FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Category Topic Question
Active Vendors General When will my products appear in your catalogs?
The response to our new vendor campaign was much greater than we had expected. That is why we limited new vendor registration to September. Now that the flood is over, we are signing up the last of the late-comers now, and plan to have all the new accounts fully set up in October. Please bear with us. We will contact you when we begin setting up if we need more information, and also notify you when your products become available on our sites.
Active Vendors General We have been accepted. What are the next steps?
We will begin the process of putting your account online. This is a three-step process: 1) We create your account. 2) We complete a pricing and profit analysis of your products. 3) We add your products to your account.
Active Vendors General What happens when you create my new account?
We create your account and send you a username and password for access. This is the blank slate into which we will insert your products. It also contains all your contact information and other details of your account configuration. Now would be a good time to go online and update your contact information, etc. and get familiar with our Vendor Account Management System (VAMS). Time frame: this should happen within a few days of being accepted.
Active Vendors General What is a pricing and profit analysis?
During our initial contact with a new vendor, we project whether the account will be profitable based on general guidelines. During the account setup process, we do a detailed analysis of your wholesale prices, drop ship fee, possible retail selling prices, and our resulting actual profit margin. If your products are not sufficiently profitable to us, we may ask you to make adjustments. If we cannot come to an agreement, your account will be closed and our agreement terminated. Time frame: a day or weeks, depending on product complexity, count, negotiations, etc.
Active Vendors General Why is my account setup taking so long?
There are two main reason why vendor accounts take a long time to set up: 1) Missing information in product/price list. 2) Missing or poor quality photographs
Active Vendors General What happens when you add products to my account?
First, we gather all the information we need to do the job. This includes pricing, description text, product weight, photos, special shipping requirements, etc. We will use photos and text from your website if available and of good quality. If not, we may request additional photographs. We may modify product text to suit our needs. All this may take a day or weeks, depending on the number of products, availability of all information, etc. We may not add all your products at once, but bring them on gradually as we feature them in online promotions. Then we enter all this into our custom catalog system, and it appears online instantly. You will know when you products go online by looking for yourself. Find your account pages here: http://www.nationsgrocer.com/vendormap.html
Customer Service Order Status Has my order shipped?
You will usually recieve a shipping notification via email. However, since some items ship directly from our vendors, notification practices may vary. We request that all vendors notify us when a package has been shipped so that we might update our records with your shipping information. To see this information, click the "Your Account" button located at the top of every page.
Customer Service Pricing & Billing What are my payment choices?
We accept two methods of payment: credit cards and gift certificates. We accept the major credit cards Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover to fullfill you order. Gift Certificates may be purchased online, and used much like a credit card.
Customer Service Order Status How do I track my order?
To serve you better we have set up an order tracking page to help track orders. Along the top portion of all of our web pages is the "Your Account" button. Simply click on this "Your Account" button, and then on your order number, and we will find all of the tracking numbers for that order, and display the tracking information, directly from the shipping carrier.
Customer Service Pricing & Billing When will my credit card be charged?
Credit card association rules say that we should ship your order in no more than seven days after we charge your card. Since most of our products ship in three days or less, we charge your card at the time your order is placed.
Customer Service Order Status When will my backorder arrive?
Of course, the arrival time will vary, depending on how long it takes us to get your items from our vendors. If the estimated time appears to be greater than two weeks, we will notify you via email. If the delay exceeds 30 days, then we will ask whether you would like to backorder or substitute another item.
Customer Service Order Status My order never arrived! What do I do?
First determine whether you have allowed enough time. Order processing usually takes 3 or 4 days, and shipping usually consumes another day. The delivery time from our door to yours will depend upon the carrier you selected, and the type of delivery. The average transit time is 2 to 4 days, depending on distance. So you should allow at least 5 days, but usually no more than 10. If you still think the package is overdue, next check the shipping information in "Your Account". There may be an update there. If you still need help, then feel free to contact us (see Contact Us on the left menu).
