Thanks for your interest in vending at the Milk Lady Farmers’ Markets! Below are some answers to frequently asked questions.
Q: How do I become a vendor at the Milk Lady Markets?
A: It’s easy! Click here for an intro to our online application process. Also use our application to become a vendor at the December 15, 2013 Holiday Wine and Gift Festival, or any of our special events. When you are ready, click here to use our online Marketplace Application to register. You will be able to create a profile for your business, upload your logo and product photos, and schedule the dates you can commit to being at the market this season. All questions require an answer so just write “N/A” or “None” if the question is not relevant to your business. We’ll get back to you within about 3 – 5 days. We welcome first-time vendors and occasional vendors, as well as folks who prefer a regular weekly marketplace. You may bookmark this link to return to Manage My Market login page at any time. For any technical support for any glitches you experience while completing your application, please call 1.503.878.8466 Monday to Friday 12 noon to 8 p.m. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Does the market have rules and regulations?
A: Yes, please click here to check out the Market Agreement.
Q: How much does it cost to join the market?
A: The seasonal application fee per 10’x10’ spot is a non-refundable application fee of $100 for farmers and food vendors, $50 for artisan vendors and $25 for community groups.
The fee for each additional market application to one of our other markets is $50 for all vendor types.
The fee for pre-approved community groups is $25.
There are no fees for accepted Young Entrepreneurs Program members.
Market sponsors that are pre-approved do not pay to set up at the market.
WEEKLY SPACE FEE
COSTS per each 10′x10′ spot for 2013 Season. The fee to set up each market day is $35. You pay the space fee in total, once monthly. The fee is $100 per month for farmers and food vendors and $50 per month for artisans and bakers. All vendors must give the monthly fees to the Market Manager in cash, debit card or check at the market, by the 25th of each prior month. Paying late means you lose the monthly discount and pay $35 for each market day.
Q: When do I pay to join the market?
A: Once your application is accepted, we will send you an acceptance email. Once you receive an acceptance email from us, we will send you an invoice for your application fee and first month’s space fee. We will need your payment to reserve your spot. Once your payment is received, you will be approved at your online profile. All fees are non-refundable, but they may be transferred to another market. So, you lock in your spot when you pay your application fee. And, you pay the monthly space fees to the Market Manager in cash, debit card or check at the market, by the 25th of each prior month.
Q: Do you accept credit cards for fee payment?
A: You can pay your application fee by PayPal using a credit card, debit card or check. PayPal is for your Market Application Fee only. You do not pay monthly stall fees by PayPal. We collect once monthly fees at the Market by the 25th of each month; you can pay in cash, debit card or check.
Q: What about a tent?
A: You bring all your own equipment, including a tent canopy. A canopy is required for all vendors. (If you’re not ready to invest in buying a tent, we have one for rent for $25 per day and an extra table for $5. First come, first served basis!). All tents must be weighted with four 25 lb weights secured to each leg of the tent.
Here is a video of How to Take Down A 10X10′ Tent And Info on Making Tent Weights.
Q: What about a sign?
A: You MUST have a 2′ x 4′ minimum or larger large sign or banner with your farm or company name. Paper signs may not be displayed once they are rained upon and become an eyesore. You must have your prices posted this is a state law and you will not be allowed to set up without posted prices, no exceptions. Maryland law also states that if you are a farmer, you must have the county and state of origin of your farm products.
Q: What kind of vendors are you looking for?
A: We are looking for farmers and artisans who produce what they sell, no resellers. We are interested in producers of veggies, fruits, dairy, meats, fish and poultry. We are interested in food vendors that prepare foods on site, smoothie makers, bakers and chocolatiers. We are also interested in all kinds of vendors with fine, funky, unusual, and unexpected goods and services. Examples include handcrafted items, fine art, collectibles, toys and furniture. We also accept vendors with interesting services, especially services that are performed on-site: henna tattoos, professional advice, fortune-telling, bike repair, etc. We generally do not accept vendors with new, mass-made items (cell phone accessories, knock-off handbags, etc), general used merchandise (yard sale items), and sell-at-home products (Avon, etc.).
Q: Do I need a Tax I.D. Number?
A: Most vendors use a tax i.d. number on their application although some use their social security number which is an acceptable substitute.
You can obtain an EIN or tax i.d. number immediately by calling the Business & Specialty Tax Line at (800) 829-4933. The hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday.
Q: Do I need a special license or permit to sell at the market?
A: All food and beverage vendors need an annual Health Department Licenses/ Farmers’ Market Permit (Food vendors, be sure to check the last 3 pages). Cottage Bakers please click here for Montgomery County rules. Call 240-777-3840.
