If you are a seller of cloth pads or other related items (either hand made by you, or you purchase to resell), you are welcome to join us and create your own store here on cloth pad shop.
There are no contracts (you can leave at any time), no listing fees and no commissions! Just a flat monthly fee, so you can list and sell as much as you like without having extra fees. As a seller on Cloth Pad Shop you have the advantage of joining a specialised store that makes your products available to the people who are specifically looking for them!
While it is called "Cloth Pad Shop", you are not limited to selling just cloth pads. We welcome Menstrual Cups, Wetbags, Herbal Teas, Diaries, Jewellery, Art and many other products. Please see the Suggested Product List for a list of products and ideas that would be appropriate for Cloth Pad Shop
Benefits of selling on Cloth Pad Shop:
Flat Rate Monthly Fee - $8USD per month on CPSUS, or $10AUD per month on CPSAU. With a flat rate fee you always know exactly what needs to be paid and there are no scary surprises. You also have the option to temporarily close your store if you need a break.
No Commissions or Listing Fees! - You will never be charged commissions (% of sales or final value fees) or listing fees, and you can list as many items as you like for the flat monthly fee. We encourage you to add as much stock as you like to your store, because not only does more stock make Cloth Pad Shop a larger and more interesting store, and gives customers more variety to choose from, but you stand a better chance of selling when you have products to sell. So more stock is best for Cloth pad Shop, the customers and your business. So we don't want to restrict you by being greedy and taking out commissions or listing fees.
Mini Webpage - You can have your own mini webpage area, where you can display some descriptive information about you and your business with pictures and links, with a place to put in your policies and other details to give customers all the info they need. You even have Galleries and a blog if you wish to use them. You may have up to 3 pages for care instructions or information (like this example here).
Let your "competitors" benefit you! - You might think that having other pad makers in the same store as you can be harmful to your business, but think of it another way. We are "fellow pad makers" rather than competition. Cloth pad usage is becoming increasingly popular, and there are more than enough customers to go around. What one person wants/needs/likes in a pad is different from another, one pad maker cannot make products that suit everyone. But by forming a large store together, each store can have something to offer the customer, and each helps to bring more customers in. So if another pad maker has a special and customers come to Cloth Pad Shop for that, the customer might decide to also buy from you while they are here. That is something you don't get when you have a stand alone store on your own, or even a store on most other "mall" stores.
We bring customers to you - You can benefit from competitions, prize draws and other events that are designed to bring customers to the store and entice them to buy. Paying for advertising and building up a customer base is hard when you are in a store on your own. But joining a store like Cloth Pad Shop gives you the advantage of an already established customer base through word of mouth and store advertising. You also benefit from the increased traffic that comes to the site from any of the sellers being advertised or talked about.
Free Sub Domain and E-mail address - You can have your own email@example.com e-mail address and http://yourbrand.clothpadshop.com URL that links directly to your area of the store (Either to your products directly or to your mini site if you prefer). So you can quickly and easily create a professional look for your business. Instead of your customers e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, they can e-mail email@example.com - much more professional looking and your mail is delivered to your normal e-mail account, so you don't even have to worry about checking another account. Easy!
Help and Support - You have access to help and support from the other sellers as well as Cloth Pad Shop admin whenever you need it. We have a discussion group for all the sellers to use to keep up to date with what is going on and ask for help or bounce ideas off eachother, as well as an indepth help guide that walks you though setting up your store on Cloth Pad Shop. Don't know how to do something? Want some help with your product listings? Just ask!
Have a break when you want to - You have the ability to turn your store on and off whenever you like... So you don't have to be tied to paying store fees month after month when you don't have the stock to sell. When you turn your store back on, everything will still be the same as it was (If you have products in your store when you have our break, they will come back online once you are open again.) We even offer a "Vacaton" mode which displays a piece of customisable text letting your customers know you are having a break - so you still remain visible on the site, keeping your name out there.
Easily create custom orderable products - You are not just limited to selling "instock" products. You can list custom orderable items as well. The system has checkboxes and pull down menus that you can use to add options to your listed product (eg $1 extra for PUL, different prices for different lengths of pad or for different fabrics). With this you can list items you will custom make for the customer based on the choices they have selected. You could even set up a gallery with your fabric choices.
Specials, Discounts and Vouchers - You can have a stocktake sale with a % off storewide. Do a $10% off Xmas stock sale. Offer your blog readers a $5 discount on orders over $50. Give returning customers a 13% discount when they enter in the code "youaregreat" - There are many different ways to use the discounts feature.
