Sell Plants in Your Local Market
There are a few ways to go about selling in your local area. This is the safest and easiest way to begin. The best platforms are Craigslist, OfferUp, Facebook Market Place, and Blossm.
First thing first is what are you going to sell? Don’t be afraid to sell plants that aren’t perfect. People, even myself, are happy to purchase viable sticks. So don’t let the idea of not having perfect plants shame you from selling. There is a huge demand for plants right now and we need more sellers to meet that demand. This is why I’ve created this blog post, so that everyone can participate in the plant hobby ecosystem and contribute to everyone getting the plants of their dreams.
Once you’ve figured out the things you want to sell, the tough part is pricing. How do you price plants? How do you sell a plant that’s worth a lot of money for the price you want without feeling ashamed? At the end of the day, what’s fair is going to be dictated base on what someone is willing to pay for the plant. The best way to figure out how to price is by checking how other people are pricing their plants. However, be careful because some plants in different areas are more rare than they are in other places. For example, in Southern California most succulents go for $1-$5 dollars, while in other cities they can go for $10-$30.
After you’ve decided on a price, and it’s time to list the item. Make sure you provide as much information. Whether you are delivering, can meet half way, or if they need to pick up. If you are allowing people to pick up, please be cognizant that there have been a lot of plant thefts lately. So if you have a lot of rare plants, be weary of inviting strangers into your home. Once you decide what options you’d like to give people, make sure you take multiple pictures of the plant, people will usually ask for more. One to verify you actually have the plant, and another to assess the health of the plant. Additionally, let people know if it’s a wet stick, a cutting, a semi-rooted cutting, a rooted cutting, or a plant. The worst thing you can do is trick someone into buying cuttings by placing them in a pot with soil. This has happened to a few of my friends and it’s totally devastating. Don’t be that person that creates trauma for someone else.
If your local market is saturated or if you want to make more money, online sales are a great way to expand your reach.
How To Sell House Plants Online
The primary principles stay relatively the same, except for the fact there are more platforms open to you when you sell plants online. Facebook Market Place allows for this, but if you are selling locally only, indicate that on your Facebook Market post. There is also Etsy, Facebook Plant BST (Buy, Sell, Trade) Groups, Mercari, eBay, Instagram and more. To successfuly sell online, you’ll need to learn how to ship plants.
How To Ship Plants
With things going on with the pandemic, the USPS is taking a bit longer now to deliver plants. So packing plants well has never been more important.
Always select a box that is appropriate for your plant. Never force anything into a small box. At the same time, don’t use a large box if you do not have enough packing material to fill the negative space.
Shipping materials I use:
- Boxes at varying sizes
- Packing Tape
- Rubber Bands
- Plastic Bags
- Sphagnum Moss
- Optional: bubble wrap, packing peanuts, etc.
I always ship my plants bare-root, unless it’s something like string of turtles. When shipping plants bare-root, remove the soil. But do not rinse it. The beneficial microbes are important to keep intact for the plant to have the highest chance for successful establishment in their new home. Unless you’re shipping international, which I have no done, you’ll need to remove all the soil for it to receive a phytosanitary certificate. After you remove the soil, wrap it in slightly moist sphagnum moss and wrap that up in the plastic bag. If you don’t have draw-string bags, just use a rubber band.
Once you have successfully secured the roots, and you have ensured it will have enough moisture for the journey. Be careful not to use too much water, as it can cause root rot. It’s safer for the plant to travel and be dry, than wet and rotting. If you didn’t use enough water, let the buyer know to put the plant in water for a few hours. This will hydrate the plant quickly, and then they can put it in soil.
My next tip is to wrap the whole plant in poly-fill. This protects the leaves from getting damaged during transportation. Put the poly-fill between each leaf and then cover the whole plant with poly-fill. More is better. Once it’s all covered in poly-fill, wrap it with paper and tape it together.
Your plant should be properly wrapped now. You can place it in the box and fill all the negative space with packing paper, more poly-fill, packing peanuts, or whatever you want. Don’t use an empty box, because it’ll be smashed. If you do need to ship it in a pot, with soil, tape it down to the box. Remember, shipping plants with soil does create an opportunity to transport pests, so I typically avoid it.
Shipping plants with the USPS
You can do this any number of way. You can buy the postage online and just print it out at your home. If you do not have a printer, go to your nearest post office, and you can either use the self-checkout machine or wait in line to have a postal worker help you.
If you do print it, don’t leave it outside for the postman, I avoid that because of the heat. I usually just print it out at home, bring it directly to the post office, where there’s air conditioning, and drop it off.
Shipping in Winter
Unfortunately, I’ve shipped and have had plants get damaged from the cold. One way to avoid this is to use a heat pack. If you haven’t used this before, it can be tricky. I’ve actually had a plant burn from one. The trick here is to secure the heat back to the box. You want to wrap it up in paper, so that isn’t pushing out too much heat towards the plant. Additionally, you’ll want to place the heat back at the roots. That’s what needs to be kept warm, not the leaves. So tape the wrapped heat back beneath the base of the packed plant, while adding some packing materials between and you should be good.
Shipping During Summer When it’s Too Hot
I mentioned it above, but if you skimmed over it. Make sure there’s enough water. Again, don’t overwater the plant. Remember to let the buyer know, if the plant arrives very dry to place it in water, or better yet, a humidity chamber. Although, if they have the latter, they’ll definitely know what to do.
Cuttings are the worst to ship in my opinion. Each time I buy a cutting, I have issues with the plant. Mostly because the cutting arrives very dry. So if you are shipping a cutting. Make sure to still wrap the base of the cutting with moist sphagnum moss. Also, if you have access to some rooting hormone, put that at the base. Help your buyer out as much as possible so that they’re successful with keeping the plant you sell alive, but also to maintain your credibility and reputation.