Multicurrency support is on my wish-list. For now what you did is the best solution.
Multicurrency support is on my wish-list. For now what you did is the best solution.
Thanks Bob, just wanted to make sure I hadn't broken a rule or something as well.
I'm not keen on the fact you can't see if the seller is a senior member or not. I'd like to be able to see how active they are in the forum community, as it's vital in knowing how much trust that member has.
just curious if the traffic for your website is down after you have changed the BUY/SELL section. The section is UNUSABLE (at list for me anymore).
You may generate few dollars before loosing 50% of posts and 25% of users.
This is one of the reasons why I have moved away from friendmiranda.com.
Happy new year, and good luck with your new section.
If the 50% of posts and 25% of users means the posts and users whose only presence here was to sell stuff, it won't be that big a loss. I don't know that the new format is as good as the old, but the charging of fees isn't the problem.
Getdpi.com Site Info
The only number goes up is a BOUNCE RATE. which is not a good thing.
Stephen, you will be surprised how everything is connected.
I used to own large community websites (much larger then getdpi.com) and I can tell you from experience, I have seen large websites going under water just by making one strategic mistake.
People have options now.
And most of the time they don't come back.
I hope this is not the case....
Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky, but I have to say I like the old Buy & Sell format better than the current one. I think the older format had a more social nature more conducive to gear sluts, and in general, to the GetDPI family.
I agree with Steve; I don't think charging fees is a problem, and doubt that many here would mind chipping in a few coins into the can to use the B&S forum.
Thanks for saying what I was thinking, Ken. I much prefer the old B&S format over the new one and would pay a fee to use it. The new format is a turnoff, IMHO.
Joe Colson Photography3 Member(s) liked this post
I think that part of the issue is that the B&S section is walled off and so it doesn't naturally form part of the rest of the forum and hence isn't visited as much. I liked being able to see within the forum format what was up for sale very easily. I very rarely bother now and actually prefer the LuLa site where there seems to be more traffic and activity.
Rosebud ...1 Member(s) liked this post
I wish we could have the old B&S back. I used to log in 3 times a day to see new stuff up for sale. The new one is just not working out. Not many new items up for sale, can't reply with questions, hard to post, etc. I am hesitant to post my own item because 1) it's hard to post, and 2) cannot bump and 3) don't want to pay the fee because I'm not sure it's getting a large audience/reception.
Now I rarely check the B&S section and that had lead to me spending less time on the site. Further, I had to open up an account on FM to sell my stuff because if I'm paying money, I'd rather sell it there for the huge buyer pool.
My frank opinions
1 Member(s) liked this post
My guess on "Walled Off": Most of my time on GetDPI, I hit the 'New Posts' button, and then look at the (new) threads that I am interested in - I don't browse by forum very often. Previously, all the new Buy-and-Sell posts turned up, and now they don't, so in that sense, they are now 'walled off'.
Personally, I approve of the changes. My guess is that the main goal of this website is to provide a friendly and polite place to exchange information and experience about photography, and it is generally very successful. Originally there was no Buy/Sell forum, but once it was created, a large proportion of the posts were in that forum, and there arrived a considerable number of members who only participated in that forum. This seemed, to me, to dilute the original purpose of the site. I am not opposed to the site having a Buy/Sell forum: I understand the logic of the connection to the very particular audience of the members here, I have had some good experiences with it myself, and it is probably the first place I go to when I want to buy or sell camera equipment. The new arrangement, which somewhat separates ('walls off') the information exchange and discussion functions of the site from the commercial functions, works for me.
On the lighter side, a New Year's resolution that I might have made would have been: 'Don't read any of the FS ads (unless I am actually looking for something) - reading them only encourages GAS, and GAS certainly doesn't need any encouraging.' Fortunately, Bob et al have accomplished my resolution for me!
As per the previous comment, my description of 'walled off' referred to the separation of the section from the rest of the forum as explained. You have to click on the browse ads banner and then drop into a different section - kind of taking the back door to a hidden room at the back of the forum.
Maybe it's just me that feels this way.
Last edited by GrahamWelland; 6th January 2014 at 16:19.
