Aussies Living Simply

Local Markets

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    Hi all

    We went to the Talbot Farmers market last week and the Dunolly Market yesterday. The Talbot one was pretty big, but the Dunolly one was really friendly. I bought a couple of fruit trees yesterday for $15 each. That’s half the price that nurseries are selling them for.

    I wanted to check out what people are selling because eventually I want to be able to sell my plants, preserves and fruit and veges. What I noticed was that people are selling everything I wanted to and they are presenting their products exceptionally well with low prices.

    I don’t think that competing at these markets is going to be very easy. Do any of you sell at markets? How do you go?

    I am thinking that we are better off with a stand out the front of our property rather than joining the competition. At least that way, we won’t have to shell out for market fees and hopefully we will be able to sell a bigger variety. The other option is to come up with something that is different to everyone else…… hmmm…. any ideas???


    A chap up here grows about 3 acres of onions and potatoes and takes them to the markets – he said he always sells out, and he also supplies the local shop. What about looking for fruit or vegetables that no-one else is selling – like semi-tropical fruit (I know you’re in Vic but you’d be surprised what grows down there), okra, arrowroot and things like that.

    ‘…a stand out the front of our property…’ – find out if you have to have a permit for this (can cost a bit of money in some areas) – alternative is to have the stand inside the gate and a sign on the fence.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. 🙂


    Hi Marz

    Yes, I meant that it would be inside the fence. I don’t think I’d worry about a permit for it. We are on quite a busy road, so I reckon we’d at least get curious people to stop.

    Selling different produce as you say may be a goer. I have a white sapote and a curry tree growing that will hopefully produce something. I was wondering if I dried the fruit (once we get some) if that would sell. I was thinking Ii could use the hothouse as a drying room for fruit and herbs and maybe someone would be interested in buying them.

    hmmm it is hard isn’t it.


    Hi Kerrip,

    I wouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel – established market stallers are hard to beet at the own game, especially if you are starting out.

    Think about complimentary things. I did quite a brisk trade (hiatus with the baby) selling day old up to point of lay chicks for the backyarder. also wool and alpaca raw to finished products, and baged poo.

    I would be thinking along the lines of what the market is missing that compliments what is already being sold:tup: you can harness yourself to an exisitng market. or talk to the market organisers to see if you can have a little stand at the exit somewhere, so you can poll the market goers, and see what they think is missing it may be something you are able to supply.:clap: and that you would enjoy producing.




    Have spent a few years doing markets, now I have too many kids to fit in the car with the plants!

    Ive also found that the cost of market stalls can be very high for a small trader with uncertain sales. For some of the small outdoor markets, you need to book and pay in advance, if it hails on the day and there are no customers at all bad luck.

    Added to that even the small markets here are insisting on business insurance for anyone who wants to sell at a market, the yearly cost has risen to be more than my yearly profit.

    Hence my push towards selling from home, And starting a garden/herb group which I can host here, which can have a trading table for anyone who wants to sell stuff. The new shed which is going up will hopefully be wet weather venue..:D

    The other thing you can do is ask around to find an existing stallholder who would like to carry your products for a percentage cut. Most stallholders are actually decent people who are pretty friendly, they have to be to survive those stormy days with hail..


    Hi Kerrie :wave:

    I sell wooden toys/spinning wheels and accessories and other wooden stuff at a variety of markets.

    I have a captive market because I seem to sell stuff that nobody else sells.

    My comment really only reiterates what others have already mentioned.

    What I have observed with new people trying to sell their wares is that they are more likely to succeed if

    1___they have something that nobody else is selling

    2___they have similar stuff but it is presented differently (eg soaps – some sell plain bars others sell in fancy wraps/boxes/various shapes etc etc)

    3___they sell (especially plants) stuff at a different growth stages (eg selling younger or older seedlings/advanced cuttings/well established pots etc)

    4___their product looks like somebody should buy it because <insert special reason here> eg it is home grown/chemical free/contains no artificial stuff etc etc

    5___their stall is presented for a particular ‘look’ – may have a professional ‘I-do-this-for-a-living’ look or crafty ‘I-make-this-myself’ style.

