Have questions, please check our FAQ, below, and if you can’t find the answer, please contact us.
Q. What is the difference between listing my product on LEKEF.com Platform and listing it on any other major with a much larger customers like amazon.com?
A. Creators/sellers have many options to list and sell their products. Amazon.com is no longer the only marketplace. Many new companies have emerged to create space for producers to sell their goods and services on their marketplace. The list of such marketplaces includes Amazon Handmade, Alibaba, Flipkart, eBay, Bonanza, Storenvy, Big Cartel, Facebook Shops, Pinterest Shopping, and many others. Despite the large number of players, the majority of these marketplaces use the same scheme: they allow sellers to list their products, in return the companies reserve the rights to charge storefront fees, get a percentage of the sales when using their payment processing tools, and saturate the space with products and shops—which allows them to leverage their control over the customers’ data and the algorithms to manipulate searches on their sites. LEKEF.com Platform gives power to the producers and creators:
No listing fees
No monthly store fees
No membership fees
No manipulation of algorithms for search results
No control over your data
You have full control over your listing, you update it anytime to drive interested buyers to your own store where you handle all transactions and manage all the data related to your transaction. No data is kept on LEKEF.com platform and no wall between you and your customers, clients, members, and supporters.
LEKEF.com is bringing fairness to the digital marketplace, the same fairness that has existed in the real world marketplace throughout history: just a neutral space that allow producers/creators and consumers to interact and build sustainable, collaborative relationships.
You can support this vision and promote these values by bookmarking LEKEF.com site, start your shopping activities on LEKEF.com, and encourage your family and friends to start their shopping experience on LEKEF.com.
Q. Who can add a listing?
A. A business owner, a representative of a business entity, a product creator, a service provider, or a consumer may add a listing. A listing may consist of information about a business entity or an organization, information about a single product or service, or information about a category of products or services.
Q. I like a product (and its producer/creator), can I list it even if I do not own the product?
A. Yes. As a way to show support to independent sellers and creators, consumers may list products and/or a service with information about where these items can be purchased. We will review the listing and if approved, it will go live on LEKEF.com Platform. You can then “Bookmark” and share the bookmark with your friends. The actual owner/creator of the product may “Claim” the listing anytime and edit it as they see fit. Consumers cannot claim a product that they do not produce/create.
Q. How long before my listing is live on LEKEF.com?
A. It may take between 4 to 8 weeks before a listing is live on LEKEF.com. This delay is due to the fact that all listings must be approved by a human. First, we rely on the information provided by the “owner” and public records to assess the accuracy of information about the business, product, or service. Second, we examine the classification and categorization of the products and services to ensure that they are properly tagged (this is important for retrieval of information for consumers). Lastly, we examine all links to prevent spam and abuse. All these steps take time, but they are the backbone of the model we are building. We appreciate your patience and support.
Q. I see “0” number of products for some sectors or categories of products. Does that mean that there are no products available that would show if I searched for them?
A. We strongly encourage you to use the search feature to find products or services you are looking for, even if the category folders show limited or no items listed. The reason for the discrepancy between what is actually available and what is showing in the category of products listing is that we manually review the taxonomy to ascertain that all items are properly tagged. Upon submission, an item may be approved without category pending review. Only items that are reviewed and approved will appear under the appropriate category. The review process may take 4 to 8 weeks and takes place in stages. If an approved business owner submits an item, it will be automatically approved and may be found through the search tool. However, it will take time to review and approve the item under specific categories because that would require a manual review to limit abuse and spam.
Q. I am a consumer who shops with local producers and sellers who are community-focused and share my values. How can I help to promote their products on LEKEF.com?
A. Many of the listings here are recommended by consumers like you. They find a provider who they trust and want to support, they locate the product or the business online information, write a review (please use the “Write a Review” button to review an already listed item), and submit it for listing. When the product or business listing is approved they will be able to Bookmark it and share with like-minded persons. This would create the circle of trust that is critical for this project.
By Bookmarking your favorite items and businesses, you will be creating your own shopping area and list of creators and producers that you trust.
