Because The Etho uses a platform model, we don’t keep or process any inventory, and each The Etho Shop is responsible for shipping items directly to customers. This means that while we can’t take responsibility for any packages or shipment – related issues that may arise (hopefully they never do!), we are always here to help figure out shipping issues with customers and sellers if both parties can’t resolve an issue on their own.
That being said, if a shop owner does not have a specific policy on shipping, exchanges or returns in place, then The Etho’s general policies on shipping, etc., will automatically be used to handle any issues you may have. These are detailed below. Also, please don’t hesitate to ask us questions about these policies if you run into any issues – being a small, new company we are trying to figure out the best shipping procedures and the best way to keep our supply chains effective, affordable, and sustainable for everyone involved.
- Sellers usually ship ordered item(s) within 48 hours of a customer’s purchase. Unless products are custom made-to-order pieces, then sellers are required to specify a shipping time frame (“processing time”) for customers based on the location of their shipping destination. All sellers on The Etho are required to purchase shipping insurance, the cost of which is usually factored into the sale price of an item. (We use shipping insurance because it is inexpensive, but important for seller, and customer protection.)
A shop’s homepage of The Etho should display policies or procedures that their customers can easily understand – whether or not refunds, returns or exchanges are accepted for instance. These policies usually aren’t very complicated, but should be detailed and clear enough that customers can easily understand a shop’s shipping costs/procedures, processing times, the use of shop discounts, order cancellations, etc.
(We encourage customers to reach these carefully before they make a purchase, as they will be relevant should an issue between a seller and customer arise).
- Please be aware that in addition to our policy here, each country usually has its own unique laws relating to product shipping, online order exchanges, cancellations, and returns.
- We strongly encourage customers and sellers to familiarize themselves with the relevant laws of their particular country or region, as well as with those of the country where customers live.
- If a seller can’t complete a transaction, they must notify the customer through either their shop’s messaging tool, or using a customer’s email address – and cancel the transaction. A seller may cancel a transaction with a customer under the following conditions: 1). A customer does not pay, 2). A seller and customer agree to cancel a transaction before an item is shipped, and before sellers have issued any refunds, 3). A customer does not receive the item(s) purchased in a shop, even after producing proof of item-shipment. The Etho must be notified of any changes in orders.
- If a shop can’t complete a transaction, and the customer already submitted his or her payment, the seller must issue a full refund. (We encourage customers and sellers alike to keep record or any refunds in case a dispute arises.) Both sellers and customers may agree that a customer can return a purchased item for a refund, or for buying “credit” in their shop. Keep in mind, NGO’s quite often do not process returns and this is noted on their shop page. Return options will vary from shop to shop, depending on their policies and capabilities. The Etho policy is to contact the seller within 15 days of purchase and return the item to the seller within 48 hours. After 30 days there will be no returns accepted.