Based on the volume of questions that we field from our customers, deciding how to price out a set of flower pots is one of the more difficult tasks facing garden center management today.

There are a lot of approaches to accomplishing this task, and different solutions will often work for different garden centers, or even for different products within the same garden center. In many ways, pricing planters is more of an art than a science, but there are some basic concepts that will help to get you started, and at least one rule that you should never break:

• The biggest key to successfully pricing your pots is to make sure that the prices for each piece are proportionally and logically  related to the actual size and scale of each pot included in the set. The easiest way to do this is to use a simple formula to establish ballpark prices. We use the following to power the Unit Price Calculator on our website – Please note that the steps below will work either before or after your margin calculations:
• Each pot in the set is assigned a numerical value, with 1 being the smallest pot, 2 being the 2nd smallest, 3 being the 3rd smallest, and so forth.
• These numerical unit values are then added together – a three-pot set would have a total unit count of 6, for example (1+2+3=6). Similarly, a four-pot set would total 10 units (1+2+3+4=10).
• You then divide the cost of the set by the set’s total unit count – A three-pot set with a cost of \$60.00 would be divided by 6 per the example above, resulting in a unit cost of \$10.00.
• This unit cost is then multiplied by the total number of units assigned to an individual pot, so our \$60.00 set with an individual unit cost of \$10.00 results in per-pot benchmark prices of \$10.00 (1 x \$10.00), \$20.00 (2 x \$10.00), & \$30.00 (3 x \$10.00).
• If you don’t feel like doing the math by hand, we have an easy-to-use downloadable Excel calculator on our website.

Don’t be afraid to second-guess the results from the formula, as many times it will make sense to adjust the weighting of the prices – most often reducing the price of the smallest pot while adding to the cost of the largest pot(s), which tend to be less price-sensitive at retail.

One of the great things about the pottery category is that it offers a lot of opportunity for enhancing your margin dollars. It’s perfectly fine to raise your prices beyond what the formula dictates if you feel that a particular pot can support a higher price –  If a pot looks like a \$79.00 item to you, but the formula says that it should be a \$59.00 pot, charge the higher price – you can always discount away from it if needed.

Finally, the only hard and fast rule in this process is that you should never, ever, simply divide the cost of a set by the number of pots in the set. This  overly-simple solution always leads to retail prices that don’t make sense, as you wind up with large and small pots sitting on your shelves at the same price.