Please note that you will have to register for an account with LEKEF.com if you wish to use the Bookmarking feature on the platform. Otherwise, you will need to use an app on your browser to save the listings.
Q. I do not see my city as an option, when will it be included so that I can add my listing?
A. You do not have to wait to add your listings until your city or region is added. Just make sure you include a full address, including the city or town, and when we review your submission, we will add your location.
Because this Platform is a global one that encourages and supports local/regional economies, the CITY/REGION information is very important. The information is required because we want consumers to shop locally first. That is why we spend time and resources reviewing the location information to realize LEKEF.com’s commitment to supporting Local Economies. Please make sure you enter the location information properly, otherwise your submission will be rejected without notice.
Q. Are all submissions approved; are their products and businesses that are not allowed on your Platform?
A. Due diligence on our part involve a review of every submission to determine, based on public records and information provided by creator/seller, that the listing is legitimate and that interested customers are directed to the site provided by the creator/seller. It is the responsibility of the creator/seller to follow and obey laws within their jurisdiction. We reserve the right to reject and delist products and services that we deem illegal, exploitative, or harmful.
Q. Is there a fee for being listed on this platform?
A. No. All listing requests, once approved, will be published on lekef.com Platform free until the owner of the listing or their representative removes it or until it expires if the listing has an expiry date.
Q. Is there an expiry date on listings?
A. Owner of the listing of a product or service will be given the option to include an expiry date for their listing. But there is no automatic removal of listings.
Q. Is there a membership fee to join the platform?
Q. Do I have to be a creator or a direct provider of a service to be listed here?
A. No. While our focus is on individual creators, producers of goods, and service providers, sellers of services and goods that are produced by others but are marketed for specific communities are also encouraged to list their business. For example: If you are selling computers to customers in a specific city or town, you can add your listing. Given the monopolies on computer software and hardware products, we don’t expect indigenous communities to produce their own computer machines. They can be assemblers, builders, and fixers of common computers that are designed for their local communities. Similarly, a person or an entity might be focused on selling products to specific persons or organizations world-wide. For instance, one selling application that help vision-impaired individuals to access the Internet will be encouraged to list their product for communities world-wide.
Q. How can I promote my product when there are competitors’ products on the platform?
A. We do not see multiple products as “competing products”. We qualify them as “options,” because it is rarely the case that one product is exactly the same as another, unless of course it is the same product sold by different sellers. That is why we encourage creators to provide as many details as possible about their product and service to distinguish it from other “options”. The Platform encourages collaboration, not competition.
Q. Do I have to use your payment service to sell my product on your platform?
A. No. We encourage owners of products and services to create their own storefront and use their own payment tools. We only provide the space for creators and buyers to connect.
Q. I sell my products on other marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart. Can I link to my products that are there or must I list them and transact them on your Platform?
A. You are free to list and cross-list your products and services on any marketplace you like and link to them from our Platform.
Q. Can I pay for placement when consumers search for my product on your search?
A. No. Out of respect for all members of our community of users, we do not use algorithms to retrieve search results. Please enter the best keywords describing your product or service. We will use that information to enable consumers to find what they need. Also, because we are encouraging local economies, location information is very important. Please make sure that that information is correct. Your listing will be removed if it appears to be non-specific or abusive of our rules in any way.
Q. How does your “featured listing” impact search results? Do I have to pay for featured listing in order to maximize higher ranking on your search?
A. Featured Listings are a limited number of sponsored listings that help us pay for this otherwise free community service. We place Featured listings on specific pages, like the frontpage, but Featured Listings are not prioritized in search results.
For full transparency purposes, Featured Listings are one of the tools that help pay for this Platform. If you like our values and would like to sponsor this community resource, please consider becoming a Sponsor. For your financial support that helps pay for the cost of running this Platform, we will place your product on a dedicated space and mark it as Featured. We have a limited number of spots for such sponsorship, and they are given on first-come-first-serve basis.
The more sponsorship we receive and the more generous the community of users of the Platform are, the less likely we will rely on third-party, such advertisers, for support. Our hope is to be able to fully remove all advertising once the Platform becomes fully supported by the community of users.
