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Please read the Do’s and Don’ts of Buying and Selling on Thrivinglocally with care and attention as it explains many of the the dos and don’ts (and everything under the sun) of being a member of the ThrivingLocally community. These policies only apply to ThrivingLocally.com as we do not control the rest of the universe around us (or even the rest of the Internet) but of the space we do control we want to make it the best that it can be. We are happy you want to be part of ThrivingLocally and helping us make it grand!
We expect all members of ThrivingLocally (including ThrivingLocally’s staff and affiliates) to treat each other with respect and kindness. Remember that behind every username and profile is a real person with feelings just like you. Your username and profile on ThrivingLocally is your identity online identity in our community and you are responsible for your conduct and all content submitted under your username on ThrivingLocally.
Please choose your username carefully. Usernames once created can only be changed through the assistance of ThrivingLocally administration and changing this part of your profile is not easy. Priority is given to changes in the event of documented legal action (such as trademark infringement) at ThrivingLocally’s discretion so please choose your username carefully.
You may not use the word “ThrivingLocally” in your username without permission.
You must be at least the age of 18 years of age to hold an account on ThrivingLocally without consent.
If you are under the age of 18 years, you must have the permission and supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is at least 18 years of age; that adult is responsible for the account.
If you are under the age of 18 years and using ThrivingLocally, at all times, have the permission and supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is at least 18 years of age.
You may not use mature, profane or racist language or images in the public areas of your account (for example: username, Profile, shop announcements, shop About page).
You may not use the public areas of your account to demonstrate or discuss disputes with others or with ThrivingLocally.
You may not transfer ownership or sell your ThrivingLocally customer account to another party but you may transfer your webstore.
You can transfer ownership or sell your ThrivingLocally Webstore to another party through the ThrivingLocally Webstore’s back office.
You may not use ThrivingLocally to direct shoppers to another online selling venue to purchase the same items as listed in your ThrivingLocally shop once the transaction has been initiated through the checkout, as this may constitute fee avoidance. This includes posting links/URLs or providing information sufficient to locate the other online venue with in the product or service card.
Keep your account information updated and accurate. Your account must have a valid email address and shipping address at all times. ThrivingLocally will use the email address on file in your account information to contact you when necessary.
ThrivingLocally encourages all members to resolve their own disputes. As a venue, ThrivingLocally cannot mediate disputes between members or other parties.
Multiple accounts held by one person
Having more than one account (“multiple accounts” or “alternate accounts”) is not something ThrivingLocally encourages, as it has the potential to cause confusion. Keep in mind that information and accounts cannot be merged in any way, so if you change your mind later, you will not be able to transfer information (for example: listings, feedback, Favorites or purchase history) from one account to another.
All of your usernames must be clearly disclosed in the Public Profile for each account. A statement such as, “I am also on ThrivingLocally under these usernames…” would be acceptable. This includes all buying and selling accounts, as well as any collective accounts in which you are involved.
You may not use an alternate account to purchase items from yourself.
ThrivingLocally will not issue refunds or credits for accidental activity stemming from multiple account ownership (for example: selling items in the wrong shop).
Message Centre is your way to communicate privately with other ThrivingLocally members. Think of it like email just for ThrivingLocally. Message Centre is primarily intended for communicating about transactions. Members may also use Message Centre to build friendly relationships with one another, seek advice or discuss ThrivingLocally activities. Please use common sense when giving out personal information to others via Message Centre.
You must not use Message Centre to send unsolicited advertising or promotions, requests for donations or “spam.”
If someone favorites your shop/item, that is not an invitation to send a Conversation to that person.
If a person follows your shop they will be notified of certain alerts currently defined as “new products or services listed in the shop”, “products or services set to special pricing in the shop”, “Owner generated messages generated through the back office function”, “Shop is closed for holidays”, “Shop is now open”.
You must not use Message Centre to knowingly harass or abuse another member.
If someone explicitly tells you not to contact them, you must not use Message Centre to contact them again, unless involved in an open transaction.
You must not use Message Centre to interfere with a transaction.
