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excluded from farmers markets


Jeana
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I have an issue with the farmers markets in my area. I finnally got to the point where I am ready to get my products out there, only to find out another business has monopolized all the farmers markets around me. She has two store fronts and sets up at the farmers markets. When I talk to the market coordinators they tell me they already have someone who sells soaps, candles, and body care items. They say they will not let two vendors sell the same items. Even though my products are different from hers.

I think this is a monopoly and shouldn't be allowed. It isn't like there are several different people that are set up doing candles and body care, it is all the same woman's business. I have tried telling them I sell different items, but they always say "That sounds like what we already have." I would love to hear some opinions about this.

There are some that are much farther way that I have not called yet to if they say the same thing. But I shouldn't have to drive 30 miles or more away from my house because one lady has dibs on all the markets around me should I?

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Farmers Market's are *very* political in nature. You are lucky they even consider secondary products - many don't. That might be why they are more restrictive on you kind of product. You might ask if they have a special holiday fair, a different setup that you might be able to get a foot into. Our association does a Christmas Fair that's open to more crafters.

I checked a FM this weekend, and it's "full up" - it has 2 soapers, and 2 bath & body. That one was an hour away.

I'm tempted to start my *own* farmers market in our valley ;) lol...

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Farmers Market's are *very* political in nature. You are lucky they even consider secondary products - many don't. That might be why they are more restrictive on you kind of product. You might ask if they have a special holiday fair, a different setup that you might be able to get a foot into. Our association does a Christmas Fair that's open to more crafters.

I checked a FM this weekend, and it's "full up" - it has 2 soapers, and 2 bath & body. That one was an hour away.

I'm tempted to start my *own* farmers market in our valley ;) lol...

Great idea Robin! And you could limit them - only one could sell tomatoes and the next would only be able to sell potatoes, etc. - Make up all kind of rules for them lol

Might not have a lot of participation but you could have a blast with it lol

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That is so funny you said that because I was thinking the same thing - about starting my own. I wonder what it would take?

They do seem very political. Who would have thought:confused: . The closest one to me only allows actual farm produce. Nothing else is excepted. Every once in a while they allow crafts. The other ones close to me only allow the other lady in. It seems to me if you have store front you wouldn't need to set up at a farmers market. I wouldn't even want to.

I have checked into some of the street fairs coming up and they want close to $400 for a spot. This is very steep for me as newcomer. I most likely will not make this back. Plus it is in the fall. I want to make some money now. :sad2:

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most farmers markets will not limit the vendors that sell produce and stuff like that, and many will limit the craft type vendors. some do not even allow them. that really sucks that she has taken over your area, but keep looking, there are always other opportunities.

and robin's right. my old farmers market out in washington had special markets on holidays where there were more vendors, and more customers as well. definately check into that.

half an hour away isn't too bad, why not check into it? i drove at least half an hour for mine and wasn't bothered by the drive. the market itself was definately worth it - so much fun. good luck! :)

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I think this is a monopoly and shouldn't be allowed. It isn't like there are several different people that are set up doing candles and body care, it is all the same woman's business. I have tried telling them I sell different items, but they always say "That sounds like what we already have." I would love to hear some opinions about this.

There are some that are much farther way that I have not called yet to if they say the same thing. But I shouldn't have to drive 30 miles or more away from my house because one lady has dibs on all the markets around me should I?

Well, what if the shoe were on the other foot... If you were the fortunate one who was already there, wouldn't you appreciate it if they wouldn't let others in who might be competing against you?

Markets are usually first come, first serve as far as filling booths go. Your timing just wasn't right. Have you spoken to the lady? You never know, maybe things are as good as you think for her. Maybe you could even tell her you would like to have a booth there, but they won't allow it. If you are up front and honest with her, and don't have competing products, maybe she would speak to someone on your behalf if you try to befriend her. Heck, she might even take on some of your products and sell them for you. Perhaps you could join her in her booth and pay 1/2 rent, so it's a deal that's good for both of you.

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My regular job is a highly competitive job. I do hair. We have 4 salons and 1 barber shop in our shopping center alone. I don't mind the competition because I know I do a good job. I feel the same about the products I make. If people like them they will keep buying them. I don't need to exclude other people to sell my stuff. Just like I don't need to get rid of all the other hairstylist in my area or my salon to make a living. Business is all about competition, not monopolization.

Where would Walmart be without the ability to carry fifty different brands of soap or lotion?:)

One of the FM coordinators told me, when we were dicussing why I couldn't sell soap there, he doesn't care if someone has exactly the same fruit that he does in the booth next to him. And most other fruit vendors there do. He said his hands were tied because this particular soap lady threw a fit when she saw someone selling soap there too. I just feel this attitude is very unprofessional. So speaking with her is abviously not going to go well.

Well, what if the shoe were on the other foot... If you were the fortunate one who was already there, wouldn't you appreciate it if they wouldn't let others in who might be competing against you?

Markets are usually first come, first serve as far as filling booths go. Your timing just wasn't right. Have you spoken to the lady? You never know, maybe things are as good as you think for her. Maybe you could even tell her you would like to have a booth there, but they won't allow it. If you are up front and honest with her, and don't have competing products, maybe she would speak to someone on your behalf if you try to befriend her. Heck, she might even take on some of your products and sell them for you. Perhaps you could join her in her booth and pay 1/2 rent, so it's a deal that's good for both of you.

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If I were hell-bent on selling at this particular market, I'd approach the Queen with a business proposition. I'd agree to sell only items which she doesn't carry and cut her in for a percentage of what I sold. Greed is a powerful force and you just have to find a way to make it work for you.

Once I was in, I'd use the opportunity to corral those who did buy from me by giving them a postage-paid response letter so they could tell me what they liked about my products, what they didn't like, what they would like to see in my line, whether they would consider buying my products directly by mail, etc., etc. At the point of purchase, I'd collect their name, postal address and email address. I'd tell them that there is quite a lot of information that you have to share with them and that you have constant updates about new products and new procedures that you'd like to share with them.

I'd construct a periodical newsletter sent to these folks via email and maybe offer some free product to them if they refer direct sale customers to me so I could bypass the farmer's market routine.

If you decide to offer your products at another venue, what better way could there be than to inform these folks where and when you'll be set up for business.

Where there's a will, there's a way!!

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Well shucks, that's too bad. The FM alliance here is pretty laid back but that could easily change over time. Reps from 4 communities got together and picked the day for their FM. So far no fees for vendors. Of course ours is just an empty parking lot. Suppose to be for products grown or made on the Eastern Shore. I have been welcomed at the FM I sell at because I'll be there every Sat. The produce folks come and go depending on what crops are available.

Sounds like you have to win the soap lady over somehow if you are going to get a foot in the door. Or work on whoever is in charge of the FM alliance. If you can convince the coordinator that your products are unique there isn't anything she can do about it. But you probably would have to commit to participating in the FM every week. Good Luck.

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