F&E have teamed with RED Market to create a new
MULTI VENDOR ONLINE STORE
now registering sellers
F&E is currently crafting our buyer-facing site, but as of 4/7/2020 we are on-boarding F&E Members. Please note, this site will change, grow and incorporate more customization as we learn about our customers and your selling preferences in the week's ahead. We are learning about this new normal, just like you. We ask for your patience, and feedback, as we begin sales.
Social distancing is the new normal, and market postponements and cancellations are happening. Although we remain hopeful that through dormancy of in-person gatherings, the health situation will come under control, and any hiatus will be short-lived. None the less, consumerism will evolve. It is foodpreneurs and farmers that are ideal when imagining this change work, and our new multivendor marketplace is here for you!
Partnering up with RED Market's Katie Myhre, F&E is working on what comes next. We've been advocates for online retail and alternative marketplaces for years. From consulting with meal kit founders to coding platforms for wholesale purchasing; we've not only watched how these spaces have grown, but we've evolved our businesses with them. Together we know there are solutions, and we are right now developing an online multi-vendor marketplace akin to Etsy, but exclusive to local food and beverage businesses providing delivery, pick up and shipping, along with; custom orders.
HELP US BUILD OUR ONLINE MARKETPLACE
As F&E ramps up our promotions and develops our multi-vendor online marketplace, we need F&E members to build up their vendor profiles and product catalogs. By having a robust offering when we go live, we know customers will stick around and we will see more orders. That means our store is only as viable as you make it. Take your time with your product descriptions, think carefully about how you'll package, label and deliver. Pay attention to your photos and pricing. Don't forget to learn from others.
GET STARTED HERE
It's easy to start selling.
1. Make sure you are now a current 2020 F&E Member. If not, become one here >>
2. Create your seller account, upload your products and plan your delivery methods >>
3. Check out the below resources to present your best business!
CONNECT WITH YOUR FELLOW F&E COHORT
This is a rapidly changing landscape, and if any group of people are able to re-allocate resources and challenge existing business models - entrepreneurs can do it. F&E wants to help you do it better. Our marketplaces have always been community centered, and now more than ever we need to support each other. Buy, applaud, promote and share your expertise during this new normal. The F&E Facebook Group is ideal for getting and staying connected.
Frank & Ernest Markets
SELLER/VENDOR SUGGESTIONS, GUIDELINES & POLICIES
F&E and RED Market are working extra hard to build a community based on trust and respect. This makes our marketplace's community special and hopefully you think so too! Please help us to do this by following the guidelines below. All online market sellers/vendors must become F&E Members prior to listing >>
OUR ONLINE MARKET IS FOR FOOD MAKERS, FARMERS & FARMSTEAD PRODUCTS & MANY OTHERS
Our B2C (Business-to-Consumer) multi-vendor marketplace is for locally-made* and grown farmstead products (produce, plants, proteins, foraged and value-add), packaged food, catered foods, baked goods, take-n-bake, meal kits, food subscription deliveries, pet foods, local, handcrafted health and beauty products (using mostly food grade ingredients), farmstead fibers and select handmade home kitchen goods. Please note, foods made under MN's cottage food law are welcome, but specific to pick up and doorstep delivery. Shipping is not allowed for cottage foods, under MN State Law. >> If you are curionsproducts fit our market model, reach out >>
WHAT IS AN ONLINE MULTI VENDOR MARKETPLACE?
Multivendor marketplaces allow businesses to sell alongside other vendors, while still situating their products by setting up an exclusive store front. The sellers can manage logistics, inventory, and product additions using their individual seller portal. F&E earns a commission on the sale of product, and this is how we pay the platform administration fees and cover the large promotional costs. For the month of April 2020, F&E will take no commission on sales.
WHAT OUR ONLINE MARKET IS NOT FOR
Non-locally made food or products or non-local farmstead produce, proteins, fibers or value-add products.
WHAT IS "LOCAL?"
*"Locally-made" is defined as produce grown, proteins raised, and/or products crafted in the Upper Midwest.
CREATING YOUR SELLER ACCOUNT & PRODUCT LISTINGS
Please note, F&E is still developing our seller recommendations. As new recommendations come available, members will be notified.
You can create your seller account here. You'll include your seller name, email and create a password to begin the login process. Once you've logged in, you will begin by configuring your profile with your business info and description. You'll then be able to craft your product listings individually or by uploading a CSV file. The import function is especially helpful to save time, should you already be selling your products online.
