A majority of merchants applying to join the list are rejected because they don't have any indication of time & place in their listings. For example, clothing merchants might describe a garmet as a "Men's short T tunic" or a "Men's Peasant Tunic". Well, yes, T-tunics were worn all over Europe for several centuries, but if I'm a customer who has a 14th century French persona and wants authentic clothing, should I buy it or not? I don't have any idea. (Hey, for this purpose, maybe it's good that I'm not an expert on 14th century french men's clothing!) And that's why this merchant would fail.
If you'd like to see an example of an excellent example of what I'm looking for, please see the Swan and Lion Sutlery Catalog. You don't have to be this good to make the grade, but it never hurts to do a better job.
Examples of other things which make a merchant fail are:
If you sell "traditional" items, or items for other re-enactors, such as English Civil War or US Civil War, I would like you to label these items clearly. You can do this in one of 3 ways: You can label every item in your catalog with a time period. You can divide your catalog into sections, which each section having a similar time period. Or you can make a special SCA-specific section of your catalog in which you cross-list items which are suitable for the SCA time period.
Just so you know, my pet peeve is merchants which stock both traditional and early music, without indicating which is which. It's very easy for the average customer to become confused by such a setup.
If you have any questions about my criteria, please send me email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Disclaimer: Do not mistake this list for an official statement by or publication of the SCA, Inc. It is the personal opinion of Greg Lindahl. I have not verified any claim made by any merchant. However, I would like to hear if you had a bad experience with any merchant on the list, or you feel that a merchant on the list doesn't live up to the list criteria.
Gregory Blount / Greg Lindahl