FAQ on becoming a fulfillment vendor with Art Storefronts:
- This is great but what's the difference between the Fulfillment Vendor Program and the legacy "Child Website" Program?
- Originally, we had the Child Website Program that would allow any print studio to purchase child websites (on the "Child Standard" or "Child Basic" plan) on behalf of artists, whereby the print fulfillment would run through that print studio who purchased the child website on behalf of the artist. This program was deprecated in late 2015 for many reasons, which we will not take the time to list here. Every print studio who purchased these child sites was/is allowed to keep the ones they purchased, but Art Storefronts discontinued the sale of these child sites in late 2015.
- Art Storefronts only sells its plans directly to artists and does not allow print studios or anyone else to do so. We sign up our own customers with a premium onboarding experience, and we invest in their success by providing vast educational resources, setup guides, a Success Plan, and much more. These customers, who were sold by Art Storefronts, have the ability to select a Fulfillment Vendor (for automated order fulfillment) from a select group of pre-approved Art Storefronts print studios ("Approved Fulfillment Vendors").
- How is the functionality different? The key differences between the plans lie in the way artists/print studios get paid and how coupons function.
- Payment - Previously, when an order came through a child site, all money would go to the Print Studio directly, and it was the Print Studio's responsibility to do the accounting and pay out the artists at intervals (e.g. monthly, weekly, etc) that made sense to the Print Studio. Through the Fulfillment Vendor program, the artist receives the total amount of the order (base price + markup - transaction fee = total order amount) and then the artist is subsequently charged for the Print Studio's cost. This ensures that both the artist and Print Studio get paid immediately (this is explained in more detail below), and no additional accounting is necessary.
- Coupons - On the Child Site Program, Coupons were not allowed to be used unless the Print Studio made them available. This was a difficult process to navigate, and so in the Fulfillment Vendor Program, we have made these available for Artists.
Please Note: While coupons can be created and distributed by the artist, the artist is still responsible for the cost of the Print Studio's services and materials. If the coupon is set to 100% off, the artist will still be charged (and the Print Studio paid for) the baseline prices to print on the specified allowable media.
- You must make sure your site is set up to accept coupons from the Artist. You will need to click on the Info & Settings tab and scroll down until you see Use Coupons From Child and set it to on. Then you need to click Save.
- How is the Ordering Process Different? -
- With child websites, a print studio would simply see any order from the child site within the Orders section of the print studio's site manager. In other words, the artist and the print studio would "share" the order (i.e. they would both see it in their site manager).
- With the fulfillment program, the process is entirely different:
- When an artist receives an order, they will see the order within the Orders section of the site manager. But in this case, the print studio will NOT see the order between the artist and their customer.
- The artist is now able to offer their own items for sale, such as original paintings, or calendars, and setup their own shipping methods and tax methods in order to fulfill those items directly. As mentioned above, the artist gets paid directly for this order in full.
- When an artist receives an order from their own customer, our software will then create a separate "Vendor Order" between the artist and the print studio for the wholesale cost plus shipping (and taxes, if applicable) of the items that the Fulfillment Vendor is designated to fulfill. The artist will see this vendor purchase within their "Vendor Purchases" section, which is located within the Orders section of their site manager. The print studio will see it right in their Orders section, along with all of their other orders.
- This "Vendor Order" is a separate transaction between the print studio and the artist. By design, this is very clean for accounting purposes for both parties. The artist's credit card on file with Art Storefronts will be charged by the print studio for the total cost of the order.
- From the vantage point of the print studio, this Vendor Order is no different than a regular order except that it came from a fulfillment website and will conveniently display this heading: "Vendor Order from Fulfillment Customer". The order total will reflect exactly what the print studio intended to charge (based on the pricing established in its designated parent store page), and the appropriate shipping methods and tax methods will be applied according to what the print studio has setup on its own website. The order will contain all of the information the print studio needs in order to fulfill the items and ship it to the Artist’s customer (which will be in the ship to address).
- When the print studio updates the order history with tracking and shipping information, this information is relayed to both the artist and the artist's customer. This saves the artist from having to communicate all this information.
- How do I Receive Payments for Vendor Orders? –
- In order to be a Vendor Partner, you must connect a Stripe account in the Integration section. Follow the steps in Section 3 to connect this properly.
- Once you are connected to Stripe, Art Storefronts will be able to use your Stripe account to charge the credit card of an Artist site (which we already have) for each Vendor order. This means you will not have to collect credit cards from any artists that we have signed up. Once you have properly completed our Stripe Integration, you are ready to receive payments.
Please Note: While this is an extremely important part of your set up, you will still need to have your merchant information included in the shopping cart section of the Art Storefronts platform. If you do not have your merchant information saved in the shopping cart area of your site, you will not be able to receive regular transactions. If you need to set your merchant account up, please check out our article on How To: Add your Stripe Secret Key To Your Shopping Cart.
Please also be aware that when you are creating your Stripe account in the section labeled Business Name you will need to enter the name that you are best known by.
