First things first, you need to register an account in order to sell. If you haven't done so already go to the top of the page and click the "Sign Up" button. Once you have signed up, you can resume this tutorial.
In order to sell, you are going to need a product! ePlantae is all about plants and plants related products. To qualify your product there are only 2 questions you need to ask yourself:
Is my product a plant?
Or is it a plant-related product (i.e. soil, pots, lighting)?
If you answered yes then you can move to the 1st step: creating a listing
STEP 1:CREATING A LISTING
In order to sell your product, you will need to create a listing.
It's a fairly straightforward process, you can follow the steps once you begin the listing process in your seller's dashboard.
The most important things you will need are:
-Product Photos: these are what will sell your product. Make sure to get many angles and to have good lighting. You don't need to be a professional, just find a spot with ideally bright natural lighting and a white wall or plain background. When taking the photo, try to keep the photos plain with only your product inside the photo. That way clients know exactly what they are purchasing from you. Make sure your photos do not exceed 5000 Kb in size, unless you are using professional equipment this shouldn't be a problem. You can always compress your images with tools such as tinyjpg.com without losing image quality.
You can add up to 12 photos for free for each listing. You can list more for a small fee.
The second most important thing is your rules: setting the customer expectations and making sure the customer knows exactly what to expect will save you lots of headaches!
-Your policies: ePlantae is a third party to all transactions and although we will do our best to resolve any problems that arise we strongly encourage you to establish policies as a Seller. Of course, these policies will have to abide by current laws and regulations. Your policies will clearly define what is to happen during the sales process and who is responsible for what. Here are some points for you to consider:
Will you accept returns?
Will you offer replacements for defective or damaged goods?
Will you offer refunds?
How long does the customer have to claim a refund, return, replacement?
What shipping do you offer?
Will you offer combined shipping?
How long is your handling time?
How long is the shipping time?
The answer to all these questions and others you think are relevant to your selling process should feature within your product description, especially if you are selling perishable products like Plants! This is to make sure that the buyer and yourself can easily come to an agreement if something doesn't go according to plan, which let’s be honest, it happens!
Providing exceptional customer service will help you establish a strong reputation and solidify your role in this amazing community! Be the best seller and we will do everything we can to keep you happy and successful because ePlantae is only as strong as its community!
Armed with your product photos and a clear business policy, it is now time to list your item. In order to sell, just click the "Sell" button at the top of the page, or click "My Account" to access your seller's dashboard.
Follow the steps and you will be selling in no time. Some things to consider.
You have 3 choices of listings:
An auction as the name indicates enables the buyers to bid on your item. You can decide how long you wish the auction to last: from a day to a week to a month or more.
You can edit the auction while it's up and running only up until 24 hours before it's scheduled to finish. Users can retract their bids up until 12 hours before the auction ends. But if a user asks to cancel the purchase we suggest you agree as we cannot force a user to pay. Having a last-minute cancellation sucks, we get it. It sucks for us too. But trust us, it’s better to let it go. Focus on being an awesome seller and you will attract awesome customers that love your products, focus on these people instead!
Some useful settings to know are:
"Enable Reserve I": "By enabling reserve, the auction wont be awarded unless the high bid is above the reserve price. The amount is hidden."
In Plain English, you can set a minimum price at which the auction will be successful. If the auction does not reach the reserve price then the auction winner won't be upheld, meaning the product won't be sold. Only you can see this reserve price. For example, you start the auction at $80 and your Reserve Price is $120 and the auction ends at $115 then the auction is forfeited and you can relist your product. This setting isn't free, if you decide to enable it, you will be charged $0.33 per listing that uses this function.
A reserve price enables the seller to set a minimum price for an auction to be successful. This setting can be enabled for $0.33 per listing.
"Bid Increment": You can choose to leave it as is and use the default system. Or you can choose a custom bid increment. This will define the minimum value you accept to increase the bid. For example, you can set the increment to be $5. User who wish to bid on your product won't be able to bid on it unless they increase the bid by at least $5. Be mindful that if your increment is too high, it might discourage users from bidding on your item.
