Trying to Post in this Forum? / Purpose of the B/S/T Forum.

Discussion in 'Buy, Sell, Trade' started by cwolfus, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. cwolfus

    cwolfus Past President

    Posting in the Buy Sell Trade Forum is limited to Supporting Members only.

    Purpose: We've created this BST forum for the benefit of our members - to give them the opportunity to buy items that are of interest. As such, we choose to leave it open to members and non-members alike - as a member is more likely to benefit if there is more available.

    However, this forum should not be confused with established marketplaces like ebay and Craigslist. BAR is a community that is built on a bond of trust between our members. That trust means that members have a higher expectation that items sold here are what they are purported to be - caveat emptor works differently here than at Craigslist.

    We're happy to see you benefit by selling items that our members want. But only so long as your posts live up to our ethical standards. Items should be what they are described as and should include a picture (your picture) of the actual item for sale. If there is an unintentional discrepancy we expect a prompt retraction.

    Remember, non-members are here at our discretion. Conducting yourself appropriately creates a benefit to our members in seeing your ads and encourages us to keep this forum open to all.

    And for our members, please keep in mind that some of those selling here are not in our community and do not necessarily have your best interests in mind. BAR and the BOD have nothing to do the with the sales that go on here so please use caution in making purchases from those you do not know.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2015
  2. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    On that note I guess i was thinking of selling my favorite Item.
    The Golden Gate Bridge!
    There are so many pictures available I need not post one here.
    All offers considered. :D
    Cash is best for me. :D :bigsmile:
     
    Blakekrafty likes this.
  3. Lyn

    Lyn Guest

    LOL :D
     
  4. cwolfus

    cwolfus Past President

    The BOD has changed the permissions for BST and GB so that only Members and Sponsors now have access.

    Originally, we felt that the benefit to our members of having non-members participate outweighed the potential for problems. But time has proven that was not true. BAR members received little benefit from having non-members access this part of our forums.

    But, in the last 7 months we have had at least 5 issues that required policing. All involved non-members and a lot of effort that should have gone into something more positive. Some bordered on intentional fraud.

    So it appears our original assumptions were wrong and we have made changes as a result.

    The BST and GB forums are now for BAR members and sponsors only. Feel free to continue using them as you have - to offer special items to fellow members and to set up group buys through our sponsors.
     
  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Sounds good Charles.

    I'm curious are the permissions set to read and write access to members only? Or can non-members still read, just can't post? Might be beneficial to BAR members if they can still offload stuff to non-members... but then again isn't that what RC is for :D
     
  6. cwolfus

    cwolfus Past President

    Thanks for speaking up, Mike.

    Unfortunately, giving them read only access is likely to only create other issues. The BOD doesn't need to deal with repeated monthly posts from non-members asking why they cannot post items for sale, or respond. Also, since they already don't have PM access, being unable to respond in the thread would make for a pretty hard time communicating with the seller.

    RC seems to be a lively marketplace for members and non-members alike. ;)
     
  7. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    Good call, I feel more secure knowing I'd be buying from BAR members.
     
  8. treylane

    treylane Guest

    No offense here... but what's the problem with supporting some open, local commerce in aquarium livestock and equipment, even if it's craigslist style? Just because the items are advertised on this forum, doesn't mean anyone's exempt from exercising some common sense on either side of the transaction. And the BOD doesn't need to spend all their resources detangling some failed transaction - if a particular buyer/seller causes continuing problems, they can have their access revoked rather than clamping things down for everyone. IMO this kind of change makes this site much less useful.
     
  9. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    The problem with that, and your viewpoint has been the prior case, is that time and time again people abuse their privileges as posters in the BST forum, it has been a subject of conversation among the board for years. We on the BOD feel it makes for a disjointed community with open BST.

    That is the main reason we left RC, there was no reef talk, in fact there were on the average 22-25 BST or OT posts. It's nice that people want to hook other reefers up, or try and find an obscure item, we're not against that. However, it was not only a problem for us on the BOD policing posts while trying to be nice, it also looks bad to our sponsors who are struggling at this point to turn this forum into a marketplace.
     
  10. cwolfus

    cwolfus Past President

    ... and to turn Jerem'ys concise answer into a treatise... :D

    Treylane, No offense taken. All perspectives are welcome :)

    There may be a few additional facts you have not taken into consideration.

    That may sound easy, but in practice it is not. You see, if anyone can access the forum what is to stop a bad apple from creating a new screen name and starting over? This has happened this year with a non-member poster selling items that were not as advertised. The same person reappeared multiple times with new accounts. And plenty of BOD effort was wasted getting to the bottom of it and policing it. The resulting reality is that we cannot effectively revoke access for an individual. This is true for all open forums. There are repeated cases of banned members on RC being found and rebanned for using new handles.

    Sure, the BOD could have ignored what appears to have been repeated cases of intentional fraud. It would have sucked for the members that got suckered. And, it would have sucked if anyone sued the club (and the BOD) for providing a marketplace that allowed it to happen. I would hope that would never happen. But reality and hope are not necessarily congruent.

