Sunday, 26 August 2012

Trying out an Honesty Box

For the first time this year we've tried an honesty box outside the house to sell the produce from our smallholding and beehives.  I've heard from others that generally an honesty box works really well, and that only occasionally do people help themselves to the produce without paying.  So we decided to give it go, and see how we got on.

We built the honesty box ourselves.  It's designed to be permanent, not moveable, but it does open and close.  We also bought a little money box which is fixed down inside and is only revealed when the honesty box is open.  This has a key, so we unlock it when we want to get the money out at the end of the day.

When we first opened the box this spring, we sold daffodils, because we have dozens growing on the smallholding.  Since then, we've sold veggies and I'm now starting to put out this year's honey (although there isn't much of it yet).  The plan was also to put eggs out, but as we still only have three chickens and haven't re-stocked yet, we only have enough eggs for ourselves at the moment.  The produce we have put out has nearly always sold, and people mostly have lots of goodwill and leave money.  Occasionally, people have paid just a bit less, but at the same time, some people have been so generous that they pay more than the asking price (when they seem to have emptied out their pockets and put all their loose change into the box!)

The box is right next to where people walk, but cars can also pull up easily to it, which helps.  So far, I'm really encouraged by the response, so, at the moment, we'll definitely keep going with it.

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