do I purchase products that I see at Farmer's Market Online?
Feel free to contact any of the vendors in the market directly with your questions. Email address and phone numbers are included in each Booth. Most vendors ship throughout North America and many will ship overseas as well.
Shipping is certainly expensive, but many shoppers are willing to pay those costs in order to get the products they want delivered to their door. Many of these folks live in urban areas where the expenditure of time, fuel, and effort needed to seek out and purchase a product in person far exceeds the cost of having it delivered.Q: How long will it take before I receive my orders?
When you find a product you want, send an email to the producer's email address in the Booth and they'll give you a better idea of delivery time.
Once installed, Listings can't be changed until they expire. Which is why we ask you to confirm or correct the information before we complete the Listing.
You can add additional Listings at any time, and you can close a Listing early, but its remaining time cannot be rolled over into another Listing.
Each Listing costs just $25 for a full year.
Change requests are accepted on Booths at any time during their lease, but the lease fees are much higher: $150 for 5 months or $250 for a year.
Q: Isn't it best to buy locally from local producers?
Unfortunately, a lot of folks don't have local access to producers selling direct... and many producers need more customers than their local area can provide. That's one of the reasons why Farmer's Market Online was created. See our statement on Buying Online.
Shipping and handling charges on propducts purchased direct may seem high, especially when buying a single item, but they are comparable to the real costs of driving to a store and paying through a clerk. Consider the value of your time ($5, $10, $20 per hour), the cost of operating a vehicle (40 cents per mile), the aggravation of traffic and parking and waiting in line, and the social and environmental cost of 100 people driving to make purchases that one delivery truck could bring to their homes.
Calculate the real costs of a trip to the store and home delivery of direct purchases is often more economical.
Some of our vendors have more than one Booth or offer more than one product. We've placed links between them to make it easier to combine orders for their products.
To offset the added shipping cost involved in making purchases from several different vendors, we recommend buying in bulk, either for yourself or jointly with friends and family. Buying 10 of an item instead of 1 certainly lowers the per item shipping cost.
If you have your own website, you can include a link to it from your Booth. If you don't have a website, your Booth can substitute as a web location in your promotions, i.e., www.FarmersMarketOnline.com/yourname.htm
We post regular updates on market traffic in our Open Market blog.
While we work hard to attract visitors to the market, large numbers of "hits" are not our goal. We would rather attract 10 shoppers seriously interested in buying quality goods direct from the producer than 10,000 shoppers looking for cheap goods at the lowest possible price.
Farmer's Market Online started as an email newsletter in 1994 and expanded to a website in 1995. We've been online continuously since then and most of our shopper traffic is the result of the hundreds of links and referrals established over those years.
We market the website through press releases, search engine registrations and links to our consumer content, but the most effective marketing is still "word of mouth" and our positive reputation.
The Buy Direct Directory lists products available direct from the producer. Its primary purpose is to help shoppers who want to buy direct find the products they are seeking. Each listing links to the producer's email, website or Booth.
If you lease a Booth in the Produce section, for instance, you can display one produce item that you are selling direct. If you have more than one type of produce to offer, you can either rotate your products in the same Booth to feature different items as they are in season or you can lease separate Booths for each product.
Leasing separate Booths will provide more exposure for your products, as shoppers and search engines begin to associate your Booth location with a particular product, but the expense is certainly greater as well.
If you have a number of different products that fit several different categories, you could...
There are two reasons for this requirement. The first is to make it easy for shoppers to find what they're looking for; the second is to avoid having dozens of little "mini-markets" within the market.
one product at a time. The Booth is linked by this product name to our market
pages and the Buy
Direct Directory. If you offer
corn, tomatoes, melons and strawberries,
only one of these can be featured in a single Booth at a time. Shoppers
looking for melons, either on our
Q: Why are some products
linked to Amazon.com?
as long as the product is
appropriate to the category in which the Booth is leased (i.e, Meats, Specialty
Q: Do you have any sort of policy on vendors offering the same product?
Each Booth is limited to one generic product, such as apples or hats or jams, and varieties of that product. Vendors can lease as many Booths as they wish, but we reserve the right to refuse Booth leases to resellers marketing products made by a second party.
