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Old March 12, 2018   #1
FourOaks
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Default How many Markets do you sell at..

Just curious how many markets everyone else sells at, and if you have other options?


For me, this year I have a couple new options. For the first time, I will have access to 4 Markets. All for the taking. Heres the break down..

Sat. AM - Market "A", this is my new year round market.

Tue. PM - Market "B", this is my original Sat. market that I am leaving, but they are now having an evening market.

Wed. AM - Market "C", this is another new to me market.

Wed. PM - Market "A", back to market A for the evening crowd.


Now as stated Market A is open every Saturday. The other 3 options are only open during the warmer season. For the most part, June thru Oct.


I dont have a real plan at the moment, as growing that many plants and produce is a monumental task for a single person. But, you never know what can happen until you try, right? Also, these markets are informal and have little to no fees. Show up and sell your wares. So if a seller misses a week or 2, then the only money your missing is what you might have made selling.

So.. what would be your personal limit?
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Old March 13, 2018   #2
imp
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Not a market gardener/farmer, but a few things to think about would be how long is each market open for, the traffic at each ( do the weekday markets pay enough to set up?), safety, parking and ease of access at each market for both you and the customers, economics of each area.

Wishing you the best of luck, how ever you choose and great success.
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Old March 13, 2018   #3
Cole_Robbie
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I was at two a week for a while, but went back to just one. Everyone's area is different, but the one big market near me is bigger than all of the others combined. I think you just have to go and feel it out. Another difference about my big market is the customers. It is next to a university and we get a lot of people with disposable income who are happy to pay more for a premium product. At the other markets near me, the customers tend to be senior citizens on a very fixed income who are looking to save money compared to the grocery store. That doesn't mean you can't make money at a market like that, but you have to be good at growing basic staples of produce to sell at a low price.
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Old March 13, 2018   #4
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Not a market gardener/farmer, but a few things to think about would be how long is each market open for, the traffic at each ( do the weekday markets pay enough to set up?), safety, parking and ease of access at each market for both you and the customers, economics of each area.

Wishing you the best of luck, how ever you choose and great success.

All very good points. I have never done a weekday market, so it would be a definite change of scenery.

All of the Markets have varying hours. My Saturday Market, the typical 4 hours. Tue. Market 2 Hours (but is literally 10 minutes away) Wed. AM Market is 6 Hours, and the Wed. PM is TBD. I want to say 3 hours??

Traffic wise, Sat. and Wed. PM Mkt. is in the downtown. Older part of a decent size city with a lot of foot traffic. From what I am told, and what I have seen from my visit there last Sat. with my wife, everybody is on foot. Lots of homes nearby.

Tues. Mkt. is in a small park of a small town. Most folks drive and there is good parking. If the customer base is anything like the Sat. Mkt (this is the Mkt. I started selling at) then there is good potential. Even if it is only 2 hours. Its super close by, so drive time is negligible. Hopefully they plan to advertise, so the customers KNOW that there is a Tues. Mkt.

The Wed AM Mkt. is in a Church Parking Lot of a VERY busy rd. Loads and loads of cars drive by. I have driven past it numerous times the last few Summers, and it seems hit or miss. Sometimes it looks swamped with customers, other times not. But then that IS in my experience how the Market goes. Seems like the customers come all at once, then nothing. I know a vendor who sells there, and they confirm this to be pretty much the case. Last Summer they invited me to come setup.

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Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
I was at two a week for a while, but went back to just one. Everyone's area is different, but the one big market near me is bigger than all of the others combined. I think you just have to go and feel it out. Another difference about my big market is the customers. It is next to a university and we get a lot of people with disposable income who are happy to pay more for a premium product. At the other markets near me, the customers tend to be senior citizens on a very fixed income who are looking to save money compared to the grocery store. That doesn't mean you can't make money at a market like that, but you have to be good at growing basic staples of produce to sell at a low price.

I understand what your saying. My new Mkt. is in the City and from what I have seen, its more of the "Hipster-Chic-Foodie-Organic-Microgreens" crowd. So that is diametrically opposed to what I am used to. I am trying to diversify a bit this year, and see where it goes. Last year I tried Tomatillos at my old Mkt. I almost couldnt give them away. But Im hoping that my new Mkt. will be all over them.


Funny you would mention about having the Mkt at the College. We have a Mkt here on the Campus. I have spoke to the person who runs it, and looked at the Application. I really have no interest in it. It is micro-managed to the point of absurdity. For example, on the application you have to have an itemized list of EXACTLY the produce you are selling. If you bring something else, you are asked to remove the items.


