As you probably know (or have guessed by now) my dream job/career would be to own my own nursery. I've thought about different ways to do this and researched quite a few options. Ideally I would work from home and be able to produce plants for retail nurseries or landscapers. That dream is still a long way off at this point but I tried something of an experiment this past weekend, we had a yard sale, and I tried to sell a few plants.
Saturday, the day of the garage sale, was gorgeous. A cool crisp morning - jacket weather, led to a warm and sunny late morning and afternoon. People came by at a regular pace, looking for bargains and deals. One person asked if I had guns and knives - nope not here. Another person was looking for buttons. Another yardsaler was looking for patio furniture - closer to my goods but still not plants. I met people who claimed they would kill plants - even monarda and mint. You really have to try to kill those two plants! I even met people who were from Alabama visiting a sister who lived in our neighborhood while they were without power from the terrible tornadoes they suffered last week. I hope you'll join me in thinking and praying for those people who lost their loved ones and homes in that disaster.
I met lots of people, but no one who really wanted to buy plants from a yard sale. One person did come and buy a few plants who heard of my sale from the one advertisement I put out (a small message to our local garden club). That was neat since he actually lived in a house with a garden and pond I've admired for a while now. He has over 600 varieties of daylilies! I think his purchase was more to be nice to a fellow gardener than to buy plants for himself.
What was my grand total for the day on plants? $14! I'm sure glad I don't have to feed my family on that income! I'm not disappointed in the least, far from it really. I learned a few things that day and even came up with some ideas for the future that I might explore.
What did I learn?
- First, garage sales are not the ideal venue. People are looking for stuff - not plants. That doesn't necessarily mean they won't buy plants but if it's not on their list they are less likely to consider buying it. I think a plant sale out of the yard could work, I've heard several stories about those who have been able to make a god side income with it but a sale in conjunction with a garage sale isn't the best of both worlds. Different types of customers looking for different things.
- Second, the right venue is important. A craft fair might be better than a garage sale but obviously a real nursery would bring in people specifically looking for plants. One day maybe!
- Third, reaching the right crowd is paramount. I didn't advertise a plant sale at all. I mentioned it to the garden club but only the night before and realistically I couldn't expect anyone to come on such short notice. The community yard sale advertised in all the local papers but a specific plant sale ad might have done wonders, then again maybe not. Contacting Master Gardener programs and other garden clubs might have been an option but at this point my plant selection was limited and I didn't want to get over my head.
- Lastly, a beautiful day after several really awful rainy days probably keeps gardeners at home in their gardens! When the sun is shining I need to garden, don't you? Make hay while the sun shines!
It was fun to try and I might do so again in the future - only modified. Good planning, proper advertising, and a nice variety of plants are not only necessary but paramount to success.
Labels: plants, random thoughts