Termination of the model personal classifieds

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Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by Roger » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:57 am

... well that is how some of us feel at present.

We need to find a working solution to how we operate the model classified section as the number of individuals/organisations that continue to abuse this section is just out of hand. Posting the 'Abuse of classifieds' has had no effect, or indicates that these individuals/organisations are unable or just not interested in being 'of our community''.

When we PM the individuals/organisations, there are ways that the these persons try to justify why it is a personal classified and that they are not making money out of the deal. Sometimes they also suggest that there are 10 other commercial operators doing exactly what they are doing so why are we picking on them?

It is extremely difficult to define exactly what is commercial and what is not. If anyone has any suggestions - feel free to contribute a definition.

We must remember that it costs to keep AvCom going and a few individuals put their hands into their pockets and donate to keep this site alive. It is extremely inequitable that then others choose to take advantage of these donors generosity for self enrichment.

In later times we have also had some commercial operators come on board, that have paid for their own sections and hence have also contributed to the site's operating costs. For interest, all the commercial sections are still only contributing to just under a third of our total hosting costs - the rest is still funded from private donors. This is another reason we cannot tolerate the abuse, or we may upset these commercial contributors for allowing their competition to have unpaid for advertising in the personal section.

So where to? At the moment my vote is to close this section unless we can find an easy way to manage it.
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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by Swampdonkey » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:01 am

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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by Roger Rabbit » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:17 am

Create a donation button in the area where one posts a reply. There are US sites which I visit and make a donation that way. Restricting usage in the I-age will probably work, but surely defeats the purpose of getting RC like minded individuals to get to know one another, share ideas, swop and trade, etc......

Maybe you should define the purpose of the Model Classifieds, then we may find an appropriate answer to support the purpose.

Yes, I know there are those who will simply ignore the donation button and even argue that they never saw such a button, but as moderators one would be able to trace a trend and then simply delete the freebee riders, or post a freebee rider name and shame list after eg. three posts without a donation.

E-commerse is so advanced that it should be a viable option to consider.

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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by Roger » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:18 am

Too much overhead in a donations situation. Would require tracking donations and matching those to advertised posts. Or would require some systems to be developed to manage it. We are considering a proper classifieds system, but at this stage is likely to be sometime off. Dont get me wrong - if you want to donate - go for it - search for the Willy Nilly Fund post on how to donate. If you donate R360 you will get a commercial section for free for a year.

The personal classified section is just that - those one or two items you may trade periodically. Not the 5 additional units you imported to make your's free, or 28 servos you just happened to have lying around - I am afraid that falls into the definition of a dealer. A classified should essentially be a second hand item, but even there we ended up with second hand dealers making a roaring trade at our cost and even some hobby shops advertising their second hand trade ins, so cannot limit it to the second hand definition alone. Also someone may buy a kit and decide later they have not the time to build it and elect to sell it - but as soon as that individual posts 5 such posts in as many months - once again have to question whether they are a 'dealer'.

So this is why it is difficult to define in empirical terms as to what we want to achieve via this section. However I do believe most of us have the common sense to make the distinction as to what is acceptable.
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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by schwalbe » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:06 pm

Have a " report this post" button available in each post. Mods can then delete the ad.Repeat offenders have their accounts terminated.?

Avcom is a great forum, learned a lot in my short time on board. Get with the program and play ball :wink:

OOPS... just noticed the little triangle thingy...think we as users must do our bit :roll:
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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by Dobo » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:10 pm

I Agree with schwalbe. We should have a report a post button (If there is one, I do not know where it is) Following a report, the content of this add should automatically be replaced by the words "The content of this add is being reviewed by the moderators". When you report an add, there should be certain questions you need to answer, to initiate the moderator review, as well as the opportunity to add some additional information.
Eg's of some questions:

Does the seller have a retail shop?
Does the seller sell modeling products to the modeling fraternity?
Des the seller sell modeling products which he imports or sells, on a part time basis
Does the seller actively trade second hand modeling equipment for profit?
Does the seller have more than one Avcom Account Profile?

