Successful Farmers Market Tips Part 3: Market Day
By the eve of market day there’s a good chance you’re pretty tired from all of the work you’ve already put into finding markets and designing your stand, but it’s about to pay off – finally. The first day at the market is busy and may be slightly nerve racking, but you know what? Market day can actually be the easiest part, and it’s a fun way to make money. All you have to do is be nice, personable and leave your customers and fellow vendors with a positive experience.
We’ll assume that by market day you’ve already practiced setting up your stand, because this is always more stressful than anticipated and issues inevitably will arise. Once your tent is set up at the market, you should immediately create an atmosphere of friendliness. Introduce yourself to fellow vendors, and make sure that you are always at your stand when customers are around to welcome them. You’ll want them to feel comfortable asking questions and interacting with you, so it is essential to be helpful, but not overbearing. Similarly to how customers want information about the produce or products that they buy, they also want to know about the person or people that make them. The ability to have customers connect either a face or conversation to a product can be invaluable, and as a vendor at a farmers market it is one of your biggest advantages over supermarkets.
- Good Nonverbal communication includes: smiling, good posture, neat appearance, eye contact, acknowledging and affirming gestures, appropriate facial expressions and giving the customer your full attention.
- Bad Nonverbal Communication includes: slouching, talking on the phone or texting, smoking or taking frequent breaks, arms crossed, closed off and unwelcoming body language, fidgeting and lack of eye contact.
You’ll also want customers to feel confident that they will be able to get their goods home safely. Nobody is going to want to spend money at a stand if the items they purchased are damaged by the time they get home, so take the time to package your products properly. This will also save you money in the long run, because customers won’t be seeking refunds on flawed items. Getting packaging with your name or logo on it can be a good marketing technique, and should definitely be considered.
Getting face to face with your customers separates you from chain superstores, but one of their major advantages is convenience. These stores are well labeled and have their products already packaged. It’s a great idea for you to have some products that are already weighed – when applicable – and packaged. This allows those that are in a rush to get home the opportunity to get in and out or provides the parents that have had a long day entertaining their children with a quick stop before dinner. You may also want to experiment with packaging different products together. This can help you to move less popular items and also turn customers on to something they would have never normally bought.
So far we’ve really only focused on the customers, but you’re also going to have to be aware of the other vendors. Farmers markets are interesting in that you have to work with and alongside the competition to succeed, so be friendly and develop relationships with these vendors. They’ll be able to help you out when you have a job that requires an extra set of hands or maybe even give you tips on succeeding in a particular market.
The most important economical aspect of a farmers market is that nobody undercuts the other vendors. These markets are able to exist, because vendors sell their products at a fair price for both themselves and the customer. Once a vendor comes in and undercuts the other vendors, the viability of the entire market is in jeopardy. Do not be this person. Instead, offer free samples or come up with creative ways to lure customers in, and also be aware of any other vendors selling their goods at prices that are too low.
As we end our look into farmers markets, it’s important to take time to realize that partaking in a farmers market is work, but it’s also a way to contribute to the community and have a good time. You’re actively building and participating in the community, and you can create beneficial relationships with customers and vendors alike. Sure, running a business is unavoidably stressful, but you get to enjoy the weather and share the products that you’ve put hard work into with gracious and appreciative individuals. You’re helping to create a sustainable community that has positive environmental and economical implications.
These tips certainly are not a sure-fire way to have a successful stand, but they can point you in the right direction or maybe even improve your current stand. Hopefully you’ve learned something, and we wish that all your hard work leads to success at future farmers markets.