    I like craigslist. Its a great concept, tool, and service, but it is not without it's own problems and those are problems we don't want here. The last thing we want is for a member to be held-up, raped, or murdered because of open, local commerce. Unfortunately, the anonymity that craigslist (and forums) create provides substantial opportunities for bad actors. Which is the whole point of why we are having this discussion. Luckily, our problems have been far milder than what happens on craigslist.

    There are other local resources that provide an open, local marketplace, like RC, and we don't see value in competing with them on this.

    Further, BAR relies on the generosity of its sponsors to support the club. That means businesses support our club in order to get preferential treatment. That treatment includes advertising with banner ads, placement on a sponsor page, etc.

    So, if you had a business that was giving products to a group in exchange for this, how would you feel when that club pooled together a bunch of people to buy a competing product from one of your competitors without even giving you a chance to compete? I think we can agree it's no incentive to sponsor the club. Sure, we could (and should) post comprehensive rules on what is appropriate. But if someone outside our community chooses not to play along were back to the first problem again.

    But even if we didn't care about alienating our sponsors, consider that we hand pick our sponsors to ensure they are businesses that are run in ways that are consistent with our mission. We WANT to support them because supporting them also supports our mission. This is especially true for LFSs.

    I can understand how you may feel that way. Maybe you think there will be fewer items for sale or fewer potential buyers. Have you gone back through the GB and BST forums to determine whether this change will actually be material? You may find the data does not support the contention.

    In the end, BST is now what most members have used it for; a place to offer stuff to friends, often with a preferential price. And now the GB forum will be an opportunity to get even better pricing from businesses that support us and that we want to support.

    Again, thanks for posting your concerns and providing the opportunity to further explain our position.
     
  11. treylane

    treylane Guest

    Well - do you want this place to be a marketplace, or not? Restricting BST posts to members isn't going to help the "struggling sponsors" with their marketplace aspirations - making it harder for me to buy/sell/trade items on a site makes it less likely for me to visit that site when I'm in the mood to do so, and less likely to see the items advertised by said sponsors. Most vendors should have no problems competing with hobbyists for business - overall, they've got access to higher quality goods, and more volume.

    As for BST overpowering the "reef talk" on the forums - more content means more visitors, means more opportunity for those visitors to post a photo of their latest tank developments, or something they learned. I could make the case that DBTC overpowers this forum, and does more damage to the sponsors than BST.
     
  12. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    Maybe I'm reading into this completely wrong, and if I am, I appologize...

    It sounds like from your personal standpoint, that the BAR forum should cater to the member who basically uses the BAR forum as a B/S/T platform and that without the public, "high visibility" B/S/T section, those individuals have little incentive to visit and partake of anything else the BAR forum has to offer. I personally see it as the otherway; that the BAR forum is all about the exchange of info, humor, teaching, etc etc and that the B/S/T is an occasional perk. I would think that people who want to sell items in a fashion to maximize either turnaround time and/or profits would use high volume market places like CL or RC.
     
  13. treylane

    treylane Guest

    You're not completely wrong - a lot of the time I spend on forums is dedicated to shopping or even just window-shopping, though not nefariously trying to bilk BAR club members out of their hard earned dough. ;)

    Sometimes buying/selling locally is just darn easier than trying to sell on one of the larger forums - nobody has to worry about running out of rubberbands, finding heat packs, PAYING FOR SHIPPING, etc. I'm all for the local reefing discussions and so on, this is a great resource for finding out which local vendor has strange plumbing parts in stock, or whether it's safe to drink the water. But when I'm trying to find a new home for a particular reefing item, even saying I'm open to offers so as not to offend the Pricing Gods - this is a pretty tough crowd, and I worry about it getting any tougher than it already is.
     
  14. Elite

    Elite Guest

    Thanks guys.. I like it.. It doesn't look like CL where people just register to sell stuff. That's what CL and RC are for :bigsmile: ..
     
  15. A_Lee

    A_Lee Guest

    I sort of like the new change too ... now I don't see a whole bunch of new BST threads everyday.
     
  16. Erick

    Erick Guest

    I didn't mind the old B/S/T thread. I don't mind having it be for only members though either.
     
  17. JRocha

    JRocha Supporting Member

    to tell you the truth it doesn't really bother me that I can not use the BST forum. I've tried it once and I prefer to get all my shopping needs done at a LFS like OT so I can help keep it alive. If we keep buying things from other members and not support our LFS' then what will happen to the stores. They will eventually shut down and everyone will start buying everything online and if you ever bought anything online its like Forest Gumps mom said, "life is like a box of chocolates. you never know what you're gonna get." I prefer to use forums like this and RC just to show my pics to people that enjoy the hobby as much as I do and get information and learn from other people's experiences rather than look for a good deal on something. All in all if we all keep buying things online and not suppoerting our LFS' than we will eventually be stuck without being able to see the coral or fishes well being before we decide to buy it. For me this wouldn't be good because I have never set up a QT tank and probably never will. so far in the past 5 years of doing saltwater I have not had a problem with this. So as a half @$$ member here the decision to remove the BST does not effect me at all. I completely understamd that you don't want it to be like CL. Bad things happen and could happen from meeting people from CL.
     
  18. kc

    kc Guest

    Anyone have some blue or purple acropora frags for trade or sale?
     
  19. kc

    kc Guest

    Anyone have some blue or purple acropora frags for trade or sale? or sun or orange cup coral?

    Thanks
     

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