At The Etho, we expect our Sellers to do the following things:
- Respond to questions from customers or potential buyers within 48 hours
- If you experience any inappropriate communication (or, any type of harassment) please report the activity to us immediately.
- If The Etho determines that you have initiated inappropriate communication of any kind, you will be removed from the site permanently.
Send purchased items to customers as they are shown in The Etho’s marketplace (We understand that some products will have slight variations if they’re handmade, or are made-to-order custom pieces, and so will customers.)
- No products can be previously worn or used (i.e., you are not allowed to sell used clothing or second hand items, excluding the re-use of materials in making new products).
- Sellers must also describe, in a detailed and accurate way, everything that goes into creating all of the products for sale in your shop. This “about” area on an item’s page, and/or on your shop’s homepage, doesn’t need to be lengthy –– just detailed enough for customers to understand the materials, people, and process behind the things they’re buying.
Ship ordered item(s) within 48 hours of purchase
- Unless products are custom made-to-order pieces, then sellers are required to specify a shipping time frame for customer(s) based on the location of their shipping address.
- All sellers on The Etho are required to purchase shipping insurance, the cost of which can be factored into to your sale price (Insurance is inexpensive, but also important for customer satisfaction and security.)
Applicable fees for sellers & The Etho’s pricing structure:
The Etho’s “shop fee” –– the cost of operating your business in our online marketplace –– is 15% of an item’s listed sale price
- This means that 15% of the listed price of every item is taken from sellers every time an item is sold on The Etho.
- Unlike a set dollar amount per transaction –– which can be burdensome for sellers, especially with cheaper items –– this percentage can be easily factored into the sale price of each item sold in your shop
- The 15% shop fee is collected by The Etho when the sale revenue from that item is released to you, at the time of a product’s shipment
What you can expect from us:
- The promotion of and adherence to our Core Ethical Trade Principles and our Mission
- The release of your shop’s sale revenue upon the shipment of each sold product according to our pricing structure
- Transparency in The Etho's fee processing and all related payment activities
- Prompt communication from The Etho’s seller-support staff
Business support and shop maintenance:
- Shop set-up assistance (e.g., getting and using high quality photographs, configuring display settings, etc.)
- Instant and accurate records of all transactions in your shop
- Easy-to-use tools for communication with customers
- Shop rating and customer-review functions
- Responsive troubleshooting support for shop-related technical problems, content-translation issues, and other listing or sale-related problems
What you can sell on The Etho:
Sellers can sell ethically produced clothing, accessories, jewelry, home decor, made-to-order custom pieces of art, agricultural commodities, toys, collectibles, and other artisan crafts (or related products)
- What you are prohibited from selling on The Etho is detailed below, and in more detail in our Prohibited Items Policy.
What can't be sold on The Etho:
- Keep in mind that members may flag listings that appear to violate our policies for our review.
- The Etho may remove any listings that violate our policies, or may withhold funds earned from selling prohibited items.
For easy reference, the following items may not be sold on The Etho:
- Guns, knives, or other weapons
- Drugs, tobacco, alcohol, and drug paraphernalia of any kind
- Explosives or combustibles (fireworks, sparklers, or flammable items of any kind)
- Live animals of any kind
- Toxic substances (e.g., poisons)
- Gases or radioactive material
- Bones or ivory from any animal species that produce ivory (e.g., tusks, elk ivory, fossilized ivory, etc.)
- Products created using materials or parts that derive from any animal species designated “threatened or endangered” by the US Endangered Species Act, or listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). ( Click here to read more about this).
- Product Humans
- Even though The Etho may suspend or terminate your account for any violations of these policies, you will still owe any outstanding fees on your The Etho bill
Displaying your Fair Trade certification(s):
Your shop’s Fair Trade certifications –– regardless of which The Etho-approved international or regional labeling organization has issued them to you –– must be displayed on your shop’s homepage (if we have verified that its standards align with our own). The easiest way to do this is to attain the approval label, symbol, icon, or logo associated with your certifier in a format that can be easily displayed on your shop pages. The Etho will help sellers display this label if you have issues finding a high quality digital version of your certification’s graphic/logo. Typically, these labels are properly sized and placed on a shop’s pages for easy viewing, similar to the examples below:
If your shop has not attained Fair Trade certification from one of our accepted labeling organizations –– and The Etho is able to verify that the materials and production conditions of your products meet our standards –– you will use one of The Etho’s certification labels in your shop, depending on the type of company or organization you are (not-for-profits have a distinct The Etho label).
