Selling spare plants locally

Inspired by Mark Reed talking about selling seedlings locally in a different thread!

Here’s a link to his last post that touched on that topic before I split these posts into their own separate thread:

Being able to tell seedling trees in reused plastic cups for $5 sounds awesome! Both for the seller and for the buyer. I would totally have bought a tiny peach seedling from a local tree for $5 a few years ago, instead of a $60 one-year-old tree from a nursery that was bred for a different climate.

I’ve been thinking for a few months that I want to start growing seedling fruit trees for other people in my area, either to give away or to sell (hopefully both).

What species do you find people want the most?


Avocados, figs, apples, oranges, kiwi?, any fruit trees really…

This year everybody is wildly buying olive trees because the olive oil is 200% more expensive…

Sounds really smart.

My current thinking is that I should focus on propagating things I wouldn’t mind planting in my yard if they don’t sell. Focusing also on things that are easy to propagate sounds smart.

Does mint sell well at all? I have two mint varieties that I could easily propagate to sell.

What about irises? Do you know if there’s a demand for those? My yard came with a bunch of purple bearded irises (and not much else), so I can easily dig up rhizomes of those to sell. They seem to sell for good prices online ($15-$20 for three rhizomes is enough money to pay for the cost of shipping, Ebay fees, and the time spent harvesting them), but I’ve listed some on Ebay and not gotten any orders yet. Maybe I will when it’s closer to spring?

Thank you! That’s all useful information. I’ve been thinking anything that propagates itself well, especially if it tends to need periodic thinning anyway, would be ideal for selling.

You mentioned you sell things at flea markets, but I don’t think we have a flea market here. We don’t have a plant show, either (although there is a home and garden show; I’ll have to visit it this year to see if it would be a reasonable place to sell plants).

How about a farmers’ market? Would that be a good place to sell fruit trees?

Anywhere else you would recommend?

I’ve listed a few things on Ebay, mainly because I’ve been listing things on Ebay anyway (I’m selling my anime and manga collections), but Etsy may be a better option for selling plants online. The seller fees are 6.5%, compared to Ebay’s 15%.

There are also Facebook and Craigslist for listing local sales online. I’ve sold a few things on Facebook Marketplace in the past, and it’s fine as long as you’re okay with people coming to your house to pick things up.

I appreciate any ideas you have gained through your experience. :slight_smile:

Some people buy on eBay but not Etsy, or vice versa. I would do both and tack on the extra percentage on your price.

I used to sell quite a bit online. I could not compete on price so what I did was compete on information quality about the products. Some people are willing to pay more for something if they are more confident and certain about it.


That is excellent advice! And very hopeful, since information quality is something I’m a big fan of providing, anyway.

That is all fantastic advice. Thank you, Mark!

I love your attitude about sharing with people who really want something and don’t have the money to get it. I completely agree. :slight_smile:

I have considered doing something really simple: setting up a table in my front yard next to the sidewalk, with plants in reused “pots” (like old yoghurt containers) on there. It would have a simple sign saying the suggested price (probably $5 for everything), with my Paypal and Venmo info and a note saying they can also knock on the door and hand cash to whoever answers. I could just see if anybody walking by is interested. If there are at least a few sales, I could also take extra time to post on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace to let people know that if they want to wander down and see what I have, they can do so at any time that’s convenient for them. It seems like it would be a relaxing way to get some sales that wouldn’t cost me any time other than growing the plants themselves.

Do you think that would work? Is there anything you’d do differently?


Hey, good point! My front yard is essentially going to become a showcase of pretty edibles, isn’t it? So having seedlings and rooted cuttings for sale on a table in front of my mature plants would be a convenient way for people to imagine what they could do with a baby plant in their own yards.

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Thank you; that’s very useful to hear!

I have zero interest in selling my produce. I want to eat all of it. (Grin.)

Wow, I wouldn’t have expected flowers to sell better than, say, tomato plants. How surprising! I wonder if that’s the case in my area.

Has anyone else had that experience?

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Totally makes sense to me, I know a lot of people that buy plants and they are always types of flowers, especially in urban environments. I rarely see eating plants on the local market, but is always full of flowers.

Ha ha, okay, so clearly I should start some tomatoes. :wink:

As for ornamentals, my instinct is to stick with things I enjoy that overlap with things other people enjoy. That way, if something doesn’t happen to sell, I shrug and plant it. I think aiming for that overlap will work well with a relaxed, “do it whenever I feel like it” approach.

Plus, I mean, I love to talk. I’m probably going to end up talking excitedly about a plant I personally enjoy, and that’ll probably result in a person browsing getting excited about it, too. That’s just how things tend to work when I’m nearby. (Laugh.)

