Have you started growing lavender and you’re looking for a place to sell it? Perhaps you want to know how much works is required and what the options are before you even get in to lavender. We’ve compiled a list of 16 places you can sell your lavender crop.
So where can you sell your lavender crops?
- Family, Friends, and Neighbors
- Farm Store
- Pick Your Own
- Farmer’s Markets
- Roadside Stands
- Community Supported Agriculture
- Shows and Fairs
- Craft and Art Stores
- Local Florists
- Health Food Stores
- Restaurants and Food Trucks
- Farmer Cooperatives
- Wholesale Distributors
- Your Ecommerce Website
In the following sections, we’ll cover the pros and cons of each one, how much work is required, and what you can expect to make. The list is ordered from easiest to hardest in terms of effort.
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16 Places To Sell Lavender and Lavender Products
Family, Friends, and Neighbors
This is the place to start for small hobby lavender farms. Selling to people you know. You’ll get full retail value for relatively little work.
More importantly, you’ll get feedback on the quality of your goods. The best feedback is when your friends and family refer you to others and when they use the product and ask fore more of it.
This is always a great go to method to get started. Just keep in mind it’s not the best feedback.
Your friends and family, even your neighbors, want to support you. They’ll likely be kinder than if it was some farmer they didn’t know.
Again, good feedback comes from referrals or when they come back unasked to buy more. This means they really like the product.
Also, always ask them if they can refer you to anyone else. When they refer out into their network it’s good to give them a coupon for a discount that they can share. You’ll get more referrals and traffic that way.
Once you have a good 1/2 acre of lavender or more you may want to consider setting up a farm store on site.
Again, you get full retail value. The downside is that it needs to be staffed.
Another benefit is that you can test out small batches of products here and see if they sell. You can try different combinations of sachet bags, essential oils, and other lavender products.
Stores need traffic. The best way to get it is to get the word out. Again, another downside here is the time you’ll need to spend doing up front market.
Here’s a few easy ways to market your farm store
- Keep it stocked! Nothing’s worse than an empty startup store
- Give coupons to friends and family
- Give coupons to customers and have them refer friends
- Post on craigslist and local newspaper classifieds
- Post flyers at local art stores, health stores, grocery stores, and florists
- Setup a Google My Business page and ask customers for reviews and to add pictures
- Share coupons on Groupon
- Setup a basic website – There’s a lot to unpack here. See the ecommerce section below. If you do the up front work this can be a great way to bring in lots of local traffic.
- Create an instagram account and start posting pictures regularly. Then post coupons or events.
- Setup a U-Pick lavender option – Share the dates on Facebook.
Pick Your Own
Let customer’s pick their own lavender bundles. Most farms charge $10 – $14 per bundle of 150-200 stalks.
The pro is that you get full retail without the cost of labor. The con is that you have to get the word out and start momentum.
Another con is that customers can make a mess of your lavender. If you’ve ever been to a pick your own farm you’ll know what I mean. Don’t expect a full harvest as people will pick and choose which ones are best. You’ll always have some loss at the end of flowers you could have harvested and sold but no one wanted.
Still, if you’re farm is large enough then set aside a portion of the farm for this.
This is the go to option that many new farmer’s expect. Lavender and lavender products can be a great option here as it’s still a relatively new type of farm to have at the local farmer’s market.
- Full Retail
- Easy to stand out
- Lots of traffic
- No marketing required
- Time – you’ll have to use a lot of your time or pay for staff
- Saturday sales only – You’ll only have a few hours on Saturday to make most of your sales. Depending on how much you have to offer this may not be enough time to go through your weekly inventory.
- Paperwork and Fees
- May not be a good fit – Test this option but don’t bet big on it. You may find that customers at the local market don’t want flowers or lavender products. It’s still worth a try.
This is another great option if it’s available to you. The benefit here is you can sell all week. If you’re farm is inconvenient to get to this may be a better option than having a local farm stand.
This is also easy to try and easy to abandon if it doesn’t work out for you.
CSA – Community Supported Agriculture
Lavender is not something that often shows up in a CSA box. It may work like gold or it may flop. Again, it’s worth a try.
This is where you join a group that sends out produce in a box from local farmers to subscribers.
Just google your local CSAs, call them, and see what’s required to join. CSAs work best when they are next to a large metropolitan area like Denver or Chicago.
State Fairs, Shows, and Art Fairs
Similar to a farmer’s market but with way more traffic, you can pay for a booth at your state fair or local craft and art shows. Costs range wildly. Some fairs will charge a set fee such as $10 per foot of space (e.g. 10 foot booth = $1,000 for the whole 12 day fair). Others will charge 15-40% of sold goods.
While this can be a great way in the fall to sell off unsold goods, it’s a lot of people time on your part. Plus you need some basic design and marketing skills to setup a booth that people want to visit.
Personally I’d focus on some of the more evergreen selling channels like having your own farm store for harvest season and selling online through your ecommerce store year round for lavender products.