Customer Service Pricing & Billing Do I have to pay sales tax?
Nation's Grocer is only required to withhold Sales tax for our customers that reside in the State of Virginia. If you are a business within the State of Virginia, and you have a reseller or tax exempt certificate, that identification may be faxed to us at 804-201-9311, and we will not be required to withhold sales tax for your orders.
Customer Service Pricing & Billing How do I get a copy of my receipt/invoice?
The confirmation page of the checkout process can be used as an invoice, if printed. All of our orders are shipped out with new invoices along with the merchandise.
New Vendor General Where did you find us?
We do a great deal of research through various sources. If you are a food vendor, then we will find you! It's a tremendous task, and we sort through thousands of potential vendors every year. Only a very few meet our picky standards and receive an invitation from us. Even fewer get through our evaluation process and become signed vendors.
New Vendor Invoices What is an invoice for?
Itís a bill you send to us to request payment. We send you purchase orders, you send us invoices, then we pay you.
New Vendor Prices and Fees What is a drop ship fee?
This is a fee charged by the Vendor (that's you) to cover your costs for packaging and shipping. Given the average cost of a small box and filler, plus labor at current rates, the average drop ship fee should be no more than $1.50. This excludes special packaging necessary for shipping perishable goods in warm weather. If you try to make a profit from the drop ship fee, you will most likely be asked to revise your fees or be dropped.
New Vendor New Account Setup When will my products appear in your catalogs?
The response to our new vendor campaign has been tremendous. Check the New Vendor Queue link on the vendors section for your approximate setup time. Much information must be processed, and we are sticklers for details, so each vendor's setup time is unpredictable. We will contact you when we begin setting up if we need more information, and also notify you when your products become available on our sites. Delays are usually caused by inadequate pricing information and lack of good photographs (see Vendor FAQs).
New Vendor Prices and Fees What is an appropriate drop ship fee?
The drop ship fee is meant to cover packaging and overhead for a single shipment, not as a profit center. Unless you have unusual packaging or can otherwise justify the fee, we need to get that down to something closer to earth. Many vendors do not charge a fee. Among those that do, the average is $1.50.
New Vendor Prices and Fees Why won't you accept a 25% discount?
We are a full service retail store with a long history and a great reputation. We do it all and do it right. For these reasons and more, we expect to make a reasonable profit for our work. Sites that charge 25% of your sales are not going to make a sufficient profit to stay in business, and they are not going to be able to afford to take care of your products the way they should be. If you have an established business, then you know that fair trade practices require that you charge all of your retailers the same prices, with discounts only for volume sales and special circumstances. So, price lists that were created just for us, or do not look like your standard price list, will most likely cause your account to be rejected.
New Vendor New Account Setup How long will it take to set up my account?
That depends on the number and type of your catalog items. Some accounts may be complete in a day, while others may take several days, or even weeks. We can create the basic account and add catalog items daily to get you online quickly.
New Vendor Invoices Why do we have to send invoices?
One reason is that invoices are just good business practice. That's because an invoices describes in detail exactly how much payment a vendor expects for a given order. In many cases the retailer could assume the amount based on the wholesale price in their records, but what if the wholesale price has changed? What if there were additional costs that were billable? What if the vendor made a substitution for a product with a different price? Getting it all down in an organized fashion prevents problems and makes everyone much happier with the final results. itís just good business practice because it breaks the purchase process down into small, well defined steps that help to make things clear and reduce errors in financial transactions. By making all the facts plain, all parties avoid any disputes that might arise from incorrect assumptions.
New Vendor General Are you like some other site?
Some of our new vendors have confused us with sites like Foodzie and Foodoro, etc., and then expected similar arrangements. This is a completely mistaken idea. We ask new vendors to drop ship for us initially, but when your products are proven sellers, we buy them in quantity and stock them here. We are a full service retailer: we do everything, and we don't charge you for the service because that is what a genuine retailer does.
New Vendor General What are your prices and fees?
