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Country Markets
Sat 2-Feb-13
2:58 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Hi

Does anyone have any experience of selling their produce/crafts etc at a Country Market?

I am thinking of joining our local one but not too sure if its right for me.

Thanks

Maura

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Sat 2-Feb-13
11:47 pm
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Terrier
York

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Not ventured in to that area Maura, my worry would be them needing all sorts of hygiene certificates and the likes.

Sun 3-Feb-13
10:02 am
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mauramac
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At the moment they only require the Food Hyiene Certificate and are happy with the online course one which costs about £18. I don't mind taking the course if I end up selling my jams etc but this added cost plus the 10% on each sale might take away a lot of any profits for quite a while.

I didn't see many people buying the preserves whilst I was there but then it was a cold wet day and a couple of people I know tell me you have to queue up to get in most weeks and that all the sales happy very early on (it's only open for an hour every Friday morning).

Of course the advantage for me is that I can also sell my knitted items and any excess produce from the garden and my daughters allotment should there be any this year!

I'll have to give it some thought.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Sun 3-Feb-13
12:09 pm
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Rob12
London, UK

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I sold very successfully at the Slow Food Market in West Norwood last year – not having a clue what I was doing, minimal prep and very little time on the stall but my products sold out.  I think provided you have the enthusiasm to talk with people about what you produce you will do well.  If you become an established feature at the market you do even better and it probably works out better in the long term as you can compensate for the inevitable 'dead' days.

 

If you go for it do let us know how you get on.  I am revisiting the slow food market later this year so am building up stock in the interim.  Stall is only £35 which I think is reasonable.

Sun 3-Feb-13
1:07 pm
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mauramac
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The Country Markets are run on a Co-operative basis and you have to use their labels and from what I could see the prices of the preserves were all the same.To identify who the money should go to they have a coloured dot label on the lid and the your name in very small print on the main label. I think they pay you your total sales on a monthly basis.

 The sizes of the jars were all the same - 1lb and 1/2lb which is a bit off-putting as I use all sorts of jar sizes and price accordingly. However, I have to speak to the Manager who runs it so will be able to find out a bit more about how it all works then.

I think £35 is quite expensive but you probably get more customers at one of those markets. This one is held in a local village hall and only open for an hour so is limited. You have to attend to help set up the tables and also to clear away after and really is more of a social event. I suppose the prices of the jams is the same for everyone to stop someone coming along and undercutting everyone.

As most of my sales go to the dog rescue I support I am not looking to make a living out of but need to make a profit or all my hard work is for nothing and I might just as well donate the money direct.

Thanks for your replies - it helps to get some feedback as to how it works elsewhere around the country.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Sun 3-Feb-13
3:11 pm
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Rob12
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Thank you for that insight into the country markets mauramac.  I have not encountered that system before.  It is run by the WI by any chance?  I have heard their markets do something similar with the branding/pricing?

 

The West Norwood market is a local initiative that is the brainchild and passion of just one person.  She has managed to drum up support and draw in entertainers and stallholders to the point that the main market (first Sunday of every month) is now quite an event.  The Slow Food market is an offshoot of this and held less frequently.  The Slow Food market ran from 8am(ish) to 5pm so was a full on day.  There is always evening entertainment afterwards in the form of a live band or a movie or something.  It is a nice local event.

 

I have visited the market at Horsham as they were packing up one Saturday.  It struck me as being quite large and varied.  A lot of home producers were present and the one stall that was selling preserves was doing so using a lot of different sized recycled bottles as you would do.  So presumably this is possible generally, even if it not under the Cooperative banner.

Mon 4-Feb-13
9:57 am
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Terrier
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£35 is quite a lot to pay for a stall, and on my profit margins I'd have to sell quite a lot of produce just to cover the stall costs and as I also make things in relatively small batches, ( 7 - 9 jars at a time) it would a big spend on my time too. I don't doubt the profit is there if you have the produce, but I do this for enjoyment and as a hobby and wouldn't really want to go into the scale of production that would warrant me getting payback for a £35 outlay on a regular basis, I have paid £25 for a stall around Christmas time but I rarely do, and its got to be somewhere I REALLY want to go to.

