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Cloidius
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theading it... - 06-16-2011, 09:55 AM

I think a tiered sellers membership fee is a great idea. Perhaps fs posts could denote which tier the seller belongs to, allowing the buyer to know if this is a business or casual endeavor for the seller. I think that makes a big difference. Business guys seem to avoid problems through extremely accurate discriptions, while casual users might not forsee what may cause problems upon delivery. Terms like 'usual wear' are very different coming from the guy who chipped the butt versus one who took it into his inventory

I agree also that limiting bump frequency would greatly increase the efficiency of shopping the forum.

One other idea that I had would be to make post-transaction communications public. Say that a deal is done...the seller reports to the mod who the buyer is...the mod moves the thread to a 'done deal' section and opens it to both parties. If transaction is smooth they both post thanks yous and that is it. But if there are disagreements then they can discuss them quickly and transparently via the thread. Prospective buyers could then research these threads and get a real feel for how the seller handles themselves when things go wrong. While sellers might not like the open forum, I think this would greatly protect the buyer.

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06-16-2011, 10:41 AM

I think if you buy from a thread with a picture of the cue or case, then when itrader is given it goes to that thread. Sometimes it highlights the thread sometimes it doesn't. They should all highlight the thread in itrader.
This way people can see what was being sold and have a better idea and decide who is telling the truth in a dispute.


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06-16-2011, 10:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AzHousePro View Post
OK gang, looks like we need to figure a few things out here. Having some problems lately with users flaking on deals and then whining about it when they are asked to do the right thing.

Want to remind everyone of a couple of things. Someone posting a negative itrader after a deal is not reason to post a negative itrader back. If you were happy with the deal, give them a positive itrader. If they give you a negative one, then reply with your side of what happened and let future customers decide whether to do business with you on their own after reading the facts.

I am thinking about the idea of putting some users on wanted/for sale probation if they have multiple legitimate complaints about the way they do business. I am open to anyone's thoughts on this sort of thing.

Also interested in other ideas as to how to police this area better. If you have an opinion, this is the place to make it known.

Mike
Mike,

I've given it some thought. If you want to do it right and benefit everybody on AZ, the marketplace, and ultimately your site and it's profitability- how about running wanted/for sale like a separate business section.

The section needs to be altered and upgraded. If you want the marketplace to grow and possibly thrive, there needs to be some built-in protections.

1) to list items in the wanted/for sale - to create a thread at all there - you must be Club Member or new category "Club Member -Industry" in good standing. Anybody can respond, anybody can buy, but only Club Members can list. Club Members would be able to list 5 items per year free, industry members - at a reasonable additional membership fee- would have unlimited listings and other listing benefits. This would get rid of a lot of garbage ads in Wanted/For sale and get rid of the non-related topics altogether.

2) A mediator/trustee is established to moderate and manage the wanted/for sale section ("mediator"). The mediator can revoke Club Membership and posting privileges at any time due to poor service, poor performance, non-delivery etc. The mediator would also be a membership director for industry - maybe charge a slightly higher industry fee, give them some advertising benefits, and give the mediator a piece of the fee for new recruits.

3) Mediation/escrow service offered by mutual consent: Should the buyer and seller agree, the Mediator can act as escrow agent for funds and charge a fee. Say cost plus 3% for example, minimum $20, maximum $50. The mediator holds the cash until the item is delivered and accepted by the buyer, and only then releases payment.

So, for example, a cue is sold for $1000 plus $20 shipping. Buyer Paypal's Mediator $1020 and Mediator nets $994.50. Cue is shipped to buyer and buyer A) accepts it. $994.50 less 3% is mailed by check to seller. Mediator fee equals $29.82 b) rejects it. Buyer ships back cue at their expense and upon successful return acknowledgment, refunds buyer $1000

Ideally the mediator would have access to credit card vendor accounts, etc, and would be responsible for reasonably verifying purchaser's identities, shipping addresses, etc. and exercise normally precautions to minimize or ideally eliminate fraud.

