Frequently Asked Question by Service Providers

General Information

What is Swilo?

Swilo is the first ever marketplace dedicated to surf. It allows surfers to prepare their next surf trip by connecting them with local service providers such as surf guides, photographers, surf camps and much more. 

Who can become a local and offer services?

Anyone can join Swilo and offer his services on the platform.

For more details on how to join the platform and offer your services, please click here: Become a Local.

In which countries is Swilo available?

Swilo is available worldwide and anyone can register on the platform. 

However, depending on the country you are based, some features aren't yet available such as online payment. 

How do I join? What’s the sign-up process looks like?

For now, as we just launched, we've decided to manually review every application in order to deliver our user the best experience possible.

The procedure to apply as a local service provider is the following:

  1. Create a profile here: Register
  2. Fill up all required information
  3. Once you've created your profile, go to your profile's Settings and click the button Become a Local.
  4. Fill up all the required information and create your packages (you can create up to 3 different offers)
  5. Submit your application
  6. Our team will then review and approve your application within 48 hours. 
  7. If needed, we will come back to you in order to improve your profile and packages before approving it.

 

What kind of services do you offer and how much do they cost?

Swilo’s platform allows locals surf related businesses to get online exposure and increase their bookings for free by connecting them with surfers from around the world.

In order to help locals find surfers and get more customers, we offer a range of services to our users:

  • The platform itself, which allows you to improve your online presence, receive direct bookings and manage everything in one place.
  • A tool to promote your business through the platform, the search engines, the social media and a variety of marketing channel and press.
  • Periodic highlights of local service providers on the home page, in blog articles, on social medias or in the press.
  • Our support to help you create the best profile and offer possible, by providing you with advice, tutorials, tips and by helping you translate your profile in several languages. 
  • The lowest commission on the market! Swilo is FREE for service providers, NO HIDDEN FEES.
  • A secured and safe environment to communicate, receive bookings and payments. We use Paypal and Braintree (a Paypal owned company) to process payments made online.
  • A genuine review and rating system allowing you to benefit from the feedback of your current and previous customers.
  • The possibility to review customers and check previous reviews so you know what to expect when someone requests a booking.
  • An outstanding customer service to ensure you get the best experience both online and in the water.

For these services, Swilo takes a transparent fee of 10% on each transaction that takes place on the platform. This fee is applied on the customer side, meaning using Swilo is totally free for service providers. 

What kind of services can I offer?

The type of experience you can offer depends on your skills, your own experiences, and your abilities.

You can register as a guide and provide surf guiding services and bring customers to local surf spots around you. 

If you happen to own a good camera and have experience shooting sports, you can also offer photo and/or video services to your customers.

All other surf related businesses are welcome to join the platform:

  • Surf camps
  • Surf schools
  • Surf coach
  • Boat trip and surf charters
  • Surf villas, resort or home-stay as well. 

How can I get a better profile and boost my sales?

There are some basic but very important elements customers look after on a service provider's profile when they compare different offers.

First of all, you should consider to include professional quality pictures, and if possible a lot of them. The user wants to have a good idea of what he can expect from you and, as we say, a good picture worth a thousand words.

Second, be sure to spend some time working on your profile and package descriptions. Try to be as clear as possible, especially when you describe the services you offer and what's included in your packages and what isn't. 

Finally, try to get as many good reviews and ratings as possible. This is a very important point for customers and they pay a lot of attention to what others says about you. 

In order to get more reviews, you can ask your previous customers, even if they didn't use Swilo, to give you a review and rating. To do so, go to the page Review in the Settings of your profile and enter your customer's email address. 

How do I get in contact with customers?

In order to protect private information and our user's privacy, you’ll be able to get in touch with a customer only once you have accepted his booking request. You’ll then have access to our chat service, allowing you to get in touch with him and settle the details of your session.

How to set up the right price for my services?

Setting the right price can be difficult when you first arrive on the platform.

The best way to determine your price is to check what other service providers charge for the same offer in your region. This is a good starting point to get an idea on how much you should charge. 

You can then adjust this price regarding what seems to be a fair price for your offer, how much you want to receive and what is exactly included in your offer. 

How should I describe my offer and packages?

Your experiences should be described as clearly as possible in order to allow your customers to know exactly what to expect. Spend some time on your descriptions and state clearly what’s included and what isn’t.

BOOKINGS

What does the booking process look like?

The booking process starts when one of our users request a booking from you. You’ll then receive an in-app notification, an email and a text message notifying you of the request. From now you have 24 hours to either accept or deny the booking.

Once you have accepted the booking, your calendar is automatically updated with the booking information, meaning nobody will be able to request a booking on the same day and time.

You will then have access to your customer’s contact information and will be able to use our chat system to organize the session in details.

Can I reject a request to book?

Yes, you can reject a request to book in your profile. You can even give a reason to justify your rejection to the customer.

How can I get more bookings?

As said previously, there are few important things that will get you more bookings on Swilo’s platform.

First of all, a complete profile with beautiful, high-quality photos is surely a must. Try to describe your offer as clearly as possible. Specify your experience, your skills, what makes your profile unique, what the guest can expect from a session with you, what’s the highlight of your experience.

