Re-posting this message from Cynthia and Rich of Larson Farm:
We are trying again to open an online farmer’s market in Wells, and are looking for high quality local producers to join us, particularly those who produce cheese, poultry, pork, lamb, vegetables, fruit, artisan bread, and value-added local products. As a farmer or producer, Yourfarmstand offers a free account online in our virtual Wells Farmers Market. Here is the website: http://www.yourfarmstand.com/
I tried to get this going last fall, and didn’t, but the concept is a good one! For those of you who didn’t get a good sense of how it works then, I’m including a detailed description below
PLEASE get back to me promptly if you are interested in being part of the Wells market. I will make a decision whether to proceed on JUNE 18, NEXT MONDAY. If I get enough response, I will take a poll for a market day of the week, and set a first market day. A day far from Farmer’s Market Day may have advantages like evening out produce sales, or evening out labor. Then we will work on attracting customers, by combining our lists, and contacts.
Together, we can all sell more!
Cynthia and Rich Larson
Vendors log onto the site and list each category for sale with price by weight, volume, number, etc. Each week you can add individual items for sale based on their availability. For example, you post “frozen pork chops” for $8/lb, then enter your inventory by the pound. When a customer buys an individual item it is removed from the posted products. Once a week, at midnight on “market day”, sales are automatically tallied, and farmers are informed via e-mail what they have sold during the past week. The next day, farmers deliver sold products to the market at Larson Farm, where we consolidate it according to customer, and later that day customers come to pick up their bags or coolers containing what they have purchased.
The computer will track the inventory of your products, which is instantly updated after each purchase. Yourfarmstand handles all financial transactions, full inventory management and sales records for farmers, and generates a printable label for each product sold which includes the customer number for accurate sorting. Customers put money in a PayPal account ahead of time, then buy from their credit. Farmers get a check from Yourfarmstand. Local folks can sign up to sell a few dozen extra eggs to their neighbors, or larger producers can sell more.
The service is free to buyers, who can browse and buy goods 24 hours a day on line. Farmers pay a total of 15% of what is actually sold as a marketing fee. 6% goes to pay for the use of the computer service, and 9% goes to cover the costs of hosting the market and sorting the orders. There are currently many Yourfamstand markets operating in different communities in Vermont.
There are many benefits. (1) We as farmers do not need to develop web-marketing and sales tools, because Yourfarmstand has used their experience to streamline the web-site and the technical processes for an online market. (2) The inventory and accounting are taken care of for us by the program. (3) Customers can purchase a wide range of products at their leisure from several farmers in a single simple transaction, and pick up their products at a single site. (4) Customers have the ease of using their credit card to deposit money in their account, while the farmer gets a check!
Check out the website to see more clearly how it works. We at Larson Farm are actively recruiting farmers. We hope to start as soon as we have a suitable market variety, and continue year-round. Variety, quality, and reliability are the keys to expanding our local sales.