Making Money with Leis in Hawaii

Hawaii is a popular tourist destination averaging about seven million visitors a year. One of the most commonly given gifts when arriving in Hawaii is a lei. Leis are necklaces that can be made out of many different materials, including fresh flowers, nuts, paper, plastic material and beads. The most popular type of leis are made out of fresh flowers. With so many visitors arriving each year, leis are a Hawaiian staple that remains in high demand.

Things You'll Need

  • Pre-made leis
  • Internet access
  • Display table
  • Cardboard sign
  • Permanent marker


  1. Internet Advertising

    • 1

      List your leis as being for sale on frequently-checked online advertising sites such as CraigsList or Kijiji. List the leis for sale at a reasonable price--one that covers the cost of materials while allowing you a decent amount of profit. Fresh-flower leis typically cost $20 to $30.

    • 2

      Include high-quality pictures in your ad of several of your best leis to draw in customers. Leave a phone number and an email address that you frequently check so customers are able to reach you.

    • 3

      Repost your ad at least once a week to keep attracting new customers.

    Website Creation

    • 4

      Create a website for your lei business. There are sites that allow you to host your website for free; this is a good place to start. You can upgrade to a paid subscription once your lei business has started making a steady income.

    • 5

      Set-up a business account with a site such as PayPal and add the shopping cart feature to your website.

    • 6

      Advertise your business and website in the local Hawaii newspaper, through online advertisement sites, with fliers around the city and by word of mouth.

    Physical Selling

    • 7

      Set-up your display table in a popular tourist location during peak hours, such as at Waikiki Beach in the mid-morning and early afternoon, or downtown Honolulu in the evening.

    • 8

      Arrange your leis on the table so they are clearly visible to people passing by.

    • 9

      Place a sign with the price list in large print so that it can be read clearly from several feet away. Price your leis fairly or the customer may purchase from another vendor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fresh flower and kukui nut leis are the most popular kinds, so it is likely you will sell more of these than if you were to try and sell paper or beaded leis.
  • Keep accurate records of your business expenditures and earnings for tax time.
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  • Photo Credit pineapple and lei image by William Berry from

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