Purchasing Christmas Trees
There are several ways to purchase Christmas Trees for you retail or Fundraising organization. All have advantages and disadvantages.
One way is to purchase trees directly from a grower. A major advantage to this is that once you have established a good relationship with one you can generally expect to receive consistent quality year after year. Starting up a relationship with a grower can be a difficult process however. If you happened to have the time and visited the farm and looked at some of the trees on it, chances are that the grower showed you his best lot of trees, and chances are even greater that you won’t receive those trees. Established growers develop loyal clientele’s who are their bread and butter, and take care of them first. They rely on the good long standing reputations that they have built with their customers by providing nice trees and good service consistently. Newer growers may not have a working knowledge of the basic standards of grading, but may have a lot of trees that they need to sell. Without that broad perspective, they often believe that their trees are better than they really are, and may tag them as such. Unless you are lucky enough to establish credit, grower’s often require payment in full for the prior order prior to shipment. It is likely that you will be responsible for arranging transportation of the trees to your location.A grower may quote prices F.O.B. his farm. This price may not include extra costs such as for baling and loading.
Many retailers do not have the time to travel the Pacific Northwest to shop for trees and visit farms. Instead they rely on wholesale brokers such as Bishop and Mathews.A reputable wholesale broker does all of the work of finding and buying the trees for you. A dedicated wholesale broker such as Bishop and Mathews, travels from farm to farm studying trees, and has the broad perspective that is needed to know the true grade of a tree. A reputable wholesale broker will have good relationship already in place with reputable growers. This increases the likelihood that the quantities, qualities, varieties, and sizes that his customers need will continually be available to the wholesale broker. Successful wholesale brokers such as Bishop and Mathews can buy in such quantities that their purchasing costs are lower. Sometimes the costs for a retailer of buying trees from a wholesale broker can be about the same as when buying from a grower. Getting your trees transported from the farm to your location can be very challenging. Most growers prefer not to sell less than full truckload orders if they don’t have to. Some wholesale brokers, such as Bishop and Mathews, will arrange transportation for you, and will lower the purchasing minimum for their clients. Many retailers do not want to buy a full truckload of trees, or prefer to split their orders and stagger them over the season. Staggering orders is an important consideration, especially for retailers in dry Southern climates. The cost of freight to haul a partial load of trees to a location would be prohibitive for a retailer. A successful wholesale broker such as Bishop and Mathews will have multiple customers and trucks that he can consolidate, eliminating extra freight costs for his customers. He will be able to deliver your trees to your location, and send the balance to the other. In some instances, a reputable broker may be able to extend some credit until the season is over, especially if the customer is an established business or non profit organization such as a Boy Scout Troop. Most growers plant a limited variety and/or sizes of trees. It can be very challenging for a retailer to fill an order requiring multiple species and sizes from one farm. A good wholesale broker, such as Bishop and Mathews, will be able to consolidate your trees and put your entire shipment of mixed species one one load. If you like the trees that you received from your wholesale broker, you can request to continue receiving them from the same farm year after year.
Buying trees from a local wholesale yard is another way to supply a retail lot. This is the most expensive way of doing business, but it does offer a few advantages. Most wholesale yards will let buyers select the trees they want in any quantities desired. Many retailers visit wholesale yards daily. Wholesale yards usually move their inventory daily, and receive replacement fresh truckloads of trees daily. Wholesale yards often run out of certain species, grades, or sizes periodically. Consequently the retailers cannot be assured of being able to buy the merchandise that they need when they need it. Bishop and Mathews wholesale yard is currently located in Torrance, Ca.