Online Sales Platforms
Resources for Selling Produce Online
While COVID-19 has disrupted many of the usual markets for produce, online sales can be a way to reach more customers and avoid in-person contact. Several organizations have been gathering resources to help farmers who are interested in selling produce online:
CAFF (Community Alliance with Family Farmers) has an online sales resource page that includes tips for selling online and a list of many online sales platforms.
NYFC (National Young Farmers Coalition) has reviewed multiple online sales platforms and published a guide comparing options and pricing.
Oregon Tilth has a webinar on online sales platforms including Barn2Door, Harvie, Local Food Marketplace, Food4All, and the Open Food Network.
Farm Commons has a podcast on online sales platforms during COVID-19.
Below, we list the platforms that are the easiest to use and most affordable for individual small-scale farms interested in getting started with online sales.
For more information or to request technical assistance, email the small farms team in Fresno County at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check back soon for a recording of our webinar on online sales platforms!
Online Spreadsheets: AirTable or Google Forms
One of the easiest ways to set up online sales is through online forms such as AirTable or Google Forms. Customers can easily place an order using these forms to choose the produce they want to buy, and they can make payments online using a third party digital payment service such as PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, or Zelle.
See the Airtable_Setup_Guide for step by step instructions to set up online sales on AirTable. While this method is the easiest to set up, the challenge is to match up the payments from the third party payment service to the customer orders. One recommendation is to include a statement on the form that no refunds are offered, to avoid having to reverse charges on the payment service.
Below are some examples of farms using this method:
Ambrosio Farm (Google Forms)
Giving Fruits (Google Forms)
ABC Farms (AirTable test/example site)
Free Online Store: Food4all
Food4all is probably the least expensive way to sell produce using a website with a shopping cart that can process credit card transactions. There is no charge to create an account and use their free mobile point of sale, except a credit card processing fee of 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction and a 0.5% bank account deposit fee.
View a test/example farm here at ABC Farms
See the Food4All_Setup_Guide for step by step instructions on setting up online sales with Food4all. Food4all's website also has a page with marketing resources for small farms and a short video on using their platform.
Also, here is a video with instructions on setting up an account.
Website and Online Store: Local Line
Local Line is one of the more affordable paid subscription online sales platforms. Farmers can build a website for free, and to use the online store there is a monthly charge of $60/month for individual farmers, or $20/month per person for vendors at a farmers market using Local Line.
Below are some examples of farms using Local Line: