Frequently Asked Questions | Suppliers
How does it work?
- Forager provides free online tools to publish your product catalogs and availability lists;
- Buyers can search, sort, filter and favorite your products to make ordering fast and easy;
- Buyers create Purchase Orders on Forager that get sent directly to your email;
- After delivery, buyers approve orders for payment and you receive funds electronically.
What about my relationships?
We recognize that relationships are paramount when it comes to local food. By streamlining the procurement process, which can often be unwieldy for the buyer, Forager enables them to engage more deeply with their suppliers and expand their offering of local products. We want you to have strong relationships with your buyers and Forager can help. Buyers typically receive 20-30 product lists or more each week. By organizing and sorting them online, your buyers will have more time to talk to you about product quality, future availability, and unique products they are looking for to attract more consumers. Our goal is to support the buyer-supplier relationship by streamlining the transactional piece so that together you can continue to grow the local food economy.
What about my customers who don't use Forager?
Forager allows you to manage your wholesale list centrally in one location. Forager provides a free public page that can be shared with all buyers whether they are on the platform or not. Changes you make to availability and pricing are immediately reflected on your public page so all of your buyers can see your current product information. You can also easily share your public URL with buyers, or copy your public page into an Excel spreadsheet and share it that way if you prefer. You won't have to update two lists, and all your buyers will enjoy easy access to your online availability list.
Is it really free?
Yes! No cost to suppliers for listing products, receiving orders, and getting payments. In the future, we have plans to offer premium features like product promotions and sale items, similar to sites like Amazon and Etsy, but the basic features will always be free.
How does this change what I do now?
For your availability list:
Most local suppliers currently send out an availability list by email or do frequent sales phone calls. By instead updating your Forager product list regularly, your benefit is two-fold:
For Forager buyers, they will be able to access your live product and pricing catalog on the platform, and of course, order, track those orders, manage invoices and pay electronically.
For your buyers not (yet) on Forager, instead of repeatedly sending them static lists of your most recent availability, you can instead send them your regular outreach email along with a link to your Forager Public Page, which provides a real-time availability and price list.
For Purchase Orders:
You do not need to access Forager for orders. All Purchase Orders are sent to you via email. Once you receive the email purchase order, you can reply directly to it, and Forager will consolidate all communication related to that order in the same email thread in your inbox. This thread will include the final notification that you have been paid through EFT if you are and your buyer at setup for electronic payments.
You can continue to invoice just as you did before. We do recommend that if you use QuickBooks, you enter the Forager Purchase Order # so there will always be an easy way to reconcile them. Your buyers also have a way to record your invoice number on their electronic invoice, which in turn makes your original invoice number show up on your bank statement line item for bookkeeping purposes.
Is this a price comparison tool?
No, it is not a price comparison tool. Forager provides a way for buyers who already love your products to order and pay for them much more easily. You have control over which buyers can see your pricing, and also set different prices for different buyers. Think of it as a closed network of your current relationships. Down the road, we will be growing our ability to facilitate introductions to new buyers if you are looking to expand. We look forward to talking to you about your specific needs one-on-one.
How do payments work?
Forager offers free Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) from your buyers directly to your checking or savings account. Payments are automatically scheduled based on the payment terms you have set with your buyers and typically reach your bank account faster than a check. If you and your buyer are not setup for electronic payments, you would continue to receive payments as you do now.
Does it integrate with QuickBooks?
EFT Payments from Forager go directly to your bank account. For each payment your QuickBooks bank register will display the total amount and a unique identifier for each buyer. Using the matching feature QuickBooks will match payments to invoices in your system automatically and mark them as paid.