Frequently Asked Questions

It is completely free to register for Skooltopia! You can browse the site, discover talented local people, and share with your friends as much as you'd like without ever paying a dime!

You only pay for the services and unique goods that you purchase through Skooltopia; otherwise, the site is completely free to use.

Skooltopia is entirely free to use. However, in order to deliver you an awesome platform for buying and selling we do need to charge a fee at the time of purchase. On items listed between $10-$99 we charge a 9% transaction fee (rounded to the nearest whole dollar) that is included in the purchase price of the product. Items between $100-$499 the fee is reduced to 7% and items listed $500 and above the fee is 5%. These fees cover our costs for payment processing (Paypal credit card transaction fee), website hosting, maintenance and administration.

Yes! You can browse other school listings to see what is on offer. If there is something that you would like to purchase from a member of another school community simply contact the seller and introduce yourself. Confirm with the seller that they can provide their goods/services in your area and work out any details you may need to cover regarding delivery. The donation will go to the buyer's school.

If the buyer and the vendor have a school in common the donation will go to that school. If the buyer and the vendor do not have a school in common the donation will go to the buyer's school.

Donations will be taken at the time of purchase and paid to the school on behalf of the vendor. Schools with active fundraising contracts with Skooltopia will be paid twice annually (January and June). Schools will receive a report from Skooltopia indicating the amount of money coming to them from your business. If a school does not have an active fundraising contract with Skooltopia, we will contact the school by the end of the calendar year in order to issue and sign contracts so that we are working in compliance with state laws and regulations pertaining to commercial fundraising. If a school is unable or unwilling to allow Skooltopia to collect funds on it's behalf those donations will be allocated to the second school of choice of the buyer. If the buyer has no second school of choice the donation will go to the school of the vendor.

Congratulations! This is an exciting moment but we understand how scary it can be. There are a wealth of resources out there to help you set up your business with confidence.

Here are some websites to check out that have a lot of answers for you:

1) www.sba.gov. The Small Business Agency is run by the government. Their website is very comprehensive and can answer all of the questions you have as you set up your small business. They also offer courses and one on one mentorship and consulting in their locations as well.

2) chic-ceo.com - we love this website. It was created by a couple of women who wanted to help take the fear out of starting a business for other women. It is filled with guidance and practical advice on what type of business (sole proprietorship, LLC etc.) best suits your needs as well as resources and inspiration to help you get started. Definitely check it out.

3) http://1099.is/ - created by a venture fund and legal firm both specializing in technology ventures 1099.is has a lot of the answers you are looking for. They offer advice for individuals working in the sharing economy including guidance on entity type, taxes and reporting. Check it out!

In your account summary you will have access to reports detailing sales and donations. Schools will be provided with a report at the end of the year so that they can issue letters to vendors acknowledging charitable contributions for tax purposes.

Yes! We currently allow vendors to actively sell their items in up to three schools. We understand that you might have kids at different schools or there might be other local schools that you want to support.

We are also actively promoting all businesses to our registered user list and Facebook fans so you business will get exposure to many people inside your particular school(s) and beyond.

Remember, if a buyer is not a member of your school's community you can still point them to your storefront and they can purchase from you. Donations under these circumstances will go to the school of the buyer.

State taxes are governed by a legal concept known as nexus. Basically, nexus means that a business, like yours, must have some physical connection to a state to be required to collect sales taxes there. “Physical connection” might be employees, a warehouse, or some other assets located inside the state. Simply shipping products via common carriers or directing marketing to customers in a particular state is not enough of a connection to establish nexus. You need to keep good records of where your income is generated if it is out of your home state because the concept of nexus is continuing to evolve as online sales continue to grow.

So, if you are a vendor on Skooltopia, you need to decide which states you have nexus in. For most Skooltopia vendors, nexus will just be with the state where you live. But there are certain cases in which you may develop “nexus” in another state: do you have a friend on in another state who is helping you make items that you sell? Do you travel into another state to sell at a craft fair? Do you have an existing business with offices or locations in other states? In these cases and other similar cases, you may be considered to have nexus in a state other than where you live — which means that you may need to collect sales tax for sales to that state.

