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Frequently Asked Questions
See also "Frequently Asked Questions (Eater)".
The Meat and Potatoes
How much does it cost to list my farm at homegrowncow.com?
NOTHING! It's free. The customer pays. The service fee is part of the Retail Price paid by the customer.
What happens if a customer cancels their order?
A customer commits to the purchase at the time they place their order. Once a Farmer accepts an order, the customer is charged and the order is non-refundable. If the customer cancels their order before it is accepted by the famer the customer will be charged a cancellation fee equivalent to 10% of the purchase price. If the customer cancels their order after it is accepted by the farmer, no refund is available. If a customer's circumstances change and they are unable to receive an order that they have placed and paid for, they should contact Home Grown Cow and we will work on a solution.
What if a customer places an order for a product that I don't have?
We ask all our farmers to try and keep their inventory as current as possible, however we also know that farming can be unpredictable, and so we have the Home Grown Cow "order safety net". If you receive an order from a customer that you cannot fulfill simply click the "reject" button and enter a brief explanation in the "Additional Notes" field. Customers are never charged until an order is accepted, so there is no problem with rejecting an order. Home Grown Cow records the number of orders you reject and may display this information on your Farm Profile to help manage the expectations of ordering customers.
How Does Home Grown Cow distribute the meat or cheese?
Home Grown Cow uses PeriShip, a Fed-Ex third-party bill vendor with a lot of experience in shipping perishable goods. It is the Farmer's responsibility to package orders to be shipped appropriately (See Packaging and Coolant Information) and to ensure that they are tendered to Fed-Ex. Farmers may deliver packages or schedule a Fed-Ex pick up, however there is a charge for the latter that needs to be borne by the Farmer.
I'm puzzled. You say you're the only site of your kind, but there are other farmers' market sites out there.
It's true that there are other reputable farmers' market sites, but at the time of writing, there was no other virtual farmers' market that:
Is national in scopeIs free for FarmersHandles Order conveyance, payment transactions and shipping facilitationand that:Is focused on meat, poultry and cheese.
The Fine Print
What methods of payment does Home Grown Cow accept?
At this time Home Grown Cow accepts Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards, Discover Card and American Express.
Why does Home Grown Cow charge up front?
Small farmers acting alone have no resources to protect themselves against unscrupulous individuals. Home Grown Cow offers farmers the security of knowing that their meat is bought and paid for ahead of time, as there is no going back once an animal is taken to the processing plant. We also protect the consumer by holding the funds until 24 hours after the customer takes possession of the goods.
Does Home Grown Cow offer a shipping service?
Yes, Home Grown Cow allows farms to list themselves as "shipping farms". We charge the customer based on the shipping weight entered by the Farmer. When the Farmer accepts the order, the customer is charged for both the product and the shipping. The Farmer will receive a 3-page document via e-mail or fax containing the shipping label, the packing slip and some Home Grown Cow labels. All the Farmer needs to do is print out the document, tape the shipping label and the Home Grown Cow labels to the outside of the box, put the packing slip inside the box and drop the package off at the nearest Fed-Ex office. At this time we do not offer the Fed-Ex pick-up service, but we hope to in the future.
How do I charge for shipping or delivery if I need to?
Farmers do not need to charge for shipping because Home Grown Cow will do that. If you are listed as a shipping farm, Eaters are presented with shipping options at checkout. Home Grown Cow will present them with all options available that will take up to two days. The charge for the shipping is added to the Eater's bill. The shipping cost is based on the shipping weight entered by the Farmer, which should include the net weight of the product plus the weight of any packaging.See Shipping with Home Grown Cow and Packaging and Coolant.
How does the customer pay for processing?
Farms need to factor the processing cost into their prices. Calculate how much your processing cost will be for each item you add and include it in the price along with the HGC Service Fee. For example if you want to receive $300 for your quarter steer, and you know your total processing fee for the entire animal will be about $600 (or $150/quarter) that means you will need to receive $450.00 excluding HGC's commission. Put that amount in the Farm Price field.
What percentage do you charge Farmers?
