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25 post requirement to sell.
  
 
Jim8EL
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · 25 post requirement to sell.


kasala wrote:
I've had a Upload and Sell membership a couple of times and have sold a number of items on here however now we are required to have 25 posts before we can even sign up.

This has a negative impact on those of us looking to sell but aren't active in the forums and if anything is going to cause a large volume of frivolous posts in the boards by people looking to reach 25 posts. I foresee lots of "that's cool" and "awesome" comments on many posts simply for the sake of reaching that 25 post minimum.

Was there no way
...Show more

You re absolutely right requiring 25 posts is ridiculous,...it should be 250. Many sites won't even give browsing access to certain boards until a member has had a much larger number of posts (meaning that they've been an active member of the community) and been around for a certain period of time.

Sorry you are bent out of shape that Fred sees fit to help protect the loyal members here. I think you and many others fail to see just what the BS board is all about. I very much doubt that Fred's intention was to create an alternative to Ebay. My guess is that it was intended to be a way for "active members" to conveniently and safely buy, sell and trade equipment, and to raise money to help run this site.



Mar 08, 2014 at 02:24 AM
shelbystripes
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · 25 post requirement to sell.


I find the 25 post thing really unfortunate. I only made an account in the first place to try to buy an item I saw on here; I browsed for a while beforehand but didn't need an account just to read the site. Then I saw a deal I didn't want to pass up (especially since active sellers here are probably more reliable than some random eBay site), so I made an account and sent a PM. The next day, I can't use PMs anymore! Sigh.

Note that I say "unfortunate". I'm not condemning it, and I certainly understand the legitimate fear of scammers. I just wish I knew it was coming. I would've become active here sooner so I was known and could buy what I want to now.



Mar 08, 2014 at 05:21 AM
The Miracle
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · 25 post requirement to sell.


How can I buy something without being able to send a PM to the seller ?


Mar 08, 2014 at 08:16 AM
ergosyn
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · 25 post requirement to sell.


They should make it so buy/sell members have to link their facebook or google plus. That way people can better vette the person on the other end.


Mar 09, 2014 at 01:49 AM
natex
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · 25 post requirement to sell.


Hi, I'm new here. I bought one item successfully before the 25 post limit. I recently tried to respond to another seller so I can buy, but now I'm unable to reply to the thread or PM the seller.

I can understand trying to keep the forums clear of riffraff -- but damn is it inconvenient to new members...



Mar 09, 2014 at 11:40 PM
Savas K
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · 25 post requirement to sell.


It's only inconvenient to new members who have signed up primarily for the Buy and Sell.


Mar 10, 2014 at 11:43 AM
ggOk
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · 25 post requirement to sell.


natex wrote:
Hi, I'm new here. I bought one item successfully before the 25 post limit. I recently tried to respond to another seller so I can buy, but now I'm unable to reply to the thread or PM the seller.

I can understand trying to keep the forums clear of riffraff -- but damn is it inconvenient to new members...



start posting.. I have the same issue with POTN.. I only have 1 post there

on my forum, no one can see any boards except intro section. once the 1st post is introduced, rest will show.

25 post rules are okay... but many did, I joined FM when I saw the item I wanted. now I'm hooked.

/r
Andy



Mar 10, 2014 at 02:17 PM
teddoman
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · 25 post requirement to sell.


Another idea would be to give new subscribers a verification code to post at their profiles in other web forums where they do have a good post count so Fred can verify that they are actual photography enthusiasts or pros. (and charge them for this verification service.) Fred could just program a script to check any profile URLs they submit for the code.

I bought and sold in the B&S forum long before I posted in any other forum here. So you might exclude some people if you set the bar too high that people don't sign up for B&S subscriptions since I assume that's a good source of revenue for the website.

Perhaps Fred could even turn this into a revenue opportunity. Give people who have a 25 post count get a "discount rate" in the B&S forum (the regular rate), and anyone else has to pay a higher rate, which includes the cost of some sort of identity verification check which would require people to fill out a form via https with personal information. Then, if any fraud happens, Fred would not only have their CC info but would also have other personal information to give to law enforcement (or which could be used by B&S forum members in a civil lawsuit to recover their money). Any serious fraudster would stop the minute he has to submit his driver license, SSN and other personal info. There are third party providers who do these types of verifications.

I would also suggest putting in the TOS when people sign up something like "if fraud is suspected, all forum activity and personal information will be reported to law enforcement" etc since Fred has their CC info. I would love to see some of these scammers' heads (figuratively) displayed on a pike at the village gates as a warning to all future scammers who are here just to screw us.




Mar 10, 2014 at 03:21 PM
mitesh
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · 25 post requirement to sell.


