5. Create a website that will help your store grow.
Turn that green thumb into a golden business idea with 3dcart. Learning how to sell seeds online is a lot easier than you may realize. ItвЂ™s a great way to supplement your gardening habit with extra income while getting access to some of the best seeds around. But it can do more than supplementвЂ”it can become your main source of income.
Secure an LLC or some other form of business registration in your state. ItвЂ™s always a good idea to work with an accountant for this part of the step. But youвЂ™ll need to make your business a legitimate legal entity.
First thingвЂ™s first: You want fertile soil to in which to plant your store. That means a shopping cart software solution thatвЂ™s easy for you to use (but makes it easy to get help if you need it).
A catchy name is always a nice thing to have as you learn how to sell seeds online. But itвЂ™s also important to secure the domain that matches it. (A domain is your web address or URL.) Typically, you can do this through your eCommerce software or a domain registrar like GoDaddy.
2. Choose a name and secure your domain.
Wholesale distributors of seeds are actually pretty easy to come by. A simple Google search reveals stores like Mountain Valley Seeds and Park Seed Wholesale. DonвЂ™t stop with the top search results, though. Make sure you do the research to find a dependable partner with fair pricing. This is a crucial part of learning how to sell seeds online.
Choose a dependable solution that links with major shipping carriers so you can spread your seeds wherever theyвЂ™re desired.
3. Dig up a supplier with whom you can partner.
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For tomato and pepper seed, where most of the seed I grow is destined to other seed companies, this process hasn’t changed much from year one: in the spring we discuss varieties and agree to quantities and prices, then in the fall I send them the seed.
In the summer of 2003, while I was a farm manager on an organic vegetable operation on the Montreal West Island, a friend of mine set up a garden down the road. As I was letting a ragtag assortment of plants go to seed, she had an 1/8 th of an acre planted to a few dozen seed crops. She was growing these on contract for a number of different seed companies. Her agricultural entrepreneurship and the potential profitability of growing seed marked me. This kick-started the thought process that led to my part founding Tourne-Sol farm, and my desire to see seed crops as part of our marketing mix.
Through the season, I squished and fermented seed, stored it in well labelled paper bags. In the fall, I measured the seed in cups, packed it in plastic bags and recycled envelopeds, and mailed it off. A couple of weeks later, we received two checks in the mail!
Today, we’ll discuss the first path.
There were butterflies in my stomach as I thought about approaching the first seed vendor. My co-farmer Renée offered to accompany me as emotional support. So we stepped up to the first seed display and I addressed the owner … hi, I’m Dan, we’re starting a farm this summer and I was thinking about growing some seed to sell, do you contract growers to grow seed?
January 2005. As the Tourne-Sol start-up business plan was evolving, I went to the Guelph Organic Conference. I wanted to catch the annual array of speakers but I also had ulterior motives – working the trade show to talk to seed companies about growing seed for them.
In the end, out of 5 seed companies I spoke to, only one other offered a similar arrangement (also for tomato seed). However, rather than provide starting seed, she would accept seed saved from heirloom varieties we were already planning on growing.
- growing seed that is mainly destined to other seed companies
- growing seed for our own use that might also go to other seed companies
That summer, I planted 6 tomato varieties for seed. Initially, I had asked how many plants I would need for the quantities they required. The companies had suggested 2 dozen plants or so, but they admitted to not knowing exact yields. I grew out a hundred foot row of each variety – significantly more than 24 plants – but I figured we could distribute excess fruit through our CSA.
In the summer of 2003, while I was a farm manager on an organic vegetable operation on the Montreal West Island, a friend of mine set up a garden down the road. As I was letting a ragtag assortment of plants go to seed, she had an 1/8th of an acre planted to a few dozen…