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Updated classified section rules - effective 1/1/2019

Discussion in 'Ferraris' started by ylshih, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
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    #51 ylshih, Jan 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
    Contrary to bjwhite, we're actually interested in listening. He dissed the sale corner threads, but we didn't have to do that, instead we put some effort and analysis into thinking about how to help the hobbyist/collector while still working within the limitations of some mandated requirements. Maybe the hobbyists/collectors should speak up as if we listen to just bjwhite, right now those threads are a silly and a wasted effort, not worth the time to have done it, and we should just delete them. And no, restoring unlimited items in individual subscriptions is not an option, bjwhite can ***** all he wants on that, but that's one of the mandates.

    However, listening requires that what is offered is actually pertinent to the requirements of the situation and not just a wish that things would revert to what they were. I've tried to explain the various factors that contributed to these 10-20% changes, but some users don't seem to have actually read the explanations or ignored them. One example being that the 2018 rules allowed sellers to move an unlimited number and value of inventory for $15. That is unacceptable and until users incorporate that into their suggestions, they're not going to gain much traction with any input or comments.

    BTW - you can generally thank a handful of users for a number of these rules changes over time. The site started with loose rules and a laissez-faire attitude; then the user that posted 430+ sale threads in a couple of years came along or there was the user that posted $250K in wheels and claimed he was a hobbyist, both with $15 subscriptions. If users didn't push the rules to such an outrageous extent, we wouldn't have much reason to be changing them. As usual a few ruin it for everyone else.

    Let's get to your moderation workload point, so I can explain something that hasn't been explained before. You're right that many people ignore the rules about commentary, but there are actually 3 distinct choices here:

    1) Go back to the way it was, where the ads are just like the forums, any comments, positive or negative, are allowed. This is the natural behavior of users who don't read the rules, i.e. the reversion state when there's no moderation. Moderators had an easy time, but sellers hated it and bitched about it until we instituted the commentary rules of 6/2015. That's what started this, listening to the sellers.

    2) Because the commentary rules of 6/2015 are a miserable ***** to moderate, even if the sellers are happier. We would love to reduce this workload. From the moderators point of view, it is just as hard to moderate only negative comments as it is to moderate both postive and negative comments. Very little difference, either way we're reading the ad thread post by post and making judgements about what's opinion, deleting posts, and sending warnings. So what you're missing is we're already spending "hours and hours" being miserable and that's roughly similar under either standard. What we're looking for is that reducing the fluff and opinion content overall in the threads will make ads more "to the point" and easier to moderate. But even then, it's still going to be miserable. You're welcome.

    3) Then there's just locking the thread, or disallowing replies, as you mention at the end. Very static, buyers don't get to comment, ask questions or submit info. Sellers would have less visibility into how many views were actually generated and would have to repeat answers PM by PM. Buyers would only be able to contact sellers by PM and the seller could tell buyers different things. Seems like sellers and buyers would both hate that, though it makes the moderator's life very, very easy. (The admins lives are a little harder for a while, as they have to figure out how to restructure that part of the forum to allow this locking feature).

    How about it? Do you think users would like to go back to #1 or move to #3? Works for me, because some of the users complaining here seem oblivious to how much mod work the 2018 commentary rules they want restored actually takes. I personally prefer #1 because it's both fair and takes little work, all we have to moderate for is personal attacks, which is almost always just one or two posts and reported to us by the offended party; that's a slam dunk.
     
  2. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya F1 World Champ
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    Which is something I've been trying to say but didn't want to point out specific people without having numbers and I don't have the time or inclination to go search through several users posts and count for sale ads. Maybe you guys have a faster way of doing it, I dunno. But in my eyes what has been done with the new rules is the baby has been thrown out with the bathwater. A few abuse it so take it away from everyone...essentially take it away anyway.

    I've made a couple suggestions but was basically told I was a cheap ass who got a screamin deal for using what was made available to me, like I stole something or should be ashamed. ;) I didn't abuse anything, I ran a few individual ads over the years. When I wanted to get rid of my cache of parts I did a storefront style ad and it was all gone in about 3 months and 60 posts.

