This must be tech month, because I have another wiz-bang techy thing to share with you. This is another web-site, and it brings local to a whole new level.
Personally, I’m a big fan of selling directly to the consumer – no middle man. The advantage of a middle-man is a built-in customer base. Folks go to the farmer’s market, grocery store, or local restaurant and buy food that was produced locally (at least in theory). The problem with the middle-man is that they take a cut of your profits, because the public has a limit on what they will spend on food, even organic, locally produced food. A middle-man means you make less money than if you sell directly to the public.
Back to the problem – how do you generate a customer base for random sales? In the age of the internet, just about anything can be accomplished. Enter Ripe Near Me, a free website that allows to both post items you have for sale, as well as browse items that are for sale. And you can search by zip code, showing only those offerings that are nearby. Notice image above – downtown Colorado Springs.
This is site is super simple – it has only two functions. Function 1 allows you to search for items for sale by zip code. Function 2 allows you to post items that you have for sale. You list your items, list their location, and set your price. If someone is interested in your item(s) they send you a message through the system. That’s it folks – buy local food, or sell local food. Simple.
So here’s what I’m proposing. How ’bout we get 20 or so of us on this site, offering things for sale from our gardens, poultry, livestock, orchards, and vineyards. We just have a few folks using the site in our area right now; it wouldn’t take much to turn the tide and really get something great going. Harvest season is coming into full swing. Instead of fretting about how you’re going to use all of those tomatoes, or struggling with what do with another 8 lbs. of zucchini, post your delicious and hard won produce on this site and find it a good home.
I’ve created my profile and listed my first two items for sale – sage and thyme from our aquaponics system. Check it out, decide if you like the site, and if you do, get posting. Let’s build our local food economy from the ground up (pun definitely intended).