Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Shopster Retail Agreement Part 2. -> Follow Up.

Shopster appeared to be very diligent and concerned that representation of their company and procedures is as favourable as possible. I received a followup email from Suzanne Vadori, with respect to my Part 2.

In my original analysis, which I admitted was less then 60 seconds, I did not see anything indicating that notice shall be provided in the event of an amendment.

Suzanne has pointed out that the agreement, which has no revision or date number, and which now appears to read in a darker font, clearly states notice will be provided. The agreement as it reads right now does in fact say

"Shopster will inform you when one of these documents has been amended by providing notice to you."

That entire provision looks substantially different then when I reviewed it on Friday. In addition Suzanne did not highlight this as a correction when she originally responded to my questions. Regardless of if the document has changed, or if I misread it, Shopster indicate that they will notify of changes to the agreement.

The agreement says that changes will be effective when you RECEIVE notification.

Wow, that looks really fair.


Towards the bottom, in the COMMUNICATION AND NOTICE, it clearly states that notice is provided to your email address used at sign up. In addition it says you have been deemed to RECEIVE notice the minute they send it. A very standard provision, but one i think is unnecessarily aggressive. Courts always hate it when people don't have an opportunity for notice.

So expect an email if the policies change, but don't expect a waiting period unless it is provided for specifically. Shopster would be advised to provide a change and compliance notice whenever possible.

Secondly, it appears that my reference to Doba was received the wrong way by Shopster. Let me re-explain the issue here.

According to Shopsters Retailer Agreement,

"Unless, you had a relationship with the supplier prior to using the Shopster Marketplace during the term of this Agreement and for a period of 1 year thereafter, you shall not establish or participate in a drop ship relationship outside of the Shopster Marketplace with any supplier that has listed products or services through the Shopster Marketplace."

Lets say you sign up for a trial period, scan the site, and don't buy a thing. You cancel 3 days later.

You are NOT allowed to establish a drop ship relationship with any supplier that has listed products on Shopster. REGARDLESS of if you know who they are, or if they have a relationship with Shopster. I would not be surprised that if you asked a dropshipping company if they work with Shopster they would say, "the list of our partners is confidential". As you have canceled your membership, you now do not have access to the catalogue of over 1 million products. You don't even know the suppliers, and therefore you don't know if you are breaking the agreement.

Suzanne advised me that Doba and Shopster do not use any of the same suppliers. Nevertheless my suggestion is to sign up with Shopster only after you have exhausted all other drop shippers in the market place, as you could be locking yourself out of a significant number of suppliers without knowing.

This is purely based on the agreement. It has nothing to do with anything in their business model, customer service, pricing, or product selection. This is a 100% due diligence issue. Should Shopster change their agreement, I would be happy to provide an update accordingly.

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Copyright © 2009 Peter MacSweeney.
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