I’m Keith Cleversley, the founder of Essential Oil Exchange (EOX). We are here to help provide certified quality essential oils, and wholesale and co-op prices to the public. We’ve accomplished this through keeping our overhead extremely low, maintaining personal relationships with every high quality supplier we are personally connected with, and plugging into the decade old Order Fulfillment Center in Chicago. With over 100K orders shipping per year from that facility, we have been able to leverage lower shipping costs as well as lower manufacturing costs by piggy-backing EOX on top of other eCommerce sites I own and operate. Simple. Sleek. Quality.
GOALS of the EOX and Member Benefits
1. To create a platform that supports those who need or desire to be able to safely and affordably obtain 100% pure therapeutic-grade essential oils.
2. To make Member fees reasonable enough that all Members can derive benefit, since some Members will buy more product than others, while at the same time acknowledging that the membership fee must be sufficient to cover exchange operations and monthly overhead expenses.
3. To cover the continual expense of purity testing for each batch of essential oils received from distillers, and to make the GCMS and Certificates of Analysis available only to exchange Members, along with MSDS sheets which will be available to all customers.
4. To have an accredited staff aromatherapist to answer questions for Members about the proper use and application of essential oils.
5. To provide an online Member Directory listing for any Member that wishes to have their essential oil-related business (natural products, beauty products, day spas, health products) or practice (massage therapist, naturopath, acupuncturist, alternative modalities, etc.) listed online. Listings will be maintained as long as Member status continues.
6. To create a Forum for Members to interact and network, if there are enough Members that want that benefit.
These are some of the stated, envisioned, official goals of the EOX, some of which will require time and continual progress towards them until they are attained.
These are the initial strategic choices that we have made in order to keep operating costs, and thus material prices, as low as possible so that we can achieve our marketplace goals for all Members.
1. To be completely internet-based. To eliminate higher personnel costs for the EOX, all transactions and communications will be done through the internet.
Business phones cost about $3,000 per year, plus personnel to man the phones. As personnel increase we will probably use Skype or some kind of internet telephony to answer questions when available.
2. All payments will be made through PayPal until we have a strategic reason to do otherwise.
Through PayPal, anyone can pay with their credit card even if they don’t have a PayPal account, and through their checking account if they do. The overall fees are significantly less allowing more savings to be passed on to Members by avoiding the following:
- No Monthly Processing Gateway Fees
- No Incremental Multi-tier Assessment Fees
- No Monthly Merchant Account Statement Fees
- No SSL Certificate Fees
(We do not store personal payment data at all by leveraging PayPal)
3. All shipping will be through either USPS or FedEx Ground.
4. We will use only Open-Source platforms such as WordPress and will support those who make components for open-source systems. We will not engage in expensive, high cost, proprietary systems to run the EOX.
This will save THOUSANDS of dollars in annual operating expenses. The open-source programming is simpler to maintain, to upgrade, and to support… not to mention usually much more logical.
We thank you for making EOX far more of a success than we had anticipated! We have seen explosive growth, and response to our publicly-posted Certificates of Authenticity for each of our essential oil products has been amazing. Thank you for all the kind personal emails about how our oils have helped you do what you do in some way. We plan to be here for the long run, and will continue to refine and hone our products and our skills to serve you even better.