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Discussion Starter #1
What started as a convenience to the membership has turned into nothing but a babysitting headache for the staff. So many rules have been breached lately, that I am making the executive decision to close the Marketplace area until further notice. There are going to be some new, stricter rules for those using this forum benefit going forward. Alternatively, we may cease trying to police in moderation, and make it strictly BUYER BEWARE, and you can complain to the buyer/seller or no one at all.

The forum will close this afternoon, again until we have had a chance to revamp the entire area and policies.

BTW, the VENDOR area is still open, and will function business as usual.

P.S.
The few who have contacted me with their knickers in a wad over the Marketplace being shut down "For renovation" can march themselves over to the SOTW Facebook page and post their for sale ads there. Oddly, we haven't had the same amount of problems with ads placed there as on the forum board. Knock on wood.
 

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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice

Man...this is why we can't have anything nice.

edit: I just re-read the marketplace rules and was surprised to find no mention about disagreements that arise in the course of transactions, and certainly no mentions of valid reasons for making a return.

Also, the incident that triggered this action is a very good example of why I never put "x% lacquer remaining." This is always a guess on the seller's part. After all, what makes one horn a 98% and another a 99%? Blemishes that may not be considered significant to one person may be unsightly to the next. And then there is a dent vs ding vs ping...light damage easily visible to the naked eye can be quite hard to capture with a camera.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2013
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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice

I think as soon as you guys drop the hammer on infractions sooner you're going to notice much less riff raff.

Things like arguing sellers price and other things of that nature.

1 strong warning. Then disabled access to the marketplace.

The previous methods of simply removing posts and asking everyone to play nice has obviously not worked.
 

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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice

^Totally agree. There's a lot of bad behaviour and people think they have a right to be a total ******* on here with no consequences. Constant trolling and snippy comments that contribute nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice

We will likely go one of two directions with this revamp. Either we bring on a full time Moderator who's sole responsibility is cracking the whip in the Marketplace, or we open it up without any policing whatsoever, and it is strictly BUYER BEWARE.

The staff is sick and tired of playing babysitter, and being pulled in every which direction. The Marketplace was NEVER intended to be a heavily structured eBay sort of operation. It was created purely as a perk for the long time members. What it has become is a royal pain in the arse for us.

We are willing to hear input from the membership on this. Keep in mind, we want less hassle, not an added onus. Or alternatively we can just chuck the whole thing.

BTW, the Vendor area will not be closed in this overhaul.
 

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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice.

I don't think leaving it completely unpoliced will be effective. I think that will result in so much bickering that many people will just stop using it. That being said, moderating it would of course be a ton of work, so I think there should be a moderator, but that the rules should be much stricter in terms of being banned for bad behaviour.
 

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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice.

Don't go all nanny state on the Marketplace. More rules is rarely the answer when people aren't already following existing rules.

A few proposals:

(1) Marketplace is strictly BUYER BEWARE.

Terms to be decided between buyer and seller. Want a return policy? - negotiate it. Don't want to pay via F/F so you have recourse? - don't send money via F/F, or add 3% to the total. If the buyer isn't cool with that, find a different horn. Need more pics? - ask. There's no way SOTW should have a role in mediating sales or disputes.

(2) Marketplace listings can be commented-on ONLY BY THE SELLER.

This will eliminate peanut gallery bickering and off-topic conversation but still allows the seller to bump his/her listing in accordance with the rules (once per week). Perhaps it would be possible to automatically "lock" a listing for a week after a post is made to prevent abuse of the bump policy (e.g., "Forgot to add....").

(3a) Better segregation of DEALER LISTINGS.

This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I know that there's a "Dealer" subforum in the Marketplace, but you don't have to look far to find abuse of the policy and it clutters-up the normal Marketplace. Perhaps there needs to be a more clear definition of "Dealer" for the purpose of forum posts.

- alternatively -

(3b) NO dealer segregation but a MAXIMUM OF 3 ACTIVE LISTINGS

Do away with the "Dealer" subforum and allow everyone to post in the general "Marketplace," but each member can have only three (3) active "For Sale" listings at a given time. Once an item is sold, the thread is locked so that price data is preserved for future reference and the seller is permitted to list an additional item. All items must be listed separately.

- alternatively -

(3c) NO dealer segregation but a MAXIMUM OF 1 ACTIVE LISTING

Do away with the "Dealer" subforum and allow everyone to post in the general "Marketplace," but each member can have only one (1) active "For Sale" listing at a given time. Once the post is no longer relevant, the thread is locked so that price data is preserved for future reference and the seller is permitted to create an additional post. Any number of items can be combined into that one listing, but all items must be listed together.
 

