pet Marketing Stratagies: Dos and Don'ts

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Sinenian, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. Sinenian

    Sinenian Well-Known Member

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    I decided to make a thread to discuss stratagies for marketing pet rabbits.
    I am anything but a pro, so I would love tips and such from everyone. Advice will be edited in and if I have information you disagree with please let me know and I will consider editing it out.

    I have gathered information from: This forum, Breeder websites, Misc. pet websites, my friend Kyle, ARBA sources and personal opinons.




    Breeding planned for Easter Sales: Overall: Don't

    Although you may get more sales because of the Easter rabbit craze, sometimes you have to think of the rabbit's well being aswell. Pet owners may be just thinking at the spur of the moment thing of how cute a rabbit is and about it being Easter and such. Many rabbits may end up mis-treated, in animal shelters, or if you sell as a breeder the owner may even ask you to take the rabbit back. A true long-term good owner won't want an animal because of a season, but because of his interest and love for the animal.

    If you decide to sell during Easter time as a breeder, condsider the following:
    -Make sure the owners are well educated. Making care sheets is even more important at this time.
    -Make sure the owner really wants the animal, and will be taking care of it to his/her best ability until it is no longer alive. The owner will not give away or fail to take care of his rabbit due to boredom of the animal
    -If a parent is buying for a child as an Easter gift, ask if the child knows he/she is receiving this gift and is prepared to take care of it.

    An experienced breeder can do this though, as it does provide easier, faster sales and a bigger profit.



    Selling as Breeder vs. Selling/Leasing to Pet store Both: Do

    Breeder Pros:
    -Bigger Profit (sell at higher price)
    -Allows you to know who is buying. You can even sell to a friend, so you can always know how the rabbit is doing.
    -Self Advertisment
    Breeder Cons:
    -If none are sold before they go through their 'un-cute' stage, you have to figure out how to sell them/possibly give them away.
    -People may become attached to YOUR stock if they see them. Try to convince them otherwise
    Tips:
    -Advertise, advertise, advertise: But use free ads. Feed stores and convenience stores are the best.
    -Websites can help - if you don't have enough money to start one up - try a self-sustaining ad supported one.


    Selling to Pet Store:
    Pros:
    -You don't have to worry about not selling any
    -You don't have to worry about advertising
    -Less Feed bill and work; you get them all sold right after weaned.
    Cons:
    -Less $ per rabbit
    -No control over who buys [Bad owners are out there]
    -If your sales are over $500 annually, you will need to be USDA licensed
    and be legislated under the Animal Welfare Act
    Tips:
    -Provide pet stores with free care sheets; this can ease some worries of bad owners
    -Selling at Easter time may be a bad idea (see above), if you want to though, make sure you provide care sheets.

    Leasing to pet stores:
    Pros:
    -Advertising done for you
    -Bit more $ than selling to a pet store (for the most part)
    -Less work and feed price when leased
    Cons:
    -Less $ than selling as a breeder
    -Less control of who buys than a breeder
    Tips:
    -Provide care sheets
    -Selling at Easter time may be a bad idea (see above), if you want to though, make sure you provide care sheets.





    Breeds:
    This is not a huge deal with pet breeds.
    But the 'cute breeds' always get sold faster, and can be sold for more. Not to mention the owner enjoys them more.

    Breeds I'd suggest would be:
    Holland Lops (or any other Lops are decent aswell), Netherland Dwarves, Lionheads, Dutch, Mini Rex & Mini Satins. Those are the most popular (in my opinion) but any breed really can be sold as pets. If you are mainly a meat producer but sell some as pets, it's okay. But if you are looking to sale as pets only, these breeds are the best.



    Like I said, I really am not a 'pro'. More information would really be helpful.
    Also if you'd like me to add another topic, please ask. If you could give me some information on it I'd appreciate it.
    Also - I'd like some information on creating pet markets. I really don't know much about it (there is already pet market in my area), so I'd really like information.
     
  2. dlwelch

    dlwelch Well-Known Member

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    Central Texas
    Selling to Pet Stores (Tractor Supply, Feed Stores, etc.)

    If your sales are over $500 annually, you will need to be USDA licensed
    and be legislated under the Animal Welfare Act. For some that
    might be a "con".

    Linda Welch
     

  3. Sinenian

    Sinenian Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, I forgot about that. That is a stupid law.

    Anyways, does that apply to leasing aswell?
     
  4. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I offered a written buy-back policy when I tried selling mine as pets. Also you need to have a supply of familiar food that goes with the rabbit, too many people don't know about rabbit digestive problems. The care sheet is a must IMO. We ended up not selling any because of several reasons: (no photos with the fliers, you sell more with pictures, (we weren't selling little bitty babies, most people don't realize the first few months with a bunny are the worst, (my kids got attached and refused to sell once the rabbits hit 6 months, (I couldn't give the name and phone number of any good rabbit vets, (we weren't offering a special price on housing nor did I have any information on indoor housing-manufacturer, availablity, etc., (I didn't have a "starter" package with water bottle, feeder, etc. (location where I posted ads, nobody buys stuff in this area, the people want you to give them everything.
     
  5. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    You know, I just "helped" a local feed store with their spring open house/chick day yesterday. They had a big sale and REALLY advertised the event: newspapers, radio ads. They even had a radio station broadcasting right from the parking lot.

    I took bunnies for display, educational brochures on rabbits, and LOTS of business cards. It was a great way to advertise my bunny business, and what's better, it was FREE/cheap (besides the gas expense). A lot of people were interested in the bunnies, and hopefully this will lead to some sales. At least more people know who I am now...

    A website is a good investment of time IMO, even if you have a small rabbitry. You can do an ad-supported site for free, and many companies include easy-to-use website building programs so you don't even have to know HTML (website computer code).
     
  6. animalfarmer

    animalfarmer Well-Known Member

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    We sell a lot of rabbits for meat here at easter time.People come for their lambs and kid goats see the rabbits and say,"are they for sale?" We almost always have them extra at easter so we usually say yes,they buy them,and if we have time ,we slaughter and dress the rabbits for them with the lamb or kid goat they just bought.We don't get $25.00 each for them but,we do get $14.00,and we sell quite a few.Good Luck with all your easter sales.
     
  7. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Another thing to keep in mind, yes, selling pets wholesale is regulated by the Animal Welfare Act, so yes, sell more than $500 annually, and you need to be USDA licensed and inspected.

    There's also an addition to the AWA in the works right now. Known at the Pet Animal Welfare Statute (PAWS), this nifty little law will also regulate RETAIL (i.e. direct to pet owner) sales. Last time I heard, this would also limit you to $500 annually in pet rabbit sales if it passes. Pressure from people like breeders has prompted some changes in the bill, but I haven't had a chance to look at it in a while.

    I'm thinking about getting a smaller breed to show and sell for pets, but I'm probably going to wait and see if PAWS passes or not...if it does, well...no point in getting a small breed if you're so limited.
     
  8. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    Rabbitgal,
    One also needs to look at NAIS ( National Animal Identification Service)-- it will affect all meat producers. Go to www.NoNAIS.org for a wealth of info in that little govmint conspiracy!
    I am all for the "free" advertising type stuff. I found webgoups on Yahoo that are strictly for advertsisng bunnies and supplies, free or for sale.
     
  9. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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    One thing I'd note... we bred ours so that the kits would grow to be "just less" than six months old at "fair time". This gives people the chance to show a rabbit in the Junior class (limit of six months of age) that is 5mo 2 weeks or so. This gives the child a larger rabbit in better shape for showing. That simple piece of timing will raise the price of the rabbit at whatever small animal swap you have prior to the fair.

    R