I am sorry that you feel like that this became a Diggers vs Buyers issue! It did somewhat but at least for me, that was not my intentions! First, I only wanted to point out how decisions by some can effect the market prices. And second, I wanted to point out the disparity between what the Diggers get paid compared to what local Buyers make in profit compared to what the Ginseng Dealers in China and Korea make in profit. The real villains here, are the Ginseng Buyers in China and Korea as well as some of the Exporters! Yes, some if not all diggers have had dealings with a few unscrupulous Ginseng Buyers (some more than others due to the amount of years digging and selling), so it is not unreasonable to expect some diggers to hold hard feelings towards the majority of Ginseng Buyers and also be gun shy per see!
I'm not upset at all. I'm just saying that any time I give any info like this...it turns into an 'evil buyer' bash and basically that I'm just lying to artificially keep prices down. So, I will just not participate henceforth. 8)
I agree with sengnveins, dealers stand to make more money if they hold their ginseng until the price peaks, so they would rather buy as cheap as they can.
I knew and dealt with a Dealer/Buyer in Randolph County in West Virginia for many years that held a lot of Ginseng over to the next year. However, Red (sorry but due to having that age old CRS Disease, I can't remember his last name) was very fair in what he paid for Ginseng. He paid much more than any other Dealer/Buyer that any of us there ever came across and we did not begrudge him that he held any Ginseng over to the next year to try to get a higher price! I knew Red well and know that over a 10 year period, he had carried over anywhere from 6,000 to 15,000 pounds of Ginseng to the next year. Yes, he had deep pockets which were deeper than most! The problem Red had was that he was too trusting which was a detriment to himself! Sometimes he would easily devulge how much Ginseng that he had on hand during the Ginseng season or how much he had that he was carrying over to the next year and sometimes this was to the wrong person or persons. Red moved from town to the country and shortly thereafter, his wife was diagnosed with Terminal Cancer. While visiting his wife who was on her dying bed in the hospital, someone broke into Red's home and stole over 5,000 pounds of Ginseng and this wasn't the first time that they stole large amounts of Ginseng from Red. Although he knew who the thieves were, the Sheriff's Department would do nothing about it, probably because many folks were afraid of this family. I wasn't and I offered to watch his' home anytime he was away at the hospital or elsewhere but he was too proud to accept the offer. If he had, I would have gladly sat on a hillside or mountain and would have winged anyone that attempted to enter his' home!
Frank, I don't disagree with what you are saying here. The top of the food chain gets the largest meal. I don't like it any better than you do, but that is the way of big business, and everything is big business now days.
I work in a factory making spark plugs. It is owned by a large corporation who pays a CEO more for an hour of his time than what I make all year long. I don't like that fact, but that is how it is. I cant force them to pay me more than they are. Nor can i force him to give up what he is making. There are quite a few middle men in this scenario too (Vice presidents of operations, plant managers, shift supervisors etc.) In My opinion they are all overpaid, and I am underpaid. BUT...... as long as they are able to hire enough people to produce all of the spark plugs that they need made at my rate of pay and benefits it has to be considered a fair wage in a free society. I dont have to work for that wage, and ginseng diggers don't have to sell at a certain price, but if demand is being met in either of those cases then prices or wages are not going to increase.
For many years I've been a digger and have felt that we deserved a little more. I still do, but the price ultimately is set by the free market. Thankfully, so far this fall, that free market has been driving prices upward. I hope for all of us that it continues:)
I am there with you brother on working for a corporation and not getting a decent wage even when the CEO's are paid tons of money! However, the Ginseng market is not a corporation, it is in fact a portion of the Commodities Market without a voice in the Stock Market. We, the Diggers and local Buyers/Dealers need to have our' own voice concerning what we get paid for Ginseng and we could do so if we band together without bickering between ourselves. If all of the Diggers and local Buyers in North America form an alliance to not sell our' Ginseng to any Exporters or directly to any Asian Markets until they offer and guarantee a fair price to all parties but especially the Diggers and local Buyers. I know it would be hard as many Diggers and even local Buyers depend upon the money from Ginseng as their' life blood but it could be done if enough of us stick together. The Exporters depend upon Ginseng to export and the Asian Markets...especially the Chinese and Korean Markets depend upon the imported Ginseng from North America and an embargo by the Diggers and local Buyers could force a change in the market in our favor!
Frank, there is no doubt that if enough diggers got together to hold out for a fair price to seriously affect supply that the price would eventually rise. The rub is... getting everyone to agree on a fair price, or getting them to hold out. apparently there are a lot of folks that either believe that $500-$550 a pound is a fair price, or they weren't willing to hold out for more, because tons of it has already been sold in this price range or less than that already this fall.
In my previous post I was just implying that it is hard to get the \"fat cats\" to cut their profit level whether in a large corporation or in the commodities market. in both cases the squeeze comes from the bottom up. Not that I like it in either case.
5prong, It will take more than diggers to make it work! It will take diggers, local Buyers and possibly some willing larger Buyers and Exporters. Some folks might have to tighten their' belts per see but if an alliance of the above can strangle the flow of Ginseng to the Asian Markets until they suffer, then maybe we can negotiate a bigger cut of the pie on our end.
If we stick together, we can have a bigger voice and effect on Ginseng prices than workers on wages as we are not employees because we work for ourselves! Corporations can lay-off, fire or replace workers if they are unwilling to budge on wages but we can't be laid-off or fired. It is possible that some Exporters and Importers might try to find people to replace us diggers or Buyers that will sell to them but I feel sorry for anyone that tries that around here! They don't call us Rednecks and Hillbillies for nothing and I had an Aunt that was married to a McCoy, if you know what I mean!!!