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Discussion Starter #1
On Saturday July 14th there will be significant changes made to the "Swap N Shop" and "Sponsors And Power Seller Specials". We are making the announcement a week in advance to give those affected time to analyze, adjust and make any changes necessary. We also will be taking user feedback via this thread up until the new system is enacted.

Please read this thread carefully and thoroughly as there have been quite a few changes.

Why make changes?

This site has always been targeted towards the hobbyists and the Swap N Shop was never meant to be anything different. It has recently however turned into a heavily commercialized section of the website. The commercial entities are drowning out the hobbyists more and more. We have attempted to rectify this by separating the Power Sellers and Sponsors into their own forum but it is only partially working and it leads us to the secondary reason:

Its becoming a moderating nightmare. We are constantly having to make judgement calls on very limited information about what is and isn't commercial. Our rules are strictly enforced but it is a very manual process. Many members break the rules simply because they aren't aware they exist. A few members break the rules because they simply fly under our radar for a period of time.

We need a new system that is clear, easy to use and that does not drown out the hobbyists. We need a level playing field with software enforced restrictions that do not require any manual moderation or judgement calls. The new system (hopefully) meets these requirements.

Ok, Ok so what is the new system?

Sections
  • There will be one forum for "For Sale"/"Trade" and one forum for "WTB"/"RAOK".
  • The "Sponsors And Power Seller Specials" forum will be merged back into these two new forums.

"WTB"/"RAOK"
  • Acts just like any other forum.
  • No limit on number of threads.
  • No bump time limit
  • No limit on replies

"For Sale"/"Trade"
  • Closely resembles a Classified section rather than a discussion forum.
  • No replies/bumps, posts remain in chronological order
  • Posts can be edited
  • Titles are locked
  • Items may be added
  • Multiple items may be listed
  • Prices have to be listed
  • Links/URLs are not allowed
  • Threads can be marked as "Sold"
  • Threads "expire" after 10 days, but count against user for 30 days. "Expired" threads will no longer be editable.
  • Remove power seller option
  • Allowed 1 (Regular), 2(Bronze), 3(Silver), 4(Gold/Sponsors) listings
  • Sponsors get 4 listings like gold supporters, plus their own forum, banners, and the ability to link to their store or sales threads
  • Only Sponsors can have links to their classified listings in their signature

Common Rules
  • Anything aquarium related can be sold
  • No Presales
  • No Group Orders
  • No Auctions

What happens to the current Listings?

All "Swap N Shop" and "Sponsors And Power Seller Specials" listings will be closed to replies and no new threads can be created. They will remain this way for 60 days and will then be archived off the main forum.

What happens to Power Sellers?

There will no longer be the level of Power Seller. Current Power Sellers can contact myself via PM and I will give you a pro-rated refund of your current subscription as of July 14, 2012.

The moderators, myself and a small subset of users have already been testing this new system with great success. We believe it will make browsing items far more enjoyable and will level playing field significantly. We understand that these changes are not trivial and there will be an adjustment period but we are confident that they are necessary for the long term health of our great community!
 

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Tírëd Äßóût ╦σ RÉ├írë.
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4,777 Posts
So what will happen to Current Gold member like myself or any others?
 

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Tírëd Äßóût ╦σ RÉ├írë.
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4,777 Posts
We stay gold members but can post 4 threads a month with editting for 10 days on each of them.
oh ok..better easy to manage...It also says link/url not allowed(Aquabid, ebay)...ok...

What if certain sp. is not listed in plant profile and needs to import from another forum or say Google?
 

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Registered
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6,756 Posts
Hi Kyle,

I like the new guidelines. When I check in on the forum I usually do a 'Quick Links' - 'Today's Posts' and go down the page. Lately 25%-40% of the posts are from the SNS/Power Sellers sub-forums which is fine if I am looking for new plants but most of the time I am looking for interesting subjects or discussions which means I have to weed through a lot of irrelevant stuff.

Thank you for trying to constantly improve the experience for hobbyist on TPT.
 

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Plant Clown
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4,729 Posts
To make sure I'm clear on how the FS section works, all threads will consist of a single post by the author?

And because there are no follow-ups, the only time a thread will be on the coveted page 1 position is immediately after the original post?

Can we still post a link to our sales threads in our sigs?
 

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9,774 Posts
To make sure I'm clear on how the FS section works, all threads will consist of a single post by the author?

And because there are no follow-ups, the only time a thread will be on the coveted page 1 position is immediately after the original post?

Can we still post a link to our sales threads in our sigs?

Only sponsors can link in there signatures, also with no bumping or mindless chatter in threads plus being FS only in that section posts shouldn't disappear off the first page in a matter of hours as it does here now.
 

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Plant Clown
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4,729 Posts
Only sponsors can link in there signatures, also with no bumping or mindless chatter in threads plus being FS only in that section posts shouldn't disappear off the first page in a matter of hours as it does here now.
Makes sense. If a thread "expires" after 10 days, can we link to an expired thread in another post?
 

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As a buyer and never a seller, I really like the "no bumps". I think it will give every seller a better chance at being seen.
 

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Plant Clown
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4,729 Posts
No, in short.

That's a form of advertising.
I agree, but couldn't the same be said about linking to an un-expired thread (I'm assuming we're allowed to link to an un-expired thread in another post)?

I think this change may end up being a really neat, simple fix, and I'm in full support of it. Just looking for some clarification :)
 
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