Selling honey at the farmers market is a great way to help pay for your hobby. Many can say it's pretty “buzzin”. Even if you have no experience with selling, or the farmers market in general, don’t worry, we have some tips and experience to help you.
Farmers markets are pretty laid back. Also, your booth may be one of the most popular ones if there are no other honey booths around. People love local, raw honey due to the many benefits it has. So be sure to promote that fact through signage and also what you tell them.
Before you start selling honey products, however, you should research any local laws, as well as talk to the people in charge of the Farmers Market. They can be a big help to you, and can let you know if there will be other vendors selling honey.
So here are 10 tips to help you out at the farmer’s market:
- Sell Locally
Selling locally is a great way to be able to sell your honey. People love local honey like we stated above. When Harvest Lane sold honey at farmers markets, the times we sold out the most was whenever we sold locally. This is also a great way to be able to get your honey and name out there in your community. Most of the time, if someone finds a local honey vendor they like, you usually have a lifelong customer who will tell their friends and family about your amazing honey.
- Bee Friendly
“Beeing” friendly never hurts anyone. In fact, it can help you. Being friendly to the customers, other vendors, and other beekeepers that are selling honey is a great mindset to have. Some folks might think that in order to be successful at the farmers market, you have to come in with an aggressive mindset. Well, that's not true at all. Most people that are selling are pretty laid back and positive people who are there to share their products or get rid of extra produce. So be nice, smile, and who knows, you might make a couple of new friends in the process.
- Research Local Honey and Selling Laws
Before you start selling honey, try reaching out to the proper authorities who deal with selling at the farmers markets. This is just to be safe that everything is good for you to be able to sell honey. In some states like Washington, people who want to sell honey have to reach out to the FDA. So make sure you're doing everything right before you start.
- Let the Customers Come to You
Customers that are shopping at the farmers market are pretty laid back people, so your selling technique should be as well. So, instead of shouting “HONEY, WE HAVE HONEY FOR SELL”. Try just saying hi to people and smiling. Usually, this does the trick. It also might help to offer some free tasting samples.
- Selling Honey That Represents You
People always thought that the way to look into someone's soul was looking into their eyes. Well, this is also true about how you show off your honey. Just kidding, but people do judge how you present your honey. If you are a simple person, then make the honey simple by just making honey bears, with a simple logo sticker on it. If you like making it beautiful, then go all crazy by making glass bottles and sealing them with wax. The choice is yours! Just remember to do something that represents you and your bees, because that's how people are going to judge your honey when buying your product.
- Stand Out
Something we've noticed when selling at farmers markets is that vendors usually do better when they stand out. When Harvest Lane Honey first started selling at farmers markets, one thing that made us stand out was we had large signs printed with our name and what we sold. We also had tablecloths that were bright colors that would attract people to our booth. When going to the farmers market, other vendors' booths tend to camouflage with one another because they all look the same. When someone has bright colors, or something that's eye-catching, that's when people want to go over there. So try to stand out!
- Keep It Simple
One thing that we also noticed when selling at the farmers market is that customers get distracted easily. For example, if you have too many options with different products, people will tend to overthink and end up not buying anything. So stick with selling maybe 2-3 different products when just starting out. You can always add more later, especially if customers are requesting something specific.
- Contact Information
Remember when we said that by selling locally you can have a lifelong customer? Well, you can, especially if you put your contact information on the bottle so they can buy it from you whenever they want. Make your information easily accessible to the customer so they can keep in touch with you. In addition, they can give your information to their friends and family. So try putting your phone number and email on the bottle so they can contact you when they run out.
- Buy Other Vendors Products
One way to ensure you have customers is by buying other vendors' products. This is a great way to make small talk. It also shows that you are supporting them as a fellow vendor. Usually, when you do this, it makes them feel like they should go support you as well.
- Know Your Stuff
One thing that we have noticed when we sell honey is that the more you talk, and are educated, the more likely someone will buy from you. Tell them what makes your product special, including where it comes from, what's the difference between color and taste, what type of bees produced it. Knowing your honey and talking about it allows the customer to have trust in your product. So before you go to the farmers market, know your stuff by rehearsing what you say, and educate yourself before trying to educate others.