In the January issue of Garden Center, you may have noticed a prompt in the Home Page section asking readers to tell us how they pre-sell their spring season. As an introduction to the new Your Turn section, we’d like to share an interesting example of a pre-selling strategy.

We reached out to Bremec Garden Centers based in Chesterland, Ohio, a company known for its bonds program. The program allows customers to “invest” in its three stores each year by purchasing a Bremec Bond in February, March or April and redeeming the bond in-store for a higher dollar value.

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The earlier a bond is purchased, the more it will be worth when redeemed during the spring/summer sales season. Bonds purchased in February cost $35, and increase in price to $40 in March and $45 in April. Each bond can be redeemed between May 1 and Aug. 1 for $50 worth of plants, pottery, gardening tools, décor and other Bremec products.

“We do have several customers who purchase a very large quantity, if they know they have a big project coming up,” says marketing director Eliza Newton. “Then a lot of our newer customers will just maybe purchase one, to test the waters.”

A few caveats apply — Bremec Bonds can’t be combined with other coupons or discounts; they are not valid on delivery, customer containers or other services; they do not apply to most bulk goods; they cannot be redeemed over the phone and their value defaults to their original purchase price after Aug. 1.

Bremec Garden Centers advertises for the Bremec Bonds in local print publications, spreading awareness of the value of the pre-purchasing program.

This year marks the first season in which the bonds can be purchased through the Bremec Garden Centers website. Customers fill out their desired bond value and the bonds are mailed to them.

“That’s been a really great feature so far, people have really taken advantage of it,” Newton says. “It makes it a bit easier for us on the processing side — and people find that it’s just more convenient.”

How do you pre-sell your spring? Even if your answers didn’t make it into this issue, we’d still love to hear from you. Send your responses to choward@gie.net or message us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GardenCenterMagazine) or Twitter (@gardencentermag). Also, be sure to check out this month’s Your Turn prompt in the Home Page section