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Discussion in 'Forum Issues' started by Soup dragon, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. HybridMomentsPass

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    spot on. well except for the 'rodinson' part.
     
  2. HybridMomentsPass

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    :( oh no!
     
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  3. TECENG
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    TECENG Loaded Pockets

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    I was surprised to find out that many large companies hire full time people to simply drum up business on forums. They will pose as someone not affiliated with the company (shills) and post about their products. The marketing exposure and profit on direct retail sales can be significant.
     
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  4. KeyeEl

    KeyeEl EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    On a totally un-related note, my sister thought the names of the Sesame Street characters were Ert and Bernie. :p:rofl:
     
  5. mrlysle

    mrlysle Loaded Pockets

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    Just became a Level 2 supporter! :bounce: Best I could do ATM. I'll do better next time!
     
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  6. xbanker
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    xbanker Geriatric Admin
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    Besides a "like," you've earned two of these: [​IMG] [​IMG] Doing whatever you're able is where it's at!
     
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  7. mrlysle

    mrlysle Loaded Pockets

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    Thank you! I WILL do it better when its due next round. Gotta wait for my per deim money. Wooooottt!!! I do feel good about doin' it though!
     
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  8. JonSidneyB
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    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    What if it becomes the only way for me to keep from closing the forums. I have fought tooth and nail to not charge for it but what if I can't avoid it. I have been willing to go homeless in order to keep the forum open and still didn't charge for it. Also while homeless there where those that made it much harder for me to keep the forum open and I still didn't charge.

    I we might have to start charging for BST as many other forums do. Quite a few people think I am wrong for not charging right now. The last three months I didn't know if I would be able to keep things going. We might be charging right now if it were not for some software fixes that will need to be done first.

    http://www.homelessforums.org/showthread.php?t=4832
     
  9. tower
    • In Omnia Paratus

    tower Loaded Pockets

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    To HMP: To be crystal clear, this is not to advocate boycotting anyone. Just to create a list of manufacturers who have shilled or otherwise been on the forum in complete violation of forum rules. How any member responds to this list is their individual choice. Personally, I won't be buying from them, but that's just me.

    Also, to soup dragon: another benefit of this Forum's survival is being able to learn, in detail, the experience of others (without an agenda) who have already purchased and used an item you are considering acquiring. Also solutions others have discovered to problems you may be facing. In short, the forum can obviate the need to recreate the wheel ongoingly and can afford you the benefit of hearing from those whom have already made your mistakes for you. Lastly, in case you hadn't noticed, there is an exceedingly high level of integrity and ethicality among forum members here, a standard which was set by Jon. And if you are so inclined, there is the opportunity to develop profound friendships based on a deep level of trust. I have not found any of these things on other forums, but often the opposite.
     
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  10. xbanker
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    xbanker Geriatric Admin
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    Food for thought. This suggests there's no impact on B/S/T activity or prices:
    • Blade requires Gold or Platinum member to sell. Activity robust, in fact, that area boasts the forum's highest thread count.
    • Knife charges individuals to sell. Likewise, activity is robust; at or near highest thread count.
    • BushcraftUSA requires supporter status to sell.
    • USN (so I'm told; not a member) charges members who wish to sell and, so I'm told, activity is robust.
    On EDCF, B/S/T has nearly 12,000 threads, the most of any sub-forum (next, Knives with 5,500), consistent with some other forums' experience. I spread a recent six month period of B/S/T threads. In only 18 of 186 total threads were the sellers "supporters" at any level (+1, +2, etc) ... 1 out of 10. Can we agree that sellers (and buyers for that matter but no one is suggesting buyers pay for participation) receive a tangible benefit from B/S/T usage?

    Another reminder, unlike some other forums, at EDCF members don't have to stare at banner ads from all manner of advertisers.

    Edit to include this comment, a few posts down:
     
    Last edited by xbanker, Jun 9, 2012
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  11. IMWILSON
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    IMWILSON EDC Wizard

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    I see no reason not to charge for selling on B/S/T. There are a few members who have an almost constant sale thread, and barely post in other sections. Should requair at least a +2 supporter. Jmho.
     
  12. JonSidneyB
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    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    Just a handful of examples each with a different twist.

    http://edcforums.com/threads/bills-custom-cases-urban-wallet-coming-soon.61672/

    Urban Wallet- I went to Bill to try and stock Urban Wallets. Once he was in the forum he started getting direct sales. We had an agreement that I would be buying inventory from him. He decided he didn't need me as a retailer as the forum was getting him plenty of business. He flat out told me he was going to farm the forum rather than sell to me. He also told me the members don't care if I have them or not. This had happened to me over and over again before him. He does have retailers but a retailers job is to find customers the manufacturer would not have found on their own. I gathered a bunch of customers together for him basically. What really hurt was I held back cash for these that could have been used for other things. This all was going on when I was homeless.

    True Utility- I contacted them about becoming a dealer. I sent many emails and never got a response from them. What did happen was at least three shill accounts were opened. The shills pretended to be a customer of true utility. True Utility did send me an apology for shilling 2 years after the fact. They said they wanted to do what it took to make up for it. I was unsure of doing business with a company that shilled though I have dealt with a known another known shiller, I regret that now. I got another email from them telling me that instead of shilling by pretending to be a customer they instead wanted to this time market in the open and hold contests. They ignored that I contacted them to buy inventory. Finally since I would not give them what they wanted I did get an offer to sell their product. I don't want to sell their product now. They lie by pretending to be customers and don't care one bit how the forum is supposed to be kept open but they do use retailers. This has happened often enough that I expect businesses I contact to become shillers.

