DIY Marketing with the Honor System

This DIY, trust-based marketing method encourages you to maintain your integrity and make real profits. This model can work for nearly any product you choose to sell.


| December 2015



fruit stand using honor system marketing and payment

Honor system marketing allows customers to have access to items and services they need, even in the absence of the owner/seller.


Photo by Fotolia

Honor System Marketing (Acres U.S.A, 2011) by Jeffery Mcpherson offers advice on how to adopt this DIY, trust-based marketing plan for your own needs and capacities. Mcpherson details how to avoid common mistakes, manage finances, and maintain a sense of optimism with real-life anecdotes. The following excerpt, from Chapter 3, covers the basics of getting set up to sell using the honor system.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Honor System Marketing.

Getting Set Up to Sell with the Honor System

It doesn’t matter if you are a green thumb hobbyist, a one-thousand acre citrus farmer or a marina boat ramp owner. Anyone can use the honor system. The two things you need most are something to sell and a place to sell it.

This chapter gives the basic tips and suggestions to help you get started. It tells what others are doing so you can better decide what you want to do.

No! You don’t have to be a farmer but you do need to be able to produce or have something to sell. Everyone is different so grow or manufacture what you enjoy and sell it using the honor system. This chapter does not tell you how to produce what you sell. For all intents and purposes I will use examples that relate to farming simply because that is what I am familiar with. But you can sell any product you desire using the honor system. You can use honor system marketing to run your business if you own a fishpond, parking lot, boat dock, hiking/biking trail, camping site, canoe/boat launch or whatever.

A large-scale farmer may only sell his excess crop using an honor system, the rest may be grown under contract for one buyer. A perfect example of this is a farmer who already has a market for most of his crops but occasionally has some good quality crop left in the field. Rather than allow the un-harvested crops to spoil in the field he employs the honor system to sell it for him.





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