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Considering giving up the market. Input please.
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Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35870
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 16 8:39 pm    Post subject: Considering giving up the market. Input please.  Reply with quote    

We're really struggling with doing the market every Friday, even with NMG here helping us. I can't drive, or be on my own with the kids, or do anything active, in case I end up fitting like a kipper. I've got an ATOS assessment on Monday as I've finally caved and have applied for PIP. Nenna's steadily deteriorating - she's been in hospital with pneumonia this week and has come home today, for those if you not in the Facebook loop. She needs a lot more day to day care, physio, etc.

The market takes up 8 hours on a Friday and about 4 on a Thursday, preparing. We are lucky if we make 60 profit a week. Annual turnover is about 12,000.

However, there are other, difficult to quantify, benefits - advertising for courses and pullets, social interaction with people who are taller than four feet high, helping my Ma by taking flowers and plants to sell for her.

In addition, the hours and the turnover give us gravitas for Working Tax Credits. WTC bring in 53 a week. If we ditch the market, we may lose some, if not all, of that - our hours will drop below the threshold.

It is possible that if I am reclassified as having a disability, we may need fewer hours to maintain a claim. I claim Carers' Allowance for Nen. I am not sure if I can still claim that if I am 'disabled'.

I need

1. Sensible generic advice about shedding yet more stuff we are not coping with - you don't need to persuade me much, because all three adults in the house would like to let it go - and

2. Practical knowledge on how to maximuse our benefits from someone who knows the system, with particular reference to smallholding, life limited children with one disabled parent, and just effing everything financial, really, because my head is at the point of melting.

It's not that I want to stop doing this. But the rubbish conversation I had yesterday telling Leo about the likely progression of Nenna's condition ended with the promise that we are going to make every day bloody count, and we can't do that if we are fraying at the edges.

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26564
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 16 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I wonder if the market for all its apparent problems is actually a form of respite, by giving you all something else to focus on?

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33695
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 16 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How much fun is the market to do, on average?

If you're doing eight or ten hours for 60 quid, and it's not fun is an option getting a day a week or something at a supermarket so you get the respite, social interaction, hours and cash but not the stress?

Why wouldn't you give up the market?

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 16 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What they both said, there's a lot to be said for interacting with people taller than 4ft but 60 could be either a lifesaver or too much bother depending on, as Nick says, whether it is 'fun' or at least useful. If you dread it every Thursday let that be your answer.

Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34890
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 16 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think you should try to do it, even at reduced hours, if you can, for as long as you can. It's a something that you do, beyond being a carer.

Last edited by Jamanda on Fri Mar 04, 16 10:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41722
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 16 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It depends how much you value the bits of how you define yourself I think. Stop doing it if it's more stress than reward but don't do that if it's going to mean you feeling '**** I can't even manage that/be anything except this...'

Pilsbury



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 5645
Location: East london/Essex
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 16 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Could you talk to the market and ask to go less frequently? Once a fortnight? Once a month?
I think the social and advertising side of it is important but if it's draining you so it's harder to do the rest of you life then it depends on if the financial side is beneficial.
Even if you so less markets it doesn't nessacerily mean you will be declaring less hours worked, You would just be spending the market hours collecting and grading eggs with nenna, checking the birds and so on so less markets might not impact on the benifit side of things.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8910

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 16 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Your CAB may be able to help you with ways to maximise benefits, but if you go onto PIP it is important that you don't break the terms of that. The benefits system is a real mind blower, so it is no just you getting like this about it.

As the others said, if the market is a bit of respite, do it if you can/are allowed to by PIP, otherwise it may not be financially worth while.

onemanband



Joined: 26 Dec 2010
Posts: 1473
Location: NCA90
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 16 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What about handing over the market business to someone else to run for say, 6 months or a year ? Maybe another stall holder?
You would make little or no profit, but it would keep your business alive and give you the option of returning to it.

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4288
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 16 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The market can't be done on reduced hours per week, and I don't think every fortnight or month would cut it - it would make us unattractive to regular bulk buyers and to our suppliers for various things. I also presume that we'd be replaced by another egg-person, who is unlikely to want to alternate or skip one week in four.
While the social and community aspect is enjoyable (and probably even more so for Chez and Arvo as they know everyone there much better than I do), it often becomes a slightly chaotic "oh heck who's going this week" especially if unforeseen things happen with small folk It also takes an adult and a vehicle out of the loop for a significant period of time - plus 30 minutes drive - and once set up you can't just pack and go at short notice (I'm sure they'd cover for us in a full-on emergency).
Employing someone to do the market essentially uses up the profit made, which I think should factor in too.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33026
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 16 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

if the market is the main outlet for the eggs and a point of contact for courses etc it might be worth getting somebody to run the stall even if that means there is no profit .
if there is no market as an egg outlet are the chooks redundant unless an alternative egg market is obtained? is there an alternative egg outlet?
is the market worth it for the courses and chook keeping aspects even if the profit goes on wages?

i wonder if any of the other stall holders would be up for adding your eggs to their stall.they know they sell and dropping a low profit item they usually stock for a share of a better profit item might appeal to them.
would that cause extra paperwork etc ie no longer a "farm gate sale" or whatever the market equivalent of "from our hens" is ?

re everything else hugs.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14821
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 16 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Could you employ someone as a sort of holding pattern and see how much you missed it and how it affected things? If you run the numbers through one of the benefits calculators, does it help to clarify how things will pan out? I had a similar choice while pregnant, and decided just to junk it in the end. Everything changed so much after anyway it didn't really matter one way or another.

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35870
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 16 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

In no particular order:

- We can't afford to pay anyone properly to do it, we'd be in the red.
- I buy in nearly all the eggs for it currently - from a friend who's local, with a small commercial free range business. The cost per egg is the same as producing them myself, but of course there is a load less work. The egg quality is not as good as it would be if I did it myself - yolk colour is not nearly so rich - and the colours of the eggs are just 'ordinary', but as a stand-in whilst we plod along doing everything else, it's okay. The customers understand what's happening and the small number of my own 'rare breed' eggs still sell at a premium.
- No space for another stallholder to take the eggs on. Stalls are quite small and there's quite a lot of volume of eggs
- I am not involved at all in a practical sense, as I can't drive at the moment and if I went as a side-kick I'd end up getting too tired and fitting, which would be overdramatic and tedious for everyone.

What we have decided that NMG is going to pack the van on a Thursday afternoon. She will be a bit more together about it than Arvo, who will then have that time free. He is then going to get up and do the actual 'driving there and selling eggs' part of it on the Friday, then NMG is going to unpack when he gets home, so she knows where it all is for next week. Ma is going to see about having Nenna occasionally on a Thursday night, so we get a good night's sleep the night before, although this does depend on her health.

I will stay at home and languish like a Victorian Maiden, in a lace cap.

We're going to give it a few weeks and see how that works out, then reassess at Easter-time.

We're also thinking of other things we can do to bring people to the stall - I bought a dozen new pullets before Christmas that should have been coming in to lay now, with different colour eggs; but someone broke in to the house on Ma's holding and pinched them two days before Christmas and I haven't had the heart - or the cash - to replace them. I'm revisting this and ideas like it.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33026
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 16 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

my little hooves are crossed for it to work out .

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41722
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 16 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Chez wrote:


I will stay at home and languish like a Victorian Maiden, in a foil-lined lace cap.

.


Fixed it for you.

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