Michigan-Made.com is a virtual store, which offers consumer products that are exclusively made in Michigan. Michigan-Made.com has corporate offices in Standish, Michigan; however, there is no bricks-and-mortar store. Michigan-Made.com’s focus is e-commerce – cottage industry and small business merchandise being bought and sold over the internet. Virtually all sales – except for those at various trade shows and “Buy Michigan” events that Michigan-Made com attends – are done over the internet, via the Michigan-Made.com website.
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Visit the Partner With Us page for more information.
Michigan-Made.com works with its suppliers in virtually the same way that suppliers would work with brick-and-mortar store. The difference is that the website serves as the “store front.” The Michigan-Made.com website depicts and describes the merchandise, along with prices. Customers come to the website to browse and select the merchandise they would like to purchase. Customers utilize a shopping cart and check-out procedure similar to any you would find on other quality retail website. Real-time shipping rates for UPS, USPS, and FedEx are built into our shopping cart – therefore the customer is charged ACTUAL shipping rates, NOT inflated shipping charges.
No. It is FREE to list your Michigan made product(s) on the Michigan-Made.com website! There is no sign up fee, monthly fee, or hidden fees.
Both. Michigan-Made.com has a large database of customers and retail accounts. Our customers appreciate the cross marketing approach – they may come to our website to purchase one specific item, but find we also sell wide array of products. Our retail accounts appreciate the “1 stop shopping” for their Michigan made products for their brick and mortar stores.
Does the supplier have to agree to selling their products both wholesale and retail on the Michigan-Made.com website?
No. The supplier determines whether they’d like to participate with retail sales, wholesale sales, or both.
Just like a brick-and-mortar store, Michigan-Made.com pays the supplier the agreed-upon wholesale price of the merchandise, and then charges the customer the retail price that Michigan-Made.com has established. The mark-up is Michigan-Made.com’s profit margin.
These expenses are taken out of Michigan-Made.com’s profit margin. The supplier will always get paid their established wholesale price, unless they choose to run a special promotion for their product on the Michigan-Made.com site (for example, buy 1 get 1 free).
The customer comes to the Michigan-Made.com website, browses and selects their merchandise, and goes through the check-out procedure. Customers have the option of paying via Pay Pal, credit card, check, or money order. The order and payment comes directly to Michigan-Made.com. Michigan-Made.com notifies the supplier of the order, and provides a pre-paid shipping label. The supplier packages and ships the order to the customer. The customer can be assured they are getting the freshest quality products possible, not products sitting in a warehouse somewhere collecting dust. This is commonly known as the “drop ship” method.
By the fifteenth of every month, Michigan-Made.com sends to the supplier a check for the amount owed to them, based on sales of their product(s) from the previous month (i.e., by February 15, suppliers received payment for purchases made in January).
Our shopping cart offers USPS, UPS, and FedEx shipping methods. Shipping methods vary, depending on cost-effectiveness, and the preference of the customer, the supplier, and Michigan-Made.com. Our shopping cart calculates as products being shipped from one location. When the customer selects products from different suppliers, it does not compute each supplier separately but calculates all products in one shipment. Our shopping cart uses the shippers real time shipping API, there are no inflated shipping charges!
Yes. Many Michigan-Made.com suppliers have their own website, as well as being part of Michigan-Made.com. The advantage to suppliers who have their own website of being on Michigan-Made.com as well, are threefold:
- Your product is introduced to our large network database.
- Cross-marketing…..customers may come to Michigan-Made.com with one item in mind, and then see a whole array of other kinds of merchandise, which they then browse and buy!
- Search Engine Optimization – Michigan-Made.com does extensive promotion and advertising not only of the website itself, but of the individual products on its website. Therefore, as a potential customer is web-searching for a particular type of item, there’s a high likelihood they will find it on Michigan-Made.com even before they find it on the supplier’s own website.
There is an aspect of competition; however, there is a stronger aspect of collaboration. With more than one option on the internet, customers are more likely to find the item they’re searching for, and the supplier always benefits from the sale. Suppliers agree to charge no less for their product(s) on their own website than the suggested retail price (SRP) they have provided to Michigan-Made.com.
At the outset, the supplier indicates to Michigan-Made.com what their wholesale price (expected payment) and their suggested retail price (SRP) are for all of their products to be offered on the Michigan-Made.com website. Michigan-Made.com also does market research to ascertain the norm for retail pricing of similar items. Michigan-Made.com determines its actual retail prices for items on its website based on these factors.
Michigan-Made.com may run special discounts or sales from time-to-time, on particular items or on Michigan-Made merchandise across-the-board. However, suppliers always receive the wholesale payment for their merchandise established at the outset of the working relationship, or as updated in subsequent agreements. In other words, any sales or discounts on merchandise comes off of Michigan-Made’s margin, not the supplier’s portion.
The supplier and Michigan-Made.com mutually decide which of their items they want to offer for wholesale sale. The supplier indicates in writing (1) what the wholesale price of the item is; and (2) what minimum is required for a wholesale sale.
Retailers who want to make a wholesale purchase from Michigan-Made.com must have a brick-and-mortar storefront, provide the store name and address, and the tax I.D. number (EIN or sales tax).
Just like retail sales, wholesale sales are processed on a “drop ship” system. The customer shops the Michigan-Made.com website, and completes the transaction with Michigan-Made.com. Frequently in wholesale transactions, Michigan-Made.com communicates directly with the supplier before the order is completed, to make sure the order can be correctly filled. Michigan-Made.com receives payment from the customer up front, before the order is filled. Michigan-Made.com provides the supplier with the postage-paid shipping label, and the supplier ships the order. Michigan-Made.com pays the supplier the wholesale cost of the merchandise, minus Michigan-Made.com’s rep fee for wholesale sales.