COMMUNICATING YOUR LISTINGS & PHOTOGRAPHY
Posting your products is easier than you might think. Use your voice, have a perspective and recognize your brand. Be creative, but understand that above all you want to be clear and manage expectations. Merchandising and branding helps sell products much more quickly. Think tablescapes, product placement within an environment and thoughtful use of smart phone filters. The item should be clearly represented in the main photo. Try to avoid any post editing techniques that take away from highlighting the item such as collages or heavy special effects. We also ask that you do not use any photos in your listing that you did not take or get the permission to use. See below for more tips.
COMMUNICATING HEALTH & SAFETY DURING COVID-19
There has been much written on this, and there are numerous resources on food preparation, packaging and delivery below. We suggest communicating how you are protecting your customers in your profile and on your product listings. Look to restaurants for support in developing this language. Be sure to use the phrase "contactless" in your delivery description.
DELIVERY, SHIPPING & PICK UP SUGGESTIONS
Like you we are learning. Contactless doorstep delivery is the new in-person market. That means if you haven't evolved your business to think about this as a strategy - now is that time. Consider offering one or two delivery opportunities a week, and select for these options when configuring your product listings.
You can also select for service areas when configuring your online profile. This will allow only those customers within that area to purchase your products and to select for doorstep delivery. We suggest tapping into a free route planner, like Mapquest, to use your time and fuel efficiently.
Consider setting minimums for your individual sales. That may help protect profits, as you develop these new protocols and determine pricing.
We are still working out all the tips and tricks when planning for shipping using our site. More info will come available very soon on this. We are working with several shippers and courier services to support you in bringing down your overall distribution costs.
Pick up is another option. If you have a storefront, community kitchen or safe location where pick up can occur safely - preferably curbside - than you can configure this as opportunity for your buyers using our site. You can even select for several locations and outline times of day. We suggest that you work with your customer to offer the hand off in the safest way possible. Consider the use - should product dictate - an appropriately placed, weatherproof, insulated container in a location that is available to both seller and buyer.
F&E Editorial: we know that in-person markets will be dramatically affected in the year ahead, and clearly, we are taking steps to move our markets online, thus preserving some sales. Customer numbers will be impacted, and markets will host fewer vendors and many types of businesses will be sidelined. Most programming will be set aside for 2020, as well. With this, we encourage you to imagine alternatives to traditional farmers' markets. For instance, selling online here or at your own site, will support your business in reducing face-to-face exposure. Further, we encourage you to consider the time you spent at markets last year, and direct those efforts to developing your contactless doorstep delivery game. We've seen what customers are asking for, with the large uptick in popularity of Instacart and Amazon Fresh. Think about how your business can evolve to meet these new demands, and learn how online markets can work for you.
Should you elect for in-person markets, you can configure your product listings to include those markets you plan to attend and elect for pick up from those locations. Please note, you will need to carefully maintain your calendar and remember to adjust for vacation times, etc.
More recommendations coming soon.
Please note, community rules are still being developed. As changes come up, members will be
If you complete the sale, and the customer has submitted payment, you are expected to deliver the products they purchased. Inventory mistakes happen, but cancelled transactions create confusion and disappointment for customers. We expect that our community members be respectful of each other and fulfill their transactions with each other and in the way you promised the customer.
BEING A TRUSTWORTHY VENDOR
One of the best things about our market is that listing is completely free. When creating a listing, please be honest in describing your item and disclose as much information as possible. Take care to be thorough and accurate about description of your products such as packaging size, ingredients used, taste profile, preservation style and how the item will be delivered.
We are a friendly community where everyone should feel safe and comfortable. We ask our vendors to be respectful in their interactions with others so that we can maintain a healthy and happy environment for everyone to enjoy.
We are always here for you. Customer and vendor support is extremely important to us and we strive to go above and beyond for each of our community members. Reach out to us and we can help resolve the issue on your behalf. After all, that's what we're here for.
Do not post anything that creates a privacy or security risk for anyone. Do not attempt to collect or give out personal information.
F&E MARKETS AND RED MARKET TRADEMARKS
Our names and logos are trademarked and may only be used with prior written permission.
TAKING TRANSACTIONS OR CONVERSATION OFF PLATFORM
Taking any part of a transaction, including discussion about details or negotiations, off F&E/RED platform is a violation of our rules. This sort of activity hurts everyone--both you and your other vendors --by breaking down the sense of trust and integrity we have. F&E and RED cannot protect transactions or uphold agreements that are not made through our platform. We ask that you do not share your email address, or any other personal information, on our platform and keep all transactions on the market application. We reserve the right to cancel any accounts or to limit account privileges in these situations.
