Selling Honey at Fairs and Festivals, Part 1: Planning Ahead

| 8/13/2015 9:49:00 AM

Tags: beekeeping, honeybees, home based business, honey, farm stands, farmers markets, New York, Jennifer Ford,


If you are at the point where you have extra honey to sell, one option is to sell your products at a fair or festival. We have been doing this for a few years, and it has worked out very well for us. Here are a few tips, tricks, and pointers we have learned along the way.

Selecting a Fair or Festival

First of all, it is good to evaluate what sort of time commitments you already have, (work, family, other hobbies, etc.), and not overbook yourself. For example, we decided to sell our products at local festivals instead of a farmers market due to the time commitment involved. My husband and I have full time jobs and did not want to overextend ourselves by having to be at the farmers market every weekend. Selling at a few festivals a year allows us to pick and choose which weekends we wanted.

Secondly, you will have to decide what events you want to attend.  Here are some factors to consider; 1) Travel distance and time. You will have to decide how far you want to travel to participate in these events. After some trial and error, we set a limit of no more than a 30 minute drive. Any longer than that makes it seem like a very long day, and too much money spent on gas. 2) Cost to attend. Another consideration is how much the event is charging you to be there.  In our area $25 -$50 per day seems to be about average. We have attended a few that cost more, but it is often not worth the extra cost. We have also attended some events that are free, and have done very well at those. 3) What types of vendors will be there? It is good to find out if any other honey vendors will be at this event, and if so, how many. I have seen some events that had so many honey vendors that the market was saturated, and it was just not worth it for us to set up a booth.

Getting Ready

Next, think about what kinds of products you want to sell at the event. Obviously we sell honey, but we make sure we have a variety of bottles in different shapes, sizes, and prices to appeal to different customers. We also sell our maple syrup, a variety of beeswax candles, honey soap, and beeswax perfumes. You will also need to decide how much to charge for each item. We determine our prices by looking at honey market reports, online, or at farmer’s markets to see what other people in our area are charging. It is important to be fairly compensated for the products we are selling, but we also did not want to overcharge our customers, or undercut other beekeepers in our area.

Before your first event it is also a good idea to have a plan of what you want your display to look like.  Here are some things to consider: 

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