Rosebud ...1 Member(s) liked this post
Used to be you could be surprised seeing a new gizmo in the b/s when you weren't even shopping. Now you have to be deliberately looking to buy
3 Member(s) liked this post
"Used to be you could be surprised seeing a new gizmo in the b/s when you weren't even shopping. Now you have to be deliberately looking to buy."
Is that a defect, or a feature?
Rosebud ...5 Member(s) liked this post
I would normally visit it everytime i came to the site, and now do not even bother to go to it.
On the other hand, DPI has the best Sony forum around, without all the drama that spells DPR,LOL
yes, that might be all it takes
1 Member(s) liked this post
I agree - seeing the activity there would certainly help.
I'm wondering if adds have dropped off since there is no interaction between possible buyers and sellers. I don't go there much anymore.
Folks are certainly free to avoid either side of the new B&S format, it's totally up to them. Either way, it doesn't alter the (excellent) content of the forum threads
"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."1 Member(s) liked this post
I think most understand that the difficulties you mention are real - spam ads, constant bumping, price policing, etc. - but there should be ways to address each of these problems without holding a pillow over the B&S forum's face. I think the best way to maximize the income potential of the site is to reverse your thinking about the mix of a good and positive user/customer experience, versus ease of moderation and making some money.
If you set a goal of trying to put the (newly minted) customers first and adding the requirement that you start making money from the ads while keeping things tolerable for the moderators (rather than the opposite approach now being pursued), you will likely find you can make much more money from the ads. It looks like there are just a few new ads being posted everyday, unless I am missing something.
I still think that the biggest problem is not having any comment ability, but you could also likely make much more money by charging a subscription fee to sellers - or even buyers, to weed out the increasing number of scammers who are contacting members. Regarding bumping and price policing - I am not very familiar with the available addins for VBulletin, but there may be some very customizable options for reasonable prices. At the least you may be able to get help from the member community by using a "Report" button to make the task of moderation a lot easier.
Think about how a $10-20 per quarter fee would stack up against the current "modicum" of income you are now seeing. Or even keeping the current fee structure under a more usable and social format. As others have mentioned - an active, vibrant B&S will drive traffic to the site, and result in more members and more income. I for one would not hesitate to subscribe, both to support the site in general, and to use the buy and sell.
Just something to think about
Ad views are about the same as they were about a year ago.
About half of the views are from non-members, about the same as a year ago.
The rate of sales in the first two weeks is about the same as it was a year ago for those members marking their ads as "sold".
According to google analytics, the bounce rate is exactly the same as it was a year ago.
What has changed is that the number of disciplinary actions compared to a year ago has dropped off to about zero.
The number of folks commenting on an ad that it "is a really good deal" or that "so-and-so is a very good seller" who happen to me made by different user ids with the same ip address has gone to zero. Claims of fraud have also gone down.
There is plenty of opportunity to interact with the seller by responding to an ad, asking questions, clarifications and so forth is the same as it always was, only not publicly, sort of if the user had made the comment by PM instead of post.
I have reviewed the "social aspects" to user comments and frankly think they are not worth much.
We have the ability to turn on user comments to ads, but from past experience they would all be moderated if we were to do so.
We offer a discounted package of "credits" that can be purchased which do not expire and permit a user to buy ads in bulk. A quarterly fee would be time-limited and I bet some of the fees would be wasted, at least as far as the user is concerned. In the last month, one user has made a bulk purchase, which is great news for us.
The classifieds section provides a way for users to flag an ad which is meant to bring it to the attention of the moderators.
I have thought about what a "vibrant" ad community would mean for us. Frankly it may detract from the real goals of the forum which is to share images and talk about photography.
The one thing that IS missed is a response from an old forgotten ad for an item that just never sold. I do miss that.
Anyway I have made my decisions concerning the ad section for the time being.
So far we consider it a considerable success.
I think a lot of what you see as low value and what I and at least some others see as high value is a result of perspective. I come at it from the perspective of what I find as an engaging use of my limited safe time, I think you come with the perspective of reducing admin hassles for over burdened moderators. Fair enough, I hope it does work out well.
Thanks for offering your views and intent.
