Bay Branch Farm

a vegetable farm in lakewood and cleveland, oh | we grow food

Name your price experiment



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.


3 thoughts on “Name your price experiment

  1. I love that you are doing this experiment! I have read about a few restaurants that don’t put prices on their food items and let people pay what they think is fair. I would be very interested to hear about what happened.

    • Yes, I have read up on name your own price also and find incredible interesting. We will provide a followup comment, but so far so good.

  2. Neat idea. I was reading some literature about how in France they have a goal to sell everything. Even the ‘ugly’ stuff, so it does not go to waste. It would be interesting to take the seconds and do a name your price with it. With our market I have a problem selling everything at high prices because I want fresh local food to be accessible to everyone not just people who are comfortable financially.

    I am throwing in some cress tonight – we hope to go until mid-November so it ‘should’ pan out. Good luck from Sanford Market Garden.

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