There is a fine line between hosting a site where users can arrange their own transactions- at their own risk- and actually becoming a party to the transaction by providing some sort of verification/authentication or holding secure personal information. The latter includes a lot of liability and cost.


Mar 10, 2014 at 05:06 PM
teddoman
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · 25 post requirement to sell.


mitesh wrote:
There is a fine line between hosting a site where users can arrange their own transactions- at their own risk- and actually becoming a party to the transaction by providing some sort of verification/authentication or holding secure personal information. The latter includes a lot of liability and cost.

The only liability I can see is having that information be subject to subpoena or warrant in a lawsuit for fraud or theft, which would be its intended purpose. It just needs to be disclosed in the terms of service.

Holding personal information does not make any material change in the nature of the business that I can see from a cost standpoint. Feel free to be more specific. Fred does not become a party to any transaction by holding personal information. He already holds CC information right now. He would simply have information that can obtained through lawful subpoena or warrant.

It is actually rather commonplace to do this for individuals and businesses involved in trade and credit. Mortgage brokers, real estate brokers, marketplaces, even grandma and grandpa landlords do this. It is actually much more unusual to be doing business with counterparties (essentially extending credit to each other) and NOT having any recourse or credit information. Paypal is actually acting as the extender of credit here, but as has been pointed out many times, there are ways to commit fraud through Paypal as well.

The reality is that the B&S forum is under attack by criminals on a regular basis. I'm just saying maybe we could all brainstorm about systemic things that could be implemented that would reduce these attacks. Maybe my idea isn't perfect but doing nothing doesn't seem like a solution either. Eventually, some fraudsters will decide its worth their time to get past the 25 post count, and then what?



Mar 10, 2014 at 06:39 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



mitesh
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · 25 post requirement to sell.


Obviously, this is just for arguments' sake- nobody here can speak for why and how this private site is run a certain way.

teddoman wrote:
The only liability I can see is having that information be subject to subpoena or warrant in a lawsuit for fraud or theft, which would be its intended purpose. It just needs to be disclosed in the terms of service.

Holding personal information does not make any material change in the nature of the business that I can see from a cost standpoint. Feel free to be more specific. Fred does not become a party to any transaction by holding personal information. He already holds CC information right now. He would simply have information that can obtained through lawful subpoena or
...Show more

Right now, the personal info that Fred holds is related to payment of fees for services that he provides, such as the subscription to upload and sell. It simply gives you access to a forum, which you agree to participate in at your own risk.

Expanding the scope to include becoming a party to the transaction means increased liability, which means increased insurance costs, possible legal costs, etc.

It is actually rather commonplace to do this for individuals and businesses involved in trade and credit. Mortgage brokers, real estate brokers, marketplaces, even grandma and grandpa landlords do this. It is actually much more unusual to be doing business with counterparties (essentially extending credit to each other) and NOT having any recourse or credit information. Paypal is actually acting as the extender of credit here, but as has been pointed out many times, there are ways to commit fraud through Paypal as well.

The difference between this site and those that you cite above is that they collect a fee for facilitating the service. A mortgage broker gets a commission based on the size of the loan that he acquires for you. A real estate broker gets a commission based on sales price for lining up buyer and seller. Does this site take a cut based on the dollar amount of your B/S transaction? Similarly, Paypal provides payment clearing services and derives income that way. Each of those entities, by virtue of being a party to the transaction, incurs a certain liability- including financial. You must be aware of the hundreds of millions in fines banks and brokerages paid to settle lending lawsuits over the past few years.

The reality is that the B&S forum is under attack by criminals on a regular basis. I'm just saying maybe we could all brainstorm about systemic things that could be implemented that would reduce these attacks. Maybe my idea isn't perfect but doing nothing doesn't seem like a solution either. Eventually, some fraudsters will decide its worth their time to get past the 25 post count, and then what?

Nobody is saying let's do nothing- I'm just looking at it from the perspective of why would the website owner want to get in the business of validating a user? Then, if a transaction goes wrong, he's got some culpability because he verified a user?

A good start to defending the B/S is for users to adopt some of the best practices that have been discussed so often. Of the recent scams, people who used insured payment methods got their money back. That's just a starting point, but one that newer members sometimes forget.



Mar 10, 2014 at 07:21 PM
teddoman
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · 25 post requirement to sell.


mitesh wrote:
Obviously, this is just for arguments' sake- nobody here can speak for why and how this private site is run a certain way.

Right now, the personal info that Fred holds is related to payment of fees for services that he provides, such as the subscription to upload and sell. It simply gives you access to a forum, which you agree to participate in at your own risk.

Expanding the scope to include becoming a party to the transaction means increased liability, which means increased insurance costs, possible legal costs, etc.

Agreed that Fred runs his site the way he wants to.

