*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
DIY Plant Sale has been something on my mind for years now. When we first moved into our home 20 or so years ago there was a lot of work to do outdoors, much of which would take years and lots of sweat equity and yes money.
Planting was one of those that would take time, money, and lots of manual labor. We had eyes bigger than our bellies when we bought the house. We were now owners of a 7-acre lot in need of a lot of clean-up!
And so 23 years have flown by like spring rain.
Garden Centers and books and catalogues are great for picking up some great buys. However, some of the best bargains and hardiest plants I’ve added to our outdoor greenery were local grown. By locally grown, I’m talking within a couple of miles of our home. I like knowing the plants were hardy specifically in our immediate area and well, no place like the neighborhood to shop!
Before I start ‘digging’ into my plant sale DIY tips. This adventure really was inspired by my first home plant buying experience. I bought it from a woman who lived around the corner from us.
She had a simple setup, some garden books, and pictures to share if I had questions. Mostly the plant sale set up at her home was a self serve (right down to the coffee can for cash $$) and honor system. We chatted one day and she told me this was how she paid for Christmas for her grandchildren.
After many years of buying from her, I noticed she was not around. Her husband told us she had passed and he would try to keep up the plant sale but that was not meant to be. He was only able to do this for another year or two. I missed the plants of course, but I just as much missed our small neighborly connection.
DIY Plant Sale Made Easy and Profitable
Let’s dig in!
Thinking about having your own diy plant sale(s) this year to earn some extra cash? Plant and Yard sales are a fantastic way to earn some extra money that you can use to pay down debt or throw into savings for a rainy day!
What makes a plant sale successful? Well, there’s a few things at play in having a successful plant sale and today we’re going to talk about a few of the ways to ensure the success of your own diy plant sale!
- Peat Moss
- Old Pots, Containers
- Popsicle sticks or plant sticks
- Cash Box or Coffee Can (have change available)
Get Ready To Dig Up Some Cash!
Let’s keep it simple, o.k. Start with the plants you already have on your property. Look at the plants, flowers, shrubs that need to be split up and thinned out. Here’s your inventory for your plant sale.
For me, that will be a huge collection of hosta’s, daylilies, English ivy, and a few miscellaneous plants. I may also toss in a few house plants I’ve split up over and over again. If your selection is limited, that’s o.k., people will start to learn from year to year what you’re ‘known for’ with plants.
You may even find friends offering you to help do some ‘free landscaping’ by thinning out some of their overgrown plants. In exchange, you get the plants to sell.
Dig em up honey, drop those split up plants in some peat with the dirt you removed with them. Place them in a pot, gently water, set aside. Best keep the ‘like plants’ together for easy labeling with your plant markers or popsicle sticks. There’s Part 1. Dig, Pot, Water, Label.
The Display For Selling Plants
Place those beauties on a wall, tables, or if you’ve got one, a plant shelf. You can also place them on benches and old chairs. Place extras on the ground. Keeping in mind to plan in or out of sun depending on the natural needs of the plant. Also, keep them somewhat close to the watering source for convenience.
Pricing to Sell Your Plant Inventory!
I’m not going to try and guess what plants are selling for in your area. I know our garden shops get a pretty penny. I also know that if I’m going to a yard sale I’m thinking ‘cheap’. I’m thinking the same thing for a home DIY plant sale. People most likely are showing up thinking they’ll bargain and I just don’t have time for that so I’m going to price to sell.
My 1-gallon plants will be $2 (selling in stores for $10+) and my larger plants will be $5 (priced in stores for $24.99+). House Plant cuttings will be $1 and $2. If I decide to sell seedlings for vegetable starters those will be in 6 packs or quarts. I pretty much pay the same price for all seeds, so pricing will again be straightforward by pricing all by the size, not the type.
Exceptions would be heirloom plants and vegetables. I do have some heirloom peonie plants that can be split and those are much more valuable to me, also harder to find. In order to keep supply and demand in balance, I’ll price these higher.
