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I frequent a local farmer's market. It goes from 6 am to noon.

If I get there at 6 am, I can buy the cheapest freshest produce because I have my selection of all the stands.

However, if I get there at noon, they will often mark down produce for me because it's all they have left. I often end up with a lot of apples because they grow well around here. However, there isn't much selection because everything has been picked over.

Same thing with garage sales.

Do you folks have a preference as far as when the best time is to go to the produce market or garage sale?
 

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I like to go early because things tend to disappear here if you wait too late. I usually go around 6:30 - 7:00 because it gets so busy after 8:00.
 

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...whenever i get there.
 
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I like to go early because there is more availability. Also last time people on assistance had vouchers for produce and their were huge lines. Dealers were aggrevated because people were actually trying to get change.It changed the whole busy but laid back atmosphere of the market. I can't imagine with the current economy it will be better this year. Growers would not make deals because of this. I find if I get a deal its because I am a regular and get to know the dealer or I will buy in bulk and freeze. I may start asking if any are local and will sellat their farm. Especially if I start canning.
 

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I used to work the farmers' markets every summer, and I manned a fruit stand on Sundays. :) At the markets, we sold peaches, plums, and nectarines.

All the produce sold at the market is picked beforehand, then put in cold storage until the day of the market. At about 4am, we would go to the cold storage, load all the boxes up in the truck, then drive to the market and unload all the boxes into our space. At the end of the day, remaining boxes are loaded back into the truck, then unloaded back into cold storage.

That said, there is a BIG incentive to get rid of that stuff by the end of the day!! No one feels like doing more manual labour after being up since about 3am!!

You do run the risk of not getting what you wanted. We would always sell out of white rose nectarines, for example. But if you came by about an hour before closing, we were thinking about that long trip back home and how many boxes we'd have to unload before going home and getting a nap, so we gave some pretty good deals. :) I still remember stuffing grocery bags FULL of peaches and charging .50/bag! :D

I did see a number of regulars who would show up first thing in the morning, get their prime produce, and who would then show up at the end to get the deals. :)
 

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First thing...

for BOTH as everything tends to get picked over. Take care and God bless.
 

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depends.....
first thing in the morning gets the best selection
last thing in the afternoon gets the best deal
 

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It's usually whenever I have the time to stop by. I would ideally like to get their first thing when opening, to get my pick of everything...but I also like getting the closing up deals as well.
 

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I have seen the markets in my area and most of them are big enough that you don't have to worry about sell out, unless it is very early in the season or late and there is limited availability. But in mid summer everyone has tomatoes and squash and other common vegs by the boxload.

I'm not a morning person, so I will not be there at 6am. 11am maybe, and there's always been plenty to choose from. IMO there's not a lot of difference between produce picked the day before when you see it at 6am or at noon.

I always walk the market to see who has what, at what price, and then go from there. There are a couple vendors who really are local farmers and I try to buy from them, as opposed to the guys who buy produce from Mexico or Florida and resell it. Also some vendors sell in different amounts, and I might not want a bushel of green beans, just a pint, even if it is cheaper per pound.
 

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I like to go in the mornings. I find the best selection is at that time. You aren't able to haggle with prices but I usually find the prices to be pretty reasonable anyway and the local farmers work hard for their income.
 

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...whenever i get there.
I heartily agree. I try if my schedule permits to get there early. Here, some items do sell out rather quickly. I have formed relationships with vendors that allowed me to call them and ask that something be held back for me.
 

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Personally, I get there if/when I can.

If you are looking for the freshest produce available, then by all means go early.

If money is a huge factor, then go for the deals.

The farmers markets around me (that are decent and in a safe area) don't cost any less than the grocery store... but it is fresher.
 

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It depends... if I'm looking for something specific I go early. If I'm just looking for any fresh produce then I'll go later and hope for a deal.
 

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I love to go early and checkout what everyone has. But for me, I usually stay the entire time if I can that way I get the pick of the produce and the best deals. :D
 

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I've been to our local farmer's market a few times, but I've never tried to haggle. I'm not sure how to do it. Does anyone have any advice on that?
 

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I don't haggle unless I'm buying a significant amount (i.e, a flat or more, vs a bag). Then I'll usually just ask if they can give me a break on the price, considering the quantity I'm buying (i.e, guaranteed sale vs. potential cumulative sales). If they say no, I'll ask, "So even though I'm buying "x" lbs, you can't go down on the price at all?" If they say yes, but drop it an insignificant amount, I'll say, " So that is all you will discount, even though I'm buying "x" lbs? How about [fill in the price you want here]?" I am very reasonable, though, and I don't ask for ridiculously low prices, and I don't haggle for a few pounds. Farming is HARD work, and not something I would want to do for a living, and I respect that.

Most are more willing to go down on the price near the end of the market day. If you are buying produce to preserve, that is a good time to get the less-than-perfect ones at a much lower price.

Many will also say "no" at first, and will go down a bit if you push it a second time. I wouldn't continue to haggle after two "no" answers, though.
 
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