SETTING UP A SALE:
How much will we make on this sale?
Detailed information will be given to you in an email because the final answer is based on your location, selling price and ability to staff the distribution day. Generally, our partners earn $10 per barrel sold and $2 each per downspout diverter. Other profits are given for the sale of smaller items too.
How do people pay for their orders?
Your customers order online and can choose between interac, PayPal and cash on pick up. We have found that there is a fairly equal split between these payment options as different customers have different comfort levels and preferences.
We are concerned about people ordering for cash on pick up and not showing up to the sale. What will we do with extra barrels? Do we get stuck with them?
We keep track of all who have ordered and send an email reminder to pick up with cash in hand and customers generally do. In the very unlikely situation that someone does not show up, their phone number is available for a reminder call. If they cannot be reached, there is often another buyer around who did not order in advance or there will be another way to move that barrel – to another partner for example.
We would work with you to make sure you are not holding a barrel you don’t want and we would never ask you to pay for it until it is paid for by its owner.
Most often, we hear from partners at the end of a sale who say they wished they had ordered more barrels as extras because once the ordered barrels were there, new customers checked in to see if they too could get a barrel.
There are people who are not comfortable using credit cards online and the “cash on pick up” option gives them peace of mind and your group, another sold product.
Where is my webpage? When will it be ready?
New partnera, make sure you have submitted your Partnership Information Form. Partners returning after previous years’ sales can fill out this FORM. All sales will be active in time for our World Water Day announcement by March 22. Your page may have a waitlist available or be ready for orders before that time.
What are helpful promotions that work?
Repeat your promotional activities every week! Email, Facebook, Twitter, Kijiji/Craigslist ads all need to be repeated regularly. Make follow up calls to your politicians, businesses and connections with many contacts to personally request that they assist by sharing your promotions. These influencers may use Facebook, Twitter, email or simple word of mouth to help you spread the word. Follow RainBarrel.ca and RainBarrelFundraising.com on Facebook and Twitter and engage with us so your voice is heard.
How do I send a press release?
We have sample press releases that you can modify for your sale. We will send you our most up to date media list and recommend you share the press release with them more than once. Call to be sure they received it and ask if they need more information in order to do a story.
Do I need to do a neighbourhood flyer drop?
It is our experience that this is the most effective way to reach your customers in the area. We recommend 2000 to 3000 flyers dropped at individual homes. You will receive a sample flyer to modify for your neighbourhood. Those groups who have made arrangements for utility bill or other municipal stuffers need not drop flyers door-to-door.
Where do I get the flyers, mini-flyers and lawn signs?
In most areas, mini-flyers and lawn signs are available from us and can be ordered at this LINK. We can send you a sample door-to-door flyer by email and you can modify the areas where your sale information goes. Then, either you make copies or request a donation from a local printer or business willing to assist. We’ll help you determine where your 3000 flyers should be dropped in the area around your distribution site. Please contact us with any questions.
Do we have any orders yet? How many orders do we have?
A weekly email will be sent out starting after March 22 when all sales will be featured in our kick-off. Please refer to this email for your weekly update. More frequent updates will be available in the week before your delivery.
Can I get a sample barrel (or more)? Where can I pick up a barrel?
Sample barrels can be picked up at at our yard in Caistor Centre, ON or other sales in advance of yours so that you can use them for promotional purposes. They become part of your total inventory and are paid for with all your other barrels – not paid to the partner where you pick up your barrels in advance.
At our yard: We are at 9093 Twenty Road in Caistor Centre which is on the border of Niagara Region (Smithville) and Stoney Creek.
From the Burlington Skyway bridge, you take the Centennial Parkway exit and turn right onto Centennial Parkway. Continue up the mountain and when on top, count four stop lights and turn left on Highway 20 East. Go 6 km and turn right on Westbrook Road. Proceed to first stop sign, go straight through and take first left onto Twenty Road. We are 4 km down on the left side, surrounded by farms. We occupy the barn shaped building on the right side of the property.
We are open 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday to Friday. We are open on Saturdays during the warmer months but strongly suggest you call ahead. Pamela or Larry are available on site to assist . Please call Larry if you have any additional questions at 905-545-5577.
Also, here is the location on a Google map. If you just plug in your starting point it can give you directions.
Through another partner: See www.RainBarrel.ca/Truckload-sales to order one. We need all orders input on the website. Just put the word SAMPLE beside your name on the order form so they will know not to charge you. We’ll of course remind them of this. Or contact Leah@RainBarrel.ca to see if one may be available at another location.
When would our orders need to be in by? How close to delivery date can we be accepting orders? What is the deadline/cut off for ordering.
Please advertise that all orders must be in on the date we give you, at least one week before your delivery day. Longer hauls outside of Ontario should advertise 10 days in advance. We generally look at numbers this far in advance to determine the size of truck to be booked. A best estimate can be done if most orders are in by then. We will usually be able to take orders up until a day or two before shipping however substantial changes in numbers would require rebooking trucks which may not be possible so close to your shipping date.
How can I best use Facebook to promote my sale?
