A few questions about Tree sales

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by rywnygc, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. rywnygc

    rywnygc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 523

    Hi guys, I am gearing up to sell Christmas trees for the first time. I live within 20 minutes of probably just as many tree farms. I have talked to a couple farms and think I know who I'm going with. I have talked to the owner of a vacant lot in a good (read: busy) area of the burbs.

    I have several questions but I'll just throw a few out there for now.

    Can I rent a tree wrapper?
    How do you avoid theft when closed?
    Is 250 trees too much for the first timer?
    Should I have a helper?
    Would it be a good idea to have Santa there for kids?
    How can I take credit cards?
    Is it worth it?

    If the vets could give me a little advice, I would greatly appreciate it.
     
  2. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,743

    I have not owned the lot, but in the past I worked at one. Someone else that has more experience will chime in I am sure. See above for answers. Good luck.
     
  3. rywnygc

    rywnygc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 523

    Thanks for the reply turf. Since posting that, I've answered a few questions on my own. I will have my son working and my father in law will be there if I have to go plow. I found a tree baler for 180 bucks. I found 2 farms near me that dont have a minimum order, so 200-250 trees isn't a problem. I was actually told by the farmers that its a good starting number.

    I'm sure I'll still have a bunch of questions though. I like the idea of selling trees (more income in the slow months, and I just like Christmas), but I'm nervous about losing my butt on it due to the initial investment. I have gotten an average price of 23-28 dollars for 7-9' trees. Is this about the normal price for the north east?

    Also, I know that there is a list of tools or other equipment that is commonly overlooked, that you want to have with you on a lot. If you can let me know about those things so Im not running to Home depot or walmart every 20 minutes, I would appreciate it.
     
  4. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,113

    Maybe since it is your first year buy 90 at a time, just get more as you see fit...
     
  5. rywnygc

    rywnygc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 523

    90 huh. Well I just don't know. I dont think 90 would provide enough profit to make it worth while. If I ordered 90 and sold out, I could be SOL on getting any more quality tress due the time of season. From what I have been told, having my order in by Labor Day ensures fresh cut, quality trees. If I wait too long, I could get the charlie brown trees.
     
  6. rywnygc

    rywnygc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 523

    OK, well no trees this year. The initial investment is a bit high for me right now. I still have to spin up 2 trucks and get ready for the snow to fly.

    I will be doing it next year though. I have talked in great detail to a farmer and came up with a plan for next year.

    This year, I will be offering to deliver trees to current customers though. I plan on just doubling the cost of the tree. I sent out a mailer to my customers to gauge their interest in the idea and have gotten good responses.
     
  7. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    rlee in NY are you?? I am just outside Albany.
     
  8. rywnygc

    rywnygc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 523

    yep, I am about 40 minutes south of Buffalo and do most of my work in Orchard Park, West Seneca and East Aurora. Im trying to get my act together to do Christmas lighting this year. On the mailer I sent out gauging possible services to add, lighting scored high.

    I have been reading on Holiday bright lights and watched all of the videos on Christmas light installer university.com. I keep seeing a lot of sites that what me to franchise. I would rather do it on my own first to see how it goes. Right now I am trying to find wholesalers that will sell to me, without me having to put their name on everything.
     
  9. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    I am familiar with where Seneca Falls is, obviously because of the land fill. I figure we are roughly 2.5 -3.0 hours apart.

    That Christmas Light University, forget it, I can not get over some of the stupid sh!t he does and says on there.

    When I did it - will be my 3rd yr, I looked at them all really hard. I ended up goig with HBL. Mike just won me over, and no stupid franchise fees. When I went out for the free training, I also stopped at the other manufacturer in Omaha, and hands down, comparatively in my opinion, HBL just simply has the best product. I had an issue last year with a warranty, they over-nighted the product to me from the factory in China. According to the shipping info it left on thanksgiving, and the fed ex truck pulled up out front 0803 Black Friday morning. There is not enough good I can say about the staff at HBL, and I am not one of the guys that buys tens of thousands a year, just a small time guy, but I get treated like a big company. I buy 99% through HBL, pricing and quality, not in that order. I do have others I deal with as well.

    I am in the final stages of arranging the direct mail campaign which I do through HBL and will have roughly 5000 post cards going out at three different times for around 3k.

    If you wanna shoot me a pm, I will be more than happy to share more in fo with ya.
     
  10. rywnygc

    rywnygc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 523

    Sure will, I could really use it. I know I want to do it, but I'm still trying to figure out how to get started without losing my butt.
     

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