- ThrivingLocally is an online marketplace designed for Locally Owned Independent Small Business to connect with their community and encourage and enhance the local economics.
- The marketplace is NOT for big business, big box stores, chain stores, franchises, or MLM’s. The marketplace caters to a very special kind of business, the Locally Owned Independent Small Business.
- For purposes of ThrivingLocally a Locally Owned Independent Small Business is defined as Businesses with very few retail outlets, usually a single store, with no headquarters or centralized management. Owner-operated (Individual, family, or partnership, unfranchised) and usually run from the shop (or from one of the shops where there are a couple), or a cottage industry business or home.
- A small business with fewer than 50 employees
- A small business operated by a self-employed person with no paid help
- A micro-business or cottage industry business is defined as a small business with fewer than five employees.
- ThrivingLocally does not monitor or regulate a Locally Owned Independent Small Business legal requirement such as business licenses, registered business numbers, tax collection requirements with the Revenue Canada. These are the responsibility of the small business owner.
- To enable this marketplace to function and thrive it is crucial that all ThrivingLocally members follow our marketplace policies.
Listings of Products and Services
- As a seller you carry the responsibility to ensure your sales are processed according to our legal requirements.
- Please note that ThrivingLocally reserves the right to remove any listings from our marketplace without prior notice should we feel that these listings are in breach of any law or in house (ThrivingLocally) policy.
- Furthermore we may apply further sanctions, such as setting a limit on the number of products you may have or the deletion of products already online.
- Multiple or excessive violations of our terms and conditions may lead to expulsion from our marketplace.
What we’d like to see on ThrivingLocally:
- Anything (well pretty much anything – see prohibited listings in section 6) is possible as long as it is sold by a Locally Owned Independent Small Business. You do not have to be the maker of what you sell, importing and reselling other business products and services is perfectly fine but you, the business owner, have to be a Locally Owned Independent Small Business (not a franchise or MLM).
- Local and Unique products and services are the most desirable but certainly not mandatory.
- ThrivingLocally is the marketplace that is as unique as each community that it thrived in. The more local the better. The more organic the better. The more handmade the better. The more personal the better.
- The ThrivingLocally product categories set a certain frame for your listing but they are not meant to limit your creativity.
- Choose the right category!Are you selling a Product or a Service? Some listings can get a bit fuzzy on where they go but the basic rule of thumb is if you can SHIP IT then it is a PRODUCT and if you PERFORM IT then it is a SERVICE.
- Selecting the most descriptive category will also tag it into all of its parent categories. For example selecting “Farm Fresh” found in Food & Beverages>>Foods – General>>Farm Fresh will automatically tag your listing into the parent categories of “Food & Beverages” and “Foods – General”
- With unique listings it can be tough to find the right category and if you feel your listing does not fit into any of them then you can use the “suggest a category” link to ask for a new one to ensure you can find the right category for the one-of-a-kind product or services. We regularly develop our category options and the right category can be found for almost any item.
- For a complete list of categories visit this page.
- For a historical update on category changes visit this page.
- If a product or service nevertheless makes its way into a category that does not match, it might cause confusion and irritation and customers may never find it and therefore have the option to purchase it. This is especially true for cases where there obviously IS the right category for the very product or service.
- The category “other” may be chosen as a last resort if there really is no other matching category for your listing.
- Use the right “Collection” tags to describe your products.Collection Tags are used to organize your listing into unique holiday and local collections that are used for marketing campaigns.
- Be sure to add the collection tags to your listing. As the appropriate marketing period approaches vendors will be notified to remind them to update their collection tags in order to take advantage of the upcoming marketing campaign.
- Describe your products and services in as much detail as possible:Products and services should be listed with well written and detailed description accompanied by a couple of good quality pictures.
- The texts and pictures you use to describe your products, and in comments and ratings, should not violate copyright laws, general law or trademark law.
- Describe your product or service accurately and keep legal requirements in mind.
- If you, for instance, sell toys containing small parts that could be a choking hazard for small children, you must label your products and listings clearly.
- As mentioned above, do not advertise using other brand names since this risk could breach copyright laws. If you are unsure, please seek legal advice.
- All listings on ThrivingLocally should be clear, accurate and detailed. Accurate photos, descriptions and listing information are critical to selling on ThrivingLocally. Keep these policies in mind as you list and describe your items:Listing descriptions and photos must accurately describe the item for sale so buyers know what is included in the purchase.
