Flower Shop Network
Hunting for Vases

Hunting for Vases

Like many other industries, florists are struggling with supply chain issues. From lack of stock to long shipping times to limited options, we know that finding vases and containers is harder than ever. So what's the solution? Implementing a vase/container recycling program.

Encourage your customers and other people in your community to give you the vases and containers they have. Not only is this a great way to get access to the containers you need, but it's eco-friendly too! Plus it's a great way to reach members of the community that might not know about your shop.

How do I get them to participate?

Give them an incentive! They're giving you something valuable and will want something in return. Luckily, we've got a few ideas for incentives you can offer.

Gift Cards

People love gift cards. It's basically free money and it's money they will spend at your shop. You can set the amount you want to 'pay' for each container, a minimum number of containers necessary, and any other rules you may have. Just remember the more stipulations, the fewer people who might participate, so keep it simple and easy for your customers.

Free Bouquet

What's something you already have that people would like to get in return for their vases? FLOWERS! Obviously, people love flowers or they wouldn't have vases to give you. By offering a free cut-flower bouquet to people who bring in their vases and containers, you get the containers, they get a beautiful bouquet, and everyone wins. At the end of each day, take the flowers you have leftover from your earlier designs and create a few wrapped bouquets. This allows you to use up all of your stock and have ready-made bouquets when someone comes in with containers.


Who doesn't love getting a discount or promo code? Offer your customers a discount on their next purchase when they bring in their vases or containers. You can set the discount amount to correlate with the number of containers they bring. For example, if they bring in 5 containers, you could offer a 10% discount. It's a great way to reward the customer for bringing in the vase and make sure they return to your shop in the future.


One thing people love is helping others and you can do that by donating a set amount of money for every vase you receive. Pick a local charity, something that people know and want to support, like the local animal shelter, food bank, or youth program. It's a great way to connect with your local community and get the hardware you need for your shop.


For each usable vase brought in, the customer is submitted into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to your shop. The more vases people bring, the more chances they have to win. It's a great way to get more people involved and potentially increase the number of containers you receive. At the end of each month, or whatever time limit works best for your shop, do a Facebook Live and draw the winner. That way you get more exposure on social media and can announce when the next drawing will be.

What do I do with the vases that aren't usable?

You could donate them to the local school's art program, see if the local theater needs them for props, or something else entirely. It's really up to you, but we do suggest trying to donate them to some place in the local community that could use them instead of throwing them out.

Implementing a vase/container recycling program in your shop is a great way to get the vases you need while also rewarding your customers and reaching your local community. Plus, it's eco-friendly and allows you to reach potential customers who might not know you yet.

Try one of the incentives above and test it out in your shop. Tell us in the comments what's worked for you and how it's helped your shop!


Rey wrote on November 19, 2021 10:15 am

I give a complimentary rose to any one that recycles vases wit us.

Joy Gregory/chloe's Collections Florist wrote on November 19, 2021 10:29 am

I made up "Bloom Bucks" (No cash value and good for 90 days) to give for vases brought in....$2.00 for clear and $3.00 for color or specialty. I specified "NO Bud vases" and the response was immediate and lucrative as the coupon holders are coming in for holiday shopping! I received 40 vases in the first 3 days.

Deb wrote on November 19, 2021 1:17 pm

I started doing this when I opened the shop 3 years ago. I'm a recycler anyway, so it was natural for me to ask for these donations. I advertise that it saves on the landfill, plus cuts the cost of an arrangement.

Mahendra wrote on November 19, 2021 6:18 pm

We already doing it. We give them discount ot a bouquet for free with tons of thank you..
Some customers just want to drop them off ( Nothing in return)

Tyler C wrote on November 20, 2021 5:17 pm

Since I bought my shop 5 years ago, I have always encouraged customers to return boxes of unwanted vases. I don't offer money for them but if they happen to place an order in the near future, I'll give half off delivery or throw in a few extra stems. My staff don't really enjoy sorting and cleaning vases all the time but I'm sure that we've saved big money over the years by reusing vases.

Vicki Trimble wrote on November 20, 2021 8:44 pm

Been recycling vases for years. Our local community just bring them at no request from us. Since the pandemic began more have come in than we ever expected but we have past the word so it’s quite something how much we receive!

Jted Lewis wrote on November 21, 2021 8:30 am

The logistics of this is simple - make announcement at the local meetings you attend - ie; neighborhood association, networking clubs, chamber, church, rotary etc.
Call us with your address, leave your vases on your front porch, one of our drivers will pick up within a week. The driver leaves a “thank you” bouquet on the porch. You have eliminated the necessity of someone at home at a certain time. We have been doing this for 25 years.

Delores wrote on November 22, 2021 4:59 pm

i love your ideas

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