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Author Topic: Selling at farmer's markets  (Read 873 times)

Offline omnimirage

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Selling at farmer's markets
« on: December 27, 2017, 01:38:46 am »
There's lots involved with being successful selling honey at markets. Some things I've picked up on is to be friendly and polite towards other vendors, smile and talk positively to people, express my passion for bees and honey, not to sit down to stand and make myself look busy, to have my stand either have lots of products, or a few, not a moderate amount, offer samples.

One thing that I've noticed is, many customers seem to assume that I'm not a beekeeper, and become pleasantly surprised when they discover that I am indeed, a beekeeper. Being able to visually communicate such is then profitable. Customers are first exposed to the visuals of ones stand before any other stimuli, so that visual look is crucial for one's first impression.

I've created myself a "local honey" sign with some pictures of my bees to help visually communicate such. I've read other people taking their smokers, to act as something to attract visual interest, though I'm not sure how people would respond to it. I've read some people attending in their beesuits, but I figure as a young person I'd look really rather out of place doing such. I've also heard of some people taking observation hives, but I'm concerned for the welfare of the bees and doing that, and concerned I'll give sensitive people a fright with such.

One thing that I'm really unsure how to approach, is selling honeycomb. Honeycomb seems to attract a lot of interest, I figure people it's a rare sight for many. Many people seem to become quite put off by the price of it. Now, I've been selling honeycomb all at the same price, even though some honeycombs weigh a lot more, or a lot less than others. It's gotten to the point, where I'm hiding the very small, and very large honeycombs from customers. Last market I went to, I divided my honeycombs into two sections; the ones on the left had a going price of $10, the ones on the right had a selling price of $12. Most people bought the $12 and I felt the person who bought the $10 wouldn't have done so if it was $2 more. I'm wondering if I should have a third pile, or maybe individually price each comb with a marker on them. I see that the ones I sell, look a lot more raw and natural and there's more comb and they're sold at less, or an equal price to more professionally packaged combs, that to me look weird with how "perfect" they are.

Does anyone have any tips to be more successful selling at markets?

Offline splitrock

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 07:35:26 am »
I would be pricing the comb by the pound and selling accordingly. You just have to weigh each piece.

 In our state honey must be sold by weight, and the weight needs to be shown.

Offline little john

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 08:34:29 am »
How about something along the lines of a 'notice board' placed behind and to one side of you - with a montage of large photographs showing hives, hives opened, honey combs with bees on 'em - that kind of thing - with your face clearly displayed in one or two. With a bee-suit on, perhaps ?  That should show people that you're a beekeeper, without the need to dress up like one at the market.  If you're selling jars of honey as well, then it might be a good idea to have some kind of 'headline caption' - emphasising that there's no processing and no middleman involved. The presence of comb honey should make that obvious - but I'd still spell it out. 'Direct from the Hive' HAS TO BE your number one selling point.

I agree with splitrock - cut the comb as necessary, weigh each piece (or add pieces to make-up a target weight) and then sell by weight. There's a good YouTube video showing how cut-comb is/was cut, weighed and wrapped for sale in Germany:
 


As comb honey is now somewhat unusual (as in - you won't find any at your local supermarket) it might also be worth stressing that the comb itself is 100% edible and thus can be spread on toast etc 'as is' -'cause some people assume that beeswax must be similar to paraffin wax !  In fact honey still within the comb is a 100% guarantee of it's provenance and thus non-adulteration - so why not say so ?

Two other points: suggest you make your presence at the market a regular event, and not just turn up 'as and when', so that people get to know you, trust you, and begin to anticipate your presence there.
And lastly - be prepared to 'talk bees' with customers if they enquire about them ... but it's always essential to keep a weather-eye out at the same time for other customers interested in buying.  It's easy enough to break-off a conversation with "excuse me for a moment".  I've often seen vendors losing potential sales because they get distracted by chatting.  Any interest shown should be met with some form of recognition - an offer to try a sample perhaps, a G'Day, or even just a smile.

