United.Green: Making it easy to find ethical products
Why should I source goods on United.Green?
United.Green makes it easy to find and work with ethical wholesale suppliers. We gather all the information you need to make informed purchase decisions, and our favorites list feature makes it easy to keep track of suppliers or products you like. You’ll also never have to write another check or keep track of data in a spreadsheet; our online store makes it a breeze to order electronically, and we store your activity history in the cloud so you can access it from anywhere. The United.Green system gives suppliers the complete autonomy to set their own sales policies (payment forms, lead times, etc.), so you can be sure you’re supporting your suppliers ethically and on their own terms.
What does it cost me to use the United.Green platform?
Use of United.Green is free for buyers.
How do you vet suppliers?
United.Green uses certification data collected by third-party certifiers to ensure that you are working with professional suppliers. Getting background information for each supplier is easy: There are more than 500 separate certifications that audit different aspects of a supply chain, and we've gathered all that information in one place so you don't have to research it on your own. To see certifications held by a product, refer to the green box in the middle of the product page. When you click on a specific certification name, a window will open up with more information.
In certain instances, we may invite a supplier to the site that does not hold a third-party certification. There may be no existing certification that covers that part of the supply chain, or an emerging company is compliant with a certain certification but is waiting to go through the auditing process. If a supplier does not have an official certification it typically means that no independent body has certified their claims. Whatever the case may be, our goal is to give you transparent information and leave it up to you to make a suitable decision.
How do I find products and suppliers on your site?
Our flexible system makes browsing for sustainable goods an easy, user-friendly experience. As you would expect in any marketplace, you can browse by product category. You can also narrow down your search for products in a specific U.S. region, state or metro area. By working with local suppliers you can reduce both shipping costs and environmental impact. You can search for products that support a particular cause, or products manufactured by a minority-, veteran-, or woman-owned business. Once you find a product you like, you can easily view that supplier’s entire range of products by going to their storefront.
Can I invite my current suppliers onto your site?
Yes! Better yet, you can earn money back from referring suppliers. Visit the "My Referrals" tab on your dashboard to view your customized link. You can send this link to your suppliers or other colleagues through email, social media, text, or your messaging system of choice. If they sign up, you receive 2% back from every purchase they make in the next 24 months.
Keep in mind, though, that United.Green must approve referred suppliers before they can join the marketplace. To be approved, a supplier must either have an existing sustainability or quality certification, or make the case that their product has taken substantial strides to be environmentally or socially conscious.
Do you have a code of conduct?
United.Green is committed to helping conduct ethical business. Please be courteous as you interact with our community of buyers and suppliers. Vulgar, obscene, harassing, defamatory, or abusive messages are not tolerated, and violators may be permanently barred from doing business on the site. You may also be removed if you violate someone's privacy or intellectual property rights. If you falsely represent your company or its ability to conduct business, this too . Placing orders with suppliers you met on the site, outside of the platform may be considered fee avoidance (even though you don't pay a fee, the supplier does) and may lead to suspension or termination of your account.
The ordering process on United.Green
What do I need to know about purchasing a product?
Products are typically sold in bulk. The page will display the individual unit price of a product, but you will be required to order by the minimum shipping unit (usually a case or pallet). To check how many individual units are in the minimum shipping unit, read the "Ordering Info" tab on a product's page.
You can attach your reseller certificate or other crucial paperwork during the ordering process to verify to the supplier that you are eligible for wholesale pricing and elimination of sales tax. Please note that your funds will not be transferred until the supplier approves the order.
To make the process more convenient for your records, you also have the option of entering a purchase order number upon checkout.
If want to purchase a product, you should make a point to visit the "Product Support" tab. Here you will find accessories that have been matched to the product, such as merchandise displays, storage containers, or insurance options.
By completing a purchase, you agree that you have read and agreed to both the supplier's and United.Green's terms, policies, pricing, and conditions. You also agree that you are an authorized company representative and can make purchases on your company's behalf, all in compliance with regulatory rules concerning trading. You agree that you are of clear mind.
