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As I muddle through the details that differentiates a "hobby" from a "business" I've been selling a small amount of worms to friends, associates, and the occasional person that finds one of my Craigslist ads or E-Bay Classified postings.

Until recently I've been measuring out 1/2 lb or 1 lb of worms on a scale and selling them locally for $17 and $26, respectively. This week I decided to change it up. Instead of advertising 1/2 lb and 1 lb, I've decided to switch to selling them by rough count.

Last night I sold 400 worms or a few more (including quite a few pods and quite a bit of material from by bins) for $17. My customer could have cared less about the weight and seemed equally satisfied with 400 worms versus a little less than 1/2 lb of worms. Perhaps best of all...it was easier for me to prep the order. It was much quicker to count the worms like this than weigh them.

I got this idea from Bentley at RedWormComposting.com and it works.

 

If I switch from "hobby" to "business" at some point I may change back to the traditional "weight" method, but for now I prefer rough counting.

Views: 62

Comment by Andrew from California on January 7, 2011 at 7:44pm
Brian, I'm curious how counting worms is easier than weighing them. Unless they're all fairly mature, it's tough for me to separate the smaller worms. I'm not sure I could count past 50 adult EF without screaming out loud. I can't use Pat's beer-in-hand method since I'm allergic to alcohol.
Comment by bpearcy10 on January 7, 2011 at 8:06pm

Andrew, In my experience it takes more than 400 worms to = 1/2 lb. I can count 400 worms faster than I can weigh 600-700. When I weigh them, I weigh worms and not bedding material, so it takes a long time to separate the worms from the bedding. I don't count the tiny worms one by one by one. I grab what looks like one which may actually be 5 or 6 and count it as one.

My new ad says the following, "I have been vermicomposting with eisenia foetida worms aka "red wigglers" for a couple of years. My worm population has increased gradually during that time and I now have some extra worms that I would like to sell. I am offering small amounts of worms (approximately 350-450 worms) to help others start their own vermicomposting programs. I'll also include a significant amount of bedding material that will help kickstart your worm bin." 

In this manner, I don't have to weigh out 1/2 lb exactly. I can roughly count out 400 worms and meet expectations.  I feel that it's easier. It may not be easier everyone. I know for a fact I can do it faster. My wife timed it because she was also skeptical and it took me a little less than 15 minutes to do it. I counted out 400 and then added a handful more. For some reason, it takes me much longer to weigh out 1/2 lb.

At this point, selling worms is really just a hobby. Once my worm population multiplies and this becomes a business for me, I won't worry if I give someone 3/4 lb of worms for the price of 1/2 lb, but right now it seems to make a difference.

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