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Noob at the Farmers Market-- Need Advice! - Page 2

post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by epaty25 View Post

Wisebaker, I'm also trying to start selling cupcakes at my local farmers market and liability insurance is required. Where did you purchase liability insurance? Was it a local company or online? I live in south Florida and trying to get quotes. I got one for $350 for the year. I'm trying to find something cheaper.
You won't get much cheaper than $350/year. You can try www.fliprogram.com, they have coverage starting at $300/year.
post #17 of 50
So happy to find this thread! WiseBaker, I'm in the same position starting out and doing the farmer's market.

I was wondering the same thing about hot weather and icing. Hopefully someone will address that.
post #18 of 50
Wow, this is great information! The cottage laws in Colorado are starting to get much more relaxed and I too am going to try and sell baked goods at my local FM.

I have a different opinion about "Undercutting" local bakeries. I feel that this is America, and was built on free enterprise. Bakeries have an advantage over small home bakeries because of the volume they can produce. I wouldn't accuse a Bakery of trying to outsell me because they can bake more goods than I can. I will sell my baked goods for less because I can produce them for less. This is a choice I made for myself, and I wouldn't expect you to follow my rules... A little competition never hurt anybody, and you know the old saying, “If you can’t stand the heat…”
post #19 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellig View Post

I have a different opinion about "Undercutting" local bakeries. I feel that this is America, and was built on free enterprise. Bakeries have an advantage over small home bakeries because of the volume they can produce. I wouldn't accuse a Bakery of trying to outsell me because they can bake more goods than I can. I will sell my baked goods for less because I can produce them for less. This is a choice I made for myself, and I wouldn't expect you to follow my rules... A little competition never hurt anybody, and you know the old saying, “If you can’t stand the heat…”
You are of course free to charge whatever you want, but by undercutting the market value in your area you can end up starting a "race to the bottom" that results in customers having a lower perceived value of what quality cakes are worth. If and when you decide to graduate to a bakery with normal overhead, you may find that you then cannot be profitable due to depressed market prices. That's great news for customers, at least until all the quality bakers in the area close up shop because they can't make any money or are burned out from charging too little. Walmart pursues a similar strategy.

The bakery that is "outselling" you due to higher production volume is doing you a favor (assuming they are pricing correctly) by reiterating a realistic market value to customers.
post #20 of 50

Wow, I didn't realize that a cupcake had so much power.

 

Wal-Mart has a market and Macy's has theirs... Some people think that if they pay more for something it makes them "special"... You will always have the kind of people who are defined by their Coach purse. So the high end baker will always have their market.

 

For me it's about delivering such a beautiful cake to a precious little princess whose parents work hard for their money but would rather buy the latest Barbie dream house than a Coach purse... and yes those who might even shop at... Wal-Mart... gasp.

post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellig View Post

Wow, I didn't realize that a cupcake had so much power.
It's not the cupcake that has the power, it's how you price it. Economics 101.
Quote:
Wal-Mart has a market and Macy's has theirs... Some people think that if they pay more for something it makes them "special"... You will always have the kind of people who are defined by their Coach purse. So the high end baker will always have their market.

For me it's about delivering such a beautiful cake to a precious little princess whose parents work hard for their money but would rather buy the latest Barbie dream house than a Coach purse... and yes those who might even shop at... Wal-Mart... gasp.
This is not about the quality of the product. In fact, the most economic damage is done by business owners who are very talented and can create beautiful products but are not as skilled at the business side and price those beautiful products well below what they are worth. These business owners reinforce the common attitude among customers that they can have champagne cake at beer prices.
post #22 of 50

:-( The "go-to" bakery in my town sells plain frosted cupcakes for 80 cents each. $10.50 a dozen if you want a pick put in it. I have a much higher quality cake than they do, so I can't afford to sell my cupcakes that cheap! They make it tough for me to sell mine for too much higher though.

post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellig View Post

Wow, this is great information! The cottage laws in Colorado are starting to get much more relaxed and I too am going to try and sell baked goods at my local FM.

I have a different opinion about "Undercutting" local bakeries. I feel that this is America, and was built on free enterprise. Bakeries have an advantage over small home bakeries because of the volume they can produce. I wouldn't accuse a Bakery of trying to outsell me because they can bake more goods than I can. I will sell my baked goods for less because I can produce them for less. This is a choice I made for myself, and I wouldn't expect you to follow my rules... A little competition never hurt anybody, and you know the old saying, “If you can’t stand the heat…”

 

I find it surprising that you can produce baked goods for less than a retail bakery who can buy in bulk, can mass produce, and has systems in place to streamline every aspect of their operation.  Do you pay yourself market wages, and do your sales contribute to your overhead?