Use Facebook in two ways: Share and invite people to your event we’ve created. Feel free to ask for administrative privileges on that event. Also, simply chat on Facebook with your friends about rain barrels, how helpful they are to gardeners, how they keep our rivers and waterways cleaner and how they can make gardens grow better. Ask them to do the same.
DETAILS ABOUT THE BARRELS:
Can I paint my barrel?
Yes! Krylon Fusion spray paint is recommended for plastics and can be purchased at hardware stores for under $10.
A customer has a problem with their barrel or other product. What should I do?
Please have them contact us on our website at http://rainbarrel.ca/contact/ and send us a message with details. We will likely request photos of the problem so we can determine if damage is under warranty and appropriate replacement parts.
Why are small terracotta barrels the same price as all the other, larger barrels?
All barrels have been used to transport food in the past and cost the same for us to acquire. They all go through the same process to be converted to rain barrels and have the same accessories. The small barrels are preferred by some customers who have space restrictions.
What am I selling?
Our products are listed at RainBarrel.ca/SHOP.
Check out our videos on YOUTUBE that describe barrels and accessories and share them on your Facebook page, in emails and on your webpage. Show them at meetings to encourage your team!
How does someone order barrels and other items?
We help you accept orders many different ways but all orders need to be placed on your webpage we create for you. This way we can manage inventory and keep your customers notified about delivery details. We also create your customer lists from this data which keeps your distribution day organized. (We have an order form you can use in person and then have a volunteer add the orders to the webpage. ) Customers can order online and pay then or choose to pay in cash on pickup.
Do you provide the barrels on consignment?
Yes, the barrels are provided on consignment however, most will be ordered in advance by your customers. We send out a reminder letter for them to pick them up and we generally see most people do so. Any additional barrels you want on hand to sell to people who walk up are fine and are provided on consignment. As a reminder, you would be promoting your sale page!
Are tax and delivery costs included?
WHAT IS A TRUCKLOAD? HOW DOES IT GET HERE?
A truckload of barrels is less expensive per barrel to ship to you than individual barrels. That’s why we only run truckload sales to keep the costs down and your profits up. In some cases, a minimum number of barrels in a truckload is 50, in others, it’s 100. Make sure you are aware of your minimum goal so that we can deliver your load as requested. Use our FORM to let us know what your delivery needs and instructions are.
When exactly will my delivery be?
Because we need to book appropriate sized trucks, this needs to be determined when we see how many barrels are ordered one week before your distribution date. We will do all we can to deliver the day and time you request. Because trucks can be held up by weather, traffic, weigh stations and other deliveries, an exact time is not possible. We do our best to see that you are kept up to date once the shipment leaves our yard.
Do you provide the trailer and can it be used during the sale?
We do not provide a trailer that can stay there for most sales. Generally, our groups meet the trailer, unload and the trailer leaves. Then the customers come to pick up. Occasionally, we contract with a trucking company that is able to leave a truck overnight and you would meet it and secure it with your own lock. This is done on a case by case basis and is quite rare.
Do I have to store barrels in advance of my distribution day?
This is not always required but if available, it is very helpful in the delivery of barrels for weekend sales. Please consider what your options are and be as flexible as you can if early delivery is possible.
How long will it take to unload the barrels?
Four people can unload a full truck of 300 barrels in about one hour. 100 barrels should take 20 minutes.
I have a customer who has a receipt stating they have pre-paid for a rain barrel but cannot find them on my customer list. What should I do?
Please call us during your sale. Collect their identification and contact information for us to follow up. We will always help to sort out any misunderstanding about payment and support you and your customers.
AFTER THE SALE:
Does RainBarrel.ca take back unsold barrels?
All extra barrels are expected to be delivered and stay with you whether they are picked up that day or not. We help you figure out just how many that should be based on your ability to transport and/or store them. Most groups sell out on the day of the event and have nothing further to worry about. In the rare case where barrels remain, you may return barrels to our yard in Caistor Centre, but we do not have the capacity to return for a pickup. Barrels can also be transferred to another sale, if necessary.
What are the payment terms?
Customers pay online in advance or in cash at your sale. If you’d like to accept cheques in advance, these must be paid to you. We cannot accept individual cheques and we do not recommend you accept cheques on the distribution day as it will slow the process. If paid in advance by cheque, the order must still be placed online and marked Cash on Pick Up as it will not be paid online. You’ll want to keep a good record of who has paid you in advance. You may type CHEQUE in their address line on the webpage to remind you they are paid. You will see this on your customer list.
We pay you by cheque within one week if we collect more of your profit online than you do in cash. Quite often, we need to invoice you because you will have more than your profit in hand on the distribution day. You can pay us by cheque, e-transfer or PayPal.
WHEN WILL I GET MY INVOICE?
We apologize! We are so busy working with other partners that our invoicing for earlier sales can take some time. If you have urgent needs to be invoiced, please let us know and we’ll do our very best to be helpful. Otherwise thank you for your patience as we get through our busiest part of the season and turn to invoicing later in the season.
Why does my invoice include a request for payment for barrels I wanted on consignment?
Invoicing you for all barrels received is easiest for our record keeping. Please pay only for barrels sold up to that point. Pay again when your consignment barrels sell. Please contact us if you have any questions.