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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 08:57:13 am »
Some things depend on the rules where you are.  I like to sell samples of comb honey.  1" squares sell well and then people can decide what they think.  I don't give them away.  Also you can make up a bunch of samples from the ends and pieces when cutting comb honey.  The parts that aren't big enough to make a full 4" square.
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Offline UrbisAgricola

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 01:46:19 pm »
If you sell by weight you may need to have an inspected scale registered in your name. 

I find people are really interested in comb honey until they find out it costs more than extracted honey. 

I kind of backed off of selling it, but when I was I put it in 1/2 pint, pint and quart jars (with wide mouths--yes they make wide-mouth 1/2 pints and pints).  I would slice the comb to fill the jar with as much comb as possible yet still pleasing to the eye and then pour extracted honey in to fill the rest.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 03:16:50 pm »
I don't care for eating wax but I don't understand why people would complain if the price is higher.  There is a lot more work involved and the bees have to replace the comb so the cost is higher to the beekeeper.
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 03:27:32 pm »
Treat comb honey as a "Premium" product, the work to prepare, cost of container and the honey loss from bees replacing the wax compared with stickies.
We sell by weight and provide options of size from 120g (4 oz) to about 350g (10-11 oz). The customer will sort out if they wish to try a small one or the lover of comb honey buy the big ones.
MB will know but I have heard that it takes about 5kg of honey to draw out 8 new frames. So cutting out comb is a cost to your honey production.

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 04:56:07 pm »
I ended up selling the comb by the weight, a much better approach than what I was doing.

I like that idea of a notice board littlejohn and I've already done something similar, though it can be improved. I really enjoyed that video you posted, I've been thinking myself that the last piece I'm missing for my crush and strain system is a press!

You can spread honeycomb on wax and eat it? I've been under the impression one shouldn't swallow the wax and should spit it out, spreading it on toast seems like it'd make it difficult to not swallow.

Good point about encouraging discussion, but not to ignore others at the same time. I usually do such, offer a sample or say a greeting, it can be a little awkward when one has two or three people at one time pressing for attention.



Interesting idea to sell little honeycomb pieces! How do you wrap them? Do you charge the same amount per weight for a little piece, or do you charge more?


What sort of containers do you sell the 120g comb honey in Oldbeavo? I've just been using takeaway containers.

Offline gww

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 07:31:41 pm »
Wax doesn't hurt you if you eat it.
Cheers
gww

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 07:37:55 am »
Meco Plastics in Keysborough Melbourne do a small and larger comb honey containers with tamper proof lids.
There is said to be some therapeutic value for sinus problems from chewing wax for 20 min or more! No data to back this up.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 10:24:55 am »
Wax doesn't hurt you if you eat it.
Cheers
gww
Neither does tofu but I don't care to eat it.
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2018, 06:54:55 am »
I've been learning more by selling at markets. People at farmer's markets tend to favour buying larger quantity items, they like to buy a full kilo of honey whereas people at more community events, like fundraisers (church fetes) or festival type events, tend to buy the smaller, less cost effective honey jar. I believe the former are about to celebrate, they like to contribute and might fancy the notion of a small jar of honey to use here and there. People at farmer's markets are there to consume, they are more serious customers that want less to support and more to simply get high quality cheap produce to consume.

Since Australia is quite a multicultural country, and that many ethnic people value good quality produce, I often barter with a large type of audience. I've noticed that, Asian brown people (sort of India area) are more inclined to haggling, many other Asian demographics take stronger consideration of the price of goods and are more insistent at buying at the lowest standard honey will go for.These types seem to almost culturally value competitively standard cheap priced produce, whereas the brown Asians tend to be more inclined towards haggling to undercutting degrees.I was wondering whether honey is simpler more popular amongst caucasian and Asian demographics, but it seems like that's not the case, seems like honey is quite popular amongst a variety of ethnicities and it just seems like there's more caucasian and Asian interest due to them being the highest population demographics present.

