do you think it is good idea to have samples of cupcakes at farmer markest. Do you think they help with sales or just attract" those looking for free samples say something nice and move on"??? anyone had experience with this?
I havent had experience with it, I don't normally do farmers markets, BUT, in my mind (as a consumer), a Farmers Market isn't necessarily somewhere I would go to in search of a cake vendor. Not to say that it isnt a great place to get business, but, I would think that most of the people that attend a farmers market would love to get a free sample, and not necessarily take the sample and think of using your business. I like to save my samples for bridal/wedding shows, womens expos, etc. I also like to occassionally drop samples off to the businesses that I deal with personally. Like my banks. I know them already, I give them business and hopefully I'll be the first one they think of if they need cake!
I would check your states cottage law stipulations before even approaching a farmers market with sample baked goods. I know that some states that have a cottage law only allow home bakers to sell directly to the consumers and not to third parties, online or at farmers markets. Just a thought...
Ooopppsss......I meant cottage food law (not cottage law).
im in ohio and we can sell at farmers markets w/ the cottage law we just need insurance
when i do farmer's markets in the fall (when the season starts up again) i won't be doing samples for cupcakes. Sometimes all people are looking for is a small moment of decadence and pleasure with a cupcake, so why give that away for free if you can entice them on appearance and aroma to buy one or a box of 6/12. I was also considering doing frosting shots, but reconsidered as the person who is just in it for the frosting is still willing to pay $3 for it, so why undersell it at $1 for the shot.
though i might consider sampling for pound and bundt cakes, but health department and insurance requirements I believe are stricter and more expensive for booths that sample.
I did a county show recently and was asked to do samples by the organiser, well not again, So not worth it, like everyone else has said people only want a free sample and not to order, I did get some orders from the show and did sell over 500 cupcakes that day, but I seriously don't think the samples helped that much.
If someone was placing an order or already buying I would do tasters then, but not just have the plate out with the free samples.
I am from Michigan and we are allowed to do them with the cottage food law. I found the one time, and I learned from that experiece, that I did give away samples, that fewer people bought. Won't do that again. Nice comments, very few sales. I have regular customers now that look for me at the Markets. I get orders for parties and weddings from them. This is my second year doing them, and sales are going up and my name is getting out in the public. Of course i promote with photos of my cupcakes, displays and business cards. Seems to be going pretty good.
You should definitely give out samples! I used to cut up cookies, lemon bars, etc. into tiny little bite-size pieces (just enough for a taste - not enough to satisfy a craving!) and I always had a line at my booth. A line attracts more people and increases your chance to make sales. Sure there are the people who just want the free samples, but most people will buy from you if they like what you have. I doubt I would have made half of what I used to if I hadn't been giving out the samples.
If you are selling cupcakes, why not just bake up a sheetcake and cut it up into tiny squares and top each with a little rosette of icing or something - just so people can tell if what you are selling is good. If someone isn't sure of the quality - they may just buy one to try. If they try it and love it, they might buy a dozen. I had someone try my peanut butter cookies, and bought every single one I had to take back with them to their home state.
The reason for sampling is to have people try your products and decide if they want to make a purchase. Unfortunately, most consumers simply look at samples as free food. I suggest cutting a few products, then place them on a plate and keep the plate (or little basket) out of sight. You can then bring it out for any customer who stops at your table and shows interest.
My first two years in business I always sampled and often felt annoyed with people who acted as if they were entitled to "free." Once I started hiding the sample plate I stopped feeling resentful. And the samples did their job: most people bought the item they had tried.