Selling at a farmers market is a great way to introduce your company and products to your local market. Most markets have a good size crowd, costs to rent space are low, and most times you are immediately paid in cash. Having direct contact with your customers will also provide you with valuable feedback about existing or new products.
- Buy an EZ up tent with the canopy attached. These tents take only a few minutes to setup and are perfect for farmers markets. You can buy these for under $100 so it’s a good place to start.
- Make sure you have enough disposable gloves and a pair of tongs to handle all single piece items, such as cupcakes, muffins, or brownies, for example.
- Use a regular tablecloth not one of the tight-fitting kind. This will allow you to store items under your table.
- Many customers appreciate small disposable containers for their baked goods to protect them from getting smashed or crushed. Be sure to include a sticker with your company name, website, etc.
- Don’t forget the hand towels or rolls of paper towels for cleanup.
- Many customers will want to eat their purchase immediately so it’s a good idea to have some napkins, plates, and disposable utensils.
- Sample, sample, sample. Having a large number of samples readily available Can really help boost your sales. Some people will try it out, then leave without purchasing it, only to come back later and say it was too good to pass up. In the case of my brownies, for example, I will typically cut off the edges and use those for the samples.
If your selling pastries you can use the imperfect ones, such as those that have a corner that has been burned or that did not rise just perfectly, etc. After removing the flaws, you now have usable samples from materials that you were going to throw away.
- Bring some bags for people who purchase larger quantities. Be sure the bags are labeled with your company name, website, etc. As people walk around the fair they will be advertising your business for you. You can use a cheap printer and some Avery labels.
- Bring a little trashcan or plastic bag for garbage.
- Bring cash in small bills for change. Many customers will want to use larger bills and you’ll need to provide change. You can also use Paypal, Zelle, CashApp, etc. Check these out ahead of time and have it downloaded to your phone and ready.
Keep in mind that this is a good time to market your business and let people know who you are. Buying a few large signs with your company name and contact information is well worth the investment. I also recommend printing some business cards so that customers and potential customers know how to reach you after the event.
If you have experience selling at farmers markets, please share your thought below.
For more detailed information about starting to sell at these types of markets download this PDF from the farmers market coalition.