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Buying Guidelines

  1. Membership
    1. We expect all members of Semaiah.com to treat each other with respect and kindness. Remember that behind every username and profile is a real person with feelings just like you. Your username and profile on Semaiah.com is your identity online in our community and you are responsible for your conduct and all content submitted under your username on Semaiah.com.
    2. By joining Semaiah.com, you agree to abide by the policies outlined here and in our Terms of Use for Users of Semaiah.com.
    3. Please choose your username carefully. Usernames once created can only be changed through the assistance of Semaiah.com team and changing this part of your profile is not easy. Priority is given to changes in the event of documented legal action (such as trademark infringement) at Semaiah.com discretion so please choose your username carefully.
    4. You may not use the word “Semaiah.com” in your username without permission.
    5. You must be at least the age of 18 years of age to hold an account on Semaiah.com without consent.
    6. If you are under the age of 18 years, you must have the permission and supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is at least 18 years of age; that adult is responsible for the account.
    7. If you are under the age of 18 years and using Semaiah.com, at all times, have the permission and supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is at least 18 years of age.
    8. You may not use mature, profane or racist language or images in the public areas of your account (for example: username, Profile, shop announcements, shop About page).
    9. You may not use the public areas of your account to demonstrate or discuss disputes with others or with Semaiah.com.
    10. You may not transfer ownership or sell your Semaiah.com customer account to another party but you may transfer your webstore.
    11. You can transfer ownership or sell your Semaiah.com Webstore to another party through the Semaiah.com Webstore’s back office.
    12. You may not use Semaiah.com to direct shoppers to another online selling venue to purchase the same items as listed in your Semaiah.com shop once the transaction has been initiated through the checkout, as this may constitute fee avoidance. This includes posting links/URLs or providing information sufficient to locate the other online venue with in the product or service card.
    13. Keep your account information updated and accurate. Your account must have a valid email address and shipping address at all times. Semaiah.com will use the email address on file in your account information to contact you when necessary.
    14. Semaiah.com encourages all members to resolve their own disputes. As a venue, Semaiah.com cannot mediate disputes between members or other parties.
    15. Members who do not comply with Semaiah.com policies may be subject to review, which can result in suspension of account privileges and/or termination. This includes all of your accounts by virtue of association. In other words, Semaiah.com reserves the right to suspend the use of the site for a person and all username(s) he/she operates under. Suspended or terminated members remain obligated to pay Semaiah.com for all unpaid fees per our Terms of Use for Users of the internet platform of Semaiah.com.
  2. Multiple accounts held by one person
    1. Having more than one account (“multiple accounts” or “alternate accounts”) is not something Semaiah.com encourages, as it has the potential to cause confusion. Keep in mind that information and accounts cannot be merged in any way, so if you change your mind later, you will not be able to transfer information (for example: listings, feedback, Favorites or purchase history) from one account to another.
    2. All of your usernames must be clearly disclosed in the Public Profile for each account. A statement such as, “I am also on Semaiah.com under these usernames…” would be acceptable. This includes all buying and selling accounts, as well as any collective accounts in which you are involved.
    3. You may not use an alternate account to purchase items from yourself.
    4. Semaiah.com will not issue refunds or credits for accidental activity stemming from multiple account ownership (for example: selling items in the wrong shop).
    5. Suspended or terminated members remain obligated to pay Semaiah.com for all unpaid fees per our Terms of Use.
  3. Direct Messaging/Live Chat
    1. Direct messaging is your way to communicate privately with other Semaiah.com members. Think of it like email just for Semaiah.com. Direct messaging is primarily intended for communicating about transactions. Members may also use Direct messaging to build friendly relationships with one another, seek advice or discuss Semaiah.com activities. Please use common sense when giving out personal information to others via Direct messaging.
    2. You must not use Direct messaging to send unsolicited advertising or promotions, requests for donations or “spam.”
    3. If someone favorites your shop/item, that is not an invitation to send a Conversation to that person.
    4. If a person follows your shop they will be notified of certain alerts currently defined as “new products or services listed in the shop”, “products or services set to special pricing in the shop”, “Owner generated messages generated through the back office function”, “Shop is closed for holidays”, “Shop is now open”.
    5. You must not use Direct messaging to knowingly harass or abuse another member.
    6. If someone explicitly tells you not to contact them, you must not use any means of message to contact them again, unless involved in an open transaction.