Give some examples.

I think this would certainly put the brakes on. I know a number of people who complain about traders advertising, but do not want to highlight this in a public forum. This method would be more discreet, and therefore more effective.

I would prefer to support the traders who are contributing, by joining the commercial section, whether they deal in new or second hand goods.
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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by clivem » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:18 pm

skybound
it would be a pity, its a great forum and classifieds - commercial dealers wake up! where else can you get advertising for 360 bucks a year! i think any ads that look suspect should just be pulled by the moderators, no questions asked. Mods its your forum, you make the rules. delete the posts - ask questions later. like you say its common sense and i doubt very much you are going to upset legit private guys, cause its not that hard to spot the 'dodgy dealers'
Last edited by clivem on Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by clivem » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:22 pm

the report post button is there and it works just like the others! just hit the small triangle with the exclamation mark - its at the top right of each message posted and to the left of the 'quote' button!
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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by aubreyfly » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:10 pm

I agree.this is a good forum and would hate to see it go to waste.it has been a great way of making friends and getting connected with the rest of the country.we often get to chat with these guys on the phone and its really very interesting.
I must admit that i personally have placed alot of ads on avcom over the last year and it would seem as if im a dealer or similar but really its the only way i keep my hobby going .by weeling and dealing.and i believe that we all offer our fellow modellers the opportunity to get a good deal and most of the time a bargain.so yes i would agree that it would be hard for the moderators to pick up who are dealers or just guys with alot of stuff they wish to swop or sell cheap to support a new project.so moderators i think you have the right to question any advertisers.
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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by Magoebaskloof » Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:07 am

I agree with Aubrey, been modelling so long just a hobby passed onto me from my dad.
Current economic times think have forced some guys including myself to sell all spares and extra's lying in the garage for extra cash and also trying to pickup bargains been advertised on avcom.

So yes what a predicament. I mean I sit with Futaba Gold series radio's... so what do I do with them?? Use them as door stop?
Sadly I think we all wheel and deal for a better hobby..... and being ripped of by most local shops most guys do buy international for better pricing!

And there is allot of bargains around.........
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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by Roger » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:25 am

So far not much new.

Many of our community members have been using the 'Report this Post' button and is where we pick up 90% of our leads. We thank you for taking the time to do this - it is appreciated. We also receive PMs from individuals reporting suspect posts and users that may be 'connected' to commercial operators.

We normally allow the poster a chance to respond before deleting to ensure some balance. This is where things go pear shaped with discussions ensue as to what may or may not be commercial and sometimes even taking abuse and asked if we have sent mails to the other 10 users that are dodgy etc etc. If we dont communicate the deletion - then the user normally reposts.

Just to be clear, we are not considering removing the entire model section - just the personal classifieds (unless a workable suggestion comes up). The general discussion section and commercial model marketplace will remain for users to interact. Matter of interest - if you look at the majority of the offenders, they hardly contribute to the general discussions.

Keep the ideas coming.

<<Edit>>
Press this button Image that appears at the top right hand side of the post to report a suspect post.
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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by Magoebaskloof » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:32 am

Hey Sky,

Why don't you guys give everybody one free add per month with maximum of 2 items to be sold per add?
So that entitles everyone to advertise 12 times a year max.

Then sell add space for R100 an add... the person can then either add this to his item's price or not?
Probably also get rid of all the swops or whatevers!

Just an Idea?
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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by Roger » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:55 am

Magoebaskloof wrote:Hey Sky,

Why don't you guys give everybody one free add per month with maximum of 2 items to be sold per add?
So that entitles everyone to advertise 12 times a year max.

Then sell add space for R100 an add... the person can then either add this to his item's price or not?
Probably also get rid of all the swops or whatevers!

