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Top tips for roadside selling
- A bold, bright sign is essential. The lettering must be large and clear enough to read from a passing vehicle. The minimum height for lettering is 15 cm. Keep your message simple: 'HONEY' or 'HONEY FOR SALE'. Accept that pictures of bees may not attract customers: many people are scared of insects!
- Honey for sale must always be of top quality and absolutely pure: no bees' legs, scraps of wax or any contaminant specks at all.
- Honey containers must be perfectly clean. Jars must never be sticky with honey nobody wants to carry a sticky container home. Sticky containers will also attract bees and other insects to the stall: a discouragement to most customers. Nobody wants to buy honey in a dusty container. As road-sides are dusty places, this may mean giving the containers and lids a quick polish every day.
- Road-side purchasers can become regular customers. If they like your honey they will come back for more. Explain about your honey, which plants it is from, and how you harvest it from the bees. Make customers feel good about finding such an excellent supply of local honey! Emphasise the extra freshness of your product: the road-side buyer rightly wants to have bought something freshly harvested.
- Offer both liquid and granulated honey for sale if you can. Explain to your customers the difference between these products. Replace any jars on display that are starting to granulate in an irregular way.
- Improve your sales by offering different sizes and styles of packaging. But never compromise on quality of packaging. Since your customers will be travelling in a vehicle, maybe they would buy a larger container of honey? Try offering 'family size' 2 or 5 kg 'economy' packs.
- Pay attention to your display. Customers feel more encouraged to buy from a stack of attractive jars than from just a few tired-looking jars. Always arrange jars with the labels facing the front.
- Link your honey with other products. Sell honey with, for example, a pack of lemons and give a recipe leaflet for honey lemonade. Other combinations of seasonal produce and recipes could be: honey & almonds, honey & oranges, honey & dates, honey & spices. Think a few weeks ahead. Plan promotions with the season and cultural or religious festivals.
- Do not forget tourists. Local honey can be a popular gift item. Attractive labelling is essential here and must convey the local or national nature of the honey. Unusual. locally made containers filled with honey can attract a premium price. Perhaps you could sell pairs of jars inside a small, locally made wooden crate or basket?
- If you are supplying a road-side market you must ensure that you keep it constantly stocked. This may mean that from time to time you have to buy honey from another local beekeeper. But never let the quality of your product or its presentation fall.
[Bees for development Journal #34]