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Starting a flower or gardening business online

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  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,213

    As a lot of people have said, it's a very crowded marketplace. I should think that most shops are already signed up with one of the big players (A quick google tells me that my local flower shop is with Interflora) and that they would almost certainly have an exclusivity agreement. You'd have to convince them that what you offered was better in some way.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    I recently sent cut flowers to a location a couple of hundred miles away. I have never liked using Interflora ( v. expensive). So I googled the post code on maps and found the nearest florist, rang them, (they even knew my friend's christian name!) and ordered their cheapest bouquet (image) when it arrived, it was so huge that it filled 3 vases.image

    I answer to the original question, I think the advice about starting small makes sense.

  • @Pansyface. he must have had to work extra hard to produce that sort of quality.

    @ Jo. It would be easier for the end user to find them instead of searching individually for a particular flower. One of the primary benefit is being able to find the exact plant or seeds you require. In addition, being in a conglomerate competition would also mean delivery on quality and being a unique stand out would increase the chances of more sales.I do not intend to replace interflora, would differ. I also intend to implement a feedback system on individual shops or stores quite similar to the concept applied at amazon.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,939

    The £6,000 a week floral wafting fragrance experience was when I lived in one of the snootier areas of London. The florists round these parts can barely scrape together enough turnover to maintain a bucket or two of roses and a pot of chrysanths. I think most of their offerings end up in't churchyard.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • @ Dovefromabove, What I hope to be offering, would be the ability to have the dozen or so florist in a single site with relevant customer feedback whenever possible.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,184

    I too have given up on ebay. As a seller you can not now leave negative feedback on customers, even if they mess you about forever over payment, or delivery details.

    What's the point in feedback if every customer has 100% positive feedback?

    Devon.
  • Clarington Thanks for taking your time  expressing your constructive and intresting  views to say the least.
    I wish the website you spoke about could be located as it would be a good barometer on the marketplace right now.I intend to make it open to both professionals and individuals alike looking to earn an extra income.
    Clarington, I have compiled a growing list of florists/gardening enthusiasts who have indicated their interest in marketplace after explaining the concept to them. At this stage, its a developing concept still very much in its infancy.I am speaking with you guys, because a website built by florist  will be the ultimate judge of the idea plus I want it to be user driven. Regarding the issue of manpower required to upload a listing on the website, my intention is to make it as seamless as possible for both professionals and individuals alike because I know not everyone is computer savvy. I am also thinking of providing a service where we do the upload for you for a small fee especially at the beginning. I am not the biggest fan of a monthly subscription services but id that were to be implemented, the price would be quite negligible.At this point, I am leaning towards a free for all type model with an intention to generate income on the back end from a percentage anywhere between 2-5% per delivery.(the maths is still been worked out am sorry I cant provide a definite answer on that).
    The issue of quality control while a great concept, could backfire especially at the early stages of the business.Although this is something I am considering but that could mean either centralizing the marketplace i.e interflora model or having to pay an inspection type visit to the respective vendors. What this will simply do, in my opinion, is raise the startup/running cost of the marketplace which would then have to be passed on to i.e. the customer, vendors or the company.This in turn, would raise prices. To circumvent this I intend to burrow the customer feedback concept used by amazon. At least for now and I totally understand your concerns.
    Unfortunately, would payments would have to be made to me or rather the online payment processor (merchant)  before being passed down to the florists/vendor. I also intend of implementing other payment methods like Bitcoins in order to reduce merchant fees or receive your money faster (i.e as soon as delivery has been made.) As I said, it depends on the merchant or the payment form that has been used.
    I do not intend to charge admin fees,listing fee etc only a simple percentage of sales That's all.
    Catchy names are the norm these days and its something I am working on. something short and sweet. (I am open to suggestions please. I need help in this department).
    Finally, I would do my best to protect us from hackers and people of that sort of ilk. The website is still being built and you guys would be the first to try it out (that's a promise moreover that would be darn helpful). I love to be flashy and smooth in implementing my design but it all comes down to users and the question is what do they really want?.

    Thanks Clarington for your questions and if you've got more please do not hesitate plus any suggestions no matter how small it might seem is always welcome by me. Thanks again.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,939

    It all sounds very complicated. Good luck.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • @ Jo  Amazon actually grew into the market giant we know it today. Lest not we forget, they started out as a marketplace for books. Its not about competition really, That's not my aim in starting up this marketplace. The aim is to help florists who have to throw flowers away from non sales and enthusiasts at home who would like a bit of extra income to support their families. 
    Another reason, is because it would make it easier to find rare flowers or gardening plants/seeds if its  properly indexed and structured in a marketplace.

  • @Hostafan, you have a great point. I would allow the sellers a chance to leave feedback to buyers in an interactive way. I know ebay customers who abuse the fact ebay's so lenient towards buyers.I think vendor feedback would make an excellent concept. Thank you

    @Pancyface . Thanks 

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