The Stupider the Customer is, the More Money You Can Make off of Them
I just finished an amazing morning talking to all kinds of people about buying coffee farms. Everywhere I went. there was someone who wanted to sell or buy them – and there were far more sellers than buyers. The whole world (at least our little coffee-growing valley) must be going crazy about this.
The reasons are not hard to see. The coffee-picking season is upon us, and the coffee farmers have their calculators out – figuring how much money they made – or more likely, lost. Coffee prices are up from their disastrously low levels of a few years ago – but the costs of growing coffee (including diesel fuel) are also up.
I know something about this personally. Growing little replacement coffee bushes in plastic bags is a full-time business here. And one of the growers, who knew me personally, gave me one for free. I took it home and put it in a big plastic pot, the kind used to grow ornamental plants down here.
It got sick. Its leaves got yellow and died. I was told this always happened – since coffee is a monoculture here, and it attracts all kinds of parasites. More and more spraying is required. The agriculture store two blocks away sells the spray – but only in 50 lb. bags.
Another person who runs an organic coffee farm near here, gave me other advice – it needed a nutritional supplement! Also only available in 50 lb. bags. But you have to be careful with it and not use too much and burn the roots.
Other people told me to take the little bush and plant it in the ground. Which I did – but it died anyway.
Bottom line – growing coffee is difficult business, and definitely not for beginners.
I tried to explain all this to an idealistic young American couple who were are intent on buying land down here – and living on it – and growing all their own food organically (including coffee). They weren’t interested in anything I told them.
Too late, I realized my mistake. You never discourage a customer, no matter how stupid they are. Because the stupider they are, the more money you can make off of them.
Honesty is definitely not the best policy – when you got a sucker on the line.