    7. You must not use Direct messaging to interfere with a transaction.
    8. You must not contact another member to buy or sell an item listed on Semaiah.com outside of Semaiah.com marketplace. This may also constitute fee avoidance.
    9. You must not communicate with a member involved in an active or completed transaction to warn the member away from a particular buyer, seller or item.
    10. Sending too many messages too quickly may auto-disable your direct message. You must contact Support to have your ability to send Direct messaging to be reinstated. 
    11. Misuse of Direct messaging may result in suspension of account privileges and/or termination of your Semaiah.com account(s).
  4. Transactions
    1. As a marketplace venue, Semaiah.com role is to connect local shoppers (buyers) with locally owned independent small businesses (sellers).
    2. As a customer, when you place an order on Semaiah.com, you enter into a transaction with an independent small business, facilitated by Semaiah.com.
    3. A transaction is created when a buyer has completed the Checkout process on Semaiah.com. Both the buyer and the seller are sent a message from Semaiah.com about the order and a receipt record in their Semaiah.com account.
    4. A transaction is considered complete after the seller has accepted the sale and has shipped the item to the buyer.
    5. Semaiah.com aims to keep the shopping experience consistent across the marketplace, however, since each shop is an independent business, there may be some differences between shops. Each shop may have their own specific policies for things like returns, exchanges and custom orders; these shop policies may not conflict with Semaiah.com site-wide policies. Additionally, please take note that third-party services are probably involved in a transaction (for example: merchant services and shipping services), and these other services may have different policies regarding transactions or use of their services.
    6. Semaiah.com is a world-wide marketplace and service vendors in the State of Maryland with shops and listings in English language only. A seller should be able to conduct business in the English language used in their shop or listings.
  5. Buyer best practices
    1. When you buy from a shop on Semaiah.com, you’re directly supporting an independent small business in your community. Each shop on Semaiah.com is unique so to can their policies, processing times, and shipping details and so it is important that you make yourself aware of them before you order to have the best experience.
    2. As a customer on Semaiah.com, you can take steps to help create a smooth transaction:
      1. Use Semaiah.com live chat to communicate about any questions, special details or problems.
      2. Read the listing details and the shop’s policies page before purchasing.
      3. Provide an accurate shipping address during Checkout if it is different than your home account address.
      4. Before returning an item, check the shop’s policies and contact the seller. (Not all shops accept returns.)
      5. In the event of a return, retain proof of shipping and/or delivery confirmation that includes the date and recipient’s address (at least the city/province or area code).
      6. In the event of a dispute, use the tools Semaiah.com provides to help resolve the problem (see Transaction concerns or disputes).
    3. Publish policies for returns, exchanges and custom orders on your shop’s Policies page, in accordance with Semaiah.com site-wide policies.
    4. Communicate with the buyer via chat or the method of communication provided.
    5. Accurately photograph and describe the item(s), including details like color, size, materials, condition, customizable options, etc. For custom orders, confirm details with the buyer via chat.
    6. Provide a date by which the item(s) will be shipped (also referred to as processing time or ships-by date) using the tools provided by Semaiah.com, and ship the item(s) accordingly.
    7. Ship to the address listed on the Semaiah.com receipt, or as agreed upon with the buyer via message.
    8. Accurately mark the order as “shipped” on Semaiah.com.
    9. Provide proof of shipping; additionally, provide proof of delivery for item(s) shipped.
    10. Respond to a dispute and the buyer’s correspondence within within 7 calendar days.
    11. Respond to Semaiah.com request(s) for more information about a dispute within 7 calendar days.
  6. Transaction problems or disputes
    1. We hope that your experience on Semaiah.com is smooth and hassle-free. In the event of a problem with a transaction, Semaiah.com encourages the buyer and seller to resolve the situation through chat with the vendor , and by submitting fair, honest feedback (see Feedback). If a situation cannot be resolved directly between the buyer and seller, then you may opt to use the processes Semaiah.com provides to determine a resolution.
    2. There are two types of disputes that a buyer’s typically report if there is an unresolved problem with a transaction an item that did not arrive (we call this a “non-delivery” dispute), or an item received that does not match the description (we call this “listing not as described” dispute ).
    3. A buyer has a limited timeframe in which to report a problem:
      1. For “listing not as described” disputes the buyer may open a case after the ships-by date or after the seller marked the order as shipped, whichever is sooner. The option to report the problem is available for 45 days.
