I love auctions! They are a mix of shopping, social hour, and festive event that I just can not get enough of, and today I am going to let you in one a little secret,New York State Produce Auctions . They are not just for businesses, although most buyers and sellers are, they are open to the public, and you can find some seriously fresh local produce, at wholesale prices.
Click here to skip down to the list of New York State Produce Auctions
Why Go to Auction
As growers, we tend to like to have outlets for all of our produce established, but periodically a crop boom may provide way more produce than we have demand for, the produce auction is the perfect venue to quickly move excess produce. On our trip, we brought some corn to be auctioned.
Likewise, produce auctions are a great market for wholesale buyers such as roadside stands, grocery stores, and restaurants, to pick up fresh locally grown produce at competitive prices. And if you are looking to do some home food storage, smaller sized lots are also sold for anyone interested for household use or canning.
1. Get a buyer/seller number. Typically you will need to register to buy or sell with the market office. You will need a valid picture ID, if you are selling you will also need to agree to a seller’s premium, at Finger Lakes Produce Auction it is a 10% cut taken out of the total sale of your goods.
2. Preview the goods or fill your memory card up tons of pictures of all the beautiful produce. Ok, yes I had my camera in tow and geeked out for a moment. It is all so pretty!! My husband and I were on a tight schedule, had we not been I surely would have come home with a least a couple of bushels of beans for my freezer. I am pretty sure the “tight schedule” was set up well in advanced to keep me from getting carried away.
My husband knows what happens when I am at an auction.
3. Make a bid Ok this is where it gets slightly tricky. Produce auctions run slightly different from your standard estate sales. The lot size varies from one cart or wagon load to the next, so paying close attention to the auctioneer is key. I think the biggest misconception people have of produce auctions is that you have to buy an entire wagon-load of goods, while that may be true in some instances this is typically not the norm. For most items, winning the bid doesn’t mean you have to buy everything on the wagon, but rather gives you first dibs. For example, one wagon might hold 48 boxes of tomatoes. If you are interested you can bid at a per box price, if you are this highest bidder, you get to pick your number of boxes first, you can buy some or all. If you choose to only bring home a couple, other buyers could buy the remaining boxes, usually at the same price. If no one is biting at the price you bought, the bidding process will start over again on the remaining boxes.
Also, you should be aware, the auctioneer’s likely talk like….well, auctioneers. Fast paced rhythmic speech mixed with the standard Amish German accent can take a little while to acclimate to for us English, observe a few rounds of bidding and the auctioneer, you will quickly get accustomed to the chant style and accent.
4. Be realistic this is where I struggle, and why the hubs sets up tight schedule when we are dropping off produce to be auctioned 😉 I usually go to auctions and get caught up in the fun, festive atmosphere, and all the pretty products, and want to take it all home. My eyes and aspirations become larger than I actually have time to devote to my epic produce haul. Buy only what you can realistically use or preserve before it rots.
5. Settle Up Before leaving with your haul of fresh produce stop by the office and pay for your goodies, don’t worry this won’t put a damper on your day. You will likely have picked up some sweet wholesale deals, which is awesome especially if you are going home to put it into some sort of longer-term food storage. If you are selling, you will get your check (less the sellers premium) in the mail later that week.
On my brief trip to the Finger Lakes Produce Auction I tried to take so pictures to give you an idea what the auction is like, but about 75% of the attendees were Amish or Mennonite so my pictures are quite limited to fairly close up shots of the goods for sale. I Refrain from pointing my camera in the direction of any Amish as a courtesy and out of respect for our Amish neighbors way of life, and I encourage you to do the same.
Produce Auctions in New York State
7844 Rt. 474
Clymer, New York 14724
Phone: (716) 355-6500 or (716) 355-6391
Time: Tues. & Fri. at 10:00 am
Email: [email protected]
Mohawk Valley Produce Auction
840 Fordsbush Road
Fort Plain, New York 13339
Phone: (518) 568-3579
Time: Tues. and Fri. at 10:00 am
Orleans Produce Auction
12590 Ridge Rd., Albion, NY 14411
May 2—July 11: Tues. & Fri. at 10 am
July 14—Sept. 12: Mon. at 11 am Tues. & Fri. at 10 am
Sept. 16—Oct. 28: Tues. & Fri. at 10 am
Finger Lakes Produce Auction
3691 Route 14A
Penn Yan, New York 14527
Phone: (315) 531-8446
Time: Mon. at 10:00 am
Wed. & Fri. at 9:00 am
Website: https://www.fingerlakesproduceauction.com At the time of writing this site seemed unavailable
Seneca Produce Auction
2033 Yerkes Road
Romulus, New York 14541
Phone: (607) 869-5470
Time: Tues. at 10:00 am starting 4/28
Fri. at 10:00 am on 5/9, 5/23 and
then weekly from 6/6 onwards
Genesee Valley Produce Auction
8855 Country Road 3 | P.O. Box 163
Centerville, NY 14029
(585) 567-8640 (auction days from 8:30 am)
(585) 567-4312 (8-8:30 am all other days)
Time: Tues. & Fri. at 10:00 am Season starts 5/2
Have you been to a produce auction and have tips to share? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.