Can I get a sample before ordering in bulk?
Yes. You can request a sample from a supplier using the "Request a Sample" button. Make sure visit the store's "Policies" tab to review the specific supplier’s policy on giving samples, since each supplier sets their own policies individually.
You should provide the supplier with information about your business, such as your reseller certificate, so that they can quickly see if you are an eligible buyer. If you are in a state that doesn't issue reseller certificates, please write a message to the supplier to let them know your situation.
How will my goods be shipped?
You are given several drop shipping options when you check out. These are often through carriers such as USPS, Fedex, and UPS.
You can charge shipping to your own carrier accounts by entering that information in the "Shipping Options" tab of your dashboard. Alternatively, you can pay for shipping upon purchase. You can also provide a customized request through our Proposals system if, for example, you would like to arrange alternate shipping such as a hand delivery by the supplier.
What if I want a supplier to do corporate branding or another customization of a product?
You can request this by messaging the supplier through the "Contact Supplier" button. They can then send you a custom bid through our Proposal system. Then, you can reply if you want something adjusted. Once you are happy with the proposal, you can press "Accept & Pay" to start the payment process.
How do I redeem a promotion or discount offered by a supplier?
Suppliers occasionally offer promotions such as free shipping or a free product with a minimum order. If you are interested, contact the supplier and tell them you would like to redeem the promotion! They must send you a special bid through our Proposal system in order for you to use the promotion. You can then accept this proposal and pay as you normally would.
What do I need to do to return a product?
If you need to return a product, please message the seller. United.Green plays no part in administrating returns; they are the sole responsibility of the supplier.
Payments through United.Green
What are my payment options when ordering?
You can choose to pay by credit card or, conversely, with your bank account. If you choose to pay with your bank account, it will take 1-2 business days to verify your information. You can enter both payment methods and can include multiple credit cards or bank accounts if you prefer. You can choose which payment source you use for each individual purchase. To set up your payment options, go to the "Payment Sources" tab on your dashboard.
All payments are processed through Stripe, not United.Green. It may take up to 5 business days for a bank to process an ACH (bank account) payment, so take that into consideration when thinking about your ordering timeframe.
If you have the insufficient funds in your bank account or a similar problem arises with your payment, the seller is charged $4. If the problem was on your end, it is proper etiquette to reimburse the seller. We are not able to enforce this at this time, but multiple complaints about disrespectful behavior may be grounds for a ban.
What happens if I want to dispute a charge?
Disputes are largely resolved between you, the seller, your respective banks, and Stripe payment processing. Your first step should be to try resolving your dispute directly with the seller. United.Green is unable to intervene in fund returns or disbursement.
In the event of damaged or inaccurate shipments, we recommend you take a timestamped photo to aid in dispute resolution. If you believe fraud has taken place, contact your bank to dispute fraudulent charges. While we cannot reverse fraudulent charges, we can terminate the account of any user that is shown, through evidence submitted to us, to be conducting dishonest business practices.
If you initiate a dispute about a bank account payment, the seller you are disputing is automatically charged $15 by the payment processor. Therefore, please do your best to reach a solution with the seller before initiating a dispute with your bank. If it's shown that the dispute was invalid, you are expected to reimburse the seller that charge. We are not currently able to automatically monitor this, but if sellers repeatedly submit complaints against a user for nuisance disputes, their account is subject to termination.
Being an ethical producer on United.Green
How will United.Green help my business?
We are living in an age of awareness, and consumers are increasingly looking for products from companies that make the world a healthier, more humane, and more environmentally conscious place. United.Green provides buyers with information and access to these suppliers through one clean website, making it easier for you to connect with customers who value your mission. Through United.Green you can find business buyers interested in products like yours without paying a single dime up front. Your commitment to a better world is our priority. We want you to succeed in finding businesses buyers, because we want this planet to succeed.
Do I need to be approved to sell on United.Green?
