Lesson 3: Farmers' Market Pros and Cons
By far the largest percentage of our sales come from farmer's markets.
- Very sifted group of shoppers attend this venue each week.
- People here want what you have or they wouldn't give up their Saturday morning to shop in this fashion.
- Open 50 weeks out of the year.
- Gives you access to literally thousands of unique customers.
- New customers show up every week.
- Many customers developed here become bulk customers.
- Customers are genuinely interested in speaking with the farmer and learning how they raise the food they are selling.
- You get the full retail value for your product.
- A well run market will be vibrant and very worthwhile to attend.
- Benefits of networking with other farmers and businesses.
- There are no guaranteed sales.
- Weather can be your friend or your enemy!
- A four hour market is usually about a 9 hour investment of time.
- It's hard to “pay yourself” for this time (in my mind).
- You will most likely have to hire help to cover the farm while you attend the market.
- Hiring help to cover a market generally does not produce good sales results.
- You will find politics very much at play in the farmer's market scene.
- Management changes can devastating.
- When you get home from the market, it's time to go to work!
- Can have a negative affect on family activities and personal social interactions.
- In the end, this is a “retail” outlet.