How to display christmas trees for sale
How to Sell Christmas Trees
How to Sell Christmas Trees
Location, Location and Location.
This is so important even 50 or a 100 yards can make all the difference. The ultimate location is a highly, highly visible lot with great parking in an area where everyone comes to shop and eat. We had a great lot where our trees were 15 feet from a four lane road which had a traffic count of over 60,000 cars a day. We were in an out parcel of a large shopping center with Outback, McDonald’s, Burger King, I-Hop, Arby’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken. This is where the 60,000 people in a 5 mile square area came to do commerce. This was a place where people got their families together to eat and shop. This is perfect because you need to be in an area where families can conveniently bring their whole family to pick a Fraser Fir Christmas Tree. You do not want to be in a magnet mall where people drive 10 plus miles because it will be hard for a mom and dad to get their family together to pick out a tree.
Flow. Where will people park? Where will you prepare the trees to be loaded on their cars? Where will you store trees? Where will trees be paid for? Where will workers wait for customers?
Place the trees where you get free advertising. Put the parking where it is safe and convenient to load trees. It is nice to have the parking within 50 feet or less. Your workers will love your foresight.
Build your storage area for trees.
You should allow 1.5 sq. feet per tree. We like building a corral out of 4×4’s for the upright posts and 2×6×10’s for the backboards that run from post to post. We look at the travel path of the sun and place the back of the corral to south and the opening of the corral to the north. This shades the trees from the sun which can easily burn a tree that is still tightly wrapped in string.
Place sales office between trees and parking
Place trees on the lot.
You can use 3/4 inch re-bar pounded into the ground with 2-3 feet in the ground and 3 feet left above the ground. The tree is slipped over the re-bar and can simply be tied on with string.
Other ways to display trees are to drill the trees and then use steel racks with pins on each corner that are 5″ high. This is more expensive in up front costs but it allows you to sell stands with the same 5″ pins and you can recoup your cost over time.
Trees should be set up in clusters of four . So the customer can walk around and look at each tree and then you should have pathways going by these trees both vertically and horizontally. You do not want the trees too space out or too crowded.
Lights are a necessity for advertising and so a customer can see to buy and night and feel safe doing it. Light the lot, the area where you prepare the trees with a free cut and baling and where you load trees onto the car. The light does not have to be bright spot lights but you can use construction work lights with cages that come in a 100 foot rolls these can be bought at most any electrical supply house. You do want to use cheap spot lights from Lowe’s to light your sign.
Be sure your electrical service s completely equipped with no ground fault receptacles and make sure you have enough electricity. You can use a temporary pole if there is no electrical service or you can use a generator. The temporary pole is nicer because the generator makes a lot of noise and you have to keep filling it up with gasoline.
Have signs made that have large letters and have a short message.
Buy all the stands, shade cloth (we suggest lightweight winter protection material), wreaths (make display boards), tree baler, twine for tying trees on car. We recommend buying price tags and pricing each tree individually .
Do not forget getting a business permit and making sure that the area you choose is zoned for selling trees.
Leases for good vacant commercial properties usually can be obtained for one or two thousand dollars per month but can run as high as $7000. A tree lot can be put on a green space but beware of low lying areas which will become a muddy mess with rain and a lot of foot traffic. Parking lots are great but you will have to use a rack system or a more primitive leaning system to display trees. Light poles often by code must raise lighting 12 feet above the ground and can be built into your display racks.
Do not forget to put your storage area where a tractor trailer can easily access it for unloading.
Entertainment: Christmas music, hot chocolate, fire pit (make sure it is enclosed and safe), pony rides, reindeer (you can rent them see the web), Santa, taking pictures and posting them on the web are all things that you can do to make this a fun experience for the family. Let the kids run through the trees they love it but make sure that it is safe with no holes, pins that are uncovered (use 5 foot sections of pvc pipe to cover pins).
