10 Tips for Small Businesses Selling at Local Farmers Markets

Local markets have surged in popularity in recent years. For good reason: farmer’s markets are a healthier, more frugal alternative to commercialized grocery stores that don’t care that much about customers. They’re called “local” for a reason: they’re a part of the community. To make sure your small business sells well at local markets, follow these 10 tips.

1. Research

Your business will not know how to dominate local farmer’s markets. That is until you see what successful vendors are doing at other markets. Visit 2 or 3 local market’s to see what they are doing. Analyze how they’re interacting with customers or how they make small talk. It will give you a chance to see their selling skills.

2. Be Different

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Imagine a bake sale where everybody brings cookies or brownies. Not very exciting, is it? Tomatoes, lettuce, and carrots are some of the most popular products that most vendors bring. Turn your products into a niche—something that customers can’t get anywhere else—to differentiate yourself. Extreme Canopy also advises you to consider a customized pop-up Canopy Tent to protect visitors from the sweltering Summer sunshine.

3. Accept All Payments

Cash, credit card, debit card or PayPal. Process chip, contactless, magnetic stripe cards, etc. The easier you can make it for people to pay for your goods or merchandise, the better it is for you. Do everything you can to keep them from thinking twice about buying from you just because you don’t have their preferred payment method.

4. Dry Run

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First, go outside in your back/front yard. Set up your booth how it will be on an actual day. This will give you a chance to see if everything fits, and where you can optimize areas to prevent waiting lines.

5. Be Friendly

When it comes to being in front of people, being friendly is generally the right thing to do. This means not having a snarky attitude, or being condescending to people in front of you. Never consider it to be time wasted if you talk with a dozen people, and only make 2 or 3 sales. The key here is to build a rapport with people. They’re at the market to get a deal on goods – focus on helping them.

6. Hydration

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If you’re dehydrated, you’re going to suffer. You will be a lackluster salesperson if you don’t have the energy, strength (or hydrated mouth) to talk with people. Bring gallons of water for you and your team. Plus, with the summer months coming, you can hand out water bottles to guests in danger of having heatstroke. (Which will endear you to them and ensure you stay on their mind for your generosity and possibly increase your sales.)

7. Best Foods First

Next time you go to the grocery store and see all the beautiful produce on the shelves, remember: beauty sells. Avoid putting any browned or wilted goods out. Choose the healthiest-looking and brightest foods to put on display.

8. Win Friends

Way back when Dale Carnegie wrote the legendary How To Win Friends and Influence People. It’s a masterpiece that’s been touted by millions of people over the years. It never goes out of style, and here is why: it shows you, step-by-step, how to become a kinder person that makes friends easily.

9. Presentation

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Presentation is everything. Do you look professional? Is your hair groomed? Pretend you’re going in for a job interview – and dress according to the position you’re applying for. You don’t need to show up in a suit or business attire, but do be well-presentable and professional.

10. Sell

The best way to improve at selling, regardless of product or service, is to practice selling. Take a customer service course or a class in retail selling. Nothing beats actually going out and trying to convince people to accept your goods in exchange for money.


“Market” is the keyword in being successful at farmer’s markets. Brush up on your marketing skills beforehand. It also won’t hurt to hit up your favorite social media platform and let your friends and family know where you’ll be at which time.