Vendor/ Seller Standards

Vendor Standards

These standards are to be read in connection with the Vendor Terms and Conditions available on the Kingston Collective website and any other policies, standards or documents referenced in the Vendor Terms or which are made available on the Website from time-to-time. By registering your Business and selling your Products on our Marketplace www.kingstoncollective.com.au/shop, you agree to be bound by these standards and our Vendor Terms.

All defined terms used in these standards have the meaning given to them in the Vendor Terms.

If there is any inconsistency between these standards and the Vendor Terms, the Vendor Terms will prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

We reserve the right to vary these standards at any time. We will endeavor to provide existing Vendors with reasonable notice of any material changes to these standards.

Mission Statement

Kingston Collective is a place for Australian consumers (predominantly Victoria based) to discover a curated range of inspiring locally owned and produced products from local small business owners. The platform is a user-friendly and content-rich online shopping destination with locally owned small business products.

Vendor Expectations

At Kingston Collective, we place a premium on customer experience and want our customers to know they can expect excellent service and quality products whenever, wherever, and however they shop with us.

By incorporating standards that all of our Vendors are expected to comply with, it gives our customers a certain level of assurance and confidence when shopping on the Kingston Collective Marketplace, and sets reasonable expectations that all of our Vendors can understand and follows

For this reason, we ask all Vendors to be familiar with and uphold the Vendor Standards outlined in this document.

If you do not comply with these standards, you acknowledge that we may suspend or terminate your Vendor Store with Kingston Collective.

Vendor Standards

Why have standards?

As retailers, we listen to our customers every day, and in the world of online shopping, we know that almost all of the things that disappoint and frustrate our customers are when we fail in a few key areas: shipping, communication, product information, returns/refunds, and stock availability. By setting standards for these critical aspects of customer service that our customers can come to expect from us every time they shop on the Kingston Collective Marketplace we collectively build confidence and trust in what we do, but if any of us let the team down we let our collective customers down.

All Vendors are expected to meet and maintain certain standards, including the following:

  • honest and accurate representation of inventory;
  • current and accurate listings of Products available for purchase by Customers
  • honest and accurate information about yourself, your Business, and your brand;
  • honest and accurate representation of dispatch and shipping timeframes;
  • openness and transparency at all times when dealing with customers;
  • fulfillment of all orders in a timely manner;
  • order status to be updated and customers to be notified within 48 hours of the order being placed.
  • 24-hour maximum response time to customer queries that you receive unless notified otherwise;
  • refunds approved and processed within 48 hours of the item being returned to the Vendor;
  • any other standards specified in this document.

Listings

When listing Products for sale on the Marketplace, you must comply with the following standards:

  • all descriptions, pictures, and prices must be accurate, complete, and not misleading;
  • you must use your own words and photographs (not stock photos) to describe your Products; and
  • all purported benefits (including health benefits) of your Products must be based on factual, verified information and must not be false, exaggerated, misleading, or based solely on anecdotal evidence;
  • you must disclose any information regarding your Products that is relevant to the sale or use of your Products, or which a Customer would be reasonably want to know prior to purchasing the Products;
  • you must not charge unfair or unreasonable prices for your Products, and you must not participate in any action related to price gouging or creating artificial demand;
  • you must list all prices in Australian Dollars and inclusive of GST (unless clearly otherwise stated);
  • you must not change your prices or fees in relation to purchase after the Customer has agreed to purchase the Product; and
  • you must not charge any hidden fees to Customers in relation to your Products that are not clearly specified at the time of purchase.

Product Images

Kingston Collective expects a certain consistent standard when it comes to the way we present Products online.

Images and Product attributes must meet the following standards to be published online:

  • minimum of 1 image per Product
  • Products must only be listed in their relevant categories;
  • images must be:
    • File size = lower than 2MB
    • File type = .PNG, .GIF, .JPG, .JPEG and .WEBP
    • A minimum size of 1000px x 1000px
  • it is preferable that images are of landscape orientation or square;
  • all images of the listed item must be of the Product itself or the Product in use;
  • no images are to contain seller contact details, pricing, text overlays, watermarks, or advertising material;
  • all mandatory Product attributes are required for a product listing to go live and listed on Kingston Collective; and
  • any content must not display any political, ethical, or cultural prejudices and must be entirely appropriate for all age groups.

Kingston Collective reserves the right to suspend a Vendor’s Listing or Account if the Vendor does not comply with these Listing standards.