What if the retailer, who previously came through Michigan-Made.com, contacts the supplier directly for another wholesale purchase?
The supplier agrees that all retail accounts that initially purchase that supplier’s merchandise via Michigan-Made.com will remain a Michigan-Made.com customer. If a retail account customer who has previously purchased the supplier’s item(s) via Michigan-Made.com goes directly to the supplier for a re-order, or to order any other of the supplier’s items that are offered on Michigan-Made.com, the supplier will immediately notify Michigan-Made.com so that Michigan-Made.com can connect with the customer and complete the transaction.
In large part, Michigan-Made.com relies on the “honor system” with its suppliers, to ensure that Michigan-Made.com won’t be cut out of subsequent sales to customers who have previously purchased the supplier’s product(s) via Michigan-Made.com. Michigan-Made.com also keeps in contact with our retail accounts to maintain a working relationship with them.
Michigan-Made.com makes every effort to engage in business relationships only with reputable suppliers of high integrity.
Michigan-Made.com makes a significant investment in each of its suppliers. This is true in terms of time – with webpage design and set-up; with social and traditional media exposure; with customer interactions; and with myriad other aspects of the business that require time, effort and expertise.
It is also true in terms of actual money – paid advertising for Michigan-Made.com and for individual products; a variety of fees associated with maintaining a quality website and all of its features; costs for booths at festivals, fairs and product shows which feature the merchandise sold via Michigan-Made.com; printed marketing materials; and many other operational costs, all of which are devoted to bringing our suppliers’ products to market.
Suppliers who work with Michigan-Made.com recognize and appreciate that it’s a partnership, and that it’s in both parties’ mutual interest to respect the agreements of the working relationship.
The partners of Michigan-Made.com personally determine which which suppliers/manufacturers it will represent, and which products will be offered on Michigan-Made.com. The essential criteria are:
- All products must be made in Michigan
- All products must be of acceptable high quality
- All suppliers must agree to Michigan-Made.com’s high standards of customer service and satisfaction.
- All suppliers must have a reputation of integrity and wholesomeness.
- All suppliers must agree to Michigan-Made.com’s business model
- All merchandise offered on Michigan-Made.com are consumer goods.
- Merchandise offered on Michigan-Made.com are produced/manufactured by Michigan small businesses, artisans, and/or cottage industries.
All wholesale purchases of suppliers’ products via Michigan-Made.com are considered final. The only circumstances that would warrant deviation from this policy is the product being damaged in shipment, or otherwise defective in some way.
Dependent on supplier’s policy, but typically retail purchases of suppliers’ merchandise via Michigan-Made.com may be returned for refund providing the purchaser returns it within 7 days of receipt of the item in the same condition received in. Michigan-Made.com likewise does a “charge-back” to the supplier.
Yes. Michigan-Made.com works with suppliers whose merchandise is one-of-a-kind or customized, by providing the necessary interface between the customer who is ordering the product, and the supplier.
All retail purchases of suppliers’ merchandise via Michigan-Made.com that are OOAK, custom ordered or otherwise personalized for the purchaser, are considered final, unless the merchandise is in some way defective.
The supplier provides written descriptions of the merchandise, as well as digital photos via our password protected file manager. Occasionally, depending on the product and the circumstances, Michigan-Made.com will actually take the photograph(s) of the product(s).
Michigan-Made.com prefers to work with the raw, unmanipulated high resolution digital pictures (high resolution) right off the camera, so that we can resize, crop and otherwise manipulate them to achieve the best possible image. Photos of products are used not only on the website, but also for Michigan-Made.com printed marketing materials.
The supplier also provides product descriptions, including the dimensions and weight of the product(s). (Actual weight of product is needed to calculate shipping charges).
The Supplier Application serves as a Letter of Agreement between Michigan-Made.com and the supplier. The Supplier Application contains the specifics of each supplier’s mutually agreed-upon pricing, sales operations, and other particulars unique to that supplier. Product Listings
- We understand that our supplier’s products and pricing will change from time to time. Please allow 30 days for those changes to be made. Site work is at bare minimum during November and December due to the holiday rush, so be sure to have changes submitted prior to November.
- Suppliers are required to have their product listed for a minimum of 1 year.
- Suppliers who wish to cancel their listings must allow 30 days for removal.
- Initial contact via the this Partner with Us Form.
- Discussion and information exchange about the potential supplier’s merchandise and about how Michigan-Made.com works.
- Supplier provides digital photos and descriptions of items for sale.
- Michigan-Made.com prepares and e-mails to the supplier the Letter of Agreement.
- Michigan-Made.com develops the web pages for the new suppliers merchandise.
- Michigan-Made.com announces via its newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, and via other media, that it is offering this new product.
Yes. Michigan-Made.com’s relationship with each of its suppliers is personalized, and we recognize that circumstances can change over time. Whenever a supplier has a question or a concern, they are encouraged to contact Michigan-Made.com. Michigan-Made.com keeps open communications with all of its suppliers, to help ensure that the working relationship is mutually beneficial, that our customers are being served well, and that our goal of promoting and selling Michigan-Made products is being met. Due to the expense and time involved with listing product, we do require the duration of listing for a minimum of one year unless extenuating circumstances arise. The supplier application addresses specific issues.