- If the listing is not available for purchase then it must state “out of stock”.
- A listing may not be created for the sole purpose of sharing photographs or other information with the community.
- Listing prices must be reasonable.
- You may price an item how you choose; however, a listing should not be created with an inaccurate price in order to keep it from selling.
- Each unique product or service should have its own listing.
- You may create one listing with multiple quantities in stock only if you have multiples of an item, or if you offer variations of an item that do not affect price (for example: a t-shirt available in various sizes).
- All listings on ThrivingLocally must be for a tangible product or service. (Note: a digital file is considered a tangible object.)
- You may not use ThrivingLocally to direct shoppers to another online selling venue to purchase the same items as listed in your ThrivingLocally shop, as this may constitute fee avoidance. This includes posting links/URLs or providing information sufficient to locate the other online venue(s).
- A free with purchase item must not be featured in the first photograph of the listing.
- The listing price must only reflect the listed product or service.
- Listings that do not comply with ThrivingLocally’s policies may be reported for review . 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.
What is prohibited to sell on ThrivingLocally:
- Naturally, anything that cannot be sold due to legal reasons is prohibited on ThrivingLocally.
- We also have a number of additional policies which regulate what items should not be sold on ThrivingLocally.
- Please note that the following list of prohibited items is not complete, and as a result you are asked to ensure whether you’re permitted to offer such items for sale.
- Furthermore the legal requirements of another country may apply if you offer your products for sale outside of Canada.
- Please note that ThrivingLocally reserves the right to remove any listings from our marketplace without prior notice should we feel that these listings are in breach of any law or in house (ThrivingLocally) policy.
Legal prohibitions/Stolen goods
- Products that have been obtained illegally may not be offered for sale.
- If any items you wish to offer are stolen goods, for example from a burglary, you may not offer these items for sale even if you were not involved in stealing them.
Media/items harmful to young persons
- If you offer an item meant for persons of legal age only, you must make sure that only persons of full age (18+) receive it. Furthermore you may not publish any content, whether pictures or descriptions, that may be harmful to young persons.
- The sale of illegal drugs is forbidden on ThrivingLocally.
- Please note that dealing with seeds from which you can grow plants/cacti/mushrooms with psychedelic, stimulating or sedating effects is also prohibited on ThrivingLocally.
- Dealing with ‘scented sachets’ that contain intoxicating mushrooms is also prohibited.
- Selling drug paraphernalia, such as antique Opium pipes, is permitted as long as there are no legal prohibitions and the item does not include instructions for drug abuse.
Propaganda items relating to prohibited political parties, clubs and/or unions, and items with a direct call for offences
- The law prohibits the publication and sale of propaganda material from banned organizations, including the use of trademarks or logos associated with these organizations, hate crime and the defamation of deceased persons.
- The publication of collector’s items from the categories above is not permitted, alongside the sale of conflict and war memorabilia.
Dangerous chemicals/ prohibited electronic devices
- Dealing with toxic substances and dangerous chemicals is prohibited on ThrivingLocally.
- If you use certain regulated ingredients in the process of the production of your goods, please ensure you comply to the current legal situation regarding the use and sale of these ingredients.
- Before selling electronic devices you also need to check the items´ legitimacy.
- Antique, non-functioning devices are the only exception to this rule.
Forgeries, imitations of branded/copyrighted products, the use of brand names and registered trademarks
- It is prohibited by law to offer or publish items that carry a brand´s name or logo for which you do not own the rights.
- It is also prohibited to advertise an item as “similar” to a copyrighted item.
- Furthermore it is not permitted to list items carrying a design that has been copied illegally.
- Please note that this applies to perfume imitations.
- Examples of the prohibited use of brand names in descriptions include:”Chanel style handbag” “Rolex style watch”
- Equipment can be described as “suitable for…” or “compatible with…” if the given information is true and necessary.
- The description however should not imply that the product on offer itself is a certain brand if it is not.
- Please seek legal advice if you are unsure of your offer´s legality.
Multi-Level Marketing Products and services
- Multi-level marketing companies are usually large corporation owned and we view them the same as a Franchise or Big Box Store.
- These types of products can not be listed for direct sale on the marketplace.
- You may be able to offer your products indirectly as part of a “service package” that you offer. for example you may offer a “30 day health and wellness program” that has a supplements offered as part of the program.
