Membership Sales Tables

Some orchid societies have decided they needed to provide greater visibility to their "member sales" tables. This was targetted as a solution to membership discontent. I suspect this was a knee-jerk reaction that very little thought went into. First one should consider why a member decides to sell their plant. Following are the main reasons :

Take a survey of your membership table and see how many plants offered fall into these categories. You will find that 95% or more will fall into the last two categories. So basically nearly all plants available at these tables are problems that members are looking to pass off onto someone else. How exactly does this increase the level of enthusiasm in a society ? I am not suggesting to eliminate member sales tables, but neither should they be the main source of plants for society members, especially members who are just starting out. Newer members often don't know any better since they have little experience in growing to rely on. Don't discourage them, because that is how you will lose them !

How many plants that you see on that sales table are actually healthy and potted correctly. If you examine the plants more closely you will find (as I did), that pests are prevalent, most plants are either dramatically overpotted or improperly potted, and many are mislabelled. How would you feel about a vendor who was selling these same plants. You would avoid them, right ? Well, why then would you feel any different about the membership sales table ?

Another disturbing thing I've observed at membership sales tables in recent years is the number of illegal plants that are being sold through this venue. I am going to assume that no-one from the executives of these societies has noticed this practice or is aware of what a precarious position this puts the society itself in. Illegal plants are exactly that... ILLEGAL !!! If a society provides venues for the sale of these plants, then the society is condoning these transactions and is a party to them. This brings the risk of fines and other legal measures against the society, potentially leading to it's bankruptcy. Just as there are measures to ensure that vendors are legal entities (tax registration, vendors permits, etc.) so should there be measures to ensure that membership tables sell only plants that can be proven to be legal. This protects the purchaser as well as the society in question !

[ Back to main page ] [ Back to RANTS page ]