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Community Feedback Requested: CA Marketplace / Classified / Buy / Sell Forum Questions


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Hi Guys - I'm working on improving the CA marketplace / Classifieds section, and I'm looking for feedback from the community. I'm interested to know exactly what people want and what's important to them with respect to this area.

 

Like everything in life, there are choices to be considered and compromises that must be made. Here are some of the options. Please let me know if these are good, bad, neither, and what opinions you have that aren't listed.

 

 

We can implement a more full-fledged marketplace with a feedback system, auctions, buy it now, watched items, saved items, saved searches, categories, shipping integration, payment processors (PayPal, Stripe), currencies, etc... The only issue with this style of system, is that it doesn't integrate into the regular forum or what's new page. It would be a separate section on CA, with the same look and feel and everything, just not in a proper forum like the current section.

 

 

What's important to members of the community? Does it really matter if the marketplace if integrated into the forum section or is it OK if it's in its own section?

 

Do people even want a different marketplace?

 

Please let me know, as implementing this isn't trivial and requires a lot of customization. If it's something the community wants, I'm all for it and will make it happen.

 

Other marketplace type suggestions?

 

 

 

P.S. No matter what, I have no plans to skim a percentage or collect fees from sellers / buyers. The current monthly charge to post in the buy / sell forum is to keep the riffraff out and to make sure people listing items are serious and list quality items. Plus, it's part of the CA subscription offering that has other benefits.

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Hi,

 

On another photo forum (Buy & Sell Photo-Gear - FM Forums) the buy/sell section offers feedback (good, fair, poor) that cumulates after each transaction. It's nice to be able to quickly see if the buyer / seller has good or bad reputation directly on the site.

 

Greg.

Thanks Greg. What a small online world. I was just looking at Fred's site over the weekend, to see what he is doing for a marketplace.

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Absolutely, feedback would be the highest priority item for me!

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I think the most important feature the section could have would be active (still for sale)/closed (sold or removed) flag and filter.

Default view would be active only based on date of posting ( not last comment..bump,bump,bump)

Closed listings would no longer allow comments. Stuff still for sale gets lost behind completed /sold listings today.

Seller would have to un- expire listing after some standard interval to promote cleanup of sold listings not updated

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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I think the most important feature the section could have would be active (still for sale)/closed (sold or removed) flag and filter.

Default view would be active only based on date of posting ( not last comment..bump,bump,bump)

Closed listings would no longer allow comments. Stuff still for sale gets lost behind completed /sold listings today.

Seller would have to un- expire listing after some standard interval to promote cleanup of sold listings not updated

 

Agreed, plus your "more full-fledged marketplace," Chris.

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Hi,

 

On another photo forum (Buy & Sell Photo-Gear - FM Forums) the buy/sell section offers feedback (good, fair, poor) that cumulates after each transaction. It's nice to be able to quickly see if the buyer / seller has good or bad reputation directly on the site.

 

Greg.

I'm a lifelong watch nut and have been a regular on TimeZone since I discovered it about a decade ago. I consider TZ to be the CA of watch sites. It's a great group of knowledgeable people - it's fun, informative, and as collegial as CA. The classified sections are extensive and filled with great stuff, although most watch people seem to flip watches much more often than we do audio gear. The "showcase" forum is for watches over $5k, and many pieces are listed at 10 to 20 times that - so it's certainly analogous to audio classifieds, and they've not had a feedback forum since I've been a member.

 

Many of us on TZ also belong to watchuseek, where there's been a forum for feedback on deals. It's now called Watch Deals, Feedback, and Reputation (I think it used to be called Good Guys, but that may have been on another site - I haven't bought or sold a watch in a long time now, since we started prepping for retirement). I did check potential buyers and sellers there before responding myself to a "for sale" post or response. But there was so much variation in assessments of the same person that the forum was usually of little help. If most or all posts said the same thing (which was not that common), it was more helpful.

