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Suppliers General Information

Discussion in 'Announcements and News' started by rolygate, Dec 3, 2009.

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  1. rolygate

    rolygate Forum Manager Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 24, 2009
    ECF Towers

    ECF does not in any way approve any product or approve of any product of any kind seen on this website or offered for sale on any other website.

    ECF does not sell any products and no products are offered for sale directly on this website, with the exception of private sales within the Classifieds section, access to which is prohibited for Suppliers.

    ECF does not in any way approve any Supplier* or approve of any Supplier in any way whatsoever.

    * a Supplier is any commercial trader or vendor or entity acting as a business and selling e-cigarettes or ecigarette-related materials

    ECF cannot control the content of external websites, or monitor the products for sale, or approve or disapprove of them, or determine if the site or the products or the business concerned complies with any local laws, since it would be absolutely impossible for us to do any of these and guarantee that we had done so or had checked on any given day for any of the hundreds of global suppliers websites who are registered with ECF.



    Suppliers Information

    'Suppliers' are those who have an ecigarette-related business, or who trade in any way connected with ecigarettes.

    Unregistered suppliers:
    If a supplier/trader is not registered with us, which involves a review procedure, they MAY NOT post any reference of any kind related to their involvement with buying or selling any materials related to ecigarettes. No business-related usernames, avatars or profile information are allowed as considered a form of advertising. Otherwise the account may be suspended until supplier registration is completed successfully.

    Unregistered suppliers need to contact for an application via the contact form or directly via email to:
    supplier @ [Pls rebuild the email before and after @]

    ECF Suppliers
    All ECF Suppliers have 'forum titles' that can be seen under their username, to the left of their posts in the forum. These titles are designed to help our community recognize who is who.

    ECF (the E-Cigarette Forum) has the following basic groups of Suppliers:


    Main Supplier Group:
    Annual fee aplicable

    Registered Supplier

    - Defined as Standard online suppliers of ecigarettes hardware and/or eliquid who normally hold a lot of stock, import and source from several different sources, and often market their own brands
    - Sites MUST have active online trading (secure shopping carts)
    - maximum 2 open threads for advertising in the main public Supplier Forum

    E Cigarette Suppliers Forum

    Minor Supplier Usergroups

    1. Supplier Offline
    - defined as a supplier with an ecigarette business selling hardware and/or eliquid but with no website, web promotion, or online presence of any kind.

    -this supplier group includes modders without a website. In addition to the main Supplier Forum, specific Supplier sub forums: Modders/Accessories available for advertising
    Modder/Accessories Supplier Forum

    2. Accessories Supplier
    - Defined as selling any ecigarette related items but do not sell the 2 main components of ecigs : hardware or eliquid. They can be either registered with website OR offline with no website, web promotion, or online presence of any kind
    - permitted 2 open advertising threads in total in either public Suppliers Forum or their own specific subforum

    Modder/Accessories Supplier Forum

    3. Supplier Services Provider
    - Defined as selling or offering a service for suppliers ie. merchant accounts
    - Can only advertise in the Supplier Services Forum

    Services for Suppliers

    4. Wholesale/Manufacturers
    - Defined as Suppliers selling strictly wholesale or manufacturing ecigarettes and/or eliquid
    - Can only advertise in the Wholesale/Manufacturer private forum non viewable to the regular membership

    Main Supplier Group with their own dedicated forums:
    Monthly fees applicable


    - Defined as Suppliers with their own dedicated forum .They are upgraded Registered Suppliers and have met criteria for consideration. They are strictly distributors selling to consumers

    The Forum Suppliers (FS) group is capped at 75 in total since there are limited resources. All must have a website. Each has a dedicated forum here, and access to additional advertising options. There is a short waiting list - Registered Suppliers can request upgrade. There is a monthly fee for the forum facility, to cover our monitoring process, which maintains an oversight of customer service issues, and mediation in disputes.

