FS forum suggestions

Discussion in 'STH Suggestions and Updates' started by MiniKnight, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. MiniKnight

    MiniKnight Well-Known Member

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    I've been noticing a lot of STH peeps falling for too good to be true in the FS forums.

    I'm going to make a controversial suggestion but I think as a community we should talk about what can be done.

    Here's my suggestion. $25 annual subscription to the STH forums to allow you to post things in the FS forum. There should also be some sort of minimum requirements such as 10 posts and that you need to have been a subscriber for two weeks to post in the FS forums.

    The post requirement is not too much. The subscription + two week requirement is simple. It makes the FS forums harder to sell on than many other forums. With a single $250 item sold on the forums versus ebay you'd be even money so if you've got $500 to sell, it's still cheaper.

    I am on the STH forums (often) and I can't sell our gear on the forums but I'd still pay the subscription just to support. Heck, I'd toss a few more dollars in the ring since this is at least as valuable as five beers at a bar.

    I remember we've had subscription discussions before, but maybe it's time for STH to do it and to do so opening the FS forums. If we had those three requirements it'd decrease FS posts on STH so that's not good. It may also help weed out these scammers because it'd be harder to post on STH. It'd also give us a payment info from a potential scammer to follow-up on.

    I think many on the STH forums wouldn't mind a low-priced subscription. Is it $99/ year Amazon Prime value, maybe? Certainly if you are selling a lot of stuff. At $25 I'd be in.

    I do still think the no unapproved commercial poster rule should be in effect.

    Can we have this discussion?
     
    #1
  2. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    Maybe I've missed it but what exactly have people fallen for in the "For Sale" forum?

    People need to feel comfortable with a transaction, and we have rules in place for posting something for sale, the buyer needs to be educated about not only what they're buying but checking references of a seller they don't know but beyond that $25 or not won't stop someone from refusing to ship, or shipping something broken... I mean the scammers profit margin a bit higher than everyone else ;)

    I've seen a handful or less of 'scams' in Great Deals on ebay in the last year and as far as I've seen (and experienced) $$ is refunded by ebay or paypal.
     
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  3. MiniKnight

    MiniKnight Well-Known Member

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    @T_Minus in that big random hardware post it's looking iffy and like people were willing to pay via methods that offer little to no buyer's protection. Then the cheap drives a few weeks ago had a similar problem.

    I agree that it won't stop scammers necessarily, but if they have to pay for something, then they're giving traceable information here where they aren't having to do so on other FS forums. The cooling off periods mean that they'd have to pay, wait two weeks (or w/e) then start to see something happen. If I were a scammer, a site that offered less anonymity and required more time and effort to post would not be a good candidate.

    BUT I do respect your opinion. I want to open it up for discussion.

    @Patrick we'd need to know if this is even possible. If you needed to have it developed it'd probably cost too much to be worthwhile.

    Maybe a banner saying you're a forum supporter too?
     
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  4. NashBrydges

    NashBrydges Member

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    I have to be honest. I read the entire Random Hardware thread and for anyone purchasing from someone they've never met, have never heard from, and all based on a few photos is just asking for trouble. I get it. Really good deals attract a lot of attention and I even contacted the guy myself but when he suggested that I would have to pay up front...I knew it was time to say buh bye.

    I've purchased properties sight unseen before but at least this was purchased from a bank auction or a city auction. Ownership was never in question and descriptions and photos were accurate and sources trustworthy. This just screamed "problems".

    My concern with charging a nominal fee and waiting a couple weeks is that it might create a false sense of security. May exacerbate the issues when you consider that such a low fee and a short waiting period isn't a huge deterrent if someone can have a little patience and con people out of thousands. Small price to pay for such a big payout.

    Caveat emptor has never been more important then when it seems too good to be true.

    IMHO, I walked away as soon as I smelled something wasn't right and maybe that's what should have happened here for everyone. If he turns out to be honest and really has this stuff for sale, then I lost out. But that's something I can live with rather than being out $10k or more.
     
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  5. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    Attempting to mitigate scams & fraud by penalizing the people not committing fraud in an attempt at catching <1%, not really my idea of a solution is what I'm getting at...

    I wouldn't have a problem requiring them to have been here for xDays and make xPosts prior to selling something. This is also assuming they don't talk to Patrick about it first, as we know businesses have this opportunity.