 

I love everything about America, including that anyone can enter a market at any time and compete.  But, a smart business owner knows and focuses on the maximum they can sell their product for, not the minimum.  Leaving money on the table (by undercutting the going rate) will get you nowhere fast, when you have all kinds of orders to fulfill for little to no profit.

 

Liz

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

Reply

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

Reply
post #24 of 50
From an economic standpoint, selling below market value ties in with the concept of "production for use", which is essentially where goods and services are provided for the price your customers can pay, not at a price where the vendor can make a profit. Production for use is one of the core concepts that defines a socialist economy.
post #25 of 50
Kellig - why so eager to join the race to the bottom?
post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


You are of course free to charge whatever you want, but by undercutting the market value in your area you can end up starting a "race to the bottom" that results in customers having a lower perceived value of what quality cakes are worth. If and when you decide to graduate to a bakery with normal overhead, you may find that you then cannot be profitable due to depressed market prices. That's great news for customers, at least until all the quality bakers in the area close up shop because they can't make any money or are burned out from charging too little. Walmart pursues a similar strategy.

The bakery that is "outselling" you due to higher production volume is doing you a favor (assuming they are pricing correctly) by reiterating a realistic market value to customers.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Godot View Post

Kellig - why so eager to join the race to the bottom?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liz at sugar View Post

 

I find it surprising that you can produce baked goods for less than a retail bakery who can buy in bulk, can mass produce, and has systems in place to streamline every aspect of their operation.  Do you pay yourself market wages, and do your sales contribute to your overhead?

 

I love everything about America, including that anyone can enter a market at any time and compete.  But, a smart business owner knows and focuses on the maximum they can sell their product for, not the minimum.  Leaving money on the table (by undercutting the going rate) will get you nowhere fast, when you have all kinds of orders to fulfill for little to no profit.

 

Liz

 

 

Where is the "like" button when you need it!

post #27 of 50

Ok, here is my two cents for Farmers Markets.

 

If you are going to sell individually, make it a round dollar value ($2-$3). No one wants 50 cents jangling around in their pockets at a Farmers Market.

 

I personally would do samples and sell no individual cupcakes. Like very small peices of a cupcake in a mini cupcake paper (8-10 samples from one cupcake). Samples will get you SO much traffic, especially on your first few Farmer's Markets. Once you have a reputation, you could back off and have no samples and sell a few individual, but if people love your cupcakes they will buy a 4 pack or two or three. The thought process behind not selling individually is so you make up with volume for giving samples. If I tried your cupcakes and loved them, it would be no problem for me to buy a 4 pack.

 

Also, do as many combos as you can. For example if you are selling singles do one for $3 or two for $5. People make snap decisions when it comes to sweets and Farmers Markets. If I wanted one but my husband was on the fence, but I could get two for $5 I would make him pick a flavor and get two.

 

Also, do combos for your larger packages. So like $10 for a 4 pack but $15 for two 4 packs. If I loved the chocolate sample, but my husband loved your caramel, I would buy two different packages if I got a discount.

 

This will help increase your overall volume and help your customers enjoy more than one flavor.

post #28 of 50

I agree about having everything being even I hate change.    I also like your idea on the discount for purchasing more.  I am selling packs of 6 no singles or 4 packs.  I wish I could get $2.00 for a cupcake but I live in a rural area and nobody would spend that much for cupcakes.  The only bakery is our local grocery store so our fm does really well. 

post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie70 View Post

I agree about having everything being even I hate change.    I also like your idea on the discount for purchasing more.  I am selling packs of 6 no singles or 4 packs.  I wish I could get $2.00 for a cupcake but I live in a rural area and nobody would spend that much for cupcakes.  The only bakery is our local grocery store so our fm does really well. 


I'm doing the same this weekend. I did make 3 trays of 24 mini cupcakes to pass out...I just figured people will walk over to get a sample and then I'll have a better chance of selling. I live in a rural area too, and we have either a Walmart ($12 for a large cake, or $5 for 12 cupcakes!) or a bakery that sells individual cupcakes for 80 cents each. I'm going to try for $2 for a single cupcake or $5 a 6 pack. I did a bunch of quick breads, granola, and a few cookies just to make my money back on the FM fee if cake doesn't sell well in the morning. I figure it'll get my name out there, one way or another.

post #30 of 50

Keep us posted....I know a lot of us are going to pay attention to this thread...I have my first farmer's market on May 25th!!! So keep the adivce and lessons flowing!!!

 

Lisa

"When you look at a cupcake, you've got to smile." ~ Anne Byrn

Reply

"When you look at a cupcake, you've got to smile." ~ Anne Byrn

Reply
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