 

A feedback section is a two-edged sword, since what is perceived can vary somewhat from reality depending on expectations. I once bought a watch from a "semi-dealer" who had great feedback and told me this one was in excellent condition. When it arrived, it only ran intermittently - and when I went to open the case to see if it was a simple repair, I discovered that the case screw holes must have been stripped at one time. Whoever "fixed" it simply forced oversized screws from an eyeglass repair kit into the holes and I had to drill them out. The seller claimed that I must have done that myself, because it was "perfect" when he shipped it. The picture he'd sent me of the back did not reveal the fact that the screw heads were a hair larger than the countersunk holes and had been jammed flush. He claimed to have opened it to check that the movement was the proper one, which would have been impossible without drilling the screws out unless he was the one who put the wrong ones in after discovering that the case holes were damaged. And before I removed them myself, I took it to my long time dealer and their repair person couldn't budge them either.

 

So I haven't had great use for buyer-seller feedback on web forums.

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chris -- don't know if you've checked out head-fi.org's classifieds or not -- i think their approach/functionality would work well here.

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If we implemented a more full-fledged marketplace, what do you guys think about the fact that it can't be integrated into the standard forum and the items listed for sale won't be mixed in with the regular forum posts and won't appear on the What's New page or New Posts etc... The marketplace would have to be checked separately.

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Hey Chris,

 

Great question.

 

Purely from a business standpoint, I'd put a prominent button the homepage for the marketplace.

 

Given what it currently takes to see the marketplace, I'm guessing you have a significant number of people who are unaware of what it constitutes on this site.

 

Joel

 

P.S. I'll be overseas for this year's RMAF, so I'm sorry I'll be missing you there. But I do plan on attending the Tokyo Audio show for the first time. So I'm looking forward to that.

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Thanks for the feedback so far guys. Keep it coming.

 

I enjoy CA for many years now as a valid base for information. No need for a marketplace here.

If I get triggered by any manufacturer's product I'll check it out at my local dealer.

Thanks for the proposal, full understanding for your business POV to grow access and user#s, but no need for me.

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One thing I would say Chris ... if you are going to continue to allow commercial sales on the market place ... a separate forums or at least highlighting that a sale is commercial might be a good idea.

 

Also would be nice to have completed sales archived.

 

Separate hardware/equipment and media sections might be a good idea too.

 

And in the media section; you might want to consider if you require the seller to declare that all media is original and that all backup copies they have made have been deleted. (Just a little bugbear of mine as you may have noticed).

 

Generally though (and having written all that lot) the idea the marketplace is separate from the main forum is fine for me as there is very rarely anything I'm interested in/is available in the UK.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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As long as login is integrated and you can easily navigate back and forth between forum and marketplace, it will be user friendly. Audiogon drove me nuts when they separated the two and I ended up with different passwords between forum and marketplace.

 

Also important to keep commercial sellers separate in the marketplace... Audiogon marketplace is swamped with commercial sellers, has lost ground as a means for audiophiles to resell their gear.

 

If the site were more vibrant as a digital gear used market I think it would help the forum community be more active... the caveat being that more flame warriors and trolls will also visit ;<)

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Hi Guys - I read a couple comments about commercial sellers in the marketplace and I want to get some additional feedback about this.

 

What's different about a commercial sellers versus non-commercial sellers?

 

Why should they be separated?

 

Doesn't having more of both types of sellers benefit those seeking to purchase used gear?

 

All additional comments welcomed. I'm just seeking more info, not trying to push an agenda. You won't offend me with any reasonable comment.

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Hi Guys - I read a couple comments about commercial sellers in the marketplace and I want to get some additional feedback about this.

 

What's different about a commercial sellers versus non-commercial sellers?

 

Why should they be separated?

 

Doesn't having more of both types of sellers benefit those seeking to purchase used gear?

 

All additional comments welcomed. I'm just seeking more info, not trying to push an agenda. You won't offend me with any reasonable comment.

Commercial sellers swamp the adds with their demo cast offs and pseudo used gear trying an end around for manufacturers that don't allow advertising below list. Keep this madness separate from users like you and me who have gear we no longer need.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Hi Guys - I read a couple comments about commercial sellers in the marketplace and I want to get some additional feedback about this.

 

What's different about a commercial sellers versus non-commercial sellers?

 

Why should they be separated?

