10 Tips for Farmers Market Success

Tis the season for fresh fruits and vegetables …and local handmade works! If you’re participating in a local weekly market here are some great tips to increase your sales for the coming season.

  1. Select the Right Market. Visit the market before you apply, and take notes. How many people are making purchases? What types of purchases? What’s the vendor competition for your category. Does the market advertise or promote through social media? Check their instagram and Nextdoor.com activity. If you’re selling something expensive how may luxury cars are in the parking lot? After you’ve picked your market, pick your spot. Vendors will tell you it’s great to be in the middle or near a produce vendor… but not so close that the lines for payment obstruct your booth!
  2. What Is Your Unique Offering. If you have something that fills a need, or isn’t already in the market you have a better chance of success. “Local products and local culture products should scream LOCAL as loudly as produce vendors scream ORGANIC.
  3. Create a Marketing Plan. The difference between success and failure often relies on how many of your customers you invite. Make sure you know how to leverage your own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tribe. Ofer a “bring a friend” deal! Neighbor vendors might be able to refer their customers to you… provide them with a small coupon for their regular customers. Handout cards with your website and links for your online channels. eg. Amazon or Etsy.
  4. Brand It Well. Your booth display and products should be well branded so that visitors begin to recognize you and differentiate you from the competition.
  5. Demonstrate. If you are selling lotions or soap… demo’s work well to bring customers closer and get them interested. Don’t get so involved in demos that you lose a sale.
  6. Pricing & Payment. How many types will you accept… the options are growing! Be ready for anything. Accepting electronic payments will increase your sales by as much as 40%!
  7. Display. Leave that heavy booth you use for fairs and festivals at home. Farmers markets are simple set-ups… but remember that “Eye Level is BUY Level! Your table may need pvc risers to bring the product up close for customers. Make sure nothing will blow away in the wind. Make sure your traffic flow inside the booth works for browsers and buyers.
  8. Selling Tips. Stand, don’t sit. Never read a book, make eye contact. Smile, be friendly… and if you even suspect that they have purchased from you before… honor them by acting like they are an old friend! Make sure they sign up for your private studio open house so that you can grow your mailing list.
  9. Know the Law. Every state has consumer protection laws. Many craft or artisanal products have state regulations. Baked goods, soaps and lotions are just a few. There are also regulations for toys! Consumer Product Safety Regs
  10. Resources. State Farmers Market Listings Farmers Market Coalition National Farmers Market Association
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