1. Intro

2. Product quality

3. Product description

4. Photography

5. Profile Description

6. Customer Service

7. Payments

8. Transaction fees

9. Shipping

1. Precious Plastic Bazar

This guide is to help you provide the best possible experience for buyers, scale your business, and help reduce plastic waste globally. In this document, you’ll learn tips and tricks for becoming a successful seller on the Precious Plastic Bazar. Whether this is your first time selling a product, or you are an experienced seller, this guide will help you tailor your shop towards the precious plastic community and other interested buyers.

Let’s get started.

2. Product quality

Quality is at the center of the Precious Plastic Bazar. This is our chance to show the world we can make beautiful products from locally recycled plastic. This is why we require you to only post high quality items - no experiments, but only well tested products. The products should be:
- Well designed & finely executed
- Properly finished & polished
- Shown with professional quality photography
- Packaged neatly (non - plastic and minimal)

The Bazar can only be successful if everyone keeps the quality level of the items they sell to the max. It’s on all of us. Attention to details, great customer service, and on time delivery will help to offer the best possible customer experience.

It’s important to remember that buyers expect to receive what they pay for. Try to be as accurate as possible and ensure your items and descriptions match what you eventually deliver. Color, plastic type, shape, weight or size have to match your claims to maintain your customers happiness in the long run. This will help maintain the quality of the Bazar for years to come.

3. Product Description

Buyers want to know how the items are made, picked, collected and created. The story behind your item is a key selling point. They also want to know all the practical details about your product. Think about it this way - your job is to help the buyer understand exactly what you are selling. Here are some questions to get you thinking:

- How many items are you selling?
- If your product is a set, how many pieces does it contain?
- Are all items the same, or can the buyer request a certain color variation?
- What is this item primarily used for?
- Why did you choose to create this product?

All this information helps the buyer build a mental image about full life cycle of the product they are purchasing. Today many people are separated from the source of their products, how they are made, and who makes them. With Precious Plastic we can change that.

There’s also a business reason for giving more information. A detailed product description increases the customer’s trust in you. Trust in a product maker increases the chance they will buy your product. Please don’t break that trust by providing an inaccurate product description.

In general, the more information the better. Fill in as many of the listing fields as possible when creating a new post (what type of material, level of finishing, etc). Then finish the listing by highlighting a few unique facts about the material in the item description.

The Bazar allows you to post a video link in the item description simply by adding a youtube or Vimeo link. This video will then be displayed as part of the item description. We definitely recommend this if you are able to make quality videos - customers love to see you collecting, processing, and producing their product.

Here’s an example of a video included with a product listing:

After you had saved and published a new product on the Bazar, you can edit this post by visiting the post page and clicking on “edit this listing” on the right hand side of the page.

Here’s a good example of an item description:

4. Photography

Great photos is the single most important reason for customers buying or not buying a product. We buy what our eyes like. The more quality photos of your product, the more likely it is you will make a sale. Even if you have a quality product that you think customers will love, a poor photo can prevent a sale.

Online shopping is different from a physical store where the customer can touch the product and gather a good understanding of the quality. In online sales, all you have is a great picture to sell it. The Bazar allows you to upload multiple photos for each listing, and you should aim at adding at least 3-4 photos.

4.1 How to take a good photo

Professional photography can be expensive - that’s why we’ve developed some tips for doing it yourself:
1. Choose a location with a bright, soft lighting.
2. A good place is in front of a large window on a cloudy day, which diffuses the light evenly around your product.
3. The bigger the window, the more natural light you’ll get.
4. It’s best to use a tripod to keep your camera stable. If you don’t have a tripod, use a flat surface to place your camera on.
5. Make sure to clean your lenses with a soft cloth to prevent interference with the photo.
6. Make sure your photo is not blurry - the product should be clear and crisp.

Think you need an expensive camera to take photos? Think again! You don’t have to have an expensive camera to take great quality photos. Here a resource for taking great pictures with your smartphone.

4.2 Photo composition

While our platform accepts both widescreen (landscape) and vertical photos, the widescreen (landscape) photos look more professional when displayed. Here’s an example from the Bazar:

Widescreen - Good

Portrait - Not so good

It’s best to have photos of your product separately, as well as “in use”, or their natural environment. For example, when showcasing a flower pot, show the product on its own as well as with a plant inside. This helps the buyer understand the size of the product through context in its environment, and generates ideas about how they might use the product.

Studio pic

Context pic

Studio pic

Context pic

4.3 Studio photography

We recommend you include at least one photo of your product in front of a white background. This provides a clean, clear, isolated view of your product that looks great as a thumbnail on the main product page. A white background removes distractions so the customer can focus in on the product.

Here are the steps to taking a professional photo in front of a white background.
1. Get a large sheet of white paper
2. Place a table against a wall or other vertical support
3. Set the paper against the support with a curve so that the paper provides a curved background behind the product
4. Position your product so that there are little to no shadows
5. Take the photo
6. Upload photo to your listing

If you’re interested in learning more about taking product photos on a white background, check out these guides:
1. Instructables
2. Youtube

4.4 Thumbnail photo

The picture that’s in the top left position in your listing’s photo gallery will be the thumbnail photo displayed on the products page. That means this is the most important picture. Make sure this photo frames the product in the center, as this provides the most visibility when it’s shown behind the listing text.