Or, a cue maker promises a cue in six months for $1000 and wants to ensure buyer is sincere. Buyer puts up 25% good faith deposit with Mediator. If buyer backs out, the deposit is paid to cue maker less fees. if cue maker cannot deliver in alloted time and buyer wishes to cancel, deposit is refunded less fees.

4) Mediator can post discussion threads regarding reliability of service of AZ Club Member Vendors.

This would be "value added" for Club Members and Club Member + industry

Look at it this way - if that same $1000 cue were sold on E-bay, you would have listing fees of say $10, final sale fee of $102, paypal fee of $30, and the seller would net $858 - with no real protection if the cue is rejected. Your way they would have protection, have a moderate annual fee, and they would net $111 more!.

If this is an option, I have the perfect guy for the job. He's honest, fair, and extremely knowledgeable of monetary policies, guarantees of paypal etc. He is an expert at insured shipping. He is an active seller and buyer and I respect him a lot personally. He is by far the most sophisticated buyer and seller on AZ and has had hands on experience generating successful multi-million dollar sales.

Anyway, I'll help you set it up if you want and help recruit someone. We could figure out the rules, etc. I don't know the technical issues managing the site - how threads could be poster specific, etc.

Chris


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06-16-2011, 11:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TATE View Post
<snip> If this is an option, I have the perfect guy for the job. He's honest, fair, and extremely knowledgeable of monetary policies, guarantees of paypal etc. He is an expert at insured shipping. He is an active seller and buyer and I respect him a lot personally. He is by far the most sophisticated buyer and seller on AZ and has had hands on experience generating successful multi-million dollar sales.
<snip>Chris
Oh my goodness, I'm blushing, Chris...

Huh, what, you're weren't referring to me?

Oh, ahem, sorry about that...

Well, just as long as it's not the guy with those funny looking cats...

Best,
Brian kc


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  (#35)
TATE
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06-16-2011, 11:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickin' Chicken View Post
Oh my goodness, I'm blushing, Chris...

Huh, what, you're weren't referring to me?

Oh, ahem, sorry about that...

Well, just as long as it's not the guy with those funny looking cats...

Best,
Brian kc
I was thinking about him. I don't know if he would do it, but he's very sophisticated - far more qualified than most might suspect. He has internet selling down to a science.

By the way, thanks for the link in the main section - I would not have found this.

Chris


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Last edited by TATE; 06-16-2011 at 11:20 AM.
  
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06-16-2011, 11:22 AM

I personally don't see AZ being in any way responsible for what happens between two individuals who enter into a business arrangement. To me, AZ is no different than a local newspaper except its free to post my stuff for sale. The paper isn't responsible for weeding out the scammers. If you want a well defined business model to help alleviate scamming, look to ebay in the old days.

As for only being able to post something for sale if you have a payed club membership, I think that is kind of ridiculous. I have sold just a couple things on here and never had one problem. Not made more than $20 profit on anything. Asking me to give up that total in club fees is crazy. Id rather go to ebay and lose a predefined percentage.

Chris

Last edited by hdgis1; 06-16-2011 at 11:24 AM.
  
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  (#37)
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06-16-2011, 01:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by hdgis1 View Post
I personally don't see AZ being in any way responsible for what happens between two individuals who enter into a business arrangement. To me, AZ is no different than a local newspaper except its free to post my stuff for sale. The paper isn't responsible for weeding out the scammers. Chris

BINGO.

Buyers and sellers must understand that AZ IS NOT liable for deals gone bad, and should not be treated as if they are. You wouldnt (and couldnt) "go after" a newspaper if the car you bought from the classified turned out to be a lemon.

That said, if AZ wants to help prevent problems, its a good thing.

I wouldnt agree with fees...

I would suggest that all buyers require a valid ID and a verifiable address.
The rest is common sense, the law protects consumers from fraud, not AZ.

Last edited by Mr. Bond; 06-16-2011 at 01:28 PM.
  
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  (#38)
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06-16-2011, 02:27 PM

make it where only the buyer can leave negative feedback. That will stop retaliation feedbacks. I would also suggest... not going up on membership fees during these hard times. An Auction would be nice.

Last edited by Bigjohn; 06-16-2011 at 03:48 PM.
  