Partner up with civic groups, churches and non profits. Give them $5-10 for every tree they sell. Get them to advertise in their newsletters. You can partner up with more than one at a time. Get them to volunteer one Saturday or Sunday a piece to help with labor. Be careful of how much money you spend on labor this can drain your profits.
Good luck, have fun and call us if you have any questions on how to sell Christmas Trees. Paul cell 828 387 6139
A Guide – Pursell Manufacturing
The following guide is the property of Pursell Manufacturing and is not to be copied, republished, or redistributed.
The following is a summary of suggestions we have gathered over the years from Christmas tree retailers. While this short summary is by no means comprehensive, it should provide you with things to consider when establishing a seasonal Christmas tree business. There is more than one way to skin a cat, just like there are more ways than one to sell Christmas trees, but please consider the following advice.Pursell Mfg.
When selling trees, the goal is to make a profit. Many people think they can get rich by selling Christmas trees. While this may be true, it takes a bit of knowledge, experience and money to start making a profit selling Christmas trees. Questions that may influence your decision are:
1. Are you financially capable of running a business?
2. What retail-business experience do you have?
3. Can you find a good location with power and water available?
4. Do you have the time and man-power?
5. What is the supply/demand and competition in your area?
Many established businesses such as Garden Centers and Hardware Stores are a good fit to sell Christmas trees since they already have an established location and clientele. Many established businesses choose to sell Christmas trees in order to keep business operating through the winter months or attract customers to existing products inside a store. However, if you want to start a temporary business just selling Christmas trees, please consider the following vital ingredients to running a successful Christmas tree business.
Your first order of business when selecting a location is to study the demographics of the area. Consider the population, per capita income, what type of residence (apartment, house, mobile home, dorms), type of people (single, married, married with children), ethnic backgrounds (does the population celebrate Christmas?). The second order of business when selecting a location is whether or not you can obtain a business license from the city. Next, you will want to find a location with high exposure to traffic and plenty of parking, corner lots near traffic signals or stop signs are preferable. Be aware of the difference in commuter traffic and shopping traffic. Most people decide to purchase a Christmas Tree when they are shopping. A location next to a “shopping” area may be critical. Make sure that your lot and signage can be seen from at least 200-300 feet away in 2 directions. Make sure there is easy access and ample parking available. Thirdly, consider the size of the lot. The actual sales area should be able to accommodate the display of 1/6 of the total number of trees you plan to sell (e.g. if you plan on selling 600 trees, you will need to display 100 at a time). The location should have adequate power and water supply.
Pursell Manufacturing will supply you with all the material necessary to set up your lot, but first, find a supply of Christmas Trees from a reliable farm or wholesaler. Your area of the country should play a good part in choosing a farm. Find out what species of trees sell well and are compatible in your area of the country. Consider these things when purchasing trees, a good tree farm or wholesaler should help you: What varieties should you sell, What sizes, what grade of tree, price per foot for Pursell Mfg various species, delivery date.
III. Lot Display
Your lot should have an entrance, sales area, exit near the register, and a storage area. On smaller retail locations the entrance and exits are usually the same.
Remember that you are selling “Christmas Trees”, not just trees. Each tree should be open and displayed on a stand in water. The customer wants to see what the full tree looks like so they can visualize what it will look like in their home. DO NOT SELL TREES LIKE PRODUCE BUNDLED UP LEANING AGAINST A WALL OR IN A PILE. Arrange the most expensive and glamorous trees near the entrance (large trees, flocked trees, or pre-decorated trees). Display the least expensive inventory near the back or far side of the lot (small trees, lower grade, or less expensive species). Make sure you have adequate signs showing the size and species of each group of trees (Noble Fir, Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, etc).
Allow approximately 25-40 square feet per tree to allow ample aisles and navigation through the sales area. Price each tree so customers can compare and select the Christmas tree they want to bring home.
