The Ultimate Guide To Selling At Farmer's Markets
You've finally perfected your handmade products and you're ready to share them with the world.
It's time to hit that next milestone in your maker biz...selling at markets!
Farmer's markets and craft fairs are amazing places to generate sales, get customer feedback, and meet fellow makers.
Shoppers are there to discover new and unique products and meet local artisans so they're your ideal customers!
Maximize your local farmer's market by creating an attractive booth that draws customers in and showcases your products.
In this guide, we'll share plenty of tips for selling at markets so you always have a successful selling experience.
From preparing a few weeks ahead to increasing sales during the event, we got you maker! Let's dive in!
Image at left courtesy of Here & Now Candles.
prep a few weeks ahead
Once you've committed to a market date, start building up your inventory. Make sure you have plenty of your best selling candles or soaps plus items from your newest collection. We also recommend bringing a few products that you're still testing so you can gather feedback.
Get ahead on your product packaging and marketing materials. Order bags and boxes plus any extra labels you'll need with your branding. Plan to have enough business cards on hard to give one to everyone you meet.
This is also a great time to start thinking about payment options. You'll want to be able to accept cash and credit cards with a quick and easy processing system that is reliable.
Image above courtesy of Moonstone Candle Company.
get organized the week before
In the days leading up to the market, focus on getting your inventory organized and finishing up your marketing materials. Take stock of your inventory and ensure you have enough products to showcase and sell at the market.
Gather all the necessary supplies you'll need to set up your booth and sell products. This includes tables, table cloths, signage, product displays, a tent or canopy, and chairs.
pick pricing & packaging
Determine appropriate pricing for your products by considering factors like material costs, labor, and market demand. Research similar items at other markets to gain insights.
Create eye-catching and informative labels for your products, including pricing, ingredients, and any special benefits. Ensure they comply with local regulations. If you have a candle making business, you can reference our candle labeling requirements guide.
Prepare attractive packaging options, such as gift boxes or eco-friendly wrapping, to enhance the perceived value of your products.
During the holiday season, gift wrapping can help you stand out from your competitors and increase your sales!
Image at left courtesy of Wicks and Bath Co.
create marketing materials
Markets give you access to a lot of brand new customers so eye catching marketing materials are essential.
Design and print professional business cards, brochures, or flyers that showcase your brand and provide essential information about your products.
Update your website or online store and social media channels with details about the upcoming farmer's market. Mention the date, location, and any exclusive offers, products, or promotions you plan to provide.
Some markets with entry fees will provide makers with a code for discounted entry. Share the code on your website and in your e-newsletter to encourage your customers to pay you a visit!
the day of the market
Arrive well before the market opens to secure a prime location and have ample time for setting up. Familiarize yourself with the market layout and regulations, such as any restrictions on booth size or product categories.
Strategically plan your booth layout to maximize visibility and customer flow. Consider creating a welcoming entrance and clear pathways.
Use a canopy or tent to provide shade and protect your products from direct sunlight or adverse weather conditions. This is essential if you're selling candles, lip balms, or other products that can be ruined by heat.
Arrange tables and displays at varying heights to add visual interest and make it easier for customers to browse. Make it inviting by providing easy access to open candles and soaps that they can hold and smell.
Ensure your booth is well-lit, either through natural light or with additional lighting if the market operates after dark. Twinkly white lights are an economical way to add instant ambiance and a romantic glow.
set up a great booth
Create an appealing and cohesive display by arranging all your products in an organized and visually pleasing manner.
If you're looking for shelving options, our vertical ledge x makesy market display stand has four shelves for holding a variety of products.
You can add in props such as crates, baskets, plants, or florals, to add dimension and showcase different product lines.
Don't forget to incorporate your branding elements into your space, like banners or signs. These will help to create a professional and memorable space.
A bold sign that stands out in crowded market will also help draw in prospective customers and help shoppers remember your business!
Image at right courtesy of The Rankin Home.
offer special promotions
Create a few special promotions that are exclusive to market days and aren't available on your website. Try limited-time discounts or bundle deals to encourage purchases.
If you have a sample size version of a product, try a gift with purchase. This will expose them to more products from your line. If you're setting up at a recurring market, try offering a bonus gift card with a minimum purchase that they can use on a future visit.
Have knowledgeable staff or yourself available to answer questions, share product stories, and provide personalized recommendations.
set out samples and testers
Samples and testers are key to getting perusing shoppers to make a purchase!
Set up open candles, soaps, and other products for customers to smell and sample so they can experience the quality firsthand.
Clearly label samples and provide instructions on their use to help customers make informed decisions. Consider calling out candle burn time and unique ingredients.
Use sample opportunities to initiate conversations and guide visitors towards other products they might be interested in.
When you see a customer lingering near an item, remind them they're free to try out any product before purchasing.
If you have sample sizes to give away, create signage that say "ask me for a free sample!"
Image at left courtesy of Brimwick Collective.
make more sales with these tips
Create a sense of urgency with shoppers by offering limited-edition or seasonal products. Collaborate with other vendors in the market to cross-promote each other's products, potentially expanding your customer base. Offer joint promotions or create gift sets that combine complementary items from multiple vendors.
capture customer information
Even a slow sales day at a market can be a big win if you gather a lot of prospective contacts! Set up a simple system to collect contact information like phone numbers and email addresses to build your customer database.
Offer incentives, like exclusive discounts or a chance to win a gift basket, to encourage customers to provide their details willingly.
share on your social media
Spread the word and share your sale dates across all your social media channels. The more you share ahead of time, the more likely your customers will show up to shop.
During the market, document your experience through social media posts, stories, or live streams to generate excitement and attract new online followers.
Encourage customers to share their market experience, tag your brand, and use designated hashtags for a chance to be featured on your social media platforms.
engage & have fun!
Farmer's markets are an excellent platform for candle and soap makers to showcase their products, connect with customers, and boost sales.
By adequately preparing the weeks and days before, setting up an inviting booth, and employing effective sales strategies, you can make the most of this unique opportunity.
Remember to engage with customers, share your brand story, and provide exceptional service to create lasting impressions. Embrace the vibrant farmer's market atmosphere and watch your small business flourish!