I wasn't one of the earliest features on Heartsy, but I guess it was rather early. I was featured on Friday, March 11.
The process starts with you submitting your shop to be voted on. You put your proposed deal, a blurb about your shop and photos of 5 of your items. As soon as you submit your shop, it goes into the voting stage. While Heartsy takes a lot of things into consideration, remember that your photos ARE important. They do not want to have blurry, dark or poor quality photos on their front page!
In order for Heartsy to even take a look at your shop, you need a minimum of 30 votes. If you receive your votes, they will review the submission by hand. But you have to remember that as a business, Heartsy must take into consideration the demographics of the voters because they want the maximum amount of certificates to sell.
They check the votes for "definitely yes" by past buyers of certificates, non-buyers (or who have yet to purchase), everyone, and if applicable, people who buy your specific type of item (i.e. if you sell bags, they would see how many people who have purchased bag certificates in the past voted for you).
After passing this point, it says it may take anywhere from 3-14 days to be contacted to see whether you were selected or not. They send you an email either way. If you are selected, the website says that it will take another 1-2 days for them to work with you to decide on the deal and the date. This was NOT the case for me.
Negotiations for me started March 4th. I did request to put an expiration date on my certificates but they told me I could do that. They also tried to get me to do free shipping on top of my already low deal, I HAD to say no to that!
Negotiations continued through March 7 and I was told I would be featured on March 12th. On March 9th I got an email saying that I would be featured the next day. Early that morning it changed again and finally I was told I would be featured on the 11th, and I was.
Now, that was my experience with scheduling. Maybe it was a fluke and just happened to me? I have not heard it happening to other sellers, though I did not talk to ALL of them.
Part 2: Dealing with customers, getting paid, shipping, and fees