Flamingo Crossing

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How to have a plant sale -- online or in person

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how to have a plant sale
If you have a green thumb, you probably have extra plants to sell during warmer months. Some types of plants may prove more popular and profitable in your area than others. It is a seasonal business for everyone who doesn't live in a warm climate, but it may be just what you need to earn a bit of money for your pocketbook.

Choosing which plants to sell

One thing to keep in mind is that plant sales are generally a seasonal event. Even in a warm climate, pond plants don't sell well after midsummer. Neither do home-grown vegetables. Rare tropicals cannot be shipped safely when the temperature outdoors drops below freezing.

If you are making this a full-time job, have a plan in place to earn money in the off-season.

Where to sell plants

how to have a plant sale Craiglist

No listing fees, no closing fees. List your plants with a price per quantity, and don't forget good photos of the plants you are selling. This is a good option when your listing budget is an issue.

Your local fish shop

While not online, many fish shops like to support local plant sellers. Ask at the counter about whether they buy water plants.

Your local nursery

By the same token, many larger nurseries get their stock from small home nurseries. Ask about it at the counter.

Pricing your plants

The important thing to remember with plant sales is the bottom line. Price to sell, especially if the market is tight. It is hard to compete with the prices of annuals from a big-box store, for example. Focus on rarer plants whenever possible since it is better to get some money from a lot of plant-buying customers than a lot of money from one customer. Try to make your plants look like a bargain compared to others in the area.

Grow your plant sales

Start your own web site

Once you are doing a brisk business, set up your own website so local retailers can find your plants easily. Your own site can be a big investment. You will need to hire someone to build it for you if you don't know how to design and code a website.

Tip: Someone may contact you about buying plants, so include at least an email address or phone number on your site.

If you aren't doing a reasonable volume of plant sales just yet, wait a bit before setting up a web site.

Restrictions on selling plants

As expected, not every plant can be sold in every location. Plants such as water hyacinth are considered invasive in the southern United States, so they cannot be legally imported from other parts of the country. You should be able to check restrictions on each state's or country's agricultural websites.

If a particular plant cannot be shipped to a location, note that in in the listing.

Licensing and permits

You may need a special license to ship plants over state lines. You definitely need paperwork to ship them internationally. Check with the local agricultural facilities about acquiring the necessary permits if it proves necessary.

Shipping plants

Safe shipment of plants is to most critical issue when selling plants online. If the plant is particularly fragile, it won't survive until delivery. Pack carefully.

How to ship plants

Always choose the fastest method so the poor plant doesn't have to spend any more time in transit than necessarily. USPS Priority is a good, fast choice for live plants. Make use of the Post Office's free Priority Mailers whenever possible.

Soil or bareroot?

Note #1: Plants can and will be squashed if shipped in a padded envelope. Don't even try it. Use a box for all plant shipments.

Note #2: TV dinner boxes, pizza delivery boxes, and packaged food boxes (crackers, etc) are not shipping-grade boxes. Do not use them for shipping.

When to ship live plants

Plants should only be shipped on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to ensure that the plants aren't sitting at the post office over the weekend. This should be noted in the listing.

Special care for shipment of water plants


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