For example, Metal and Paper Pro would need to put Aspen Creek in the business name section so customers know that they are going through a well trusted business.
- What Happens When a Vendor Order gets Declined and is Unpaid? –
- Declined or unpaid orders will not appear on your main dashboard. This will prevent you from accidentally fulfilling an order that has not been paid for.
- Declined or unpaid orders are located in a separate tab titled “Unpaid Fulfillment Orders” within the Orders section of your site manager. The only reason we have created this tab is in the event that an artist contacts you about a specific order; we want you to be able to see if the order is sitting in the unpaid section.
- Artist websites are responsible for correcting any declined payment issues as soon as possible. They will receive a warning via e-mail and a large red warning message will be displayed in their site manager until they have resolved their declined payment issue. This way, even if they missed our email, they will see this message when they log in.
- Once the Artist has rectified their payment issue (by updating their credit card), the Vendor Order will now appear for you.
- How are refunds handled? –
- If an Artist must provide a refund to their customer, they do so at their own discretion. This is one of the main benefits of them having a separate transaction between them and their own customer.
- If a print studio needs to refund an artist for a Vendor Order, the print studio can do so at its own discretion. The transaction will be located within your integrated Stripe account.
Please Note: Transaction fees are non-refundable. If you are attempting to make a test order, please do not place a large order. We suggest creating an inexpensive test product to avoid a large transaction fee being charged.
- How are tax exemptions handled? –
- When a child website chooses you to be their Vendor, their contact information will be added to your contact manager. This is a special contact because it is directly related to the owner of the Artist site
- The Artist site can upload a resale certificate on their end. Once they upload their resale certificate, you will be sent an approval request. If you approve the resale request you will need to mark their account as tax exempt.
- What is the Fulfillment Websites tab for? –
- There is a “Fulfillment Websites” tab within the Orders section of your site manager.
- This tells you which artists are connected to you for fulfillment purposes.
- Why do I need to set a Default Print Store for my Artists? –
- This enables artists to access your media, pricing and any other options you wish to provide them to enable them to sell their art through your fulfillment process. If a default store is not selected, then the artists cannot offer any work to sell to their customers.
- How can I become an Approved Fulfillment Vendor? –
- The Fulfillment Vendor program is invite only at this time. We make our selections based off of the print studio's reputation, history of doing business with Art Storefronts and a respectful working relationship between the Print Studio and our team, among other criteria (see #13, below). If you are interested in the program, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if you qualify.
- Once I become an approved Fulfillment Vendor, How can I get Art Storefronts to assign artists to me?-
- Art Storefronts will assign artists at their sole discretion.
- As a vendor you will need to provide, at no charge, free samples of finished prints at our request for the specific purpose of us taking pictures and producing videos that showcase the media types
- If Art Storefronts chooses to, we need vendor access, at a convenient time for both parties, where we can send in a video/photography production cret
- Where can I find the Terms and Conditions for this program? -
- Terms and Conditions for this program can be found on our Terms and conditions page, in sections 3a and 3b.
- If I am not an "Approved Fulfillment Vendor", does this mean I cannot fulfill for other artists? –
- No! You are still able to fulfill for other artists if you are not on this program, it will just not be automated by Art Storefronts. If an artist would like to fulfill through you, they should contact technical support and request to disconnect from the automated fulfillment program. Then, they can set up their own media types, retail prices, and sizes, and get paid directly from their customers when orders come in. We recommend having them add your email address into the list of email addresses that will receive new order emails when they come in (located in the INFO & SETTINGS tab within the Site Manager). You will need to obtain their files for printing and charge them directly for making their prints.
- Why can't every Print Studio be a part of this program? –
- Every "Approved Fulfillment Vendor" is a reflection of the Art Storefronts brand and we take this very seriously. We must be 100% sure that any company participating in this program is capable of servicing our customers with the highest standards.
- Supporting, maintaining, and improving the software that runs the Fulfillment Vendor program is very costly and is a continued and growing expense for Art Storefronts. It requires full-time staff to provide setup as well as ongoing technical support for both Fulfillment Vendors as well as artists. This cost must be paid for, which means, we cannot just let any print studio in arbitrarily.
- We have found, over time, that there are certain criteria points that a Print Studio must meet to handle 3rd party Fulfillment services that meet the our standard. We have made these criteria a requirement to be a part of the program as we have found that Print Studios that meet these criteria have a higher success rate with online sales and our artists are far better served. At this time, the minimum criteria that a Print Studio must meet is as follows:
- The Print Studio must have generated $100,000 in online sales on the Art Storefronts platform, at a minimum, within a given 12 month period.
- Art Storefronts must not have received complaints about the print studio which include, but are not limited to: Late shipments, poor/non-existent communication, high shipping rates, offensive or questionable behavior, etc.
- The Print Studio must have an outstanding working relationship with Art Storefronts. One that is based on mutual respect, partner-like behavior, and positivity. This program is a privilege, and we're only going to work with those who make it enjoyable.
- The Print Studio must agree to the fees, terms and conditions of this program. This program is NOT free.