You must not contact another member to buy or sell an item listed on ThrivingLocally outside of ThrivingLocally’s marketplace. This may also constitute fee avoidance.
You must not communicate with a member involved in an active or completed transaction to warn the member away from a particular buyer, seller or item.
Sending too many messages too quickly may auto-disable your Message Centre. You must contact Support to have your ability to send Message Centre reinstated. TBA
Misuse of Message Centre may result in suspension of account privileges and/or termination of your ThrivingLocally account(s).
As a marketplace venue, ThrivingLocally’s role is to connect local shoppers (buyers) with locally owned independent small businesses (sellers).
As a shopper, when you place an order on ThrivingLocally, you enter into a transaction with an independent small business, facilitated by ThrivingLocally.
A transaction is created when a buyer has completed the Checkout process on ThrivingLocally. Both the buyer and the seller are sent a message from ThrivingLocally about the order and a receipt record in their ThrivingLocally account.
A transaction is considered complete after the seller has accepted the sale and has shipped the item to the buyer.
ThrivingLocally aims to keep the shopping experience consistent across the marketplace, however, since each shop is an independent business, there may be some differences between shops. Each shop may have their own specific policies for things like returns, exchanges and custom orders; these shop policies may not conflict with ThrivingLocally’s site-wide policies. Additionally, please take note that third-party services are probably involved in a transaction (for example: merchant services and shipping services), and these other services may have different policies regarding transactions or use of their services.
ThrivingLocally is a currently a Canadian only marketplace with shops and listings the English language only. A seller should be able to conduct business in the English language used in their shop or listings.
Buyer best practices
When you buy from a shop on ThrivingLocally, you’re directly supporting locally owned independent small business in your community or the community to choose to buy from and as each shop on ThrivingLocally is unique so to can their policies, processing times, and shipping details and so it is important that you make yourself aware of them before you order to have the best experience.
As a shopper on ThrivingLocally, you can take steps to help create a smooth transaction:
Use ThrivingLocally Message Centre to communicate about any questions, special details or problems.
Read the listing details and the shop’s policies page before purchasing.
Provide an accurate shipping address during Checkout if it is different than your home account address.
Before returning an item, check the shop’s policies and contact the seller. (Not all shops accept returns.)
In the event of a return, retain proof of shipping and/or delivery confirmation that includes the date and recipient’s address (at least the city/province or area code).
In the event of a dispute, use the tools ThrivingLocally provides to help resolve the problem (see Transaction concerns or disputes).
Publish policies for returns, exchanges and custom orders on your shop’s Policies page, in accordance with ThrivingLocally’s site-wide policies.
Communicate with the buyer via Message Centre.
Accurately photograph and describe the item(s), including details like color, size, materials, condition, customizable options, etc. For custom orders, confirm details with the buyer via Message Centre.
Provide a date by which the item(s) will be shipped (also referred to as processing time or ships-by date) using the tools provided by ThrivingLocally, and ship the item(s) accordingly.
Ship to the address listed on the ThrivingLocally receipt, or as agreed upon with the buyer via Message Centre.
Accurately mark the order as “shipped” on ThrivingLocally.
Provide proof of shipping; additionally, provide proof of delivery for item(s) shipped within Canada
Respond to a dispute and the buyer’s correspondence within within 7 calendar days.
Respond to ThrivingLocally’s request(s) for more information about a dispute within 7 calendar days.
Transaction problems or disputes
We hope that your experience on ThrivingLocally is smooth and hassle-free. In the event of a problem with a transaction, ThrivingLocally encourages the buyer and seller to resolve the situation through ThrivingLocally Message Centre, and by submitting fair, honest feedback (see Feedback). If a situation cannot be resolved directly between the buyer and seller, then you may opt to use the processes ThrivingLocally provides to determine a resolution.
There are two types of disputes that a buyer’s typically report if there is an unresolved problem with a transaction an item that did not arrive (we call this a “non-delivery” dispute), or an item received that does not match the description (we call this “listing not as described” dispute ).
A buyer has a limited timeframe in which to report a problem:
For “listing not as described” disputes the buyer may open a case after the ships-by date or after the seller marked the order as shipped, whichever is sooner. The option to report the problem is available for 45 days.
