[Market-farming] Market Prices

Jay Sleichter jaysleichter at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 14 00:29:34 EDT 2011


It is nice to hear that others have the same problems as I do.  We have two large outfits at one of my markets I attend they buy and a resell all kinds of stuff. One day last week they had oranges, peaches, bananas, pineapple and limes in addition to their normal fair.  They also sell it all dirt cheap.  The market management has been fighting them on Labeling the Place of Origin of all their produce.  It is helping, but when their produce gets going, they undercut everyone.  Last fall they were selling Zucchini and Cucumbers, 75 cents each or 5 for a $1.  I can't grow, harvest, pick, cool, transport, and market  those things for 20 cents each.  I don't have that economy of scale on myside.  

One thing I try to do is have things when no one else has them.  It works out for me.  High tunnels have allowed me to do this.  I try to be the first to market with LOCALLY grown produce, then when mine starts to fizzle out, theirs picks up and I am onto another crop. I still grow some, but I have made my $$ on that crop and I don't have to compete.  This way I set the starting price for the item and it usually keeps the price higher through out the year. 

Another thing is to start a Producer only market. THis is what we have in my hometown.  I sell more $$ at that market than I do at the other one.  The reason is I don't have to fight low ball pricing.  

Good luck, find your niche and go with it!

Jay's Jellies, Produce and More

Clay Center, Kansas



--- On Mon, 6/13/11, SaladG at aol.com <SaladG at aol.com> wrote:

From: SaladG at aol.com <SaladG at aol.com>
Subject: [Market-farming] Market Prices
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Date: Monday, June 13, 2011, 12:43 PM


WE have  a vendor that has a couple of large booth's in our market and 
they are so cheap that they don't even to try to compete in our market, they 
just give it away because their comment is we have to sell all of it, and it is 
a lot.  Truth is they just plain and simple overwhelm our market with so 
much product, no one else can even get close to grocery store price.  I 
counted 126 cases of lettuce, 25 cases of greens, lettuce 3/1.00 greens .50 a 
bunch.  If our market was as big as it used to be maybe the other vendors 
would have a chance, but now the parking is a mess in the old market area with 
so much going on every weekend and our regular customers are using other 
markets in town on Saturday, they have no less than 5 other markets in town on 
Saturday Mornings and three on Sunday.  What a thrill, College World Series 
starts this Saturday, I love the games, but sales really suck because this 
series puts 3 Million people in town for 10 days and if you need to go downtown 
Omaha for the next week, forget it unless you take a bus or have a personal paid 
for parking spot.
People that go to these events are not going to buy vegetables, they are 
looking for fun, not food.  This market is a ton of fun to attend, but when 
some vendors are not even using common sense in sales it hurts the whole market, 
and they expect everyone to be as cheap as the other vendors in the 
market.  Laura Hodges touched on this a while back, some vendors need to 
spend a little more time figuring there actual cost of production of each 
product they are growing.  We do around 400 bunches of green each week 
mostly wholesale because of pricing in markets, 1.42 last week to 1.75 a bunch 
to our wholesale outlets and they stop at the farm and pick up.  We get 
2.00 at the markets and sell ok so why in the world would anyone sell for .50 a 
bunch.  Figure the time, pick, wash, bundle,and cool, and sell for 
.50.  I figured our cost at .72 a bundle, with no labor bill.  
I think some of these conferences in the winter need to do a little more on 
marketing of vegetable products and show how you actually do make a good living 
in this business,  volume is good but selling below cost is just plain 
stupid, and it actually hurts your whole market when selling below cost of 
Phil from Iowa
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