The haggling is something that I'm not good at. I experimented with adding some honeycomb to some jars, and early on in the day someone ended up buying all 9 of my experiment, he haggled me down to a price though that I regretted afterwards. I need to work out beforehand what's the lowest price I'm prepared to sell x at y quantity, which I'm not that sure how to do.

Something that I'm unsure about is allowing myself to drop in price. I sell my honey at a price slightly higher than the lowest standard price, I figure because my honey is better quality than most and many people are willing to pay that. Whenever people ask to pay the lowest minimal standard amount for honey, I've just been agreeing, because I want the sale. One of the problems is, people will come to expect that lower price in the future. A stronger move in general is, let's say you're selling honey at $11 a kilo, and someone wants it for $10, to then offer them two kilos of honey for $20. That is, to offer them the discount that they desire, but at a greater quantity. If someone wants them for $9 for a kilo tub, I can tell them I can sell them 4 for $36. This plays into their desire to haggle, it doesn't just blow them out or shut out the bartering exchange, it doesn't reveal weakness or allow oneself to develop the reputation of just agreeing to dropping the price if asked, it instead offers them the discount price, at a condition that oneself is happy with; a greater quantity of sale. One thing I'm unsure about, is when if I should ever agree to lowering my price, or just insist on selling it to them for a lower price at a greater quantity only. Some people have haggling bartering styles but some are just straight forward, seemingly open and honest and are direct about wanting to buy it a cheap competitive price. I'm not sure if they ask to pay $10 instead of $11 for one kilo, then I offer them two kilos for $20, then they express that they just want 1 kilo and offer me $10.50 for it, whether I should accept that offer, or decline.

A lot of people have been asking me "do you add sugar"? I'm not entirely sure what people mean they ask this and I'm under the impression that different people are asking different questions when saying this, and one needs to try and best gauge what they're asking this and what information do they want to hear. Some believe adding sugar to beehives is unethical, some believe it creates a poor quality honey flavour and healthwise. Some seem to believe that people stir in sugar into honey to make it sweetener, that people dilute honey with sugar and possibly other stuff. Some seem to be uninformed diabetic or other health people. Either way I struggle to navigate these interactions well and figure I need an effective way in communicating with these types and relay the information they want to hear. I even had one person point to the crystals in my sample jar and ask me if there's no sugar added, then what's those crystals then, and apparently wasn't convinced when I told them about honey crystals and walked off.

I had a weird interaction where one person asked if my honeycomb was real, he then told me that some people are manufacturing fake honeycomb that looks real and attempt to sell them as the real deal. I did my best to convey that was not the case by talking about my practices and bees and well frankly I was surprised that he even thought that because I hadn't heard of that before, he asked if he could try a piece to be sure and I said sure, he took off the smallest bit and tried it, looked unsure and he eventually said that he couldn't tell so, unconvinced, he wandered off.

I'm coming to learn that, people are quite suspicious about honey products. They often know that there's a difference in quality with honey, they might have some ideas as to why that might be the case, they might not, but my products will be under scrutiny; people want to be reassured that, what they're buying is a pure, raw quality product and my ability to believably communicate such to people is directly related to how much I can sell.

I've had people ask me for beepollen. I haven't looked into that but apparently it's sweet, popular in certain regions in the world and with health people. There seems to be a decent demand for beeswax also, and I can't really tell but people seem to be willing to pay more for wax than they do for honey.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2018, 09:58:35 am »
One of the problems is, people will come to expect that lower price in the future. A stronger move in general is, let's say you're selling honey at $11 a kilo, and someone wants it for $10, to then offer them two kilos of honey for $20.
I thought you didn't know how to do it?  And no after you make the offer you do not drop the price to 10.50.  You can come back the following week and lower your price to 10.50 but not when you have the jars labeled at 11 to start.
Quote
I can't really tell but people seem to be willing to pay more for wax than they do for honey.
It takes a lot more honey to make wax.
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Offline Skeggley

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2018, 10:19:18 am »
Do you have tasting jars at the market Omni?