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  (#39)
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06-16-2011, 02:34 PM

There have been a couple of issues where the moderators had to intervene between a buyer and a seller (let me make a note that some of those threads were threads that were deleted over 2 years ago that did not sit well with some members of the forum and the most recent threads highlighted a problem that is growing more prevalent in our society). Those threads got out of hand by one side of the parties involved and the easiest solution at the time was to remove the entire thread completely. That made one side of the parties involved very happy and others very unhappy as the product they ordered was not as represented, orders not delivered, a few e-bay sellers coming over for their first sale disappear and the products not delivered. I feel that Mike is asking us what steps may be taken to help make the transactions a bit safer without resorting to doing away with the For Sale section entirely.

The membership fee in place goes to support the forum and it has been suggested that only members could create listing in the for sale section. Personally like the idea brought up by Tate about tiered membership as those members may be making some profit (some not all members make a profit). Either way, the membership fee is used to keep the forum we enjoy reading going.

More ideas are needed for how to handle the For Sale section effectively without a need for moderators to intervene.
  
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06-16-2011, 02:49 PM

Here's edited version of the information from another site that I think is good. This site has moderators who help out. Also a separate section for buyer/seller feedback/dispute court and a section for cue related discussion.

Classified Forum Rules (PLEASE READ BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO POST)

1- Please do NOT make your opinion known in the seller's ad
  • Negative comments about a member's product, pricing, etc. will not be tolerated and such posts may be deleted by moderators. Please keep these comments to yourself.
  • If you disagree with a price, keep it to yourself. The seller has set the price. If you don't like it, don't buy it and move on. If you really feel strongly about it, then PM the seller.
  • If you are interested in an item, feel free to PM, email or contact the seller privately. Feel free to post if you need clarification... however, your post should be in line with above mentioned rules.
  • If you are aware of a serious issue with an ad (SPAM, stolen goods, damaged items being advertised and etc.) please PM a moderator about it.


2- Please DO NOT SPAM the classifieds section on AZ Billiards
  • Spamming entails using only the classifieds sections of AZ Billiards without taking part in other sections of AZ Billiards (regardless of whether the ad is for a personal item or a business.) The appeal of AZ Billiards classifieds is to enable and connect AZers with some established history on AZ Billiards to one another.

    AZ Billiards isn't craigslist, ebay, etc. Buyers who are looking to buy from random strangers do so on one of the above mentioned sites. Those who only post in Classifieds sections and don't take part in other parts of AZ Billiards are no different than any other random sellers on Craigslist, etc., and should use channels other than AZ Billiards to try and sell their items.
  • If you're affiliated with a store/shop, please contact xxxxxx regarding sponsorship options. ALL non-sponsor commercial posts will be deleted.
  • We encourage the use of the classifieds by active contributing members. New members may post in the Classifieds forum after 30 days and establishing minimal history on AZ Billiards. If you actively attempt to circumvent these minimum requirements only to post in classifieds, your account may be suspended. After reaching these minimums, posting only in the classifieds without taking part in other sections of AZ Billiards may result in being banned from AZ Billiards.


3- Please do not repost funny/strange/not-related-to-you ads from eBay, Craigslist or elsewhere on AZ Billiards.
  • No reposting of "funny" craigslist/eBay ads of "overpriced" items, scams, etc.
  • No reposting of any craigslist/other ads if the seller is not affiliated with you!


4- Sellers, for best results... please read and follow these instructions:
  • Do not include the price in the title. You won't be able to edit it later. Put the price in the body of your post.
  • Don't just link your craigslist/eBay ad here. Copy/paste your ad to AZ Billiards and make sure it includes the info below. (Reason for this: some companies stop people from going to certain 'popular' sites, craigslist/ebay/etc. being some of those sites; other sites may have not-work-safe links that may cause trouble for the viewer; craigslist ads expire after a week or two while info remains on AZ Billiards, etc.)
  • Edit your original post and change the price there... many buyers will not look beyond that point if you change the price later on further into the thread. Also, remember to add SOLD to first line of the first post when the item has been sold.
  • If selling a cue, include the following in the body of the post:

    - cue maker or brand and model number
    - weight of the butt and shafts
    - tip diameter
    - length of shaft and butt
    - overall condition
  • Please use the "Report this post to a moderator" option at the lower right portion of the thread if item is sold or to report erroneous posts or threads, and it will be taken care of.
  • With any indication that an item is sold, the thread will be locked by moderators. It is not fair to other valid ads to be pushed down the list when side discussions bump a sold ad to the top of the list. Moderators will do their best in changing the title and adding a 'sold' to the beginning of the title to save a few clicks for others.