Good ratings and reviews are also very important for our users and they pay a lot of attention to them when choosing a service provider. Be sure to deliver the best experience possible so you’ll have good reviews on your profile. Don’t hesitate to ask your customers to write a review once the experience is finished and be sure to write one for them in exchange.

In order to get more reviews, you can ask your previous customers, even if they didn't use Swilo, to give you a review and rating. To do so, go to the page Review in the Settings of your profile and enter your customer's email address. 

Another way to boost your sales is to accept online payments. Our customers prefer to pay through a secure and trusted online payment company such as Paypal rather than by cash. It means that creating a Paypal account and accepting Paypal or credit card payments will help your profile get more bookings. Online payments will soon be available on Swilo. 

Sharing your Swilo profile and packages is also a good way to boost your sales. You can share them on all the major social medias and your website. 

If you do own a website, you can also include a link to your Swilo profile or packages in order to allow your customer to directly book through the app. 

Will I receive notifications when I receive a booking?

When a surfer sends you a booking request we want to be sure you won’t miss it so you’ll receive an in-app notification on Swilo’s website and on Swilo’s mobile app (when available). You’ll also receive a text message and an email in which you’ll find the link to confirm the booking.

I already have a job, can I still register as a local?

Swilo is an open platform connecting surfers with surf related businesses and independent workers worldwide.

By registering on the platform and offer your services you will not be bound to us by any sort of contract. Which means you will act as an independent business or a freelancer. You can work whenever you want and you can have another job, it's not a problem for us. 

Can I register as a local on other platforms?

Yes, you can register to other platforms if you want to. Once again, you're not bound to us by a contract so you are free to do as you wish.

PAYMENTS

What payment methods do you offer?

For now, there is only one payment method available on Swilo which is 'in person'. This means you will receive payment 'cash-in-hand', or by credit card if your business accept credit card payment, the day the experience takes place. 

Online payments will soon be available on Swilo and you will be able to accept and receive online payment and credit card by PayPal. 

What is Paypal?

Paypal is the single most used and trusted online payment solution in the world. It allows you to create an account online on which you can receive payments and transfer your money to your personal or professional bank account.

We strongly recommend locals and service providers to take the time to create a Paypal account and accept Paypal payments on our platform when it will be available. This is the most secure and safe way for you to get paid, you will also benefit from the reputation of Paypal and the ease of their system which will increase your bookings.

When do I get paid? 

For now:

  • for freelancers and independent workers, you will get paid in cash, the day the experience takes place. 
  • for businesses, you will get paid in cash or by credit card, if you accept credit card, the day the experience takes place. 

After he made a booking and the booking was accepted by the local, the guest will receive a voucher specifying the amount he has to pay you in after the experience has taken place in a satisfactory manner.

DISCLAIMER: The amount to be paid, on the day of the experience, is the one displayed at the time of the booking which is displayed on the voucher and the online bill. This amount will not vary between the time of the booking and the date of the experience and will not take consideration of currency exchange rate evolutions between these two dates.

Online payment solutions will soon be added to our platform.

Do I have to pay taxes?

YES!

Every service provider using Swilo is responsible for determining what are the applicable tax laws in his country or region related to the payments he receives. This can range from VAT, surcharges, sales taxes, goods and services taxes or personal or corporate income taxes.

TRUST AND SAFETY

 

What happens if a surfer cancels his booking or doesn’t show up?

Swilo does not offer cancellation insurance yet. This is a feature we are currently developing and will soon be available in order to protect local service providers.

What happens if I have a bad experience with a guest?

While we’re trying our best to deliver to you the best experience possible both online and in the line-up, it is still possible that things could go differently from what you expected.

In this case and as soon as you or the customer filled up a complaint on our website we will get in touch with you both in order to mediate the situation. Our headquarter or our local teams we’ll work with you to know what happened, to get at the bottom of the problem and to find a solution together.

Your happiness and satisfaction are what matters the most for us.

Why do I need to give you details such as billing address, social profiles, and phone number?

Even if anyone can register as a service provider, we have a detailed process before accepting an application as a service provider. In order to get such a verified profile, we ask you to provide us with some information. This is also to ensure the safety and satisfaction of our users.

Is there any legal restrictions?

Service providers are solely responsible for verifying the compliance of their activities with local or state laws.

Can I offer a customer to book my services outside of the platform? Can I accept if the customer asks to do it?

We do not require anyone on the platform to only do business with us, you’re a freelancer so you are totally free to accept bookings outside of the platform or to work with other platforms.

However, you should keep in mind that we are trying to build the best environment possible for you and your customers. We offer you a secure and safe platform on which you can easily do business.

Also, as mentioned previously, reviews are one of the most important things on your profile and one of the best way to boost your sales. If you do accept booking outside of the platform you’ll not be able to get reviews after the experience took place.

Should I ask an outside customer to book through Swilo?

Yes for sure and we would love if you do so. Asking an outside customer to book your services on the platform is a good way for you to secure the transaction, get more reviews, improve your profile and get more bookings.

Can I sell side services outside of the platform?

Yes, you can sell side services such as meals, transportation or board rental for example outside of the platform. Again, be sure to clearly states what’s included and what isn’t in the experience description so your guests won’t have a bad surprise.