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2018, 04:40:41 pm »
Didn't know how to do what Acebird? Could you elaborate on why you wouldn't lower your price there on that day? It's common practice for other vendors to do so, but then again they also sell items that, if don't get sold, they perish.

I do have tasting jars! Quite a number of people don't take the offer for the sample. Most that are suspicious of the quality, try it and still ask many questions about sugar and whether it's pure and raw. I think for many the suspicion runs so deep that merely tasting the product isn't enough to dispel concern. One person who was asking if I used sugars, saw that their were crystals in the sample jar and then apparently didn't believe that I did not add sugar because of so. I've learned that, I really need to make sure that the sample jar is in a good state and that it's fully liquid.

Offline eltalia

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2018, 05:21:46 pm »

"I'm coming to learn that, people are quite suspicious about honey products."

Can you honestly blame folk for that skepticism when the marketplace is
loaded with shonky deals? Honey sellers today could be the new "puppy farmers"
 ... if one looked closely at the practices of many claiming b'keep status today.

Bill

Offline cao

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2018, 05:35:58 pm »
I haven't sold  honey at a farmer's market yet but I have sold it at craft shows with some of my wood crafts.  There isn't much haggling at the craft shows.  Either the people will pay what you ask or they won't.  I can understand that perishable products must be sold but why lower the price on your honey?  There is a lot of labor involved in getting that honey from the hive to the market.  As long as you are not way overpriced I see no reason to lower your price.  A discount for a quantity purchased would be the only lowering of price that I would do.  I have been selling my honey for $7 per pound for the last several years.  The cheapest raw honey around here sells for about $5.  I've seen it selling for as much as $10-12.  So I'm happy with the price that I'm charging.  I have had more people tell me to keep the change than try to get it at a lower price.

> A lot of people have been asking me "do you add sugar"?

As long as you don't feed your bees when you have honey supers on, the only answer to that question is no.  Anything more will add confusion to the average customer.  Feeding your hives to get them through winter or feeding a small nuc has nothing to do with honey production. 

>There seems to be a decent demand for beeswax also, and I can't really tell but people seem to be willing to pay more for wax than they do for honey.

I sold some wax and candles a few years ago.  The wax was in 1 ounce blocks for $1.  So that would be about twice as much as honey.  Although I don't think there are as many customers as for honey.  I haven't sold any recently because all my wax has been going back into my hives.

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2018, 08:15:22 am »
I don't blame them.  Thank you for expressing that sentiment eltalia, it's interesting to hear a fellow Aussie beekeeper say such.

Meco Plastics in Keysborough Melbourne do a small and larger comb honey containers with tamper proof lids.
There is said to be some therapeutic value for sinus problems from chewing wax for 20 min or more! No data to back this up.

I missed this before! They sound like good containers. Do you know how much a single container would cost, and any idea on what kind of minimum quantity they'd do? I've been thinking I need a better way of presenting honey comb.

I haven't sold  honey at a farmer's market yet but I have sold it at craft shows with some of my wood crafts.  There isn't much haggling at the craft shows.  Either the people will pay what you ask or they won't.  I can understand that perishable products must be sold but why lower the price on your honey?  There is a lot of labor involved in getting that honey from the hive to the market.  As long as you are not way overpriced I see no reason to lower your price.  A discount for a quantity purchased would be the only lowering of price that I would do.  I have been selling my honey for $7 per pound for the last several years.  The cheapest raw honey around here sells for about $5.  I've seen it selling for as much as $10-12.  So I'm happy with the price that I'm charging.  I have had more people tell me to keep the change than try to get it at a lower price.

> A lot of people have been asking me "do you add sugar"?

As long as you don't feed your bees when you have honey supers on, the only answer to that question is no.  Anything more will add confusion to the average customer.  Feeding your hives to get them through winter or feeding a small nuc has nothing to do with honey production. 

>There seems to be a decent demand for beeswax also, and I can't really tell but people seem to be willing to pay more for wax than they do for honey.