Will I buy wholesale for re-sale. Most likely not. My husband’s brick and mortar store buys wholesale and honestly, I can dig up or plant seeds at home for much much less! I will take note of particular plants others are looking for, to help plan for future plant sales. I’ll then investigate wholesale pricing to see if it’s worth the investment.
Again, I am only doing this for 4 weekends. You may feel differently if you are planning a longer-term weekday type of sales.
My hope is that people will come in planning on spending $5 – $10 and want to come back next year. If this is a semi-success I’ll make this part of my Christmas budget plan annually.
Quite honestly, when the woman around the corner was still with us, I bought plants every week from her for the four weeks she was open and I returned for several years. That’s what I’d like to see happen with my plant sales.
I also think this is a great keep busy hobby for my husband and I when we’re both retired.
Timing is everything!
Everyone in our area starts gardening and then going on vacation. I need to be sure I’m planning this sale to run when the customers want to buy. From experience as a home plant sale shopper, I’m going to try running from Mothers Day for 4 weekends (approximately Father’s day) or until plants run out.
I don’t plan on manning the fort the entire time, so we’ll run partially on the honor system. I’ve seen this around at other local plant and vegetable sales. My husband or I am typically home most of the day on weekends so I don’t see this as a problem for us. You may want to try just one weekend to start.
Before social media existed, your only advertising option were signs on the side of the road and word of mouth. These signs are still ‘best practice’ for getting weekend traffic.
In today’s world, we can use our social media platforms to advertise as well! Posting on your Facebook is a great way to get people to come out and see what you’ve got to offer. Post some pictures with sneak peeks of some of the better items you’ll have at your yard sales. Instagram is another great way to promote, use local hashtags and find your interested buyers.
If you have any local buy/sell/trade pages or groups that you’re a part of, advertising your yard sales there can get you a lot more “customers”!
As always, making signs are still important to direct people to your house so they don’t get lost or have to rely on GPS. It is much easier to follow a few signs and get in and out that way, and people will definitely appreciate it! Signs are also a great way to pick up people who drive by and want to stop for a few to check you out. These are super important customers for a successful sale.
Tip: Make sure your signs are going to stay in place. Don’t hassle with taping them to poles because wind can rip them right off and demolish your sales! Ideally, you want a standing sign but if you can’t grab one of those, use an old cardboard box, attach a poster board with the address and information and stick a heavy rock in it to keep it down!
End of Season Re-evaluate Success
I would suggest at the end of your selling season (even if it’s only a weekend) to tally up what you earned, approximately how many ‘real hours’ you put into the planting in pots, setting up part. This will play a big part in knowing if you want to do this again every year. This would give you more planning ahead of time for your next backyard plant sale.
The most important part is to keep it all simple. Don’t go digging into your profits before you’ve made any. Even better, have a plan (small) for any profits before you put them in your pocket.
- Use plants you already have containers you can rustle up from your own yard, and sheds or recycle centers. You can even cut down milk and juice cartons.
- Introduce yourself and get to know your customers. If you are going to be doing this every year at the same time, let them know. Imagine if you just invited them to your Facebook or Instagram accounts to follow for updates! Even better have a notebook nearby to take emails for mailing lists! You could compose a nice Thank You end of the sale dates and let them know when the upcoming sales will be.
Tip #2 Just as suggested in our Yard Sale article, you may consider offering juice boxes or bottled water for sale (keep it on ice nearby) for a nominal fee. Keeping people comfortable will help them stay longer to visit and shop.
- Customer experience is everything. People remember how you treat them and will come back on good experiences alone. True!
- Make a great impression with your prices and plant quality and you’ll be off to making a new annual sale tradition for many buyers!
- People want easy, local and simple and great prices. If you get too fancy they’ll be afraid that’s what they’re paying for. Simple is Smart!