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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default I need tips for selling honey at farmers market

    I finally got the news I wanted to hear about being able to sell my honey at a local farmers market in a well off neighborhood. The Store originally called of the farmers market but thankfully changed their mind and I desperately need the convenient spot that is right on my way to work so I can sit there for a couple hours a few days a week.

    I want to be able to pull up in my crew cab with a topper, set up shop in 10 minutes, and close down in ten minutes. I know there are easy pop up tents and all but all I think I need is a fold up table with a display pyramid, several size and styles of jars, and some sort of shade. That said I would really, really appreciate it if the pros here could give me some pointers on how to draw em in, and sell honey like its going out of style.

    I have heard a small ob hive works well. But how do I draw them in? Everyone is in a hurry these days to get in and out of the stores asap. I will obviously need some kind of eye candy to get them interested.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Freeland, Washington, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: I need tips for selling honey at farmers market

    My opinion is that it is all in the impression you make on the customers when they first see you. While being able to set up and tear down really quickly is nice, are you giving a really good image to your customers? I have a 10X10 (lucked out on a black and yellow one!) and I have my tables in an L on the outside. I try to get a corner when possible. I found that customers were often hesitant to come into the tent so using the outside works well for me. I always have an ulster observation hive in the corner of the L and it is a HUGE draw.Once I started doing the larger setup, my sales surged. It is WELL worth the extra time it takes to set up and break down. I would also advise that you get your own logo and have labels that look nothing like what others might sell. the customer will look for your jar the next time they need honey. If you use a standard label with just your name and address on it, they may get another honey with a similar label.
    Above all you, your space and your product must look professional.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: I need tips for selling honey at farmers market

    Island Apiaries you drove that nail home impression and cutomer svc means everything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,985

    Default Re: I need tips for selling honey at farmers market

    Sales at markets in general.
    You want your display to attract attention. Observation hives. It just looks good etc. Folks look around at sales and you want their eye to see something worth a closer look in your set up.

    Have you shared your plan to set up be their a couple of hours and then scoot with the promoter of the market? Many require you be there for all the hours of the sale for example. You may not have that problem if the promoter is having trouble filling space. Would be the first sign to me a market is not worth attending though. Remember it is the promoters job to bring you customers.

    When I think of a honey display I think of old and they look old wooden tables. checkered table cloths and nice looking containers that woudl make a presentation as a gift or setting on someones table at home. Lower priced or bulk honey can be sold but I woudl not want it up front and the first thing people see.

    Keep a display looking full but do not offer an over whelming variety. You don't want to look like you just drug a few jars of honey out of the garage and decided to try and sell them.

    Smile ans say good morning to everyone. Nod your head at them and ask how they are doing. many more will stop and look at your honey. they ask a question or two. They are already thinking "Do I want some honey"? all you need to do is help them decide the answer is yes. Listen for what they are thinking in what they say. are they looking for a gift? Are they really not a honey user but think they should be? Are they avid honey eaters and looking for a better price or product, more convenient source etc. Are they a honey producer interested in where to get those nice looking bottles? Many people get irritated with that one. I don't, they can get those bottles from me. at a slight mark up of course. Some will indicate interest in keeping bees. Be very friendly because word get around. Btu a sale always takes priority over a nice chat. Handle both without putting off either. include your buying customer int eh chat long enough to make the sale. People buy from people they like and they decide if they like you in about .025 seconds.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Arlington, OH, USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: I need tips for selling honey at farmers market

    This is our first year with farmers markets and we have learned TONS! Like the others say, professionalism speaks volumes. You have to present yourself that beekeeping is a passion. We already know it is, but you have to show it. Make your tent, table, and product about the bees. I don't think you have to make your honey look "giftish". We use 1lb bears and Qt. jars. There is a lady across the way from us who sells another beekeepers honey and rarely sells any. Her honey is in jars with a nice frilly cap covered in cloth. It is giftish. She doesn't know about the bees so she can't answer questions though. One thing we learned, and it was pure luck of the draw, having more than just raw honey on your table helps. My wife handles our wax products. She makes chap stick, candles, soap, and wax bars. But we also happened to tap for maple syrup in the off season for bees and have it on the table too. With all of this combined, we are doing very well. I am working on an observation hive. Members of our bee club have wrote off the farmers markets because they only sell about $20 a week in 3 hours. But with our variety of bee products and syrup, we do very well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Maumee, OH
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: I need tips for selling honey at farmers market

    Did you think about facebook.com that like thumb sings get's me a ton of sell's w all the smart phones that r out there, put it up and watch how meany will scan it and read it later than come back to buy.With all the people on facebook.com my sell's have taken off.
    Put your ear against a hive in January when it is -20 degrees. Hearing the hum is priceless to me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Freeland, Washington, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: I need tips for selling honey at farmers market

    Ohiobeek makes a REALLY good point. Having a variety of products really helps. I try to have 3 varieties of honey, a couple of infused honeys, candles ,wax and hand balms. I have had other beekeepers tell me that one of the markets I work was wasted time before I started there. they never made more than $50 on a good day. I regularly pull in $600-$1000 at that market. Another trick I use to get a draw to my booth is I give away 1 honey stick to each child at the first couple of markets at the season. the parents will more often than not buy a jar. the free sticks often end up in a sale of one of my 20 honey stick packs too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Dell Rapids, SD
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: I need tips for selling honey at farmers market

    It might not apply to all markets... But move your vehicle somewhere else.

    The booth next to us doesn't move theirs, and I wonder how many give up due to parking.

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