Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Farmers Market Etiquette ~ How to get a great deal at the market!

We did have a couple of people come up and ask for deals at the end of the day this weekend (it is pretty evident that farm stands have more than they know what to do with right now). These people came in two different varieties; those who were accepted happily, got great deals and whom we hope comes back, and those we begrudgingly gave deals to this time and will never again. The difference was all about attitude.

It is true, we have TONS right now... and we could easily be giving it away (between the stand next door and us we easily gave 500# to the food bank yesterday. Easily. That is a very low estimate. Think pick up truck overflowing with stuff in the front seat.) So if you play your cards right, you can get great deals. There are a few etiquette things that need to be remembered though.

#1: Attitude is everything. Asking for deals at the end of the day can be a touchy thing. If someone starts out by saying how expensive the food is, or how that 'seems like a lot for just this', no one is going to want to give them a deal. However, on the other side, if someone says "Hey, these are beautiful! Can I get two for $5 being that it is the end of the day?", then they are more likely to say yes (if they can). I know I would.

#2: If you want good deals on a small amount of stuff, please bring exact change. By the time the end of market bell rings, we have already counted down our cash boxes. We do not want to open them up and give change. Really. It is a huge pain.

#3: If you ask for bruised or damaged foods, you will get them for a better deal anytime of day. 99.9% of the time they are fine, they just have a small blemish. We give carrots that have fallen off the bunches at $1/lb less than the ones that are still in the bunch, and literally, the only difference is that they don't have the long green ends. We give discounts all day for people who buy the bruised or slightly discolored stuff. Just ask... politely. ;)

#4: Ask which farm your at. Yesterday I was literally giving away cucumbers at the end of the day. We had over 400 (no, not a typo) cukes going to the food bank and so as people walked by I would hand them one. Funny and a little silly, but it made people smile. One guy in particular walked away and then turned back and said "Hey! What farm are you from? I'd love to come back and buy some stuff from you next week!" Whether he does or not, I may actually never know. But the sentiment was clear, 'I like your style and I want to support your business.' And it made me very happy as a market seller.




Best Wishes, Marie said...

wandered over. would it be okay if i follow your blog? i am also a farmers market groupie.

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Hi Marie. I would love that. I enjoy conversations with other Locavores. :) I'm looking forward to checking out your blog.



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