How to Sell Plants Online
How to Get More Profits by Selling Your Plants Online
In addition to selling plants from your home you can also sell your plants online. Online plant sales have become popular over the last few years. Selling plants online allows customers the chance to find better deals, more plant varieties and plants that are considered rare or exotic in their regions. Selling plants online also offers the seller more exposure, more sales and more profits. Turn your plants into profits by selling them online!
What Type of Plants Should You Sell Online
One of the most important decisions of selling plants online is deciding what plants to sell. There are several things you should factor in before making your ultimate decision. Do you have a specific type of plant you want to sell, a variety of plants, cuttings, seeds, rare plants? Decide what your niche will be.
Unless you have several acres and a few large greenhouse chances are you won’t be selling thousands of plants daily. If you’re just starting out or looking to do sell plants online part time you may want to find a niche and go from there.
If you don’t already have a huge stock on hand decide what you would like to sell. Would you like to sell flowering shrubs or just azaleas? Do you want to sell vegetable plants and bedding plants or just stick with one or the other? Some online plant sellers stick with a specific type of plant or even a specific variety. It all depends on what you enjoy growing, have the ability to reproduce and to the space you have available.
You Can Start Your Very Own Backyard Nursery with Very Little Space
When to Sell Your Plants Online
When to Sell Your Plants Online to Make the Best Profit
When to sell your plants online depends on what type of plants you are selling. If you are selling house plants then it would be profitable to sell those year round. If you are selling a seasonal plant such as vegetable plants then those are only profitable during spring and early summer. Rarely would you get any sales for vegetables after mid-summer. The same goes for bedding plants. Cool season bedding plants need to be propagated late summer to insure they are ready to sell when the temperatures start cooling off and warm season plants ready by the time temperatures warm up.
Do You Sell Plants Online?
Where to Sell Your Plants Online
Choosing the Right Site to Sell Your Plants Online
There are several sites available to sell plants online. You can create your own website or use on online retail site which charge a minimal fee, usually $0.15-0.35 for each listing.
Creating your own site allows you to customize, set up display and accept payments however you choose. However, these custom sites come with a big price tag-usually $500 or more depending on the size of the site, plus the maintenance fee and any other fees charged by the host. When you are just starting out it's usually easier to use and online auction or listing site.
Using the auction and listing sites allow you to quickly and easily list your item for sale or auction with just a few clicks. When listing an item it consists of adding pictures, adding a description, setting the price and adding details you would like the customers to know. Listing can be added in just a few minutes and do not require a degree in computers.
If you are looking for ideas on sites to sell your plants online visit Where to Sell Your Plants Online.
Accepting Payment for Online Plant Sales
How to Get Paid for the Plants You Sell Online
There are a few different ways to accept payments for online plant sales. The most common is PayPal. PayPal allows you to accept payments from other PayPal accounts, checks, and credit and debit cards quickly and easily. PayPal also allows you to invoice your payments and provides extra security for you and your customers by never revealing credit card number, check account information and other personal information of either party.
Another option is to accept check or money orders. Money orders are still fairly common while checks seem to be fading due to all the scams. If you decide to use money orders always insure that you allow the money order (or check) to clear before shipping the plants out. If you ship the plants and then the payment has insufficient funds or is a fraudulent check then you are out that money and out the plants.
How to Ship Plants from Online Sales
Proper shipping of plants is one of the most important things of selling plants online. Plants need to properly packaged and able to withstand being in tossed around and maintain quality with a few days without light and water.
Plants are usually shipped by USPS via priority mail. These costs are figured in with the price of the plant or the shipping costs attached to the sale. Plants can be shipped with soil or barefoot depending on the type of the plant and whether or not it is in its dormant stage. Dormant plants are usually shipped barefoot and wrapped in with moist newspaper or paper towels. The wet parts are then secured in a bag to prevent damage to the shipping container.
For more information on packaging and shipping plants check out How to SHip Plants at Daves Garden.
Live, active growing plants can be shipped with minimal soil with a moist but not soggy soil. These can be shipped in their pots or in bags as well. You only want to secure the root ball and soil. Don't ever include the foliage of the plant as it can get damaged, rot or set up diseases from moist soil.
Plants are usually pruned back pretty hard to minimize damage to long stems, foliage and blooms. I always note that my plants will be pruned heavily so that the customer knows what to expect. If you're selling flats they are easier to package in boxes as close to the size of the plant and flat itself.
If you are running a very profitable business or sending out massive amounts of plants you may want to invest in a more expensive type of shipping container. You can purchase cardboard boxes made especially for shipping plants. You can choose the size, cell count and airflow along with custom designs on the boxes. This makes for a very professional image as well. Do note that most hobby growers and backyard nurseries don't have the need or the finances so it is not expected. Just be sure your customers know what to expect by placing your shipping policies in your product descriptions.
If you are selling larger plants you may have to another shipping company such as UPS. They allow large, heavier, irregular shaped packages which may be encountered with larger plants.
Last but not least, always mark your packages "fragile", "handle with care", and "this side up". Why it doesn't always get noticed it does help the post master to keep your plants right side up and to use extra care when loading and unloading the packages.
Advertising Your Plants for Sale
Maximize Your Sales and Profits By Advertising Your Online Plant Store
To drive traffic to your website and increase sales it is always wise to advertise your online plant store. Whether you create your own website or are using a site such as eBay or Amazon you should advertise and let other know you have those plants out there.
You can advertise your plants for sale online through Facebook. ‘Like’ your products and share them on your page so that all your friends and family see what you have to offer. Another great promotional tool on Facebook is ‘Pages’. You can create your own business page on Facebook and suggest the page to all your friends on Facebook. Your plant sale page you can add information about your business, list photos, info on your plants, add links to care guides, links to your products and much more. It’s a great way to get fans for your online plant business.
You can also advertise your plants online through forums, Craigslist, plant search sites, gardening sites and other plant related sites that are appropriately related.
Regulations of Shipping Plants
Know the Laws and Regulations Before Your Ship Your Plants
As with any type of plant business there are some strict regulations that come with important and exporting plants. Before listing plants for sale make sure that you check for any restrictions on that plant and insure there are no laws that refuse to allow that plant into a certain state. California is one of the strictest states when it comes to importing and exporting plants across state lines. If you find that you can't ship a specific plant to a specific state simply put that information in the description. Something along the lines of "Unable to ship internationally and to CA and HA" is acceptable and covers if someone from those areas purchases them.
If you are not sure of the regulations for different states you can check online or call their local agricultural extensions. Some states will require plant permit numbers attached to each plant which can be obtained by being licensed in your state. This usually costs between $50-200 depending on your state and the quantity of plants you are propagating and selling.
Books on How to Turn Plants into Profits
There are a variety of useful books available to teach you how to turn your plants into profits. These books include information on the best plants to grow for profit, regional plants, shipping information, sales and marketing and so much more. You can find several books to help you learn about and establish your backyard nursery with this List of Plants for Profit - Type Books.