Selling at the Farmers’ Market

Selling at a farmers’ market is no easy task. A recent interview with Amiee Newsom, manager of the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market in Charlotte, North Carolina revealed the number one challenge driving vendor success.

It appears many vendors do not understand the importance of dressing their displays for success. It’s no secret people eat with their eyes, they are attracted to bright colors, delicious aromas, and samples, lots and lots of samples.

Anyone interested in selling at the Farmers Market should consider creating a display that entices visitors to buy. We know there will be an initial investment, but remember once you have made your money back, the rest is pure profit.

According to Newsom, a number of farmers selling meat rarely display their meat products, giving visitors a real reason to stop and ask about their products.

The market allows farmers to cook samples, have tastings and showcase the best they have to offer. Unfortunately, according to Newsom, many farmers don’t like change and simply refuse to display their meat on ice; using these packaged products for display only.

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Selling solutions?

When selling at the farmers market, create an engaging, colorful, deliciously attractive display. Even if you sell one Saturday a week, when you dress the display table for success you are bound to attract visitors.  Below are tips for dressing up your Farmers Market tent and display.

  • Use a tent that is easy to pop-up, especially if you are manning your display alone.
  • Consider using a colored tent top, so your tent stands out from the others.  When visitors come to the market you can say, “I the vendor with the blue tent top.”
  • Use a folding table that allows you to use risers so you are at eye level with the visitors. (Consider using a fitted tablecloth, so your tablecloth won’t blow away.)
  • Use chairs that allow you to be at eye level with the visitor. (A best practice is to stand when the visitor arrives at your display table, great them and engage.)
  • Dress your table using brand colors, or colors that compliment the foods on your table.
  • If your farmers’ market allows you to cook samples, use an electric skillet with a lid, (always serve the food) and offer samples highlighting the meats and/or vegetables you currently sell.
  • Create a themed display (country, down-home Southern, Gourmet) and use a food tent to keep away unwanted insects and tiny fingers.
  • Avoid using glass display products. (Use disposable/nonbreakable)
  • Use display holders so you can showcase individual products, prices and ingredient lists; or a portable A-Frame advertising display.
  • Wear T-Shirt that represent your company? (Caps, aprons and golf shirts are also nice)
  • Don’t forget those business cards.
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It never hurts to visit other farmers’ markets and see how vendors are dressing their displays for success.