Dealing with no-show customers

A lot of us who have larger gardens, small farms, or otherwise consider themselves part of the ‘homesteader’-group, have probably dealt with customers who don’t show up for their purchase.

In the past I’ve sold rabbits, chickens, ducks and garden seeds. Usually customers find me through listings on sites devoted to poultry and small livestock or second-hand goods. They respond to my listing, we set up a time and date for payment and pickup, and that’s it. Wrong. Of course that’s not it! We don’t live in a perfect world and a lot of people enjoy being very annoying. Enter; the no-show customer. This being roams the streets, both paved and digital, making false promises and appointments he/she never intends to keep. Whyyyy? Is what I ask. Why do people do this? I’ll never understand why, but I do think I’ve learned a few things on avoiding them.

I thought of this subject because of a video by Patara from Appalachia’s homestead. With spring and summer coming at us, we’ll be selling animals and plants again soon. So we may need to think about how we’re going to deal with this problem.

Listed below are three things I’ve learnt to be careful to do so I can avoid waiting for customers who never show up.

  • Don’t allow more than a few days for people to come make their purchase. The longer the time between responding to the listing and the appointment, the more likely it is people won’t show up.
  • If your problem with customers not showing up is very bad, visiting markets with your products might be at least a partial solution. It may take some research, but you will be able to find some opportunities, open to amateurs, to register for a market stall in your area.
  • Asking people to confirm they’ll come to make their purchase the morning of the appointment can filter out no-shows before you’re waiting for them to show up. Don’t give the address until you receive their confirmation.

Of course, the product you’re selling and the type of customer you have will give you different experiences. If you have any more pointers for me, please leave them in a comment for me?

Nest of 11 Belgian Hares I sold in 2019

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I now require 50% down before I waste more than a minute talking about a sale (bees). Non-refundable if they don’t show up, or change their mind. People are the worst.


    1. I’ve thought about doing that. It’s not a common practice here, but it’s something that would be very effective in chasing off people who want to waste others’ time. If I start selling lots of hives it might be necessary to do this. Thank you for you advice!

      Liked by 1 person

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