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Thread: Meet ups

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    383

    Default Meet ups

    So I'm thinking about advertising on fb market place with several locations and dates I will be in certain towns so people can contact me with an order for syrup and/or sugar that I deliver/meet at a location in town as a means of moving inventory since sales were down for me this summer. What do you guys think about it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,582

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    All I can say is try it. I'm sorry your sales were down this summer. Do you sell mostly at farmer's markets? Those who don't sell online and at retail outlets were likely hampered by Covid. Do you have a website with a store front? My sales in April and May were a huge increase and by Aug 1, I had exceeded my 2019 sales for the entire year. I also only have 1 retail outlet and the sales there were my best ever, even though that store was limited by only being able to make curbside deliveries from mid March thru July. Then they were allowed to open but could only have 5 customers in the store at a time. In Sept. the restrictions opened further.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Brockport, NY
    Posts
    242

    Default

    That sounds like a pretty good idea to me.
    FB Marketplace here is pretty good for selling, and I'd just add that just about everybody is looking for a bargain. If you do it I'd not be surprised if people show up with an agreed upon price and offer lower than that. Also, I'm pretty comfortable selling by myself, but people remind me that having someone with me "for company" aint a bad idea.
    good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    MN
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    I have a few small organic/natural stores I have syrup and sugar at, one of the stores that's and organic grocery store was moving more then normal for syrup and moved almost 50 lbs of sugar in just a month or so. Beside the few stores that sell my syrup/sugar I was selling at one local farmers market where we get a lot of tourist on the normal year (but we all know this year was far from normal) and I also set up at a local flea market for the first time which went over ok. I'm planning on getting on the phone and contacting some local grocery stores and after this year with sales down I'm thinking I'm going to be getting a website with online shopping done up before next season, I have it happen where people ask if I do online/phone orders who are from other parts of Minnesota and other states.

    I've met up with people before who have called me looking for syrup and I've met up with costumers in town and have had no problems at all which gave me the idea of doing meetups in certain towns on scheduled dates. Just thought I'd reach out and see if anyone else was doing this and if not maybe give another fellow sugar maker another source to make extra sales.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,582

    Default

    My first website did so so. It was thru Go Daddy. On that site people had to send me an email and I calculated a shipping fee and generated a Pay Pal invoice. I then shipped once paid. I also accepted checks, and waited until the check arrived to ship. While I never got a bad check, I could have.
    My current website does very well, it is using Woo Commerce. On it the shipping is calculated in the store's program, then the customer can either pay using PayPal or Stripe (a credit card service). Both have a fee, just under 3%. When payment is made, Woo Commerce sends me a notice by email that I have a new order. I then process it, pack it, buy the shipping label using Woo Commerce's discount and print the label. I then schedule a pick up using USPS. USPS picks the shipment up the next business day from my porch at my regular mail delivery time. If I were to choose a different time it would cost $20, going with my regular mail delivery time it is free.
    If you want more info, just ask. For the program to calculate the shipping you need to offer the specific boxes you will use. I keep 4 or 5 sizes in stock. I mostly use medium flat rate and lg flat rate, but I have a larger size and a regional smaller size. The regional box is cheaper only for closer customers. On that I just tested to zip codes, shipping from central NYS to Ga and to Cal. The Ga was cheaper than a medium flat rate but the Cal was significantly higher. I can explain size methodology if anyone needs that info.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    383

    Default

    I've talk with one of my cousins a little bit who's getting into web design and set up and online store, seems pretty simple but then again I'm not a tech savvy guy. What do you use in the boxes so the bottles aren't rolling all over in the box?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Chesterville, Ontario
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the great discussion. Its really helpful to see how others are handling sales. University of Vermont has been doing some great seminars and one dealt directly with online marketing. Maple flats I had a look at your site and like the way you have it set up. Anything you would recommend trying to do differently?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,582

    Default

    I use packing peanuts and sometimes flat sheets of foam padding. I have also used bubble wrap sheets in the past. I bought 12" x 100' boxes of 3/8" bubble or 1/2" bubble. I pack them tight, I still on rare ocassions get a broken one, but average less than 1 a year. When that happens, file a claim with the post office. Many shipments include insurance $50 , if you want more it costs extra. The only time I pay the extra is when I'm shipping a full case of bourbon barrel aged syrup which is either 12@ 375 ml or 24@ 200ml.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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