It is against our policies to conduct your own giveaways, contests, or sweepstakes on our platform.
TRADING, BARTERING & SWAPS
Our policy does not cover trades within the system. When payment for the full value of items is not exchanged through the system, we cannot guarantee that both parties will ship or deliver their items to each other as promised or as described. Trading is based on an honor system and is difficult for us to support. For this reason, we discourage users from trading so that we can provide users with the protection that they deserve.
Do not use to collect personal data. You also may not use any images found on our online store for your own purposes unless authorized by F&E and/or RED Market. The exception to this is your own content.
You may only have one active account unless you receive written permission from F&E and/or RED.
Should we find your account to be in violation of any of the above, we may send you an email or take permanent or temporary action on your account privileges.If you see any violations, you may let us know by emailing us >>
SHIPPING, PICK UP, DELIVERY
As a vendor/seller, you must provide the purchased item to your buyer using the specifications selected by them, and as outlined by you. We suggest delivering within a few days, or as per the arrangement with your customer. When planning your production and post, carefully consider how delivery will factor into your plans. Vendors should provide shipping, pick up and/or contact-less doorstep delivery or some combination. F&E may provide for pick up opportunities in a market format, from time to time. These markets will be posted at the F&E website.
Sellers are responsible for shipping and/or delivering and/or providing for pick up of their sold items to buyers. If you're using a shipping or fulfillment service, please keep in mind that you are ultimately responsible for making sure that your buyers receive their orders. Please note, F&E is currently looking at creating greater efficiencies with it's marketplace website for sellers to provide specific services related to pick-up, doorstep delivery and shipping. These opportunities will evolve over time.
By selling on F&E Marketplace, you agree to:
A. Communicate with the buyer about the delivery/shipping/pick up requirements to receive the product in a timely manner in the description of the product, prior to purchase.
B. Provide an accurate "ships from" address in the product listings.
C. Specify your shipping costs and processing times in your listings.
D. Ship or deliver items promptly, ideally within 2 days, after they are sold; or provide for an agreed upon pick up location and meet the demands of that pick up as promised. Before you update your processing time for a specific order, you must first obtain your buyer's consent.
E. Comply with all local and international shipping and customs regulations.
F. Ship or deliver to the address listed on the F&E receipt.
G. Communicate with the customer when you ship or deliver the item.
H. Provide transparency and charge an appropriate amount for shipping and/or processing for purposes of distribution within the product description.
All responsibility falls to the seller to complete shipping, delivery or pick up in a prompt time frame. F&E assumes no responsibility for products sold on its marketplace or at its markets for these activities. In the unlikely event an order does not arrive, be prepared to provide valid proof of shipping with a valid shipper receipt and/or delivery (e.g. a picture of the product located at doorstep).
As a farmer or food maker, you know your products are highly perishable. You are responsible for delivery of products in such a way as to protect their quality, safety and integrity. That means, if you leave product on a doorstep, you have to expect the customer to not receive the product for upwards of eight hours. Please consider your packaging and test its efficacy when planning how to distribute your products. F&E assumes no responsibility for product quality or safety ever.
PAYMENTS TO SELLERS FOR PRODUCT SOLD
By logging into your Seller Account, you can stay abreast of all activities related to your sales, listings and preferences. To receive payment, sellers must either list a bank account and routing number or be registered for a PayPal account. All payments are automatically made to sellers via the F&E PayPal Account upon delivery, and after the return time has passed.
FEES, COMMISSIONS & CREDIT CARD PROCESSING
For the month of April, F&E is waiving any commissions and fees. Shopify.com takes 2.4% plus .30cents per transactions.
RESOURCES TO SUPPORT ONLINE SALES & NEW RETAIL
this list will be further developed as resources come available
COVID19 & YOUR BUSINESS
FAQs and Tips for Small MN Businesses: COVID-19 >>
BUILDING YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MULTI VENDOR MARKETPLACE & AN ONLINE STORE
SHIPPING, PICK UP & DOORSTEP DELIVERY \ FOOD SAFETY
Food-safety strategies for safer delivery and takeout >>
How to start a delivery service at your restaurant >>
SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING
PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS & PHOTOGRAPHY
Site for free stock food photography >>
PACKAGING & LABELING