Q. As is, this model does not appear to be sustainable in the long run because it is not set to generate profit out of the information you are providing. Are you planning to change the fee structures in the future to make more profit?
A. No. Our plan is to keep this community marketplace platform open, transparent, free, and non-exploitative. You can ensure that it stays so by your support and involvement. If interested, volunteer for the Advisory Board, and when new members are admitted or outgoing members are leaving, we will consider you for this very important role.
Q. Do you keep the data of my customers/clients?
A. No. We do not collect and retain any data about buyers and clients of creators who list their products and services on our Platform. However, please be aware that once someone clicks on a link of your product on our site, they will be sent to either your storefront or to the marketplace where you transact your products, and we have no control over what happens once they leave the Platform.
Also, because of our commitment to supporting Local Economies and the autonomy of Indigenous Communities, LEKEF.com retains no customer data. That information/data should be hosted locally by the local seller. The only data that remains on the LEKEF.com servers is the information needed to create an account to submit and manage listings. If you use the “social login” option–using your Google email address for example, then none of the other data will be retained by LEKEF.com. Because global online service providers operate across multiple jurisdiction, we believe that data of citizens of each community should be retained locally. LEKEF.com supports and adheres to this practice. Digital autonomy for local communities is a legitimate right that we honor.
Q. How is your Platform different from other marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, etc.?
A. While we provide a common space for creators and buyers, we do not profit from either. We take no percentage of your sales, we charge you no membership fees, and we certainly do not collect and own your data. We want to offer an alternative to the exploitative model. No one should profit from the hard work of others. And no data of a local community in one country should be stored and owned by a corporation in another country. With promote global collaboration and connections without sacrificing the autonomy and interests of local communities.
Q. Why are you allowing listing of products sold on amazon and other marketplaces that you claim is exploitative?
A. The aim of LEKEF.com is to empower local producers and creators make a living while supporting their local communities in the ways we highlighted. If such a business does not have its own online shop and sell their products and services through one of these marketplaces only, then LEKEF.com will list their products because they are ultimately produced and sold by a business that qualified to be included here. If the product is fulfilled by amazon or any other marketplace and we have no way to verify the actual producer or creator, then it will not be listed.
Remember that, while business listings are often submitted by business owners, products and services are recommended by consumers who want to support the local business and want to be able to buy from these businesses, not just buy the same item that is cheap and produced by a global corporation. In a way, these recommendations from consumers who are interested in supporting and promoting community-based or community-supporting local businesses.
LEKEF.com aims to educate both producers and consumers about issues of sustainability and support for local and indigenous economies. In the long run, producers and creators should be able to use the tools and ideas we promote to build their own online presence and create connections with their communities and move off these corporate marketplaces in favor of more sustainable and community-centered models.
Q. How is your Platform different from having my own website where I sell my goods and services?
A. It is not. However, it is doubtful that on your website, you list other “options” that would allow buyers to choose between your product and a similar one or a related product. It is also doubtful that you would list other products that you do not own or make on your site. This Platform does not sell anything. It provides space for others to sell and showcase their products. The Platform is a shared space that allow creators and buyers to connect and collaborate. We believe in the idea of collaborative relationship and disapprove of the exploitative models. Please read our Mission Statement for more information.
Q. Do I have to register to use this service?
A. No. visitors who are looking for a product or service do not need to create an account with LEKEF.com. However, the creator/seller may require them to create an account once they leave LEKEF.com and land on their storefront site. Creators, too, do not have to create an account on LEKEF.com; they can add a listing under a “Guest” account. However, if they have more than one product or service listed on the LEKEF.com, or if their listed items require frequent updating, they are advised to create an account to so that they can manage their listings. LEKEF.com does not modify the listings. Users can sign up/in using the “social login app” as well, if they prefer not to create an account on LEKEF.com, which will leave minimum data about the member on our servers.
Q. How can I support this project?
A. We often contact creators who are most active on the Platform and invite them to join our Advisory Board. If you are not contacted and would like to be considered, please contact us. You can also shop and encourage others to start their shopping experience on LEKEF.com.