    It seems to me there has to be a happy medium somewhere. As far as the comment thing I say leave it up to other users or the owner of the ad to decide if it's too much. Leave the rule in place about no general negative comments and if the seller (or other users, hell I even reported myself once when I got carried away with a comment) has an issue with it they report the post. THEN the mods kick into action. I don't see why you guys should have to spend your time reading every ad posted. It just seems like a lot of wasted effort. But then again that's why you get paid the big bucks right? :D

    As for abusive sellers, you guys obviously know who they are so take those few to task for it. At the kind of $$ levels you mentioned sponsorship or spendy Classified subscription shouldn't be a hard sell.

    For the rest maybe a smaller Classified subscription with either a dollar limit (although I know some will again say it's too high or too low) or a number of item or ads posted limit. Again though, more work for you mods unless it can be automated. Seems like a number of ads posted should be something that could be automated pretty easy but I'm no tech genius either.

    Or maybe several levels of Classified subscription. Yellow Classified for $100 and you can post 20 items per year. Silver Classified for $250..... You get the idea. Again it would add complications though unless it could be automated.

    I was honestly hoping the auction thing was gonna take off. I still think it could work....again...if it could be more automated so it didn't take a ton of work to keep going smoothly. I think the potential to pull in some good fees is there.

    I also kind of wondered what this meant... Corporate thing or something else?
     
  3. Dave rocks

    Dave rocks F1 World Champ
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    Yin, here is an idea in response to your last post. This is a way to semi-automate comments. Code the software (for the classifieds only) such that when the user clicks "Post reply" a message box pops up and says: "Classified rules on comments blah, blah, blah - if your comment violates these rules, a mod will delete it followed by a X day ban - further violations will result in addition bans or permanent" Then have two buttons "Accept and Post" or "Cancel"

    That should be very easy to do and it would save the mods tremendous amounts of work ;)
     
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  4. Stentboy

    Stentboy Formula 3
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    I agree the rules should be consistent. You shouldn’t prohibit negative albeit accurate information about the car, and the market for said car, and at the same time allow the seller’s buddies to shill the car by saying how reasonably priced the car is. About a year ago I was seriously interested in a car for sale in the classifieds wherein at least two individuals not only vouched for the car but also vouched for the seller as well, only to find out the car had not been completely and accurately described by the seller. This unfavorable information about the car came to light only because of tough but fair comments/questions by other members.
     
  5. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
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    Those two examples are poster kids, but there is a normal distribution of behavior below the extreme, so dealing with just the two wouldn't address the issue. Also, we've found that once someone shows the way, others follow.

    Come on, no one called you a "cheap ass". You were saying we were screwing people and I just pointed out that making rates proportional to privileges shouldn't be labeled "screwing" anyone. ;)

    We actually had kind of an ad hoc focus group on the idea of an intermediate level between Classified Subscribed and Rossa, there wasn't as much support for it as you would think.

    I like that. I've submitted for feasibility.

    I agree. I said this earlier, but didn't reiterate it in my immediate prior post. Sellers surely love the positive opinions, but that's not always fair to the buyers. There are plenty of users who will feel they're just being a good buddy by speaking up for a user that habituates their model forum, a lot of times they don't really know the car or seller, they just think they do. There are also users who unabashedly pump a car and the market for that car because they own it, there's a Scud owner that was $50-100K above market for several years on the Scud market thread that did this. I recently received a PM from a user that bought a car from a seller's thread that had multiple users posting about how great the seller was and his experience was directly contrary. Fairness dictates we think about the consequences and benefits of these rules to buyers as well as sellers.
     
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  6. Eric C

    Eric C F1 Rookie
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    I made 5 new threads in 2018, yet I was forced to spend $2,250 for a classified subscription to a forum that gets a fraction of the traffic of the members forum.