- If you are unsure how your products could qualify please consult your Local Area Director.
Films, music and pictures as copies
- Selling copies of films, music, photographs, sheet music and educational material, saved on rewritable discs for instance, is prohibited.
- Copyright law applies here.
- Exceptions to this are authorized copies of photographs. In this case your listing must contain information on your authorization for (re-)sale.
- The authorization has to be proved if requested by ThrivingLocally.
Items, clothes, ID cards or other items from a security related background, such as uniforms, licenses and official IDs
- It is prohibited to offer items for sale on ThrivingLocally that run a great risk of abuse, such as original or authentic uniforms, parts of uniforms, name tags, identity cards from the police, army, secret services, fire brigade, international security guards and airport personnel.
- Antique uniforms and identity cards are an exception to this rule.
Stocks and other forms of financial investments
- Selling valid currencies is prohibited.Stocks cannot be sold on ThrivingLocally.
- Expired stocks, stocks from a closed company/business and invalid currencies are an exception and may be sold on ThrivingLocally.
Pictures and other copyrighted data
(unless the user has gained the legal right of use/sale):
- Copyright laws apply, and you are advised to seek your own legal advice.
- You have to make sure that you have official permission to use/publish/sell the pictures, data or other content in question.
Content that offends common decency
- The term “common decency” is difficult to define universally and common sense should be applied here.
- You may not use mature, profane or racist language or images in the public areas of your shop (for example: username, avatar, Profile, shop announcement, shop About page, tags, item titles, banner).
- Offering sexual services is prohibited.
Listings that are only allow but may have conditions
Dealing with groceries and foods
- A number of laws apply to dealing with foods worldwide.
- If you wish to offer food for sale on ThrivingLocally you need to be familiar with your local food labeling regulations, food additive regulation and any further regulations associated with the sale of food.
- Both the packaging and the items listing should be clearly labeled according to legal requirements.
- The more detailed the information you provide, the less danger you have of legal issues.
- If you are unsure what information should be provided, please seek professional legal advice as you are fully responsible for your listings on ThrivingLocally.
- ThrivingLocally suggests you only sell online the “Low Risk Foods” set out in the BC Guideline for the Sale of Foods at Temporary Food Markets. You can also visit there Food Safety website for additional information.
- The following list contains examples of lower risk foods that may be acceptable for home preparation and sale through an online market and all of these lower risk foods should be prepackaged except whole fresh fruits or vegetables.
- apple sauce
- bread and buns (no dairy or cheese fillings)
- butter tarts
- pies (fruit filled only, no cream filled or cream based)
- cakes (icing sugar only, no dairy or synthetic whipped cream)
- dry cereal products
- chocolate (provided it is used for re-melted or re-molded products only and (1) not purchased from bulk bins; (2) sourced from a chocolate manufacturer that can provide a certificate of assurance that chocolate is free from Salmonella).
- cinnamon buns (sugar icing only)
- dried fruits
- fresh fruits and vegetables
- hard candy
- jam and jelly (pH 4.6 or less or aw of 0.85 or less)
- muffins (no dairy fillings)
- noodles (dry flour and water only, no egg based)
- pickled vegetables (vinegar base, pH 4.6 or less)
- relish (vinegar base, pH 4.6 or less)
- wine and herb vinegar
- salsa (if pH and Aw within acceptable ranges and the food contains no animal protein. If whole or cut tomatoes are used as an ingredient, then the pH of the final product must be less than 4.2.)
- For products not listed above and for additional information on the definition of Lower Risk Foods please consult your local Health Authority.
Dealing with textiles
- Several laws apply to dealing with textiles.
- Textile labeling regulations place the obligation on the seller of textiles to provide information on the materials used in the production of their products.
Dealing with toys
- Several laws apply to dealing with toys.
- Before a toy can be listed the seller must ensure that the toy meets the legal safety requirements.
- It must be marked appropriately and, if necessary, with detailed instructions, safety notes and precautions. (For example: “not suitable for children under the age of…”)
Selling as a reseller
- As a seller you do not necessarily have to be the producer of the item listed, you may be the redesigner or a reseller, for example.
- If you are a reseller of unique products and not the original producer please keep the following in mind:
- You should include detailed information (first name, family name, address) of the person who produced the item and it should be stressed in your listing that you are merely the reseller.