If you already have a Maryland sales tax license, then you are in compliance. If you don’t have one, but are planning on doing more than three markets this year (anywhere in Maryland, not just our markets). Maryland requires that you apply for a free, permanent sales license. Visit the Comptroller’s website or call 410-767-1300 for help with your application.
Q: Do I need special insurance?
A: All food vendors and farmers and any vendors with potentially harmful products such as glass need to have Commercial/Product Liability insurance and a $500,000 Insurance Certificate with the market named as additional insured. At the Burtonsville farmers’ market, ALL vendors must have liability insurance AND submit a certificate naming Cedar Ridge Community Church as additional insured. Please contact the market team is you have questions about this: email@example.com. The Farmers Market Coalition offers affordable insurance plans for vendors; contact Larry Spilker at 800-730-7475 ext 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The insurance level minimums:
Each Occurrence – $500,000
Damage to Rented Premises (each occurrence) – $100,000
Medical Expenses (any one person) – $5,000
Personal and ADV Injury – $500,000
Your insurance agent or broker will need the Business MAILING ADDRESS below:
Attn: Gigi Goin
Milk Lady Markets
PO Box 4463
Silver Spring, MD 20914
NEVER send mail to a physical market address.
Milk Lady Markets is not liable for damage caused to or by our vendors, our vendors’ merchandise, or our vendors’ displays. Every applicant to the market agrees to these terms on the online application.
Q: What forms of payment can we accept at the market?
A: We accept cash, debit cards, LevelUp, WIC and SNAP.
Q: What are Market Bucks and market coupons?
A: From time to time, Milk Lady Markets advertises coupons valued at $1 on minimum $5 purchases. They are valid one per customer, for each vendor. Customers clip the $1 market coupons from various advertised sources and bring them to the market to use with their spending. These coupons are honored singularly and not in conjunction with any other offers. The coupons have expiration dates. Be careful, it is your responsibility to know the $1 market buck is good on purchases over Five Dollars. These coupons are not redeemed by the market and are recognized as legitimate business expenses on tax filings.
Q: What are WIC and SNAP?
A: WIC is a government subsidy for purchasing food items for eligible mothers with young children. You can contact the Dept of Agriculture on 410-841-5776 for WIC vendor trainings. SNAP (independence cards or food stamps) is a government subsidy for families in need.
Q: What if it rains?
A: We’re open rain or shine, and there are no refunds due to weather. In the event of thunder, we encourage all vendors to leave the site for shelter in a car or campus building or barn. Everyone registering for the market agrees to the terms that Milk Lady Markets is not liable for your safety or that of your goods–but we do care about you and want you to stay out of harm’s way!
Q: Do you provide electricity and water?
A: Yes, at some markets we have electricity, for $10 per day. Certain vendors who absolutely need electricity and ask for it when they apply are approved for use of our limited number of spots with electric hook-ups. We don’t provide electricity for gadgets like laptops that run on batteries. Some markets have water access. Vendors needing water must select that option on their application. We do not charge for water.
Q: Are there indoor bathrooms?
A: At the various markets, we use indoor bathrooms in campus building, or barn or nearby partners like the indoor pool, park, or restaurants.
Q: How does set-up work?
A: Set-up begins three hours before opening and ends half-hour before opening. When you arrive, we check you in and direct you to your space. You unload your car from directly behind your space. Sometimes we have assistants available to help unload cars, if time allows, they can also help you setup and breakdown your tent. Please tip them. After unloading, we ask everyone to park in the nearby designated vendor parking area.
Q: What about Marketing?
A: We reach out to the local neighborhoods to promote the market. We accept WIC and SNAP and promote that as well. We use social media, state and county market listings, and newspaper market listings to spread the word.
Q: How can I help spread the word?
A: Our most successful vendors advertise their participation at the market. In general, social media is the way to go: please LIKE us on our NEW Facebook page @Milk Lady Farmers Markets. Follow us on Twitter @MilkLadyMarkets. Joins us on Pinterest @Milk Lady Markets post your market schedule on your website and tell your networks about your participation in this market.
Q: May I use the Market Logo?
A: Vendors are encouraged to use the MLM logo on websites, Facebook, blogs or other advertising materials. Vendors are required to list Milk Lady Markets as one of their locations on their websites with times and dates of markets, just as MLM list all vendors on its website. Vendors cannot advertise their other locations on MLM’s Social Media of any kind.
Q: What about SMOKING?
A: Smoking is not permitted in vendors’ tents or within 25 feet of the market area. White Oak Middle School by Montgomery County law is a drug-free, smoke-free zone.
Q: What about parking?
A: Parking is close as we are on or near parking lots or have designated parking at our markets, an easy walk of a few yards to vehicles, it is very convenient.
For more information, please email email@example.com or call 301-792-9448.