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Classifieds rules amended - personal classifieds only!


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#1 echeng

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 12:34 PM

We've updated the rules in the classifieds:

No commercial posts! This means that if you are a dealer or business, you may NOT post your used stock here unless the item is something you are selling personally.

If you are a dealer and are trying to offload your used stock through the classifieds here, we will delete your posts (and warn you).

If there is enough demand, we will open a sub-forum for commercial used products. Members and dealers: let us know here whether that is something you'd like...
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#2 Scuba_SI

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 04:58 PM

I would say it's quite nice for Wetpixellers to be able to buy used products from a dealer on here. In this particular case the person is a dealer with a proper bricks and mortar store so i would feel safe buying from them.

I'd much rather buy that way that from some eBay shiester.

Maybe you can make the commercial posters make a yearly donation to Sea Shepherd/WWF etc for having the privilege of posting old stock?

Edited by Scuba_SI, 23 April 2009 - 04:59 PM.

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#3 pxguru

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:39 PM

I would say it's quite nice for Wetpixellers to be able to buy used products from a dealer on here. In this particular case the person is a dealer with a proper bricks and mortar store so i would feel safe buying from them.

I'd much rather buy that way that from some eBay shiester.

Maybe you can make the commercial posters make a yearly donation to Sea Shepherd/WWF etc for having the privilege of posting old stock?


As someone who is recycling gear at present to fund an upgrade I'd make a few comments:

1. From a seller's perspective, individuals will probably always offer lower prices for equivalent gear because they don't need to add in a commercial "profit" element to their sales, therefore having commercial sellers posting used gear (in a clearly designtaed commercial sub-forum) seems an OK idea

2. From a buyer's perspective (and as someone that generally shies away from paying "new" when "slightly used" is available to make my $$$ stretch further) the greater the variety of goods available the better, which also supports the idea of a commercial sub-forum.

3. Ebay can be a bit of a minefield, but the ratings system tends to weed out the real crooks - and anyway, underwater camera gear is pretty specific and most of us know what questions to ask and what to look out for. Ebay also widens the buy/sell search universe to include those unfortunate enough not to have come across the wonderful Wetpixel forum!!

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#4 bruceterrill

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 01:57 AM

Hi Eric,

Personally, I think that a commercial sub-forum is a great idea. There must be container loads of used equipment somewhere out there in the market,
and the chance of bringing this gear to the attention of the WP members, to me, is an excellent opportunity for the dive stores. It also gives WP a chance
to give a bit back to the Forums wonderful sponsors.
And as Scuba_SI suggests, maybe the sponsors/dive sores who use the forum for their second-hand goods could make a small percentage donation to
SharkSavers or similar? I think this is a good result from the suggestion box. . . .

Bruce...

#5 TheRealDrew

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 04:40 AM

If there is enough demand, we will open a sub-forum for commercial used products. Members and dealers: let us know here whether that is something you'd like...



Not a bad idea, as others mentioned there is a certain comfort level from buying from people you "know." I have purchased a couple of things from WP members and also from many of the retailers (-->) over the years.

#6 rtrski

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 05:52 AM

I don't mind the commercial sub-forum idea. I agree it would be nice to have some sort of 'division' to know the dealers from the individuals - even if it was just as a matter of their profile tag on posts. For used equip it doesn't matter that much, but when I'm trying to 'support the WP community' by scavenging my hand-me-downs from other members vs. just going to B&H or Reef or whatnot and buying new right off the bat, it would be nice to know that upfront.

Then again, dealer participation in the forums overall is indeed part of the benefit of WP, so I don't think we should 'punish' them for being members of the community either. David Haas, Jack Connick, etc. are all valuable contributors here, as are Ryan, Jean from Ikelite, and others I'm doubtless neglecting at the moment. (And I don't know who out of those have posted WTB/WTS threads leading to the TOS change, if any, just making a general point).

So - commercial subforum or formal dealer tag of some sort for the buyer to know, but the participating dealers to have the same rights as other participating forum members...seem fair? And of course since WP is not a charity, if Eric wants to give perques to 'supporting' dealers or advertisers like photo display marquees or persistent item inventories or whatever, they'd be better suited for a commercial subforum, since a user browsing there has already 'opted in' to seeing advertising a little more. So maybe that's the better option than just the dealer tag.

:(

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#7 JackConnick

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 06:33 AM

As a dealer I would appreciate the opportunity to sell my used or demo gear here, like any other WetPixeler can.

Really we are like others. We have to pay for these items, they aren't free. By having used these items ourselves we can report on them here and offer our insights to the forum on their use. The margins on almost all photo gear is tiny, and when we sell used we pretty much have the same market pricing as other sellers. There is no "extra" profit, which I think is a misconception. One difference might be that in some cases we can offer some sort of warranty with the items, certainly a lot of support.

I think a sub-forum would be a good organizational tool.

Jack
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#8 bruceterrill

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 06:45 AM

Really we are like others. We have to pay for these items, they aren't free.