We do not charge any fees or take a percentage of your sales. We buy your goods at normal wholesale, just like any other retailer would. The wholesale prices you charge us are entirely your decision. The only difference is that you ship to our customers for us. We can pay you a drop ship fee to cover packaging expenses. We pay the shipping costs in advance. We use the information and samples you provide to evaluate your products for quality and profitability. So, if we cannot make a reasonable profit because your wholesale prices and your drop ship fee are too high, then we just go on to the next vendor. But, we never try to dictate how to run your business.
New Vendor New Account Setup What about product photographs?
We usually expect vendors to provide product images. If images are too small, of poor quality or simply not available, your products will not be included in any of our catalogs. We do not take photographs for you. As a professional vendor, this is part of your marketing responsibilities. This requirement helps weed out sloppy vendors, and also gives us an opportunity to compare your photos to the real products. Some other online catalog sites will take photos for you, but they also make bad products look good. We do not do that. We will not knowingly sell bad products. Size: The smallest image produced by a digital camera is at least 640x480, with most being much larger. Any original digital image will meet our size requirements. Images that have been shrunk down to thumbnail sizes (like 100x100 or 250x250) are NOT acceptable. When used with our display systems, tiny images will appear grainy and fuzzy. Quality: We would prefer professional photography, but if you insist on taking your own photographs, take the time to read up on product photography methods. The most important issues are basic camera usage, lighting and composition. If your background looks grey, then your lighting is not correct. The composition should be appealing and show the actual product, not just the jar or even worse, the label alone. People don't eat labels or jars.
New Vendor General Whatís the next step?
The New Vendor Process: 1) You receive an invitation 2) You respond (with prices and answer to drop ship question) 3) We send information 4) You return the signed agreement 5) You send samples 6) We approve/disapprove your account.
New Vendor Prices and Fees What's wrong with my wholesale prices?
We do not charge fees or commissions. We pay extra for shipping for us, where desired and justified. We pay standard wholesale pricing, the same as you would charge a local merchant. Your wholesale prices (including your drop ship fee) should provide an adequate profit margin for us (minimum acceptable margin is approx 50%). For comparison, 80% of all vendors we contact are able to do this. Half of them provide margins over 80%.
New Vendor General What is a DSA?
The DSA (Drop Ship Agreement) is a document that describes how our drop ship program works. The DSA provides an introduction to our process, guidelines for new vendors, and an acknowledgement of our mutual understanding and intent. Once we have received the signed DSA and some samples for evaluation, we can put your products in the queue for addition to our catalogs.
New Vendor Prices and Fees Why can't I set your retail prices, too?
With rent-a-space sites where you are just renting ecommerce space, that might make sense. VBCG and associated sites are true retailers. You can set your own wholesale prices, or withdraw from the DSA you signed, but you cannot set our retail prices.
New Vendor New Account Setup What information do you expect in a price list?
A disorganized or incomplete product/price list is a major cause of delayed setup and sometimes of the vendor being rejected altogether. It's a real show-stopper when we can't even get a clear idea of what you have for sale or how much it costs. Avoid this classic screw-up by providing a document containing a neat table of the following information for EVERY product you wish to sell to us: Product name, product number, UPC code (optional), description, item size, case size, wholesale price, suggested retail price (MSRP), shipping weight. Product and pricing information scattered over thirty email messages and disorganized documentation causes tremendous confusion and long delays. In some cases I may abandone accounts that cannot "get it together." Good example: There was a vendor that made fantastic brownies, but after 4 months of back-and-forth, she still could not present a consistent price, product description or even tell us how they would be packaged. I never did find out whether she was disorganized, high, or just not paying attention. I hated to do it, but I had to drop her.
New Vendor General What sort of samples do you want?