What can and cannot be sold

You can sell products that are Australian Made and Owned (as further described below) and which:

  • are owned by your business; or
  • you are the exclusive retailer or exclusive reseller of, or otherwise, if you have received the consent of the owner and no other vendor is selling that brand’s Products on the Kingston Collective Marketplace,

and which comply with the requirements in the Vendor Terms and this standard, and which you are otherwise permitted to sell by law.

The types of Products that you are not allowed to sell include any Products that have been banned or recalled by government or regulatory bodies, or which are prohibited for sale by law or pursuant to the Vendor Terms, these standards, or as otherwise notified by us from time to time, including but not limited to:

  • illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia;
  • medical products;
  • replica items (unless it is clearly specified as such);
  • hazardous materials such as explosives, firearms, gas, petrol, ammunition, weapons, toxic substances, gases, or flammable items;
  • human parts or remains or items or Products made from human parts or remains;
  • live animals;
  • stolen goods;
  • fake or counterfeit goods;
  • items that include personal information of third parties unless you have their express written permission;
  • real estate or housing;
  • equities or bonds;
  • items made from endangered animal remains, animal bones or ivory;
  • pornographic videos or materials;
  • adult only items;
  • cigarettes or related products;
  • items that support or glorify violence, hatred, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, discrimination, religious intolerance, or which support or glorify organizations with such views; and
  • items that could be considered offensive.

When selling Products via the Marketplace, it is your responsibility at all times to ensure that you comply with any laws or regulations that apply to the sale or promotion of the Products, including but not limited to the Australian Consumer Law and any industry-specific regulations or laws, such as those applicable to the sale of food or health products.

If you are unsure about what laws or regulations may apply to the sale of your Products, we encourage you to speak to a lawyer or a qualified expert in the field.

Locally Owned

Kingston Collective requires that all Products listed for sale on the Marketplace are locally owned and or manufactured, within Australia.

Shipping and Delivery

In order to meet our promise to our customers of timely delivery and communication, we require sellers to:

  • ship all orders promptly after they have been processed, and in any event within 48 hours of receiving the order, unless clearly communicated otherwise;
  • custom made items with longer lead times must be clearly communicated on the product page;
  • provide an accurate ‘ships from’ suburb;
  • dispatch the Products to the address provided by the Customer via the Marketplace – if a Customer provides an alternate delivery address by alternative means, be mindful of fraud or scams;
  • ship all orders in safe and secure packaging to prevent damage in transit, taking into account the fragility and value of the Products and the distance over which the Products are likely to travel;
  • provide valid proof of dispatch and send a shipping notification immediately after an order is dispatched by updating the order status in the Marketplace;
  • provide tracking numbers to your Customers via the Kingston Collective Marketplace vendor dashboard;
  • use a reliable and reputable transport provider to ensure delivery Australia wide in no more than 7 business days (or 7-10 business days for regional Western Australia, Queensland, and Northern Territory. Business days defined as Monday to Friday, not including public holidays);
  • include shipping notes (manifest) with all parcels to clarify contents of parcels and seller information;
  • to avoid any issues, keep documented proof that the Products were properly sent to the Customer’s address; and
  • comply with local shipping and delivery regulations.

We understand that from time to time things can go wrong in the fulfillment process. Be proactive with your communication if you cannot meet the above expectations – do not wait for Customer complaints.

Shipping Costs

Shipping costs are one of the biggest barriers to buying online, so keeping your shipping costs competitive will help to deliver better conversion and encourage repeat purchases.

Managing Returns & Refunds

To improve conversion, build trust with our customers, and improve your seller rating, you are required to:

  • advise return address details for shipping upon registration on the Marketplace;
  • if you set your own refund or returns policy in relation to the sale of your Products this must be clearly explained on your Account or Listing (if your refund policy is inconsistent with these standards or the Vendor Terms, these standards and Vendor Terms will prevail to the extent of the inconsistency);
  • if you accept “change of mind” returns, in a condition fit for resale, from Customers within a reasonable period of time, that period of time must not be less than 15 days after the item has been delivered;
  • if a Customer does not receive the Products they ordered, or the Products do not meet the description or are not compliant with these standards, you are required to promptly refund the Customer for any amounts paid by them upon request;
  • meet all Australian Consumer Law and associated regulations with respect to accepting a return of faulty or inferior products or services;
  • manage all refunds through the Kingston Collective Vendor portal or by contacting you Kingston Collective directly to ensure you are refunded correctly and records of returns are accurately maintained;
  • refund a Customer any postage cost incurred by the Customer if they receive the wrong item or a faulty item. If return shipping is required for these Products, you must also pay for this return shipping; and
  • if you believe the Products returned to you have been damaged by the Customer, or is not the item you sent to them originally please contact Kingston Collective directly rather than the Customer, who will assist you in investigating and resolving the matter.

