How To Sell Foods at Farmers Markets

by north_america

Selling foods at farmers markets and flea markets.

Farmer's Market Food Sales

Selling produce or other foods at a Farmer's Market

Selling foods at local farmer's markets can be a rewarding and fun way to earn extra income. Most markets are open seasonally, with operation coinciding with local supply and demand.

Farmer's markets originally sold fruits, vegetables and other crops, with some markets also moving livestock, poultry and other goods.

Today's farmer's markets carry much more, including foods such as honey, cheese, organic produce, grass fed beef, local fish and seafood, herbs, flowers, crafts and other items.

Before selling items at a farmer's market, it is a good idea to check with local regulations, talk to other sellers and make a checklist.

In some cases, a business license or other permits may be required. Another regulatory issue could come into play if items are being sold by weight. In some areas, regulations require that weighing equipment be certified if a vendor is weighing items during the selling process.

Depending on the type of goods that will be sold, bags, boxes, ice or other supplies may also be necessary.

farmers market vegetables
farmers market vegetables

Products to Sell at Farmer's Markets

Fruits, Vegetables, Plants, Prepared Foods

Vendors, farmers, homestead gardeners and food enthusiasts sell a wide range of items at farmer's markets. These are a few of the most popular selling items:

Produce

 - tomatoes

 - peppers

 - squash

 - corn

 - lima beans

 - string beans

 - turnips

 - greens

 - onions

 - peaches

 - apples

 - plums

 - pears

 - grapes

 - pumpkins

Other Items

 - baked goods

 - honey

 - eggs

 - cheeses

 - farm animals

Tips for Pricing and Selling Produce

How to sell vegetables, fruits and other goods.

Choosing a pricing policy is important when selling items at farmer's markets, flea markets, or other community events.

In many cases, local competition is a factor in setting prices. A variety of other factors may also influence prices.

Vendors must decide of they are willing to negotiate on prices or barter for goods. In some areas, bartering is an important cultural tradition and vendors that don't mind negotiating can increase sales.

The perishability of items may also weigh heavily on pricing. If supply exceeds demand and products have a limited shelf life, it may be worthwhile to sell at cost or even lower in order to attract client to the booth.

The concept of selling off excess goods at little or no profit is as old as marketing itself. In some cases, a no-profit item can bring a steady stream of buyers to a supplier. Most shoppers are receptive to buying several items, so clearance sales are a good time to showcase a few high-profit items.

Farmers Markets Books

Farmer's Market 2017 Wall Calendar

Each month of Farmer’s Market 2017 Wall Calendar features exquisitely detailed and hand-colored renderings of seasonal produce, such as cherries, eggplants, and winter squash; h...

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Cooking from the Farmers' Market

The oft-heard mantra, “Eat Seasonally, Locally, and Organically” need not be daunting. Nor should eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farme...

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Gaining Ground: A Story Of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, And Saving The Family Farm

One fateful day in 1996, after discovering that five freight cars' worth of glittering corn have reaped a tiny profit of $18.16, young Forrest Pritchard vows to save his family'...

View on Amazon

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Updated: 09/05/2015, north_america
 
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happynutritionist on 09/05/2015

My husband and I love driving around on the weekends and stopping either at farmers markets or smaller stands where people put up a table in their yard and just sell extras from their gardens on the "honor system", a price is written and you put the money in a box. We came home with some delicious jersey corn last weekend!

cazort on 10/27/2013

I also love Farmer's markets; I have experience both from the inside and outside--I regularly shop at them, but I also have worked at a Bakery's stand in the Lancaster, PA central market. The bakery I worked at, Ric's Bread, sold a large portion of its breads at farmer's markets, mainly the Lancaster one but I think they sold in Reading too and at at least one market in Philly.

Selling clearance items can be great, but I think it's important to set the threshold for clearance carefully. For example, at the bakery we sold day-old bread for half-price, but we were also very careful to manage the supply and stocks so that we weren't regularly running out of the same types of bread. If you always make too much, and it's always available at half-price, you can lose profits if people who like the products start always buying them on sale.

Watching your stocks carefully and setting the supply and price so that your products normally sell out or come very close to it is ideal...then you can use the sales to clear out the leftover odds and ends.

RhondaAlbom on 06/08/2011

I love shopping at farmer's market.

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