We set off today for adventure and to research another farmers market. My friend told me about the farmers market at the OC Great Park in Irvine. She said that the first Sunday of the month they also have an Antique Fair. It sounded like something I had to see. I’m still trying to figure out which farmers markets in the area will let people sell prepared food and crafts. I’m hoping to put together a schedule soon of places I can sell at and research booth costs, etc.
The OC farmers market DID have both prepared food booths and some crafts/handmade products. I was impressed by the amount of foot traffic going through and the food trucks for people to eat at. It felt like more than the usual farmers markets I’ve been to in the area. It got pretty hot by 11am so I recommend getting there early (on the first Sunday the hours are 8-2 but normally 10-2). A hat and sunscreen are imperative!
I really appreciate that the vendors get to pull up to their booth so there isn’t a lot of schlepping your stuff from the parking lot! I also liked the fact that they had a shaded eating area and, in the antique area, they had a flop section with umbrellas and chairs (presumably for all the tired husbands). There were several good booth ideas such as pop-ups with vents, cute little shelves on the table to make things more vertical. I think the best lesson I received today is offering samples. I was already planning on doing that, but I really saw the psychology of it today. By offering a sample you are engaging with the customer, making eye contact and opening up a conversation. It also plays on the idea of reciprocity. You have just given them something and most people feel the need to reciprocate by buying something (if they like it). I noticed that some people just sat in their chairs as people passed and no one was coming to their booths. I was thinking that even if I wasn’t selling food items, I could still offer samples of hand lotion or something. It’s good to remember that it’s not just about putting your stuff on a table, you really need to be engaging with customers to make sales.