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Stepping (barely) into the professional market

Posted by wordwiz ( on
Wed, May 5, 10 at 20:08

I drop a paper off at a hardware store and over the last couple of years, the manager and I have developed a decent relationship. He bought some tomato plants from me last year and was going to buy some more this season, but then he asked me about the possibility of supply flats of plants for him to sell. It means a potential loss of at most $200 (the price I am selling them to him vs. what I sell at flea market type events) but that is if I sell none anyplace else. Plus I deliver 100 plants at a time and do not have to sit around waiting for a customer to show up.

But the real reason I wanted to do this is because they have five stores. Next year, they could easily want at least 200 plants per store, maybe more. I can handle this, plus another 500 for me to sell. It would be a nice step toward doing this as a living.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Stepping (barely) into the professional market

I wouldn't see it as a loss of $200 but a gain, since you weren't selling to them before. (and yes, not sitting around doing the retail end, which means you have time to do other money-making stuff, like growing more plants). making money selling wholesale is about volume.

congratulations on a new venture.

RE: Stepping (barely) into the professional market

I ended up selling only about 50 plants at the store about $370 in all. Some things I will do differently next year.

First, hook up with more gardening clubs. A place up the road found out I had plants for sale, mostly after they had a great start on the gardens, but I still sold over $100 in a couple of days. Had I had more Bell peppers, I could have sold more.

Sow seeds later. I waited a couple of weeks longer this year than last and was still two weeks too early. The plants were almost too big.

Use smaller containers and sell for less. I used 18-cell trays this year (3" square) and sold the plants for $2 each. Next year I'll use nine four-packs per tray and sell each one for $2.50.

Stagger seed sowing. That way, I'll have good size plants during all of May, not nice size ones for the early planters but giants for the later people.

Promote them more. I'll use Craig's list a lot more next year. I also deliver a couple hundred papers to business owners and I'll make sure to include an order form with each paper as well as offer to deliver them for free.


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