[Market-farming] Firm Market Start Times? Pros and Cons?

Road's End Farm organic87 at frontiernet.net
Sun Apr 6 18:52:53 EDT 2014

I think it may depend on the market.

Our early morning start market (7:30 AM on Saturdays) allows early sales with no problems; there aren't that many customers who show up earlier than that, and those who do often are on their way to work and couldn't come at another time. And I've sold at an afternoon market that allowed early sales and had no problems with them; but I've also sold at a market that theoretically started at 10 in the morning, but customers would start showing up the moment the first vendor arrived (some of their windows overlooked the market site), with the result that a lot of them had come and gone by 10; so if you weren't set up ready for customers well before the theoretical start time, you lost a lot of sales.

Maybe a compromise would be to say vendors can't start setting up before a given time -- if the market starts at 4, nobody can start setting up before 3 or 3:30? It takes some people a lot longer to set up than others, so that wouldn't solve it entirely; but it would keep people from showing up way ahead of time in order to get all the early customers.

-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 6A now I think but maybe not this year
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale

On Apr 6, 2014, at 5:22 PM, Richard Moyer wrote:

> Our market Steering Committee meets tomorrow night.  On the agenda is whether we start on the hour (as advertised and in our written rules), or allow early sales as vendors are setting up.  So vendors who set up early don't have to twiddle their thumbs, and early customers aren't inconvenienced by the wait.
>  A few years back our afternoon market, officially 4-7 pm, kept creeping back until it actually began closer to 3.  And some things were selling out before official start at 4.  So we set a firm time of 3-6, with no early sales allowed.
> But a new crop of vendors, unaware of that history, are asking to sell as soon as they are ready, before our official opening time.
> We do have a market manager, and advertise on the hour starts, in multiple media platforms.
> What is YOUR experience with firm starts on the hour vs. allowing sales between any vendor that shows up early.
> Thanks,
> Richard Moyer

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