Mon 4-Feb-13
11:01 am
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mauramac
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Yes I agree Jan, I couldn't pay anything like that either. It is rather like giving away the first 14 (or so) jars of jam or whatever before I would start to make any profit, and I only make small batches as well.

I'm sure it works under the circusmstances you describe but for me it would be a big no-no. I did pay £10 for a table at a sale locally last Autumn but my daughter joined us and paid half as she had a lot of stuff she wanted to sell as well and we both made some money that day despite a poor turnout. However.....the people who bought there treated the sale like a jumble sale and wanted to pay only a pound or so for brand new (still with labels on) items and I knew I could get a more realistic price for the items on Ebay so I brought those items home. I did sell a small amount of jam & chutney but it was not the most encouraging of days.

When I sell new items on EBay I always include the postage in with the price and have sold a lot of things that way successfully - I wouldn't sell jam by post though. The mind set of some people is weird and it does rather depend on the area I know but I've seen enough criminal element at boot sales to put me off for life.

The Country Market is a national scheme and I'm just finding out about it to be honest but I know the WI are not involved these days but think they were in the past. Here is a link to their home page.

http://www.country-markets.co.uk/

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Mon 4-Feb-13
11:06 am
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mauramac
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p.s to above post:

My hubby called into our local Farm Shop for veg at the weekend and said they were selling home made jams, marmalades etc for between £3.50 and £4.25 for 8oz jars!!!!

One marmalade was called "Gentlemans Marmalade" because it had whisky added. Bit cheeky.

Seems to me they can charge what they like once it's up on a shelf in a shop and this isn't the first time I've seen these sort of prices for preserves in Farm Shops. I suppose they do have higher overheads....ponder

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Tue 5-Feb-13
5:47 am
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eileen54
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mauramac said:

At the moment they only require the Food Hyiene Certificate 

How come they only need a food hygene certificate when some years back some of the WI had to stop making cakes unless their kitchens were animal free, tiled and with double sinks , I know that a lot had to stop because their could not afford to make these changes. At the same time my aunt had to stop selling her goats milk as she only had a milking shed and not a proper dairy, she was only allowed to sell it for pet food

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Wed 6-Feb-13
11:59 pm
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brightspark
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Eileen, we were told last year by a Health'n'Safety person that if you have 5 or less stalls per year, no licence is required - at all.

I would guess, then, that it depends on what you're selling and how often you're selling it whether it will have an impact on rules and regulations.

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Thu 7-Feb-13
2:28 pm
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mauramac
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I'll ask on Friday when I meet the Manager but there are definitely more than 5 tables (not stalls) as it is indoors. They sell fruit - veg- meat - cakes - bread- cards- knitware -preserves and I believe meat as well but didn't have time last week to see all around it. You pay 10% of each sale towards their costs which includes insurance. Will find out if this is just for the use of the hall or public liability or what. Maybe the WI couldn't afford to continue to run it.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Thu 7-Feb-13
5:43 pm
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brightspark
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No, Maura - I don't mean at the event !

I mean if you, personally, take a stall (or table) more than 5 times in one year, then you will need a licence.

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt"
Thu 7-Feb-13
6:19 pm
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mauramac
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brightspark said:

No, Maura - I don't mean at the event !

I mean if you, personally, take a stall (or table) more than 5 times in one year, then you will need a licence.

 

Ha ha whoopsie daisy doh

Sorry about that - what a muppet. That is an odd rule though isn't it ponder

The Country Markets are open almost every Friday throughout the year - hopefully tomorrow all will be revealed wink

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Thu 7-Feb-13
6:21 pm
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brightspark
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laugh

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
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