Sunday, September 24, 2006
Marketing tulip bulbs
I am in a bit of a quandry about the tulip bulbs I am selling. Last year a number of people asked if I sold bulbs, so this year I ordered extra of my 9 favourite varieties. Part of the problem is that my cut flower season is about to finish - so I will not have the van open in October/November so I do not have the option of my regular weekly customers. I do have a few fairs over the next few weeks so I shall be taking them there.
As I am paranoid about spilling the bulbs in my car and ending up with a mixture, I have decanted some of the bulbs into baskets but packaged most of them as sets of 10 in hessian bags.
This brings me onto my second problem - perception of price. I have a very simple pricing formula for all the non-flower stuff I sell - it usually brings me in under most other sellers - but because I am small there is a perception amongst potential customers that prices may be high. I worry that the hessian bags may increase that perception. In reality a friend ordered the bags for her soap business last year then felt they were too rustic and didn't use them. This year she needed to clear her storage space so I took them off her hands for very little money and they cost me about the same as my paper bags.
It is an interesting one- the bags cost practically nothing - they are practical for me as they stop the spill risk, they are practical for customers as the bulbs can breath and be cool. But will they make me look too chi-chi garden boutiquey?
The bulbs I have are priced as follows
Ballerina - £1.80 for 10; Blue Parrot £3.10 for 10; Gavota £1.80 for 10
Green Wave £3.60 for 10; Mount Tacoma £2.40 for 10; Queen of the Night £2.10 for 10; Rococo £2.10 for 10; Spring Green £2.90 for 10 and White Triumphator £2.30 for 10. All bulbs are size 12 or over - A quick trawl on the web shows much higher prices for them.
Any sugestions would be welcome. If I don 't sell any of course I shall just have to plough up some more ground and sell the flowers next May.