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The lady that runs our local market contacted me about selling maters at the market. It seems our small market doesnt have anybody selling them probably for the next month or so. My question is how to price them since I would be the only one there. I want to be fair but of course make money and not make anybody mad where they wont come back and buy more. Thanks for the info.
 
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How much do they sell them at the local grocery store? If your market will bear it, I'd go a little above that. Most people are willing to pay a little more for fresh tomatoes that were picked when ripe, because they have a better flavor.
 

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dvcowboy said:
The lady that runs our local market contacted me about selling maters at the market. It seems our small market doesnt have anybody selling them probably for the next month or so. My question is how to price them since I would be the only one there. I want to be fair but of course make money and not make anybody mad where they wont come back and buy more. Thanks for the info.
The best thing to do is sell them by count rather than pound. Then you don't have to worry about weighing and cyphering. If they are pretty uniform in size and shape. Weigh up a couple of them at home and see how much they weigh individually, then put the average price on them. For instance, let's say three of them weigh a pound, then you can price them at, oh say...2 for a dollar or 3 for $2, something like that. It will make things LOTS easier!

(I disagree with the other reply on this thread. I think you should price them lower than store-bought. The reason being is that most ALL people go to the grocery store. If they have to make a SPECIAL TRIP to buy your tomatoes, or other farmer's market produce, lots of time they will not bother if that produce is significantly higher. While there will be a certain percentage of folks who appreciate that home grown is better all the way around, lots and lots of people just think of it as food and if you can buy it cheaper at the grocery store, then that is what they will do. I go to the farmer's market because it is a bargain! You don't have shipping costs, distribution costs, marketing costs, etc., figured into it. It should be way cheaper!) Besides, grocery stores are really gouging everybody right now using high fuel costs as an excuse to charge EXTRAVAGENT prices for food. It's criminal. I would think that a farmers market seller would have more integrity than to fall into that greed mentality.

donsgal
 
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donsgal said:
(I disagree with the other reply on this thread. I think you should price them lower than store-bought. The reason being is that most ALL people go to the grocery store. If they have to make a SPECIAL TRIP to buy your tomatoes, or other farmer's market produce, lots of time they will not bother if that produce is significantly higher. While there will be a certain percentage of folks who appreciate that home grown is better all the way around, lots and lots of people just think of it as food and if you can buy it cheaper at the grocery store, then that is what they will do. I go to the farmer's market because it is a bargain! You don't have shipping costs, distribution costs, marketing costs, etc., figured into it. It should be way cheaper!) Besides, grocery stores are really gouging everybody right now using high fuel costs as an excuse to charge EXTRAVAGENT prices for food. It's criminal. I would think that a farmers market seller would have more integrity than to fall into that greed mentality.

donsgal
I said if the market will bear it. Grocery stores here commonly sell tomatoes for 69 cents a pound. If I were to grow tomatoes to take to the farmers market, I wouldn't sell them for 50 cents. After overhead and time, I wouldn't make enough to hardly be worthwhile unless I had a HUGE amount of tomatoes. I might sell them for 75 cents, though.

I don't even buy from the farmer's market here, because the prices are about double the grocery store prices. But I see them doing a bang up business.

It all depends on the area.
 

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ladycat said:
I said if the market will bear it. Grocery stores here commonly sell tomatoes for 69 cents a pound. If I were to grow tomatoes to take to the farmers market, I wouldn't sell them for 50 cents. After overhead and time, I wouldn't make enough to hardly be worthwhile unless I had a HUGE amount of tomatoes. I might sell them for 75 cents, though.

I don't even buy from the farmer's market here, because the prices are about double the grocery store prices. But I see them doing a bang up business.

It all depends on the area.
YOW!!!!! 69 cents a pound?????? Oh my oh my. Here they are $1.39 per pound. I'm going to Texas/Oklahoma to buy some tomatoes! I agree that you will know when you are charging too much because your sales will drop. Also, if the produce is organic, well you know you CAN sell it for quite a bit more, since it *is* more expensive to produce and there is more loss from insects, etc.