I sold some wax and candles a few years ago.  The wax was in 1 ounce blocks for $1.  So that would be about twice as much as honey.  Although I don't think there are as many customers as for honey.  I haven't sold any recently because all my wax has been going back into my hives.


Yeah, craft shows are much more tamer. They have more of a community and less of a competitive sense about them. I think the reason why I've been inclined to lowering my price is because that I'm struggling to sell and distribute honey. My options seem to be, sell it in large quantities to a wholesaler at $5 a kilo, or sell it directly to customers at $10-15 a kilo. Selling at markets involves an investment in time, energy and money. Getting sales and selling honey isn't easy. Sure, I put a hell of a lot of time into this, but I want to be able to actually sell the honey. Especially when the price that they're asking for is a standard average price that others at the market are selling their honey for.

I really like how you express that thank you cao. When customers ask me these things, I just blurt out about all the technicalities about it, I do see that it makes them unsure which leads them to not buying. You're right, it doesn't have anything to do with honey production and the final product.

Would that be a little more than twice the amount, or a little less?

Offline eltalia

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2018, 08:50:13 am »
 "Thank you for expressing that sentiment eltalia, it's interesting to hear
a fellow Aussie beekeeper say such."

Myself personally I am yet to sell a jar of honey to anyone.
My path has not been in honey, yet it IS a byproduct of beekeeping
that is unavoidable, eventually.
Sooo... I have sold drums, I have bartered pails, and I have given away
(donated) coffee jars of fine honey.
To anyone who asks I offer, "know the beekeeper you buy from".
This has always been my perspective as it is in our own interests
for our industry in gathering trust of both g'ment and the populace.

[exits soapbox]

Bill

Offline little john

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2018, 09:04:25 am »
I don't know what the answer is to 'haggling' - as it seems to me that this is a clash of cultures.  In countries where it's the normal way of doing business, the seller will always start-off by inflating the asking price to allow for such haggling.  But - if you were to do this in Western cultures, then the native population would likely be put off buying the product, assuming that the advertised price was the price they were being expected to pay.

The only suggestion I have is to make-up two sets of jars - with the one containing honey in the same quantity and from the same source as the other - i.e. they would be identical products, except perhaps for a different style of jar, and label design.
Then - offer one as being 'Premium' and the other as 'Select' (or similar meaningless terms).  One being sold at (say) $10, the other at $12.  Then - have just a few jars of the $10 honey on display (with the rest squirreled away out of sight), with twice as many ?12 jars next to them.

So - when you get a 'haggler' for the ?10 honey (who's after a bargain ...), point out that the ?10 jars are selling like hot cakes and therefore there's absolutely no need for you to reduce the price. 
BUT - "Tell you what I'll do ... as the higher quality $12 jars are not selling quite so well, I'll let you have some $12 jars for $10 ... but only on this occasion today as a special offer."

That way - assuming they go for it - you still get $10 for your jar of honey, AND the buyer thinks he's got a bargain.  So both parties are happy.

A tad devious ?  Sure - but I can't think of any other way of dealing with this clash of cultures.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2018, 09:35:30 am »
The way I deal with hagglers is to send them to Wallmart because that is the honey they are looking for.
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2018, 06:10:49 pm »
That's a very interesting and clever idea little john, thanks.

Offline Dallasbeek

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2018, 06:19:46 pm »
The way I deal with hagglers is to send them to Wallmart because that is the honey they are looking for.

Ah, yes!  That fine quality product from China, perhaps, by way of Vietnam -- just as sweet as what we are offering, and you're saving money by buying a product that has traveled halfway around the world instead of throwing your cash away on a local product.
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Offline 220

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2018, 01:27:25 pm »
I think your on the right track with the hagglers offering a discount for bigger purchases but instead of discounting multiple purchases of small containers maybe look at bigger containers or cheaper packaging options for those wanting cheaper honey.

How do you price your honey? I price mine at $10/kg and then triple my packaging costs.
My retail prices end up as
500g PET jar $8
500g squeeze bottle $8.50
1kg tub $15

The markets my brother sells at seems to want honey in glass so I use 400g jars retail on these ends up $8.25, $9.00 if I drop in a small piece of comb honey.