Home Grown Cow does not charge Farmers anything. We charge consumers a 15% portion of the Retail Price that they pay. Farmers may elect to share in that cost by lowering their Farm Price if they wish, but technically it is Eaters who pay the service fee.
Tell me more...
Who can sell meat at Home Grown Cow?
Any farm in the United States can sell meat on Home Grown Cow's web site.
How will customers find me at homegrowncow.com?
Home Grown Cow's proprietary search engine Marketing techniques ensure that customers are matched with farms that sell product relevant to their search. Most customers arrive at Home Grown Cow from an Internet search and the first thing that they see will be the Farms with products most relevant to what they were searching for.
Who can buy meat at Home Grown Cow?
Anyone who is eighteen years of age or older and who holds a valid credit or debit card is eligible to purchase products from Home Grown Cow. We strongly recommend that you have freezer space also. See Buying Meat in Bulk: Consumer's Guide.
Why should I use your payment system?
Our payment system is safe and secure. We use Capital Bank Card and Authorize.net to process your credit card orders. This protects both parties from fraud and illicit behaviors.
Do I have to pay taxes on my earnings from Home Grown Cow?
Once an order is shipped, picked up or delivered to the customer, HGC gives the customer a 24-hour courtesy window to express any Customer Service issues. Once that period is over, HGC will cut and mail you a check within 5 business days. The check amount will be the total Farm Price entered for that order, less any taxes.
How do I get paid?
Treat your earnings from Home Grown Cow as you would earnings from any other sales. Home Grown Cow does not report what was sold on your farm to anyone. However Home Grown Cow does report its earnings to the IRS as income from marketing services.
Questions about using the site
What should I write in the "About the Farm" and "About our Products" fields?
"About the farm" is an opportunity for you to share what you would like to about you, your family, your farm's history, its location and what type of livestock you raise. "About our Products" is for information specifically about how your livestock is raised, the type of meat that you sell and what makes it great.
How do I change my prices?
Simple. Go to homegrowncow.com, login, and click on "My Inventory". Make any changes to either the Farm Price (the price you will receive for an item) or the Retail Price (the price the customer pays). These fields are interrelated so when you change one, the other one will change automatically. Before you click "Save" make sure that the Farm Price is correct and that the "Active" button is selected.
Why do I need to put information in "About the Farm", "About our Products" and check the boxes?
Good question. The checked boxes help us to definitively categorize your farm so that it shows up correctly when the product selector panel in the search screen is used. However, search engine Marketing is largely reliant on relevant text and keywords. The more information that is written out about your farm and the meat or poultry you raise, or the cheese you produce, the more likely it is that it will score well on relevancy for consumer search results.
How do I change my photos or my logo?
Log in as a Farm at homegrowncow.com. Click on "Edit". About half way down the page there are fields called "Farm Logo" and "Another Image". Use the browse buttons to replace either of these pictures, or the red "x" buttons to delete those that are currently loaded.
How do I accept an order?
The moment an order is placed, the Farmer receives an e-mail. The e-mail will contain a link to your "Farm Orders" page. On that page you will see any pending orders awaiting acceptance. Add a note in the "Additional Notes" field to let the customer know when their order will be shipped, delivered, or when they can pick up, and click on "Accept" (if you wish to accept the order). If you do not wish to accept the order, please give a reason why in the "Additional Notes" field and click on "Reject". If you do not accept or reject an order within 36 hours, the order will be canceled; the customer will not be charged and will be notified that their order has been canceled.
You don't have Turkey option. I am a Turkey farmer. Don't you support Turkey farmers?
Yes - of course we do! Home Grown Cow supports any meat, poultry or cheese producer. However there's only so much space on a web page and we did have to sacrifice having every single meat type listed. If the type of meat or poultry that you produce is not listed as a category when you sign up, check the "Other" checkbox in the "Edit Profile" screen. This will populate your inventory pages with placeholder items of turkey, rabbit, emu and ostrich, among other things. If the type of meat you raise is still not available, you can either rename something that,s already in the list, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us to add it.
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