5- Buyers, BEWARE!!!
  • Pricing - Know the current market value of the item. Check Ebay, Craigslist, other sources and know what the current market value is before considering a purchase.
  • Escrow - consider using escrow service for the purchase and be wary of sellers not willing to sell using escrow.
  
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06-16-2011, 02:54 PM

Stop deleting threads unless for legal reasons - deleting threads just allows the deals gone bad cycle to continue. Members here should stand on what they post whether that is good or bad. And that's all members.....quit with any favoritism.

Responsibility is between the buyer and seller and whatever agreement they come up with - it should not in any way be an AZ issue. This is an information sharing forum and should remain at that.

A small membership fee in order to be a seller might help - but with that comes the agreement from AZ to end the historically overzealous moderation....members would be paying money knowing it would not be stolen from them which in essence is what would happen if paid for threads get deleted.

Stop the shills from bumping threads for their friends. This BS shadiness and juvenile clique behavior drives down the objectivity of the section.

One more time - stop deleting threads unless for legal reasons.


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  (#42)
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06-16-2011, 03:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hidy Ho View Post
  • With any indication that an item is sold, the thread will be locked by moderators. It is not fair to other valid ads to be pushed down the list when side discussions bump a sold ad to the top of the list. Moderators will do their best in changing the title and adding a 'sold' to the beginning of the title to save a few clicks for others.
Is it possible for the OP to CLOSE the thread so the moderators do not have to review the threads?
  
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06-16-2011, 11:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpine9430 View Post
Is it possible for the OP to CLOSE the thread so the moderators do not have to review the threads?
I'm not a vBulletin software expert but I don't think it's possible without some hack (as I tell my clients, everything is possible but it will cost ya!!!).

Most other sites that use vBulletin has moderator review and close process.

Honestly, without improving moderating (more moderator/moderation), I don't think we'll improve anything here.

I've moderated a site before where we move questionable thread into moderator forum, duke it other among moderators, cleanse it whatever and then throw it back locked. If moderators couldn't come to an agreement, then we escalated to the power-to-be for the final words.
  
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my .02 - 06-17-2011, 12:27 AM

I thought the rule for bumping for sale threads was once a day. At that rate your bumping from page 6. I've seen 2 days 4 days 72 hours being mentioned. Your item will be on page 20 by then. And what does that have to do with scammers? All the "Great looking cue good luck with your sale" posts. To me look like a way of getting around that rule, since you're not bumping it yourself. Other than that alot of good ideas have been presented. But I do have one question. How does a seller have total red rep one day and total green rep the next day? Seems a little fishy. But I guess if you're good at scamming people you're going to find a way. This is the best site on the net, lets figure out a way of keeping it that way.
  
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06-17-2011, 03:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hidy Ho View Post
I'm not a vBulletin software expert but I don't think it's possible without some hack (as I tell my clients, everything is possible but it will cost ya!!!).
I am not sure of the effort it would take...
But another forum where I am equally as active as this forum, http://photography-on-the.net/forum/index.php, uses that as a model (the for sale section in this forum is open to active members only - this eliminates the viewing by non active members and those with the intention of scamming from just cruising for a new target).
Here is the instruction for closing the thread...
When the Seller has sold an item or a Buyer has found the item they were looking for, they should close the thread. Thread can be closed by thread starter by
- open the thread
- click on the "Thread Tools" menu
- make sure "close thread" is selected
- click "perform action".
If the thread need to be reopened, use the same procedure (open thread command will be shown instead). You may close/open only your own threads.
Again, just reaching out with an idea.
  
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