Remember, every tree must have a stand, so make sure you provide stands or preferably a stand installing service. It is very important to stand large heavy trees, as very few retailers carry stands for large trees. Many people pass by a large tree simply because they have no way to stand a tree of that size. However, if it is pre-stood, they can imagine taking that tree and placing it directly into their home. Many customers already have a stand but find it easier to purchase a tree with a stand installed at the lot; they will pay more money for the simple convenience. See our stand guide for more information on selecting stands for display and resale.
Read the Tree Stand Guide by clicking here.
Up sell items such as stands, wreaths, tree preservative, tree bags, mistletoe, etc. should be displayed near or next to the cash register. These are usually impulse items that customers did not know they needed until they see them. Up sell items are important ways to make a profit, usually doubling your money. Imagine if you could make just $2 more on every tree you sell. If you sell 1000 trees, that’s $2000 more dollars in your pocket.
If you choose to net your trees, this service should be provided near the exit and loading area. Offer methods to tie trees to tops of cars such as the Christmas Tree Lock, twine, or Snappy Trunk ties. Often charity groups can be used to provide this service for tips.
The storage area should be placed out of the normal traffic area of the lot in a cool, shaded area.
The most important part of promoting your lot is the actual lot itself. The more flash, movement, color, and activity the more you will attract customers. Use color banners, pennants, sky guys, and play music. Make sure you can be seen from a drivePursell Mfg-by 300 feet away. The more fun your location looks the more people will be attracted. Hang “Christmas Tree” banners weeks before trees arrive and build the hype around your location that trees will be available soon.
It is very important to have adequate lighting. Most of your sales will be in the evening hours and on weekends. If your lot is not well lit, it will look dingy and scary. Think of a car lot, there is a reason why they use lots of lights.
Dress comfortably but nice. You are working but you have to look presentable to customers at the same time. Wear Santa Hats or aprons so customers can easily identify employees and know who to ask for help.
Play Christmas music to create a festive atmosphere. Have activities for kids such as coloring books. Another feature to give away popcorn and hot chocolate. The goal is to make a fun and festive atmosphere for families.
Greet customers as they enter your location, and provide customer service such as help loading trees. Remain open during peak holiday shopping hours and after dinner when families return home from going out to eat.
Remember, enthusiasm creates enthusiasm. If you and your employees are smiling and having fun, others will have fun and make you part of their Christmas for years to come. They will in turn tell their friends and families and your business will grow year after year.
Other things to consider: direct mail, newspaper advertising, drawings for give-aways, partnering with charities, coupons, etc.
Remember that you are a business that accumulates cash on site. Do not allow large amounts of cash to accumulate at your location. Keep enough cash on hand to make change, but make frequent trips to an offsite location such as a bank to deposit accumulated cash. Fence your lot to discourage theft and make sure you can lock the entrance and exit. A night guard is something to consider only if your lot is in an area where security may be an issue.
Opening a winter business: how to make money on Christmas trees
Nordman, Fraser, Abies are not the names of Hogwarts students. These are varieties of Danish Christmas trees, one of the most popular in the world. The managing company of ChristmasTree Nadezhda Vainilovich knows exactly how to choose the perfect Christmas tree in terms of price and quality, as she has been in the Christmas tree business for four years now. Especially for Now, she spoke about all its subtleties.
Winter fairy tale. Beginning
Let's start in order. Hope stood at the origins of the Sundays company, which specialized in the sale of summer goods - trampolines, summer cottage furniture, sports equipment. It was a seasonal business, so there was always the question of what to do in the winter. And four years ago, Nadezhda visited an exhibition of goods in Germany, where an idea dawned on her: why not combine two seasonal businesses so that the work is profitable all year round?