Tubs are available in 1kg 1.5kg, 2kg, 3kg and probably a variety of larger sizes, they  would allow you to sell at a discount without actually discounting your honey price.

Offline Bamboo

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2018, 06:09:11 am »
Hagglers can be a concern at certain types of markets and some markets everyone wants to pay next to nothing. Not sure where you are omnimirage put I suspect somewhere around Sydney I suggest you find a better quality market. For example if you want to sell at the Blacktown markets everyone will try and beat you down, however if you go to the inner city markets like Orange Grove they will pay the price you have marked.
First and foremost you need to work out what your honey is worth, jar, label, your time looking after bees, harvesting, extracting, petrol, how much the stand at the market is costing you all the costs involved and arrive at a price per kilo.
Set that price and stick to it if that is $10 for 500gm jar sell it for that. Your job is to then persuade your customers why your honey is "special". Straight from the hive to you. No additives, Pure, raw honey. Tell them a story, show them pictures of hives and bees working, give them facts like each jar of honey requires bees to fly 180,000 km. Add value.
Explain why your honey is different to supermarket "honey" or sugar that is being sold as honey.
Mercedes benz sell their vehicles at a certain price because that is what they value them at they don't worry that Toyota sell a Corolla at a quarter of the price of their offering and cut the price.

And when that haggler does come along ask them if they are employed or working, generally they will say yes. So then ask them that if their boss came to them tomorrow and said " Hey look I know we pay you $25 and hour but today how about you work for $20 an hour? Oh and by the way I want you to work another couple of hours( bulk purchase, buying more than one) so why don't we call it a round $19 per hour?" Ask whether they would agree to that. Generally they will laugh at you and say "No way" So then ask them why do they think it is fair to ask the same of you. Do it in a nice way and they will always pay full price.
Do not devalue your worth or that of your bees. If they don't buy your honey you can always take it home and bring it back next week, it's not going to go off.
Good luck
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 07:59:01 am by Bamboo »

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2018, 10:58:05 am »
>I had a weird interaction where one person asked if my honeycomb was real, he then told me that some people are manufacturing fake honeycomb that looks real and attempt to sell them as the real deal.

A.I. Root had a standing reward (I don't remember the exact amount but it was in the thousands of dollars) for anyone who could show they could make fake comb honey.  No one ever collected...
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2018, 05:16:16 pm »
I think it is possible today by not practical.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2018, 06:01:14 pm »
Good reply Bamboo.
If you sell a range of weights, 500g, 1kg, 1.5kg,3kg then the price gets cheaper the more you buy.
Another rely for hagglers is " how many do you want to buy" or if you are feeling mean today when ask for a discount is " not today, it will sell at this price tomorrow".
We also price honey different, yellow box (high demand, short supply)and tea tree (medical qualities) sell at a premium.

Offline Dallasbeek

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2018, 12:09:03 am »
I think it is possible today by not practical.

Anything is possible.  One way would be in a 3-D printer. Somebody is even printing houses for impoverished countries.
"Liberty lives in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no laws, no court can save it." - Judge Learned Hand, 1944

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2018, 06:32:42 am »
You guys obviously have too much time to thinks about this stuff, let the bees do it.
Get some more hives to occupy you mind.

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2018, 08:14:44 pm »
I'm not sure why beemaster doesn't email notify me of replies sometimes! Great discussion guys.

@220

Good idea about bigger packaging. I have been considering offering a 3kg tub and I'll look into this, it should cheaper and less time consuming to package one 3kg tub than three 1kg tub. Regardless though, a number of people who end up buying more than a single container of honey do so because they plan to gift them to people.

