The Downsides of Regularly Attending a Farmer's Market

The Downsides of Regularly Attending a Farmer's Market

After repeatedly emphasizing all the reasons you should attend a farmer's market, I would by lying if I said there weren't any downsides. There are definitely some negatives and I'm going to share the ones that I found as a vendor. Keep in mind that I'll be sharing negatives that pertain to small business owners who regularly attend as that's where I believe the most benefit can be found but also where the negatives can be a bit more intrusive on lifestyle, etc. Okay, so here we go:

Downside #1: It can be a lot of work to prepare for weekly markets. If you are making items that don't perish, this isn't quite as bad but if you are a baker, it can be quite time consuming to ensure you have fresh baked goods available for each market. Your life can begin to feel as if you are always preparing for a market in an endless cycle of rinse and repeat.

Downside #2: Your schedule is dictated by the market, not by you. For a lot of us, launching a small business is a way for us to be our own boss, make our own decisions, etc. Attending a farmer's market, however, means you go when they are open, not necessarily when your own schedule is open.  For me, that meant giving up every Wednesday evening (not such a big deal) plus every Sunday (a bigger deal). In fact, giving up a day (or even two) on the weekend is a real likelihood for anyone thinking about attending a farmer's market.

Downside #3: You can lose anticipated income due to unforeseen circumstances. This is a reality, particularly if your market is outdoors. For instance, if a storm occurs, your market may have to unexpectedly close for the day. If your area is experiencing a heat wave, the visitor count may be significantly lower than anticipated. It can be tough to depend on an anticipated amount of revenue only to have that taken away.

Downside #4: Time, just simply time. When I was attending regularly, I was spending 9 hours of my week just in my booth selling items (for a 4 hour market on Wednesday and a 5 hour market on Sunday). That's not counting the hour or so it took me to load up, the hour or so it then took me to set up, and the time it took me to break everything back down. There's a lot of your time dedicated to the market and it is easy to start thinking about how much easier it would be to offer delivery or porch pickup, etc.

Downside #5: Space and storage at home. You need a few things to successfully run a booth at a market and those things definitely take up space in your home or garage. You might need a canopy, folding tables, tablecloths, stands for your items, etc. This could be a downfall if you are short on space at home.

Downside #6: Be prepared to be extroverted. This one might not be a downside for you but I'm an introvert so it was a challenge at times. In all honesty, I met so many wonderful people at the market that it was mostly a non-issue but I do want to bring it up for other fellow introverts. If possible, I recommend having a partner with you regardless of your personality type. It really helps when you can share all of the socializing aspects (greeting of customers, passing out of samples, etc.) with another person.

So after reading the downsides listed, do I still recommend the market life? Yes, I absolutely do. Some of the negatives listed above have solutions if we just think out of the box a little and the benefits still outweigh the negatives. But the real reason I think it's worth it is that I strongly believe if you regularly attend a market, one of two things will happen: 1.) you will love it and attend indefinitely/long term or 2.) you will attend for a while and then you will use what you've learned to take your business in the direction of your choosing. Whichever reality becomes yours, it is a win-win and I can assure you that the knowledge you gain will be so valuable that you will never regret having the experience (and I speak from experience).

If you need assistance with preparing for and attending a farmer's market or pop-up event, be sure to enroll in my course "Farmer's Market Success". It is included in the Pink Plan or can be purchased individually.

Related Blog Post: Why All Bakers, Makers, and Creators Should Attend a Farmer's Market

Back to blog


Do you answer the questions we post here? I don’t see a response to any of the questions is that because you email people directly?


I just finished my 3rd Farmer’s Market- thank you! But what do I do with the leftover cupcakes? Turns out it was a crummy weather day and most people stayed home so I made half of what I did last 2 times. I bought those cups you show to use and do i just pop them in the freezer or take them out of the cups and put in a air tight container? I have 30 of them. Or, do I use them as marketing and give them away to different businesses or people? Or do I give them to the food pantry and write off? I’m confused.


Hi there. I follow you on Instagram and read your blogs. I tried to get information on your printable cards, but was too late. I was specifically looking for Mother’s Day. Thanks so much for any help you can provide. Elaine


What seems to be the biggest flavor’s that sell?
We are in the middle of Missouri. North of Springfield about 30 miles. People are sweetaholics here. Especially for “home made” goods.

Freda Gable

As a matter of fact I’m planning to register for farmers market , they are every Saturday morning in our small town , thank you for the great informations

Leony Gamboa

Leave a comment