    Their forum title is Forum Supplier and are listed here:ECF Forum Suppliers

    If a Forum Supplier has unresolved issues with customers that we deem unacceptable, or does not post regularly on their forum to assist customers, or defaults on payment, they are removed and a Registered Supplier near the top of the waiting list and deemed most suitable is promoted (not necessarily the highest on the list).
    Supplier Associates
    - Defined as members who are designated or employed by the Forum Supplier to represent/ advertise the business in the specific dedicated forum and in the advertising thread in the main public Supplier Forum

    - Defined as manufacturers of a Brand with their own dedicated forum .selling primarily wholesale to distributors.

    They have access to the Brands Connect System to showcase their products along with their own Brand Pages featured. There is a monthly fee for the forum facility and Brands Connect system. They are listed here: Vaping Brands | E-Cigarette Forum

    Brand Representatives
    - Defined as members who are designated or employed by the Brand Manager to represent/ advertise the business in the specific dedicated forum and to showcase their products within the Brands Connect Product system.

    Supplier - Unregistered
    A Supplier in one of these groups:
    - has applied and is awaiting approval
    - has applied but has not yet returned their Supplier Details Form
    - application has been rejected after review

    None may offer products for sale, or post.


    What does supplier registration involve?
    Our staff inspect your business and your website. We are interested in two things:
    - protecting our community from bad businesses
    - helping to ensure a satisfactory regulatory outcome for ecigarette use

    Therefore we reject suppliers who are known for, or suspected of, poor business practices. Secondly, we cannot register any supplier with an unacceptable DBA name and/or website that makes any kind of health claims. This is specifically prohibited because an industry that promotes what is not proven is not likely to be successful in achieving a satisfactory regulatory status.

    Vendors who make claims that e-cigarettes are a health product, or that they can be used to quit smoking, or that they are a pharmaceutical product, or that they could be regulated as a pharmaceutical or by a pharmaceutical licensing agency, will not be accepted (or will be removed).

    E-Cigarettes are a consumer product that is an alternative to smoking. A smoker may switch to using an e-cigarette as an alternative. Health claims or quit-smoking claims imply that the product is a pharmaceutical product according to the law in most countries. Any product that, 'is designed, made, or sold to treat or cure a disease is a licensable pharmaceutical product' (the usual phrasing of the law in many countries). Since smoking is legally classed as an addiction, and thus a disease, any product sold to assist in smoking cessation is a pharmaceutical by law. E-cigarettes are a consumer product and not a pharmaceutical product, and any supplier who acts in a way that may result in e-cigarettes being seen as or classed as or regulated as a pharmaceutical will not be accepted (or will be removed).

    Any e-cigarette business can apply for Registered Supplier (RS) status on this site. There is a review process, which includes a review of the supplier's website, if any. If a website is registered (ie passed as not containing unprovable statements or offensive content [which is a factor determined by us]), a Registered Supplier can post links to that site, in those areas of our site that we allow.

    The review procedure has two separate parts: a check to see that no health claims are made (as no such claims are proven), and a check on customer service reputation if such information exists. Please note that there is NO 'approval' element to our review: we cannot and do not 'approve' a supplier or their products or website in any way. We check to see they make no unproven or untrue claims, and that they are not known for poor business practices.

    ECF cannot approve of any products, or whether they are legal or illegal in whatever jurisdiction the website may reside, or whether the products may or may not have certifications such as UL or CE marks or equivalents, or whether the products are of merchantable quality or not, or whether the products may be considered safe or not, BECAUSE IT IS UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR ECF TO DO SO. ECF is neither a global Police service nor a global consumer testing authority and cannot act as either. Therefore all products seen on websites seen on ECF must be considered as unsafe and untested by default, unless the Supplier can show otherwise.


    ECF and Suppliers

    We are glad to assist Suppliers because it benefits everyone. But please keep in mind that we are under pressure, together with the fact that there is always a waiting list for all Supplier groups.

    New vendors (unregistered) : don't post anything - ANYTHING - that might be interpreted as having some sort of commercial connection, until you are authorised to do so. If you would like a reply to your query, please see our Contacts page and carefully follow the instructions there
    or directly via email to:
    supplier @ [Pls rebuild the email before and after @]

    If you are a supplier or intending to become one, it would be of great benefit to all if you try to understand the following:

    1. You need to read our Rules and follow them very carefully. If you don't, unfortunately our cordial relationship will end.