We are looking for two things: to see what a shipment to our customers would look like, and to get an idea of what your products are like. We usually will leave the selection to you. Weíre not looking for volume. I remember one vendor that had a line of dozens of flavors of nut snacks. They sent me a single 2 oz. sample in a plastic bag. How am I supposed to evaluate a whole product line on the basis of a single mouthful? The snack was pretty good, but the sample left me with the impression that either the vendor was in dire straits and could not afford to send a reasonable sample, or they were just plain foolish. Either way, I was less enthusiastic that I could have been. Then there was another vendor that sent a dozen quart jars of different flavors of a product. Really, all I needed was one or two, but it does show a certain enthusiasm and willingness to make an effort. Moral: hit a happy medium between the two extremes.
New Vendor General How should we contact you?
The volume of telephone calls we receive is huge. First priority goes to customer orders, so vendors have been known to create a backlog of voicemail messages that may take weeks to get through. One way we stay competitive and have prospered through two recessions is by keeping our overhead low. That means we donít have a call center waiting to handle your call. Email us. We will get back to you in 24 hours or sooner.
New Vendor General How do we get paid?
First, you ship an order, and then you send us an invoice. We pay on NET30 terms. To receive other terms, your product must be something special, indeed.
New Vendor General How much space do I get on your site?
You are not renting space on our websites. We are advertising your products that we buy from you and sell through our stores.
New Vendor General Do you provide gift cards?
We currently do not provide gift cards. A gift message can be included on the packing slip that comes with the order.
New Vendor General What kind of sites do you run?
VBCG runs an online catalog stores specializing in products from various regions of the United States. All of our products come directly from individuals and companies all over a given region.
New Vendor General Who can sell here?
Vendors must be individuals or businesses located in the United States or its territories.
New Vendor General Where do you advertise?
All of our products are automatically fed to several major shopping search engines and shopping sites every day. We have a large customer and subscriber list to which we send reqular email advertisements. We also use pay-per-click advertising to supplement our primary marketing.
Referral Program General How much is a Referral Credit worth?
A referral credit may be used to reduce your ChannelAdvisor Pro fees by a one time only $5.00 credit per successful referral. Accrued referral credits are not redeemable for any other purpose than a reduction in accumulated fees to the registered user.
Referral Program General When do I receive my $5 referral credit?
If you have accumulated referral credits, they will be applied to your account at the next billing period. Accrued referral credits are not redeemable for any other purpose than a reduction in accumulated fees to the registered user, including subscription fees, closing overage fees, and image hosting fees.
Referral Program General How do I use my referral credits?
Users may accumulate unlimited referral reward credits in an account*, however the credits may only be applied up to the maximum amount to be billed per billing cycle. Eligible referral credits may only be applied once in a user account. Referral Reward Credits will be applied based on the following subscription billing plans: Monthly Subscribers Ė Up to the maximum of the amount to be billed in the billing period. Any unapplied credit amounts will be rolled forward and applied in the next billing period.** Annual Subscribers Ė Up to a maximum of the total amount to be billed in the billing period (either monthly or annual). Any unapplied credit amounts will be rolled forward and applied in the next billing period. *Referral credits may not be transferred to another ChannelAdvisor Pro user account. All credits earned are tied directly to the submitting user account. **Monthly subscribers that change to an annual account subscription type with a credit balance, will have the credit applied beginning with the next billing cycle. New referral credits may continue to accumulate.
Referral Program General What happens to my referral credits if my account lapses or I close my account?
If you choose to cancel your ChannelAdvisor Pro account or if a lapse in payment occurs, all accumulated referral credits will be maintained for up to 60 days from the account cancellation or lapse date. Once 60 days from the account cancellation date have passed, you will forfeit all accumulated referral credits in your account. However, should the account be reactivate before the 60 days has expired, you will maintain all of your accumulated referral credits. Any account reactivated after the 60 day period has elapsed, will not have the forfeited credits reinstated.
Referral Program General Where can I find the rules to the Referral Program?
Referral Program Terms and Conditions
Referral Program General What is a referral code?
The referral code is a unique number assigned to your account. When someone types your referral code into their order, you will receive an account credit of 10% of your friends order cost.
Referral Program General How do I submit a referral?
