How It Works
There's really just two main phases of a Farmer's Cellar Bulk Buy:
- Collection Period
- Delivery Period
The Collection Period begins when we announce the bulk buy and ends a set number of days (usually 10) later. This is the time for customers to get funds to Farmer's Cellar.
The Delivery Period begins when the Collection Period ends. The Delivery Period ends a set number of days later (usually 10 days). This is the time for farmers to get their product to Farmer's Cellar. That is, the farmer can deliver the product at any time between the end of the Collection Period up until the end of the Delivery Period.
In chronological order, here are the detailed steps of a Farmer's Cellar Bulk Buy:
- Prices, minimum quantities (if any) and dates are worked out between Farmer's Cellar and the farmer
- Bulk Buy announced by Farmer's Cellar and Collection Period begin simultaneously
- Customers place their orders via form on Farmer's Cellar Bulk Buy page. A new and separate form will be created for each farm. IMPORTANT! If you are ordering product from multiple different farms simultaneously it is important to send a separate check made out to each farm.
- Physical checks* from customers made out to farmer are collected by Farmer's Cellar for the duration of the Collection Period. IMPORTANT! We will only be able to include your order in the bulk buy if your physical check gets to Farmer's Cellar before collection period ends!
- Collection Period ends. On the Collection Period end date one of two things will happen:
- Collection Period Failure: If any minimums are not met, the Collection Period is said to have "failed". In this case, all checks collected by Farmer's Cellar will be destroyed and check issuer will be notified. The farmer will be notified that the Bulk Buy is cancelled.
- Collection Period Success
- Farmer is notified of order size total and customers are notified of the Delivery Period end date (that is, the last date at which they can expect for their product to be available for pickup)
- Product gets delivered to Farmer's Cellar and immediately thereafter notification of pickup availability go out to all customers
- Since we're refrigerated, secure and self-serve, swing by to pickup whenever you want after the pickup availability notification goes out. Note: if you don't have the PIN code see our First Time User page.
*Why do we only offer payment via physical checks? Understandably this is a bit old fashioned. When it comes to coordinating a bulk buy there are two main concerns when it comes to how payment is handled. First, if funds transact through Farmer's Cellar we would have to be a business. We are not a business so this precludes options like customers sending Farmer's Cellar a PayPal payment and then Farmer's Cellar forwarding the total amount to the farmer. We would have to be a business in order to do that legally, so this option is out. The second concern is of a logistical nature both for the coordinator (i.e. Farmer's Cellar) and the farmer. If, for example, PayPal or credit card payments went directly from individual customers to a farmer this would cause a lot of error-prone work on the farmer's end to handle all that and a lot of times they're not set up for that. Usually what a farmer is set up better for is a single large transaction (i.e. a truck full of goods for a fist full of dollars!). As it turns out the best balance of logistics and convenience, for now, is physical check collecting. The cost to the customer is a bit less convenience compared to other payment methods they may be used to but we're quite confident the benefit will be much higher accuracy rate when it comes to keeping all the details of a Bulk Buy straight so that the customer and the farmer always end up getting exactly what they expected and in a timely fashion!
- If you do not have the capability to deliver your product to Farmer's Cellar we would be interested in seeing if we can pick up. However, this may not always be possible because for now all we have is a sedan and a 5X8 utility trailer like this. Just get in touch and let's see if we can work something out.
- The duration of the Collection and Delivery periods don't always be the any fixed number of days. If you would like something different than the 10 day default, no problem.
- The actual duration of the Collection and Delivery periods will always be noted prominently in the initial Bulk Buy announcement
- If you have the PIN code, come by whenever you want after the product pickup availability notification goes out. If you do not have the PIN code, just follow the instructions on the First Time User page.
- For the sake of the security of the Farmer's Cellar community please do not share the PIN code! We completely understand the convenience possible of having someone else pick up your product and we encourage that. In that case please contact us directly with the days you would like your friend to pickup for you and we'll post hours that will work to our First Time User calendar.
- We're experimenting with the concept of "Bulk Bulk Buys". This is where we coordinate several different bulk buys all with identical Collection Period and Delivery Period dates. Our thought is that you could wait until the last of all your products is delivered and then make a single stop at Farmer's Cellar to pick up everything at once.