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7 Steps to Successful Farmer’s Market Sales–Part II

 

This is the second part in our series regarding farmers market sales.  We are now in our second year at the Gatlinburg Farmers Market and these tips have helped ensure our success.

 

6-4 Market

4. What’s Your Story

Again, handcrafted soap is a very competitive market. A simple Google search will produce 360,000 results in .51 seconds. People can buy their handcrafted soap anywhere but they come to their local market because they want to know where their product comes from–they want to know you!  There is one thing I have learned after 18 years in the handcrafted soap business.  If you are not completely passionate about your product and the process, you won’t last long.  That passion should shine through when you engage with your customers.  Let them know why you are doing this and how you got here.

5.  Only the Best

Outdoor events can be very hard on handcrafted soap.  You will have to deal with the blazing sun, high humidity, and downpours of rain—sometimes all in the same day.  How are you going to protect your product?  Remember people will be picking up your soap bars and good quality handcrafted soap full of naturally occurring glycerin will pull every drop of moisture out of the air better than any dehumidifier!!!  Potential customers may be turned off if your bars have become slimy.  How will you deal with this?   Have a plan in place—you don’t want to lose hundreds perhaps thousands of dollars in product your first day at the market!!

6. Share Stuff

Who doesn’t love a freebie?  Can you offer samples of your product?  Or maybe some simple handcrafted skin product recipes printed out on card stock to send home with your customers?  Check with your market manager—you might be able to sell the raw ingredients also.  Be prepared to answer questions.  Your potential customers will run the gamut from newbies to handcrafted soap products to seasoned veterans and their questions will too.  Some folks want to know the chemistry behind soapmaking and others just want to know if it smells good—be prepared!!

7.  Converse

Engage with your customers. Learn who they are and what they are looking for.  You are the difference between buying handcrafted soap online or in-person.  If your customers love engaging with you on a weekly basis they will follow you when the market season ends.  Have fun and  let them see how much you enjoy what you do!

 

My GFM booth

Happy Market Days!

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7 Steps to Successful Farmer’s Market Sales—Part I

Gigi setup

 

2015 was the first year the Kulturology Soap Company participated in the local farmer’s market as a vendor.  We began with the idea that it would be great exposure for our small business.  In reality, our presence at the Gatlinburg Farmers Market turned out to be one of our best sales venues.  Here are some of the things we learned for successful farmer’s market sales.

1. Be There

Every success story begins with the first step–showing up.  There is a lot of excitement at the beginning of market days.  People come from far and wide to see what the market will offer them.  If you are set up on a consistent basis with a quality product, your customers will look for you every week.  It is quite likely the customers you see at the first market of the season will be there at the end of the season.

3. Critique Your Display

Does your display invite customers to stop and look at your product?  Set up your booth in the weeks prior to opening day.  Try different colored table coverings to see which best emphasizes your product.  Are you incorporating height into your display?  Is it clean with no clutter?  Be sure table coverings reach to the ground so customers don’t see the boxes and bins underneath.  Keep water bottles, drink containers, and snacks out of sight.  Soap is a sensual experience. Customers want to pick it up, touch it and smell your product so be sure to get out from behind your display throughout the day to make sure it’s looking its best.

4.  Price it Right

Handcrafted soap is one of THE most competitive markets out there.  Take note of your competition and their pricing.  If you are priced higher be prepared to explain why.  Be sure your product is clearly labeled and priced consistently utilizing a theme that enhances your display.  Customers don’t want to guess at prices and many won’t ask!

 

See you next week for Part II in this two part series!