Is Bargaining at the Farmers Market OK?

The food choices each of us make is what helps create the momentum for change. (Photo: Tupungato/ Shutterstock)

Last week on the $5 Dinners blog, there was a short video in which a farmer at the farmers market was asked if he minded people asking for discounts or reduced prices on his products. He said he didn’t mind and that sometimes he was willing to do it. What he doesn’t seem to like, though, is when people don’t take no for an answer.

I feel fortunate that the prices at the farmers market that I visit seem reasonable. I’ve mentioned before that there is a market closer to me, but the prices there are significantly higher. The market I visit is much larger, and I attribute the lower prices to more competition and a higher volume sold.

It never occurred to me to ask for a lower price at the closer market. The farmers work hard — very hard. I’ve never heard of a rich small farmer in my state. Asking them to lower the price of their products doesn’t seem right.

The comments beneath the video are interesting. Some people think that trying to barter is just fine. Others feel the way I do — it’s not right to ask the farmers to lower their prices. Some see a middle ground. If they want to buy a whole lot of something, say 12 dozen ears of corn for freezing, they might ask for a lower price for a bulk order, but they would never ask for a lower price on one dozen ears of corn.

What do you think? Should you try to bargain at the farmers market or should you trust that the farmers are asking a fair price and be willing to give it to them?