I should probably fork this tangent into its own thread, because this is all fantastic information that I’m sure others will want to find later . . .

I’ll go do that now!


I’ve started some tomatoes indoors now, with a plan to sell some and to keep a few. If none of them sell, I can always plant them all. But I’m hoping some will sell!

I’ll probably also start some mint cuttings to sell, but there’s no urgency – they’re doing just fine in the ground right now, and they root quickly. :wink:

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Emily, try selling your plants on Mercari, Poshmark, and WhatNot.

Mercari and Poshmark, are your typical selling platforms, and WhatNot is a live stream selling platform. It’s relatively new, and recently added a plant selling category. These are what we use and lately we are gaining traction on WhatNot.

Mercari, and WhatNot have been profitable for us. Mainly for plants, cuttings and everything else. We are unsuccessful on eBay, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, and never tried Craigslist.

We’ve also sold anime related stuff on Mercari.

(The Promised Neverland, is my favorite, and Clannad is my husband’s favorite)

Wow, I’ve never even heard of those platforms before!

That’s an interesting idea. Thank you!

I’m not sure if I can handle another online platform right now; I tend to think I should take things one at a time, so that I move at a sustainable pace. I’ll seriously consider them later, if/when I think I’m ready to try something new. Do you have any tips for selling in those places?

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Vendoo is a must. It manages all of the inventory for you and will list it all on eBay, Mercari, Poshmark and Etsy. From there you can upload them to WhatNot easily, without you creating the listing and uploading them all individually across platforms.

Use eBay’s AI Description Generator to generate your listing descriptions that you can use in your cross platform listings.

It’s free to post listings on Mercari and Poshmark, unlike eBay and Etsy. As for selling fees, Mercari takes 12% in commission, the cheapest of these selling, platforms while Poshmark takes 20%. Each platform also has their own processing fees. It’s best to cross list your items on all 4 platforms. Vendoo will keep track of everything, it’s the best, and it will increase your chances that something sells. It’s also good to tell your customers in the description to check out your other selling platforms, or storefronts. The more listings you have the more things sell, and the better reputation you have.

As for supplies, and things you might need are: cellphone with a good camera, good lighting, microphone, rotating platform, and a tripod.

(I can post the ones that we use from my husband. They are all reasonably priced on Amazon.)

So far, WhatNot is where we are building a following, and is profitable. They have a new plant/garden category, and seller promotions to help get you started. I can let you know when our next show is in case you’d like to pop by and see what it’s all about.

WhatNot is fairly new, and is different from the other platforms, because it has live video auctions. You don’t have to appear on camera, you can talk while showcasing your plants, cuttings and seeds. It’s best for you to be knowledgeable and experienced in what you are selling to engage with the folks in the live comment stream. If you don’t want to talk through whole time, you can put copywrite free music in the background. The live comments of the other shows is where you can fish for information, to find out what people want, and are looking for. Use this to your advantage.

Another platform to use to your advantage that wasn’t mentioned, is YouTube. Think of YouTube as free marketing, a way to gain attention to your side hustle, or business.

Once you get a couple of sales, and want to do this as a side hustle get a resellers permit so that you can buy plants from nurseries at a wholesale prices tax free (the buyer of the product pays the sales taxes). You can write off a lot in taxes.

If you have even 10 potted plants or more, you can become a certified nursery with your state. You just need to check out your state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to register. For FL, a “nursery” with 1,000 plants or less costs, about 30 is even fine, $35 to register with the state. Once you are a registered nursery with the state you can get property tax cuts! (You don’t even have to sell plants, it can be for own-use. This is what we want to do too.)

It’s alot of information and can seem pretty intimidating at first but it’s quite a fun learning process and gets even better once you start getting repeat customers and start feeling comfortable with the platforms.

Hope that this helps selling spare plants locally, and beyond!

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Ha ha, I’m a bit overwhelmed. But this may be quite helpful eventually. Thank you. :slight_smile:

I know I don’t want to resell things. I’m not interested in that kind of business model. I want to propagate things I enjoy growing myself, and I want to explain clearly (and honestly, without any overhype) why I think they’re neat. It would be nice if eventually I’m mainly propagating things I have bred myself.

I really admire the way Steven Edholm does things, and I think I’d like to do something similar.

Probably except for the YouTube component. I enjoy watching YouTube, and I’d happily make videos if I knew it would help; however, YouTube is just as hard to get attention on as any other way of communicating. I think any way of building a following should be based around whatever an individual enjoys doing. They’re all equally hard to build a following on, so it’s better to use whatever you happen to personally enjoy.