8 Tips for Your Farmers Market Booth as a First Time Vendor

We know selling your products for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience, so we made a list of everything you'll need to be successful.

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If you will soon be setting up at your first farmers market ever, congratulations on taking the next step in your business journey. Hopefully, you will achieve success. But to do so, you need to make sure that you set up your booth right. Following are some tips to get you started.

Know what you can and cannot sell

Every farmers market has different policies concerning allowed products. Some farmers markets take the phrase "farmers" quite literally, only permitting produce and other goods from your farm or garden.

At other farmers markets, you may be free to offer a wide range of products for sale such as handcrafted goods. Only once you know what merchandise you can bring can you figure out the details for setting up your booth.

Set up a canopy tent

While it is possible to operate a booth at a farmers market without any sort of shade, it is typically not a great idea. A canopy tent is a must for the following reasons:

Setting up canopy tent for farmers market

  • Some of your merchandise may spoil or wilt easily if exposed directly to the bright, hot sun. A canopy tent can protect these items so that you can display them for longer.
  • You also may start feeling like you are wilting if you set out in the sun for hours on end with no shade. A canopy tent can help you feel more comfortable and remain alert and energetic.
  • A canopy tent also can give customers a break from the direct light of the sun as they browse your merchandise. This may tempt them to spend more time in your booth and walk away with more products purchased.

Be mindful of what you put out in the sun

To figure out the optimum layout for items within your tent, the sun is still a factor you will need to consider. What time of day will you be at the farmers market? What path will the sun follow? Do you have flowers or produce that needs the shade and other products which can sit in the sun without consequence? Arrange your stock accordingly.

Purchase the tables, crates, and displays you need

Your farmers market booth will need some sort of displays for your merchandise. Assuming that you are largely stocking produce, you can probably just get away with a few tables covered with tablecloths and some crates or boxes on top of those. You should also check out our blog post on essential items for a yard sale to get additional ideas of things you might need.

If you are stocking other types of items such as handcrafts, you may meet some additional specialized product displays. For example, if you make scarves or jewelry, display models which are made to showcase those items could go a long way toward enhancing their appeal.

Bring some backstock

Assuming all goes well, over the course of the day, you should be clearing out some or all of the merchandise which you put out when the farmers market opens.

Leaving a little bit of empty space on top of your tables is not necessarily a bad idea. It shows that people are purchasing your products.

But you do not want to leave too much space. If you do, your booth will become less appealing from a visual standpoint. It will stand out less, and people will be less drawn to it. It may even come across as paltry—like you simply showed up without a lot of merchandise because you are not that productive.

To solve the problem, bring more merchandise than fits on your tables all at once. Keep this backstock underneath your tables. If you cover the tables with long tablecloths, they will be concealed from view and will not clutter up the appearance of your booth.

The look you are going for should be one of abundance, but it should not be overwhelming or distracting. Customers’ eyes should be drawn to your products, not to your clutter.

Make use of color

When it comes to making your farmers market booth stands out, an eye for color is essential. By nature, many of the goods which are sold at farmers markets tend to be bright and eye-catching (i.e. produce).

If you have colorful items to sell, try to arrange them in a way which emphasizes their hues. If you do not, you will need to find other ways to make your booth colorful. The tablecloths you choose can help with this. You can also pick a canopy tent in a bold color. A good recommendation is not to use too may different hues—just a few colors which complement each other well and create a unified look.

Invest in clear and eye-catching signage

Another way you can bring more color to your booth is through your signage. Here are some other tips for effective signage:

  • Choose a large, legible typeface, and think about what it will look like both close-up and from a distance across the farmers market.
  • Whatever colors you go with, make sure that the contrast is sufficient that the signage remains easy to read.
  • Along with signage that identifies your booth and your products, make signs to draw attention to sales and specials.
  • Put your signage where people can actually read it. The best location is right on your canopy tent at the top above the entrance. That way, people can spot your booth more easily across a crowd. You can either purchase a regular canopy tent and attach a sign to it, or you can commission a customized canopy tent which is emblazoned with the name of your business and your logo.

Success at Your First Farmers Market Begins With a Beautiful Booth

A farmers market can be an incredible opportunity to grow your customer base, put your name out in the community, and increase sales. For some businesses, trade show and farmers market appearances can become a main source of revenue. By following the tips above when you are setting up your first farmers market booth, you can maximize your chances of achieving the success of your dreams.