For “non-delivery” disputes the buyer may report the problem no sooner than 7 days and no later than 75 days after the transaction date.
ThrivingLocally also has various policies to help sellers with problematic transactions, including: transaction cancellation, refusal of service to a specific buyer and transaction interference (see more detail below).
A non-delivery situation arises when a buyer placed an order and submitted payment, but then did not receive the item. ThrivingLocally encourages a buyer to first contact the seller via Message Centre to try and work out the issue. If this is unsuccessful, the buyer may report that the item has not arrived and open a non-delivery case within the applicable time frame (see Transaction concerns or disputes). Often the case process enables the buyer and seller to resolve the matter directly. Unresolved cases escalate for review and resolution by ThrivingLocally.
Please note: a buyer who paid via PayPal may have a limited time frame in which to file a claim for refund of purchase under PayPal’s policies; that process is separate from ThrivingLocally’s dispute process.
The seller must ship the item(s) as specified by the ships-by date set in ThrivingLocally, or within a reasonable amount of time.
Once a ThrivingLocally non-delivery dispute has been initiated case has been opened by the buyer, the buyer and seller must use the ThrivingLocally message centre to communicate about the transaction.
A dispute is closed after the buyer and seller reached a resolution agreement, or the item was delivered, or the seller issued a full refund.
If a case remains unresolved, it will be escalated for review and resolution by ThrivingLocally LAD. Both parties must abide ThrivingLocally’s decision.
If a case is escalated to ThrivingLocally, the seller may be asked to provide ThrivingLocally with additional information (for example: proof of shipping and/or delivery, proof of refund) to help resolve the dispute.
ThrivingLocally may issue a refund to the buyer from the seller using the Shop Payment Account as per the Billing Policy.
A seller who fails to ship an item, respond to a non-delivery case or settle a disputed transaction in a reasonable manner may be suspended.
Listing not as described dispute
In the event the buyer received a product or service that is significantly different from the original listing, the buyer should first contact the seller via Message Centre to try and work out the issue. If this is unsuccessful, the buyer may open an “Item not as described” case within the applicable time frame (see Transaction concerns or disputes). Often the case process enables the buyer and seller to resolve the matter directly. Unresolved cases will escalate for review and resolution by ThrivingLocally.
The seller must accurately describe the item in the listing. For custom orders, the seller and buyer should communicate about details via Message Centre.
The seller must comply with the transaction agreement or according to the terms in the seller’s shop policies.
Once a “not as described” dispute has been initiated by the buyer on ThrivingLocally, the buyer and seller must use the ThrivingLocally message centre to communicate about the transaction.
A dispute may be closed after the buyer and seller reached a resolution agreement, or the seller issued a full refund.
If a case remains unresolved, it will be escalated for review and resolution by the ThrivingLocally LAD. Both parties must abide ThrivingLocally’s decision.
If a case is escalated to ThrivingLocally, both buyer and seller may be asked to provide additional information (for example: photographs of the item) to help resolve the dispute.
ThrivingLocally may issue a refund to the buyer from the seller’s Shop Payment Account to resolve the dispute. If there are insufficient funds available in the seller’s Shop Payment Account, ThrivingLocally may charge the payment source on file for the seller to cover the refund.
A seller who sells an item that doesn’t match the listing, fails to respond to a case or settle a disputed transaction in a reasonable manner may be suspended.
ThrivingLocally encourages sellers to engage in clear and consistent communication, consider customer service best practices and honor transaction agreements. However, if a seller cannot complete a transaction due to an extraordinary circumstance, then the seller may refuse service to the buyer.
The seller must notify the buyer of refusal of service through ThrivingLocally Message Centre.
The seller can only refuse service prior to shipping.
If the buyer has already received the product, then the seller must issue a full refund to the buyer (price paid for item plus any applicable shipping).
The seller may cancel the transaction when applicable (see Transaction cancellation).
Unless otherwise agreed or according to the seller’s terms, a seller’s refusal of service to a specific buyer is indefinite within that seller’s ThrivingLocally shop.
