March 5, 2019
Backwoods business is back in the ginseng community!!
...or, maybe it was always there and we just didn't recognize it.
Well, the 2018 season is in the books. Thank you all for your support this year. As we move forward to the 2019 growing season and the planting season to follow, I want to remind you all of something I've found to be very important in the ginseng growing community -backwoods business practices. If you've read my book, you get where I'm coming from. If not, here it is. Not everyone is as honest and ethical as you and I are. The ginseng seed and rootlet business is getting popular. It's very much like the guys that get laid off from the factory every fall and strap on a tool belt and start calling themselves a contractor. They do not understand the business part of the business. So, when they find out they can buy material wholesale, they start trying to undercut all the established businesses. They don't realize that they are losing money until they do their taxes and then no one hears about them again. Keep in mind, they have been learning on your dime as well.
In the ginseng community, we have a growing number of people who look around and say "Hell I can do that!" and start buying seed and selling it or growing rootlets and pestering their friends to buy from them at cut rate prices. They don't understand the business of the business. All they know is how to get into cliques on social media and make noises like they were in the endzone of a football field. They bad mouth their competition at every opportunity. They are definately never to be trusted even though they pretend to be your friend. Being honest with my answers and advice to new growers in addition to being a competitor has gotten me banned and blocked from nearly every ginseng page out there on Facebook! I have to just shake my head sometimes at the depths to which these people will sink.
These backwoods business people are found in every aspect of the ginseng community. They are seed sellers, they are rootlet sellers, they are root sellers, and they are root buyers. But, they are all the same when it comes to doing business -they believe they get better/bigger/higher by putting other people down. These folks are marginally to completely unethical in their behavior. I've noticed that most of them are also unable to give logical reasons for their opinions or views on certain things. For instance, they cannot tell you why they claim someone who charges more than they do is a cheat or a liar -a position which is completely illogical and ethically problematic. Unless, of course, one is just trying to trample his/her competition in the eyes of potential customers.
As we move into a new year, consider who you do business with. Just as we want our leaders in Washington D.C. to clean up the ethical mess there, we need to clean up the ethical mess in our ginseng community as well. Stop doing business with the unethical backwoods business people. Let them know you won't tollerate unethical practices within our community toward anyone. Because, until the community comes together, we cannot change the way the commerce model works. We will always be at the whim of others if we don't.
I've been selling ginseng seed and rootlets since 2000. I've been making and selling seeders for growers almost that long. I've been writing articles to help growers and giving free advice over the phone and via email since the beginning. There are only a small handful of us who have been around that long. In the end, you will be better off cutting out the unethical dealers/sellers in the ginseng community -we all will. Do the right thing, do business with people who have been around long enough to trust with your business.
Brad Castle, Phd