Frequently Asked Questions
Q Why are rules important?
A We have somewhere between 40-100 people working in our market and we need them all to flow the same way. We have a high standard and want consistency in the market which meets customer and vendor expectations. Vendors want structure which creates a stress-free environment. When a vendor doesn't meet the expectation, other vendors complain and want consistency of management. In other words, rule keep quality customers and vendors coming back to our markets which encourages higher sales for all vendors. We have participated in markets where managers were absent and vendors did what they wanted and it made selling very difficult. It made frustration levels high that some vendors had more privileges than others. We aim for fairness and consistency without being overbearing.
Q Where did you come up with your rules?
A We have over 70 combined years of management experience working for Big Box companies managing hundreds of employees. We also have been vendors for over a dozen different markets from one side of the country to the other. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly and have learned how to prevent many problems by adding consistency and structure.
Q Why are the fees what they are and why is it important to pay on time?
A Fees are in keeping with the competing area markets. Taking payment can be very time consuming if not structured. If vendors don't have payments ready and they are with customers, it can make the whole process last several hours. Our landlord's also expect streamlined payment at a certain time to avoid increasing their payroll cost. Payment should be a vendor's first priority to insure their space is not given to someone on the waiting list. It is expected that even if there is a rain day on payment day, that the vendor get the payment in on time and also to avoid a late fee.
Q What is a good tent to buy?
A We really enjoy white tents (for crisp, street visibility) from Costco.com ($240) or Sam's because of the durability, great warranty and free shipping. Vendors who shave corners, by buying a cheap camping tent from Walmart ($70) usually have to replace it several times in the year and they don't stand straight and usually some off color that makes your display look drab.
Q What can I use for tent weights?
A Don't use water jugs (not enough weight) or concrete blocks (cause injury and are ugly). You can use canopy sandbags (ebay) or 25 lb.dumbells with 4 foot bungee cords (Walmart) or you can make weights using pvc filled with concrete and topped off with a large eye hook, attached to a bungee cord. It's advisable to visit a market and see what others do this. Tent weights are vital as our locations can get 40 mph gusts and if your tent goes flying, it will not only cause damage to your products but could injure people or their products. You do not need this liability when it can be easily prevented.
Q Why do I need prices on my items?
A A vendor told me once he did not price his merchandise until he sized up the customer which is unfair! Customers know this to be true! Customers don't like asking prices. Price tags and signage are like a silent salesperson. They help a customer decide to purchase or not!
Q Why do I need table skirts to the ground?
A It covers up your supplies and tubs. It completes the display. You will sell more with a clean, crisp display.
Q Why do I need to arrive so early?
A We have limited space and parking and cars need to be out of the way as quickly as possible to allow other vehicles in and to allow early bird shoppers in safely. We have found in the past, being set up early allows walkers and joggers to see what's available so they can comeback with their credit cards and family. If you are not there on time, you could be turned away as our allocated customer parking cannot turn into vendor parking.
Q Why is attendance and timeliness important?
A Customers expect it and buy more when they see a full market. They ask other vendors where you are which takes time away from other customers. When you are not present, it hurts your neighbor's sales. If everyone did it, the market would fall apart. There is a team atmosphere that is let down when you are not there. Often times a customer has to see you 4-5 times before they buy.
Q Why can't I bring my pet?
A Same reasons you can't take them to a job. They could bite someone, they could bark, they could be a distraction. Weather conditions are not ideal for pets (hot cars and pavement). Mainly, it lends an unprofessional appearance.
Q How can I make more money?
A Stay in your tent and greet all customers with friendly, small talk. Work on your display, by observing other vendors, visiting other farmers markets or going to Pinterest for ideas. Your display should be product heavy, light on props but just a few to soften the edges and create a shopping experience. Use printed signage and banners if you don't have an artistic flair. Decorate for the current holiday! Listen to customers and gear your products to their needs. Do more farmers markets per week which makes up for a rainy day. Look at your prices carefully. Would reducing your price by a dollar or two help you sell more volume? Do you have all price ranges for all budgets? Be present. Stay off your phone. Vendors that never sit make more than their standing counterparts. Dress for success. Don't eat in front of customers. Customers buy from a person who they think cares about them and with whom they can identify. Have business cards available with your weekly schedule.
Q How do I find out what licenses I need for food items?
A Use the Vendor Helpful Links page and call the agencies and talk to the experts.
Q What does the Fire Department require for Hot Food Vendors with Tents or Food Trucks?
A All tents will be of flame resistant material or treated with flame retardants as recommended by maufacturer.
Vendor shall have one 2A:10BC fire extinguisher. Deep fryer equipment shall not be used under a tent and shall have a Class K fire extinguisher in addition to the ABC type. All fire extinguishers shall wear a current state inspection tag from a licensed contractor. BBQ's shall be 3 feet from deep fryer equipment and not under tents. Food booth shall have a 20' clearance on 2 sides.Generators shall be 20 feet from food booths,Flammable liquid filled equipment shall not be used with in tents. Refueling hot generator is not permitted. A 2A:10BC fire extinguisher with a current state inspection tag is required with generators. LPG tanks cannot be more than 25 lbs. and need to be checked to ensure there are no leaks. They need to be secured from tipping and located away from public contact.
Text me with your questions and I will add them here!