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Classifieds New Thread Permissions = Supporting Members Only? A preview of change...

Discussion in 'Suggestion Box' started by paul, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. paul

    paul Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Jul 20, 2000
    I have up to this point resisted changing the setup of our Classifieds section, to allow only supporting members to post ads. However as you know most other sites, publications, etc do not offer free ad posting, and I'm thinking that a $1.66/month fee is not too much to ask for the opportunity to sell your gear on TalkBass.

    I'm posting this here in case someone out there dead set against this proposition would like an opportunity to try and change my mind :) I'm aware of course that this may cause the volume of ads posted to decrease. I would argue once again that the basic supporting membership fee is not too much to ask, and that the overall quality and integrity of the ads will increase, and will lead to a more trusted transaction with the seller.
  2. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    I dont see any problem with this idea. I think its a good plan. Hopefully it will encourage more people to become Supporting Members.

    Consider the multitude of other popular forums that charge just to register, and then consider the size of TB and you quickly realise that its one of the few forums in e-land of its size that lets people register for free.

    I'd consider looking at the way in which supporting memberships are used within the site. Maybe a post limit (500?) that you can have for free, and then you have to become a supporting member.

    Thats just the way I see it. My SM comes up for renewal in a few months and ill be more than happy to pay $20 for the privelige of wasting a fwe more hours of every day at talkbass.com
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Great idea Paul!

    (I wish you'd do that to off-topic too)
  4. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    I'm confused Paul, are you saying that Supporting Members can post for free and non-supporting users must pay 1.66/mo, or that only SupMems will be able to post items for sale, but they'll have to pay an additional $1.66/mo to do so?
  5. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i disagree with this!! $1.66 per month is waaaaay too expensive!! how dare you! i think the price of $1.65 is more like it! :D ;)

    paul, i think this is a great idea (charging non-members and free for supporting members).

  6. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Since $20 / 12 months = $1.66 I'm hoping he means the Classifieds section will be free for supporting/paying members.

    I became a supporting member again because of the Classifieds section. I got a good deal on some stuff so I sent some money TB's way as a 'thank you' for the good deals.
  7. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    I have no problem with it. I agree with everything Paul has said. A subscription based classifieds has worked on many other sites.

    this is what will happen.

    The classifieds here is one of the reasons I have become a supporting member.
  8. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    That's why I asked.. Just wanted some clarification.
  9. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i too was wondering where he got that $1.66 from
  10. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I agree wholeheartedly. $20 a year is very little, and you're reaping the benefits of the large TB membership.
  11. It's probably a good idea but I don't think it will encourage people to become supporting members. With the free classifieds I have posted at least half a dozen items (most likely more) but only sold one thing. Meanwhile for a smaller ebay fee (lower than $20 at least) I have sold everything (which is alot of stuff actually) the first time I have listed it. Also other boards where you pay to place ads are slightly cheaper and I have had more success selling on them. I always post the stuff here because it is free but with my success rate $20 is actually too high for the luxery of posting the item for sale.

    On a side note, the gear wanted section has been great to me and I usually find everything I want at a good price when I post there.
  12. doublemuff216


    Jun 14, 2004
    Astoria NY
    im gonna become a supporting member soon...until then its not big deal to me...i dont sell...i accumulate...this will probably bring in more money for TB...and TB has helped me so much i think $1.66 a month is the least one could do...as soon as i get a hold of a credit card...
  13. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Very fair thing to do.

    I don't post quite as much cause I don't really know where I fit. I am not really a dealer, but I am not the occasional seller I guess. But, when I had just a very few items, this was a great resource to sell with, and if worth ever freakin cent.

    FWIW, I felt like I got my money's worth out of bassgear, so I made a donation to Will as well. It is such a vaulable resource to us folks who like to simply try out new things and not want to pay an arm and a leg for it.
  14. paul

    paul Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Jul 20, 2000
    Just to clarify - the $1.66/month is just $20 over 12 months. No extra fees beyond a basic supporting membership are being considered. All registered users will be able to post in the classifieds section, however only supporting members, gold supporting members, and moderators would be able to create new threads.
  15. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    The only problem I can see with this is the possibility of registered users hijacking threads for their own items..

    Supporting Member: I have a great Warwick Thumb for sale for $1100.

    Registered user: That's a nice bass.. Looks exactly like one I'm trying to sell for only $900.

    Could keep the Mods pretty busy!!!
  16. AlembicBob


    Dec 28, 2004
    MA, US
    I just registered in the past week or so. Are there any numbers to say what percentage of people selling things through the classifieds are only at the registered level, or how many sell a second item with upgrading membership? The real question, I suppose, is this: Is there really a problem you're trying to fix with freeloaders and/or scammers?

    I really liked the concept of try it, sell something, and then join with the money if it worked for you, that's what drew me here. I don't begrudge you the right to set policy as you see fit, but I wouldn't have paid $20 up front without experiencing the power of the site first.

    As far as avoiding scammers goes, I would suggest that you stop accepting money orders for membership if this is a goal. If you want members to have a sense that they are safe and trading with a known individual, then anonymous forms of payment should not be allowed. It would be a small investment for a scammer to pay $20 to have the opportunity to steal $1000 or more with a false ad. This is especially true if the $20 "supporting member" tag buys them credibility with the target audience. On the other hand, knowing that Talkbass can and will identify the member in the event of a dispute should make a meaningful scammer deterrent and provide some peace of mind.

    Just my opinions...
  17. Jason Carota

    Jason Carota

    Mar 1, 2002
    Lowell, MA
    BANNED! ;)

    You wouldn't have to. You can post new threads in other forums, just not the Classifieds.

    IMO, I like the idea.
  18. I think it's a hard choice, but for me personally, as a non-supporting slacker, does the moderation and operation of the classifieds section take enough time to warrant changing it to a pay service. Has anyone done cost analysis on how many labor hours it costs to operate the classified forums and does that warrant the change to making this service paying member only? I know dude pit charges now as well, leaving harmony-central as pretty much the last choice for the desperate. On the other hand, membership is supposed to have priveliges, and maybe it would encourage more people, myself included, to pay to support TB. Your call.
  19. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I disagree with making the classifieds a "supporting member only" service. I believe this thread has been done before and I raised a similar objection. However IMO as long as the classifieds are restricted to private sales between "non dealers", I think that it should remain unrestricted. We get a lot of good deals posted on here from non-supporting members that otherwise we may miss out on.

    That said, perhaps an "auto script" or something which sent a PM from TB Admin to registered users posting on the classifieds encouraging them to donate would be a good way to go.

    Alternatively, how about a rule that registered users cannot have their posts "bumped" either by themselves or other users and any bumping gets the ad dleted (yeah I know its more work for the mods).

    But as Smash said, some of the best deals come from people who need money and these are not likely to be supporting members (or support to post an ad) so it would be a real shame to miss out on those.

    I would reather see "commercial users" be forced to be supporting members before the classifieds become a pay service - but again, thats my opinion.

    But, anyway, its Paul's house and he can make whatever rules he likes.
  20. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Maybe things are different on the DB board. For example, we have lots of long-time lurkers. I've seen DB lurkers post something in FS, go on to post generally and gradually become part of the regular crew.

    From my perspective, the free-for-all classifieds simply increase the readership. That, by itself, has value to members (and to potential advertisers).