About Wholeshare

What is Wholeshare?

Wholeshare makes it easy to get affordable sustainable home goods by shopping as a group. You and your neighbors, friends, and family members can start a Wholeshare group on our website. By shopping as a group, everyone increases their purchasing power - the group places larger orders than you could on your own and as a result, it becomes worthwhile for distributors to deliver directly to you and your group. This direct relationship with the distributor cuts many middlemen out of the supply chain and brings you closer to the source.

What kinds of products are available on Wholeshare?

There are thousands of products available on Wholeshare. Depending on where your group is located, we'll connect you with local and regional sellers in your area. Sellers on Wholeshare range from local farms to small fisheries to sustainable home goods distributors*. You decide who you want to order from and what items you want to order. Not all the products available on Wholeshare are local and not all the products are organic, but we do our best to give you as much information about the products as possible so you can decide what to buy based on what's important to you. You can see some of the most popular products here.
* We only currently work with food vendors in New York and New England.

Where does the food get delivered?

If you're starting your own group, then you get to decide where your order is delivered. Groups usually get deliveries at a member's house, or a business, or a community center. If you're joining a group then your group probably already has a drop off point picked out (you should be able to find it on your group's page). Your group’s whole order is delivered to the one drop off point. Some groups do also offer home delivery as an additional service.

What is a Coordinator?

A coordinator is the person who starts a Wholeshare group. He or she organizes and runs the group as well as oversees group deliveries. By establishing a Wholeshare group, coordinators help bring healthier products to their communities and make it possible for people in their area to shop sustainably and more affordably.

What commitment do I make by joining Wholeshare?

None! There are no subscription fees or commitments for joining Wholeshare. Signing up is free. You only order what you want, when you want it.

Are there any additional costs to using Wholeshare?

In addition to the price of the products you're buying, some sellers do charge a delivery fee. Delivery fees range from $5 to $20 for the whole group. The delivery fee is split evenly between all the group members who take part in a given order. Also, group coordinators can add a markup to your order. Coordinators do a lot of work in organizing and managing the group as well as overseeing the deliveries. Coordinators can set what markup (if any) they'd like to apply to compensate them for their time. You can always see exactly additional charges are being applied to your order by going to your cart page.

Are all the products on Wholeshare sold in large quantities?

Just because you're buying as part of a group does not mean that you have to buy bulk sized products. Many of the products offered on Wholeshare are sold in individual packages. The key to group ordering is that your group buys enough products to meet the order minimum for the seller (see order minimums). It's not necessarily about buying large quantities of any specific item. Of course, there are some products on Wholeshare that are offered in bulk sizes. For those items, we offer a unique feature called splits which allows you to share the item with other group members so no one person has to buy the entire thing.

Can I sell my own products on Wholeshare?

Yes. Many Wholeshare users sell products to their own group and even other nearby groups. If you're interested in selling on Wholeshare, please contact us.

Should I start my own group or join an existing group?

If you decide to start your own group, you get to organize and run the group however you'd like. You can choose where you'd like the food to be delivered and how frequently you'd like to get deliveries. You'll be helping your community get access to great products, and at the same time you'll be getting a commission on all the products sold through your group. Many Wholeshare coordinators make a supplemental income from running their own group. Starting a group also means putting in work to build your group's membership and overseeing the deliveries.

You should join an already existing group if you're interested in getting access to good quality products at affordable prices and don't want want to spend time managing your own group. If you'd like to join a group, click the find a group tab above to search for groups in your area.

How do I go about starting my own group?

You can start your own group by signing up at www.wholeshare.com. For answers to any other questions about starting starting your own group, you should download the new coordinator guide.

How do I place an order?

Your group's coordinator will set an order deadline for every order. You simply add whatever items you want to your cart before the deadline and enter your credit card. That's it. When the order deadline is reached, if your group has met the order minimum, your order will be placed along with the rest of your group members' orders.

After the group order places, your order will be delivered to your group's drop off point (delivery times are usually scheduled for a few days after the order deadline). On the day of the delivery, you can go to your group's drop off point and pick up your individual order. Because all the payment has already been taken care of by Wholeshare, you just show up, say hi to the coordinator, and pick up your order! Some groups also offer home delivery on the delivery day as an additional service.

You can see a quick overview of how ordering works on Wholeshare by watching our introduction video.

How do I checkout once items are in my cart?

There is no "checkout" process on Wholeshare. You simply add the items you want to your cart and when your group's order deadline is reached, your order goes through. You'll get an email alert 24 hours before the order deadline reminding you to check your cart to make sure it's up to date.

What kinds of payment options are available on Wholeshare?

Currently, Wholeshare accepts Visa and Mastercard as payment options. In some cases we can also work with groups to accept electronic bank transfers and checks. We hope to be able to accept EBT in the future, but unfortunately EBT is currently not legally allowed to be used for online purchases.

Are your payments secure?

Wholeshare keeps your credit card information safe by transmitting it over the web using SSL encryption, an industry standard in security. Additionally, Wholeshare never stores your credit card information on our own servers. We use a third-party credit card processor that specializes in security to ensure that your private information stays private and safe.

How frequently can I get deliveries?

That's entirely up to you and your group. Most producers and distributors that Wholeshare works with have their own delivery schedules. Your group will work within those schedules but you can order as frequently or infrequently as you'd like.

Can I return items?

Yes. Items you are unhappy with can be returned to the seller. When the return is complete, you will be issued a refund on your credit card or a credit towards future orders. All returns must be processed within one week of the item's delivery.

What are order minimums?

Order minimums are a very important concept on Wholeshare. Order minimums are a dollar amount that some sellers require your group to meet in order to place an order. Having minimums is how sellers can make sure it's worth their while to come deliver to you and how you're able to get access to so many products that may not have been available to you as an individual. The only order minimums on Wholeshare are for the entire group, so there are no individual order minimums nor do you have to buy a certain amount of any specific product. Order minimums vary from seller to seller but they generally fall between $100 and $500.

What happens if our group does not meet our order minimum?

If your group does not meet the order minimum by the order deadline, the order will not be placed and your items will remain in your shopping cart. Your group coordinator will then set a new order deadline for your group to shoot for.

What is a split?

Splits are a unique way to shop which allows you to buy products together with other members of your group. Splitting bulk sized items or cases can be the most cost effective way to shop. When you start a split, you specify how much of the product you want. If for example, you're interested in buying 2 jars of peanut butter, but the peanut butter only comes in a case of 12 jars, you can start a split and order just 2 jars. Then, if other people in your group buy the rest of the product, it will be included in your next order. Wholeshare takes care of calculating how much to charge each person involved in the split.

Splits are a great way for you to get access to even more products and save more money through bulk buying. You can watch a quick introduction to how splits work here.

What happens if my split is not completed by the order deadline?

If your split isn’t completed by the order deadline, nobody involved in the split will be charged and the item will not be ordered. You can choose to have incomplete splits remain in your cart for the following order, or you can have them automatically removed. You can set this preference on your account page.