Reselling is welcome, however, in the following sections of Farmer's Market Online: Farm Supply, Home & Garden Center, Kitchen Supply, Gift Shop, Holiday, Craft Supplies, Pet Supplies, and Farmers Market Supply sections of Farmer's Market Online.
No. Most of our costs associated with Booths occurs at the front end of the lease as we construct, link and promote the Booth. Once a Booth is closed, no refunds or change requests are allowed..
Instead of closing the Booth, consider changing the product featured in your Booth to one that fits the category (Meats, Specialty Foods, Handmade Crafts, etc.) in which the Booth was leased.
Q: At the end of the lease, if I want to renew will I need to go through the whole registration process again?
1. Photos of your product. We can use these in your Booth, as well as on linking pages to bring customers to your Booth.
2. Linking content. Recipes, tips, resources, how-to information. We can include these in the content areas of the market with links to your Booth.
3. Patience. It takes time for the search engines to find your Booth. The longer it is in place, the more traffic you'll see from customer's searching for your product.
4. Referrals. Include your Booth address in email correspondence, business cards, brochures, etc. It's a slow process, but word of mouth -- or email -- works the best.
5. Consistency. We get 3000-3500 visitors to the market daily, but not all are looking for your product. Those that are may revisit the market, and your Booth, several times before making a purchase. If they know you're here, there's a good chance they'll come looking for you when they need what you've got.
Our mission has been, and continues to be, one of attracting more vendors and more products so that shoppers can rely on Farmer's Market Online as a source for the products they want to buy direct from the producer. We value your participation and will certainly do what we can to help make your experience profitable as well as enjoyable.
Q: Is there any way to monitor orders from a Booth?
All sales transactions at Farmer's Market Online are strictly between the vendor and the customer. We do not process or monitor sales activity.
Most Booths offer several avenues for orders:
Q: Can you provide me with any stats regarding the popularity of your site, or point me to any of your vendors who might be willing to let me contact them via email?
We post regular reports on market traffic in our Open Market blog.
Email addresses for all of our vendors are listed in their Booths. You are welcome to contact any of them.
All sales, inquiries and transactions are made strictly between shoppers and the vendors, so we have no records on the response rates for individual Booths.
Q: Once you receive payment, how long before my Booth is added to your site?
We caution vendors not to expect hundreds of sales from their investment. It's more likely that your Booth will help you find a few good customers with the potential to become repeat buyers for years to come.
In general, you shouldn't expect -- or worry about -- being deluged with orders or inquiries from your Booth. It will take time for shoppers and Internet search engines to become aware of your Booth and its product, and most shoppers tend to visit a Booth several times before actually placing an order. The longer your Booth is in place, however, the more visitors it will get and the more serious they will be about purchasing.
Online sales are not a requirement of vendors at Farmer's Market Online. Our mission is to link shoppers who want to buy direct from the producer with producers selling direct, wherever that may be (farmstand, local market, mailorder, etc.). A Booth or a Listing at Farmer's Market Online can be used to alert shoppers to a vendor's presence at a farmers market, or help them place special orders for pickup or delivery. All sales are strictly between the shopper and the vendor, however and wherever they occur.
Q: Who designs the Booth?
We build the Booth based on the information you provide on the registration form. Once it's ready, we'll ask you to review it and make corrections before it is linked to the market. Further changes and/or corrections can be made at any time, but please allow a couple days for us to get the job done.
You can lease additional Booths in other sections of the market and either fill them with the same content or display other varieties of your product. If you do this, we will link them together so that shoppers can browse between them.
Or... you can list your product in other categories on the Buy Direct Directory ($25/year per listing) and link these listings to your existing Booth.
Booths in our Farm Supply, Home & Garden Center, Kitchen Supply, Gift Shop, Holiday, Craft Supplies, Pet Supplies, and Farmers Market Supply sections are not included on the Buy Direct Directory because we allow resale items in these sections.
As long as your product is being sold direct from the producer and fits reasonably in the particular section of the market, you can lease as many Booths or register as many Buy Direct Directory listings as you like.