Done! New members and marketplace

A suggestion that has been implemented and is available

EDW

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It seems there have been a number of instances of brand new members posting questionable or bogus sale listings in the marketplace. Perhaps there should be a waiting period and a number of postings required before new members are able to post in the marketplace.
 
This suggestion has been implemented. Votes are no longer accepted.
To review the thread so far:

Problem to be solved: the increasing number and sophistication of scammers in the Marketplace, most of whom are new members, making their scammy offerings in their first or second post.

That's it. There aren't any other problems to be solved in my view. The rest of the Marketplace is working great from my perspective.

Not that there aren't great issues being raised on this thread that I'll continue to chat with you about...but as far as problems that NEED addressing NOW, there's just this one.

My general approach is to look for the "least possible" solution that gets the job done. In this case, I think it's enough to place a very small bump in the road that would make the typical scammer decide to go somewhere else that makes it easier to scam, without changing ANYTHING for current buyers, sellers, and traders, who are all doing fine.

Proposed solution: 10 posts before offering your first sale, or become a UU VIP. UU VIP happens for as little as $5, but I'll leave that up to them if anyone wants to pay more. 🙂

This is indeed how I've set this up. Here's the notice you get if you try to start a Marketplace thread with fewer than 10 posts:

View attachment 154201

The links are to the UU VIP page, and to my email.

Why I think this will work: The primary intent of this is to deter scammers. They will hopefully think that this is too much work for a scam, and just move on. Needless to say, if this doesn't work, we'll refine it...but there you have it.

As for non-scammers, posting in our community should be reserved for people who want to commune with us, communicate with us, what have you. This does that, with no complications, and NO CHANGES for anybody already in the Marketplace. Unless they have fewer than 10 posts. in which case they can contact me, and I'll help 'em sort it out.

Anybody with under 10 posts who is in the midst of a legit transaction also need not worry. This restriction is only for starting THREADS. Anyone new can POST on existing threads at will here, as always.

That also means that people with fewer than 10 posts are free to buy or trade if the offering party is up for it, as it should be. We're having no reports of scammy buyers. Only people trying to sell with their first-ish post.


Release notes:
  • At this very moment, the feature works as intended in all themes, but I haven't finished styling it in anything but Underground (the current default). I'll finish the rest tomorrow. It's past my bedtime. LOL
  • Yes, there's a typo -- a colon hanging there after the exclamation point. That's not in my text, but somewhere in the HTML that I haven't tracked down. Also on my agenda to fix for tomorrow.
  • And yes, as noted earlier, I have lots of replies to other folks on the thread, but once I saw the solution in my mind, I wanted to nail it down so that I could sleep for at least a little while without first coding it in my head, and then composing and editing this email in my head on a loop. :ROFLMAO: Sweet dreams, beautiful people!
I like it. Thanks for your hard work. Now get some sleep.
 
To review the thread so far:

Problem to be solved: the increasing number and sophistication of scammers in the Marketplace, most of whom are new members, making their scammy offerings in their first or second post.

That's it. There aren't any other problems to be solved in my view. The rest of the Marketplace is working great from my perspective.

Not that there aren't great issues being raised on this thread that I'll continue to chat with you about...but as far as problems that NEED addressing NOW, there's just this one.

My general approach is to look for the "least possible" solution that gets the job done. In this case, I think it's enough to place a very small bump in the road that would make the typical scammer decide to go somewhere else that makes it easier to scam, without changing ANYTHING for current buyers, sellers, and traders, who are all doing fine.

Proposed solution: 10 posts before offering your first sale, or become a UU VIP. UU VIP happens for as little as $5, but I'll leave that up to them if anyone wants to pay more. 🙂

This is indeed how I've set this up. Here's the notice you get if you try to start a Marketplace thread with fewer than 10 posts:

View attachment 154201

The links are to the UU VIP page, and to my email.

Why I think this will work: The primary intent of this is to deter scammers. They will hopefully think that this is too much work for a scam, and just move on. Needless to say, if this doesn't work, we'll refine it...but there you have it.

As for non-scammers, posting in our community should be reserved for people who want to commune with us, communicate with us, what have you. This does that, with no complications, and NO CHANGES for anybody already in the Marketplace. Unless they have fewer than 10 posts. in which case they can contact me, and I'll help 'em sort it out.

Anybody with under 10 posts who is in the midst of a legit transaction also need not worry. This restriction is only for starting THREADS. Anyone new can POST on existing threads at will here, as always.

That also means that people with fewer than 10 posts are free to buy or trade if the offering party is up for it, as it should be. We're having no reports of scammy buyers. Only people trying to sell with their first-ish post.


Release notes:
  • At this very moment, the feature works as intended in all themes, but I haven't finished styling it in anything but Underground (the current default). I'll finish the rest tomorrow. It's past my bedtime. LOL
  • Yes, there's a typo -- a colon hanging there after the exclamation point. That's not in my text, but somewhere in the HTML that I haven't tracked down. Also on my agenda to fix for tomorrow.
  • And yes, as noted earlier, I have lots of replies to other folks on the thread, but once I saw the solution in my mind, I wanted to nail it down so that I could sleep for at least a little while without first coding it in my head, and then composing and editing this email in my head on a loop. :ROFLMAO: Sweet dreams, beautiful people!
I think this should work to solve the immediate issue, Tim. Nice job. At the very least, we'll try it out, and see what happens.