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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice.

In 10 years I've only purchased a half dozen or so saxes here, and sold only three.
Man our definitions of "only" are massively different. In 10 years, I've purchased one sax, sold one, and donated one to a school.

Sorry to see the marketplace go, and hopeful for its return in a safer/less headache-inducing format. It's quite possibly the best place on the internet to find a quality used saxophone.
 

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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice

I just re-read the marketplace rules and was surprised to find no mention about disagreements that arise in the course of transactions, and certainly no mentions of valid reasons for making a return.
Why would there be? I don't think this what the forum is for or can be handled in any fashion.

Also, the incident that triggered this action is a very good example of why I never put "x% lacquer remaining." This is always a guess on the seller's part. After all, what makes one horn a 98% and another a 99%? Blemishes that may not be considered significant to one person may be unsightly to the next. And then there is a dent vs ding vs ping...light damage easily visible to the naked eye can be quite hard to capture with a camera.
I think you should provide a brutally honest description rather than being vague. There is plenty of lament about ebay on SOTW and lofty statements about how much better things are here, but the fact of the matter is there are bad and really bad sellers in both places, just like there are good and great ones. It is up to each individual to decide what category they wish to belong to and take the consequences.

The marketplace will re-open, because it is essential to SOTW.

The moderators cannot be accountable for the condition of items that are sold and in fact should be able to generally stay completely out of transactions. It has never worked here, besides in extreme cases where there have been plenty of other red flags.

It should be permitted and to some extent obligated to give honest feedback on transactions to alert other members of problematic sellers. However, it has to be in the proper language and format, which is something the moderators can assure.

Whatever the rules end up being, they should be the same for all and enforced without bias, irrespectively of whether the seller is professional ("vendor"), a part time flipper of items, or like most just casually turning over gear.

When it comes to buying and selling, SOTW has always been the wild-wild west and it will never change, because there is no way of enforcing much of anything, besides proper language etc. In most cases, it is really hard to tell who is right and wrong, so how to work this out?

The - apparently now - "old" set of rules weren't too shabby IMO, certainly not if adhered to and besides deleting posts and banning members, I doubt the moderators can do much more. Meanwhile, the members can live and learn who to buy from and who to avoid.
 

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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice.

It has been my experience in business that 5% of people cause 95% of the problems. It’s usually not hard to identify the 5%, and once they have been removed one wonders why it took so long to make such an obvious move.
 

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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice.

That's a damn shame. I've bought and sold about a dozen things here, and never had a problem. People were always honest, polite, responsive, all the things you want in a transaction partner. I'd be disappointed to think of losing access to such a useful resource.

Ah well … just another example of a few jerks ruining things for everyone else, I suppose.
 

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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice.

Yeah, I have bought and sold quite a few things here also. Bought more saxes than sold for sure.

Except for the sax I just bought that arrived very bent, no real problems either buying or selling.
I refunded 100% to a buyer who wasn't happy with the sax, I separately bought back a sax I had bought and then sold here, etc.

Yes, there are always problem children. No reason for everybody to have to suffer due to the failings of a few.

dat
sax
man
 

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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice.

I must be missing something in this "issue". This latest controversy is the only one I can remember in several years, if at all. I suppose the moderators have seen more rudeness and anger (and maybe deception), but those may have been private beefs done behind the scenes.

I read the Marketplace every day just because of the interesting things that are offered for sale or asked about. I haven't seen many problems, at least to the level alluded to in this thread. Oh sure, some folks new to the site have attempted to buy or sell, but that is easily brought into conformance with the rules.

I advise against going too heavy on any changes. I see no reason to get our knickers in a knot over this current dust-up. DAVE
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice.

I must be missing something in this "issue". This latest controversy is the only one I can remember in several years, if at all. I suppose the moderators have seen more rudeness and anger (and maybe deception), but those may have been private beefs done behind the scenes.

I read the Marketplace every day just because of the interesting things that are offered for sale or asked about. I haven't seen many problems, at least to the level alluded to in this thread. Oh sure, some folks new to the site have attempted to buy or sell, but that is easily brought into conformance with the rules.

I advise against going too heavy on any changes. I see no reason to get our knickers in a knot over this current dust-up. DAVE
The fact that you, the viewer, have seen relatively little angst is a testament to the staff and our fielding of the drama and BS, not the lack of it from our perspective. Unfortunately your bliss come at a high cost compliments of our time and sanity. This has to, and IS, going to change.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice.

Don't go all nanny state on the Marketplace. More rules is rarely the answer when people aren't already following existing rules.