Members who abuse the privilege to refuse service may be subject to review, which can result in suspension of account privileges and/or termination.
To ensure the integrity of ThrivingLocally’s marketplace and help protect members from potentially fraudulent activity, transaction interference is not allowed on ThrivingLocally.
You may not contact another member to buy or sell an item listed on ThrivingLocally outside of ThrivingLocally’s marketplace. This may also constitute fee avoidance.
You may not communicate (for example: by ThrivingLocally Message Centre, in ThrivingLocally’s community spaces) with another member to warn the member away from a particular buyer, seller or item.
Posting in the public areas of your account (for example: Shop Announcement, Profile, listings) to demonstrate or discuss a dispute with others or with ThrivingLocally may be considered a form of interference.
Sellers agree to complete valid transactions. On occasion, a seller may need to cancel an invalid or void transaction, as defined below. Only the seller in a transaction may cancel the transaction. When applicable, ThrivingLocally will issue a credit to the seller for fees related to a cancelled transaction. Sellers are encouraged to keep proof of any refunds provided to buyers in the event a dispute arises over a cancellation.
If a buyer would like to cancel an order, the buyer should contact the seller by ThrivingLocally Message Centre to request cancellation. Cancellations may be subject to an individual seller’s shop policies and whether the item has shipped. Item returns are subject to the individual seller’s shop policies; the buyer needs to contact the seller for approval prior to shipping an item back to the seller.
The seller may not cancel a transaction for the purpose of avoiding fees or feedback.
The seller may cancel an invalid or void transaction, as defined by these circumstances:Both the buyer and seller agreed to cancel the transaction prior to shipment. If the buyer has already paid, the seller has refunded buyer (price paid for item plus shipping).
The seller has refused service to the buyer (see Refusing service).
If the buyer has already paid, the seller has refunded the buyer (price paid for item plus shipping).
The buyer paid for the item(s). Although the seller shipped the item(s), the buyer did not receive the item(s). The seller has refunded the buyer (price paid for item at minimum).
The buyer paid, the seller shipped the item, and the buyer received the item. Then the buyer and seller agreed the buyer can return the item to the seller for a refund. The seller has received the returned item, and the seller has refunded the buyer (price paid for item at minimum).
Members who abuse the privilege to cancel transactions may be subject to review, which can result in suspension of account privileges and/or termination.
Gift Certificates – NOT YET AVAILABLE
ThrivingLocally gift certificates
Purchasing a ThrivingLocally Gift CertificateYou may choose to send a ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate code by email, or print the ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate to give to the recipient.
The recipient does not need to be a current ThrivingLocally member to receive an ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate, but will need an ThrivingLocally account in order to redeem and use the ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate.
You may not purchase a ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate for yourself or redeem an ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate that you have purchased.
You may cancel a ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate purchase up to 30 days after the purchase date if it has not yet been redeemed.
Redeeming an ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate
In order to use a ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate to purchase items on ThrivingLocally, you must be a registered ThrivingLocally member and redeem the unique code to apply the ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate value to your account’s gift Certificate balance.
You may not redeem a ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate that you have purchased.
Once a ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate code has been redeemed, it cannot be returned for cash value or transferred to another account.
Using your ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate balance
You may use your gift Certificate balance toward orders from any shop on ThrivingLocally.
At Checkout, you have the option to apply your gift Certificate balance to eligible orders.
In the event your order total is less than your existing gift Certificate balance, the remainder of the balance will stay in your account’s gift Certificate balance to be used for future purchases.
If your order total is greater than your existing gift Certificate balance, then you will be prompted to provide a to pay for the remaining portion of the order total.
Your gift Certificate balance cannot be used to pay a ThrivingLocally bill, buy a ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate.
ThrivingLocally’s rules for Transactions apply to orders involving gift Certificate balances.
If an account with an existing gift Certificate balance is closed by the member, or suspended or terminated by ThrivingLocally for violation of our rules, the gift Certificate balance is forfeited to ThrivingLocally and will not be returned for cash value. If a ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate is fraudulently obtained, redeemed and/or used to make purchases, ThrivingLocally may take action, including but not limited to: suspending or terminating a member’s account and billing available alternative forms of payment.
