A topic we hear a lot of questions about is Online Sales Platforms — how to choose them, how to set them up and how to integrate them into a farmers market. In response, VAFMA and our partners set about answering these questions by creating a series of webinars and resources for farmers, vendors and market managers. Below you’ll find links to the downloadable resources and webinars on this topic.

We’ll keep updating this page with resources as we have them.


Market Managers: What to Consider When Setting Up Your Online Market

A series of questions for market managers to ask when adding an online sales platform to a farmers market.

Market Vendors: What to Consider When Choosing an Online Sales Platform

A series of questions for farmers and other vendors to ask when choosing an online sales platform.


Online Sales Platforms Webinar

On February 11, 2021 VAFMA and VSU Small Farm Outreach Program interviewed representatives from Lulus Local Food, Farmspread, WOSO by Roro and Local Line. Link to recording will be added here as soon as it is available from VSU.

The webinar was directed at farmers but also gave market managers a better understanding of how various systems work.

We walked attendees through the setup process, tracking inventory and downloading reports. We also covered pricing and customer payment options and answered attendee questions about the program.

Recorded Webinars

Choosing a Platform – Recorded June 2020

This 90-minute webinar is for farmers who want to add an online store or online pre-ordering system to their operations. It provides practical details about 4 different platforms — Google Forms, Square, Lulus Local Food and Local Line via Virginia Market Maker. It also covers what to consider before choosing a platform.

Brought to you by Virginia Farmers Market Association and Virginia State University. Sponsored by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Farm Credit, Farm Credit Knowledge Center and Virginia Farm Bureau.

Deep Dive into Using Lulus Local Food – recorded July 2020

Taking a closer look at Lulus Local Food — the online sales platform for farms and farmers markets from VA FAIRS. We walk through the application process, setting up a store, tracking inventory, downloading reports and more. We also discuss how farmers and other vendors can use the platform as their own online store while selling through multiple online farmers markets.

Deep Dive into Using Local Line – Recorded July 2020

The third webinar in the “Farmers Selling Online” series from VAFMA and the VSU Small Farm Outreach Program takes a closer look at the Local Line online platform. It is directed at farmers but also gives market managers a better understanding of how the system works.

Chris Walker of Local Line walks attendees through the setup process, tracking inventory and downloading reports. He also covers pricing and customer payment options.

Farmers Market Success During COVID-19: Vendor Managed Pre-orders – Recorded April 2020

In this 3 hour online training, 5 market managers share how they are navigating the COVID-19 obstacle course using vendor-managed pre-orders.

They detail their successes and lessons learned along with their communication strategies, signage, market rules, physical structure, social distancing practices, use of volunteers, payment methods and more.

At each of these markets, vendors take their own pre-orders and online sales. However, the markets use different set-ups and processes to adapt to their available space and location restrictions.

There are drive thru markets, curbside pickups and walk through shopping. The markets are government, private and non-profit run; urban, rural and suburban.

VAFMA staff summarize the recommendations and resources shared. They also open up the discussion for Q&A.

View Recording

Farmers Market Success During COVID-19: Market-Managed Online Sales – Recorded April 2020

More and more customers are asking for markets to manage the online ordering process. The market managers in this training have decided to do that.

In this two hour training recording, you will hear about four markets – each one uses a different ordering platform and a different distribution system. One market has been online since 2013. The others are new since the coronavirus changed the farmers market landscape.

They share their successes and lessons learned along with their communication strategies, market rules, online platform decisions, payment methods and much more. VAFMA staff also share recommendations and resources.

View Recording