    There's really NOTHING to do to stop people from saying "take my money" if they think the deal is worth the risk... while wanting to keep the place safe/etc is def. a goal nothing is going to prevent all fraud/scams and it comes down to the buyer(s) not just getting excited, sending money and crossing their fingers...

    RESEARCH should be done on all transactions, be it feedback/forum references or in the case of a new person googling their e-mail / phone # / name / domain, etc...

    Please don't take this reply as me not caring, I do... but I also believe in personal responsibility.
    Just my 02 :)
     
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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
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  6. William

    William Active Member

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    IMO there should be a current picture with a hand written note that has your forum name and date on it.

    This has worked well over at XS, plus it keeps people from posting old hardware pictures that often get posted on many forums.

    For me, I would like to see just what it is, the current condition etc and not just a link the manufacturer website.
     
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  7. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    @MiniKnight certainly that is an interesting concept. I do not think it would stop the unscrupulous sellers but I do agree it would help chill that action. It is also why we have been adding a few of the bigger vendors to the pre-approved list. I have been having conversations with all of them explaining that I want it to be tailored postings, not a constant barrage.

    I have thought about subscriptions, and how to do them on the STH forums. The question is what the benefit would be. I may test a few bits over the holidays. I want to build something that is worthwhile for folks to subscribe to. I was actually thinking about a tech digest mailing service like "all you need to know about this week in tech in a 10 minute Friday digest" concept.

    On the FS forums @William I think we may start doing that. Happy to hear comments on this topic.
     
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  8. CyberSkulls

    CyberSkulls Active Member

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    While I haven't ever sold anything here on the forums, I do sneak around a lot and post infrequently. So with the full disclosure out of the way..

    I could get behind a hand written note like you see on other forums with name and date.

    If I ever wanted to sell a large amount of goods, and I'm about to sell off all my Supermicro gear to transition into the HGST 60 bay chassis, I would certainly allow members to contact me through my ebay account. Seeing 5,000 feedbacks might put them at ease.

    Nothing against @Patrick as we all gotta eat, but if there was a subscription $$$ model, I would probably just list it all on eBay anyway.

    The most recent one that comes to mind is the 4TB Seagate Drive sale. A hand written note with name and date wouldn't have stopped any of that unfortunately.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  9. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    I think the hand note and image of items is a huge false sense of security.

    It's not exactly challenging these days to put whatever name you want on anothers image or to simply register as that name on this forum from another forum and take the image, the name, etc... for your scam.

    Requiring people to be here xDays and have xPosts forces SELLERS to be part of the community, and @Patrick becomes the only bypass to this by becoming validated business.

    Just my thoughts :)

    I don't have a "for sure" way to make it safe, and there isn't one... I Mean look how many of us have issues on ebay too.
     
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  10. MiniKnight

    MiniKnight Well-Known Member

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    I think the handwritten note is a pain for legit sellers.
     
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  11. William

    William Active Member

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    Yes it is a pain but after you have seen sales go bad from people claiming something to be new or in some other state, then the person who purchase it receives and its something different. The name & date thing shows that the person actually has it. We had plenty of people using others photos claiming to be theirs etc. I think you get the idea. XS has a lot of bum deals go down some time ago and this helped to stop it.

    For me, I just want to see a picture of the item.

    I think most here know everyone so being legit is not a question really, but others who just come on to sell things may not be.

    Actual cash transactions are between buyer and seller, not much that can be done about that. Trust me I have seen plenty of sales go down on XS where a item was claimed to be shipped and it wasn't, then they try and do a insurance scam with the shipping company.

    If this for sale section is really just for known members none of this is an issue than don't make it visible to everyone or have it so it takes prior approvable from some one before hand to make a for sale post.
     
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  12. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    I'm not posting to shoot down the image/name completely but I think there may be a way to make it work better and I'd like to discuss that, and come up with ideas to make it safer for all.

    Using the huge 'random' for sale thread as an example... if he had posted the same images with his name and date, how would that have saved anyone from getting scammed? (Assuming it is a scam I haven't kept up.)

    People would have seen it, believed it, and still sent $$$.

    The issue is the people did not search his name/images posted/payment e-mail/email/etc...

    Thus, buyer not doing some searching but now an image instead of a name/email/etc... will yield the same thing.

