buying leftover stock
We have done similar in the past with big home centers. Get to know the Garden area manager and they will work with you. I just purchased 27 fruit trees. They were 50% off of 39.99. I spoke with the manager and bought all for $5.00 each. As we were loading on the cart there was 2 dead and he threw them in. I also bought about 60 assorted shrubs for $1.00 each.
Now say I obtained 29 trees and 60 shrubs. Say that 20 trees and 40 shrubs make it through the winter in the cold house, I will have 60 extra items to sell for between $6.99 and $75.00 dollars. Not to mention that we have taken about 2,000 cuttings and placed thenm in grow trays to sell in about 2 to 3 years. We do not keep mulch in bulk mulch, only bagged because customers look to get it delivered in bulk which we do not do and our customers only buy between2 to 5 bags.
You can also get great deals from hem on broken bags. We go and do pick-ups about once every two weeks. I get a 50 lb bag of 10-10-10 for 2.50 and broken bags of mulch, pine bark , peat moss and such for 75% off.