Yes. We are looking for companies and products that have taken measurable strides to reduce environmental impact and foster positive social conditions. Upon signup you will be asked for a few simple pieces of information, including which third party certifications you hold and a description of why your products are a good fit for the site. You will receive an email if you are approved to sell on United.Green, at which point you can begin setting up your shop.
What do I need to know about setting up a storefront?
The platform is designed to easily walk you through the process of setting up a storefront and product selection. Please fully fill out your profile, since a key part of our responsibility initiative is providing transparent information about each product’s supply chain, ingredients, and social and environmental impact. If you need help, a team member may be available to help you set up your storefront and do most of the work for you.
Do you have conduct guidelines?
United.Green intends to sponsor a friendly marketplace with suppliers that conduct ethical business. Please be courteous as you interact with the community of buyers and suppliers. If a user is determined to be sending or posting vulgar, obscene, harassing, defamatory, or abusive content, they are subject to being permanently barred from doing business on the site. If a user violate someone's privacy or intellectual property rights, that is also grounds for removal from the site. If a supplier falsely represents their company, product specifications, or its ability to conduct business, they may be banned from the site.
Placing orders with buyers outside of the platform after first meeting on the site is generally considered fee avoidance and may lead to suspension or termination of your account. Misrepresenting the type of goods in custom proposals in order to avoid fees will also be considered fee avoidance and may be grounds for termination from the site.
The sales & ordering process on United.Green
Can I sell both wholesale and retail products on the platform?
Yes—with some restrictions. The platform is designed for trading wholesale goods. We encourage (but do not require) buyers to attach their reseller certificate with each standard purchase. You will receive that certificate with the order request and it will be available for download. Sellers retain the ultimate responsibility for collecting information from buyers to ensure they are eligible for wholesale pricing and tax free status.
How does the platform handle taxes?
The standard purchasing process does not collect sales tax. If there is an item that requires the collection of sales tax, you can use the customized "Proposal" method to sell it. Be sure to mark the "Contact for Pricing" box on the product page. Once this is done, buyers cannot purchase this product without a customized proposal from you. You can then manually add appropriate sales tax in your proposal.
Who sets store policies?
You set your own storefront policies. Be very clear about your policies on providing samples, giving refunds, lead time, and other aspects of doing business with you. Whether or not you have abided by your own policies is a key factor when disputes are reviewed.
What are the ways I might receive an order?
Buyers can place orders per minimum shipping unit. This is how most orders are placed. The minimum shipping unit is often a case, but you can set your own.
In our system, the minimum shipping unit must be able to be drop shipped. If your minimum unit is a pallet or something that requires a different delivery mechanism, please select "Contact For Pricing" when you set up that particular product. This forces the buyer to request a customized proposal from you. With the “Contact for Pricing” option the price of your product won’t be automatically listed, but you can put it in your product description or product specifications if you so choose.
Our proposals system is also used for items with special pricing, alternative products, discounts, alternative shipping, customizations, and more..
You will receive an order confirmation for any purchase, both standard or customized. You must approve it to have the payment transferred.
What do I need to know about shipping goods?
Buyers are given several drop shipping options at checkout, usually fulfilled by carriers such as USPS, Fedex, and UPS. Shipping costs will automatically be charged to buyers' carrier accounts. If the buyer does not have an applicable carrier account, your carrier account will be charged. You can enter your carrier account information on the "Shipping Carriers" tab of your dashboard. If neither you, as the seller, nor the buyer has a carrier account, the platform's accounts will be used and you will be sent payment for shipping when you approve the order.
As a seller, you are solely responsible for fulfilling and shipping your orders. Once you are ready to ship a purchased item, press "Ship" on the order page. This will generate a shipping label or labels that you can then print yourself. The system will also generate a tracking number for each label, and this data is automatically shared with the buyer. A tracking number serves as valid proof of shipping for both you and the buyer.
Please ship promptly according to the lead times provided in your policies. If you run into delays, let buyers know. If you fail to communicate, buyers might believe their order will not be shipped and may initiate a dispute. Please comply with applicable local and international shipping and trading regulations.
