Website for market gardeners

tcnjdelucaMarch 11, 2014

Helllo, my name is Dan I developed a new website with market gardeners in mind. Its called grownsmall.com. I don't want to spam the forum. But in a nutshell it gives you a webpage to list and sell your items. Sales are made online but picked up and paid for offline It also makes it super easy to organize cooperatives to increase your offerings. I am starting this site on my own and I really could use the opinions of fellow maker gardeners, whether they be good bad or indifferent. Together we can make this a really useful site!

Here is a link that might be useful: GrownSmall

This post was edited by tcnjdeluca on Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 12:44

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boulderbelt(5/6)

A live link would be nice. I can't find you via Google by putting grownsmalll.com in the search

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:00PM
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tcnjdeluca

I am sorry the original message had GrownSmall with three L's. As you can see we are just getting started so our google presence is not large.

Here is a link that might be useful: GrownSmall

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:46PM
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randy41_1

i looked at your site and i like the concept, but how will you get consumers to go to it?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 4:51PM
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boulderbelt(5/6)

My first question is what are the units. I see like Jerusalem artichokes for $1 but what is the quantity. As a customer this is important information.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 5:30PM
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tcnjdeluca

The I honestly feel that if we have growers with quality products the consumers will follow. I have even toyed with the idea of including some free local Facebook advertising to new sellers.
Each seller on the site gets their own page like
grownsmall.com/farm/example
It will also be important for growers to tell local customers about their site.

Keep in mind we don't have listing fees so you can sign up put your stuff up to sell and if the customers never come, you never pay a dime.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 5:43PM
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tcnjdeluca

About the units; the seller picks. So you could say 5.00 a pint of berries. As the seller you would just place that information in the description. Or even in the title (bushel sweet corn) $18.00

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 5:45PM
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boulderbelt(5/6)

Marketing will be key.

just because you have great produce does not mean people will just line up to get it. I have been doing this 20 year, I grow sublime produce, for the most part, and I still have to work hard on marketing. People will not find your web site by cruising around the web and do not count on your farmers to get all the business as most are not saavy marketeers especially in-line.

They are paying you do aggressively market the site and to get them customers. And you are competing with free sites like local harvest that get around a million hits daily and there are several other sites that do what you do only cheaper and are up and running around the country such as Locally Grown.net (I believe a few folks here use that service and i am thinking of creating a virtual market for my county in the next few months via that site).

And on the unit thing, you need to put in something that makes all the growers put in units as I was not seeing such and as a customer that is a huge turn off.What do I get for $5 of organic Brussels sprouts (and just how do you make sure these are really organic foods, do you ask for a copy of certification papers?). All I get is that the sprouts are heirloom and Organic but not other information. Bad way to market.

I am critiquing because you asked and I have been doing this on line for decades and i think you have a good idea but it needs work to get me to pay for this service

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 6:54AM
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sundacks(4a)

Dan, I agree with the feedback that you've gotten so far: units need to be prominent, and buzz marketing words like organic and heirloom need to be defined. And your site would need to have a good promotional plan. Right now it's hard to know which way to jump for online marketing so I'll look forward to what you might develop.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:16AM
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sundacks(4a)

Boulderbelt, I've just started playing with locallygrown.net. It's more of a DIY site, which is ok with me because many of the people I will be marketing to on that site are friends and neighbors who will put up with a less slick interface. But it is not free - they charge a 3% fee on sales.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:17AM
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tcnjdeluca

Thank you for all the responses! Let me say first that the point about units is well taken. I am going to add that to the site this weekend, you have defiantly opened my eyes to that.
A lot of farmers compare the site to local harvest and while there is certainly some overlap I don't feel we really meet that same needs as they do. We are much more like locallygrown.net
The pricing as compared to locallygrown.net is similar. We have a 5% plan which is more then locally grown, but also offer a $100 unlimited plan so if you sell more then $3,400 worth of product we have a better price then locally grown. For larger sellers potentially a lot less. The truth is any site like this will have to charge something unless there are some type of benefactors involved. It costs money to keep it online.

I agree we need to drive traffic to the site, but I can't make customers come to a site that has nothing for sale. I don't want to get stuck in a chicken and egg argument but I will add it costs nothing and takes about 10 minutes to set up an account with us. If you never sell anything you are out nothing. While this is not my day job, I am a full time public school teacher, who has done farm work in the summer I have developed websites that have pulled in a lot of traffic in the past. I will do my best and reinvest the extra money in marketing, but I will not lie the individual farmers will still have to do their part in marketing their own farms.

PS don't look too much into the sample listings, I made those just to test things out they where not created with care.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 9:19AM
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myfamilysfarm

Is this only for produce, or will you be adding value added products? Just another thought for you to think about. Personally I can't sell anywhere except from farm or farmers market. I don't know exactly how it would work since it sounds like you will be a ordering site with pickup at convenient locations.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 2:38PM
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tcnjdeluca

We have categories for all sorts of 'farm made' goods such as crafts, baked goods, and preserves. I would be happy to add any category users would like as long as whats being sold is home made. You are correct people order things online and pick them up at a convent location. That pickup location could even be the farmers market. You would have guaranteed sales on market day!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 4:43PM
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