Terry Root and the Orchid Zone

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Candace

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I want to go...:> I guess I look at it this way. I'm at the stage with my collection that I'd rather buy something great and spend much more than buying 15 so-so plants. There is a lottery type fun growing out a bunch of plants and finding a winner, but it sure it nice knowing what you're buying ahead of time. There are definate pluses for both scenarios. And as for him selling his culls. Well, his culls are probably much nicer than keepers for other vendors:> I know for a fact the person I know bought 2 paphs last month and turned around and got them awarded the next week. Not that I'm advocating that as you all know my opinion on this subject!:):rollhappy:

Now I just need my 2nd g.h. up. Anyone good at digging trenches and will work for close to free??
 

Sirius

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Candace,

I once refinished a hardwood floor for a six pack of Bud Light and a large pizza. If you can meet these terms, I can have my agent (wife) look over our schedule. :)
 
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paphlady

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I don't think anyone is disrespecting Terry in this thread. Isaias simply said Terry could be nice one moment, and nasty the next. I have heard this very same opinion from at least two other people who have dealt with Terry face to face.
I'll bet you that they are such angels and didn't do anything to provoke him either.

I have never met the man, and at this point I have no desire to meet him.

Reminds me of this quote: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation." by Herbert Spencer in Spiritual Experience


Terry is like a baseball card seller who opens all the packs, takes out the rookie cards, special chase cards and gum, and leaves you the common player cards. Then he charges you a premium for them. For the same amount of money, you could buy plants from equally talented breeders that have not been bloomed, culled and sold as leftovers. I am not saying that his pot plants aren't beautiful, or worth what you pay for them. But the whole practice smells funny. With that said, I own a couple of Orchid Zone plants, and I even have some of Terry's seedlings. But when I want to spend crazy money, I shop somewhere else.

Similar to Paphioland, there are many people who would rather buy something in bloom and know exactly what they're getting than to invest time, money, g/h space, etc. with no guarantee of a winner. With complex Paphs, the probability is even smaller. And some people just detest gambling. Like Paphioland said, it's work (a hassle) just to dispose of the culls after you bloomed them.

Did you bother to find out from Terry (directly and not through the grapevine, we all know how info can change as it passes from one vine to another) his reasoning behind selling plants in bloom before concluding "the whole practice smells funny"? In another thread, Paphioland mentioned something about him being paranoid that plants get mislabelled. It could be the reason or part of the reason. Who knows.
 

Roth

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I'll bet you that they are such angels and didn't do anything to provoke him either.

Actually, there are a couple of things that could have made Terry unpleasant in the past, and I understand him fully, having been through the same as well. He had some personnal and professionnal problems, including a business divorce together with the fake sanderianum story, and people selling other plants under the Orchid Zone name, along with some more. I remember that in one year he got the complete collection of messes around ( including stolen plants the very same year).

He had to manage, successfully, some business problems, heavy ones at that, and everyone must understand that for many people, orchids are a hobby, but for the real professionnal growers, it is something very dangerous to manage. They have to have huge income every month, anticipate what could be sold in 2 years, and in Terry's case, I heard once that his costs were in the couple hundreds thousands$ per month during winter.

One more thing, the fake sanderianum story (again). What I think ( but that's personnal opinion), some of his customers knew ( from me actually, and one Taiwanese bloomed some fake ones) well before that those sands were mislabeled. They bought then many many plants. It seemed strange to me. If you know the apples are sour, you do not go to buy again and again like crazy. Except that this sanderianum story, highly emphasized, alone destroyed for some years Terry's reputation amongst many hobbyists, allowing some other growers ( who spread the rumor) to "catch" the market.

On the other subject, I noticed that he likes to talk with people who have experience, and can be quite quickly "fed up" with the others.

Similar to Paphioland, there are many people who would rather buy something in bloom and know exactly what they're getting than to invest time, money, g/h space, etc. with no guarantee of a winner. With complex Paphs, the probability is even smaller. And some people just detest gambling. Like Paphioland said, it's work (a hassle) just to dispose of the culls after you bloomed them.

