Small farmers who try to grow and sell fruit and vegetables for profit generally have to give a great deal of time and attention to marketing. With those crops, it is extremely important to have a buyer lined up before even planting the crop. Seasonal price fluctuations can mean the difference between profit and loss. In some years markets become totally flooded with certain kinds of produce and growers can barely give it away. Vegetable growers often spend long hours at tailgate farmer's markets trying to sell their produce directly to the public. Various kinds of cooperatives and grower associations have been organized to assist vegetable growers with the difficult job of marketing.
In selling dried roots of wild simulated ginseng, the situation is totally different. It is hard to find any product that is easier to sell. In Virginia, there are about 45 certified ginseng buyers spread out across the state. These buyers are regulated by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - Office of Plant Protection. A list of the certified buyers can be obtained from that office. All that a grower has to do is drive to the buyer's house or store or service station, carry the roots in, watch as they are weighed and accept payment if he agrees with the price that is offered. If the grower does not like the price that is offered, he can take his roots to the next buyer down the road. A grower who has a large volume of roots to sell often will allow buyers to make bids on his roots to get the highest price. Some growers sell directly to large herb companies who buy ginseng for export to Asia. In a few states, ginseng auctions have been organized to help both the buyers and the sellers. Current price information is easy to obtain from several sources.
Marketing wild simulated American ginseng roots is easy because market demand is very strong for this scarce commodity. The only thing a first time seller has to watch out for is country dealers who might try to buy valuable ginseng at a low price. Many of these country dealers also buy and sell guns, hunting dogs, furs, used car batteries, etc. They practice the art of trading. If they make a low offer and the grower accepts it, it is his own fault.