A month passed from the idea to its implementation: the exhibition was in September, and in October the first order of Christmas trees was made from suppliers. Nadezhda told who inspired her more than others:
— Oddly enough, I was inspired to open this business by competitors, from whom I used to buy Christmas trees myself. I didn’t really like the service - there was no smell of customer focus there. There was also almost no delivery anywhere. I took into account all these mistakes and took a guide to how they do it in America and Russia. For example, the Christmas tree business of Ilya Varlamov.
The start-up capital was part of the profit from the sale of summer goods for sports and recreation. The experience gained in doing business allowed us to almost completely invest in the initial budget - the excess was only 20%.
Initial expenses went directly to the purchase of Christmas trees, because at the time of launch the business already had everything you needed: a large warehouse, a decent office, competent employees and, most importantly, its own delivery. The main emphasis was placed on online trading with delivery to the address. And one of the advantages was a fully functioning online store.
Nadezhda made another bet on a beautiful Instagram with good photos. And it worked. Today, more than 50% of all goods are sold through this channel.
- In 2020, the summer business merged with another company, so now I'm concentrating only on Christmas trees. Because of this, the cost of a separate site arose only this year. Now my team is doing everything to make it convenient for customers to choose and buy online. We even provide photos of real Christmas trees to choose from.
The first season and its risks
The start of the Christmas tree business turned out to be crumpled. Nadezhda and the team encountered a "live" product and did not yet know all the nuances. As a result, the first season worked to zero. The main problem was the storage of trees - the Christmas tree should be in an unheated enclosed space. But no extra care. It is also interesting that the tree's shelf life is counted from the moment the customer brings it into the house. In this case, ChristmasTree found the most caring solution - they developed free booklets on care and storage, which were applied to each Christmas tree.
But that's not all. Then another problem appeared - different preferences of buyers. So in the first year 500 trees were brought. The purchase price ranged from 10 to 70 euros per tree. There were many tall Christmas trees among them. As a result, about a hundred were unclaimed. It became clear that Christmas trees of medium height of 150–170 cm are more popular.
The first season for ChristmasTree was marked by three Christmas tree markets. As it turned out, this is not the most profitable event. I had to constantly monitor the assortment, and at the end of the season rush about, choosing which of the Christmas tree bazaars is better to put the leftovers. The downside was the additional costs for each seller (two per point) and the rental of the place. Having calculated everything and weighed the pros and cons, in 2020 the idea of bazaars was completely abandoned.
Thanks to the experience gained, the next year the business became profitable and paid off in full by the end of the second season.
How long does the season last
Active work begins at the end of August. The season ends only at the end of January.
For trees, you can always ride to Denmark, right to the plantation, and pick up each Christmas tree separately. The main thing is to find a reliable partner with a quality product. Here is what Nadezhda says about cooperation with suppliers:
— Only in the last two years I have found an ideal partner who has all the varieties our customers need in stock. At the same time, it’s great that if some trees don’t suit me or a marriage comes across, the supplier will return the money without any problems.
Life hack: the earlier you place an order, the better quality the trees will be.
Delivery of Christmas trees from Denmark takes five working days. Trees, of course, travel faster, but it takes up to two days for customs clearance and certification.
During the four years of operation of ChristmasTree, the number of goods has quadrupled. During the 2019-2020 season, about 2,000 Christmas trees were sold. As you can see, now this is a dynamically developing business that is on the rise.
What determines the price of a Christmas tree
In the first season, ChristmasTree sold only one variety - Nordman. It is the most common and unpretentious. The following year, Fraser was already brought, becoming the pioneers of the variety in Belarus. This, by the way, is the same fluffy Christmas tree from the movie "Home Alone".
After reviewing customer priorities, the company identified an interest in trees with a strong coniferous scent. Nordman and Fraser are firs. Therefore, they do not crumble, but they also do not have the aroma characteristic of Christmas trees. To fill this need, the Abies Christmas tree appeared in the assortment, which will quickly leave needles on the floor, but will compete with tangerines for superiority in the smells of the New Year.
Abies is the most budget tree, the most expensive is Fraser fir.