A few proposals:

(1) Marketplace is strictly BUYER BEWARE.

Terms to be decided between buyer and seller. Want a return policy? - negotiate it. Don't want to pay via F/F so you have recourse? - don't send money via F/F, or add 3% to the total. If the buyer isn't cool with that, find a different horn. Need more pics? - ask. There's no way SOTW should have a role in mediating sales or disputes.

(2) Marketplace listings can be commented-on ONLY BY THE SELLER.

This will eliminate peanut gallery bickering and off-topic conversation but still allows the seller to bump his/her listing in accordance with the rules (once per week). Perhaps it would be possible to automatically "lock" a listing for a week after a post is made to prevent abuse of the bump policy (e.g., "Forgot to add....").

(3a) Better segregation of DEALER LISTINGS.

This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I know that there's a "Dealer" subforum in the Marketplace, but you don't have to look far to find abuse of the policy and it clutters-up the normal Marketplace. Perhaps there needs to be a more clear definition of "Dealer" for the purpose of forum posts.

- alternatively -

(3b) NO dealer segregation but a MAXIMUM OF 3 ACTIVE LISTINGS

Do away with the "Dealer" subforum and allow everyone to post in the general "Marketplace," but each member can have only three (3) active "For Sale" listings at a given time. Once an item is sold, the thread is locked so that price data is preserved for future reference and the seller is permitted to list an additional item. All items must be listed separately.

- alternatively -

(3c) NO dealer segregation but a MAXIMUM OF 1 ACTIVE LISTING

Do away with the "Dealer" subforum and allow everyone to post in the general "Marketplace," but each member can have only one (1) active "For Sale" listing at a given time. Once the post is no longer relevant, the thread is locked so that price data is preserved for future reference and the seller is permitted to create an additional post. Any number of items can be combined into that one listing, but all items must be listed together.
You may well have the "magic" answers to the problem with your suggestions.
 

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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice.

I never sold anything but bought several horns here that I would have never found on eBay, Facebook or Craigslist. It is what it is, shame on those who caused this problem ...
 

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Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice.

I think in the end there will still need to be some degree of policing involved (explained later), but I agree with those who have suggested that the marketplace should just be made to operate under the "Buyer Beware" principle (which should be published prominently on the marketplace landing page(s)) and that the moderators should not have to arbitrate the transactions themselves. If the parties wish to obtain the ability to get redress/recourse, they should carry out the transaction using a service that provides a means for recourse (e.g., regular Paypal). If you want to save money and pay through F&F or a similar method, then you assume the risk of having no recourse in case the transaction goes badly.

However, there should still be a way for members to leave feedback on transactions for the benefit of the community. It would be highly beneficial and desirable for members to know, based on transaction history (not just post counts or join date), whether they need to take extra precautions or ask more extensive questions (or not do the transaction at all) when dealing with a specific member. To that end, I believe it would be useful if we have an updated set of guidelines as to how listings should and should not be described. Some things that come to mind right now are: 1) any descriptions that involve pure guesstimates (e.g., lacquer percentage) should not be included in listings; 2) it should not be sufficient for sellers to rely on photos as the sole means of disclosing defects/damages/flaws, particularly if such photos are not close-up shots (the seller should call attention to the defects/damages/flaws in the text of the listing); and 3) the guidelines should prescribe the minimum number of photos to be posted and the angles from which they are to be taken. I'm sure there are other important points others can suggest.

Parties to a transaction are each allowed a maximum of two posts to leave feedback on the transaction: 1) the initial feedback by the buyer; 2) the initial response by the seller; 3) a counter-response from the buyer (if necessary); and 4) a counter-response from the seller (if necessary). After No. 4, the thread is locked and will serve as a future reference for all other members. Where the guidelines come in is if either party disputes the feedback left by the other party and requests that it be removed, the moderators can adjudicate the removal or retention of the feedback (and not the underlying transaction itself) based on whether the guidelines where adhered to.

So, the role of the moderator will limited to moderating the forum itself and not the transactions. Concurrently, the community benefits from the information generated by the feedback process.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re: Marketplace area closed until further notice.

The bitching that goes on with the in ad tit for tat commentary is as much a problem as the transactions themselves. Despite the prolific mud slinging, all involved invariably want us to get into the middle of it, and cry to us at every opportunity. Much time and effort is wasted by the staff getting drawn into that BS. Whatever we decide on, that is no longer going to take place. Either everyone will be allowed to become mortal enemies in publicly aired dialog with what should have been tête-à-tête exchanges off the public forum, or there will be no permissible commentary in the Marketplace ads/threads whatsoever.
 
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