Once you’ve determined where you have nexus, you need to determine the sales tax requirements for those states. Some states have no sales tax, whereas others have strict sales tax laws.

There are a number of online resources and services where you will find answers to some questions you have including: SBA.gov, Outright, Chic CEO, Intuit and a new online resource at http://1099.is.

You can find four important pieces of information:
1. Are the items you sell taxable? 
2. For which customers do you charge sales tax? In some cases, only buyers in certain counties need to pay sales tax, whereas in other states, it’s everywhere.
3. How much sales tax do you charge? The rates vary by state and by county, so check your state(s) to find out.
4. Do I need to register to collect sales tax and, if so, how?

If you do need to register to charge sales tax, then remember to do so!

If you are in California and your customer is in California you will most likely need to charge sales tax. If you are in another state you need to look into your state's sales tax laws.

We recommend calculating the tax that you will need to charge your customers on any given item and adding it onto your list price. You can make a note in your product description that “prices include school donation, transaction fees and sales tax if applicable.”

You are expected to comply with your state's current laws regarding online purchases.

There is a new online resource at http://www.1099.is that answers many questions regarding tax reporting in the sharing economy. They have answers to many of your questions.

Start promoting your business.

Use the powers of social media to tell the world about your business. Share your storefront on Facebook. Pin your products on Pinterest and share your pins with your friends. Set up a Facebook page dedicated to your storefront and ask your friends to like it.

And then, since we do actually see each other a lot, there is the old fashioned way – just tell your friends what you’re up to when you see them at school!

Communicate with your buyer. Confirm with them that you have received their order, answer any questions they have and let them know when they can expect delivery.

Here are a few of the rules of good customer service:

Answer your email promptly
Deliver on all promises
Listen to your customers
Deal with complaints swiftly and courteously
Be helpful
Go the extra mile
Throw in something extra

Skooltopia deposits payment to vendors directly into their Paypal account every Friday. In order to receive payment you must mark goods as delivered in the "fulfill orders" section of your profile and your balance due must be over $50.00.

The best way to get in contact with Skooltopia regarding customer questions, media/press opportunities, or issues with website/mobile app functionality is to email our customer support center at support@skooltopia.com

Skooltopia will contact your school by the end of the calendar year in which the donation was take to deliver funds and issue contracts and financial statements in compliance with state regulations outlined for Commercial Fundraisers in the state of California. If the school is unable or unwilling to accept the donation and sign required documents in the required amount of time the donation will be allocated to the second school of the buyer if active. Otherwise the buyer will be contacted and asked where they would like the money to go.

We are currently active in the San Diego area and growing. If you are interested in getting Skooltopia going at your school please contact us at team@skooltopia.com. Please be aware that whether your school is active on Skooltopia or not, if you or members of your school community register and buy on the site your school will benefit.

Skooltopia does not permit links to outside websites or email addresses unless you are one of our paying affiliates.

You will receive an electronic notification that someone has purchased your product or service. It is then your responsibility to communicate with the buyer to organize delivery if you have not already done so. Once a purchase has been fulfilled you should go into your Skooltopia profile and mark the purchase as fulfilled. This will complete the transaction and trigger payment to you from Skooltopia.

You will need to look into the requirements and laws in your state. There are shared commercial kitchens in most towns where you could prepare your food items and who also might have some insight into your state's laws and regulations on this topic.

Yes! Under the new California Homemade Food Act the sales of cottage food items to the public is permitted. There are however very specific regulations pertaining to the types of foods that may be sold, how they are prepared and what licensing is required by the person/business preparing the food items.

A helpful link where you may find some answers to your questions is on the Sustainable Economies Law Center website at: http://www.theselc.org/faq/

You can also visit the California Department of Public Health website here for more information: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Pages/fdbCottageFood.aspx

Please be advised however that this is not legal advice so please consult with an attorney if you have questions that are specific to your business.