That actually happened to my vendor friend. They brought in something? I think Summer Squash, and evidently they didnt take the application serious. The lady who runs it, was doing an "inspection" and whipped out their application, pointing out that no where did they indicate that they would bring Summer Squash. Needless to say, they simply packed up and went home


I guess you could just write down every vegetable and fruit that you can think of, to cover the bases.
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Old March 13, 2018   #5
Marcus1
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I have my own market or produce stand which ever you want to call it. This will be season no. 23 for our farm and wouldn't do it any other way. We are open every day but Monday from about July 15 to Oct 15. I don't have to worry about competing with other vendors that want to sell their stuff cheap, or spend time hauling, setting up or taking down. I have a walk in cooler so vegs are picked in the morning and cooled and have 2 swamp coolers running in the stand so vegs stay fresher and customers are more comfortable. Probably the thing that pleases me the most is the relationships we have developed with our customers, small children from when we started are now bringing their children to our stand and on the flip side, the hardest part, watching customers decline or suffer loses in their lives. We had a bad storm on August 3, 2013, total destruction of the vegs, minutes after the storm had passed customers showed up and were asking what they could do to help. They started what they called a seed fund, against my wishes, and raised a lot of money. But probably the most moving part was a church group of about 30 volunteers, from 8-80 years old, showed up and cleared my field in about 3 hours. We have truly been blessed and I consider myself one of the lucky few that are doing what they were meant to do. We have a Facebook page called Chapmans Produce if anyone wants to visit. Not a lot on it, always too busy, but am hoping to do better in the future.

Good luck
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Old March 13, 2018   #6
FourOaks
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Glad to hear everything worked out Marcus.


I seriously considered selling from my driveway, and have on a very limited basis. I just keep seesawing back and forth on the idea of selling from my home.


Grant it, if anyone asks, I tell them to just call me and make sure I am around, if they want to stop by.
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Old March 13, 2018   #7
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I sell from a roadside stand. I have a cooler and it is enclosed and airconditioned to keep the veg. fresher longer/better. I also sell at 2 Saturday markets and a Wed. market. it is a lot of work packing up unpacking and setting up. I also bake for the markets. I do not sell on Sunday.
Marcus, what an awesome story!
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Old March 13, 2018   #8
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Right now we sell at 2 Sat markets and a Wed. DH does the Sat market 5 miles from home so he can do some farm work afterward. I sell at 2 markets in Madison that are 85 miles away, Sat and Wed.The Sat West Bend market (DH) is from 7:30 - 11. The Madison Sat is from 6 - 2, tho often sellers leave any time after noon if they are sold out or traffic is too slow. Wed is from 8 - 2 on paper but it's really 8:30 - 1:30 because you can't come in til they close the street at 8 and you have to be totally packed up when they reopen the street at 2.

That market that is for only 2 hours wouldn't seem worthwhile to me. Too much work setting up and tearing down for only 2 hours of possible sales. In the winter we do a market indoors that is from 8-noon and that seems too short for the work.

Carol
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Old March 13, 2018   #9
FourOaks
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Originally Posted by clkeiper View Post
I sell from a roadside stand. I have a cooler and it is enclosed and airconditioned to keep the veg. fresher longer/better. I also sell at 2 Saturday markets and a Wed. market. it is a lot of work packing up unpacking and setting up. I also bake for the markets. I do not sell on Sunday.
Marcus, what an awesome story!
All that, and you bake? Goodness.

I can appreciate the work. Couple of years ago, along with the crops, I would make and take fresh Mozz. It would take all day Friday to make enough cheese.

Food is a ridiculous amount of work.

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Right now we sell at 2 Sat markets and a Wed. DH does the Sat market 5 miles from home so he can do some farm work afterward. I sell at 2 markets in Madison that are 85 miles away, Sat and Wed.The Sat West Bend market (DH) is from 7:30 - 11. The Madison Sat is from 6 - 2, tho often sellers leave any time after noon if they are sold out or traffic is too slow. Wed is from 8 - 2 on paper but it's really 8:30 - 1:30 because you can't come in til they close the street at 8 and you have to be totally packed up when they reopen the street at 2.

That market that is for only 2 hours wouldn't seem worthwhile to me. Too much work setting up and tearing down for only 2 hours of possible sales. In the winter we do a market indoors that is from 8-noon and that seems too short for the work.