Here’s an example of a good photo orientation:

4.5 Photo editing

Editing your photos after taking them can be a great way to improve their quality. However, the goal should always be to make them look as close as possible to the product in person. Whenever using photo editing software, be careful to not add too many effects.

There is a variety of free photo editing software to help you create beautiful photos. Here’s a short list that we like working with:
- Gimp
- Fotor
- Inkscape
- Pixlr

5. Profile Description

The Precious Plastic community is made up of a collection of people and places, and full of personal stories about why they are recycling plastic, creating unique sustainable products, or building DIY recycling machines. Especially within the Precious Plastic community, people buy into stories, not products.

Buyers from Precious Plastic Bazar love discovering the people (you) behind all the awesome items offered on the Bazar. Because people are at the core of Precious Plastic, we encourage sellers to include details about who you are, unique stories about your situation, information about your workspace, processes, and collection practices.

Here are some questions to get you started - Why did you start your workspace or producing recycled products? What is recycling like in your community? What makes you unique? What type of plastic products do you recycle? The answers to these questions will help drive your message home and enable you to connect with potential buyers.

Here’s how to edit your profile description:
1. Login to the Bazar
2. Hover over your profile icon on the upper right hand corner of the screen
3. Click “profile” on the right hand side of the screen under your profile picture, click “edit profile”
4. Scroll down to the section “about me”
5. Add information about your workspace

Also, make sure to create a unique logo to add as your profile picture on your workspace on the Bazar. This can be as simple as “Precious Plastic Chicago” or another name you come up with for your workspace. You can access the files of the Precious Plastic Logo as part of our download kit if you would like to incorporate it in your logo design.

These details are fundamental to inspire curiosity, gain trust from buyers, and sell your items successfully.

Here’s an example of an good “about me” section:

6. Customer Service

Today’s online customers require a high level of customer service. This means speedy responses to messages (within hours), shipping an item as soon as the sale is confirmed (within a day), and being available if a problem comes up. We do not provide customer support for issues concerning a sale that occurs on the Bazar - this responsibility is on you. Prevention is the best medicine - try to prevent product issues by accurately describing your product, shipping process, and refund policy. You should include this information at the bottom of each item description.

Each time a customer buys a product, they are automatically prompted through an email to give you a review. Reviews significantly impact whether or not a customer will buy from a seller. More than 70% of users take reviews into account when making an online purchase. You know what that means - provide the best possible experience, rake in the good reviews, and grow your sales.

7. Payments

The Bazar offers Stripe and PayPal as payment providers. You must setup one of these before accepting any transactions through the Bazar. We recommend you complete this step as soon as you are considering selling on the Bazar. You can choose to setup one of them, or both. Setting up both will increase the chances that a customer can successfully make a purchase, but the amount you recieve after transaction fees will differ if the customer uses stripe or PayPal. More on that later.

7.1 Stripe

Stripe sends payments from customers directly to you bank account, so all you need to do is enter your bank information. The benefit of Stripe is that it has lower international transaction fees in comparison to PayPal. This is very important for the Precious Plastic Bazar, as most of the transaction occur internationally.

To add your payment details for Stripe, follow these steps:
1. Login to your account
2. In the top right hand corner, click on your profile picture, then settings
3. Click Payments in the left-hand menu
4. Select bank accountEnter your bank account details
5. Save your changes
6. You can now receive payments directly into your bank account

Please note that we do not save your bank account details - this is handled by Stripe.

7.2 Paypal

PayPal is the other payment provider available on the Bazar. While the international transaction fees are generally higher with PayPal, Stripe does not service some countries so it may be your only option.

PayPal requires you to create an account, which you can do here. Make sure you sign up for a business account, which is required to accept payments on the Bazar.

To add your payment details for PayPal, follow these steps:
1. Login to your account
2. In the top right hand corner, click on your profile picture, then settings
3. Click Payments in the left-hand menu
4. Connect Your PayPal Account

8. Transaction Fees

Precious Plastic takes a small transaction fee for every purchase made on the Bazar. The amount is slightly different depending on which payment method is used. We recommend that you set up Stripe payments if possible (simply enter your bank account information in the payment settings) because of PayPal’s high payment processing fees for international transactions.

With Stripe, the transaction fee is 8%, with no extra fee for payment processing (we cover that part). With PayPal, the Precious Plastic transaction fee is 5% and the payment processing fees are 2.9% for domestic transactions or 2.9% up to 15% for international transactions depending on both the buyer and sellers location.

9. Shipping

The marketplace platform we’re using for our Bazar has limited shipping options. You are only allowed two options for shipping - domestic or international. This means that you are only able to list the same shipping price for all international transactions, no matter the final destination.

To work within these limitations, we had to find some workarounds - please follow this steps:
1. The “Price” field you should always include the price of your item + the costs of delivering it within your country.
2. To allow international shipping, check the “International shipping" tick box.
3. A new field will appear named “International shipping fee”.
4. Add the delivery costs of shipping your product to your neighbouring countries.
5. Next, check the “Domestic (shipping included)” tick box.
6. Below in the field “International Shipping Price Includes”, you should add the name of countries covered by your international shipping.
7. In the "Detailed description" field add a sentence that goes something like this:“If you want to buy this product from a country that is not included in the International Shipping (see below), contact me!”
8. If someone contacts you about shipping to a country that would be significantly more expensive, you can create a new item with updated shipping costs for that particular country.

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