Drop shipping fees are determined using both the shipping unit dimensions and the shipment’s location of origin, which you will enter through your dashboard when setting up your storefront. If this shipping information is inaccurate, any shipping fees in excess of the label amount may be deducted from your account. Be sure to include any handling fees in the price of your shipping unit.
If your goods are unsuitable for delivery by drop shipping carriers, select the "Contact for Pricing" box when you set up your product. This means that buyers cannot purchase this product without a customized proposal from you, the seller. You can manually add custom shipping costs into the proposal. If you are doing a special promotion for a product that is normally available for drop shipping, such as free shipping or hand delivery to local buyers, then please put these terms in your policies and instruct buyers to message you for a customized proposal with alternate shipping arrangements.
What if I receive an order that I am not able to fulfill?
Every order must be approved by you, the seller, before payment is transferred to your account. If you cannot fulfill an order, select "Cancel." By approving an order, you are agreeing that you have the capability to fulfill it. You cannot cancel an order after you approve it. Refunds must be conducted outside the platform, so do not approve an order if you are doubtful you can fulfill it.
If you want to suggest an alternative product to a customer (for example, your inventory of one product is running low but you have a similar product available), please cancel the order but send a proposal for a substitute product.
What if I want to customize an order or provide special promotions?
United.Green has a fantastic feature called Proposals that allows you to send a customized bid to a buyer that contacts you. Through a proposal you can customize an order with promotions, discounts, customizations, alternate shipping, services and more. Buyers can accept and pay for these custom bids directly on our platform. Proposals give you flexibility to woo buyers with extraordinary offers.
Can I invite my current buyers onto your site?
Yes! Our system is the perfect way to streamline your sales process, even with existing clients! Even better, you can earn money back when those buyers purchase your own products.
To find your referral link, visit the "My Referrals" tab on your dashboard. Send your customized link to buyers or other colleagues via email, social media, text, or a messaging system of your choice. If they sign up, you receive 2% back from every purchase they make in the next 24 months.
What do I need to know about resolving disputes?
Disputes are largely resolved between you, the buyer, your respective banks, and Stripe payment processing. Please review Stripe's policies on dispute resolution. If there is a chargeback or dispute issued against you on a credit card payment, you will be charged a $15 fee from Stripe. They will reimburse the $15 if a dispute is ruled in your favor.
Contesting ACH payment disputes is bit more difficult. However, those disputes are very rare as bank accounts are pre-verified. Stripe cannot reimburse you the dispute fee for a bank account payment. We have asked buyers to reimburse you those fees if they are shown to be in error. You can collect this amount through the proposals function. However, this is only a suggested good neighbor policy, as United.Green is unable to intervene in fund returns or disbursement.
If you find a buyer is acting irresponsibly, please inform us. If any user is shown, through evidence submitted to us, to be conducting dishonest business practices, we have the option to suspend or terminate their account.
The payment process on United.Green
What is the cost to sell on United.Green?
There is no upfront cost to sell. Marketing yourself on United.Green is completely free!
You will not pay a single dime until you make a sale. We place an 11.9% fee on all transactions, with shipping fees and tax being exempt. Our payment processor, Stripe, issues a payment processing fee of 2.9% + 30 cents on credit card transactions. ACH payments (bank account payments) are charged 0.80%.
How can customers pay me?
To sell and receive payments on United.Green, you will need to set up an account through Stripe, a third party API. Here is more information from Stripe.
You can choose whether to accept credit cards, ACH (bank account) payments, or both. Buyers tend to do business with more flexible sellers.
If an ACH payment fails, the system will assess a $4.00 charge to your account. We've asked buyers to reimburse you if the failure is due to insufficient funds or another problem on their end. However, we are unable to automatically enforce this reimbursement policy at this time. To be reimbursed, you will need to send them a customized invoice through the Proposal system. If you are having problems with particular sellers acting irresponsibly, please inform us.