So you’ve been growing cut peonies for a while. Maybe (hopefully) you’ve found that they sell well, and you’re ready to expand your market. Besides, those plants are *finally* maturing and offering you more and more stems each year. Your local customers are wonderful, but your season is short and you only have peonies for them for a few weeks each year.
The great news is, everyone else’s season is short too. My season in South Carolina begins in mid to late April. When my customers ask for peonies in June, I’m out. I’ll have to refer them to someone north of me whose season is in full swing. Is your farm cutting and shipping then? If so, great! My customers need you.
Likewise, offering your customers access to other peony growers outside of your season keeps them using and loving peonies, and coming back for more. When your season rolls around again, they’ll be waiting. In this way, every other peony grower on The Peony Map is advertising for you.
The goal of The Peony Map is simple. I want you to sell every stem you grow, and I want my customers and yours to find peonies when they need them. The storefront that you create for your flowers on this site can be used to sell locally or to ship, giving you more options to get your blooms into customers' hands. It also handles the ordering and payments for you, which is a big help for a business owner wearing a lot of hats.
How it works:
There are two options for using The Peony Map to sell your peonies. If you already have an online shop up and running, link it to The Peony Map here: Get My Pin
If you'd like to set up a peony shop on The Peony Map, you can do that here: Set Up My Shop. Here are the particulars on running a shop on The Peony Map:
-Each grower has a shop within the site that you can customize to represent your farm's brand. Here you can put details that will allow your customers to get to know you. You'll list your peonies and what dates you expect to have them available, with pictures, details, and a quantity of stems. It's easy to set up your store, and we'll help if you hit a snag. Check out my store to see how it works.
-The map on the home page (hence the name) allows customers to search for a farm by location. Your farm will show up as a pin on that map. Click on your pin, and get taken to your store where your smiling face and beautiful peonies are showcased.
-Customers can also search by date, helpful for planning preorders for event planning. Enter a date, and all the peonies from across the site that will be available on that date will be shown.
-You can offer wholesale products, retail, or both. Wholesale products will be accessible only to verified wholesale customers, and retail will be available to all site visitors.
-Preorders will be available on whatever date you decide to open them. You'll need to make sure that your customers know when your preorders open. If a customer chooses Authorize.net as a payment option at checkout, their credit card won't be charged until you ship.
-When you receive an order, you pack and ship from your location, with your shipping materials and your branding.
-There isn’t a listing or membership fee. Our fee is a flat 7% commission that's paid when you're paid. Payment processing will add 2.9%.
Some helpful links:
We have a folder of peony photos you can use if you don't yet have any of your own, here: Peony Photos folder. Please read the instructions file there before using and credit the photographer.
Whether you’re just starting out on your peony growing adventure or you’re a little more seasoned, the Cut Peony Webinar that NC State put on in winter 2019 has a wealth of information.
There’s a bit to learn about shipping peonies, and I’ll have some educational posts here soon. In the meantime, there’s a lot to glean from Rita Jo Shoultz at Alaska Perfect Peony.
We have a fun and supportive Facebook group called Cut Peony Growers, where you can ask any question you like.
Any questions you still have, please contact me. I’m happy to help. Let’s put your farm on the map!
Grower of South Carolina peonies and director of The Peony Map