The first thing we’re going to tell you is that if you sat down and calculated just how much you’ve really put into each bottle of honey (factoring in your time, effort, and investment), you’d have to price each jar at an astronomical figure. Unfortunately, no one is going to pay you $3,000 for a one-pound jar of honey, no matter how much effort you put into it, so let’s go back to the drawing board and figure out a more realistic price.
The second thing we’re going to tell you is that honey prices vary greatly, depending on quality, variety, and even your location. You might see one-pound jars priced at $6, or you might see one-pound jars priced at $12, and we’ve even seen eight-ounce jars priced at $14, so there really isn’t a clear-cut answer to the question, “What should I charge?”
The quality of your honey is an important factor. Your presentation is another important factor. Have you raised your bees organically? Did you heat the honey during harvest? Honey that is raw and was organically raised will generally bring a higher price than honey that comes from bees that were treated with chemicals or honey that was heated during the harvest process.
While you can’t really put a price on your time and effort, it’s nice to be able to recoup some of your expenses. Evaluate the current honey market in your area by browsing farmers’ markets, grocery stores, health food stores, and other retail establishments that sell honey. Compare the prices for one-pound jars and then determine an appropriate price for your own jars. Consider offering discounts for multiple purchases, such as one jar for $8, two jars for $14, and three jars for $20. Many buyers appreciate a slightly discounted price in the case of multiple purchases, and such a discount might increase your sales. You can also consider the possibility of adding in bonus items, such as a free beeswax candle with the purchase of three jars of honey. Experiment with different promotions that might entice buyers to look more closely at your booth and the products that you’re offering for sale.
On the National Honey Board’s website, you’ll find a month-to-month chart of nationwide retail honey prices, courtesy of Bee Culture magazine. In September 2012, the average price for one pound of honey was $5.73, up nearly $2 from the average September 2006 price, which was $3.91. Obviously, these figures are average prices and will fluctuate from region to region, which is why it is important to investigate the prices in your area before determining what to charge for your own honey.
Excerpted from The Beginners Guide to Beekeeping written by Daniel & Samantha Johnson. All rights reserved.