      2. For “non-delivery” disputes the buyer may report the problem no sooner than 7 days and no later than 75 days after the transaction date.
    4. Semaiah.com also has various policies to help sellers with problematic transactions, including: transaction cancellation, refusal of service to a specific buyer and transaction interference (see more detail below).
    5. Non-delivery Dispute
      1. A non-delivery situation arises when a buyer placed an order and submitted payment, but then did not receive the item. Semaiah.com encourages a buyer to first contact the seller via Direct messaging to try and work out the issue. If this is unsuccessful, the buyer may report that the item has not arrived and open a non-delivery case within the applicable time frame (see Transaction concerns or disputes). Often the case process enables the buyer and seller to resolve the matter directly. Unresolved cases escalate for review and resolution by Semaiah.com.
      2. Please note: a buyer who paid via PayPal may have a limited time frame in which to file a claim for refund of purchase under PayPal’s policies; that process is separate from Semaiah.com dispute process.
      3. The seller/vendor must ship the item(s) as specified by the ships-by date set in Semaiah.com, or within a reasonable amount of time.
      4. Once a Semaiah.com non-delivery dispute has been initiated case has been opened by the buyer, the buyer and seller must use the Semaiah.com messaging center to communicate about the transaction.
      5. A dispute is closed after the buyer and seller reached a resolution agreement, or the item was delivered, or the seller issued a full refund.
      6. If a case remains unresolved, it will be escalated for review and resolution by Semaiah.com Team. Both parties must abide Semaiah.com decision.
      7. If a case is escalated to Semaiah.com, the seller may be asked to provide Semaiah.com with additional information (for example: proof of shipping and/or delivery, proof of refund) to help resolve the dispute.
      8. Semaiah.com may issue a refund to the buyer from the seller using the Shop Payment Account as per the Billing Policy.
      9. A seller who fails to ship an item, respond to a non-delivery case or settle a disputed transaction in a reasonable manner may be suspended.
    6. Listing not as described dispute
      1. In the event the buyer received a product or service that is significantly different from the original listing, the buyer should first contact the seller via Direct messaging to try and work out the issue. If this is unsuccessful, the buyer may open an “Item not as described” case within the applicable time frame (see Transaction concerns or disputes). Often the case process enables the buyer and seller to resolve the matter directly. Unresolved cases will escalate for review and resolution by Semaiah.com.
      2. The seller must accurately describe the item in the listing. For custom orders, the seller and buyer should communicate about details via Direct messaging.
      3. The seller must comply with the transaction agreement or according to the terms in the seller’s shop policies.
      4. Once a “not as described” dispute has been initiated by the buyer on Semaiah.com, the buyer and seller must use the chat to communicate about the transaction.
      5. A dispute may be closed after the buyer and seller reached a resolution agreement, or the seller issued a full refund.
      6. If a case remains unresolved, it will be escalated for review and resolution by the Semaiah.com Team. Both parties must abide Semaiah.com decision.
      7. If a case is escalated to Semaiah.com, both buyer and seller may be asked to provide additional information (for example: photographs of the item) to help resolve the dispute.
      8. Semaiah.com may issue a refund to the buyer from the seller’s Shop Payment Account to resolve the dispute. If there are insufficient funds available in the seller’s Shop Payment Account, Semaiah.com may charge the payment source on file for the seller to cover the refund.
      9. A seller who sells an item that doesn’t match the listing, fails to respond to a case or settle a disputed transaction in a reasonable manner may be suspended.
    7. Refusing service
      1. Semaiah.com encourages sellers to engage in clear and consistent communication, consider customer service best practices and honor transaction agreements. However, if a seller cannot complete a transaction due to an extraordinary circumstance, then the seller may refuse service to the buyer.
      2. The seller must notify the buyer of refusal of service through Semaiah.com Direct messaging.
      3. The seller can only refuse service prior to shipping.
      4. If the buyer has already received the product, then the seller must issue a full refund to the buyer (price paid for item plus any applicable shipping).
      5. The seller may cancel the transaction when applicable (see Transaction cancellation).
      6. Unless otherwise agreed or according to the seller’s terms, a seller’s refusal of service to a specific buyer is indefinite within that seller’s vendor shop.
      7. Members who abuse the privilege to refuse service may be subject to review, which can result in suspension of account privileges and/or termination.
