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Marketplace Overview

With Marketplace, you can offer a hub for merchants, from all over, to offer their products. This page will give you an overview of the Marketplace app and help you familiarize yourself with its many features.

The first time you open the app, you will see the setup wizard. Complete it by filling in all fields as presented. Skipping over inputs can result in malfunctioning and issues down the road; it is always best to take the time set up the configuration correctly. You can always change these settings down the road, but be sure to fill them in the first time.

Visit Marketplace Setup Wizards Instructions for detailed instructions.

Store Settings

Name for Sending Emails: This will be the name that emails from the Marketplace are "From" when sent to merchants.

Measurement system: You have the option of the Metric or Imperial system; stores will use this to set the specifications of their products for shipping purposes.

Global Commission: This will be the default commission assigned if a category does not have its own rate set. Set it as either a percentage of the value of the product or a fixed dollar amount.

Shipping: There are four separate options your store can use to handle shipping charges. Visit Shipping Fee Payment Rules in Marketplace for more information.

Merchant Settings

Text/banner header: This will go at the top of your merchant portal (the website they visit to manage their products and orders). Customers will not see this header or banner.

Merchant approval: Choose whether or not new merchants will require your approval when they first register for the store. Setting to "automatically approve" will not require any action on your part when a merchant registers.

Product approval: Choose whether new products uploaded by merchants will require your approval before they go live on your store. We recommend that you set this to manual if you automatically approve merchants; otherwise, a spammer could register a new account and create tons of new products without any barriers.

Product Editing: Choose whether or not to allow merchants to edit their products after they are approved. 

Product Settings

HTML editor: Determines whether or not merchants can use a full HTML editor (including colors, tables, lists, etc.) or whether they will be limited to plain text. 

Maximum categories: Determines the maximum number of categories that merchants will be allowed to assign to a product. It will help to prevent merchants from categorizing their products too broadly to gain exposure.

Image limits: Determines the minimum and maximum number of images available. Each product must have at least one.

Merchant: A user who sells their products through a Marketplace

Merchant Portal: The website where merchants upload their products and manage their orders. It ends with marketplaceadmin.com

Marketplace app: The actual app accessible through your Shopify admin panel.

Category Group: A group of categories in a Marketplace store, not the same as a Shopify collection

Category: A category that stays inside a category group, not the same as a Shopify collection. Merchants will categorize their products, and you may charge a different commission in the settings.

Commission: The percentage of a sale (or fixed dollar amount) that a Marketplace operator receives for their services.

The Marketplace app allows you to operate a virtual bazaar that lets merchants upload products and customers to buy them through Shopify. The Marketplace operator (store owner) collects a commission on each sale for their services. When a customer buys one of a merchant's items, the merchant receives an email notification with the customer's information and selected shipping method so they can ship the product to the buyer. Payment is handled through whichever method you use with Shopify; this may be Shopify Payments, PayPal, or an alternative credit card processor. Once orders have been fulfilled, the store owner can then "pay out" the Merchants through the app, either semi-automatically through PayPal or an alternative method of their choosing.

Merchants first register themselves through a "Merchant Portal" which will be their hub for managing orders placed through your store. Depending on your store's configuration, they may or may not require approval once they have submitted your account registration. Once they are approved, they will be able to begin uploading and listing products. The Merchant product creation screen is very similar to the one in Shopify since the uploads will become actual Shopify products. 

Products uploaded in Marketplace are grouped into categories for sorting and determining commission. Different categories can have different commission rates; for example, your store might choose to charge a higher commission on sweaters than t-shirts. 

Categories on their own cannot be searched by customers; their only purpose is to sort products internally and determine commissions. Categorization of a product adds a tag to it it can then be included in a Shopify smart collection. It allows visitors to browse that collection and see items from all merchants that have included their items in that category.

Categories must be listed inside a category group. A category group is a "group of categories". An example might be "Apparel", with categories inside that group being "T-Shirts", "Pants" and "Sweaters". 

Visit Create Category Groups in Marketplace and Create Categories in Marketplace for detailed instructions.

The Marketplace app requires a PayPal account that has the "Mass Payments" feature enabled. For this, you will need a verified PayPal Business account. We can't provide support, but it's required for the store owner's PayPal account to pay merchants. More information on this is available at Mass Payment Overview.

Once a product has sold, Marketplace tracks the money owed to each merchant for the sales of their goods. The store owner has complete control over the payout schedule for your merchants; generally once every 2 weeks is a good rule of thumb. Having control over the schedule at which merchants get paid allows you to ensure that your PayPal account has the necessary funds available to allow the payments to proceed without issue.

To pay merchants with Marketplace, follow these steps:

  1. From "Shopify Admin", select Apps.
  2. Select Marketplace by Bold.
  3. Select Payments.
  4. Select all orders that you wish to payout.
  5. Select PayPal Payment.

That's it!

Note: If you are using an alternative payment system (bank transfer, cheques, etc.), use "Mark as Paid" instead. It will mark them as paid in the system and send the merchant an email indicating that their orders have been paid out.

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