    That last point seems to be especially important for selling things like preserves/excess fruit and stuff.

    Sometimes a jar of pickles looks the ants pants (anybody ever really seen ants in pants?) just by having a nice label or a pretty ribbon around it compared to an ex-vegemite jar with a texta scrawl on the jar.

    I have seen women/girls selling yarns and the like whilst dressed in homespun outfits demonstrating spinning/knitting.

    They really looked like you wanted to buy something from them.

    Selling from home may be an option, too, as already mentioned.

    You may still need insurance/permits yadda, yadda, yadda and need to specify when you are ‘open’.

    I am happy for people to browse my ‘stuff’ at home but only by appointment otherwise they can catch me at a market.

    The goddess (Scarecrow) sells some of her plants and produce at a couple of markets that do not sell what she sells.

    She also provides eye candy when she comes to my markets :kiss: :hug:

    There are many considerations and also many reasons to try and have a go at whichever method of selling you choose, just needs some thought before you jump in and get disappointed :tup:

    Either way, have a go and good luck.

    Sorry to write so much, it is one of the things I get excited about.

    I enjoy seeing people sell their own stuff :clap:

    marketingly yours

    Doc 😉


    As a regular market shopper (never had a stall), I like to choose stalls that look like a homely farm stall, not a prefessional setup – so I look for things like pictures of the happy animals, the name of the farm on the stall, something that makes me feel like I am buying from the person who had a hand in producing the goods.

    We have a market around here where some enterprising people started selling seedings of herbs and lettuce right next to the stalls with the fruit and veges – the idea is that you get your groceries and some herbs to go with them which can be planted or eaten.

    Another mob do refillable liquids – eg maple syrup, olive oil, etc at a fruit and vege market. Still another does a nice line in organic beef turned into homemade jerky, activated nuts, duck fat, home dried fruits and veges, etc. Value-adding at it’s best. I’ve also seen spice mixes and bulk spices sell well. Look at BFA for organic certification for reselling – you could then get some organic stuff (spice, nuts, etc), repackage it and sell it alongside your home produced stuff.

    Meanwhile… I love a good farm gate too!:tup:


    As you are on a busy road I would try that first. I do both markets and road….road is best by far.

    Unless you have an extensive array of plants/vegies/fruit supplimentary stuff would have to be bought to make a market stall.

    Very little profit in reselling. A stall needs variety to attract customers.

    Insurance sucks out the profits. Not much money to be made from selling plants….unless they are grafted fruit trees or like.

    Stall holders can compete with other stalls selling same, but yours has to be better/look better/be presented better. Also price will play a part, cheapskates look for 50cent variations.

    And lastly, be polite, cheerful and engage people, amazing how sometimes a casual “good morning” will create a potential customer, it works believe me.


    “I have seen women/girls selling yarns and the like whilst dressed in homespun outfits demonstrating spinning/knitting.”

    That’s me doc- :tup:

    even manage to get the odd grumpy bag lugging dad to have a go at the drop spindle or wheel.

    having pics of the animals in my case, is a mager selling point – shows they are well looked after, and people go away happily talking to each other that they are wearing Boosh, Solo, Princess, Pearl etc on there heads, gives them more of a link to the product.

    I could see this working for vegies and preserves etc – you just need to be carefull not to identify the location in the pics – unscrupulous folk have been know to target market stall holders, as they know when you will not be at home.

    The market here at Inverleigh (very small only 8-10 stall holders) even allows me to bring down the odd sheep (ones that walk on leads) and chooks ducks etc –

    The inverleigh market has its own hazard insurance- I just need product insurance (part of the farm insurance) and not as costly as you would think.

    Once bubs gets big enough she will hopefully be a good selling point as well – nothing beats having a little tyke as a live demenstrator:lol:

    seriously her nan would have my hide:hug:



    Just remember when selling home preserves that your kitchen may need certification from the councils health department.

    We faced this when looking into doing the same thing a little while ago.

    *Curses to the Golden Plains Shire**

    Otherwise go for it. Roadside stall sound spretty cool

    Roogz, your daughter will be wool classing and poultry judging by the time she is 3.