    A manufacturer in the forum was selling product. I contacted them to see if I can stock their items. The conditions attached to this were some that I could not meet though there are a number of retailers out there carrying their product. They finally threw me a bone and we would get one in our own color. The manufacturer would be selling their entire line on the forum and I would get to sell one color of the item. A picture of the item was shown and we started collecting pre-orders. The complaints started after I started shipping product. The design had been changed. I then started paying for return shipping on half of the products and the others on the list refused to order. The manufacturer in the mean time made full price off of the forum members and made dealer price off of me. What I got in return was mad customers because the design changed. I had to borrow money to pay the server bill after the fiasco. I was homeless at the time trying to keep the forum alive.

    Here is why manufacturers can do this to me. I no longer have an identity as a store, I am identified as a forum now. A dealers job is to find customers the manufacturer would not have otherwise found. Since they are pre-gathered they can just come in and farm the place. They don't do that to their other dealers that have customers they don't know how to find.

    I wanted to be treated the same by suppliers as I was before I opened the forum. Having the forum gets me quite different treatment.
     
    Last edited by JonSidneyB, Jun 8, 2012
  13. JonSidneyB
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    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    I will cover something else but then I really have to move on to other things.

    I get asked frequently why I don't support the forum off of advertising. Try and find a forum owner that does not have a regular job, they are few and far between and their forums are many many times larger than this one. It would be impossible to make it off of advertising at this time. I happen to have a job that the forum competes with and they work at cross purposes.

    I am not greedy, I am just trying to exist. I am not trying to get customers, enough people will shop if I have what they want. My variety is not high enough to be viable is the problem. It means there is not enough cash flow to replace outages all the time.

    Many forum have to do things to protect their cash flow. I have always valued members freedom's more than money but acting in this way does cost me. Most of the rules are to protect other members, not my revenue stream. I could do things that would make it harder for others to go around me and that would increase my earning but I am reluctant to do those things.

    Deal Spotting-

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/927813-Deal-spotting-removed

    Why does bladeforums do this? Because fewer people would advertise with them and it would cut their cash flow.

    We allow deal spotting to benefit the members but it makes me poorer. The manufacturer is already represented out here by links to the manufacturer or via other dealers. We even have a section for it. It cuts me off at the knees but I can still make it if I can get inventory. I don't want to take that freedom away from the members but I also want to stay off the streets and keep the server payments going.

    There were a lot of complaints when CPF made their changes. They had to make those changes. The original owner of CPF got frustrated and walked. People trying to make money on the forum walked all over the place. Something had to be done.

    I on the other hand don't want to separate things to that degree. The amount of freedom we give is expensive for me because I don't get treated the same as I was pre-forum.

    We have the way station, it dilutes the forum and I knew it would the day I started it. Not every place will provide something like this, some places control those kind of links.

    There are other ways the links hurt us. I get contacted by businesses that have told me the outlinks on the forum creates more business for them than any other source. They want to come in and hold contests. I ask them if I can sell their product. They are not interested, because they are already getting benefit from all the links.

    We have had payed posters on the forum. It has long been known that posts are more powerful than banners.

    I was talking to Kripto one day while approving members I found a person that posted on a marketing forum they were payed for how many backlinks they created.

    There are many links out here that take people to advertising pages.

    I let the forum work against me for the benefit of the members.

    I get vendors and manufacturers that want to banner swamp. They say it is win win. They get more customers and I get more members. The problem is then I can't pay for the forum.
     
    Last edited by JonSidneyB, Jun 8, 2012
  14. JonSidneyB
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    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    On the first part I don't want to make the members pay for anything they don't want to pay for. All I wanted was to be treated the same as other retailers by manufacturers.

    On the second part I think that would be almost impossible. I am also convinced that if I tried that the forum would end up being closed for sure.

    How would sales be tracked? If it was done by the affiliate method a large amount of control would have to be exerted on the forum. Links that people post would have to be eliminated. That would mean that no one could post links to were they could buy the product, they would all have to be steered to the affiliate programs. Every affiliate program we have had has come to an end. The amount of chatter on the products and number of links posted makes it so they don't need us anymore. We could only get this to work by limiting freedom of the members. I am also better off selling a single ZT or Barkie than having an affiliate program with a single company or getting an advertising fee.
     
    Last edited by JonSidneyB, Jun 8, 2012
  15. tinker gnome
    • In Omnia Paratus

    tinker gnome Loaded Pockets

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    The USN also charges members to buy, that is for looking at the BST section.

    And the german Messerforum does exactly the same now.
     
  16. TECENG
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • Sponsor - Manufacturer
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TECENG Loaded Pockets

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    My opinion: Access to the BST should be for forum supporters only. That means you only need to get a +1 supporter badge to get in. Cheap, simple, and no one should cry over that. Oh, and DO IT NOW. It is probably something you need to do eventually if you want to stay afloat. So no reason to wait, the sooner the better.
     
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  17. tinker gnome
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    tinker gnome Loaded Pockets

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    What TECENG said. [​IMG] I just realised my supporter badge has expired, and renewed. Maybe it's a good idea to set up an alert when the badge expiration date comes near ... ;)
     
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  18. tower
    • In Omnia Paratus

    tower Loaded Pockets

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    :wavespin:
    That is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! You can only see what's available by entering the "Cove", which has a not insignificant fee for the privilege of entry.
    I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:
     
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  19. Idaho Gunslinger

    Idaho Gunslinger Loaded Pockets

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    I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:I AGREE! :wavespin:

    + 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

    Jon, just make it so one has to get a +1 badge to get into BST. It would solve so many problems.
     
  20. tinker gnome
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    tinker gnome Loaded Pockets

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    Not wanting to confront an Idaho Gunslinger (no guns here, just knives :oops:), but if you agree a quintillion times, where's your supporter badge? :p
     
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