Portal and Virtual Marketplace FAQ for Producers
Here are some of our most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) regarding the Craft Alliance web portal and Virtual Marketplace for producers.
What is the Purpose and Function of the Craft Alliance Web Portal and Virtual Marketplace?
The purpose of the web portal is to engage craft producers from Atlantic Canada with new audiences of retailers globally, for wholesale relationship building, developing opportunities for exporting and create resources for craft businesses to build sustainability in Atlantic Canada. By creating a Producer profile, craft producers can register for export and wholesale projects with Craft Alliance.
The Craft East Virtual Marketplace is an opportunity to make Atlantic Canadian craft products directly available for ordering by qualified retailers.
Do I need to already have a website to register for the Craft Alliance craft portal?
No – the Craft East Virtual Marketplace is designed to offer an affordable alternative to investing in your own website, or to act as a complement to your already established web presence. We encourage you to share the profile you create here on any social media platforms or websites you operate, but it is not a requirement.
Is this a sales platform?
The Craft East Virtual Marketplace is a platform for qualified retailers to place orders with craft producers. Our goal is to connect craft producers with retailers, and facilitate their business relationships. We do not handle sales transactions or take any percentage of sales, nor do we take responsibility for any transactions that occur between users who connect through this site.
What are the requirements for registration on the Virtual Marketplace?
To host your products on the Craft Alliance site there are two requirements:
- Your product must be produced in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland or New Brunswick and your company must be located in Atlantic Canada.
- Your product will be juried for quality, workmanship and wholesale-readiness by a committee made up from a representative of each of the 4 Atlantic provinces.
How do I get started?
You must set up a profile. For help navigating the system, you can contact the Craft Alliance office.
When completing your application, you will be asked to submit:
- Your wholesale catalog and/or list.
- Good quality images that CLEARLY show the product. We suggest uploading at least 3-5 samples that best display your work. If you have more than one product line (i.e. jewellery and pottery), please send in examples of both. Do not add any Photoshop elements or special effects. Photos will be shown to jury committee members who are outside of your province for review. Images can be uploaded directly through the portal when creating your Producer profile.
- To register for the Virtual Marketplace, you must pay a $200 deposit fee via the Marketplace Project. This deposit will be credited toward your Craft East Buyers’ Expo participation for the coming year once your application is approved.
Once your product images are uploaded and your deposit and registration have been received, you may be contacted by the CRAFT ALLIANCE office requesting further information for jurying purposes. Should your product not be accepted, your fees will be refunded in full along with an explanation as to the reason it was not accepted at this time.
What does my registration get me?
Your Virtual Marketplace registration as a producer grants you access to an online network of buyers and sellers of craft goods in the form of a one-year membership, effective starting the date your registration is accepted.
Features included with your producer registration include:
- Custom business page – brand yourself and appeal to potential buyers by making this page your own
- Product display – upload high-resolution product images for browsing to give buyers the best idea of your product design and quality they can expect
- Direct contact with retailers – if a potential buyer likes your product, they can contact you directly through the site to request pricing, manufacturing information, additional images, etc.
- Access to Craft Alliance initiatives – the Craft Alliance will periodically offer unique opportunities to participate in trade missions and shows such as Toronto Gift Fair, NY Now, AmericasMart Atlanta and more. You can apply to participate in these initiatives when they arise. (Craft Alliance special trade initiatives typically involve a separate jurying process for selection of participants and are subject to limited capacity for support, depending on the project). Visit the Projects page for opportunities.
- Craft Alliance business development resources – we have developed a variety of resources to aid craft producers who wish to enter wholesale markets for their products. By logging in to our site, you gain access to these resources, as well as the ability to contact the Craft Alliance office directly to schedule consultations for your business development projects.
Please note that registration for the Virtual Marketplace is not a requirement to access other Craft Alliance opportunities. Contact our office for more information.
What if I apply then change my mind?
If you decide to withdraw your profile from the Craft Alliance site and contact us before the application is accepted, we will refund your deposit. If you choose to withdraw after you are accepted but before the 1-year membership period ends, you can make a request to receive a pro-rated refund for the number of months remaining in your subscription. Deposits are not refundable for exhibitors who have attended the Craft East Buyers’ Expo after the event has passed.
Are there any other costs I should be aware of?
At the current time, we only charge for your yearly Marketplace membership. We are working to offer advertising rates for businesses who would like to run banner ads or have their listings appear at the top of search results. Updates will be sent to you via email as new features become available.
Some projects, including the Craft East Buyers’ Expo, will cost an additional fee for participation.