    ECF Suppliers Terms of Service

    2. This site is the largest and most respected ecigarette website in the world. We have a duty to protect our community; and we are also in the frontline of the campaign for respectability and deregulation of PVs / ecigarettes. This is a critical time for ecigarette users in many countries, and we have a global presence. Because of this, our agenda is likely to be different from yours.

    3. This site is under intense pressure. There are over 300,000 posts a month on the forum, for example. There are 24/7 attacks from the usual sources, as well as hundreds of daily emails, PMs, and new supplier applications from the very large number of people worldwide who would like a presence here. Help us to help you by respecting our wishes.

    DO NOT post any commercially-related material here - or anything that might be interpreted as such in any way - until you have received confirmation of approval of your registration. If we notify you of changes that might be needed to your website in order for your application to succeed, that does NOT constitute approval.

    Do not make any payments to us - do not mention your products - do not proceed in any way differently from a normal community member - UNTIL WE TELL YOU OTHERWISE.

    Applying to be registered as a Supplier via email

    Please include relevant details in your initial communications because we find it very hard to take anonymous business owners seriously. We would appreciate:

    - your forum username (we recommend you register as it helps us)
    - website URL (if existing)
    - full name (ie both names)
    - the name and full postal address of the business
    - your title / position at the business

    Please contact:
    supplier @ [Pls rebuild the email before and after @]


    Annual Supplier Registration Fees
    All Suppliers (excluding Forum Suppliers) pay an annual Supplier Registration fee of $50 per year.

    Being a Supplier on ECF gives you a unique opportunity to interact with tens of thousands of visitors every day and let them know what you have to offer them. ECF operates with the e-cigarette industry's highest ethical standards and does not confer Supplier status lightly.

    The $50 registration fee is a processing and administration fee, not an annual license fee. It is a one-off payment for processing the registration yearly and is not refundable in any circumstances.
    The fee can be paid directly on the forum site by setting up a recurring annual subscription using either PayPal . (Please note that we have been specifically asked by Suppliers to provide this PayPal facility.)

    Fee must paid upon acceptance. In the event the fee is unpaid, Supplier status will be removed.


    During the application process:
    You will find yourself classified in the usergroup Unregistered until the process is complete. If you were banned for posting about your business and received an infraction for being unregistered, you might not be reinstated until the application process is completed and successful.

    Review Process
    Once you have initiated the application process, a quick review of your website will be undertaken
    1. Any supplier with DBA/site domain name that openly courts an association with drugs, or that appears to appeal to an underground audience and who may bring the industry into disrepute, will not be accepted.

    2. Any supplier with a name (DBA / site domain name) that contains a health or smoke anywhere claim in their business name or domain name will not be accepted until adjusted.

    Username ID Choice:
    Your username can contain your DBA ('doing business as')however pls add your own first name . Example Company_ Name

    We prefer usernames that are a bit more user and less corporate based, since the person using them is a personality. You will be asked to choose another, and we will make the change in the system for you on any current username of yours.

    Only ONE ID per company
    A supplier can only have one username registered at this forum. This is a simple and obvious requirement because otherwise suppliers would register 10 staff and flood the forum.
    Exception: Forum Suppliers and Brand Managers can register associates to help them run their forums.

    Trade disputes
    As the market matures, more trade disputes are being seen. These may involve product names, designs, marketing rights, patents and so on. ECF can become involved, unwillingly, in these because the site can become a battleground for Suppliers settling disputes. In the past, these disputes tended to exclusively involve buyers and Suppliers, but more inter-Supplier disputes are seen now. Because of this, we sometimes have to take action that we do not want to but is carried out to protect someone somewhere and that we are often unable to fully explain at the time.

    Suppliers are strongly advised to seek professional advice about protecting their rights. These rights can be digital or intellectual property, and are just as valuable as physical property (or more so). You should seek advice from two sources: a highly experienced web professional and a legal advisor, preferably with some knowledge of web business. Here are two examples of areas that may become problematic: domain names and patents.

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