We like it that members bring new products to the MFBC list and we want to encourage them to do so. On the other hand, we also need to ensure that all products offered through the MFBC list meet the same high standards for transparency, quality, timeliness, customer service, and how the sales are managed. So everyone wishing to sell through the MFBC list must agree to follow the MFBC sellers’ guidelines in order to be able to list a product for sale.
The information on this page is for sellers who will be representing a vendor(s) or offering a product for sale through the MFBC list on a repeating or ongoing basis. If you will be offering a product for sale on a one-time or very occasional basis, please see the information sheet for one-time/occasional sellers.
All repeating or ongoing sales offered through the MFBC list are considered “club sanctioned buys.” As such, they must be formally reviewed and approved by the MFBC steering committee.
The Vendor Review and Approval Process
One of the reasons people buy food from a buying club is because they want to be able to know exactly where their food comes from and be sure about how it is produced.
For that reason, anyone who wants to offer ongoing product sales through the MFBC list must have their vendors reviewed and approved by the MFBC steering committee and also agree to follow the guidelines for ongoing MFBC sellers/buy managers. This applies to both individual MFBC members and other buying clubs, who offer partnership buys through the MFBC list.
To secure vendor approval, which must occur prior to listing any product(s) for sale:
- Inform your vendors about the MFBC review and approval process and secure their agreement to participate in it. Make sure they know that you will be sending their contact information to the MFBC Steering Committee and that someone from the MFBC will be contacting them to do a vendor review, which may include a site visit.
- For each vendor, send the MFBC steering committee his/her name, address, phone number, email, website, along with a list of the products you plan to rep for each of the vendors. This information should be sent to MFBC Vice President Chana Andler, who works with sellers on behalf of the MFBC Steering Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Since we are an all volunteer organization and the review process takes time, please allow at least 30 days for this process.
- Please note: Submitting a vendor to be reviewed does not ensure he/she will automatically be approved. Being able to offer a product for sale through the MFBC list is a privilege not a right, and the MFBC Steering Committee may refuse any proposed vendor as they deem appropriate.
Your Responsibilities as an Ongoing Seller/Buy Manager
- Be a member of Montavilla Food Buying Club in good standing, complete with signed Membership Agreement and MFBC SellerPact.
- Respond to any MFBC member question about your listing by phone or email within 24 hours of the time it is asked unless other arrangements have been made (for example, you are away for the weekend and have assigned someone else to act in your stead).
- Clearly communicate to your buyers in advance in writing the payment deadline and what you will do if their payment is late.
- Clearly communicate to your buyers in advance in writing about the acceptable “window of time” for them to pick-up the product after it is delivered, how to contact you in the event they are delayed, and what you will do after the “window of time” for pick-ups has passed.
- Communicate directly with your buyers, the MFBC steering committee, and the MFBC list if/when the terms of your sale change (delays, missing product, damaged product etc).
- Communicate directly with your buyers about any grievances or problems.
- Offer refunds to members in a timely fashion for products that don’t arrive or if there is an issue with your vendor.
- Maintain pick-up locations in a tidy, clean and organized fashion.
- Be on hand to oversee product pick-up unless you have arranged in advance with your buyers to handle it differently.
- Make it easy for buyers to find the product(s) they purchased and to weigh/measure their purchases (if needed).
- Function as an ethical individual in all dealings with MFBC members & the MFBC steering committee
Listing a Product for Sale
When you list a product for sale through the MFBC list, you are entering into a contract with the members who order the product you are representing. Full disclosure is necessary not only for your own protection, but also for the protection of the members who will be entrusting you with their money.
Your product listing must include clear and detailed information about:
- the product and how it was produced
- the producer (farm/ranch/other)
- the producer’s phone, email, website and address so interested buyers may check them out if they wish to
- the cost of the product & forms of payment you accept
- the quantities you have available
- how to order it and any ordering deadlines
- the pick-up date(s) and location(s)
- your contact information: name + a minimum of two contact methods (email, cell phone, home phone etc).
Additionally, as a club-sanctioned seller and in the interest of full transparency, you must also disclose any fees or mark-ups you will be adding to your orders.
Additional Benefit for Club-Sanctioned Sellers/Buy Managers
Since your vendors have been approved by the MFBC steering committee and you are offering buys which are “club-sanctioned”, you have the right to ask the MFBC steering committee to intervene in and help mediate any dispute you have with an MFBC member over a buy.