How to become a fruit & vegetable trader

Updated February 21, 2017

Whether you grow your own fruits and vegetables or not, you can become a produce trader. It is a profession that will supply your home with plenty of inexpensive fruits and vegetables, as well as create additional income. A lot of small farmers markets started popping up when the U.S. went into a recession in 2008. More people started growing their own fruits and vegetables because they couldn't afford to buy them. Many people are selling their produce to make up for lower incomes, so you may have a lot of competition.

Check with your local tax office to see what types of licenses you need to sell fruits and vegetables at local markets. Each county has different license requirements. You may need a business food-handling license and a sales tax license.

Make business cards and flyers to post them on notice boards around town. Most people like to be able to contact the person they buy their produce from, and caterers or restaurant owners will sometimes buy directly from you at your home or by the phone. If you get several caterers or restaurants to supply, you will have a constant income. Give out flyers to advertise the things you sell, and give coupons to encourage your customers to come back.

Buy or grow your vegetables. You can buy your produce in bulk from local farmers or from the farmers market, and most farmers will sell in bulk to small businesses. They make more money selling to individuals than they do selling to grocery stores. Separate the vegetables into smaller size containers. Resell the containers at a higher price. You will still be able to sell the vegetables more cheaply than a grocery store, and make money for yourself. If you grow your own vegetables, you will make more money, and will be able to tell the customer exactly how things have been grown. Organically grown vegetables sell for a much higher price than vegetables that have had chemical fertilisers and insecticides. People who go to farmers markets often want freshly grown organic produce.

Get booth space at a farmers market or flea market. Check with the local farmers cooperatives to see if there are any local farmers markets that you can go to. There are a lot of small markets that have popped up over the last few years, and many of them do not charge a booth space. If you can find a good one, you will develop a group of loyal customers that will look for you each week. If you can't find any inexpensive farmers markets, set up a booth at a flea market. You may get a larger crowd of people, and higher sales.

Keep your booth interesting. Don't just shove some vegetables on the table and expect them to sell themselves. Put a nice cloth on the table. Use some decorative baskets or bins. Add some cute items that will make people to take notice. Many people are more likely to stop at your booth if it catches their attention.

Talk to your customers. The longer you keep a customer talking, the more likely they are to buy something. Remember, people buy more from businesses where they feel welcome. Be friendly, and your customers will like you more.


Try to get into a farmers market that will allow you to sell other items besides just vegetables and fruits. Add items like fresh herbs, hand made soap and crafts to increase your sales.

Things You'll Need

  • Booth space
  • Table cloths
  • Baskets and trays
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