- You should seek written permission that you will act as a reseller.
- We pride ourselves on the fact that local products and services offered by Locally Owned Independent Small Business are offered for sale on ThrivingLocally, and we ask that our users honor these regulations.
- If a certain product, service, or behavior of a member does not match our core principles, we reserve the right to delete the offending item and the right to caution, block or even dismiss the person(s) concerned.
- Please note that ThrivingLocally does not tolerate racial abuse, or abuse against a person based on gender, sexuality or disability. This applies to our buyers, sellers and staff.
- To ensure your business runs smoothly on ThrivingLocally, please bear the following in mind:
- We are a community, so please treat other ThrivingLocally members with respect and kindness.
- Of course, misunderstandings can arise but the best solutions can often be found if you remain friendly and polite and strive to come to a mutual agreement.
- Offensive language, defamation and inappropriate language in general have no place in our community and can lead be prosecution or be subject to private law.
- Custom orders or customizable items may be listed on ThrivingLocally categories if they adhere to the following policies for listing:”Custom order” listings must be listed for purchase with a set price.
- The seller may use photographs of previous work and options for customization (for example: color choices) in the listing
- If the seller offers different sizes or styles that affect the price, the seller must make a separate listing for each item.
- The buyer must purchase the listing on ThrivingLocally to have an item created. Details about the customization can be discussed via ThrivingLocally Conversation or email.
- If the buyer supplies their own materials to the seller for a custom order, they do so at their own risk.
- The final custom item must comply with all of ThrivingLocally’s policies.
- 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.
- ThrivingLocally aims to maintain a marketplace appropriate for general audiences; therefore the use of mature content is currently not allowed on the marketplace until future programming allowed for the filtering of the content.
- Pornography is prohibited on ThrivingLocally.
Maintain a Transparent Shop
- Our marketplace is built on trust. It’s important that you represent yourself, your business, and your items and services accurately.
- Be sure to fill out your shop’s “Meet the Owner” section to tell your story.
- Products and Services must be accurately represented in listings and listing photos. Buyers can submit reviews of items they have purchased.
- Respect the intellectual property of others. If you feel someone has violated your copyright, you can report it to ThrivingLocally.
- Do not use your shop’s features or tools to direct transactions off of ThrivingLocally.
- We encourage all sellers to provide information about yourself and/or your business in your Profile. Shoppers will likely be interested in this information, as they are often here specifically to buy locally made products and services. You should explain your shop’s policies regarding shipping, payments, refunds and exchanges on the Shop Policies page. You may use this space to provide additional shop policy information.
- Please keep the following things in mind as you set up your shop and create listings:
- An individual shop’s policies must abide by ThrivingLocally’s site-wide policies. ThrivingLocally reserves the right to request that a seller provide policy information or require a seller to modify unreasonable policies at ThrivingLocally’s discretion.
- You must pay your ThrivingLocally bill on time to avoid penalties, including but not limited to: suspension of listing privileges and/or account termination.
- You may not engage in any activity to avoid ThrivingLocally’s fees (“fee avoidance”). This includes but is not limited to: completing a transaction off-ThrivingLocally once it has been initiated on the site, listing an item below its intended purchase price or canceling a valid completed transaction.
- Do not sell prohibited items (see details above).
What actions are prohibited?
- To cancel an order to continue your sale privately with the buyer.
- To make use of the contact information your customers provide other than to deal with an agreed sale between the two parties.
- To request a commission credit although the customer has paid for the order and you have not refunded it.
- If there are concrete indications of violations of our policies, we reserve the right to delete or block your products partly or completely without prior notice.
- Multiple or excessive violations will lead to dismissal from the ThrivingLocally marketplace.
Use links carefully
- External links offering sales outside of ThrivingLocally are to be used with caution. Of course we want the sale of the listing to take place through the marketplace but there may be rare occasions of way you choose for that not to happen. As soon as a buyer is directed outside of the ThrivingLocally marketplace please note the following:All of the the terms and conditions set up to protect both you and the seller in creating a healthy and positive purchase no longer apply.
- Access to local shipping offered through ThrivingLocally no longer applies.
- Market algorithms designed to promote popularly purchased, viewed, reviewed listings will be greatly affected by this activity.
- You may which to provide links to sources of information that help describe elements of your products and services, for example a website that gives information on the process of your product or the products used in performing your service but just be warned that diverting traffic
- You alone are responsible for checking whether the linked site meets the legal requirements.