    8. Interference
      1. To ensure the integrity of Semaiah.com vendor marketplace and help protect members from potentially fraudulent activity, transaction interference is not allowed on Semaiah.com.
      2. You may not contact another member to buy or sell an item listed on Semaiah.com outside of Semaiah.com vendor marketplace. This may also constitute fee avoidance.
      3. You may not communicate (for example: by Semaiah.com Direct messaging, in Semaiah.com community spaces) with another member to warn the member away from a particular buyer, seller or item.
      4. Posting in the public areas of your account (for example: Shop Announcement, Profile, listings) to demonstrate or discuss a dispute with others or with Semaiah.com may be considered a form of interference.
    9. Transaction cancellation
      1. Sellers agree to complete valid transactions. On occasion, a seller may need to cancel an invalid or void transaction, as defined below. Only the seller in a transaction may cancel the transaction. When applicable, Semaiah.com will issue a credit to the seller for fees related to a cancelled transaction. Sellers are encouraged to keep proof of any refunds provided to buyers in the event a dispute arises over a cancellation.
      2. If a buyer would like to cancel an order, the buyer should contact the seller by Semaiah.com Direct messaging to request cancellation. Cancellations may be subject to an individual seller’s shop policies and whether the item has shipped. Item returns are subject to the individual seller’s shop policies; the buyer needs to contact the seller for approval prior to shipping an item back to the seller.
      3. The seller may not cancel a transaction for the purpose of avoiding fees or feedback.
      4. The seller may cancel an invalid or void transaction, as defined by these circumstances: Both the buyer and seller agreed to cancel the transaction prior to shipment. If the buyer has already paid, the seller has refunded buyer (price paid for item plus shipping).
      5. The seller has refused service to the buyer (see Refusing service).
      6. If the buyer has already paid, the seller has refunded the buyer (price paid for item plus shipping).
      7. The buyer paid for the item(s). Although the seller shipped the item(s), the buyer did not receive the item(s). The seller has refunded the buyer (price paid for item at minimum).
      8. The buyer paid, the seller shipped the item, and the buyer received the item. Then the buyer and seller agreed the buyer can return the item to the seller for a refund. The seller has received the returned item, and the seller has refunded the buyer (price paid for item at minimum).
      9. Members who abuse the privilege to cancel transactions may be subject to review, which can result in suspension of account privileges and/or termination.
  7. Feedback and Reviews
    1. Feedback is a way to establish a reputation of trust for buyers, sellers and the Semaiah.com marketplace. For every transaction, the buyer and seller have the opportunity to submit a rating (positive, neutral or negative) and an optional comment. Both buyer and seller have the opportunity to submit feedback for up to 120 days after the date of the transaction or until the transaction is canceled by the seller (for void or invalid transactions). Consistency, fairness and honesty are critical to the integrity of the feedback system. Feedback directly affects a member’s reputation, so we ask that members take it seriously.
    2. Positive-rated feedback (including the optional) cannot be edited or removed after submission except in the circumstances noted in Semaiah.com Feedback policies.
    3. Feedback ratings and comments removed by Semaiah.com cannot be reinstated or resubmitted.
    4. Members may ask Semaiah.com to review feedback for removal. Contact Support to request a feedback review. Semaiah.com does not investigate the validity of opinions or statements made in feedback or mediate feedback disputes. At Semaiah.com discretion and without notice to both parties involved, feedback may be removed or altered by Semaiah.com in the following circumstances: The member who submitted a negative or neutral feedback rating requests removal.
    5. Personally identifying or private information was published (for example: a phone number, real name, email address, physical address, content of a private Semaiah.com Conversation, details regarding an Semaiah.com investigation).
    6. Feedback contains mature, profane or racist language and/or images.
    7. Feedback contains spam, links, scripts or advertising.
    8. Second account used for writing reviews (fraudulent inflation of feedback rating by use of an alternate account).
    9. Feedback is given for a transaction created for the sole purpose of leaving feedback.
    10. feedback was mistakenly submitted for a different transaction.
    11. feedback refers to an unrelated transaction.
