items at market

little_minnie(zone 4a)October 30, 2012

We have a strict vendor produced policy at our market. The guy who makes bbq sauce wants to bring to the next 2 indoor markets gift baskets with his sauce, bbq tools and meat shop gift certificates. He asked permission from the steering committee. What do you think? Consequences?

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Most gift certificates are not supposed to be re-sold. It's usually in the fine print 'not for resale or cash redemption.' If you were to sell a gift certificate for a steak, it would then become a "security," in that it is a transferable piece of paper that secures ownership in a tangible asset. That can make it subject to the same securities laws that govern the stock market.

There's also a lot of fraud involved with gift certificates. Employees like to sell a lower value certificate than what you paid for so that they can pocket the difference. It takes a while to get discovered, and it's a third party who ends up getting shorted. You don't want customers to be angry with your market for something that is not your fault.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 8:50PM
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I would say don't do it. If you allow him to resell non food items than you open a slippery slope for others to do the same and than start reselling food items. I know at the last FM I attended this was allowed for one vendor who took full advantage but no one else could do the same. that always pissed me off and I did talk to the board about this many many times but they did not listen so eventually I quit that market (and it turns out that left an apparently unfillable void at that market as my spot is still open and I know they have lost customers)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 5:40AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

What is your problem, buying and reselling items or the gift baskets? The meat?

I guess I don't understand how other markets are set up in other parts of the country. You have to have permission to bring new products? You can only sell certain produce items? For example I grow tomatoes, I can only sell tomatoes. However this year I put out some cantaloupe and I have a bumper crop and we can't eat it all, I couldn't bring those?

The reason I ask is this, at the market I am in charge of, we have a producer only rule. We can bring and sell whatever we produce. We did make one exception. We had a family bringing baked goods. They also worked for their brothers dairy. They had a state approved cheese factory. They worked in the cheese factory and ask if they could bring cheese and sell it. We said ok, because it was a product that no one else had (and honestly no one else will ever have due to the expense in it). Also they were involved in the making of the cheese, so they almost produced it.

No one had a problem with it either. Now if it was produce, meat or eggs, that would be a different story.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 9:55AM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Thanks Cole Robbie. That was what I told the manager then, that the gift cards would not fly. I suggested doing the sauce, homemade fire starter, wood chips and my husband suggested cornbread mix or something.

We are vendor produced only and have to approve new items that were not approved before the season started. I am on the board but have to get my new items approved too (not something like a new canned product if I can already bring canned stuff- also if you are approved for produce you can bring all produce you have). The gift basket would have bought stuff; that is the problem. We have craft vendors, soap vendors and so on so; we don't sell only food but we insist everything be vendor produced.
Our cleaning products vendor has been allowed to sell empty spray bottles to put her product in but I don't think she ever had brushes or anything. The ice cream vendor was allowed to bring bottles of water. Both sold at other markets and this was how they were formatted.

So to use an example of what the BBQ sauce vendor wants to do: if I wanted to make a basket with my homemade pizza sauce, purchased pizza cutter, purchased pizza pan and a gift card to a cheese shop- do you think that should be allowed?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 7:08PM
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I would say to leave out the gift card, mostly to avoid the legal technicality of possibly selling a "security." There are also other issues that could come up. What if the cheese shop gave someone food poisoning, could they sue your market? Would your market insurance cover that? It's the same issue with a cheese cutter. What if it's defective and someone slices their finger? You don't want to have legal liability that might fall outside of your insurance coverage. If you have a group policy, these are good questions for your agent.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 9:19PM
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One of our markets, sell cheese, but it's prepackaged and they only give out samples. that market requires insurance so that it's covered. Each vendor must have insurance to cover any product or general liability. The market's board has a lawyer on it.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 9:07AM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Well the rest of the committee approved it. I will warn again about the gift card.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 12:47PM
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We have some vendors that do the gift basket thing, mainly with their own stuff, tho. Gift cards for their own products.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 2:57PM
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My in-laws work a couple farmer's markets. I know from them that a the second issue next to the concern about gift card fraud is that you may be opening yourself up to commercial marketing efforts on the part of stores who would otherwise have no way to get to your client�le. The vendor makes a little money off his sales and gets a kick back for pushing their product be it cash in hand or discounts off the face value of the cards.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 12:34AM
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Seems to me around Christmas time you could set a time frame to allow this type of sales. Like from Halloween until new year, or something like that, that those things are allowed. It is a service to your customer, which is what it should all be about. As long as the primary focus of the gift basket is the vendor produced item, I don't see the problem.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 8:57PM
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