Carol
85 Miles is quite the haul, congrats on making that work.


I think there could be a purpose for the 2 Hour Mkt, mainly when there is the always expected harvest glut. When you simply have too much to move at one Mkt, save it for the next. Well, what will keep for a few days anyways.


It might be a good way to get rid of the excess, and put some cash in my pocket. Like I said, its very close by. I think, if I could streamline my setup, very minimalist, it could work.


But nothing is set in stone.
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Old March 13, 2018   #10
BigVanVader
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1 market 1 co-op. With these I sell all I can produce. If I go full time at some point I would add another mid week market.
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Old March 13, 2018   #11
Cole_Robbie
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Funny you would mention about having the Mkt at the College. We have a Mkt here on the Campus. I have spoke to the person who runs it, and looked at the Application. I really have no interest in it. It is micro-managed to the point of absurdity. For example, on the application you have to have an itemized list of EXACTLY the produce you are selling. If you bring something else, you are asked to remove the items.


That actually happened to my vendor friend. They brought in something? I think Summer Squash, and evidently they didnt take the application serious. The lady who runs it, was doing an "inspection" and whipped out their application, pointing out that no where did they indicate that they would bring Summer Squash. Needless to say, they simply packed up and went home


I guess you could just write down every vegetable and fruit that you can think of, to cover the bases.
I am almost positive that policy is illegal. It is similar to price-fixing as an illegal restraint upon trade. Telling you what you can charge is the same as telling you what you can sell. They have policies like that so they can make sure to not let in anyone who is competing with their current vendors by selling the same product. It is protectionist and anti-competitive. I think a judge would laugh at them for being so ridiculous, but no one is going to sue over some squash, so I guess it is a moot point.
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Old March 13, 2018   #12
FourOaks
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I am almost positive that policy is illegal. It is similar to price-fixing as an illegal restraint upon trade. Telling you what you can charge is the same as telling you what you can sell. They have policies like that so they can make sure to not let in anyone who is competing with their current vendors by selling the same product. It is protectionist and anti-competitive. I think a judge would laugh at them for being so ridiculous, but no one is going to sue over some squash, so I guess it is a moot point.
I agree with you. Its utterly ridiculous. After my Vendor friend confirmed that the market is ran with an iron fist, I knew it wasnt for me.


Speaking of price fixing.... Where I grew up is a moderately sized Market. Maybe 50-60 vendors? Something like that. Anyhow, all the vendors have nearly identical produce with identical prices. Sure, this vendor might have peaches, and that vendor might have apples, but every vendor that has the basics, Tomatoes, Peppers, Beans, Squash, etc, has nearly identical products, and identical prices. I dont know if they have an unspoken rule, or maybe an enforcer with a baseball bat, but it is what it is.
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Old March 13, 2018   #13
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1 market 1 co-op. With these I sell all I can produce. If I go full time at some point I would add another mid week market.
Gotta keep producing. Remember, grass is a waste of space.


When I first started selling, I only had the the 1 Market as a viable option. In the last couple of years my options have certainly opened up.


At this point, I would definitely consider what I do, full time.
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Old March 13, 2018   #14
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I agree with you. Its utterly ridiculous. After my Vendor friend confirmed that the market is ran with an iron fist, I knew it wasnt for me.


Speaking of price fixing.... Where I grew up is a moderately sized Market. Maybe 50-60 vendors? Something like that. Anyhow, all the vendors have nearly identical produce with identical prices. Sure, this vendor might have peaches, and that vendor might have apples, but every vendor that has the basics, Tomatoes, Peppers, Beans, Squash, etc, has nearly identical products, and identical prices. I dont know if they have an unspoken rule, or maybe an enforcer with a baseball bat, but it is what it is.
this sounds like the West Side Market in Cleveland OH... go and you will find every vendor with practically the same produce.

Yes, I bake. I bake bread and cookies for the markets. I started with it when I started markets to fill the tables and not that I really have time but I still bake all day Tuesday and all day Friday for the two markets... and I make Jam in the Fall as soon as I am done with markets.
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Old March 13, 2018   #15
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I would love to do something on a small scale when I retire. Maybe just set up and sell plants at a couple of sales in spring and/or a small parking lot market for my extra veggies in the summer. I admire the work you must put into this to do it on a large enough scaled to make it a full time job, for little money. You guys rock. I love my local farmers markets.
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