You acknowledge and agree that we may act on your behalf to process or enforce a refund if we are required to do so because of your failure to comply with these standards, and if permitted by law.

As a Vendor, you will have visibility of all returns via the Kingston Collective Marketplace so you know when a return has been initiated on the platform.

Circumvention

For transparency and the safety of our Vendors and Customers, all transactions must be completed through the Marketplace.

As a Vendor, you must not contact a Customer to discuss moving the purchase outside of the Marketplace. All transactions initiated on the Marketplace or otherwise in connection with Kingston Collective, but be completed via the Marketplace.

Customer Complaints & Queries

Whether a customer contacts you directly or via Kingston Collective, responding in a timely and professional manner will help to improve your seller rating and give Customers a reason to shop with you again. It is expected that all Vendors:

  • respond to queries within 1 business day;
  • acknowledge and consider Customer rights in compliance with the law;
  • adhere to privacy and consumer laws;
  • respond in a professional and friendly tone;
  • provide updates on issue resolution to your account manager where applicable; and
  • always respond in line with the Vendor standards.

If any legitimate dispute or issue arises in regards to the sale of your Products, we ask that you attempt to come to an amicable resolution with the Customer in a polite and reasonable manner – often it is just a misunderstanding. If a dispute is escalated to the Kingston Collective team because the disputing parties cannot come to an understanding or agreement regarding the issue, we may try and help you resolve your issue with a particular Customer, but we will not be responsible for resolving any such disputes. If we agree to assist you in resolving the dispute, you agree that to cooperate with us in investigating and resolving the dispute, and you agree that any determination we make will be binding on you and that you will comply with the outcome of our determination.

You agree to release Kingston Collective from any claims, demands, and damages in connection with the dispute, or our role in resolving the dispute.

Privacy

Customer privacy is of the utmost importance to Kingston Collective. As a Vendor on the Kingston Collective Marketplace, you will adhere to certain privacy standards in line with our privacy policy including:

 

  • any personal information that you receive in the course of selling Products or otherwise using the Marketplace must be collected and processed in accordance with all applicable privacy laws, including but not limited to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth);
  • you must comply with Kingston Collective’s privacy policy to the extent applicable, and not do anything that would result in Kingston Collective being in breach of the privacy policy or privacy laws;
  • any personal information sent to you by Kingston Collective or a Customer for the purpose of fulfilling orders may not be stored or used for the purposes of sending marketing material to those Customers or contacting them for any other purpose;
  • any personal information you collect about a Customer as part of your fulfillment duties must be stored in a secure way so as to protect the Customer’s privacy; and
  • you must provide any personal information you hold regarding a Customer to that Customer, or delete such information, upon their request. You are responsible for verifying the identity of the Customer once receiving such a request.

If you have any doubts regarding the use of personal information in your role as a Vendor on the Kingston Collective Marketplace, please contact Kingston Collective. We also encourage you to contact a lawyer or professional for advice if you are unsure about your legal responsibilities.

Communications with Customers

The Marketplace allows you to communicate with customers and users via messages. At Kingston Collective we want to create a welcoming and safe community of Vendors and Customers.

Any inappropriate communications will not be tolerated and is a breach of these standards. Inappropriate communications include:

harassing, vilifying, abusing or intimidating Customers;

  • pushing your Products on Customers;
  • advertising or promoting your Business or other goods or Products to a Customer;
  • sending spam or unnecessary comments to Customers;
  • using profanity or any language that is unfriendly, unlawful, threatening, abusive, defamatory, racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-religion, or disrespectful;
  • any comments made for the purpose of bringing a particular vendor’s reputation into unfair disrepute, including making any false or misleading to any Customers or users about other vendors, in an attempt to reduce their business.

You must not request contact details from a Customer, or attempt to contact a Customer outside of the Marketplace unless any such communication is directly related to a transaction prompted by the Customer and the Customer has consented to you contacting them directly.

You must not communicate with Customers and other users of the Website for any purpose other discussing your Business and Products.

Inconsistencies 

You may have your own terms and conditions and policies that are specific to your Business, but you acknowledge that if your terms and conditions are inconsistent with these standards, the Vendor Terms or any other policies or terms and conditions of Kingston Collective, that Kingston Collective’s standards, policies and terms and conditions will prevail to the extent of any inconsistency.

Contact

If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact us on the following contact details: hello@kingstoncollective.com.au