Displaying Fair Trade information for customers in your shop:
As a rule, sellers should briefly list where your products’ materials comes from –– both on an individual item’s page, and on your shop’s homepage (even if materials are sourced from multiple places). We understand that not every seller has their own website with this information –– including your community’s story –– readily available to direct customers to from The Etho’s marketplace.
So, concisely detailing how your Fair Trade practices meet The Etho’s ethical guidelines on your shop’s homepage or on an item’s page is important. And because transparency is so important to us and to The Etho customers, we encourage you to be as specific as possible about where and how your products were made, and where your materials come from.
Accuracy in your The Etho shop:
Honesty between buyers and sellers is a cornerstone of The Etho’s marketplace. Not only because of its role in the preservation of the transparent Fair Trade practices we promote, but also because honesty is crucial to the way The Etho works as an online marketplace.
- Honest and accurate display and representation of your shop’s items, and of your organization or business, are requirements for selling on The Etho
A product is not “honestly and accurately represented” if it is physically different from its listing description or the associated photographs. Common examples of inaccurate representation include orders where:
- The item has a different design or material than its listing.
- The item was advertised as one kind of product, but is another kind altogether.
- The item received is a different color, model, version, or size than the one shown in the listing’s images or description.
- A customer purchased multiple items but received the incorrect number (e.g., a customer orders five items but only received three of them).
Your shop’s policies on shipping procedures, processing times, discounts, cancellations and all other customer experience-related information should be clearly displayed in your shop’s homepage, and referenced on an individual item’s page
- Processing Time
Content in your The Etho Shop:
As a seller on The Etho, you can cultivate all kinds of content, both for your customer’s ease of use, and to make your The Etho shop attractive, interesting and unique. Between videos, pictures, messages, marketing or product information, and your item listings, your shop can look and sound exactly like you want it to. However, it is important to note that in order to ensure that our marketplace stays respectful and safe for all users, sellers are prohibited from uploading content that is:
- In violation of a user’s privacy or intellectual property rights
- Misleading or dishonest
- Coercive, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harassing, or otherwise in violation of The Etho’s Anti-Discrimination Policy
- Verbally or visually inappropriate, obscene or vulgar
- In violation of The Etho's User Privacy & Online Communications Policy
Your shop’s homepage should display policies and procedures that you, as the shop owner, have created for the benefit and protection of your shop and The Etho customers. These policies don't need to be lengthy, but should be detailed and clear enough that customers can easily understand your shop's shipping procedures, costs, processing times, the use of shop discounts, procedures for returns or cancellations, and all other customer experience-related information The Etho users may need. These policies will also be relevant should a dispute between you and a customer arise. They should be clearly displayed in your shop’s homepage, and referenced on an individual item’s page. At a minimum, your shop's policies need to clearly establish how your shop handles:
- Payment processing
- Shipping (including estimated processing times)
- Common FAQ's about your shop or your products
Shop Reviews on The Etho:
Customer reviews are an easy and effective way to cultivate an awesome reputation on The Etho. Within 90 days after an item’s date of delivery, buyers in The Etho marketplace can leave a review of your shop/products, a picture of their purchased item and a star-rating choice (five stars being the highest possible rating). On the rare occasion that you receive an unfavorable review, you can reach out to the customer, or, if the review is less than 3 stars, leave a written response. Customer reviews and/or your responses to customer reviews may not contain:
- Advertising or spam
- Private customer or customer-related information
- Harassing, vulgar or inappropriate language or visuals of any kind
- Content that violates The Etho’s Anti-Discrimination Policy
- Comments that are unrelated to the seller’s shop; topics outside of the seller’s control (e.g., The Etho policies or actions, shipping providers, any third party, etc.)
