FAQs

Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Please contact us if your question is not answered.

  1. How can this service be free?
    • Our online marketplace is built upon a powerful business-grade platform (Trove®) that offers a free license for nonprofits. And as it gets enhanced over time, the community benefits from new features at no cost.
  2. What is a “platform” ?
    • It’s a fancy word for web-based software (like “cloud software”) that connects multiple parties together for business or networking… examples include: HomeAway or AirBnB for home renters and vacationers; or social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Medium, which connect friends to each other or writers to readers.
    • Learn more in our blog post about why platforms can be dangerous to communities if they are for-profit and backed by venture capital dollars.
  3. What features matter to me if I make products or grow produce?
    • The marketplace “portal” offers you an unlimited catalog to showcase your products, collect orders, set inventory levels, send trackable emails and texts, and more.
    • You can load photos, videos, contracts, order sheets, sales sheets, brochures, and more. It’s easy to keep them current, too.
    • You can share and send trackable emails (like Constant Contact) with links to your inventory. You can see who opened and downloaded your messages and attachments (analytics is the fancy word).
  4. What features matter to me if I am a merchant (a shop, store, market, co-op)?
    • You have the easiest way to search for and discover local made and grown products, state by state! Everything is categorized logically and visually, foremost… and our fast, accurate Search is even better than hunting on search engines through millions of irrelevant hits;
    • You can favorite certain products for easy follow-up;
    • You can order products from the sellers, and track their progress;
    • You get the same sharing/emailing/texting features to follow up on orders and deliveries.
  5. Can I sell my products and accept credit cards?
    • Yes! You will be able to manage your sales with your own system, or use ours. Take checks the way you’re accustomed to, or we can charge buyer credit cards on your behalf, at no additional cost. (We can act like your e-shopping cart)
    • As an open platform, too, we can make custom connectors to other systems and providers as well. Contact us for ideas!
  6. Is there any contract or obligation?
    • No! Everything is free for you to post, share, text, email, store and order. Use the platform for B2B (or B2C if you’d like) as little or as much as you want, with no contracts. We only enforce a standard “terms and conditions” and “privacy policy” that encourages good behavior and protects the community.
  7. Can I see a demo?
  8. How do I join?
    • If you are in Maine, we will enroll you after a quick call. Please call or email us. We don’t have open sign-ups, in order to launch the platform as B2B.