Thank you for your interest and support of Zatoun.
Zatoun is a community project selling products and not an e-commerce business. This is reflected in almost all aspects of our relationship with supporters/customers; mostly it is wonderful but there are instances of weaknesses or failure which we try to cover with superb customer service and solidarity. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Due to its grassroots, low-cost infrastructure, distributed inventory among volunteer depots, dealing with Zatoun is very different from typical online e-commerce ordering and payment process. Think of it as a 2-stage process: first, place your order and second, make payment (sometimes days after the order is placed). And in between, we may use email to clarify details of the order or confirm status.
The reasons for this approach is:
- items might not available in all shipping locations at certain times
- items might be out of stock entirely and would have to refund
- a limited number of locations items may be picked up with no shipping cost
- individuals are ordering on behalf of organizations who will be the eventual payer
Ordering and confirmation
Use online shopping to place your order. Once submitted you will receive an automated acknowledgment. It gets reviewed for consideration of location: availability of stock ordered and the best or cheapest way to get it to your location. In most instances, the order passes through without need for further questions or intervention. Should clarification be required or if there is a question you will receive an email.
Please feel free to indicate or request special handling by using the note portion during checkout. Also there are boxes to communicate other needs.
Fulfillment, Shipping and Notice
Most orders immediately pass into fulfillment and shipping: in Canada we ship via the post office (we love to support postal workers) and in US we use UPS Ground.
Our flat shipping rate is $30 per case of olive oil. Non-oil items get a “free ride” when included with an oil order. The true shipping cost is greater that $30 once the destination is 500 miles beyond Minnesota (for US orders) or Toronto (for Canada). Orders to the west coast are generally in the $40+ range. This is why we have launched Sustain Zatoun – Voluntary Top-up so customers can freely help support accessibility and affordability regardless of location. To learn more about the program.
Note on packaging: Both on principle and to keep costs to a minimum, Zatoun packaging and shipping materials are exclusively reused. We source gently-used outer boxes and egg flats for inside packing. The egg flats come from friendly coops and restaurants who buy eggs in bulk add keep the flats for Zatoun. Customers are delighted by our low-cost eco-packaging.
Invoicing and Payment
Once shipped, you can expect to receive an invoice especially if an organization like a church or retailer is involved. In many cases of orders by individuals, invoices are not always issued. If you need an invoice, please indicate in the box during checkout.
Zatoun offers 3 payment methods:
- Checks in USD or cheques in CDN can be mailed to:
9251-8 Yonge St, Suite 142, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 9T3.
(Note: for US customers USPS requires “Global” stamp or $1.15 postage to Canada.)
- Canadian customers in Canada can e-transfer using “interac” payment via internet from virtually any bank account in Canada. If you do online banking, just direct an e-transfer payment to this email address “email@example.com”.
- Customers wishing to pay via credit card will receive an invoice from Paypal for the amount plus 3% fee assistance (rounded to nearest lowest dollar) to help offset the fees charged. We use the Paypal gateway it is much cheaper and administratively easier to use Paypal gateway than for Zatuon to be a credit card merchant.
Thank you for your understanding, patience and cooperation with Zatoun’s order processing approach. It is not exactly efficient but it does have its advantages. One advantage is personalized and immediate customer service – Zatoun’s motto is “Supporters are always right.”
If you have any questions about ordering, shipping or invoicing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a prompt response.