I really hate to discipline a normally fine member for odd comments on the b/s forum. Heck if I were to offer a LBJ tie-pin for $10k would it be best for just nobody to buy it or for moderators to put half a dozen members in a time-out for price-policeing comments? Lets make with the photography and talk about whats important. I guess the comments offered a certain degree of sport, but at the expense of what?
The B/S forum was always intended to be an ancillary service, not the reason for the forum.
I am encouraged by the number of new members that we are getting via the new front page entry-point. That is gratifying indeed.
Wh have a little more than a month of experience. Things will change with experience but I cannot say which way it might be.
One reason that activity seems low is that every snarky comment and every bump showed up as a new post. the actual rate of new ads was much lower than apparent activity.
A few months from now we will evaluate where we are and decisions will be made based on the data.
Regarding comments being allowed on ads posted was a double edged sword and I'm not sure what way to go on this, but something else feels missing. Easy access to a sellers Getdpi posting history might be helpful similar to the way it used to be where next to the sellers name one can see the # of posts made, when they joined Getdpi and a click on their avitar/name brings up the usual degree of info. This is no different than clicking on that name when seen in one of the forums. Whether it can eventually be linked to their buy/sell history on Getdpi, I certainly don't know the difficulty of doing this.
Just some idle thoughts.
I am glad the new system is working out for you and that it has created a small revenue stream. However, I have to agree with many of the issues raised. I only saw this discussion as a result of clicking on "New Posts". I rarely, if ever, go the sales section anymore and I was the buyer of a number of things that caught my eye from seeing them in "New Posts".
The mere fact that ads are being listed as sold has no bearing on if the items were sold here or on venues like FM or Canon Digital Photography Forums, etc. I only bought things here because they caught my eye (and because I felt I knew the sellers) and that added to the overall positive experience of this site.
I also sold a few things here in the past and while the fee doesn't deter me (I pay to sell things on FM) the format does.
GetDPI is truly one of my favorite reads and its a shame to see it appear to be even a little less than it was. Does this change the fact that it is still one of my favorite reads - obviously not really. However we all know from our experience with this hobby that its the little things that can make a difference.
Let me put it this way to all of you who prefer the old way: If we were to bring it back, would you each agree to give us $1 for every price police or deliberate bump against the rules mod action we have to take? Note this will likely cost you each between $10 and $25 per day. But, if you REALLY do want the old system and we can get five or six of you that want it back bad enough to pay us that way for it, we'll strongly consider it.
I sure don't want the old B&S back enough to pay wages to mods. Maybe some others do; I'm sure they'll volunteer. I was just trying to offer suggestions in reply to your post about the ad fall off that could possibly result in more ads or income. Bob subsequently said that ad traffic and sales were comparable to last year this time and it aligns with your (mgt) philosophy of how an classifieds board should work. Looks to be a winner. - no problem.
I for one am good with it and hope the change continues to work well for you guys...
Almost a full week without new ads. It's dying, sadly no matter which way we'd be going.
The loss of the social dimension of selling in a social environment such as a forum is a huge deal - this was often how sales were engineered. Where once there seemed to be the hustle and bustle of a market bazaar (sometimes bizarre would have seemed more appropriate) there's now just silence - an ad with an email address, and no bumping either (even for a price drop - doh!) Plain and simple, ads just go unnoticed and deals go undone. Maybe you do get the same number of ads, but I don't see that many 'sold' signs these days.
No complaint whatsoever with you trying to generate additional revenue, but IMO this style of Buy/Sell isn't the way to do it. Rather, implement it in the manner that APUG does (built on vBulletin as well) - i.e. charge to list in the Buy/Sell section by the month (not per ad) and keep it within the main body of the forum (like it used to be here), so that people can post 'replies' to an advert (a la APUG, FM, etc.).
Just my 2c.
P.S. Since the info available on GetDPI is like the 'missing manual' for Phase One products, maybe Phase should throw you a few of the $ they've just got from Silverfleet Capital ... Henrik, you listening?
I agree with an overall sentiment about new B&S section. I agree with Jim that with new model whole concept of "Social Sale" is lost and has become more non-human sale something like mini ebay.
At the same time I also understand logic to generate revenue to support the site. Get DIP should probably look at Fred Miranda or Pentax Forum type paid subscription model.