I have flagged this topic as "Done", since Tim has implemented a solution to the issue. This may not be the end-all solution, but it is a solution.

Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to this discussion. Really great conversation. I especially appreciate the newbies who posted their thoughts here, thank you for participating!
 
Something to think about with transactions being a requirement. One transaction a year could be an expensive thing.

Posts matter. I’m reluctant to purchase from a newer member, but there are ways to verify. I’ve been using the marketplace longer than most people have been memebers here (if you use my old account as well as this one). We monitor our own.
 
I have flagged this topic as "Done", since Tim has implemented a solution to the issue. This may not be the end-all solution, but it is a solution.

Thanks Amie! I forgot to do that as I was drifting off last night. LOL And yes, this is more the FIRST last word than the LAST last word. :)

Another forum I frequent only allows people to use the marketplace after they have clocked up 6 months of registration and a minimum of 100 posts (and throwaway posts to build up this tally are monitored and removed).

I'm up for that if you good people are! I had seen a lot of pushback against the idea of ANY requirements (which surprised me, honestly), so I came up with a starting compromise. We'll see how it goes, but I really am up for setting the minimum pretty much anywhere that works.

One reason I added my email address to that block screen is that I'm trusting people who are having a problem with this to get in touch. We do this with people whose accounts we block as spammers. Every now and again, somebody gets back to us, makes clear that the automated tools are mistaken (which definitely happens), so we let them in, and all is well. If somebody needs a different door in, I want them to have it.


You can get to know a member before you do business with them, and build trust.

Exactly.

So here's the thing I'd like to request. Rather than follow the first inclination to jump on someone for not including a name-and-date photo, look at their profile. I was very sorry to see one member recently get piled on for lack of said photo, when they'd already completed multiple transactions of nice instruments -- easily visible on his profile -- and a Uke Pics post that included a couple of Kanile'as (including a premium K1 and a lovely 5-string), a Cocobolo, and the prettiest UkeSA Pops koa custom I've ever seen. (Not that I've seen a ton of them!)

img-8305-jpg.152644


His profile shows that he is definitely "one of us", no doubt about it. Now that we have a threshold for posting, please assume first that anyone's intentions are good, maybe take a look at their actual profile, and take note if anyone else has mentioned the name-and-date photo requirement already. :) Easy does it.

And if it turns out that we're mistaken, well, we'll block 'em, and I'll tweak the gateway.

Being completely transparent with you here, one reason I wanted to implement the change sooner rather than later was to attempt to turn down the heat a little. I don't want people to Google something like "ukulele" and "scam" and see that most of the results are coming from Ukulele Underground, and assume that they can't trust the Marketplace! I think you'll agree that this is not at all the case!

In the scheme of things, the recent "wave" of bad posts was only a couple of offerings. They should go down to zero right quick, but in the meantime, it's still up to the rest of us to ensure that even specific conversations about the rules stay nice and aloha.

Just a suggestion. :)

More in a bit. Now I'm off to finish the styling of this feature in the other themes and to track down that stray colon in the HTML. LOL

Edit: finished styling in all themes, AND found the stray colon in the HTML! Should be good to go from here!
 
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His profile shows that he is definitely "one of us", no doubt about it. Now that we have a threshold for posting, please assume first that anyone's intentions are good, maybe take a look at their actual profile, and take note if anyone else has mentioned the name-and-date photo requirement already. :) Easy does it.
Yes! Please!
 
So, having read this thread, and out of curiosity... I posted an ad yesterday, and it was held for moderation before being posted. I thought this was completely sensible and assumed that it meant someone was checking that ads at least looked plausibly valid before they were made public. Is that typically how it works or did I mess something up?
 
So, having read this thread, and out of curiosity... I posted an ad yesterday, and it was held for moderation before being posted. I thought this was completely sensible and assumed that it meant someone was checking that ads at least looked plausibly valid before they were made public. Is that typically how it works or did I mess something up?

That was the interim solution while we were hashing out the longer-term solution.

The reason I didn't like moderating all listings as the primary solution is that until this month, we'd typically go many months, even years, with no scammy or spammy looking postings at all. So why create impediments for the vast majority of folks who have been trading here for years? Just not necessary.

That's also not my style. I wanted to focus the solution as specifically as I could on the actual problem, which was the increasing number of people who were showing up ONLY to (pretend to) sell. Even if they're legit people with legit sales pitches, this is a community site, and it's reasonable to ask people to participate before they ask our current members for money.

Or, for people who don't want to wait, becoming a UU VIP! That works too!

In both of those scenarios, it's still incumbent on buyers to beware. We're not actually vetting anyone, which again, seems more response than is needed, and no doubt, the community has proven to be very good about having each other's backs. It's one of the reasons I love the Marketplace so much, and why I want to change it as little as possible.

But yeah, blocking everything is one approach that we now know will work if we need to scale up our response, or if the problem changes. 🙂
 
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Sorry if I missed this in the "How To..." rules thread... what if we want to:

- post more than one uke for sale in one post?

- seems we don't discourage chatting in sales post? I think thats ok imo, up to the discretion/courtesy of the posters...?

- and what about price flexible; like do we post a good number expecting potential buyers to lowball ? (negotiate in private only?)

- ***am I asking in the wrong thread?
 
These are all good questions, but yeah, this is the wrong thread. 🙂 Best to start a new one in The Talk.

Thanks!
Tim
 
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