$10 a kilo + tripled packaging costs is a very interesting way of approaching it and I'll keep such in mind. Does that mean you're paying around $1.50 for a 1kg container honey tub? Because that's way too expensive. I see that you're from Australia. I don't know where you're buying your containers from, but I'm getting my 1kg honey tubs for around $.65 each including lid, from the companies called plasedene - silverlock and cospak. If they don't have outlets near you I'd imagine you'd be able to ship them and still get a tub at a cheaper price than you appear to pay. (I just realised the label also costs money and might be why your container is expensive)

My pricing approach has been pretty simple. I was selling my 1kg tubs for $10 just because I was inexperienced, not confident in myself and wanting to feel how people was responding to my products. People have been quite positively inclined to it and I've received some comments on my cheap prices. I've also noted that yes, you can buy honey for $10 a kilo in shops and what not but I believe my honey is in general of significantly higher quality. So I've increased the price and experimenting with selling it at $11 for a kilo, which is what has inspired all the hagglers to get me down to $10. I haven't gotten a label on my products yet, my plan is to put one on there hopefully sometime soon and then increase the price to $12 for a tub. I'm also selling these hexagon glass jars, about 350 grams worth of honey for $5 and these 650 gram round glass jars for $8. I and the customers seem quite happy with these prices for such I buy the jar and lid for between $.6 to $.7 each. Interesting that you charge an extra $.75 for a slice of honeycomb I had wondered about that. I was putting in a slice in the 650g glass jars and charging an extra $.5 for it which seemed very popular.


@Bamboo

I'm around Adelaide. This market is the type where people want to pay next to nothing. I'm struggling to find a good market, the markets that are good ready have an existing person selling honey there regularly and it doesn't seem worth to try and outcompete them. I'm thinking of getting more involved in selling at church fete markets as the people that attend those like to spend money as a means of supporting their church and community.

Food for thought thanks Bamboo. I don't think I can have that sort of dialogue with most that haggle, as the haggling types tend to have poor English communicating skills. Its hard to really know how much time I spend with the bees, I know its a lot, I need to start taking better records. I just know that I want to sell what my bees make, and wholesale distributors will buy it off me at just $5.5 a kilo which is too low for my interests.

How would you show them pictures of hives and bees? I do believe that such things to engage and interest customers will result in more sales. I've thought about building an obversation hive to take with me, I'd have to talk with management first to see if they'd allow such though. People are interested in bees and want to be informed and educated on such but I'm not sure how to efficiently do that when given a market stall. I've thought about taking some of my beekeeping gear to have a display of sorts, to show off a smoker and hivetool, maybe an empty hive with some frames. I'm not really sure what sort of response that would have from onlookers. Suppose it may be worth a try.


Offline eltalia

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2018, 09:11:17 pm »
@omnimirage

"I'm around Adelaide"

.... tbe land of chocolate and dot paintings.
You have some stiff competition for the disposable dollar.
Can you say "Handorf"...Lucks to ya ;-)

Bill

Offline Acebird

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2018, 08:56:40 am »
I'm not really sure what sort of response that would have from onlookers. Suppose it may be worth a try.
At a farmer's market it is a plus.  Put your name and address on the equipment.  It gives people the feeling that you didn't borrow the hive from another beekeeper.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2018, 07:42:06 pm »
We have a banner, about 6 x 2 feet that is a photo of our hives with nice trees etc.
Do you have your own bees? Point to the banner, that's us.
The banner is put on the back of the gazebo with ocky straps.
By law in Victoria you cannot sell honey without product description, your name address and phone number.
The label, even though ours are home printed makes you look more legitimate and gives the product a name.
Ours is just, "Beavo's Honey".
We also make sales from the phone number on the label.

Offline omnimirage

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2018, 06:30:29 am »
Good ideas guys especially with the banner. its law in my state to declare name contact number and address as well. I'm rather puzzled as to why most honey I see at honey doesn't include this. apparently the law just isn't enforced in this regards.

Offline Bamboo

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Re: Selling at farmer's markets
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2018, 07:11:34 am »
. its law in my state to declare name contact number and address as well. I'm rather puzzled as to why most honey I see at honey doesn't include this. apparently the law just isn't enforced in this regards.
Plus it is just plain good marketing, you want people to be able find you/ buy off you again.