Craft and Art Stores
Do you have local craft stores in your town? Check there to see if they’re interested in carrying local lavender products from a local farm. Instead of selling dried lavender in bulk online you can simply sell to your local store.
This can be a great way to weed out a lot of competition that you would otherwise get trying to sell online.
Contact your local flower shops to sell fresh lavender flowers or dried stalks for arrangements. This is also a good place to sell small amounts of lavender satchets.
What’s great about contacting local stores is setting up long term markets. Unlike fairs you can get consistent orders week after week with less work. The main work is up front developing the relationship.
After that it’s just your time or your staff’s time spent delivering the product.
Health Food Stores and Grocery Stores
Check your local health food and grocery stores to sell the following:
- Fresh Flowers
- Dried Flowers
- Essential Oil
- Dried flowers for cooking – If you can self-publish a cookbook to go along with this it could be a win win for the grocery store. Self publishing is easier than you think.
Local Restaurants and Food Trucks
Food trucks are great because the owner is essentially the head chef so it’s easy to find the right person to talk to. Plus they tend to be experimental in their cooking.
Find out what they sell, make a lavender version at home (e.g. they sell chicken meals, make a lavender apricot chicken recipe with rosemary lavender roasted potato side), then bring them the meal. Ask them if they want to start ordering fresh or dried lavender from your local farm.
Do the same thing with local restaurants. Do the up front work of figuring out if lavender dishes will go with their menu. Help them market it as an in season special. That can turn a normal diner into a local, high end diner overnight.
Are there other lavender growers in your area? Do they have a cooperative?
A farmer cooperative is when a group of local farmers gather together, pool their resources, and hire a sales manager. In turn the sales manager finds buyers and sells bulk lavender or lavender products for them.
This is something that may exist in your local area or you may need to create one.
The upside is that you can focus on farming and/or creating lavender products. The downside is that you don’t get full retail value. Plus the cooperative will need to pay the salary of the sales manager and/or their staff.
This is a great option for introvert farmers without “people skills” that want to keep a focus on the farm.
Similar to the farmer cooperative, you’ll find local wholesale distributors of lavender products through other lavender farmers or by searching online.
Unlike the cooperative, you won’t have to group hire and manage a sales person. Instead, the wholesale companies do that for you.
The pro – easier than cooperatives. The con – expect to make less selling this way.
It’s still worth calling all your local wholesale distributors (or online that serve your area for lavender) and seeing what kind of pricing you can get.
The up front work is just a few phone calls. The back end benefit could be great as they could take care of all the marketing and selling and you can focus just on farming and crafting products.
If you want retail value for your crafted products online then Etsy is the way to go. You’ll earn higher profits than you would with a behemoth seller like Amazon.
The downside is that you’ll need to stand out, get sales, and get to the first page of Etsy for your products. The other downside is the shipping. You’ll need to monitor sales and ship every order then deal with customer service.
The best way to do that is learn from another seller or take an Etsy course on how to sell. Then expect it to take you 1-2 years of practice to figure it out.
Again, there’s a lot of up front work here but after you can expect consistent sales.
Not a bit surprise that Amazon makes the list.
- Huge marketplace
- Everything for sale – dried lavender, fresh lavender, sachets, oils, etc.
- Amazon handles customer service
- Amazon handles shipping if you use FBA
- Keeps you creative – to stand out you’ll need to create new bundles of products and figure out what sells. This in turn should work great at your local farmer’s market and fairs.
- Huge marketplace – it’ll be hard to make it to the first page
- Lower prices – there’s so much competition that basic things like bulk dried lavender sells for bottom dollar prices
- Learning curve – you’ll need to learn the Amazon algorithm. You’ll need to get reviews, have excellent pictures, and make sales to get momentum to get on the first page. You may even want to consider taking a course on this or learning from someone that knows how to do it.
Ecommerce Website and Lavender Blog
This last option is a whole other can of worms.
Instead of selling on Etsy or Amazon why not sell on your own ecommerce website?
- You own it – Amazon or Etsy can’t shut down your store and hold your undistributed sales funds (yes this happens)
- You control the traffic – By writing blog posts targeted to google searches on lavender products and crafts you can control potential customer’s attention and send it over to your listsings
- You control the prices
- You can still use Amazon for shipping and customer service – Use their FBA service to sell from your store. They handle all the details, you focus on blogging and selling.
- Customer service and Shipping – If you cutout the FBA fees you’ll need to handle all shipping and customer service
- Harder and longer to get traffic – building the blog and getting Google traffic will realistically take 1-2 years. Once setup it comes for free.
- Costly ad traffic – You can pay for facebook or Google traffic but expect a learning curve. It’ll take $5,000 – $10,000 in ad spend to figure out how to do this right. Also, you’ll learn quicker if you pay $500-$1000 for an online course in how to do this. That’s a lot of money up front.