The Price of Nishikigoi

Now let us discuss purchase 1 from the previous page. We have 3,500 Koi back home and these stand us at an ‘average price’ of 1,825yen each. We obviously have ponds available and staff available to house and care for them.

Now, the hard fact to swallow is that the bottom 1,500 of these Koi have only any real value to the many ‘Pay As You Fish’ fishing ponds in Japan where cheap transportation is made from the breeder by small oxygenated container. If no other buyer purchases these Koi during customer selections then the breeder will sell the lot for 100yen each and this will produce a sale of 120,000yen as a last resort. Add to this fact that these Koi are not nearly as attractive as their far cheaper Israeli/Chinese/Home Produced counterparts and we have a real problem to face – especially if we assume, completely incorrectly, that each has cost 1,825yen – more on this later.

In truth, it would have been FAR more sensible and MUCH more economical to buy these Koi and then release them into the Shinano River rather than transport them back home!!!

By doing this, it would then produce a landed price of 4,625,000yen for 2,000 Koi instead of 6,387,500yen for 3,500 Koi which averages at 2,313yen per Koi as opposed to 1,825yen per Koi. A 25% increase in unit price but a saving of 1,762,500 in actual outlay. Now the buyer is left with 2,000 ‘saleable’ Koi to keep and care for whilst costly freight charges for unsalable Koi have been saved.

As to purchases 2 & 3 above at ‘scoop rate’ we must assume that 33% of the Koi scooped are also only fit for fishing pond grade so let us assume we dispose of these before shipping them – this would produce the following results: –

  • In option 2, there are now 1,320 Koi to ship instead of 2,000. This comes out at 4,051,000yen or an average price of 3,069yen per Koi instead of 2,425yen per Koi with a saving on outlay of 799,000yen.

  • In option 3, there are now 660 Koi to ship instead of 1,000. This comes out at 2,425,500yen or an average price of 3675yen per Koi instead of 2,825yen per Koi with a saving on outlay of 399,500yen.

In all of the examples above it is far better economically and in terms of pond space and staff costs to dispose of the ones that have no real retail value in the UK before shipping them out of Japan. More on these Koi purchases later.

Now we move onto the ones ‘selected by hand’ where none need to be disposed of before shipment.

  • Option 4 produces an average price for 500 Koi at 5,175yen per Koi.

  • Option 5 produces an average price for 100 Koi at 11,175yen per Koi.

  • Option 6 produces an average price for 50 Koi at 34,175yen per Koi.

  • Option 7 produces an average price for 25 Koi at 81,175yen per Koi.

To remind us of the hard facts, all these Koi are Go-Sanke varieties, all these Koi are from the same high-quality breeder, they are all from the same ponds, they are roughly all the same sizes and they are all termed by the breeder as his ‘tateshita’. The breeder sets all prices and there are no agents involved in any stage of the process.

Let’s clarify it all once again, these are landed ‘average’ unit prices for the above options –

  • 1. 2,313yen for 2,000 Koi.

  • 2. 3,069yen for 1,320 Koi.

  • 3. 3,675yen for 660 Koi.

  • 4. 5,175yen for 500 Koi.

  • 5. 11,175yen for 100 Koi.

  • 6. 34,175yen for 50 Koi.

  • 7. 81,175yen for 25 Koi.

One thing is certain and that is that ALL the Koi in purchase numbers 2 to 7 are all there in purchase 1 – unless, that is, some have been sadly disposed of in error?

In purchases 2 & 3 only ‘some’ of the Koi in purchase numbers 4 to 7 are there but exactly how many are there all revolves completely around Lady Luck.

In purchases 4 to 6 ALL the 25 Koi in purchase 7 ‘should’ be there. Whether they have been selected or not is another matter that involves the ‘eye’ of the person who selects and I cannot comment here.

Peter Waddington Selecting KoiHaving faced this situation for more times than I can possibly recall, my own ‘good’ Koi requirements would come from some 150 Koi from the 3,500 on offer and perhaps I would finally buy 60 Koi in total for around an average landed price of 50,000yen producing a 3,070,500yen outlay.

As to how I select these 60 Koi (and, believe me, this can take up to 3 days of careful selection to finalise) – the first consideration for tosai has to be that of ‘pattern’ with ‘skin’ following a close second but a second nonetheless. I also know that, when selecting these 60 Koi, after first finalising the price, the breeder will be present at all stages to observe some ‘mistakes’ he has possibly made in his tategoi/tateshita selections some five days before.

On several occasions after I have finally selected my purchases, the breeder has offered to buy three of the selected Koi back from me there and then. On two occasions I can recall I have sold back two of my selected Koi to the breeder, the sum of which has paid for 50% of my total purchases from him on that day – that’s a fact.

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