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The $69.95 Tomato Success Kit

Buy The Look

The complete answer to the $64 question about how to successfully raise a great tomato plant is over at Gardener’s Supply Company. This question about how much people will pay to raise just a couple of tomato plants is no longer a joke. And if you want an early tomato the stakes are even higher.

This endeavor for bragging rights and to “beat the brother-in-law” with the earliest, biggest, bestest Beefsteak, Mortgage Lifter, Early Girl, Early Boy, or whatever your favorite tomato might be is officially out of control. Bring it on!We have been following their Tomato Success Kit informally for many years now. The original kit started out under $25, then has progressed to this years offer of the $69.95 Organic Tomato Success Kit. Look what you get for your $69.95 plus $12.90 processing and shipping.

  • Kit includes our Self-Watering Planter, Tomato Support Cage, 40 quarts of Organic Self-Watering Container Mix (contains shellfish), 1 pound of organic 5-6-5 fertilizer (contains peanut meal) and a top-fill tube with water level indicator
  • Self-Watering Planter: 26″ L x 19-3/4″ W x 10-1/2″ H
  • Tomato Cage: 14-1/2″ W x 21-1/2″ D x 30″ H with 8″ legs (38″ overall)
  • Rust-resistant cage clips prevent toppling
  • For best results, plant two determinate or one indeterminate tomato
  • Tomato plants not included
  • Patented
  • Gardener’s Supply Exclusive

Total spend: $82.85 plus your two Organic Early Girl Tomato Plants for a grand total of $104.30 delivered to your home. It doesn’t stop there. There is also a $49.95 Tomato Success Kit Trolley add-on option to bring the kit up to sitting level and go-mobile.  (There are at this point 50 positive customer reviews of the trolley option alone.

Who among us, let alone our employees has the nerve to add-on this much to a tomato plant sale? In most garden centers they will have to be your STAR Customer to get to the additional items. No wonder the staff wouldn’t offer all those add-on items to the tomato plant sale. They would have to go from the greenhouse to the trellis and cage area, to the soils, to the fertilizers, to the container and pottery department.

The point is that if we offer a bundled option to our customers they will not only sometimes choose to buy the bundle, but they will see the total value. And they will often at least buy some of the ingredients that are meaningful to them – MORE OFTEN, and often without assistance.

Stock Up - You Probably Need Them

Stock Up While You're Here

Use what we call the “Batteries in Walmart” principle. Most of the batteries purchased at Walmart stores are taken from the pallet size 5 ft. tall gondola located just in front of the checkout in every store. However, most of the batteries are actually  sold by the process of their customers seeing them throughout the store on those plastic “clip strips” of batteries. By the time they reach the checkout they know they need batteries for something at home, if not also for something also purchased on that shopping trip. Why not stock up and buy the also bundled 15-pack of Duracell AA’s?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock this notion of cross-merchandising is not new to you. But my question is this…if you go out into your store and look, where have you done it? What do you want customers to pick up and buy from your checkout area?

7 Responses

  1. Great post, Sid! I went to the site, and the other thing I like that most of the big retailers do is the “items you may also like” at the bottom to further add-on sales.
    It just goes to show you, people will pay more if they think they are getting a better value and the description shows how they can be more successful with the product.

  2. We are currently using a ‘bundling’ type offer in our Tree Rebate program where the rebate earned grows when the number of trees purchased grows. Last spring, over 60% of the rebates submitted for were for more than a 1 tree purchase. Bundling is a wonderful tool, timely post. Don

  3. Your comment is appreciated Don. It makes it easier when a supplier understands and makes bundling automatic for the garden center. Keep up the great work!

  4. I resisted carrying the $60 Earth Box for years, thinking that it simply wasn’t worth the money. But last year, when a fellow retailer said he did really well with them, I ordered some, figuring who was I to tell people how to spend their money? We doubled our order for this year, having sold all of them last year. They have a prominent place in the greenhouse now.

  5. For any garden centers implementing on line sales an often unused option in most shopping carts is the product suggestion window. So for example if your customer buys an Earthbox your shopping cart would automatically suggest potting mix. Implementing this option on your faster sellers can create easy incremental revenue.

  6. I too was skeptical of the Earth Box Tina. Sometimes we must admit we are wrong and move on and make money. I don’t know much about surfing, but we need to watch the waves form and ride them all the way, without crashing on the beach. It is also gratifying to see some of our customers find so much value in gardening.

  7. On the same note Ron, many POS systems offer a prompt to the cashier. (Although it has to be set up.) While this is the wrong point in the sales process to introduce buying companion items, it is a great place to close sales that were missed earlier. Rather than rely on this it should be an indicator that something that should be happening earlier on is not. (Cross merchandising and personal selling.)

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