I think a sub-forum would be a good organizational tool.

Jack


Hi Jack,
I have to disagree Jack.
You are not like the others! You are a commercial enterprise at your choosing, and you are choosing to make a living from the selling of the goods
and as such, your listings should be kept seperate. The "others" are the end user just trying to move a few s/h parts to make room for something new.
There is a big difference. The fact that you have small profit margins is bad luck on your part, and should not allow you or the other dealers to flood
the normal classifieds with competing product. It was my suggestion that a sub-forum be set up to allow the commercial guys an opening into the WP market.
But please don't suggest that you are just the "others". . .
Bruce...

#9 jeremypayne

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 07:08 AM

We aren't benefitting buyers by reducing the supply of used goods ... the ones who benefit in that scenaro would be the private sellers.

I think it makes sense to allow dealers to post, but also to identify them as such in some manner ... as the overall community loses if the supply of goods for sale is restricted
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#10 james

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 07:45 AM

Bruce: it's not your job to debate this with the other users and dealers on Wetpixel. If you'd just let people express their opinions in this thread that would be great.

Cheers
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#11 echeng

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 01:24 PM

What I want to avoid are two things:

1. dealer classifieds posts outnumbering private seller posts

2. people writing to me and complaining about how dealers are being commercial

Things aren't always perceived as being fair here because a post being labeled as "commercial" is somewhat subjective... so there has to be a clear delineation between dealer classifieds posts (which I agree would benefit the community) and private sales.

I don't agree with Jack's statement that they are like everyone else here. If someone comes to a dealer and offloads gear to be sold as used, you mark it up and then re-sell it. That's different than someone deciding to upgrade and selling their old gear. But I do agree that I'd like to provide a place for you to participate.

If anyone comes up with a reason it shouldn't be in a sub-forum, please let me know here. Otherwise, we'll do it that way!
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#12 echeng

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 01:26 PM

It was my suggestion that a sub-forum be set up to allow the commercial guys an opening into the WP market.

To set the record straight, it was not your idea. The staff has been debating this for some time without your involvement. James is only objecting to your posts these days because your tone is often not respectful of others.
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#13 echeng

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 01:29 PM

if Eric wants to give perques to 'supporting' dealers or advertisers like photo display marquees or persistent item inventories or whatever, they'd be better suited for a commercial subforum, since a user browsing there has already 'opted in' to seeing advertising a little more. So maybe that's the better option than just the dealer tag.

This is actually a great idea! Anything to help keep us afloat -- as long as it doesn't piss off our membership that dealers are paying for access to post inventory.

Dealers -- is this something you'd be up for doing? (paying for access to post your used inventory in a subforum?)
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#14 GHP

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 07:59 PM

+1 for allowing commercial sales, in a subforum.

#15 JackConnick

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 10:27 PM

I don't agree with Jack's statement that they are like everyone else here. If someone comes to a dealer and offloads gear to be sold as used, you mark it up and then re-sell it. That's different than someone deciding to upgrade and selling their old gear. But I do agree that I'd like to provide a place for you to participate.


To clarify; I'm NOT talking about buying and selling used systems. I don't actually do that at all. And I would agree that's a commercial enterprise.

What I'm talking about are used items; demos, returns or personal gear that I want to sell. Things that cannot be sold as new.

And I don't mind the sub forum, but I think charging for it is a bit much.

My .0002 cents
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#16 rtrski

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 05:01 AM

My suggestion was intended to be along the lines of allowing more 'storefront'-like behavior but visible thru that particular subforum for those who chose to support it - but the basic thread-style subforum would still be there for dealer sales regardless. Then there's no question of 'selling personal excess gear, although I'm a commercial rep' vs. 'just a dive photog selling personal excess gear', as it has been segregated into another section. And no general "Wetpixel sold out!" community outcry, since the additional markety-behavior is isolated to that forum as well.

I understand that dealers are also divers who love to take photos - why else get into such a low margin business? But by that same token, I firmly believe you won't often let go of 'personal excess used gear' at the kind of prices one of the non-dealer divers would, simply because you do have to consider your business and not undercut yourself too much! I guess there's the occasional loss-leader, but then that's still an invitation to further sales.

Don't get me wrong, Jack, I personally would like you guys to be able to sell here somewhere, somehow (jeremy's point further up the thread about "restricting the availability of used gear" doesn't help the forum community was spot on...what wasn't said is that used gear sales don't really help dealers of new stuff at all, this equipment is often annoyingly durable!!), and am just trying to come up with suggestions to help Eric and team make it work with what they want their site to be as well...and given that it takes work, if it also had some financial benefit to them, well, that's where that idea came from. Of course where it goes from here is between the potential customers of the concept and Eric et al. :lol:

And maybe I'm off the mark here anyway: Eric's first post about the TOS modification does say personal used gear from dealers can be included on the existing forum right now. So in Jack's post its really the 'demos and returns' that would go to the subforum, while your 'personal' gear recycling stays in the normal one. It's just up to you as the dealer to police yourself as to not apparently having a whole lot of different 'personal' used stuff to cycle thru. (I could never be a dealer - I'd want to play with all my stock!!) :D

Edited by rtrski, 25 April 2009 - 05:10 AM.

