For those of you who are new to the market scene we wanted to put together a few pointers that will help you on your way to effective and profitable trading. We are very grateful to Juliet Bateman from Over The Moon Organic Cheeses for compiling this wonderful set of inside perspectives. Juliet has been successfully trading her delectable handmade dairy products through farmers markets for over 15 years now so whatever she has to say has to be worth listening to...
Every producer has a story about how they got started, who was involved, how they progressed to get to where they are now - and customers love to hear about it. Make sure your customers can find out about you and your unique story by a display at your stall with photos, etc. and facebook page is great idea to keep in touch with your regulars and an easy way to reach lots of people.
Having an extra marquee set up directly in front of your stall is a great idea - it offers shade to customers in summer (especially if the ground is bitumen) and shelter from rain in winter - and the more people milling around in front of your stall often encourages more sales.
Read through the guidelines for market stalls put out by the local council and make sure you abide by them. The local Environmental Health Officers call by the market unannounced for regular checks. Be nice to them, they can be very helpful, most are very approachable and are simply doing their job.
ga('create', 'UA-45357753-1', 'leedervillefarmers.com.au');
Be creative with your stall display. For example, if you have uninteresting polystyrene boxes try covering them with hessian for a rustic look, or maybe bring along a haybale, or some other authenic farm props to jazz up your stall. It's purely up to your imagination. There are plenty of ideas that you can employ to make the customer experience better. Brainstorm with your family and acquaintences
If you have a multiple space stall, purchase a 'gutter' to go between the marquees to prevent rain gushing onto your customers - they generally don't like getting a quick soaking!
Visit other markets when you can - it's always interesting to see how other market stallholders present themselves, and what ideas they have used to sell their products.
It's worthwhile checking if an eftpos machine would be of advantage - customers often run out of cash at a market because there are so many great things to buy. Having an eftpos offers an alternative to cash and often people spend more if they are using a card rather than cash.
Give some thought to value adding to your product, and working in with other producers to promote what you have brought to market e.g. recipes for customers that use a number of ingredients found at the market.
Allow plenty of time to get to your allocated space, set up and get organised before the market starts - there is nothing worse than starting the day under pressure and feeling frazzled.
Make an effort to get to know other stall holders. Much can be learnt from hearing about their experiences in primary production and how they go about getting their products to market.
Stay in touch with your market coordinator and ask about promotion of the market. Maybe you are able to add your products to the farmers market website, or feature in a weekly customer newsletter if there is one. Is there anything you can do to promote the market? The more people know about it the market, the more customers you will have.
Have your prices clearly displayed.