I believe (just my guess) that would be much more successful for users to sale and GetDPI to generate revenue
2c from me
I am not a fan of the new Buy & Sale. I tried several times to post items for sale and after spending an unreasonable amount of time I listed with another site in 1/3 the time. I made at least two paypal payments, but never was able to get my post published. I posted on the forum concerning my difficulties and lost paypal payments and never heard from anyone..... I love this forum and spend as much time as possible here, and will continue to do so but I firmly believe Buy & Sale should be smooth, fluid, and clear. Thank you for all tthat he moderators and owners do.
I think you may be underestimating the draw the B/S section had for the forum itself.
Many of the members of GetDpi use pretty exotic gear and turn it over more than most. As such, it generated a core group of like-minded folks over the years that in many instances trusted one another … that the few that didn't adhere to policy are used to punish those that used the F/S section in good faith and practice is unfortunate.
Personally, I'd be willing to pay a subscription fee for the privilege of posting items with F/S or trade, or a request for when looking for something specific.
Would $50 annually work? Renewed annually unless the user unsubscribes?
Just a thought,
6 Member(s) liked this post
The Fred Miranda forum used to be free and moved to a subscription model. The Fred Miranda forum model basically offers several "subscription" rates, from 30 days, 3 months, 6 months, a year, etc.) You can post items for sale/trade as much as you'd like within that period. Easy to understand and basic rules. Participating in all other areas of the FM forum is free, but you can post images if you have a subscription. Non-subscription members can still contact sellers to make purchases.
It simply works.
Maybe GetDPI could consider making use of its B&S forum tied to its subscription base (currently you pay only for additional image storage). Participants can still post and be part of the GetDPI family, but if you want to use the B&S forum, you need to be a subscribing member. (This is basically how Fred Miranda works; you need to subscribe to post images also, unless linked).
This similarly would still filter out those who visit GetDPI only to sell, while still preserving that social aspect of the GetDPI family---and probably would boost/encourage everyone to subscribe.
My .02 fwiw.
I'm a subscriber to the FM B&S and the prices are right. It is however a vastly larger market place. Sold lots there, not a single thing ever here. Perhaps it should just be allowed to die and let the forum live on.
I have been around for quite a while...posted only a few images, never participated in any conversation (for lack of particular knowledge that was going on).
And I did post a few items for sale, but none was SOLD in this forum (in old version). When I posted a few WTB ad, many REGULAR POSTERS had replied, quite a few lead to completed sales.
I also bought quite a few items from this Buy & Sell ads, raise your hands folks!
I'm looking to buy a low mileage D4 from someone who is upgrading to D4s, but unwilling to post one because there is NO TRAFFIC. I did post a few WTB ad after the Buy N Sell format had been changed to current format, but was still FREE. Received ZERO offers, would I want to post another WTB? Don't think so.
Buy and Sell forum is needed for us buyers as much as for YOU, sellers, and this format isn't going to work as it is.
One other thought.
Some may have had less luck selling here (either in the original format or the new one) due to the nature of the membership.
I've had poor results selling regular gear and a booming success selling the more exotic pieces. MFD, higher-end lenses, rarer more expensive accessories sold very swiftly here because the membership at GetDpi is looking for stuff like that, and we have come to know one-another over the years.
In that way the B/S-F/T-WTB section was part of what made this forum quite unique.
Frankly, I came to depend on it so much I now do not know where to go to sell my better pieces to people whom I know and trust.
So much so that I definitely would pay a subscription fee for the privilege of selling my pampered gear to those who know me, and I them.
I know this has been mentioned before, but please consider making WTB ads free.
Brad Husick1 Member(s) liked this post
I have sold very little with the new B&S over the old style. But having said that I will not moderate the crap that went on either anymore as it just was way too time consuming. All mods and owners have real jobs too. I don't have a answer here. I do like a subscription based idea to join to just use this section of the forum. I don't know if the software would allow it though.
p.s. Imho, a "FredMiranda B&S" forum model would be great. Still allows "free" participation but B&S forum and image posting limited to subscribers.
Need to remember Fred Miranda's Buy and Sell is a custom built software just for that alone. That takes time and money.