Previewing - Create interest and anticipation with the "previewing" feature. This allows you to set up a product listing that isn't ready to be sold yet. Customers can see it and view the description, but can't buy it until it's "live". Some stores use this to gather interest for special items, so that there will be people waiting and ready to snap it up when it becomes available to buy. Or you can use it to make all your products go "live" at the same time when restocking. You can use this feature with the "Automatics" feature, which allows you to set the date and time in which the products will become live, allowing you to upload your products in advance, before letting the public loose on them! Some stores use this Previewing feature to make special notices for customers ("look at all these yummy fabrics I'll have pads made from shortly!")
Auctions - Cloth Pad Shop also has an auctions feature where you can put items up for auction instead of regular sale, with 2 modes of bidding. List a once off special item, or auction off a set of items. You could even do charity auctions if you wanted to.
Categories to make shopping easier - We have several different categories of products to make it easier for customers to find what they want. Products can be listed in more than one category too. If you need additional categories, they can be added.
Being part of a community - Cloth Pad Shop is a community of sellers who are working together to bring more cloth pads and related items into the world. A smaller and more personal site than other large multiple seller sites, run by someone whose interest is to get more of these products out into the world and to support the stores who sell them. From time to time the sellers on CPS have the opportunity to participate in swaps (such as swapping pads or fabric) to help keep a feeling of unity and friendship.
Interested in joining?
To apply to join, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, including the following:
If you have an existing store somewhere, or ebay listings, a blog, facebook page, flickr/photobucket account etc. please send the URL so we can have a look at your products, so we can get an idea of what you do, as well as the quality of your work.
A little bit about your products - what materials you use etc. Also if the patterns for any cloth pads are your own or if you work to a licensed pattern (This is just so we know how many sellers are working from the same patterns)
The name that you want the store to be (eg your business name or trading name)
A list of products you wish to sell (Cloth pads, breast pads, wetbags, herbal teas.... whatever it is). If you are reselling other people's products (pads/breast pads) please tell us whose brands you would like to stock so we can check that we don't already have too many people selling those
Where you are from (so we know if you want to be in the USA/CAN or AUS/NZ or EU sections).
We like to try and maintain a minimum standard of work and customer service here at Cloth Pad Shop, so our customers can be confident shopping here. So we will review your products based on the information you have provided. Please also make sure you've read the Terms & Conditions & More Information for Sellers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to have a store set up?
It takes only a few minutes for Admin to set it up your store, but you will have to add your own "about us" text and policies, which can take a few minutes. Feel free to have that stuff already typed up when want to join, so you can open as quickly as possible. However you don't need to open straight away when you join, you're welcome to take some time to get to know the system. Once you have your login information you can start adding your products whenever you like, and your store won't actually be open until you set it so. Allowing you to get everything ready before you turn it on. The system is quite easy to use and you'll receive a help file guiding you through, as well as access to a larger how to guide, which covers everything you need to know. You are also welcome to ask any questions anytime you need, and they will be answered by an actual person!
What do I need to have to join?
You will need to be able to run as an independent business, so you need your own packaging materials, payment accounts etc. just as you would if you were setting up your business on ebay, etsy, madeit or another store. And you need to have a paypal account, which is how the store will pay you if customers order from more than one store in the one transaction. Additional payment methods like bank deposits into your bank account are optional, but can be useful to give customers the choice on how to pay. You will need to have a digital camera or other way to take pictures of your products to put them online. Preferably photo editing software to make your product photos as professional as you can, and of course your stock to sell!
Do I need a business name or Business licence?
As per the Terms and Conditions, you should be aware of the relevant government regulations concerning running s business for your state/country. Cloth Pad Shop cannot give advice on what regulations there are where you are located. However, for Cloth Pad Shop purposes, you need to have a name for the store to be called, which is most likely to be your "business name" (or a slightly shorter version of it), but we do not need proof that this is a registered business name, or that you are conducting your business as per any requirements in your area.
Do I need an ABN?
An ABN (Australian Business Number) is a unique sequence of numbers issued to Australian businesses to identify them. Under Australian business regulations, it is required for all businesses to have an ABN, whether you are charging GST or not, and regardless of how big or small your business is, and under these regulations this number needs to be displayed for customers to see. It is your responsibility to meet these and any other business requirements for the area you conduct business in. However, for Cloth Pad Shop purposes, there is a place to display an ABN on your main store policies page if you wish to add it there.... we do not need to know your ABN.
Is there a trial period?
(no pun intended :)) Yes and No. We do not have a trial period for you, however since there are no contracts and you pay by the month, you are welcome to try a store here for a month and leave if you don't like it. However it can take more than a month for stores to start making a profit (depending on stock on the store and the time of year), so it is advisable to give it a couple of months before you make a decision.
Are there any hidden fees or catches?
There is the monthly fee you pay to have your store on our site, and paypal fees that paypal charges you - nothing else. Cloth Pad Shop may ask for donations of products to use as promotional giveaways from time to time, but while we would very much like your participation in that, you are under no obligation to provide any.