Terry once told me amongst some other reasons that he wanted to maximize his "investment" as well, which is very normal.

The cost of a plant is:
- motherplants
- lab work ( with non-germinating crosses, or few seedlings produced)
- deflasking ( with some losses) in trays or plugs
- potting in small pots.

After that, it requires to pot from the small pot to the big pot. Sounds stupid, but quite a few people now ( including Terry I think...), went upset to sell in 7 cm pots for US$20 a plant, whilst repotting it and waiting another year would lead to some selected plants at 500-1000+$, and the culls can still be sold 20$.

Plus, as for the roth Rex x Mt Millais and some others, he did the original cross, but there were far, far more "blooming size" plants sold by the resellers than he produced. I think he does not want other people to profit by cheating, buy cheap NBS Charles E x Borneo and pass them at the "Orchid Zone breeding". Terry has had some financial problems with that as well when the first Rex x Mt Millais started to bloom, he got the AQ, was happy, thinking many people would buy from him many plants, and he could reinvest for his breeding program. No way. Many people started to sell the Charles E x Borneo renamed as RxMM.

To the best of my knowledge as well, when it comes to divisions or selected plants, bought directly from him, there is absolutely no "surprises" that the alba is not, or the roth is a sister plant of the plant you though you bought. Sometimes the plants are way overpriced I have heard, but in my case, when I went there myself, it was way underpriced to my mind.

Never forget as well, it is possible to find "cheaper selected plants" for some of the species he sells, but for most of it, he is the best source, and "stable". No "luck" involved. If you want to buy highly selected henryanum, go to the Orchid Zone, you are sure to find what you want, maybe "expensive" according to some, but he has them.

I got some plants that are apparently much better, for much, much cheaper, but then it is luck and gamble. If I did not want to eat roasted duck in october, and pass through a small shop with collected henryanum in bloom as pot plant, there was no way I could have had highly selected henryanum at extremely cheap price. If I wanted to be sure to get a very selected henryanum in october, I would have paid the price from the Orchid Zone.

Some people will say that they got from this or that nursery a better looking plant than the selected one from the Orchid Zone. Maybe it's true, but it is gambling. Orchid Zone, you pay what you want, and you get what you paid for.

The only thing I am looking now again to buy from him selected divs is someone who is willing to make CITES export permit, as Terry does not like to make them.

Onto the culls subject, it is my experience that with selected parents, a cull one year may surpass the FCC next year, especially in some of the complex, brachys or besseae. Terry sorted out many culls in the besseae and roths, just based on the flower size. So with good growth ( maybe the plant was not happy there!), you can still expect something better than the average plants.

For Paphanatics, actually the Orchid Zone had a partnership with them at a time. Paphanatics had a greenhouse of selected mother plants, made many crosses, and flasked them ( that was a very kind man who died of a brain cancer some years ago). Then Terry would buy many, if not most, of the flasks, grow them and bloom them. Paphanatics would buy back young plants, and some of the very selected plants, and do the next step of breeding. After a while Terry started all his own breeding lines for everything.

The wholesale/retail. Well, I have been through that as well.The problem is that to manage many hobbyists customers (sorry), it requires a lot of time and a lot of emails, and a lot of talks, phone calls... All of that time, either you pay a worker ( you have remember that most people want to talk to the owner anyway, and a worker is paid, so 20 min of phone call to end up with a no-sale is money lost), you do yourself, and the business collapses, because of no time, breeding, accounting, caring of the professionnal customers, the hobbyists, the problems, checking the quality of the plants, paperwork, etc... Terry simply prefers to have open doors from time to time, receive some people from time to time as well, and do wholesale. Most of the time, he will care about his "crop", and he has fewer customers to think of, fewer headaches, fewer unpaid bills.

I remember that many people went to work with the Orchid Zone, thinking that it is very simple. Buy from the Orchid Zone, sell, and make money! Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Prepay to invest in a stock, talk with the customers, reply to many emails, from pleasant to very strange questions ones, pack 3 plants here 7 plants there, make XXXXXX's of invoices, watch many people pay slow, slowly, the cashier's checks rejected... Then the follow up, why my plant has a yellow leaf, why this, why that. It is very time consuming. I do not criticize such customer, just emphasize that no one in the world can do everything. And retail is a very, very hard work.

