In a post recently, I talked about my experience with a Farmer’s Market.
One part I did not touch on were the extras you can provide to perhaps increase your sales. A good example was given by Christina over at Youthful Homemaker. She wrote a post about selling non-produce items and gave the example of when she made crafts to sell. These were sold at a stand where her mother sold produce.
That brings to light two points:
1. You can sell items besides, or in addition to, produce. If you are starting out and have some crafts or other related items, it might be a good idea. This can give you a wider market. We sold plants, both gardening transplants and household plants, in the spring. Something as simples as an aloe plant put into a pretty pot is a nice change. Be knowledgeable about these before you go though, as we learned, because people will ask you questions about care, blooming/production, and usage.
Another vendor, this past season, sold a small selection of produce. However, she also had baked goods and some quilts.
2. Sometimes you do not need to have a stand yourself, or by yourself. Find someone who does and might be willing to sell some of your items.
A young man, about 13, had a zucchini plant that was producing an abundance. It was more than his family could eat. When he offered it to us, we suggested instead that he bring some to the market to sell at our stand. Not only did he get the opportunity to make money, he also learned several lessons. Lessons such as: pricing, customer interaction, presentation of your items for sale and of yourself, what people were looking for and how it impacts your sale, and so on. He joined us for two years. Now, granted he did not bring a lot but it was a good opportunity for him to see what it was like. It also really did not detract from our sales.
I talk about “our stand” and “we” did this or that. If you remember, the stand at the Farmer’s Market and the one at my/our house is done with a friend, who also happen to be a neighbor. We do it together. It works for us. Some things come from my garden, some from her’s. Sometimes I set up the stand, sometimes she does. This is especially helpful when life has one of us away from home early in the day, late at night, on vacation … or when a sudden storm appears and you have to race to get things put up before they blow away. No, I have never chased a knocked over basket of produce into the street or price cards down the block. Why do you ask? It works for us to do it together, sharing both the labor and the rewards. This may not work for everyone, and I could not do it with just anyone. So give thought to it before trying it out. It can work, though.