The price of a Christmas tree depends on the purchase price, which is tied to the type of tree. For example, Fraser is much more difficult to grow than other varieties, as this fir is very whimsical. To get a tree two meters high, it will take 5-7 years. Suppliers, of course, include these risks in the cost price. In addition, the price depends on the height, delivery conditions and competitors' prices.
This year, ChristmasTree was the first to set prices, and other companies were already guided by them. It was scary for Nadezhda to become a price maker, but in the end it all worked out.
What else does the Christmas tree business consist of?
ChristmasTree, in addition to selling Christmas trees, provides a number of related services:
Cost structure for the season
Excluding the purchase together with delivery from Denmark, which account for 70-80% of all costs, the main positions are classic for business. These are wages, rent, utilities, advertising, and so on. But since the work is carried out with a "live" product, a specific cost item is added - write-off.
ChristmasTree guarantees that the tree will not crumble before the New Year. If something still goes wrong, the company replaces the Christmas tree for free or returns the money. From 5 to 20 trees are written off in one season.
Traditionally, we share the picture of business expenses. This time, we take as a starting point not a month, but a season.
Numbers by numbers. But what about the atmosphere?
Well, there is enough atmosphere in the Christmas tree business. Nadezhda talks about this with special love:
— Yolki is not just a business, but a business that brings a lot of warmth and kindness to both clients and me. I absolutely love my job, and I love it when buyers write honest reviews. When I realize that my work helps to create a New Year's mood in many homes, it immediately becomes insanely warm in my soul. Therefore, every year I look forward to the new season - and the tale repeats itself from year to year. Real magic!
What kind of Christmas tree to take
Finally, let's ask Nadezhda the main question. Which tree is better to buy - artificial or live?
- A live Christmas tree is now in trend because of its environmental friendliness. So much carbon dioxide is left in the production of its artificial sister that this product needs to be used for about twelve years to make up for it. Plus, a fake tree that looks exactly like the real thing costs four times as much. And it will never smell so good. If we talk about real Christmas trees, not a single tree suffers. They are not cut in the forest. They are specially grown on plantations, such as potatoes. Therefore, feel free to buy live Christmas trees and enjoy their aroma at home.
How to choose a live Christmas tree
So, you have decided to buy a live Christmas tree for the New Year in Vladivostok and the first question is which one? There are several types of Christmas trees, they are sold in different places and the price is different everywhere.
Let's figure it out in order, how to choose a Christmas tree?
1. Decide on the species
There are several types of living Christmas trees, this year we have Fraser firs, Nordmann firs and Blue Spruces. All species have different types of needles, different saturation with coniferous aroma and, of course, different prices.
Fraser firs and Nordmann firs last for a long time, practically without shedding - from 3 to 6 weeks. Their main difference is their appearance - in the Fraser fir, the branches grow upwards and thanks to this, the trunk is not visible. The needles are small with a blue tint. In Nordmann fir, the branches grow parallel to the ground, so the trunk can be seen in some places. The needles are long, the color is rich green. Nordmann firs have little to no smell, so these trees are often chosen by people with a sensitive sense of smell.
It is best to compare and choose a Christmas tree in our warehouse of live Christmas trees "YolkiCity", at the address of Vladivostok.
2. Decide on the height
If the size is indicated 150-175 cm, this means that the trees will be no lower than 150 cm and no higher than 175 cm. On average, 160-170 cm. You can choose a taller Christmas tree on our own stock.
Consider the height of the ceilings and the size of the area where you plan to set up your Christmas tree. The higher the Christmas tree, the larger the diameter of the lower branches, which means more space is required.
3. Choosing a stand
For trees up to 1.5 meters, a medium stand is suitable, and for trees over 1.5 meters, a large stand. For all sizes of Fraser firs, we recommend large stands, as this variety has a very wide trunk.
4. Place of purchase
We do not recommend buying Christmas trees that are sold on the street.