One last thing, quite a lot of US paph "breeders" in fact come to reload in the Netherlands and Taiwan with cheap species seedlings, that they then sell at a premium with AOS awarded parents. I saw them many times going to Holland, pay as an example tigrinum seedlings (unknown parentage, but genuine) a couple$, and sell them right away as "selected parents". No way.

The Orchid Zone only sells plant that they know and have bred, and bloom them to be sure they are genuine.
 
H

heliomum

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Answer the Question!

Although this discussion is great, no one has answered my original question. Where is the Orchid Zone?!
 
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Sirius

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I'll bet you that they are such angels and didn't do anything to provoke him either.

Maybe they did. All I know is this: the very people who related to me the stories of which I speak are people I trust. One still buys from Terry to this very day. Once you learn how not to provoke him, I guess you could have a pretty good relationship with the guy.

Reminds me of this quote: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation." by Herbert Spencer in Spiritual Experience

The bad thing about throwing quotes at people to argue a point is, they never quite get the point across properly. You see, by saying I hold Terry in contempt, you are saying I despise him. The very definition of contempt according to Merriam Webster, is "the act of despising." If you look up the definition of despise, you find that it means "to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful." I suggest you re-read my post and point out to me exactly where I called Terry negligible, worthless or distasteful.

Did you bother to find out from Terry (directly and not through the grapevine, we all know how info can change as it passes from one vine to another) his reasoning behind selling plants in bloom before concluding "the whole practice smells funny"?

No, I have not asked Terry directly why he blooms before he sells. It doesn't matter. I prefer to buy plants that are bred by respectable breeders, and at the same time plants that I can raise and bloom myself. I am young enough to see plants through to first bloom. Terry is very respected, but frankly, I don't want previously bloomed plants. I am not in the hobby for awards, or perfect specimen plants, and I am not in it to buy "pot plants" that have pretty blooms and perfect form. I am in it because I love growing plants, and for the thrill of surrounding myself with living things that I enjoy learning about. To me, all the rest is nonsense wrapped in foolishness.
 
H

heliomum

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Just another thought, in the book Orchid Fever, it says that a Thai monk walked in to buy an orchid. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Thai monks buy orchids wholesale. So either that monk was very wealthy, or Terry Root gives discounts to monks.
 

Leo Schordje

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Jeezzz - this thread is less than 24 hours old and already it is three pages. You guys are indulging in the "Cult of Personality". Back up a bit and get real.

Terry Root is using a WHOLESALE business mdoel. This means he does not retail IN ORDER TO AVOID COMPETITION WITH HIS WHOLESALE CUSTOMERS.

When he first began advertising he stated then that his business is WHOLESALE. He guarranteed his customers that he would not show up at shows, conferences, forums, guild meetings or on the internet as competition. If OZ were to retail, Terry could undercut his wholesale customers if he opened a retail outlet, but he does not. Because he stays wholesale only he has more wholesale customers who don't have to worry about competing directly with him, they just have to worry about competing with each other.

This is a standard business model. By following this, Terry can have more sales, and see his product sold all over the world, because his wholesale customers don't have to worry about him under cutting them. If he started selling retail beyond the walk in customers that he simply could not keep away, he would loose his largest wholesale accounts. So who is the fool?

So give the man a break, he is simply doing business, this decision is a business model, not a personality issue.

Leo
 

Sirius

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Hey Leo,

Everyone on this board has the fair chance to post their opinion on any subject started on the board. That's kinda why it was started it in the first place. So I appreciate your opinions, but next time can you leave the "Cult of Personality" remarks at home. After all, you chided us for running up a thread by three pages, and then you added another post. :)
 

Candace

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I have no idea if you're aiming your comments at one person or more, Leo. But I don't understand the tone of your posting and "cult of personality" thing, at all. People are entitled to their opinions and 3 pages of discussion in one day, in my mind, signifies people are interested...that's all.:confused:
 

gonewild

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I think I remember Terry saying at the Paph Guild meeting that he grows his plants so he can select "good" plants to sell to collectors. His wholesale business and sales are simply the way for him to get the selected plants. His fun and joy is with selling the selected plants to private collectors and he did say he considers a plant as "select" when it is one he can sell for $2000 or more. And he said he has no problem selling his selects for that price.

