The Farmbell is a platform that lets producers anywhere sell their goods online.
To start selling, all you have to do is create your Free account, set a drop point, upload a product, and share with your Facebook fans!
- Free profile for your business lists you in our searchable directory
- No fees unless you sell your product
- Pre-sell before market, up-sell CSA customers, and sell direct to restaurants
- Completely integrated with social media
- Great design and easy to use
Getting started is simple:
- Create an account
- Specify at least one drop point
- Provide bank info so you can get paid online
- Add the price, quantity, and product you have to sell
- Share on your website, or on social media
That's it! Your product will be entered into our searchable directory of products for sale. When someone purchases, you will receive an email notification and will simply leave the product at the specified drop point for customer pick up.
Who can sell on The Farmbell?
There is no reselling on The Farmbell. For the growers and ranchers this should be straight forward, but if you offer any value added farm items (ie. jam, pesto, sausage) it should be well labeled and the main ingredient should be from your own farm. If you are a fisherman, you are local to your port but may offer drop points anywhere you are willing to drive. If you are selling prepared foods, you are local to your kitchen. Your products must be well-labeled and we ask that you source local ingredients whenever possible. You must comply with all applicable state laws and FDA regulations.
We also ask that all sellers have a commercial insurance policy. You will be required to upload proof of insurance to complete your profile.
Are any items specifically forbidden on the site?
We cannot allow the sale of any alcohol. Also no live animals.
If I post an item, am I required to leave it up until it sells?
No, however you are obligated to fulfill all purchases online. So if an item is sold offline, please make sure to reduce your inventory online to avoid any online orders your are unable to fulfill.
Is The Farmbell safe to use?
Absolutely. We have integrated a PCI compliant merchant service. We have also integrated SSL for all communications so you can be assured of the privacy and security of all of your data and customer information.
How do buyers find my items for sale?
The Farmbell's marketing and social media program helps bring new customers to the table, but we also provide you powerful social media tools to help you better connect with your existing customers.
How does The Farmbell handle different growing practices?
Each seller (if applicable) will be required to specify a growing practice. This field offers three categories to help guide buyers as they search The Farmbell. It by no means is meant to commodify the producers or their products, but just to notice the extra effort taken by those practicing sustainable methods.
Conventional - This is the default listing for all producers that sell product through The Farmbell. We are only interested in working with farmers that are passionate about providing quality product to those within their community. We feel that there is great value in buying fresh and seasonal foods from our local producers. If you can offer quality foods at a reasonable price, we look forward to working with you!
Farmbell Better - If you avoid conventional fertilizers and pesticides on your crops, or raise your livestock without unnecessary hormones or antibiotics, we salute your effort. Although we are not in the business of inspection or certification, we do realize that many small farms are practicing more sustainable methods. If you think this describes your operation, you can choose to be listed as Farmbell Better. Then we ask you to describe in your profile what extra steps are taken to care for your soil and animals.
Certified Organic - Very few small farms are certified organic but if yours is, we want to give you a big high five! Thanks for the extra effort and investment.
How does The Farmbell make money?
We make money by taking a percentage of the sales price. We charge 10% plus a 2.9% merchant fee (the fee we pay to process the transaction).
Are there really no other fees?
Absolutely not. There is no cost to have a profile and you have full access to all site features.
How will I get paid?
We will ask you to associate a bank account with your Farmbell account. This allows us to deposit funds directly in your bank.
What is a drop-point?
Drop-points are locations or businesses in your area that agree to let you drop your products there for purchasers to come and pick up. Many farms with CSA programs already have these established. Markets and businesses who support local causes often serve as drop-points. They benefit too as this typically provides an increase in store traffic. Everybody wins!
What can I sell on The Farmbell?
Anything you grow, harvest, slaughter or make. We ask that any value added products be clearly labeled and prominent ingredient(s) be homegrown. For example, you could sell homemade pesto with basil from your garden or salsa from your own tomatoes. No tobacco or alcohol and sales must comply with local laws insofar as they are applicable, as well as with all other applicable laws, rules and regulations dealing with sanitation, cleanliness and marketing conditions.
How does The Farmbell provide support?
Please use our contact form. We want everyone to have a great experience using The Farmbell to buy and sell local foods.
Will sharing The Farmbell with my customers cannibalize my existing sales?
Let's do the math. Assuming you already pay 2.9% to accept credit cards, The Farmbell takes an additional 10% per transaction. Every nine of your existing customers that purchase via The Farmbell should be offset by each new customer we provide. If we bring you more than one new customer for every nine existing, you come out ahead.
$10.00 sales price
$1.00 Farmbelll commission
$9.00 gross profit
x9 existing customers = $81 gross profit, $9 Farmbell commission
+1 new customer = $9 gross new profit, offsets $9 commission
+2 new customers = $18 gross new profits, $9 net gain
Its difficult to measure, but providing your existing customers an easier way to purchase should also result in an additional increase in number of transactions and transaction size.
Isn't a 10% commission a lot considering I still have to deliver?
Compared to typical food hub and retail mark-ups, we believe 10% is very reasonable. While we don't pick-up and deliver, we do provide a cutting edge platform, facilitate the sale, provide sales and technical support, continuously improve the site and work hard behind the scenes to engage new buyers and grow the local food market for all of us.
Won't sharing The Farmbell with my customers allow them to connect with a competitor?
The Farmbell is a lot like a physical market this way. Many sellers might offer similar products. But we give you the opportunity to tell your story and present your products in an attractive format. Your profile page is all about you. We do not suggest or feature other sellers in that space.
What if I already have my own website and system of drop points
That's great! You don't have to stop doing anything that already works to try The Farmbell. Why not use The Farmbell alongside your current system and see if we can't get you a few more customers? We also continue to improve our service and offer a better experience for both buyers and sellers.
Is it a big deal to cancel my account?
Absolutely not. If you're not happy with The Farmbell, you can cancel at any time with a couple clicks of the mouse. All account info will be permanently deleted.