- ThrivingLocally cannot accept responsibility for the content of external websites.
- Do not publish any kind of information that is not meant for third parties, or content that you do not have permission to publish. It is prohibited to publish the content of private emails and messages.
- These policies are in place to protect you, your buyers and ThrivingLocally, please keep them in mind but remember to enjoy your ThrivingLocally experience at the same time. These rules are in place to ensure we maintain a happy and thriving community.
Multiple people using a single Webstore account
- A webstore may involve more than one person in which multiple people who know each other may use a single ThrivingLocally Webstore.
- With permission and supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is at least 18 years of age, a minor and an adult have a ThrivingLocally shop togethe but as per ThrivingLocally’s Membership policies, the adult is responsible for the account.The shop’s information sections must fully disclose accurate information about each person, their role in the ThrivingLocally shop and the relationships between the members of the collective. ThrivingLocally may ask for additional information and require that the shop comply with additional requirements.
- The individual who registers the account is responsible for all activities of the account, the bill and any transactions. This includes participation in community features of the site.
- If any of ThrivingLocally’s policies are violated by one of the members of a member shop, all accounts registered to members of the collective are subject to suspension of privileges and/or account termination. ThrivingLocally will not mediate disputes between individuals within a shop.
Provide Great Customer Service
- By meeting ThrivingLocally standard of customer service, you are able to provide the best experience for buyers and your community.Honor your shipping and processing times.
- Respond to Conversations in a timely manner.
- Explain your shop’s policies clearly and honor those commitments.
- Try to work out disagreements or disputes directly with the buyer. In the unlikely event that you can’t reach a resolution, your Local Area Director will mediate.
- If you are unable to complete an order, you must notify the buyer and cancel the order.
- Eligible shops can purchase Purolator shipping labels on ThrivingLocally to fulfill their orders. Use of shipping labels is subject to applicable Purolator rules.
- Costs for shipping labels are applied to your ThrivingLocally bill. Each shop has a designated budget for creating shipping labels; if you hit your budget, you must pay your bill before you can create another label.
- A shipping label must be associated with an ThrivingLocally order.
- The address on the label must match the address provided by the buyer during Checkout, or an address agreed upon by the buyer and seller via ThrivingLocally Message Centre.
- Shipping labels may not be transferred or sold to a third party.
- Your account must be in good standing and you must be within your designated budget for labels to create a shipping label.
- A shipping label is only eligible for cancellation if the request is submitted within 10 days of creating the label and the item has not yet shipped. It may take up to 14 business days to process the request before a credit is applied to your ThrivingLocally bill for the cost of the cancelled label.
- A shop is obligated to pay their bill for all costs associated with shipping labels. ThrivingLocally reserves the right to cancel a shipping label and credit a shop’s ThrivingLocally bill for the related cost. ThrivingLocally may suspend a shop’s ability to create shipping labels.
Be fair to ThrivingLocally
- We really want you to be happy with your ThrivingLocally shop and we aim to help you establish a successful small business and therefore we ask that you treat us, as well as buyers, fairly.
- Please note that is it prohibited to attempt to avoid ThrivingLocally commission fees and we reserve the right to investigate your shop should we believe this is happening.
Talk to your Local Area Director (LAD)
- Generally business on ThrivingLocally runs smoothly but sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes, for example, a purchase isn’t complete, a customer decides to return an item, or the seller has to give a refund. This is primarily dealt with between the buyer and the seller but if a resolution can not be found then the LAD should be consulted for further mediation.
Advertising on ThrivingLocally
- ThrivingLocally offers paid promotional opportunities for shops that may help increase visibility and awareness of your products, services, and shop. Sellers can purchase Ad keywords to promote their items on the site.
- Ads are not transferable between ThrivingLocally accounts.
- Ads are non-refundable, except under very special circumstances at ThrivingLocally’s discretion.
- Item listings in advertising spaces that do not meet the particular restrictions for that promotional placement may be subject to review. If an item listing violates these policies or any other listing policy, ThrivingLocally may remove your listing and/or remove your ad without notice or credit for related fees. Your account must be in good standing to purchase ads. You are obligated to pay any fees associated with your ads.
End of document
Effective Date: July 26, 2014.
ThrivingLocally reserves the right to alter these policies at any time.