Procedure for listing products on the price/product list.

Please note: Products can be sold as individual items, or packaged into lots of a convenient weight or number, so as to allow consumers to buy the desired quantity by ordering a certain number of packages.

A system where goods are sold by the kg (random weights) and each item is charged according to its exact weight when supplied, presents difficulties with prepayment. Initially to simplify the operation of the Co-op, random weights will not be an option, but may be introduced at a later date.

To offer your product for sale through the Co-op, you need to tell the customer everything he or she needs to know in order to make an informed decision about your product.

When you enter products on-line, you will be prompted for the relevant information.

Name of the product: Basic description of the product. If the approximate size, weight or contents are not clear from the name of the product, list those details here. If it is a processed item, include a list of the ingredients and estimate the Northern Rivers  content of the ingredients.

Category: Category or subcategory that it should be listed under. If we do not have an existing category and/or subcategory, please give us some guidance on how the product would be categorised.

Several items in package: If it is a package of several items, the approximate (or exact, whichever the case may be) number of items in the package should be listed.

The price: The pricing unit (e.g. whatever comes after the "per" in $ per ____), and the ordering unit (when the customer orders, they will order number of ______). Kg is not an option – the units could be: per 5kg bag, per 250g bunch, per pumpkin, per dozen, per 500g pack etc. So in these examples the customer orders a certain number of bags, bunches, whole pumpkins, dozens, or packs. If they want 2kg chicken breasts they order 4 x “500g packs”. Goods fall into four categories:

Exact weight: Goods that can be weighed accurately, and you are selling a defined weight.

Example 1: You are selling a 5 kilo bag of wheat for $10.00. The price is $10.00. The pricing unit is "5 kilo bag" (because you are selling at $10.00 per 5 kilo bag). The ordering unit is also "5 kilo bag" because the customer orders by the number of 5 kilo bags that they wish to buy. Notice in this example that even though the flour ends up costing $2 per kilo, you would not list as $2 per kilo because you are only selling 5 kilo bags that cost $10. You need to find out the smallest bag size customers want, and sell multiples of this.

Example 2: if you were selling nuts in 250 g bags and a customer wanted 1kg, they would order 4 bags. Once you have the invoice you could supply this customer with a 1kg bag if it suited you.

Minimum weight: Items not having a defined weight or where it is more convenient for you to supply a minimum weight. If you are selling 1kg bags of potatoes, it may be quicker to fill a bag until it weighs over 1kg than to find the right sized potato to make it exactly 1kg. If you are selling meat, the weight of each piece varies.

Example 3: You are selling tomatoes at $3.00 per (minium) “1kg bag”. If the customer orders 3 kilos, you have decided that you will always provide a minimum of 3 kilos but will not charge for exact weight but instead charge for the weight ordered. So if the customer orders 3 x 1kg bags and you end up giving them 3.2 kilos, you still only charge $9.00. In this case, the price is $3.00. The pricing unit is "1kg bag" and the ordering unit is "1kg bag". Indicate the weight is “minimum“ in the product discription. You may have to take the extra weight of some bags into account when you decide on the price.

Example 4: You are selling packs of 2 chicken breasts, the pack varies in weight from 500g to 700g. However, you always charge the same price per pack (eg. $6.00). In this case, price is $6.00, the pricing unit is "500g pack", and the ordering unit is “500g pack”. Indicate the weight is “minimum“ in the product discription, and you may have to charge extra to cover the customers that get 700g. Alternatively your unit could be “pack of 2”, see multiples below.

Individual items: Goods that would normally not be packaged, and are sold individually. Whole pumpkins, melons cabbages and cauliflower, bunches of celery.

Example 5: pumpkins. The unit is a “pumpkin”. You should give an estimate of the minimum weight or weight range in your product description. If your crop has a wide range if sizes, customers may prefer to buy large (2.1 to 4 kg) medium (1.6 to 2.0kg) or small (0.7 to 1.0kg) pumpkins – split them up into three different listings.

Example 6: Celery comes in bunches of different weights, so you need to specify a minium weight eg 500g in your discription. Some customers may get a 600g bunch for the specified price, so you need to take this into account when you decide on the price. The unit would be a “bunch”; “minimum weight 500g” would be in the product description.

Multiples: Eggs and goods normally sold in multiples can be sold per “dozen” or “half dozen”. Other goods can be sold per “bag of 10” or per “package of 50”. Meat eg chicken breasts, or steak can be sold in a “pack of 2” etc. With a minimum weight specified in the product description.

Product categories.
At present, the Co-op has four categories of products:

Certified Organic: Certified by an Australian certifying organisation.
Rural Natural: Grown in a rural environment and artificial fertilisers, non-organic insecticides and fungicides are not used.
Urban Natural: All produce grown in an urban environment are not allowed to use artificial fertilisers, non-organic insecticides and fungicides.
Conventional: Chemical fertilisers, insecticides and fungicides are used and must be reported in the producer declaration.

Storage: The storage of the product (frozen, refrigerated, non-refrigerated, or eggs).

In general, you should use descriptive terms (though not too long) for the ordering and pricing units. Some standard terms are in the examples above, but in many cases it will be worthwhile to be even more descriptive. For instance, if you are selling T-bone steaks 1 to a package at $5 each, then instead of package you could put “steak” as the ordering unit. In this case the pricing unit would be “pack”.

Any product that the customer orders by the item can also get descriptive pricing and ordering units. For instance, if you are selling by the individual tomato, ear of corn, squash, jar or jelly, etc. then you could list "tomato", "ear", "squash", or "jar" as the ordering unit. The pricing units could also be listed as "tomato", "ear", "squash" or "jar", or you could just use the generic "each" in the pricing unit.

It may be helpful when you choose these units to think of the way this information will appear on your product listing and on invoices. Your ordering unit will be displayed on your product/price list as follows "Order number of ___________s." So if you choose "steak" as your pricing unit, your listing will say "Order number of steaks". On the customer invoice, the ordering unit will show up under the quantity heading with the number ordered and the ordering unit (e.g., 1 steak, or 2 steaks). For pricing unit, the unit you choose will show up on the product list and on the invoice as price/pricing unit. So for the T-bone above this would be $5/steak because “steak” was the pricing unit.

If the product is one that is being sold in advance but will not actually be delivered until a future order cycle, let us know the date that it will be delivered. This must be the date of an existing co-op delivery. If you are not sure about the future delivery date, please contact us to discuss this. If this is an item where you will be setting up more than one payment, you will need to contact us to discuss this. Also, contact us if the item will be delivered directly to the customer by you and not through the co-op so that we can help you work out the details of listing the item. Contact us at producers@nr.ecomart.net.au

The sales description of the product, and the production practices and location for the product. Producers are responsible for entering this information for their products.

When this information is entered into our database, the product is assigned a unique ID number. Please keep track of the product ID numbers for your products. Any time you need to change that product, you need the specific product ID number for that product. You can access any of your listed or unlisted products from the price lists at www.nr.ecomart.net.au/members/. If you are logging in to our system and updating/adding new products, you will be able to see product numbers for products that were on older price lists.

If you are no longer selling a product, please do not delete it from the database. instead, simply mark the product so it will not be displayed.

Our system has an inventory feature. If you will only have 10 units for sale, you can set the inventory control at 10. Once 10 items have been sold, no more orders will be taken for that product. If a customer changes their mind, and deletes their order for that product, the system will reset to allow the unsold product to be sold.