Shop-specific gift certificates
As a shop owner on ThrivingLocally, you may choose to offer gift certificates specifically for use in your own shop. Gift certificates involve complex business considerations; we recommend you consider the following carefully before offering shop-specific gift certificates in your ThrivingLocally shop. ThrivingLocally is unable to offer legal advice regarding shop-specific gift certificates; consult with an expert in your area. Shop-specific gift certificates are not affiliated with ThrivingLocally Gift Certificates.
Gift certificates are governed by various local laws; it is your responsibility as the shop owner to comply with all applicable laws.
You must include this sentence in the item listing for your shop-specific gift certificate: “This Gift Certificate is valid only in my ThrivingLocally shop, and it is only redeemable here. This is not a ThrivingLocally Gift Certificate.”
Ensure that your shop-specific gift certificate cannot be confused with official ThrivingLocally Gift Certificates.
A shop-specific gift certificate must be listed and sold at full value.
You may not avoid ThrivingLocally fees or take a transaction off-site for completion in the course of listing, selling or accepting redemption of a shop-specific gift certificate in your ThrivingLocally shop.
Feedback and Reviews
Feedback is a way to establish a reputation of trust for buyers, sellers and the ThrivingLocally marketplace. For every transaction, the buyer and seller have the opportunity to submit a rating (positive, neutral or negative) and an optional comment. Both buyer and seller have the opportunity to submit feedback for up to 120 days after the date of the transaction or until the transaction is canceled by the seller (for void or invalid transactions). Consistency, fairness and honesty are critical to the integrity of the feedback system. Feedback directly affects a member’s reputation, so we ask that members take it seriously.
Positive-rated feedback (including the optional) cannot be edited or removed after submission except in the circumstances noted in ThrivingLocally’s Feedback policies.
Feedback ratings and comments removed by ThrivingLocally cannot be reinstated or resubmitted.
Members may ask ThrivingLocally to review feedback for removal. Contact Support to request a feedback review. ThrivingLocally does not investigate the validity of opinions or statements made in feedback or mediate feedback disputes. At ThrivingLocally’s discretion and without notice to both parties involved, feedback may be removed or altered by ThrivingLocally in the following circumstances:The member who submitted a negative or neutral feedback rating requests removal.
Personally identifying or private information was published (for example: a phone number, real name, email address, physical address, content of a private ThrivingLocally Conversation, details regarding an ThrivingLocally investigation).
Feedback contains mature, profane or racist language and/or images.
Feedback contains spam, links, scripts or advertising.
Second account used for writing reviews (fraudulent inflation of feedback rating by use of an alternate account).
Feedback is given for a transaction created for the sole purpose of leaving feedback.
feedback was mistakenly submitted for a different transaction.
feedback refers to an unrelated transaction.
Negative or neutral feedback comments about using ThrivingLocally or other services (for example: payment processors).
A member is confused about how to use the Feedback system, resulting in unintended negative or neutral feedback.
ThrivingLocally is provided with a valid court order requesting removal of feedback.
ThrivingLocally provides a marketplace for locally owned independent small businesses to sell their product and services.
Listings that do not comply with ThrivingLocally’s policies may be reported for review (see Report This). Members who do not comply with ThrivingLocally’s policies may be subject to review, which can result in suspension of account privileges and/or termination.
“Report This” function
“Report This” is ThrivingLocally’s neighborhood watch program. It’s your way to alert ThrivingLocally of potential problems. Use the “Report this” link on any item listing or shop page. This is a confidential process. The member whose listing is reported will not know who reported it. Additionally, ThrivingLocally’s investigation will be handled privately; you will not receive a personal response to your “Report This” message.
“Report This” should be used to report any listing, or shop request that violates any of ThrivingLocally’s policies.
Do not report a single violation multiple times.
Since “Report This” is a private matter, members should not discuss reports in any of ThrivingLocally’s community spaces.
