nwgatreasures(7)April 19, 2009

(standard operating procedures)

When you sell your plants at a plant sale, how much is customary for the seller to keep?

I'm involved in a discussion right now regarding this very topic.

I understand the need for the group to earn a profit but I also understand the time, supplies, electricity and investments that go into growing plants in large numbers and the growers should get something.

If they want to donate, that's one thing, but is there a usual and customary procedure for this that you seasoned folks have used?



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Here in Seattle we split 50/50 with our club...leaves were priced $2.Plants $2.-$6.and chimeras as much as $12.
This year we had alot to chose from and people were thrilled with it.We had this years show at Swanson Nursery and they didnt charge the club anything for useing the space Thurs night -sunday evening...:0)..marigene

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:28PM
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HI Dora,
50/50 seems ok to me but my club generally gets all the money from the plants we as members bring in to sell. I suppose a lot depends on the financial situation in your area. I look at my club as a hobby and I will donate as much as I can afford just to keep the club from going belly up.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 10:10PM
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Our club took in $1600. on sat..not sure what we took in on sunday.we still had a few plants and leaves left...:0)...marigene

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 11:01PM
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Our club takes only 30% of the total for each seller. We also sell supplies to the public at a slight mark-up over club member prices so that makes money for the club, too. In addition, we have raffles at every meeting for plants donated by members so that brings in some money. We sell tickets for $1 or 6 for $5. There's a drawing at each meeting and, on a rotating basis, one of the members is reponsible for bring that. Refreshments are also provided similarly by two members at each meeting. So, without taking too much at sales, all the members are donating their time and money to keep the club afloat. Luckily, we are able to have our semi-annual sale and annual show/sale at a large mall where it costs very little to set up. I think I might balk at 50/50 as the money I get from propagating and selling plants is what pays for my hobby completely. Then again, if the venue for the sale cost the club money, I would be prepared to give more. For me, the club and the associations it offers are far more important.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 4:26PM
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I belong to two clubs. At one, the seller gets 90%. The other club hasn't had a show or sale for years, but when we did, the first year was 60/40 (60% to seller) and then when we were a little better off financially, it was 80/20. I think the split should be based on the financial needs of the club and then voted on by the members.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 4:47PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

When we are at the Botanic Gardens - it is 25% to them and 25% to the club.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 8:43PM
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So many clubs are going bankrupt because the cost of renting a space for meetings has become outrageous. In addition to a meeting space there is also the need for a sale space. For many years my club met in a Church and had thier annual show there also. But as time went by the cost of using the church became too much for the club to bear. The kept raising our rent for monthly meetings saying that the cost of fuel and electricity was rising and therefore they had to raise the rent. In order to afford the rent we as a club left the church hall and went to a local upscale mall to hold our annual show. At the time the mall gave us the tables and the coverings free of charge. We were able to make enough money to pay for our meeting space. As time passed, the mall management changed hands and we had to rent our own tables and coverings. This still was a good place to hold our local show because there was plenty of traffic and we sold most of the plants we purchased and made a good profit. The most recent change in management did not invite us back. They gave no reason so we had to find another space. That year we went back to the church since we were holding our meetings there and grudgingly paid $350 for three days rental of the space. We lost our shirts. The club was out over $1000 dollars for plants and rental of the hall. Our strained budget forced us to look for another venue for our meetings. Luckily we found that the local library was willing to let us meet there in one of the community rooms. The room was warm in winter and cool during the hot days in spring and fall. The rental was gratis. Still we tried to get back to the mall for our show but it didn't happen. One of the members of the club investigated a few other sources and found that a local community college was willing to let us use space in their faculty dining room. What was wonderful about it was that we did not have to rent tables and the janitorial staff set them up for us in a pattern we decided on. The college had a horticultural program with a young woman who willingly gave of her time and made all the arrangements for us including doing publicity. That was last year and we made a big profit. Needless to say we are returning to the college again for our show which will be held the first weekend in May.
In spite of the fact that we did so well last year we are still biting the bullet and purchasing a minimum amount of sale plants chosing to grow as many as we can ourselves. Hopefully I will be able to supply about 4 of 5 dozen plantlets in solo cups and have a few larger plants to add to that. We aren't concerned about getting a cut of the sales but hoping to make ennugh money to keep our club solvent and be able to build the treasury to a point where we can afford to bring in speakers and pay them for their services as well as having enough money in our treasury for a rainy day if it should happen again.
Fred in NJ

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 9:43PM
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Thanks for the discussion. Unfortunately, your scenario that you describe isn't uncommon. We are using the very small (500 sq ft) bldg that the garden club uses. We did learn that we can use the library next year and sell our plants there. That is where we currently hold most of our monthly meetings.

We are a small group - 26 in all (up from 14 last year)and only have 4 people growing plants for this sale. As a group, we made the decision to only offer things that we have grown this year so that we wouldn't lose our shirts by purchasing plants from a commercial grower. All together, we will have about 300 plants to offer. For the size of our group, the size of our community and the fact that this is really the first year that we've done something like this - we felt that these were common sense, low risk choices.

If we sell out in 30 minutes, we sell out in 30 minutes and those that shopped early will be the ones who got the best selection. Members of our group may shop 15 minutes early and then it opens to the public. We will learn everything that we can learn to improve next year and we will have many ideas from all members as opposed to one person dictating everything to everyone.

Previously, one person who had a lot of plants insisted on 80% for her reimbursement. This year she has very few plants and insist on 20% to the growers. That seems inconsistent and unbalanced when we have 2 members (one is me) who have spent a considerable amount of time growing specifically for this show. Since I've not been in the AV society all my life, I had no point of reference for what us usual and customary to even have a place to start and it's my goal as a leader of this group to lead us into growth(including profitability) while keeping the peace.

Our membership is increasing 2 or 3 each month so our goals are coming together with some plans that we put into place and some of those other "issues" are kindly taking care of themselves/leaving.

I keep telling our group that this year requires us to put forth our best effort to earn a profit and learn everything we can so that next week when it is over and we sit down with the experience fresh in our minds, that we will set the standard and improve with ways to make it all better.

I'm going to suggest that we do a 40/60 split with 40 going to the grower. If the grower wants to donate, that will be the grower's choice and anything that they donate will be receipted as a charitable donation to the organization (we have 501C status)

I SO appreciate everyone's experiences and imput.

PS. I'll let you all know how it goes and see if I can share some pics. It's Sat from 10-12 noon.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 8:12AM
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Sounds like you now have a wonderful group of members. We meet in the local library but the room isn't large enough for a show. This plus the fact that if we did decide to show there we would not be permitted to sell anything which defeats one of the reasons for doing a show. I think your division of the sale plant money is ok but if I were a member of your club, I would donate it all just to get the treasury in a solvent state. Then you can spend some of the profits to hire speakers and rent programs from AVSA to increase innterest in your club.
Fred in NJ
I hope you make a bundle tomorrow.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 10:54PM
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I'll post plant sale pics/results in another thread later but we are allowed to meet/hold sale at the library because we are a non profit 501c3 organization and the library allows that.

We have a perfect room at the library here where we live and we can't wait to hold our plant sale there.

PS. We DID make a bundle :)
And I got to meet someone who has been lurking here :)


    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 2:20PM
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