    Even if he doesn't actually own the items to get a picture with it's $1-5 to have someone with enough skill photoshop the 'paper and name' that you actually did you sign and take a picture into the image...

    Maybe I'm being overly critical of how scammers think and giving the scammers too much credit and it would stop all scammers, that I don't know... but it just seems silly to post images with a name and date with how technology has advanced and "image editors" are a dime a dozen in every country of the world these days.

    I know I rarely post images of items unless a buyer PMs and asks me then I send them, it takes time to take pics even more time when you have a lot of items listed for sale that may be at home, at office, etc... sure you have to organize/get them before they are shipped but I know I'm not hte only one to list many items no one wants and I sit on them... I'd hate to have wasted hours on pics, etc... to simply junk them :)

    I've been on some forums where you can pay something like $20 for 6 months of being able to list items "For Sale"... but again, this does NOTHING for a newly registered scammer who's going to make $100 or in some countries maybe only $25 for $5 profit is acceptable before they burn the account and move on.

    Sadly, there's no easy answer or right solution :(
     
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  13. pgh5278

    pgh5278 Active Member

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    Hello, is XS? XS forum aka xtreme systems? had never been to the site just checked.
    Note 8 requires 100 posts before access is allowed to the sale / classifieds section.
    This requires the seller to be a fully participating member of the forum, and will reduce spur of the moment cons. . for the commercial sales there are approved by Patrick, so this is managed well.

    Note 5 is a must, each of us must perform own due diligence ( eg even more if you are not is US like myslef, there are extra costs for freight that could be lost, deals to be good to be true, like single digit pricing etc, dont come along in life that often, if a deal is super , then it would be snapped up much earlier by professional buyers. On ebay there is a system which provides an indication only of the seller, and many folks suggest that they dont buy form people with a few sales etc. AM too embarressed to say how much has been spent on ebay, but I always look at several sources / sellers for the same thing. Some / sellers / items on ebay are more than buying at a bricks and mortar shop..Note sure if the photo etc is a solid methodolgy, think it is too easy to manipulate images..
    from xs forum
    5. Buy/Trade/Sell @ your OWN RISK! XtremeSystems assumes no responsibility for any bad deals. Buy/trade/sell at your own risk!!! When/if you do sell in our classifieds, please read our Classifieds Guidelines. 5. a.Buying, Selling & Trading outside the Classifieds. There will be NO buying, selling or trading of goods or services outside the Classifieds. PERIOD, there are NO exceptions. If caught doing so outside will result in immediate deletion of thread, warning to offender and possible permenant removal from Classifieds access.
    6. Software Sales/Purchases/Trades. There will be NO buying/trading/selling of software of any kind allowed on this site.
    7. Paypal Pricing It is illegal to charge buyers for your paypal costs. If you must , do so privately.
    8. Classifieds Access A post count of 100 is required to have the ability to post/have access in our ClassifiedsSection. Any poster with less than the mandatory post count will receive a warning and their post will be immediately dealt with.
     
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  14. William

    William Active Member

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    Yes I am Admin Buckeye at XS :)

    Seems many do not understand the image thing, hand written date and forum name is not that much to ask.
    Yeah I am sure people could photo shop this, I haven't seen this done to be honest. Its the best proof that you actually have the item and shows it so if any questions on blemishes, things missing or damaged etc.

    There is a section called ... Builder/Customer Relations in the cooling section, man the stories in there, I know I have a good one in there :( and in Admin sub forums.
    As Admins we don't get involved, only to mediate between two parties if asked. I have before and its not fun :(

    Selling is pretty much dead at XS these days as overclockers have moved on to other sites. When Facebook became a thing many just use that now, some still do sell there, but not many.

    Its funny, if I see a for sale post with out pictures etc I PM the person and move the thread. They usually have some excuse, hey I am at work and will put the photo up when I get home... suuurreee... the never do. Believe me I have heard just about everything.

    STH is nothing like XS, you guys all know each other for the most part so its not such a big deal, remember at one time most sellers at XS were well known and not an issue, even some of these guys did funny stuff at times tho. Its more to protect the people from unknown sellers.
     
