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Re: Farmer's Market dilemma

Donna's right on many counts here, Chris. But there are other variables to consider, too. You do have to sell some plants to reduce your inventory to make your situation workable going into winter. I know it seems like a long way off, but many of the plants you have will be needing bigger pots and more room as the season progresses, more water and attention. Then, what you don't sell will need winter attention.

We don't know how big or busy this market is or what type of clientelle it has. You'll need to determine that yourself, perhaps as Donna mentioned. Who knows, it's possible that you could sell 100 plants a weekend because you have a different inventory than your competitors, we don't know what the potential is.

When trade shows would solicit my company to exhibit at their shows, they would send me a packet of data that illustrated traffic, demographics, and various other kinds of numbers that helped me decide if the show was a good fit for my products. Does your city provide potential vendors such a packet? You say you need to sell a minimum of 7 plants per hour. I would think you'd need a traffic level of at least 70, possibly 100 people per hour.

Why every other weekend? Is that all that's allowed or is that all you're willing to give to this?

Re >  Is my time better spent applying those 70 hours getting the
  online store going and getting the stuff ready to mail out a catalog
  next year instead?  <
Could be. The better your catalog and online presence appear, the more confidence you instill in potential buyers. But I would still try to work down the inventory a bit.

Sorry I can't come up with a concrete answer but I don't really know the venue and how worthwhile it would be.

neIN, Zone 5
----- Original Message ----- From: "Donna" <gossiper@sbcglobal.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2007 3:08 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Farmer's Market dilemma

I think you need to evaluate just how much is bought there. Spend some
time there this summer- ie, going early to see how many plants are there
at the opening, and comparing similar plants to yours (forget the herb
and annual booths) and return late in the day to see how many they are
carting home. Might give you some insight into how sales go there after
a few weeks.. And I rather doubt folks are willing to pay 'nursery'
prices at a farmers market... they are kinda like a flea market-
everyone there is going for a deal.

Around here - I see the same three people selling the same plants - of
course, I am there and gone, no idea if they are hauling them back and
forth or how well they sell. I actually go due to a baker that has
wonderful breads and pick one up weekly.....or there abouts...

If you have to be inspected by the city, it definately isn't worth
it.... you are going to find yourself with fines, permits needed, and
who knows what else....


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