I was very impressed with this Craigslist ad for American Blackbelly
sheep. The owner has done a great job talking about the benefits of
the breed, of building the reader's confidence that the owner is a
good person to do business with, and has priced the sheep at what I
believe is a fair value -- $325-$400 each.
The only way the American Blackbelly breed as a whole will begin to
command higher prices is by breeders recognizing the gourmet quality
lamb and easy-care sheep that they have and working harder to market
those traits. Every week I see so many ads for mutt hair sheep
selling for $75 to $125 as adults. Gaack! They are worth at least
$300 as freezer lamb! And American Blackbelly are even better!
It just takes a bit of extra work to have some business cards printed
($10 for 500 cards at Vistaprint.com) and to hand them out to
everyone you meet. Make sure your doctors get a card, and pin a card
up at the local health food store and anywhere else diet-conscious,
health-conscious people hang out who are willing to spend money on
gourmet-quality, all-natural, chemical free lamb. Find a way to help
those people buy your sheep and get it butchered. Know how to help
them BEFORE they contact you so that when they do, you'll have all of
their questions answered and their problems solved. Once they taste
your lamb, they will be lifetime customers. Market your sheep by
becoming an evangelist for the breed--if you've eaten your home-grown
lamb, you already know that it can easily compete with the best
t-bone steak available AND WIN! Quit keeping this to yourself, and
spread the word.
The only people who can increase the value of your sheep breed is YOU!
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