Just an Idea?
Would require systems to be developed (and maintained) in order to implement such an idea. It is a balance - weighing the 'cost' of doing such a system to just terminating the section. Any one know of some decent (used and tested personally) classified software - preferably open source.
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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by Seank » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:35 am

Avcom is a great forum, however as Dobo, suggests there are people here who are of a commercial Nature and those who are not. Some leech of posts offering items or services, others do blatant marketing by reviewing and getting feedback. There are people who have loads of stuff to Sell. I can think of loads of Guys (on Avcom) who could start hobby shop with the stuff they have. SARS, (our favourite "friends") have a great way to classify it, and this excludes the interest thereon you get taxed on this regardless of source. Does it produce a regular or recurring income? You can even be taxed on gambling winnings if you do it continuously. Ask the questions or do the due diligence:

For example:
- Shop stock - easy - commercial
- If I owned shop and posted my Private stuff for sale they would assume because I had a shop this would be of a commercial nature. Personally, I don't believe in mixing my business with Pleasure, they two separate entities, you don't take Stock from your business to fly and then sell privately, It still a business expense - this is commercial.
- If however, like some shop owners, buy from their business even if it is at cost, and fly then sell as they no longer want it. This is not commercial because it was paid for, just at a lower rate - some may say it's still commercial. This is boxing or stereo typing just because they own a shop, yet I see it as non-commercial in Nature - unless it happens every 5 days with the same or similar products.
- If you bought stock from a ex-hobby shop which closed down (quite few have done this) or Deceased estate (I have twice). You bought them for a few select items to keep and sold of the rest, pumped it back into your hobby. Like my fab new Radio. This is not commercial in nature, yet I could post more items then a local hobby shop (LHS) owner, but I choose not too.
- Then there is the guys Like AubreyFly and Magoebaskloof (sorry guys using you as examples). Whom, I know both buy and sell to keep their hobby going these days due to economic reasons (none of our business anyway). They both have full time employers, yet neither of them do it commercially, and neither own a shop or a web based shop and neither have suppliers or can buy from wholesalers, yet I have bought items of both Guys for great prices and will continue to. Why? Because of the price and/or the LHS didn't have it. Hell, Raise your hand if you don't. I do this too, I bring in excess to fill postage weight and sell it at a profit to sponsor my hobby, difference is I have the buyer up front and people ask me to bring it in. This too is not commercial, even though it’s for profit, it not for a regular or reoccurring monthly income but to keep the hobby going.

Report button: Problem I have with this misuse of this, In that the people that usually do the reporting do it for all the wrong reasons. Like "didn't they have a hobby shop, I own one too, I'll report his post as I assume it's commercial in nature and he's competition", now you need to ask the question who is complaining and why? If I decided to sell My lipo's all new in Box, I have loads, it's private, yet someone thinks it looks commercial, they will complain. This will lead to a argument. BB report buttons are for posts offensive in nature - define offensive in this case?

The Problem that Avcom experiences is not a new one. I'll take a random guess your issue is storage space. This is used up by classifieds and this costs money. This is a simple one to solve, simply delete posts after 30 days to free up space, PhpBB has these features either included or as a add-on (or get a cheaper hosting package), these are not new issues. Some like RC Universe, let you post some for free say 2 the rest are paid for, 1 item per listing, these are active for 14 or 20 days (sorry can't remember exactly) and then the item is deleted. Or rather get someone to vet posts, like Junkmail, they are posted or publicly viewable, but can be deleted without notice if it's commercial in Nature, no reasons given.

Moderators are supposed to be impartial - be impartial. Initially, Allow posts, ask the questions if they look dodgy, vet the posts, be sure of the facts first and simply delete those commercial in nature.

Regarding Software, There are a loads of them out there, but,since you already run PhpBB, rather get one of the add-ons available for it

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... &t=1558515 -- Looks like this http://www.udonmap.com/udonthaniforum/buysell/index.php
http://www.scripts.com/viewscript/phpca ... pbb/18571/
http://www.seankriegler.com
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Re: Termination of the model personal classifieds

Unread post by johnsa » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:49 pm

Transparant, open etc. 2009. So how much are the hosting costs of Avcom? Must be less than a little flight with a P166 with George. So how much is it than we can make a plan.

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