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  15. Terry Kennedy

    Terry Kennedy Well-Known Member

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    When eBay was new, the sellers were mostly individuals selling things they didn't need, and the pace was a lot slower than today - win an auction, mail a check to the seller, wait for the item. These days, sellers are mainly businesses. As with any business, there are good ones and bad ones. I find that I do a lot of repeat business with a small number of sellers. I can only remember 2 times in the 18+ years I've been on eBay where I've had a problem that couldn't be resolved to my satisfaction. However...
    As my friend Stan Veit said at the beginning of the classified section when he edited Computer Shopper magazine, there are some people who just seem unable to be satisfied with any transaction they make, and he'd prefer it if they would neither sell nor buy in his classifieds. That's paraphrased - I don't remember his exact wording.
     
    #15
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  16. BlueFox

    BlueFox Active Member

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    Photographing some paper with name/date isn't that difficult. I normally take more 'professional' photos of my hardware, but I've had a few people request some proof of ownership and it isn't all that difficult to snap a quick picture with my phone.

    I think post/membership length minimums might help a bit, if not for the photographic requirements.
     
    #16
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  17. Patriot

    Patriot Moderator

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    Still a fan of heatware...
     
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  18. Nanotech

    Nanotech Active Member

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    I absolutely agree with a timestamp requirement and also how about a requirement if using PayPal not to use the Gift or Family/Friends option as there is no buyer protection there. I see all too often a number of topics not adhering to timestamps or even providing photos. I think timestamps, Payment methods, seller location, heatware and a few others are mandatory requirements in addition to CPU-Z/Hwinfo64 (if possible). Things such as price is firm, OBO, whether shipping is included (ex. Continental US) and if international shipping is offered (and using what carrier/service) etc... should also be mentioned.

    Also thought I should mention for fair prices is to keep the price listed instead of SOLD but mention it was sold to whomever. That way it can be used for price reference and traceability.
     
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  19. John Titor

    John Titor Member

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    Though I am still very new to the forums, I would like to throw in my opinion as well.

    I've been hovering around the FS forums for a while now and witnessed several threads from start to finish that led to this thread (most recently, the "Random Hardware" thread by that Gene guy). When looking at this from a new-comer's POV that would like to sell/trade/buy as well, I can't stress enough how valuable the openness of this site is for both generating traffic and pulling in new members who could end up being extremely helpful to the community at large. Whether that be through more FS posts bringing in deals for good hardware, through purchasing from other members (because we all love being on that side of the deal), and also posting helpful information in other forum categories and helping/receiving help from other members.

    My opinion is that keeping the community open with limited restrictions is likely one of the driving forces behind the site's overall growth, which is a good thing I feel. Once you start talking about adding restrictions, it could lead to it becoming more of an exclusive community which isn't all that bad either, but if that were the case earlier this year I likely wouldn't have ended up here.

    As always, buyers are responsible for approaching any deal with caution, but at the same time I would recommend only 2 simple solutions that don't/shouldn't punish the user. 1st, require transactions to go through PayPal or another reputable system that guarantees buyer protection. Of course a scammer can always message/call a buyer and try to trick them with alternative payment options, but that sort of activity should be immediately reported to the rest of the users on the FS thread and should be punishable by the admins if multiple users report this action (Patrick and the admins could determine what kind of punishment as this is his site, but it could range from being "silenced" (not allowed to post) for a period of time or downright IP banishment). 2nd, to more easily/quickly determine if a seller has sold to STH users before successfully, it would be pretty convenient/cool (again, my opinion) if we had some sort of badge or mark on our profile that shows the users that this is the case. The "badge" or mark or whatever it may be could possibly be given by and admin/moderator, or if you wanted to include some new code, you could have it awarded when "x" amount of other users vote, or give a "like" or whatever to said seller with a "good sale" button or something. If that method was used, you would also need to make sure that only users that have the "badge" can give that vote to prevent the obvious issue of abusing the system.

    Any thoughts? Am I way off?
     
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  20. Terry Kennedy

    Terry Kennedy Well-Known Member

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    Jusr that maybe PayPal shouldn't be required for in-person transactions, if agreeable to both seller and buyer. As a seller, I'd definitely take cash and would likely take a check from any poster here who had been on the forums for some time with a reasonable number of posts and thanks. I've even offered to send stuff "on consignment" - if the buyer likes it, pay for it - otherwise, send it back (at their expense).
     
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