Selling at Farmers Markets

Ideas and information to make your venture a huge success.

Farmers’ markets are a phenomenon. They continue to grow in number, sales volume, and length of season. They serve as an incubator for thousands of new businesses every year. They allow established farmers to cut out the middlemen and capture the full retail value of their products.

But farmers’ markets are much more than just a place to sell food and fresh products. At a true farmers’ market, you are buying your produce directly from the person who grew or made it. They have become important community institutions. They are a venue for socialising, where local residents meet farmers and their neighbours. A sense of community connection and a desire to support local producers has seen shoppers ditch the supermarket for the farmers’ market.

The fact that farmers’ markets support local producers, cut down on our carbon footprint, and help boost the local economy makes it a win-win.

The success of farmers’ markets in general is great news for you as a farmer.

It means you’re entering a well-established and well-regarded marketing system with great potential for growth. But even at the most successful farmers’ markets, success for you individually is more likely if you meet certain criteria. Below are some ideas for making your marketing efforts a success. Here are some of the aspects of farmers’ markets that are of chief importance:

At the base of all your efforts is quality.

You must offer the highest quality products. Food must be fresh, delicious, and handled with care. Flowers must be vibrant and long-lived. Everything you sell must be clean and packaged properly. Make no mistake about this — you won’t succeed if you don’t have good food and flowers. Every other marketing strategy depends entirely on your quality.

Pricing must be appropriate.

You should become a student of prices, keeping track of what your customers are paying for the items you sell. What would they pay at the supermarket or the florist? What would they pay elsewhere at your farmers’ market? You must know the value of your products and set fair prices — enough for you to be profitable while being competitive.

Merchandising is super important too.

There are dozens of tricks of the trade that will inspire confidence in your products. You need to display your produce neat, well-organised, and eye-catching. Consider a shelter, create a flow, display clear signs, brand your product/farm, keep it simple and consistent, keep it clean, talk with customers, plan ahead, and have fun!

Consider sampling as a sales tool

If a customer buys a certain product, consider giving a complimentary second product for them to take home. This may lead to them buying both, or more variety next visit. Both from loving the products and them remembering your generosity.

Your demeanour as the vendor is one of the most important elements to success.

Gregarious people — those who like meeting new people and discussing their products and farms — will always do better than the shy or aloof types. Friendliness, courtesy, and respect for the customers will win you a loyal following. People come to farmers’ markets seeking social interactions, and the more you can help them accomplish that, the better you will do.

By paying attention to these basics, you can make good money at the farmers market. Treat your market as the golden opportunity it is, and you are sure to succeed.

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