Join a marketplace that attracts thousands of charity fair and online shoppers.
NOTES: **Guest brand commission only applies for 2020 then reverts to standard 10%. All prices quoted exclude VAT (BLB not VAT registered currently). Product imagery must be of a sufficiently high standard and quality to be accepted. BLB reserves the right to select and reject product listings.
Once you have signed up and paid your membership fee you will receive a form to complete with all of the details required to finish the on-boarding process. You will also receive instructions and contact details to enable you to get your products on the BLB website. Mark and Nick will be on hand to hold your hand!
The contract runs for 12 months from the date of the payment of your fees or from 1 October 2020 – whichever is later. At the end of 12 months it will auto renew at the rate at that time unless you ask for it not to. (Guest Brands’ contract is for 3 months, restricted to the specific fair).
A table fee is typically what you would pay for a single pitch at an average size physical fair.
Costs breakdown into ‘fixed’ and ‘variable’. Fixed include a one-off joining fee, and an annual membership or ‘table fee’. Variable costs are based on your sales and include commission/donation and charges as detailed in these FAQs.
Compared to selling at a fair, there is no traveling costs, no van hire, no accommodation, no staff cost, no subsistence, no raffle prize.
There are two commissions: 1) The charity commission (or more properly “donation”), this is 10% of the total sales value of the transaction; and 2) The BLB commission charge which is 10%.
As at a physical fair or event or with your own website, you need to pay card transaction fees. Due to the fact that this is a marketplace website, there are two payment processors and so there is a 1% charge in addition to the usual 1.4% + 20p per item from the merchant services provider. For simplicity we are charging a round 2.5%. For technical reasons, this is not (currently) applied to the shipping portion of the transaction.
NO! In fact we are discouraging general discounts. We would prefer to offer incentives through targeted marketing such as voucher books but not as a general principle. We may consider traditional Sales e.g. a January Sale but during general trading, no you do not have to offer a discount.
Unfortunately not on the fees, there will be considerable work involved on our part to get your products on the new website. Of course if you stop selling, you will stop paying any further commission.
No, not at this stage. BLB is not registered for VAT but if in future our income should exceed the HMRC limits, we would of course be required to register at which point our charges will have VAT added to them.
The customer will pay as they would do on your own website. As part of your set up on the new platform, we will incorporate the shipping charges you give us. These will then appear on the customer order that they and you receive.
We are partnered with charities all over the UK from the south of England to Scotland. Check the current website Members area for a reminder of past and future fairs.
Obviously all promotion will help. If you post about a fair we can repost it and of course that works the other way as well. It may also be picked up by the fair themselves and reposted. This cross marketing is a great free tool. The ethos and spirit of BLB is one for all and all for one so we would encourage you to be as proactive as possible in this regard.
All three parties can play a role here. Obviously the main marketing will be done by the fair/charity themselves. We cannot access their supporter/customer database directly, for security and GDPR reasons, so the charities will promote to their own audiences. We will promote it to our growing customer database and of course through social media and further Facebook ads. You can promote fairs as well through your email database, newsletters and social media.
We will be aggressively optimising for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and have plans for an editorial programme to feature topical and seasonal occasions highlighting relevant and interesting products. Google loves this type of content and we hope, over time, to be ranked highly for relevant themes and keywords to attract more shoppers.
There will be opportunities for raising your profile on the platform and via marketing initiatives in due course. We will keep you posted.
A marketplace website is like a shopping centre or department store where many brands come together under one online roof. They come in all shapes and sizes, Amazon of course being the biggest in the world whilst at the other end of the scale are small collectives of artisans.
Depending on the size of your own website, you may be able to feature all of them. Limits will depend on the number of sign-ups we receive and the size of websites signing up. One of the costs for running this type of site is the storage requirements placed on the system. Of course we also want to be fair to all of our brands to ensure no individual one floods the site with 000’s of products.
Your listings will be the same price as your website since our software will sync with your prices.
Depending on the website platform you use will depend how we can link to you and how you see your orders. With platforms such as Shopify, we can integrate fully and you will see orders confirmed by email as you would with your own website. With other websites, you may have to check the BLB ‘Vendor Portal’ to pick up your orders. See the ‘How will it work with my store’ section above.
Yes. Unless you have very specific shipping requirements (e.g. a courier quote per piece for furniture) we will include the information you supply on your onboarding form into the integration between your website and the BLB website.
We encourage you to set up a Stripe account if you do not already have one. This is a very quick and easy process and will make the transfer of funds between our system and yours most efficient.
If you use Stripe, the payment will be made to your account within 3 days of the order being placed. If we are paying into your bank account it will be done on a fortnightly basis.
Because we can link the stock between the two systems, when you are out of stock on your website, a product will also be out of stock on our website (this will usually be an automatic daily update)
Within reason, as many as is relevant. We will look at your own taxonomy and blend it into the BLB system. We will be curating the site and ensuring it is fair for all.
The customer will use a dedicated returns page/link on the site which will notify you of their return request. You will be notified by e-mail and will need to log on to your vendor portal on the BLB website to authorise the return and issue any specific instructions to the customer.
BLB offers shoppers a 14 day return period (as required by law) on your behalf. If you have a more generous policy this can be set to override our default. Shoppers will need to log their return on our portal where they can see the return instructions.
With the new website we are able to track which charity landing page has been the starting point for the shopper’s visit and link any subsequent purchases back to this, which will indicate to us where to pay your donation.
NO! This is one of the most important changes. Customers do not have to remember codes and remember to enter them in a box at checkout and you will not have to go looking for them. This will all be tracked by knowing the fair page they land on at the start of their visit.
Yes, we will offer a donate button for just such occasions.
The new web platform offers all sorts of new functionality for us in future, a key in our choice of platform was the ability to manage commissions. The charity commission will be deducted at source and managed through our Stripe account.
Yes, reports will be available to our brands and charity partners advising on the sales and charity donations made.
Unfortunately not. Gift Aid can only be claimed on donations from individuals so neither your business nor BLB qualify. You can of course claim the 10%’s as a business cost, using the monthly statements available from BLB.
By this we mean an online event in aid of the actual fair and their chosen charity/ies where their customers/supporters shop on the internet instead of at a physical event.
No, you will be present in every standard fair we list. You’ll be able to test the market in parts of the country you’d never usually visit and have your brand recognised by Fair Organisers you may have been applying to for years. In time we will provide charities with bespoke events, these will be by invitation and may incur a small additional table fee.
Everyone misses the buzz of a real fair and we all look forward to them returning. This season we will run alongside some actual fairs and in future this will become the norm. We are also reaching younger shoppers who don’t go to fairs, and charities love the fact that they can keep this revenue stream open all year round.
No, they won’t be aware of other fairs running on our platform. Each virtual fair has its own landing page – think of it like a seperate room. Supporters are given a link to that page in their invitation so they will go straight into that “room” and not necessarily see any of the events running at the same time.
Shoppers arriving at the BLB home page will be able to choose a fair to enter from. In due course they will be able to search by region for local events to support.
In lockdown when mutual help and support was so important, we had a very active WhatsApp Group. We want to build on that sense of community by sharing ideas and experiences with fellow members.
We plan to launch these initiatives very soon
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