Roadside veg. stand prices : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Do any of you sell vegetables at a roadside stand, and if you do, do you market the price below, above, or same as the cost in a major grocer?

-- Russell Hays (, June 05, 2001



I sell my bakery goods along with a woman who sells her produce. The prices are a little above market prices because everything is FRESH. My baked goods are made with butter, real nuts, real vanilla etc. I have learned too that the area you are in will make a difference.

I go to different markets in other areas to see how prices compare. I am in the Midwest, not far from Chicago so prices are a bit higher.

Check out other stands in your area. I bought a book, Sell What You Sow, all about marketing your produce, etc. A lot of great ideas in there. Can't remember the author but if you are interested, e-mail me and I will get you the name. It contained not only marketing ideas but had a resource section.

Good Luck!

-- Cordy (, June 05, 2001.

The only experience I have had has been with un-attended honesty box type stands and my impression was that if the price is perceived to be fair (maybe a bit less than the supermarkets) then you collect plenty of money. Put the price up just a bit and people forget to leave the money!

-- john hill (, June 05, 2001.

We always try to give 30% to 40% more in quantity along with our added local, organic grown quality to our farm market customers. If the stores are selling waxy, no flavor tomatoes 3/a dollar, we give five for a dollar. I always keep in mind that most of my customers are still totally rate race dependent and are in need of bargains to ease the crunch. And since we grow our own, just a few extra rows produce all the "premiums" we give with little extra labor and it does make a satisfied return customer for us. Produce is nice because you always have a potential sale just a bowel movement away :>)

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, June 05, 2001.

Russell, the way I am going about it for my newly started table stand is going to some of the big farm store markets and the farmers market around in town and writing down what they are charging for the things I am selling and then figuring if I can either sell cheaper,for the same or higher. I have come to figure out that you have to take 3 things in consideration #1.what you want to make. #2.what you think your stuff is worth, and #3.what the public is willing to pay for it. You will come to find for the most part that #3 is not any where near what you want #1 and #2 to be. I mean you can price tomatos at $5.00 a pound,thinking thats what you want to make off them, but you won't sell alot (if any) at that price.

-- TomK (, June 05, 2001.

I think it depends on your view of the world, and subsequently the type of customer you are targeting.

If you see the world through the eyes of the bargain hunter who has known hard times, then you will target those who you identify with. You will price your stuff at bargain prices, and focus on building relationships with those who are in hardship situations.

If you see the world through the eyes of one who is fed up with the artificial food offered at the supermarkets, and feel deeply that they things you are offering are worth more than that stuff, then you will target the natural foods shopper, and you will price your produce higher than the supermarket. You will find yourself developing relationships with those who have more money to spend.

Take your pick. I choose catering to the hard-up myself, but my hubby is the opposite.

When we were getting milk on a donation basis, hubby always paid more than supermarket price! I tended to feel that if the farmer made twice as much off of me as he made off the milk company, then he was doing fine!

However, now that I am selling milk on the same donation basis, I find that it is the customers who give the most who will be the last to find their supply of milk cut off at the end of the milking cycle. LOL, I guess I am more mercenary than I thought.

-- daffodyllady (, June 05, 2001.

Undervaluing your product is a much worse mistake than overvaluing it. Remember, it is much easier to take some money off your price to make a sale than it is to add on once someone has decided to buy. Offer quality that consumers cannot get elsewhere and sell yourself as much as what you provide. Only offer the best and expect top dollar for it and you will be surprised at how often you get it. We go to 2-3 markets a week with produce and I have seen more than one vendor with a good reputation and higher prices outsell people with lower prices. There are certain people who shop price only. ou don't want them as customers as the price will never be low enough for them to be happy. You want to find and cultivate the customer base that recognizes the quality you provide and is willing to pay a few extra cents for it. Please them once and they will come back and buy again and again. Disappoint and you will never see them at your stand again. Figure out what your product is worth to you and try your damnedest to get it. You might just be surprised.

-- ray s. (, June 05, 2001.

I sell below grocery store prices, usually. I think the prices in the store are too high, and won't price mine above what I consider to be fair and honest. If I'm the only one with tomatoes, they'll still be the same price as last week. Just more folks will drop in and buy them.

I don't sale at the farmers market, I'm located on a busy street at the edge of town, and I simply set up my tables next to the road, close to the driveway under the oak. This'll be my third year here, and last year lots of folks announced themselves as repeat customers, and they certainly were regular.

I say, set a price you would pay and think is fair, always give them your best produce and your friendly smile, and they'll all beat a path to your door. (Even when the stand is closed, trust me on this!)

-- Marty (, June 05, 2001.

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