Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Thinking About Selling

On top of bartering, bargain shopping, and repurposing, I've been thinking about selling some of our extra stuff in our effort to be more sustainable.

For example, right now I have 8 or 9 rabbits in my freezer and 8 more that will be ready to butcher in about 6 weeks. By the end of spring, I'll have more than enough rabbit meat to last the year. By raising one or two litters over the summer I could sell enough rabbit meat to pay for a lot of the rabbit feed we buy.

And then there are eggs. Plenty of farmers in my area sell eggs. But there isn't anyone selling them at the local farmer's market. Maybe I could get some of my chicken feed costs covered that way.

Soap? Pretty soon I will have all the supplies I need to start making our own soap. Why not get my share of the artisan soap sellers' pie?

I've started looking into the Indiana laws regarding selling meat and eggs. I found them a little confusing so I called the local extension office. They were helpful in pointing me to the links where the laws are located (which I had already found) but couldn't really help me decipher them. They did say the phone number listed was a good place to get advice so I will be calling with all my questions soon.

And here are my questions for y'all: Does selling from your homestead help? Is it worth the time and effort? How do you market your products? How did you find your customer base? Please share!

6 comments:

  1. I live in Indiana and wish I could find someone close that sells fresh eggs. I hate having to buy from the grocery. I think your idea of selling artisan soaps is great. I made gift baskets for Christmas and included face towels I crocheted along with artisan soaps. Everyone loved them.

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    1. I know I would love to receive a crocheted face towel!

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  2. We have been having the sell or not to sell discussion and we are not sure either. We do not want to be in business as such but...extra cash would help. Can you charge enough to justify the extra effort, will you have enough extra to fill demand and serve your customers? So many questions!

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    1. Yes, so many questions! I visited a soap making Facebook page and the hot topic was insurance. Seriously. Insurance for selling soap. More to think about...

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  3. I have a pretty good clientele now with the eggs and I make good money off my honey sales too. I sell at the local farmers market but only because I promised to support them I really don't need to pack up and go there if I don't want to. I do have liability insurance that covers all farm produce, it cost me $250.00 a year bit also includes accidental stuff in case one of the useless nags gets out and gets hit by a car which added a substantial sum to the bottom line cost.

    I make a good bit off the sheep but not much from selling them to individuals just by taking them to market. There doesn't seem to be a big demand for lamb in this area.

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  4. I used to sell soap at our local farmer's market. They required liability insurance and a county occupational license. Then there was the vendor fee each week for having a booth. The end result was that the first $100 in sales each week went to materials, licenses, fees, sales tax, and insurance! A good week of sales was $250 to $300 and required that I get up at 4 am to milk my goats and then load up my stuff to be ready to sell by 8 am. Stand around on pavement for 4 hours, then pack up your stuff and get home at 1 pm. It wasn't the easiest money I've ever made, that's for sure! But, after 4 years of that, I built up enough regular clients so that I don't have to do farmers markets anymore. It's just a hobby for me now, and I still sell $200 a month, plus around $1,000 of soap in November/December.

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