I bet that monk had some gold under his robe to trade for something very spiritual.
 

Sirius

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His fun and joy is with selling the selected plants to private collectors and he did say he considers a plant as "select" when it is one he can sell for $2000 or more. And he said he has no problem selling his selects for that price.

It's good to be the king.
 

Rick

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I think I remember Terry saying at the Paph Guild meeting that he grows his plants so he can select "good" plants to sell to collectors. His wholesale business and sales are simply the way for him to get the selected plants. His fun and joy is with selling the selected plants to private collectors and he did say he considers a plant as "select" when it is one he can sell for $2000 or more. And he said he has no problem selling his selects for that price.

I bet that monk had some gold under his robe to trade for something very spiritual.

Even if he kept the "best" for himself, it seems like the "seconds" are world class keepers. I'm happy with those:clap:
 

Leo Schordje

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Hey Leo,
Everyone on this board has the fair chance to post their opinion on any subject started on the board. That's kinda why it was started it in the first place. So I appreciate your opinions, but next time can you leave the "Cult of Personality" remarks at home. After all, you chided us for running up a thread by three pages, and then you added another post. :)

I have no idea if you're aiming your comments at one person or more, Leo. But I don't understand the tone of your posting and "cult of personality" thing, at all. People are entitled to their opinions and 3 pages of discussion in one day, in my mind, signifies people are interested...that's all.:confused:

That's odd, I didn't think I was being particularly insulting or negative. So I checked Wikipedia just to make sure I wasn't making a cross generational faux pax. (I'm over 50 you know). Here is what I found;
"A cult of personality or personality cult arises when a country's leader uses mass media to create a heroic public image through unquestioning flattery and praise. Cults of personality are often found in dictatorships but can be found in some democracies as well.
A cult of personality is similar to general hero worship except that it is created specifically for political leaders. However, the term may be applied by analogy to refer to adulation of non-political leaders."

nothing really insulting there. So John and Candace I don't understand your beef. Perhaps you are projecting a negative tone into my note that really is not there.

Most of the posts prior to mine were speculation about why OZ and Terry Root did business the way he does. Several of the posts went into his personality. (Nice vs abrupt, etc) Not one of the posts prior to mine mentioned the real reason why they are wholesale only as stated by the Orchid Zone in its own advertisments. Orchid Zone guarrantees its customers that the Orchid Zone will not compete with them in the retail market. I thought it would be fair to the OZ if I pointed out that this was the reason they did business that way. I am fairly confident Terry Root and the rest of the OZ staff get tired of people speculating about their motivations and personalities. "Hero Worship"? "Cult of Personality"? Whatever. I guess it's not wrong. Terry Root is definitely a hero in the Paph world, even I think so.
Leo
 

aquacorps

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Terry is a very decent person that does not suffer fools. A little known fact about Terry is that he appeared in the early 70's in the Coca Cola TV commercial “I’d like to teach the world to sing (in perfect harmony)". He’s the one in the suit in the back near the end. Rusty

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mOEU87SBTU
 

Sirius

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Sorry Leo, I misunderstood. It was just that you followed it up with "back up and get real." I thought you were implying something else.
 

Candace

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Hmm. Well all the capitals "shouting" Leo, and saying we're a cult of personality-which by the way I'm still not getting since the term is coined to describe dictatorships vs. democracy...and telling us to "get real". My comments have been nothing but positive and before your posting I thought everyone was handling themselves nicely. Disagreeing but not resorting to name calling.

Leo, we own a reselling business, so I for one don't need the mechanics of the business model pointed out to me. I didn't notice anyone else questioning his business practice. Like I said earlier, it is what it is. And truly it's not anyone's business! It's so odd that this topic has become so heated and it makes me wonder what that's really about.
 

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