Selling Soap Farmers Markets – the positives and the negatives! This is priceless information, lol, because the managers or event organizers will not tell you any of the bad stuff or the negatives. For instance, Farmers Markets have being getting political over the years, and there can be conflict between the market organizers and the vendors. And perhaps everyone has a good point, but below are some of the things I noticed over the years.
I’ve been selling soap at Farmers Market and everywhere else for years, this has included:
- craft fairs
- Xmas craft fairs
- street parties
- music festivals
- from my soap store
- from my house
- delivered it, in-town/out-of-town
- wholesale to resort
- health food stores
- gift stores
- artisan shops
- kitchen and bath stores
- and pet stores.
Selling soap farmers markets info list:
- selling soap at Farmers Market on Saturdays will always do better than markets on other days, even Sundays
- often you can buy a years worth of table rentals in advance, which may save you a little money
- if you do buy in advance, ensure that this allows you to select your vendor space in priority over someone who has not paid in advance
- ask if you can sublet your space to someone else if you can’t make it, otherwise you are paying for that space and so is the person that maybe gets to use it that week (double dipping)
- OR, is it all ‘first come first serve’?
- are the food spaces separated from the artisans (and baked goods, and eggs, etc)
- how much is the registration and the insurance for the year?
- where do all the vendors park?
- where do all the customers park?
- what is your alloted space? (usually 10×10)
- when other vendors exceed their alloted space, does the manager correct this?
- are vendors allowed to place racks and such out front their alloted spaces?
- what about sandwich boards?
- how about the advertising for the market and how is that paid
- are you required to donate something at some point
- does the market have a website and does it cost you to be on there.
There are usually safety features too, when selling soap at Farmers Market, such as having heavy weights to hold down your vendor tent. I used small weights once and my tent was shuffling away from me. Had to buy those heavier concrete blocks to hold it down. I’ve also seen people who did not weigh theirs down at all and it took off so fast and knocked over another vendors umbrella, fly over another vendors tent, then started across the highway. They are very lucky no one got hurt. And the requirements were very clear in weighing down your tent.
Another important consideration for your soap is the location of the sun on your products. Jars of lotions and butters will melt a little and pressurize and maybe leak, and your newer soap will soften, in direct sunlight. You need to consider your location and/or ways of blocking the sun from your products and preventing damage. Oh, and these organizers won’t tell you they don’t know which way is south – I’ve had that happen. South is facing the sun, try for North, if not try East (morning sun), and West will have noon to sunset sun. Worse case scenario, you can move your tables further into the booth, or use those bamboo beach mats as curtains and adjust throughout the day.
Selling soap at Farmers Market should include making your vendor space look pretty. I know that it shouldn’t have anything to do with the quality of the soap, but it is all in people’s perceptions of your product. Like attention to details. Check out these photos from soap vendors at markets. – pending.
Consider doing these:
- have a table cloth that almost reaches the ground, black goes with everything, and it hides all the bins underneath
- have the soaps in their own line or basket, and try to have a cloth in the basket that matches the soap somehow
- try to keep the cash box out of sight
- have signs that clearly state what the scent is, no one wants to ask what the scent is of each and every soap and you don’t want to repeat it all day long.
- make sure your prices are noticeable, mine were $3.75 each or 3 for $10.00, and the 3/for pricing was the most popular sale
- definitely have a sign that potential customers can see from a distance, I had one sign with “S O A P” in large letters, with each letter taking up one sheet of paper each and placed on a acrylic painting board (font size was 400) and add any other pertinent info like vegan, natural colors, etc.
Selling at Craft Fairs is a little different, more on that here.
Yes, Farmers Markets are not just farmery anymore, there are now rules and regulations. Some events are more strict than others. Some won’t even let you in. Jerks. Here is an example of the info package for Washington State farmers markets.
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