Honesty Stands
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Thread: Honesty Stands

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    228

    Default Honesty Stands

    Anybody have any experience selling out of an honesty stand? I don't have the time to man a booth at the farmers market, but would still like to move some honey. I would love to see some pics or hear words of advice from you all. my backyard backs up to open space with a hiking trail running along it. I was thinking of using a little free library type enclosure with a cash box bolted to it. let me know what you think!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    John Day River, OR
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    Location Location Location.
    We love ours. It has worked really well for us. Our local customers love it. They know they can always get honey when they run out. The tourist traffic loves it.
    We are in a really rural area. Very low crime-rates. Good neighbors. And a fair bit of summer tourist traffic. A couple of the bed and breakfasts and hotels regularly tell guests to check us out. We have good signage near the road and our stand is just a little ways off the road.

    Ours is a bit more than a little free library. I built a shed on top of a 4x8ft trailer. One side opens to visitors. There is a lot of shelf space to accommodate several size containers as well as candles, lip balm, and salve. There is also an observation hive built in. We also put a few back-issues of the bee journal in there for interested people as well as pictures of us and our bees, information, bio.... Lots of educational material. Recently I added an old bee log outside to look at and an old galvanized hand crank extractor.
    Ill try to upload some photos later. I am really proud of how it has worked out.

    Generally it is just an honor stand but If i am home and notice someone there I will often go talk to them, make change,...
    Change IS something to think about. Either make your prices easy for exact change, or offer something like honeysticks that people can use to make the prices even out.
    We did daily inventories for the first season and found that people are almost always honest. Since then, we try to track a general sales figure but we don't worry about it too much.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Shelby, Missouri USA
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    AA, please do post pictures. I would be interested in seeing what you are describing. It sounds very well thought out.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,406

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    My system is MUCH more basic.16939499_420633424941965_3725600762485716699_n (1) (1).jpg

    I took some spare 2x4's and decking material and made a small roadside stand. I made a small wooden box with a slot in it for cash, laminated a few pieces of paper with clearly identified prices and stapled it to the sides.

    It has been up and running since February. Everyone told me I was going to have everything stolen. I had one occasion about a month ago where a single pint jar went missing. Two days ago the cash appeared in the box, with an additional penny, which I can only assume was "interest." No other incidents.

    I don't provide change. I tell them exact change in the box, or checks. I price my items so you should be able to buy with exact change ($7 lb., $10 pint, $20 quart). My prices will probably need to go up soon, so that may change.

    First day I put it up I figured no one would know what it was (I'm waiting for the wood to dry out fully before I paint it). Day two I sold out of everything on the stand (only about $100 worth of stuff, but still). Since then I have good days where three or four bottles will be sold, and stretches of a week where no one will get anything. It fluctuates, but usually I'll sell about $400-800 a month. For no work, that's good enough for me right now. That's in addition to web presence, of course.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,773

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    I recently got a video doorbell and turned the electrical cabinet next to it into a self serve cabinet. I can communicate with the customers over my smartphone if they ring the doorbell when I am not at home. I quickly made a few sales out of it. I leave a few envelopes inside with instructions to drop payment into my mail slot which keeps the cash secure.


  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,015

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    Speacialk.....
    That is about what I have in mind. I am in a rural enough place that I won't get much drive by but people talk and I don't care. My wife says let them knock on the door but I like this better. Do you worry about too much sun on the hot days or anything like that?
    I like it.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    John Day River, OR
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    I will be the first to acknowledge that our stand is WAY beyond what is necessary. But is also AWESOME and a lot of fun.

    I built ours with a few things in mind. First I wanted to be able to display lots of inventory. Second, we have always made education a part of our business, so I wanted to be able to include pictures, artwork and the like. Third, i really love observation hives and found that I was frequently bringing customers into the house to look at the one in our Kitchen, which was a habit I wanted to break. I also really want to make it clear to people that when they buy honey from us, they are buying direct from a real beekeeper, and also a growing family business. Lastly, our region has been trying to develop more agri-tourism opportunities. We fully intend to be part of this movement. The honeystand is a nice way of providing an Agri-tourism element in a quick stopover kind of way. In the future, we might host tasting events as well but for now its just the honey stand.

    So here is a link to a photo album of some of the features. And a little about why we did things the way we did. I might get carried away here. If the photo link doesnt work let me know.

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/pq33r5

    The Bat-n-Board style siding was built using rough sawn pine from a local mill. There are a lot of old barns and sheds in the area and I wanted to go for that look.
    The main display side has two big swinging doors. The observation hive is on the left and most of the education related stuff. The right side has most of the honey inventory. And a Pay slot on the back wall. For some reason people have trouble finding it (we recently changed the signage and havent had an issue since then). But sometimes we find wads of bills under a jar of honey, or under a rock, or in the smoker.... When we have comb honey, we put it in a cooler. heat can be an issue. Chunk honey seems to be ok on the shelf though. We put candles and wax products in rubbermaid tubs and tupperware. You really dont want them getting dusty. Unfortunately it makes them less noticeable but it does keep things cleaner. I might eventually build a showcase display for those items with a sign saying look in the tubs.
    On the other side is another smaller door with access to the observation hive. Whenever I have to do work to the observation hive, I do it from this side. But there is a nice little step so kids can climb up and take a closer look. We used to put some inventory back here as well but it goes unnoticed a lot of the time.
    On the very Back is another door with a padlock on it. This is a really nice storage space for additional inventory. Its also where the money goes after its placed in the slot, which means if I am home I can open it up to make change for people.