There are two ways that you may participate in the ChannelAdvisor Referral Rewards Program. The first allows you to begin submitting referral leads using the Submit a New Referral link located on the My Advisor page. On this page, you may enter up to 10 email addresses* at a time for friends, family or business contacts. The second way to generate referral leads is to use the ChannelAdvisor Referral Rewards Plan banner in your auction ads as the Default Banner. When curious buyers click on this banner ad in your auction, your account will be eligible to receive credit if that buyer completes at least one ChannelAdvisor Pro account billing cycle. *Please note that e-mail addresses may only be submitted once to ChannelAdvisor. Duplicate emails that have been submitted previously by you, or another ChannelAdvisor Pro user, are not eligible for resubmission.
Referral Program General How many friends can I refer?
There is no limit to how many friends you refer and how many credits you can earn.
Referral Program General What are the rules regarding e-mail spamming?
Please use the ChannelAdvisor Referral Rewards Program responsibly to avoid e-mail spamming of your friends and family. The referral program was created as a way for ChannelAdvisor sellers to introduce others to the benefits of using auction management tools, while also receiving a rewards benefit for their own account. The program should not be abused. Any seller determined to be abusing the Referral Rewards Program will forfeit their accrued credits and may lose access to their ChannelAdvisor Pro account
Referral Program General How will you know which orders came from my friends?
When we send your friend the "Recommend Nation's Grocer" email, we include a special link that will set a cookie in your friends browser. When your friend places their order, the cookie will tell us that you should get an account credit. If the cookie can not be set for some reason, we also provide a referral code that your friend can enter manually while placing an order.
Referral Program General Which of my friends are eligible?
Anyone may subscribe to ChannelAdvisor Pro auction management services as long as they agree to the site's Conditions of Use policy. You will be eligible to receive a referral credit as long as the new referral person is not currently a registered user of ChannelAdvisor, has not been submitted as a referral by another seller already, and completes at least one ChannelAdvisor Pro billing cycle.
Referral Program General What is the ChannelAdvisor Referral Rewards Program?
The ChannelAdvisor Referral Rewards Program is an incentive program designed for the users of ChannelAdvisor Pro auction management services. Users have the opportunity to earn a one time only $5.00 referral credit each time that they refer a new person that completes at least one ChannelAdvisor Pro account subscription billing cycle. Please read the Referral Program Terms and Conditions for more information regarding eligibility.

Referral Program General How can I tell how many referral credits I have accumulated?
To review your accounts accumulated referral credits, simply click on the Referral Summary link shown on your My Advisor page. This page will display all of the referrals that you have submitted over the last year, along with the status of each of those referrals.
Referral Program General What is the Referral Program?
Much of our new business comes from customers that tell their friends about Nation's Grocer. We want to reward our customers that help our business grow. Therefore we have created a referral program. If you refer a friend to Nation's Grocer, then you will receive an account credit of 10% of the cost of their first order. For example, your friend places an order for $10. Then you will receive an account credit of $1, which you can use for any Nation's Grocer service. To take advantage of this program, just tell your friends to enter your referral code when they place an order. Your referral code can be found inside your account.
Referral Program General Who may accumulate Referral Credits?
All registered users of ChannelAdvisor Pro's auction management services may accumulate referral credits. Registered users include any person or Small Business that are registered and in the 2-week trial period, or are monthly or annual subscription holders. Registered users still in their 14 Day Trial Period may accumulate referral credits to be used towards a future billing cycle, however all accumulated credits will be forfeited if the user fails to complete the registration and first billing within 60 days of opening an account with ChannelAdvisor.
Referral Program General How do I earn Referral Credits?
Registered users of ChannelAdvisor Pro may submit an unlimited number of referral leads to the ChannelAdvisor Referral Rewards Program. In order for the you to receive a referral credit the new registrant must have been submitted by you and must complete at least one successful billing cycle. New referrals that do not complete registration and at least one billing cycle will not be counted toward the referring sellers subscription credit.