Sellers can control the auction flow by setting the bid increment. Note: a high increment may discourage some buyers from bidding. For cheaper products, we recommend smaller increments.
"Disable Snipping Feature": ePlantae allows snipping: to place a bid right before the end of the auction. To make the auction slightly more interesting, if a bid is placed in the last 5 minutes of the auction, the auction will be extended for another 5 minutes. This is to give a fair chance to other bidders as "snippers" who are very good will place a bid in the last 5-10 seconds of the auction making it virtually impossible for someone else to have a chance to win the auction. If you do not wish to have this feature, check the box next to "Disable Snipping Feature" in the listings form.
By disabling the snipping feature, there will be no overtime for the auction if there’s a bid placed last minute.
To finish the listing process just follow through with all the prompts and then launch the listing once you are satisfied.
A Product has a bit less functionality than an auction. Products are great for items that you have in stock. You can set a fixed price and a fixed quantity that users have to purchase. You can also automatically renew your listings, if it's a product that you always have in stock, you can automate the sales process.
In order to automatically relist your product, just check the box next to Enable Auto Relist in the Create Listing form.
A Classified is simply an advertisement. You want to offer your product or services to someone locally, you may do so through the use of classifieds. Essentially you will be using ePlantae as a platform to advertise your goods or services. Of course, we ask that you advertise goods or services related to plants and plant care, such as gardening services, exchange of plants locally and so on.
A few things to consider when listing. Listing is for the most part free, there are options that you can enable that will help you attract sales in exchange for a fee. The fees are all next to the functions that you can activate in the Listings process. You do not have to use them if you do not wish to but they will help you gain more exposure and therefore more sales.
For example, every product will have a main category of your choosing. Your product will display in that category. If you wish to display your product in an additional category, you may do so at the extra cost of $0.95. This will enable users to find your product in both categories when they are browsing ePlantae. You can also pay to have your product featured on the home page and other pages.
STEP 2: SHIPPING
Once your product has sold and the buyer has paid, it's time to ship your product! If it's a digital product, that will be rather easy as you can just make it available for download to the user, for products such as an ebook.
But for physical products, you will need to pack them and ship them.
If you are shipping internationally. There are a few things to consider.
A small difference in package size can make a big difference in shipping costs.
Secondly, if you are shipping live plants, you will need some form of legal paperwork. Most countries require a phytosanitary certificate, issued by your local authority.
Thirdly, if you are shipping live plants, not every country has the same regulation. They all share one rule: no soil is allowed in international travel but some countries allow cotton, sphagnum moss, and perlite. Some allow roots others only allow cuttings. Before you ship plants internationally we highly recommend you check with your local authorities on how to do so. Ideally, you can find a logistics partner that can help you with the shipping process as the rules and regulations are constantly evolving. Some plants that were unrestricted might become restricted and vice versa.
If you are shipping internationally anything related to plant care such as soil and fertilizer you will also need to familiarize yourself with the relevant regulations.
Whether you are shipping locally or internationally, you will need a shipping label. You can create them yourself or you can purchase one from your local carrier such as UPS.
STEP 3: GET PAID
You will need a PayPal account and you will need to connect a bank account to that PayPal account. If you don't already have a PayPal Account head over to PayPal and create an account now.
ePlantae currently only allows PayPal. That is both for the safety of the Seller and the Buyer. Unfortunately, a lot of scams and fraudulent transactions happen if precautionary measures are not put into place. PayPal is a reputable company that operates in multiple currencies, all over the world. It can link with your personal bank account and ensure the safety of each transaction. You should check that the payment has been made before you ship your item to the customer. Sometimes PayPal will put a hold on your funds until the package has been successfully delivered to your client. We highly recommend you upload the tracking information to PayPal once you have it. If for some reason your funds still haven't been released after the package has been successfully delivered to your customer, approach PayPal's customer support and inform them of your situation and they should manually release your funds.