Frequently asked questions

Why should I use Mapvil?

Mapvil is a collection of unique, hidden gems and hole-in-the wall mom & pop businesses. Our team does the research for you by compiling everything into our "Explore" directory. We provide a simple, seamless experience connecting you with awesome businesses. Whether you're visiting for vacation or you just want to explore more of your hometown, Mapvil's here to help be your guide!

How do you choose which businesses get listed?

Our team researches and engages directly with local vendors to list on our site. At this time, we are only featuring small businesses who are not part of a large retail chain to give them as much support as possible. Extra brownie points for businesses who give back to their local communities! If there's a small business you'd like included on our site, we encourage you to reach out by submitting a "Suggest a business" form located under "Contact."

Why should I list my small business on Mapvil?

Unlike larger directories like Yelp, Mapvil provides a platform exclusively designed to promote small businesses and increase their online visibility. We make an effort to build personal connections with our vendors and give them a voice to share their story (i.e. struggles with COVID) If you already have your own independent website: We want to help bring more awareness and foot-traffic to your site and business through the support of our community-minded Mapvil users. If you don't have the want or means to develop your own independent website: We are currently working on capabilities to allow your business to list your products/services directly on our site. Please see FAQ: "Can I sell my products/services directly on Mapvil?"

Can I sell my products/services directly on Mapvil?

Our team is currently working on incorporating that capability! We understand how expensive the fees can be on other popular e-commerce sites (i.e. Amazon, Etsy, Ebay, etc). Knowing this, we are working to create a lower-cost alternative that gives a larger percentage of profit back into our local businesses. Want to stay informed on when this update takes place? Sign-up for our newsletter located at the bottom of this page and you'll be the first to know!

How do I suggest a business onto your site?

If you're a small business interested in being listed on Mapvil, please submit a "Suggest a business" form located on our "Contact" page. Our team will review your submission and reach out with next steps! We are constantly looking to expand our listings so even if you are not the business owner, you are more than welcome to submit a "Suggest a business" form and we will do our best to reach out to the owners for further review.

What markets are currently being represented?

As of now, we're focusing on Massachusetts and Rhode Island. However, we are a small dedicated team with big aspirations to expand to other states in the future! Our team strives to have personal relationships with all our vendors. As such, if you are a business in a market not yet covered, please contact us to help gage interest and be the first to list when we expand. We will be prioritizing our expansion based on user interest so your feedback is key. You can access the form here.

Is Mapvil free?

Yes, Mapvil is 100% free for users to browse and businesses who want to be included in our village directory! We may offer other paid services in the future (i.e. listing specific products/services for a small fee), but we are committed to keeping the core of our business accessible and free. We'll always be upfront and transparent about any changes made.

How is this different than Yelp?

"Mom and pop" businesses have historically struggled to compete with larger retailers- that's no secret. Popular platforms like Yelp have algorithms that can be biased to favor businesses that either A) pay to be ranked higher, or B) have plenty of customer ratings online. Here's the issue: not all small businesses can afford to pay to be listed higher and some really cool businesses don't have a lot of reviews! Mapvil provides a platform that exclusively features these unique businesses in an effort to level the playing field.