- Comments or information that compromises the integrity of The Etho’s review process
Extortion & Shilling Policy:
Extortion is when a seller offers one or more customers extra goods, services, or compensation of any kind in exchange for favorable reviews. Shilling is the promotion and praising of a shop through the use of an alternative account designed to inflate shop reputation fraudulently. Some people online use shilling to make a seller look more attractive to customers by increasing the seller’s sales or overall ratings. Customer reviews should reflect the honest opinions and/or experiences of the buyer. Extortion and shilling are both strictly prohibited on The Etho. Any attempt to produce or solicit fraudulent reviews or promotion through shilling or extortion is not allowed in our marketplace, and will result, at minimum, in the immediate loss of your The Etho user privileges.
Exchanges, Cancellations & Returns
Please be aware that in addition to our policy here, each country usually has its own unique laws relating to product shipping, exchanges, cancellations, and returns. We strongly encourage sellers to familiarize themselves with the relevant laws of their particular country or region, as well as with those of the country where your customer(s) live.
- If you can’t complete a transaction, you must notify the customer through your shop’s messaging tool, and cancel the transaction.
A seller may cancel a transaction with a The Etho customer under the following conditions:
- The customer did not pay
- Both you and the customer agree to cancel the transaction before the item is shipped, and before you have issued any refunds
- The customer did not receive the item(s) purchased in your shop, even after producing proof of item shipment, and you have issued a refund to the customer
Cant Complete Transaction
- Cant Complete Transaction Agreement
The Etho's Dispute Resolution Process:
In the event that a dispute arises between a seller and a customer about a purchase (or other product-related issue), we ask that buyers contact the seller directly and attempt to resolve any outstanding issues before initiating a dispute claim with The Etho. For this reason, and though it is unlikely that disputes with your shop will arise often, it is important that you display your shop's specific policies for buyers clearly, and that you regularly respond to messages from your customers. Customers may file a dispute claim with The Etho for two reasons: 1) a purchased item is not delivered, and 2) a purchased item is misrepresented in its seller's shop. As a seller, you must respond to any claims that The Etho receives––which we will work with you to resolve––within one week (seven days) of the claim's initiation by your customer. Dispute claims may be filed under the following circumstances:
Purchased item(s) not delivered:
This kind of claim occurs when a customer places an order for one or more items in your shop, submits payment successfully, but does not receive the item purchased. Often, a non-delivered purchase happens for these reasons:
- A purchased product was never sent by the seller.
- A purchased product was not sent to the correct address provided by the customer
- The seller never received confirmation when they shipped the item and then the item was lost in transit.
- This kind of claim occurs when a customer places an order for one or more items in your shop, submits payment successfully, but does not receive the item purchased. Often, a non-delivered purchase happens for these reasons:
Purchased item is misrepresented in a shop:
This kind of claim occurs when a customer places an order for one or more items in your shop, submits payment successfully, but receives an item qualitatively different from what they ordered. Often, an item misrepresentation happens for this reasons:
- A purchased product was sorted incorrectly and mistakenly packaged and shipped in place of the item actually ordered by a customer.
- This kind of claim occurs when a customer places an order for one or more items in your shop, submits payment successfully, but receives an item qualitatively different from what they ordered. Often, an item misrepresentation happens for this reasons:
To sum up, by selling on The Etho you are agreeing to do the following:
- Display accurate information in your shop about your items, your company or organization, your Fair Trade practices, your policies, and your shop’s story.
- Respect the intellectual property rights of other The Etho users, and, if you feel that someone has violated your intellectual property rights, report it to us immediately.
- Accurately list your products using high quality images. (Again, if you don’t have the ability to take high quality photos of your products, we can arrange someone to do it for you).
- Display your Fair Trade verification stamp and/or certified label(s) clearly on your shop’s pages.
- Honor your own Shop’s policies, including shipping and processing times, item discounts, customer communications, etc. (Sellers should also be aware that legal requirements for shipping times might vary by country.)
- Provide a high level of customer service at all times, especially when problems arise with customers (e.g., during a dispute resolution process with a customer).
- Respond to messages from customers and other The Etho users in a timely manner.
- Avoid coordinating or controlling item prices with other sellers in any manner.
- Avoid creating replicate shops, or helping another shop owner to operate a duplicate shop of their own.
- Address and attempt to resolve disputes with customers directly before approaching The Etho for intervention.