Farmers markets have become something of a phenomenon. More and more people are opting to sell their fresh produce or homemade goods at these markets for an extra income. Some markets get very competitive if there are a lot of the same types of products on sale. You will need to stand out and offer great products at great prices. If they are unique and original you also stand a better chance at selling well.
We have compiled a list of things that can help you sell better at a farmers’ market. We base these suggestions on a lot of experience and attending a lot of farmers’ markets. We also spoke to some other vendors and market managers.
Do your homework and get some information. By market research we mean two things. Firstly, you need to find out what markets are around and decide which ones you would like to be a part of. Some smaller markets struggle to get by, so you may need to drive out farther to get one that is successful. The drive won’t matter once you start making money. Secondly, research what people at these markets sell and what is already available. Unless your product has a unique edge, you might be one of 10 vendors selling the exact same thing. This is never good. Try and stand out in some way and sell things that are not available around every corner.
Engage Your Customers
The best way to get a customer’s attention is to smile, be friendly, and greet them. If you are inviting they will more likely stop at your stall to see what you offer. Otherwise, they might just walk past you. Another important attention-drawing factor is the design of your stall. Your setup should draw the eye and invite people to come and see what you have on offer. Color and sampling options always draw people. People who sample a product and like it, are more likely to buy that product. If they hadn’t sampled it, they would probably never buy it.
Keep in Contact
Have an email sign-up sheet at your stall. This way customers can get updates from you on products that will be available in the coming weeks. If you have a Facebook page or other social media account, ask them to check it out and follow you. This way you will keep them updated and create customers that will come back regularly.
Transparency and Honesty
Your customers want to know where the food or products you sell come from. They want to know how it was raised or made. Many people have very specific requirements of food and how it was made and what the ingredients are. Be honest about your farm, methods, and produce. Don’t hesitate to answer questions and explain to people how it works. You can also have farm tours and post information, pictures, and videos on your website or social media that explain your farming methods and processes. This will make people trust you and they will keep coming back.
Your packaging can send the wrong message if you’re not careful. Your produce and products should be packaged neatly and presented well, but be careful that it doesn’t look too fancy or commercial. It has happened before that people thought a farmer bought his produce at an auction instead of growing it on a farm simply because he put them in nice boxes. Keep in mind what you are selling, what the purpose of the market is and why customers go there. Avoid using packaging that may cause suspicion and cost you customers.
This tip is specifically for the farmers of fresh produce. Other vendors can also make use of it in their own way. Successful farmers’ market vendors have pointed out that their success lies in growing profitable goods. They say that for you to be successful, you need to make a good income that you can live off. Only some crops are profitable in certain amounts and at certain times. If the crops you love are not profitable due to the market you’re in, the scale, or the season, don’t grow them. They also say that you need to carefully work out your labor and other costs so you can do proper pricing.
There you have it. The experts have spoken. Follow their advice and you will be well on your way to market success.