We don’t usually sell tomatoes or peppers at the market….but we are tired of canning so we’ve brought a basket of extras today. And we are trying an experiment allowing customers to name their own price. We’ll see how it goes.
Post update: Well, I don’t think we’ll be doing this experiment again. Some people offered reasonable prices and some didn’t (.50 for an heirloom tomato that weighed close to a pound!). For those who overbid, we offered them something additional; for those with ridiculous prices, we just weren’t sure what to do. It was, after all, a name your own price basket….but as stand operators, I guess we reserved the right to reject any bogus offers, which we did in the nicest possible way. One of our regular customers said she preferred we just tell her the price. She didn’t want to cheat us or overpay, which I can understand. As with most of our experiments it was a learning experience and a great conversation starter! I think for this kind of experiment to be successful, one has to know the market rate for items they are buying. It’s rare for someone to go to a grocery store and just buy tomatoes, so they do not really know how much they are paying even if they know the price per pound. It all gets lumped in with their larger bill. With tomatoes, it doesn’t take many to make a pound. A bag of tomatoes could easily run someone $5-6 if they are buying them at $2.50/lb.