How to Sell Live Christmas Trees on Store Parking Lots

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The parking lot of an existing store is a popular location choice for a Christmas tree business.
The parking lot of an existing store is a popular location choice for a Christmas tree business. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Selling Christmas trees can prove a lucrative short-term business operation. However, opening your own Christmas stand takes preparation -- you cannot simply set up shop wherever you please. A common location for Christmas tree stands is in the parking lot of a local store. The store's traffic provides a gateway to scores of potential buyers and relieves you of the responsibility of advertising your seasonal venture.

Choose a location. Contact the store owner and establish a short-term lease for the space in the parking lot. Contacting the store manager will not suffice, as only the owner of the space can agree to lease a portion of the property.

Rent a trailer or other temporary building to serve as an office or as a shelter. The trailer will provide you a space to keep any paperwork or other supplies, such as computers, calculators, etc. It will also provide a place for you or a security officer to dwell during off-hours.

Establish a perimeter for your Christmas tree stand. Enclose your portion of the parking lot with temporary fencing.

Find a tree wholesaler from which to obtain your supply of trees. Establish a schedule for delivery, if you will will need more than one shipment of trees during the season.

Register your business with the IRS. See the IRS website (IRS.gov) to choose what designation/type of business is right for you.

Obtain insurance for your business. Insurance will cover your supply of trees, any liability for the customers and the shelter/office space.

Arrange the Christmas tress in order of species and size. Choose a method for distinguishing the trees by price. Common methods include using colored ribbon to signify varying price ranges.

Establish a pricing standard and hold firm to your asking prices. Many potential customers will try to haggle or purchase a tree for less than your stated cost. If you have selected an area with high traffic and priced your tress competitively, you can afford to wait for customers who are willing to pay full price or close to it.

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