People have grown and created things since the beginning of mankind. We thrive on the challenge and overcoming the challenge. As we continue to evolve, we may find better ways to create, but the desire to create will always be with us.
You are among these people. With the product you have created, or the food you have grown or prepared, you want to share with others (for profit, of course).
There are many reasons that you want to sell at a market. The most prominent is to make money. Whether it is to supplement existing income or as a full-time job, making money is usually the only reason that people give for selling at markets.
However, there are many, many other reasons. When you identify and understand the reasons that you are selling at markets, it helps you to make decisions over which markets to attend and which you may want to avoid.
We sell at markets to make money of course, but we have other reasons as well. Starting our business and selling at markets helps Monica and I grow closer. It doesn’t feel that way sometimes after we have a bad market or get rained out, but we continue to grow closer.
Selling at markets also helps us to develop relationships and feel like part of a community. One of the markets that we go to is in an ultra-hip up-and-coming area of town. This neighborhood also has deep Hispanic roots and as a result is one of the more diverse environments that we sell at. We both have grown significantly in this environment and not only support the area with our presence, but the neighborhood also supports us.
Many of the friends that “we” have (not hers from work or mine from work) come from these markets. Not only have we become friends with other vendors, but also many of our customers as well. Over time, it begins to feel like an extended family.
Another reason that we create and sell at markets is to become more self-sufficient. Neither of us will work for others forever and we both feel that the chances of a comfy retirement is iffy at best. With instability of “guaranteed” investments and a questionable Social Security program, we don’t want to be dependent when we grow older. Also, neither of us can see ourselves rocking on the porch in our retirement years. Selling at markets is something that we both see ourselves doing until we are no longer physically able or God calls us home.
Getting back to basics is another reason we create and sell. We believe that as a society, we have become far too dependent on grocery stores and big box stores for our daily needs. This reason is intertwined with all of the others, but we find that it is far more satisfying to know where your products come from. None of our products are mass-produced. They all start with ingredients that come from nature. Whether it is the oil from roses in a soap, or the wood that came from a tree that is turned into a cutting board, our customers are far more satisfied when they know the path a product took to get into their hands. We take the “magic” out of our products and show them exactly how it is made. As a result, we help our customers be a bit smarter and a whole lot healthier.
What are your reasons? Take some time to write them out. You will find that if you are honest with your reasons, then your motivation to make a profit will not be as big. This isn’t a bad thing. You want your market experience to be balancing to your life, not a drain on it. If you focus on just profits, then those non-profitable market days (and you will have some) will demotivate you to point of quitting. Monica and I have had many non-profitable days (or at least low-profit days) but still saw the market as being successful because of the reasons above.