 

Doesn't having more of both types of sellers benefit those seeking to purchase used gear?

 

All additional comments welcomed. I'm just seeking more info, not trying to push an agenda. You won't offend me with any reasonable comment.

 

What's different about used car dealers and me trying to sell you my used car? :)

 

There are advantages and disadvantages to commercial sellers. Commercial sellers may, for example, be able to refurbish equipment and offer warranties. On the other hand, they have overhead that non-commercial sellers typically don't have to take into account.

 

Commercial sellers also typically are able to spend more time and effort marketing used equipment than non-commercial sellers, so I tend to agree with those who feel separate areas would be good lest the non-commercial folks who form the basis of the forum side of things be swamped.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

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Many used camera/ etc forums have separate category for commercial sales. I think it's a good idea so one isn't overrun, like Audiogon is, by dozens and dozens of ads for "Award winning Power Cable!" Also, maybe have digital, analog categories? Also, many people, esp in hifi, will only buy from dealers, and my not be bothered to look if they have to wade through personal sales. Win win for both.

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What's different about a commercial sellers versus non-commercial sellers?

 

Why should they be separated?

No idea if this is relevant in USA, but certainly in the U.K. / EU there are different consumer rights if a commercial entity sells me something than if a private individual sells it. Basically you buy from an individual then caveat emptor (buyer beware) and you have no right or return, etc.

 

As Jud says ... it's the same as used car sales. Above and beyond any legal differences, I expect a different service for one thing if I buy from a dealer (even a small corner lot) than if I buy from an individual.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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What's different about used car dealers and me trying to sell you my used car? :)

How about: I fully expect used car dealers to try to confuse, cheat, and mislead me? giggle.gif

 

It's a lot easier to buy the seller when he or she is a private individual. And it doesn't take long to assess the odds of a problem in the making. I haven't bought or sold a huge volume of used stuff over the years other than cars, but my deals have included at least a dozen watches, about a dozen guitars and amplifiers, and probably 20 or so pieces of audio equipment. I've had two truly bad deals (the watch I described in an earlier post in this thread and a '66 Mini Cooper race car I bought from a guy who was known to all of us in SVRA and had been great until he had a major financial reversal about which none of us knew).

 

Used car salespeople (as well as used audio salespeople, I presume) who own or work for a business have a fiduciary responsibility to their employers and business. So they may seem like the nicest people in the world - but that person is not the seller, the business is.

 

Private sellers who use PO boxes and won't tell you anything at all about themselves raise a red flag to me, as do those who don't know much about what they're selling and those who offer strange stories about how they got it and why they're selling it. The only exception to this was my Marantz 7 and 8, which I found in a classified ad in the Tradin' Times advertised without brand name as "Model 7 and 8 stereo amplifiers. $100 or best offer" by the son of the original owner, who'd passed away years before. I told him they were worth more, and he said that he had no interest at all in them and just wanted $100 - so I gave it to him.

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chris -- don't know if you've checked out head-fi.org's classifieds or not -- i think their approach/functionality would work well here.

 

+1

Let every eye ear negotiate for itself and trust no agent. (Shakespeare)

The things that we love tell us what we are. (Aquinas)

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...The only exception to this was my Marantz 7 and 8, which I found in a classified ad in the Tradin' Times advertised without brand name as "Model 7 and 8 stereo amplifiers. $100 or best offer" by the son of the original owner, who'd passed away years before. I told him they were worth more, and he said that he had no interest at all in them and just wanted $100 - so I gave it to him.

 

Wow! Don't tell me he also asked you to take a couple of heavy boxes of sealed old record sets marked "shaded dog" and "Merc. Lvg. Pres."?! ;)

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Wow! Don't tell me he also asked you to take a couple of heavy boxes of sealed old record sets marked "shaded dog" and "Merc. Lvg. Pres."?! ;)

 

:D

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Wow! Don't tell me he also asked you to take a couple of heavy boxes of sealed old record sets marked "shaded dog" and "Merc. Lvg. Pres."?! ;)

He did, indeed - along with a box labeled "mutton cadet" that he thought was his father's old military school uniforms.........

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