    12. Negative or neutral feedback comments about using Semaiah.com or other services (for example: payment processors).
    13. A member is confused about how to use the Feedback system, resulting in unintended negative or neutral feedback.
    14. Semaiah.com is provided with a valid court order requesting removal of feedback.
    15. Members with low overall feedback scores or members who have violated the above policies for feedback may be subject to review, which can result in suspension of account privileges and/or termination. Suspended or terminated members remain obligated to pay Semaiah.com for all unpaid fees per our Terms of Use for Semaiah.com
  8. Marketplace criteria
    1. Semaiah.com provides a marketplace for locally owned independent small businesses to sell their product and services.
    2. Listings that do not comply with Semaiah.com policies may be reported for review (see Report This). Members who do not comply with Semaiah.com policies may be subject to review, which can result in suspension of account privileges and/or termination.
  9. “Report This” function
    1. “Report This” is Semaiah.com neighborhood watch program. It’s your way to alert Semaiah.com of potential problems. Use the “Report this” link on any item listing or shop page. This is a confidential process. The member whose listing is reported will not know who reported it. Additionally, Semaiah.com investigation will be handled privately; you will not receive a personal response to your “Report This” message.
    2. “Report This” should be used to report any listing, or shop request that violates any of Semaiah.com policies.
    3. Do not report a single violation multiple times.
    4. Since “Report This” is a private matter, members should not discuss reports in any of Semaiah.com community spaces.
    5. In most cases,Semaiah.com will work with a member privately to remedy the problem. If a seller does not respond to Semaiah.com communication or requests in a timely manner, the item may be removed, and the shop’s selling privileges may be suspended and/or terminated. In some extreme cases, listings will be removed immediately. Abuse of the Report This system by means of raising repeated, unjustified reports may result in the suspension and/or termination of your account.
  10. Semaiah.com Community
    1. The community is the heart of Semaiah.com; all registered members are part of our community. Semaiah.com has established multiple ways for members to interact with one another on the site like Forums, blogs, reviews. Remember that these are public spaces, so use common sense when sharing personal information. Semaiah.com role is to facilitate open discussion and support our community through constructive communication. We have some general rules for community conduct, and some spaces have additional rules: Treat one another with respect. There is a real person behind each name.
    2. If your account involves a person under the age of 18, you may not utilize the community features on Semaiah.com unless otherwise specified by Semaiah.com. (When using Semaiah.com, those under 18 must, at all times, have the permission and supervision of a parent or legal guardian who is at least 18 years of age.)
    3. Knowingly harassing, insulting or abusing other members is unacceptable.
    4. The community spaces are not the appropriate channel to express disputes with others.
    5. Discussing a specific member, shop or item (either by name or with identifiable hints) in a negative way is not allowed.
    6. Specific transactions and/or feedback should not be discussed in public community spaces. Instead, contact Support privately if you need help with a transaction.
    7. Do not publicly post another person’s private information without their explicit consent (for example: email, Direct messaging, letters, phone numbers, addresses, full names or business transactions).
    8. Do not use the community spaces to facilitate or arrange any sort of transaction outside of Semaiah.com Checkout.
    9. You may not use an undisclosed alternate account in the community spaces.
    10. Violating community policies may result in suspension of community or other privileges and/or account termination.
  11. Articles/Newsworthy
    1. At Semaiah.com we publish new articles — sharing stories, videos, business tips and shopping finds from the Semaiah.com marketplace. Semaiah.com team, special guests and members of the Semaiah.com community contribute articles on a variety of topics. We’d love to hear your story; you’re welcome to pitch an article to us.
    2. We encourage members to share their opinions, including disagreement with ideas presented on articles. The tone should be civil and respectful, and the discussion is to remain on-topic.
    3. Knowingly harassing, insulting or abusing other members is unacceptable in blog comments. Constructive criticism is fine, but being mean is not.
    4. Mature, profane or intolerant language is not permitted in blog comments.
    5. Semaiah.com does not allow spam in blog comments; for this reason, unsolicited promotion or advertisement from representatives or affiliates of outside services, websites or other products is not allowed.
    6. The Semaiah.com is published, in part, under Creative Commons license that allows you to repost articles and videos. Give credit where credit is due, and always cite the author(s) of the article.
    7. Link back to the original article; each page has a unique URL (web address).
    8. While Semaiah.com has permission to use content that our members post on Semaiah.com, our members may retain certain intellectual property rights for their work. Please respect the artist’s rights if contacted about use of material.
    9. Semaiah.com reserves the right to remove articles and comments. Posting inappropriate comments may result in suspension of privileges and/or account termination.

Updated 05/22/2021

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