Over many years of selling at the Farmers’ Markets the main thing that we have gained as a family is family fun! Sure we have made profits and friends and learned some valuable life lessons too. But most of all we have had a lot of FUN.
I enjoy talking to people and hanging out. The customers at a Farmers’ Market are often driven to be there by their belief of buying local, good home made or home grown food, maybe even organic food. Talking about my product and sharing my own thoughts and ideals is lots of fun! I give lots of information and even ideas. I’m originally from Australia and of course I get all of the questions about my country of origin and how I ended up in Louisiana and so forth. My products are of very high quality and my presentation is also. People enjoy talking about the wonderful tastes and flavors that my products bring. We also talk about the difference between homemade baked goods where you know the ingredients and store bought baked goods where you can’t pronounce most of the ingredients.
There is nothing quite like preparing for a Farmers’ Market and then the satisfaction afterwards of knowing that you sold everything that you made, enjoyed fresh air, good company and basically had a blast with your wife and kids.
The market that I mainly attend only operates during summer and fall. Summer in Louisiana can be hot and humid. Not can be , it IS HOT and HUMID. So its great to get out in the morning and have a good time at market before the heat of the day kicks in. The weather is nice, it does get a little warm (HOT) in summer but apart from that its pleasant for the customers and vendors to be out and about on a Saturday morning. The Fall Market has some degree of coolness as we head towards winter and that is always a nice change when we first start back up after our little break between the summer and fall markets.
Of course I like to make some money. We all do don’t we? Profit at a farmers’ market depends on one thing and one thing alone. Taking to market a product that people want to buy. Its easy really. Find one product that you can make at a reasonable price and sell for a profit and you will do well at market. You only need one product. I know a guy who makes home roasted coffee. That is ALL he does. Sure its a process, its not easy and he does it extremely well. The important thing here is he found the one thing that he wanted to take to market that could make him a profit.
How much profit? Well that’s a great question isn’t it? I firmly believe in the old saying that you should charge what the market will bear. I also recently heard another expression that the important thing is the “perceived value” something that is large, well presented and “appears” to be good value will have a higher “perceived value” than another item.
Ask your friends, neighbours and relatives what a good price for something might be? Maybe give them a choice of 3 or 4 prices. Ask something like “What would you feel was a fair price to pay for this widget?” If you are really unsure of your pricing then ask a dozen different people. Point out the plus of buying your homemade or home grown as opposed to store bought. Why is it worth that extra dollar or two for home made? Ask for comments regarding your presentation. What do they see as the positive points? Write this all down. One of your friends might give you the “killer sales pitch”. Visit other markets and see what price others that make similar products are selling them for.
Value your time. Your time is worth MONEY. Another friend once told me
“I don’t have to go to work to go broke, I can stay at home and do that!” in other words if you are working, making a product and taking it to market then you need to be making a profit or you might as well just stay at home!