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How to Start a Mail Order Nursery

What Products Will You Offer?

❶The nursery has since become one of the top regional growers. Once I know the costs I can determine how small an order I can afford to ship and still make money.

The Mail Order Nursery

starting a mail order plant business
Intro to Starting a Mail-Order Business
Does It Take Any Special Training to Be Successful in a Mail-Order Business?

And you should have fairly easy access to a duplicating machine, a lowcost local printer, and a supplier of shipping containers you'll find the latter listed under Boxes in your local Yellow Pages. First and absolutely foremost, the price must be right. Specifically, your cost for the product has to be low enough to allow for a very high markup in the price you'll charge your customers.

This is absolutely essential. The reason is that in mail order, the selling cost for each item sold — that is, the cost of getting and filling each order — is very high Today, with the costs of both advertising and mailing already high and rising, most professionals say you need at least a 4-to-1 markup in order to come out ahead in mail order.

In other words, you have to charge your customers at least four times as much as the product costs you, and still come out with a price tag that won't scare them away. Unfortunately, it's very tough for a beginning mail-order firm to buy goods from wholesalers or manufacturers at prices low enough to allow for that kind of markup. Which is why, in many cases, the best product to start with is something you can produce yourself at low cost.

Check the mail-order ads in any national magazine's classifieds a favorite advertising medium for small firms and you'll find that many or most of the products are in one of those categories. Check through back issues and you'll also find that in many cases the same firms run the same ads year after year In addition to meeting the price requirements, a good mail-order product should also be easy and inexpensive to package and mail which means not perishable or easily breakable and unusual enough that the average customer can't find it down at the local supermarket or department store.

But just meeting those specifications doesn't guarantee that your product will be a winner or even a comfortable moneymaker. Sales appeal is something that nobody can recognize in advance, not even the top professionals. One of the most successful mail-order men in the country — Joe Cossman — made a fortune selling two of the unlikeliest products in merchandising history: Just about everybody, it turned out. Then he almost lost that same fortune by trying to sell low-cost, high-quality fine art reproductions In mail order there's only one way to find out whether your product idea is a winner or a dud.

You simply have to test it with advertising. Basically there are two standard ways to go. One is with ads in magazines or less common in newspapers. The other is with catalogs, flyers, or brochures mailed directly to names you get from mailing lists. There are a few cases where it makes sense for beginners to start out with direct mail. In most situations, though, direct mail just isn't practical until you can spread that high cost-per-person over a large number of products.

Although many successful mail-order firms do eventually sell through a combination of magazine advertising and mailing lists, the ads should almost always come first. That depends on what you're selling. What you want is a publication with presold, "selected" readership readers whose interests or background will make them better-than-average prospects for your product. So for starters, decide what kinds of people — cooks or car buffs, hobbyists or homesteaders — might have a special interest in the item you want to sell.

And, for almost any special-interest group you can think of, there's probably at least one special-interest publication. If you don't know what they are, go to the reference section of any big public library and start looking through the various directories of publications.

Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory and Magazines for Libraries list thousands of publications, organized by subject. Standard Rate and Data lists the publications and their current ad rates. Business Publication Rates and Data does the same for business publications. When you've narrowed the field to several possibilities, write to the publishers and ask for sample copies, plus their information cards for advertisers.

Read the publications carefully, looking for clues to the makeup of their readership, and pay special attention to the ads. Publications known to make money for mail-order advertisers generally carry a noticeably large number of mail-order ads. If a magazine has classifieds or a special section of small mail-order ads, so much the better. Be sure each advertisement you run is coded or "keyed," so when orders start coming in you can tell which publication and which issue is producing the most business.

The easiest way to do this is to make the key a part of your mailing address. In June's Dieter's Digest, the key would be "Dept. The best mailing list you can get is the names and addresses of your own satisfied customers. Building this list is, in fact, one prime purpose of your magazine ads because generally the biggest payoff in mail order comes as you expand your product line and, using direct mail, hit your satisfied customers again and again for repeat business.

You can also "beef up" your own list by renting lists from professional brokers. Here, as with magazine ads, the aim is to get a "selected" audience: That's crucial, because a mailing to names on an unselected list — something as broad, say, as "residents of New Jersey" — is likely to produce response of no more than one or two percent, maybe less far less. That is, you'll get orders from just one or two percent of the people you mail to, which may not be enough to cover the cost of the mailing.

On the other hand, response from a selected list including your own customer list can run as high as 5 or even 10 percent. Some will also send catalogs of their lists free on request. According to a study made in the s by the U. In general, you need enough money to cover the initial promotion and to keep the business going for six months to a year.

And this should be "risk" money When you start small, just about everything that comes in for a while has to go back into the business. After that, you can expect to start earning the net profit typical for mail-order firms: But every now and then an unusually appealing item will produce a profit of as much as 50 percent.

Maybe, but nobody ever put "easier" into the bank. In a typical deal of this kind, you're a distributor for a company's products. The company chooses, stocks, and ships the products to the customers. You buy and mail the catalogs, pass any orders you get on to the company, and earn what is — in effect — a salesman's commission on those orders.

In the meantime, though, you've paid for the catalogs, the mailing lists, and the mailing itself. We've already reluctantly sold some plants, since we thought they were so small, but the buyers insisted on avoiding the wait until Spring. Currently, we have sitting in our cold frames , as per your direction, and are looking forward to this Spring. Thanks for helping me bridge between careers as I seek to spend more time with my 8 year old son and attend his school events!!!!

Click here to check out Mike's Backyard Growing System! Growing small plants in your backyard is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do in your life.

Not to mention the money you can make. I love working with these little plants. It's a relaxing and rewarding way to spend your spare time.

