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Old June 12, 2017   #16
Cole_Robbie
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There's a pepper product wholesaler near me. He sells to a lot of Wisconsin cheese companies. His big thing is same-day processing. The peppers never sit overnight after being picked, until they have become the end product.
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Old June 12, 2017   #17
BigVanVader
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When I was looking at markets I would call the person running it and ask if they had vendors selling the same things as me. Some did, some didn't. I narrowed it down to 3 then visited them to see prices etc. One was way to cheap, old folks losing money to have someone to talk to. The second was full of heirloom tomato vendors (that I'm almost positive were reselling) and they wouldn't allow another tomato vendor. The 3rd had a couple of tomato vendors but not heirlooms, or very limited heirlooms and none of them knew much about tomatoes.

That ended up being the perfect spot and we are slowly building a customer base. Once we increase production a bit I may try to expand to 2 or 3 markets. So my advice is start small & slow & focus on finding a few good customers then really build that relationship. Word of mouth is always the best way to get more customers and gives you time to learn as you go. The best thing about being a small plot farmer is you can let your customers decide what they want, then provide that in the highest quality you can.
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Old June 12, 2017   #18
Cole_Robbie
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I have been to two local markets, and they are very different. One has mostly older customers looking to save money. They want low prices. My other market has a lot more discretionary income floating around. Those customers will pay a premium price for what they see as a premium product.
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Old June 16, 2017   #19
adewilliams
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Thanks, guys! I apologize for being slow to respond. My husband and I have been on vacation.

I've been in touch with a florist today and I hope to do at least some work with her. We're going to meet up in the next couple of weeks to talk more. I'm so nervous about this. I definitely want to take things slow and small. I appreciate all your support! Everyone here always had good information and insights. I'll try to keep you posted as (if) things progress.
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Old June 16, 2017   #20
clkeiper
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don't go too small. you need an adequate amount of product to fill her niche. otherwise the florist will drop you like a hotcake. plan to throw stuff away. it is cheaper to toss it than to not have it available for a customer.
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Old June 17, 2017   #21
bower
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On the subject of pricing, many years ago when I started my first business, I was taught how to price the item by adding labor plus materials and then X2 to get retail price. This didn't seem right at the time, especially because it pushed the price point up a lot and that of course would affect sales. But after many years of doing all kind of sales of various products whether wholesale, consignment or direct sales, I concluded that the formula is correct. The cost of retailing is about equal to the cost of the item. If you price lower in direct sales, you're likely cheating yourself of the wages you would pay someone else for sitting at your table. Wholesale price of course is just labor + materials, and the buyer takes on all the risk and the cost of retailing.

The flip side of the equation though is that the market generally dictates a price point - the going rate or market value of what you're selling. That means we often end up working the math backwards, starting with retail price and deduct materials to calculate your wages. Always the challenge of keeping material costs as low as possible, so as to maximize your pay and have the kind of price flexibility that Cole is using - knowing your market, what and how much to bring, and pricing to sell. Especially with flowers or produce or plants - basically perishable items - you don't want to harvest and then take them home unsold.

Supplying a florist would be a great gig. Yes it will be a wholesale price point, but also allows you to focus on the growing side and let someone else do the retail, who already has an established market.
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