Usually about this time of the year many customers start thinking about last minute preparations as they get ready to sell at the market. One of the often forgotten items is making sure your scale is still weighing accurately. Often the digital scale is just used at the market each week and then placed over in the corner of the utility room until you need it next spring. So it is usually a good idea to take your scale out and make sure it is working correctly. You might place a few items on the scale and make sure the weights are consistent. Also enter a few prices using the keypad to make sure all your number buttons are working correctly on the keypad. That is assuming you have a price computing scale with full keypad. If you just have a retail scale with a couple of buttons, make sure those buttons work. For example the “tare” button can be tested to make sure it works.
If anything is not working properly, be sure to call your local scale company and make an appointment for a scale repair and calibration. The reason we suggest calling ahead relates to several issues. Often a scale company has technicians but they are out on job sites, so you could show up and have to wait or leave your scale by dropping it off. Also if you have any issues with your scale, call ahead and mention that and perhaps the scale dealer has some spare load cells or keypads in stock for your particular item.
Hopefully this advice makes sense and can save you some time and money for the 2013 season at the farmers market or produce stand.
Below is an example of a typical farmers market rules and regulations application. Of course one of the key elements that we focus on is the scale. If you are selling to your customers based on weight (which you should) then you will need to understand how the scale check procedure takes place to certify your scale for selling produce to the general public.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, honey, jams and jellies, cheese, vinegars, cider, frozen meats and poultry, maple products, baked goods, breads, ready-to-eat foods, handmade soaps, flowers, bedding plants, and potted plants are examples of products that may be sold at the market.
Market management will supply farmers/vendors with market canopies and will provide assistance with the setup and breakdown of the canopies each market day. Late comers may be responsible for the setup of their canopy. Each farmer/vendor will be responsible for providing tables, tablecloths, certified scales, signs, containers, and change. The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is responsible for inspecting the scales at the farmers market. DCRA will check scales for accuracy during the first month of the market opening. Scales must be clearly visible and readable to customers at all times. Any problems identified by DCRA must be corrected. If you have any questions regarding your scales, please contact the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Weights and Measures
We mentioned this back in January and we want to emphasize it one more time. This month is a great time to take out your old faithful price computing scale and give it a good work out. Plug it in and make sure it powers up and charges if it has a battery. It might even be a good idea to order a spare battery to prepare for the spring. Make Continue reading →