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Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#17 jeremypayne

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 07:47 AM

Not a level playing field.

Depends on your perspective ... if you are a buyer, then competition and low-cost suppliers of goods are a good thing.

I think most of the opposition to this idea would logically come from private seller who think they won't get the same prices for their used kit if there is competition from dealers ...

In my opinion, the "non-level playing field" is one where private sellers are "protected" from competition.

Such "restraint of trade" will create a "dead weight loss" (fancy way to say "in aggregate, we all lose out") but ... maybe more importantly, that dead weight loss is placed on the back of buyers.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm personally predominantly a buyer of new goods and seller of used goods ... so my personal financial interest lies with the private sellers ... but I'm also essentially an economist and like free markets as a matter of principle.
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#18 Mike L

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 11:10 AM

As a Dealer and a Sponsor of WP, I have a few thoughts.

1. I think doing a separate Commercial section is perfectly ok, so long as we have some opportunity to post used items I think its great

2. The used gear we sell is a FREE service we offer to our customers who are upgrading with us. Being a trusted retailer, we have a better shot of helping get the gear sold for the customers and also offer support for the items sold. Anyone that has upgraded with us in the past year since we started this program, knows that we show them the Ebay, Paypal, or CC receipts and give them full $$$ (less actual fees charged by Ebay, Paypal, or the CC companies).

3. Being the WP is a small yet tight network, we all know each other. Personally, Id much rather sell and pass on the opportunities to those of you I converse with on here on a near daily basis. When I come across really great deals (as I posted 2 weeks ago on here) for the EX1 cameras we got our hands on for ridiculously low prices, I post things here and on Scubaboard, as I like to work with the Underwater Industry and help fellow divers out when possible.

4. I think many buyers out there are really looking for a great deal, and are less likely to worry about whether the seller is a store or private...but rather are paying more attention to the bargain they are able to receive.

I completely agree though that Commercial posts should never be so abundant that personal posts are impossible to find. Isnt it currently a WP rule that we can only post or or two items to the Classifieds section within a week's time?

Edited by Mike L, 25 April 2009 - 03:35 PM.

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#19 bmemike

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 01:07 PM

As a prospective buyer, I'd certainly welcome the opportunity of buying used gear from dealers.

Now, from a commercial perspective, I can see why WP wouldn't want to simply allow dealers to post without some degree of restriction or minor fee -- WP is basically flipping the bill. By way of the hard work that WP and its contributors have made, this site and the forums are a resources to many, many people. There shouldn't be any assumption that any other commercial business or venture should be able to piggy-back on WP's success and hard work. eBay charges when you use them -- so a small fee (monthly, annually, whatever) shouldn't be objectionable because it's the same deal (pay to play) with a slightly different business model (e.g., % of each item sold).

Either a sub-forum or requiring commercial entities to create clearly-marked and labeled accounts (so posts in the Classified forum are clear) should be sufficient.

As a potential "wish list" item, if everyone is allowed in the same forum, a toggle filter would be great: "show all" versus "show only private posts" or similar.

#20 spaceflight

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 05:20 PM

This is actually a great idea! Anything to help keep us afloat -- as long as it doesn't piss off our membership that dealers are paying for access to post inventory.

Dealers -- is this something you'd be up for doing? (paying for access to post your used inventory in a subforum?)


Hey Eric,
I would definitely vote for the sub-forum idea. Not sure about paying for it, but I'm open to anything. Like anything else, I'm sure it would come down to cost.

I try to keep a low profile in the forums because of my "dealer status", but there are times that we get used equipment that we would like to try to sell as quickly as possible.

IMHO, wetpixel has always done a good job of "policing" dealer activity on the forums. It's very easy for a dealer to want to post to just about every question, but it's simply not fair to the other supporters for that person to get that kind of exposure. Posting because you have something to contribute to the thread is one thing, posting so that your thread stays at the top is another. (hint to the few that do this, you know who you are.)

My only suggestions would be these:
1. If it is allowed, paid or not, there should be some kind of weekly/monthly limit for posts.
2. Once the items are posted, the dealer cannot change or post to the topic for a certain period of time unless the items were sold or something major has changed with the specifications. This will prevent dealer A from posting to threads just to keep their topic above dealer B's.
3. Just something to consider. For those dealers that would be willing to pay for the sub-forums, you might consider giving them each their own sub forum. Then you've got a Forum for "Used gear from Dealers" with Sub-Forums for Backscatter, H2ophoto, Marine Visions, Reef Photo, etc. Then the respective people in each forum could post until their fingers bleed. Just an idea, this could be a mess to facilitate.
Joe Holley