I think you are mistaken on becoming a party to the transaction. Taking credit information for his own records does not make him a party to a transaction. So I think that's where you're misinterpreting this. He is not buying. He is not selling. He is not guaranteeing. He is not lending. How has he become a party to a transaction?
The difference between this site and those that you cite above is that they collect a fee for facilitating the service.
As you pointed out, FM does not collect a % of the transaction, therefore he would not looked at in the same fashion as anyone who does collect transaction fees. Taking credit information is not the same as taking a transaction fee, I think you may be mixing these two things up. FM already earns a fee for enabling the B&S forums. I don't see any material incremental liability from collecting user info.

Then, if a transaction goes wrong, he's got some culpability because he verified a user?
This is the most realistic example of new liability that you have mentioned. However, it is easy enough to simply verify without giving any actual false assurances. For example, you can verify by saying, "I have viewed a copy of the driver license submitted to me, and the name and address match that on the credit report I have on file for this person, and the driver license number came back from the DMV listed with the same name and address. Oh, and we have no control over the validity of the databases we pulled from" There is no false assurance. If the credit report or DMV verification is false, that has nothing to do with FM. FM is only liable for any of its own actions. I really don't see why this creates an issue for FM.

The real risk for FM as I see it is that people lose confidence in the marketplace or that it becomes too troublesome for members to transact due to the existence of scammers. The entire raison d'etre of the B&S board is it is a safe and quick place to transact for real photographers. The revenue that this sense of marketplace safety generates for FM is probably much higher than the cost of some slight increase in any real liability due to some safety measures like I've proposed.

Who knows, maybe there's a financial company that offers this as a service already, so FM could even outsource the whole thing to someone else.



Mar 10, 2014 at 08:20 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · 25 post requirement to sell.


The real risk for FM as I see it is that people lose confidence in the marketplace or that it becomes too troublesome for members to transact due to the existence of scammers
That's exactly why so many take such comfort in dealing with the well established members.
Seems we're somewhat forgotten with all the ink the con men generate. B&S is still alive and well.



Mar 10, 2014 at 08:46 PM
PetKal
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · 25 post requirement to sell.


Any step that will curtail the B&S activity of small time speculators, pawn-brokers, scammers, and anyone who pushes gear they either know very little about, or do not disclose known defects, is a good move.

The FM B&S forum is the only very active place I know of where we as photographers can do trade in our own gears, in a low risk environment, and amongst many familiar and credible/trustworthy members. I really do not think we'd like to have yet another flea market on FM of the eBay/Craig's list type.



Mar 13, 2014 at 11:36 AM
BayernFan
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · 25 post requirement to sell.


I'll chime in. I've visited the site a few times over the past year to read gear reviews and scan some of the landscape photography. I have a high end lens I'm about to sell and a friend recommended that I try selling it here. I started plugging away (sensibly) to get to 25, but quickly realized this is a great site with great photographers. I plan on sticking around to post my photos and enjoy the photography of others.


Mar 13, 2014 at 08:17 PM
yonnliu
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · 25 post requirement to sell.


you r right1


Mar 18, 2014 at 10:01 PM
yonnliu
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · 25 post requirement to sell.


I need to post 25. Just want to buy a lens.


Mar 18, 2014 at 10:10 PM
zenengr
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · 25 post requirement to sell.


As a newb myself who bought something with good feedback, the change was a surprise, but it should probably include a limit on the number of posts per day and/or time registered. Otherwise the rush to post 25 will start to clog up the conversations of people on the site other than for B&S. I do like that you can go through people's past posts to get a feel for what they're about. It limits the usefulness of the rush to 25 as a scam tactic.


Mar 19, 2014 at 03:14 AM
mitesh
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · 25 post requirement to sell.


For those engaged in "the sprint to 25", you may want to read:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1276890/1#12183937



Mar 19, 2014 at 06:49 AM
CGrindahl
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · 25 post requirement to sell.


Back in the days of the wild west one could accrue a great many posts simply chatting away ON the Buy and Sell forum. Not everyone was happy with our schmoozing, however, and the place lost some of its charm. My first THOUSAND posts were almost exclusively on that forum. But by then I'd developed a taste for the place. I even began initiating threads in various forums. This is such an outstanding photography website that I marvel when folks see it only as a place to buy and sell gear.

Personally, I'm happy that Fred is tightening up posting requirements on the Buy and Sell forum. Nikon Cafe required 300 posts simply to LOOK at their gear listings. I dutifully did that only to discover that forum is rather lame compared with FM.

I encourage folks to expand your horizons. There are great people all over this website who have great understanding of photography and excellent skills in using their gear. Make some cyber friends and enjoy yourself. Buying and selling can happen along the way, of course. And you'll have plenty of posts to satisfy Fred's rather modest requirements.



Mar 19, 2014 at 03:03 PM
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