[Market-farming] shopping for new markets

KAKerby at aol.com KAKerby at aol.com
Tue Aug 2 13:22:36 EDT 2011


I'm glad she likes their local market, but Langley wasn't even on the  list 
of potential markets for us.  It's easily 2 hrs one way once  I toss in the 
sit-and-wait-at-the-ferry-terminal delay, and the ferry crossing  itself.  
Plus those ferries aren't free; that would be another cost to  figure on top 
of fuel and other vehicle costs.  I could  actually attend a lot of the 
Seattle metro markets for less time/money, and  a lot of those markets see a 
much higher average sales volume than  Langley.
 
But I guess that begs the related question - how far away is too far?   Is 
it simply a matter of time/money spent getting to and from, versus money  
earned while there?  I've heard larger vendors say things like "if I am  
unlikely to hit $1,000 in sales, it's not worth my time".  But I have had  only 
one day at market go over the $1000 mark and that was a special once/year  
event.  Hard to know how far is too far, and if I'm being practical or  stingy 
in my willingness to travel to farther-away markets.  Any rules of  thumb 
out there for estimating the "worth it" factor for farther-away  markets?
Kathryn Kerby
frogchorusfarm.com
Snohomish, WA
 
In a message dated 8/2/2011 10:09:28 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,  
SaladG at aol.com writes:
 
My wife has a cousin that lives at Langley on Whidbey Island, which by  
ferry wouldn't be a long way's away. JoAnn is always about their local  market. 
 You might check it out, I have never attended,but this is a high  end 
neighborhood. 
 
 
Phil from Iowa  

 
In a message dated 8/2/2011 12:48:39 A.M. Central Daylight Time,  
KAKerby at aol.com writes:

I've been involved in three markets so far in my fledgling farm  career.  
One was marvelous but too far away, one was close but too  small and 
populated by a whole lot of crafts and resellers.  One was  experimental and shut 
down only half-way through its first season.   That one was run by an 
organization that has another market, same town but  different day and location, 
which is actually one of our county's stronger  markets (it might actually be 
the strongest).  While I was at the  experimental market, I was invited to 
attend the bigger one as well.   We didn't have enough production at that 
point so I said thanks but no  thanks.  With another market season well along 
and a few more lessons  learned along the way, I'm starting to mull whether I 
should explore  attending that larger market next year.  It's got some 
definite pro's  and con's to consider, including a number of items from the "how 
to kill a  market" list which circulated here not too long ago.  But it's 
also  running strong and has been for a number of years now.  So  how do you 
folks evaluate whether to attend any given market?  I sure  don't want to 
make plans now for next year at that market, only to end up  sending an email 
this time next year wailing "oh, GAWD, I was so dumb to  think this would 
work!"  Wish I could find a market that combined all  the ideal conditions, but 
this one might be the next best thing.   Suggestions for how to prove out 
the idea?
Kathryn Kerby
frogchorusfarm.com
Snohomish,  WA


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