    I agree with what Doc suggests.

    I don’t have a stall but would like to one day to sell some of my handicrafts and home-grown produce. It’s in my 5 year plan.

    When I go to markets (and there are not many good ones around in Townsville), I like to look for things that are different, or show they are ‘family’ ones. I dislike mass-produced stuff at markets, or things that look like they’ve been bought in bulk from a supplier and then flogged off as home-made etc.

    Good luck with your endeavours. I’d choose a market over a home stall because of litigation, insurance, red tape etc. And the fact that you don’t know who could be scoping out your home, especially if you are in a ‘quiet’ location where it appears nobody can see what is happening around you.


    Its funny but after reading all this great info, I almost put off the whole idea of selling my stuff. Not that I have much to sell at the moment, may be a couple of dozen eggs and a few plants.

    It seems that there is problems no matter which way you go.

    When I look at the stall holders at markets, most of them have that same forlorn look about them. They are the ones that are just sitting in their chairs and watching people wander past. Obviously if they looked a bit more interested in their own stuff, maybe someone else may be too.

    I don’t want to look like those people.

    What sort of insurance do you need to sell products from the gate? Does it have a special name and around how much does it cost?

    Thanks for all your great advice guys.


    Hi Kerri

    Maybe bartering would work better for you. Once you get to know your new neighbours you may find a niche market for bartering your extras in return for theirs???????? No insurance necessary and no money changing hands just your extras for their extras. We have even bartered alpaca shearing for olive oil and freshly ground wholemeal flour.


    Hi there kerrip

    My insurance for my market stall is with AAMI and called “Market Stalls and Trade Exhibitors (12 months). It cost about $280 from memory, taken out last September.

    I agree with you about the tired look of some stall holders. We make a point of always having at least one of us standing up behind our plants and always try to catch the eye of anyone passing just to say hello.

    It is important to the client that they are talking to or can soon talk to the actual grower, cook, seamstress etc. I spend more time chatting to people about their gardens than selling but it really helps the rest of the family to actually sell the stuff when they can say ‘we’ll get mum, she knows, she grew it’.

    It’s really not too hard but it can be draining physically, especially on the days when it hails as mentioned above. It can also be disheartening when people with a similar but not the same line see you as aggressive competition and do their level best to get rid of you. My advice would be pick your produce, pick your price point and stick to it, don’t set out to undercut anyone and be graceful when organisers knock you back because they already have too many of that particular stall. Make your stall as professional looking as you can afford, picking a ‘corporate’ colour or something similar goes a long way. Definitely make or get a poster or sign with the name of your outfit, the suburb and a ‘phone number. These can be as cheap as postage only, as can business cards etc.

    I can’t help with the insurance for the farm gate sales sorry. My street is far too quiet for it to ever work here. I have had visitors (gardening clubs, uni students doing environmental science etc) come here. They ask, I then invite and then I figure that they’re guests. I do have pretty good farm insurance though and it is covered – yes, I have checked!

    Sorry for the waffle, but I’m a bit like Doc with the passion for the markets. It’s a wonderful social outlet once you’re in the swing of things. Greth is right, most of us are decent people and are very friendly and even helpful. In my experience those that aren’t get moved along pretty quickly.

    Good luck with your decision.




    If you are a stall holder…TALK to people.

    Doesnt need to be a spiel on what you are selling. (though I do with the nappies when interest is shown)

    My stall neighbour never talks to anyone, her partner was away for a few weeks and the stall sales were appalling while she was away…because A doesn’t stand up and chat to people.

    It keeps them at your stall, browsing longer. They have more interest in you and your wares.

    You really need a product that either no one else is doing at that market (cloth nappies in my case) or that has a twist no one else has. (My handmade glass beads and good quality jewellery).

    It also needs to be something that you can actually make a profit at. I think fabric crafts and hand knitting are probably the least profitable of any stalls. too much time and not enough return.

    Even so in the current economic climate the crowds are there but they are not buying.

    Last long weekend market everyone said that their sales were just about at the level of a good regular market from 2 yrs ago. A long weekend used to be 2 or 3 times the sales. Times are tough in the selling game at the moment.

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