You don't need much room to start a backyard nursery. In an area 4 feet by 8 feet you can easily grow plants. Just imagine how many you can grow in an area 40' by 50'.

Starting your own backyard nursery is very easy, and you don't have to make a serious commitment. Just start out slow, and as you go along you will become more comfortable with the idea.

If you change your mind you can give the plants to friends or family, or donate them to a charity auction, which is also very rewarding. Hey Mike, What about my local zoning? You can make a lot of money growing and selling small plants! I'll teach you everything I know about this business. I've created an E-book that reveals every money making technique that I know.

This E-book is worth it's weight in gold, and I'll tell you why. It comes with a number of free bonus reports that I have been selling for years, but I decided to give them away free with my Backyard Nursery E-book. I saw your article published in Mother Earth News. I saw it on the news stand in my local Wal-Mart, bought it and took it home to read.

Our little backyard nursery was featured on the cover of the Oct. As soon as I finished that I went right to the website, studied it, and have since bought the book, 2 reports and a video. I have been lurking on the forum ever since. Today I now have 2, 8x4 foot sand filled propagation beds, about 2, plants in 2 quart containers. I have two beds holding over plants 6" apart directly in the ground. I don't have much in my landscape to take cuttings from, but I found that several local businesses are tickled pink to get a free hedge clipping job provided nobody else is allowed to touch their landscape plants!

The word is getting out, so I'm actually turning down free trimming jobs because I can't keep up in the potting department with all the rooted cuttings. Just growing a few plants to give away will give you an idea of how strong the market is for small landscape plants.

Once you give your friends and family a few plants they will come back asking to buy more. Before you know it you will have a list of regular customers, begging you to take their money. Or if you're like me, you'll just dive right in and start growing quantities of plants right off the bat, and selling them to willing buyers.

Here in Perry, Ohio we have over large wholesale nurseries, with many of them selling millions of dollars worth of plants each year. Some of these nurseries farm over acres, with sales in the millions of dollars annually! That's a lot of plants. In the spring we'd have people waiting in line to buy my plants. We've sold thousands of dollars worth of plants each spring right from our driveway. Selling the plants is easy, and growing them is fun. One day as I was surfing along.

I saw a site called freeplants. I found you and all your down to earth wisdom. I had been kicking the idea of a small nursery around for over a year. So I bought your book. And read parts of it out loud to my husband and son. So I just wanted to say thank you! And let you know that when I would get nervous or think it wouldn't work about that time I would get a message from you and I would think it was worth a try.

Know what I did with part of my profit? Words can not describe what it is like to have your own backyard nursery. When people visit our nursery they are completely in awe of what we do. Most are impressed, some are envious, but they are all very appreciative. They are like kids in a candy store, grabbing plant after plant, delighted to buy such beautiful plants for such a low price.

Then they come back year after year just raving over how well our plants grew. It just doesn't get any better than that. I'd love to teach you everything I know about this business. It is so much easier than you think. Of course you don't have to do retail sales from home. You can sell wholesale to garden centers and other nurseries, or you can sell your plants via mail order.

You can grow small plants and sell them on the internet! You can just grow rooted cuttings and sell them to other growers. The market for rooted cuttings is great. Many large growers can't keep up with the demand, so they buy thousands and thousands of rooted cuttings from other growers. You just have to know what they are looking for. I called a wholesale grower to buy some rooted cuttings of a fragrant Viburnum and they told me that they were completely sold out for this year, and all of the fragrant Viburnum cuttings that they intend to grow next year are also already spoken for, but if I'd like they could put me on the waiting list for two years from now!

Can you believe that? They've already sold something like , plants that they haven't even grown yet, at a little over a dollar each!!! When I heard that, I did two things. First, I placed an advanced order for 1, fragrant Viburnum cuttings for two years from now. And I then asked him how many of these cuttings they had sold this year. Of course as I mentioned earlier, you can sell your plants wholesale and not have the hassle of people coming to your house.

Or you can sell them at the Farmer's Market. A lot of my customers sell at Farmer's Markets. I will show you how to find cash buyers for thousands and thousands of rooted cuttings. Selling rooted cuttings is a breeze because you can pack several hundred or one thousand in box and ship them anywhere in the country. Of course fragrant Viburnums are not the only rooted cuttings that are in demand.

All varieties of flowering shrubs as well as Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and all kinds of evergreens sell really well.

So You Want to Start a Mail Order Nursery

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The Mail Order Nursery. Most mail order nurseries started as backyard operations that evolved into mail order businesses without a real business plan. These nurseries are typically those that grow their own plants. The larger mail order nurseries, by contrast, purchase plants that they then offer for resale.

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A nursery business in mail order nurseries is the most favored by plant geeks. These often anti-social types honestly feel that they can avoid customer contact by locating a mail order nursery in an out-of-the-way location and never deal with people.

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starting a mail order plant business Starting a plant business is much her green house up-she will be starting some sales soon- can we order plants and e-mail to Mike after reading Now the owner of Plant Delights Nursery, Avent shares his expertise on how to start a nursery with wit and clarity; the book is devoted to the business and planning . In some cases, you will also need to know what you can and cannot sell legally based on federal or state laws. You will also need to know about interstate sales, especially in the mail order business. Finding suppliers that you can count on is a major step in establishing any type of sales business.

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Information & Resources for Starting a Home-based Food phd dissertation help review Business. We support America's small businesses. Help!! When you order $25 of buy original research paper eligible items sold or fulfilled by Amazon Buy over 10 Kinds of Banana Plants on this site and they are available year round. The Truth About Starting a Mail-Order Business Have you ever wondered what it takes to start your own mail-order business? In this article, Lillian Borgeson, home-business authority, gives all the information you need about the truth to starting a mail-order business, both the good and the bad.