I sure wish tomatoes were that price around here. I'd be doing some canning!

donsgal
 
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They might be cheap here because of a HUGE tomato farm in the area (grown in a series of giant greenhouses a few miles from me).

I don't buy those tomatoes, though. The supermarket we shop at stopped carrying organic tomatoes due to lack of demand, but they do have certified pesticide-free, vine-ripened tomatoes for $1.39/lb. Double the price of the others, but well worth it.
 

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donsgal said:
YOW!!!!! 69 cents a pound?????? Oh my oh my. Here they are $1.39 per pound. I'm going to Texas/Oklahoma to buy some tomatoes! I agree that you will know when you are charging too much because your sales will drop. Also, if the produce is organic, well you know you CAN sell it for quite a bit more, since it *is* more expensive to produce and there is more loss from insects, etc.

I sure wish tomatoes were that price around here. I'd be doing some canning!

donsgal
$3/lb here if you want them only half crunchy and gas "ripened" red, and they're from Mexico. Vine ripened on these tomatoes doesn't mean the vines were attached to the plant, only that the tomatoes were attached to the vine.

I charge $3/lb for naturally grown tomatoes.
 

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At a recent trip to a local farmers mkt. I was shocked at how low the price of gorgeous Creole tomatoes was. They were 35 cents/pound! Still about $1.89/lb in the groceries but probably picked real green & gased. Lots of folks grow tomatoes at home in the summer here so the price gets real low.
 

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last week hothouse tomatoes here cost $2/lb. in the grocery store. Some imports from mexico were around $1.50 lb. Neither of those varieties were all that tasty.
Usually, when local grown tomatoes are ready (about early August here) at the farm gate or farmer's market, they'd be less than what the big grocery store prices are.
 

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folks at the market sell them $4 a quart for big ones or 4.50 and cherrys are 3$ mine are $2 a pint for cherrys and $3 for the big ones by the quart also some peach tomatoes for $3 a pint. here in Fayetteville AR anyway
 

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Why shouldn't a farmer charge more than the grocery store? I don't have aisles and aisles of processed food to make up for the lost revenue in produce, nor do I have stockholders to keep me inflated with capital regardless of my profit.

Besides, most of the time a tomato grown locally and with better methods (organic or otherwise) than the factory farms is the superior product. It drives me insane that people think it's ok to pay $5 for a latte but wince if you offer them a tomato for more than a buck a pound.

Same with chicken. The grocery store down the street from me is selling whole chickens, quarted and ready to serve (pre-seasoned even) for two dollars right now on a sale. I can't hardly even buy chicks for that price.

Not everyone at the farmer's market is just some insurance salesman getting rid of their extra veggies from their hobby garden. Some people are trying to make a living providing high quality, local food. There's more to it than just the food as well. When you buy from a local farmer, you're contributing back to your community and helping to ensure that in your area there will always be a supply of fresh, local food. Don't you think that's a pretty good investment in this day and age?
 

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The food items I price at my farmer's market are above grocery store prices. And I don't feel the least bit hesitant about charging more. The time and care I give my chemical free gardens produce tastier produce than that which is sold at the grocery store - picked before being ripe and shipped across country.

What I sell is between 1 - 12 hours after being picked - can't get any fresher than that unless you come help me pick yourself.
 

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MullersLaneFarm said:
The food items I price at my farmer's market are above grocery store prices. And I don't feel the least bit hesitant about charging more. The time and care I give my chemical free gardens produce tastier produce than that which is sold at the grocery store - picked before being ripe and shipped across country.

What I sell is between 1 - 12 hours after being picked - can't get any fresher than that unless you come help me pick yourself.
And not to mention more nutritious! Cyndi, I hope you are selling your produce between 30 -60% higher than the supermarket as I can tell you it's well worth it without seeing or tasting it. People that want to go to a farmers market and 'give' their products away at prices lower than or approximately equal to the supermarket manage to accomplish two things - guarantee their own failure and **** off the serious vendors that actually know what their product is worth. If one feels that their 'market won't bear' the higher prices, then they should find a different market.

