How to sell at a farmers market
Show up early. Show up at the market early enough to set up without feeling rushed. This could be any where from 30 minutes to an hour and a half before the market starts. If you are not ready when customers start to arrive, they may not come to your stand.
Free samples. Customers love free samples, especially of baked goods or fresh fruit or vegetables they have never tried before. It provides an opportunity for you to draw customers in and start a conversation with them. This can also fill extra space on your table if needed.
Recipes. Provide recipes, especially for vegetables that are not as common or for vegetables the customer could buy on bulk. For instance, a recipe for cucumber pickles might inspire customers to buy a larger quantity. People also love ideas for new meat recipes. Farmers can suggest what other items compliment different meat cuts.
Attend all the markets. Try to be consistent by attending all markets and staying until the market is done. Customers will be looking for you and you do not want to disappoint them!
Label the produce. Make signs for all the products on your tables. Some customers are timid about asking what a certain vegetable or meat product is. Many customers tend to shop around for the best prices and if you do not have prices marked, they might not consider your products.
Bring your best produce. The produce that looks the best will make the most appealing looking stand.
Make big piles of produce. An overflowing basket of squash will catch the eye of customer more easily than a basket with only one or two squash. Bring extra non-perishable items so that when the perishable vegetables are sold out, you can still fill the stand with produce that you do not have to worry about spoiling.
Glass cases for meat, poultry, and dairy. Farmers who sell meat and dairy products have the added challenge of refrigeration. Think about investing in chilled glass cases that could keep the products cool but at the same time you can display them nicely. This could just be a showcase and you could have other coolers where the product for sale is stored.
Pricing. Pricing appropriately at the market can be challenging, you want to ensure that you are making a reasonable profit and the same time not overcharging, causing customers to walk away. Do not undercharge, it will not help your finances and you might upset other vendors at the market. It is fine to change prices throughout the season or based on availability. Charging higher prices at the beginning of the harvest of a certain crop is a good time to make a little extra money.
Provide shade. Make sure you have shade for vegetables that can wilt or meat that could spoil, either a tent or an umbrella. Also watch how the sun shifts during the market, you may need to adjust the umbrella or tent. The customers will also enjoy shade from the sun or a place to escape during a sudden rainstorm.