In most cases, ThrivingLocally will work with a member privately to remedy the problem. If a seller does not respond to ThrivingLocally’s communication or requests in a timely manner, the item may be removed, and the shop’s selling privileges may be suspended and/or terminated. In some extreme cases, listings will be removed immediately. Abuse of the Report This system by means of raising repeated, unjustified reports may result in the suspension and/or termination of your account.
The community is the heart of ThrivingLocally; all registered members are part of our community. ThrivingLocally has established multiple ways for members to interact with one another on the site like Forums, blogs, reviews. Remember that these are public spaces, so use common sense when sharing personal information. ThrivingLocally’s role is to facilitate open discussion and support our community through constructive communication. We have some general rules for community conduct, and some spaces have additional rules:Treat one another with respect. There is a real person behind each name.
If your account involves a person under the age of 18, you may not utilize the community features on ThrivingLocally unless otherwise specified by ThrivingLocally. (When using ThrivingLocally, those under 18 must, at all times, have the permission and supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is at least 18 years of age.)
Knowingly harassing, insulting or abusing other members is unacceptable.
The community spaces are not the appropriate channel to express disputes with others.
Discussing a specific member, shop or item (either by name or with identifiable hints) in a negative way is not allowed.
Specific transactions and/or feedback should not be discussed in public community spaces. Instead, contact Support privately if you need help with a transaction.
Do not publicly post another person’s private information without their explicit consent (for example: email, Message Centre, letters, phone numbers, addresses, full names or business transactions).
Do not use the community spaces to facilitate or arrange any sort of transaction outside of ThrivingLocally’s Checkout.
You may not use an undisclosed alternate account in the community spaces.
Violating community policies may result in suspension of community or other privileges and/or account termination.
The ThrivingLocally Forums are a place to have fun and interact with a broad range of ThrivingLocally community members worldwide. On the Forums you can read staff announcements, share questions and answers on how to use the site, discuss how to run an online business and more with ThrivingLocally members from all walks of life. Let’s start a discussion!
When using the Forums, follow the general rules for ThrivingLocally community conduct.
Solicitation for direct donations or other fund-raising is not allowed in the Forums.
ThrivingLocally does not allow spam in the Forums; for this reason, unsolicited promotion or advertisement from representatives or affiliates of outside services, websites or other products is not allowed
Keep your posts on-topic. Do not derail a constructive discussion thread.
Start threads in the appropriate section of the Forums.
Consider carefully what information you post in the Forums. In general, the Forums serve as a permanent record. In certain circumstances, at ThrivingLocally’s sole discretion, ThrivingLocally may remove content from the Forums.
ThrivingLocally reserves the right to close any Forum thread for any reason. Threads may be moved to a more appropriate section without notice. Violating community policies may result in suspension of community or other privileges and/or account termination.
The ThrivingLocally Blogs
On The ThrivingLocally Blog we publish new articles — sharing stories, videos, buisness tips and shopping finds from the ThrivingLocally marketplace. ThrivingLocally staff, special guests and members of the ThrivingLocally community contribute posts on a variety of topics. We’d love to hear your story; you’re welcome to pitch an article to us.
We encourage members to share their opinions, including disagreement with ideas presented on the blog. The tone should be civil and respectful, and the discussion is to remain on-topic.
Knowingly harassing, insulting or abusing other members is unacceptable in blog comments. Constructive criticism is fine, but being mean is not.
Mature, profane or intolerant language is not permitted in blog comments.
ThrivingLocally does not allow spam in blog comments; for this reason, unsolicited promotion or advertisement from representatives or affiliates of outside services, websites or other products is not allowed.
The ThrivingLocally Blog is published, in part, under Creative Commons license that allows you to repost articles and videos. Give credit where credit is due, and always cite the author(s) of the article.
Link back to the original article; each page has a unique URL (web address).
While ThrivingLocally has permission to use content that our members post on ThrivingLocally.com, our members may retain certain intellectual property rights for their work. Please respect the artist’s rights if contacted about use of material.
ThrivingLocally reserves the right to remove blog comments. Posting inappropriate comments may result in suspension of privileges and/or account termination.
End of document Effective Date: July 25, 2014.
ThrivingLocally reserves the right to alter these policies at any time.