How to Sell at a Farmer’s Market

A busy farmer's market set up in the middle of a street with many vendors selling products under white tents.Is your garden producing more than your family can keep up with? Perhaps you’ve mastered a craft that could earn you some extra cash. Farmer’s markets are a popular community pastime, and if you’ve taken a stroll through one on a Saturday morning, you may have considered joining in on the sales. However, before you jump aboard this money-making opportunity, you should understand the steps to setting up a booth. We’re here to help you learn how to sell at a farmer’s market.

Decide What You’re Going to Sell at the Farmer’s Market

You may have decided what you’ll sell based on your green thumb or knack for creating homemade goods. However, some items may take a considerable amount of effort to produce – like vegetables and knitwear – so you’ll need to work out a timeline of when you’ll be ready to start selling and reserve a spot at the market ahead of time. Some farmer’s markets have rules about what you’re permitted to sell, so it’s important to perform your research.

Make a Business Plan

While a booth at a farmer’s market may not be as complex as launching a brick-and-mortar business, you’ll still need a plan. A few considerations you should include in your business plan are:

  • Short- and Long-Term Costs: You’ll need to factor in the fee of setting up a booth in the farmer’s market along with the time and materials you’ll need to create your product.
  • Target Audience: Which demographic would be most interested in purchasing your goods, and will you be able to find this target audience at a farmer’s market?
  • Price of Your Product: How much should you charge customers to turn a profit? Not only should you consider the costs of making and transporting the goods but also the time you poured into creating them.

No matter your level of investment, a business plan will help you shed light on the unknowns of selling at a farmer’s market.

Register Your Business and Acquire the Appropriate Permits

Before joining the farmer’s market, you’ll need to acquire a permit. Start by contacting the market’s management staff and ask what types of permits and licenses are required to sell on their premises. You should also research local regulations and determine how to register your business. For instance, if you’re selling produce or baked goods, you need to contact the state’s Division of Food Safety or Department of Agriculture. To register with a local authority, you need to fill out an application, pay a fee, and pass a facility inspection, such as your kitchen, garden, or work area.

Protect Your Business with the Right Insurance

Since farmer’s market vendors make almost everything from scratch, there can be some risks associated with their booth display and product. Fortunately, there are several affordable policies to keep you covered:

  • General and Product Liability: These policies will protect you in case a customer trips over one of your displays or becomes ill when eating your food.
  • Damage to Premises Rented: If you mistakenly cause a fire or cause other accidental damage in your rented space, this insurance can help protect you and your business.
  • Inland Marine Coverage: If you’re riding solo, you can’t keep an eye on everything all at once. An Inland Marine policy will cover you in case any of your equipment or product is stolen while heading to or from the market.

In the event your business grows and you bring on new employees, you may want to consider workers compensation down the line.

Being prepared before you sell at a farmer’s market can help your new endeavor prosper. You’ll also need insurance to safeguard your new business, despite how small it may be. At TJ Woods Insurance, our agents are serious about outfitting businesses both big and small with the right business insurance. If you’re gearing up to start your own business, contact us today.