    No doubt it is a pretty extravagant set-up. But this actually constitutes the bulk of our sales.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Shelby, Missouri USA
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    AA, I agree that is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    3,406

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    Do you worry about too much sun on the hot days or anything like that?
    I put an ad on craigslist that told them to tell me what they want and I'll leave it on the rocking chair on my front porch. I think I sold one or two that way. So I put a small table on my front porch with instructions on it, told people to come whenever they want. A few did, but not many. So I moved it out to the honey stand and sales went off from there.

    I don't worry about sun. They only stay out there a few days till they're sold. Only put out what you think you can sell in a busy day.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,015

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    SpecialK.....
    Thank you for answering my question and your expanded explination of the things you have done was also very helpfull in my mind.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Craig County, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    After up and running better I may take some of these ideas and run. Ideas of the less extravagant stand. I've thought about doing before with eggs and such. Both could at the same time win win.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    1,351

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    Apricot, what did you do to get them to finally get them to see the money slot?
    We have a large population of migrant workers that hit our stand and I was thinking maybe do it in Spanish?
    we were having problems just getting the people to open the door of the stand.
    With photo bucket going pay I will see if I can get a new account.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    John Day River, OR
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    Minz,
    We originally had a simple "please place money in slot" sign above the slot. It was Red paper with white lettering. I thought it was pretty clear, but I seemed to encounter a lot of confused people. Now there is a sign with big bold lettering, some arrows, and a bold red outline around the slot. About as close to bright flashing lights as we could get without actually having bright flashing lights. And we added a sign on inside of the door (near one of the common places people like to leave money), telling people to look for the slot on the wall.
    We have a sign on the outside door that says "open, look inside" and looks pretty inviting. We also have flyer at a couple of the local stores. The gals at our corner store know us pretty well and are nice enough to tell customers what to do (open the door, put money in the slot, enjoy....)
    If you have a lot of migrants where you are, spanish might not be a bad idea. Im sure it wouldn't hurt.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Woodbridge, VA (But planning to move to NW Louisiana soon)
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    Quote Originally Posted by ApricotApiaries View Post
    No doubt it is a pretty extravagant set-up. But this actually constitutes the bulk of our sales.
    That is a terribly cool set up. If I was ever in the area, it would be worth a detour to see in person and buy some of your products!

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Winter Garden, Fl
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    CL & Facebook Ads, some weeks good some slow. Motion Lights and two Cameras

    d.jpga.jpgb.jpgc.jpg

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,406

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    Looks good BobsBees

    One thing I'll mention, for whatever it's worth, when I started selling honey I got cheapo plastic bottles and cheap Mann Lake labels. Sales weren't so good. So I upgraded to the very nice, no drip lid plastic bottles, got a graphic design artist to create a logo and custom front/back label. A few people commented and said they really like the bottle/lid. But most friends that would ask for honey and I'd show up with the bottle gave me a perplexed look and said "Oh . . . I just expected some honey in a mason jar . . . I guess this'll do."

    From then I noticed people would hesitate at the honey stand, picking up the plastic bottle and thinking. Some put it down and left, most bought one though. So I said screw it, bought some pint and quart mason jars, filled them up and put them in the honey stand. Customers greatly prefer them. I usually sell more mason jars to pound jars 3 to 1.

    Your mileage may vary, but I always equated honey in a mason jar to be of "unknown purity or cleanliness" but for some reason people in my area equate a mason jar of honey to be the symbol of authentic. Go figure.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    1,351

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    Ok lets see if this new photo host website works Ok

    I got a bathroom vanity at Habitat for humanity. Painted the outside with enamel paint, got a quart of 'opps paint' at the Rhoda paint store.
    I think I am into it about $30
    Update: after looking at the picture this must have been just as it was up. I put on a handle with a ribbon and used a piece of T-111 siding for a top.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    309

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    Quote Originally Posted by minz View Post
    Ok lets see if this new photo host website works Ok

    I got a bathroom vanity at Habitat for humanity. Painted the outside with enamel paint, got a quart of 'opps paint' at the Rhoda paint store.
    I think I am into it about $30
    Update: after looking at the picture this must have been just as it was up. I put on a handle with a ribbon and used a piece of T-111 siding for a top.
    Great idea. Has your vanity been successful in selling your honey? Also, do you have a picture of the inside?

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,840

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    Quote Originally Posted by minz View Post
    Ok lets see if this new photo host website works Ok
    Minz used Postimg.org to host that photo (as did odfrank in post #5) and it works fine as you can see.

    If you are not familiar with images at Postimg.org, the photos above can be enlarged somewhat by clicking on it once, and then seen fullsize with a second click.

    And for more info on using Postimg.org with Beesource, see my comments here:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-forum-tips-**
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    1,351

    Default Re: Honesty Stands

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Arthur View Post
    Great idea. Has your vanity been successful in selling your honey? Also, do you have a picture of the inside?

    I usually sell out in about a month. I have a sign on the highway and you can see the stand from where you turn onto the road.
    I had a migrant worker ring the bell to day and ask about honey. that is the second set of people this year that when I told them to open the door they asked if I was serious.
    I need to post 'open door, select product' just above 'put money in slot'
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

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