I went to a farmers market this weekend at which a friend of mine sells produce, honey and eggs. It was surprisingly small (30 - 35 vendors) but was PACKED with customers. I was pleased to see the pricing of the items for sale - not exorbitant, but certainly higher than grocery store prices. Good mix of products - many varieties of produce, baked goods, some craft items, eggs, meat, honey, cheeses, and more. Another thing that stood out to me was that there was very little multiplicity of products - two vendors with eggs, two with honey, one with meat, two with garlic, one with bread, two, maybe three with handmade crafts, two (I think) with cut/potted flowers.... It was probably the first market I've been to that I was thoroughly impressed with. I asked Susan who I might talk to about selling at the market, and she just smiled - then said "There's a waiting list of over 100 people that want to sell here". It's a three hour Saturday market (9-noon). I got there at about 10:30. She apologized for not having more produce and explained that the first hour is about 60% of her sales - she took in probably $200 while I was standing there.

dvcowboy - there is no 'pat' answer to your question. Go to the market and see what the other produce is priced at and ask the market manager for advice regarding display and pricing - you'll probably do fine that way. My advice would be to err on the high side and stay firm on your price - don't haggle pricing. You can always lower it next week if you feel you need to...
 

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I sell my tomatoes for $2/pound without a problem. Invest in a scale - I'll tell you from selling by piece and by weight, my table is emptier and my cash register heavier when I do it by weight.

We found one with a rechargable battery that does weight/price on eBay for a low cost (I want to say $100) and it's been excellent.

Don't undersell the grocery store! Your personal time is worth the extra $ they will pay. I boast about handpicked within 24 hours of being at the market etc.
 

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I agree with ernie as well.
If you want cheap produce go to the factory farms and your local big box store grocery like super walmart or wherever in your neck of the woods.
I cant compete with them.
I grow at home on a small plot and I consider myself a small farmer. I sell at local tailgate and farmers markets.
My tomatoes look ugly and taste great. The tomatoes you buy at the local grocery store have no flavor I have noticed that and others have said the same thing.
I only grow heirloom tomatoes and I grow by organic standards. I am not certified organic but hope to be one day.
The expense of buying seed, my electric bill for keeping the plants properly watered, (we are on a well), everyday removing horn worms or pest by hand, picking when ripe, driving to the farmers market and back (i live in the country so its 30 miles or more to a town and then another 30 miles back), I cant afford to hire tons of migrant workers to pick the produce for me so I have to pick it myself, I cant compete with China or Mexico who ships tons of tomatoes or (fill in the blank) worked by underpaid laborers in bulk and sold and such cheap prices I don't see how they make any money.
People have gotten to the point they expect cheap food. And if you buy from the grocery store that is exactly what you are getting. If more people knew what went into producing just one egg, one head of broccoli, one can of beans, one tomato, they would be in shock at the amount of work and energy that goes into producing it and wonder why it doesn't cost much more.
I charge alot for my crops because its worth it. Some people may be turned off by my prices so be it. I didnt want them as customers anyway I tell them walmart has them on sale. If they want a cheap tomato they can go to walmart ad buy chemical drenched month old tomatoes where mine were picked fresh this morning with no chemicals and no pesticides, and have flavor aand didnt take three weeks to come over on a ship and then a semi and then to the grocery store. Mine are still fresh and full of vitamins and flavor.
But thats just me LOL :)
 

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We don't have a good Farmers Market here. The tiny one that is there, is $30 for a space! (Only 4 regulars selling) They told my MIL last year $60 for a space! That is for one day, a few hours.

We have taken ours to flea markets and can not even sell them for $1 a pound. We have taken 80-100 lbs a week! Our tomatoes and peppers are huge, beautiful, perfect, nothing sprayed on them, etc.

Why is it that no one will pay $5 for a 5 lb bag of tomatoes??? I think it should be $1.50 at least a pound, but if we can't get $1, we are not going to get $1.50. There is no place good here to sell produce.

Needless to say, I am putting up massive amounts of tomatoes. Even friends and family say they have plenty. Allot of them, I core and put in chopper, and then just funnel into 2 liter pop bottles and put in bottom of freezer for cooking later. Goes fast like that, no skinning. But I am going to run out of freezer space soon. I will donate to needy family if I can find some.
 
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