    Who did this focus group include? I for one would love to have an intermediate level between Classified Subscribed and Rossa.

    It’s not fair for a Owner/Enthusiast who enjoys buying/selling/trading collectibles to be put in the same category as multi-million dollar businesses.
     
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  7. Dave rocks

    Dave rocks F1 World Champ
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    Eric, as you know, we use the classifieds for selling tools, accessories and parts. It works very well and yields very good results.

    Respectfully, I would not classify you as a hobbyist - you have hundreds / thousands? of Ferrari store items and many of those are very high priced too. IMO, I think your model fits the subscription pretty well.

    I'll also add that even though we have created a few model section threads for our tools and accessories, I feel the classifieds is a better place for those items.

    This thread of yours has 3000+ views - that's pretty good IMO

    https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/threads/ferrari-binder-and-travel-document-holders.567775/

    This one 5000+

    https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/threads/ferrari-official-wallets-misc.567797/
     
  8. absostone

    absostone F1 Rookie
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    I guess the Dino Service sign ad got pulled cause it was over 100 bux?
     
  9. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
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    #59 ylshih, Jan 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
    Checked into it for you. It was a standalone ad, so there was no price limit issue. Rather, the mod deleted it because it was described as a recreation. We've given notice that we may require proof of authorized trademark or copyright use for non-OEM products that have logos, brand names, or other protected content. That was always the case, but in the past this usually meant that someone would have to complain and then we'd pull the ad. But for Ferrari in particular we're being more pro-active; if the ad indicates it's a recreation or some other situation that is likely a Ferrari trademark or copyright violation, we're deleting the ad and asking for proof of authorized use in order to restore the ad.

    Basically this site is well known to Ferrari, so it's kind of foolish on the part of sellers to publicly sell rip off products; they're just asking for trouble.
     
  10. absostone

    absostone F1 Rookie
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    I understand . getting complicated over a piece of 16x24'' pc of tin
     
  11. XENU

    XENU F1 Veteran
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    The same issues came on on another forum I frequent. @Dave rocks touched on the answer if the software is capable. When a sales thread is created the option is available to permit comments or not. It took some load of the mods on that site and gave the seller the option to decide on the participation of the forums peanut gallery. I have expressed my feelings on the subject to Rob Lay before, and I understand the monumental amount of work monitoring the classified ads can take. Comments beneath an ad also keep bumping old ads to the top which is another issue to deal with.

    The limits on ads are on par with what other sites have implemented and I think they are very fair. I have been on FChat for almost ten years and have only ever posted a few ads. If you are here to sell, pay your way, the sponsors do. A Rossa membership allows you to advertise three cars and 20 other items for less than the cost of a Starbucks once a month. That' s a bargain IMHO.

    Another policy that was implemented on the other forum was a 30/30 cooling off period for new members before they can place an ad. 30 posts in the non-sales forums, and 30 days of forum membership in good standing. This eliminated new members that were only interested in joining the forum for no other reason than to place cheap ads and gain access to the forum members.

    Yin,
    I know how much work you have been doing to complete this thankless task, and I thank you for your efforts.
    Cheers,
    Marc
     
  12. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya F1 World Champ
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    Fair enough. As for the cheap ass comment it was tongue in cheek, hence the winking smilie. :D And my intention with the getting screwed comment was about selling large lots of parts and other members getting a bargain price, not necessarily about the overall value of Fchat. That kind of deal can't happen here now although it was probably admittedly a pretty small sample of the for sale ads.

    Was the focus group asked about adding it with the way the rules were or with the new rules. If with the old I'd agree with them there probably wouldn't be any interest.
     
  13. John Salvador

    John Salvador Karting
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    Wow, this is really quite depressing. Just let people post stuff for sale and let others buy it.
     
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  14. HH11

    HH11 F1 Rookie
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    Seriously. I think these new rules will create a lot of work for the Mods unless the software can step in somehow.

    If you're not going to allow positive or negative comments you might as well not allow comments at all. A contact seller button/PM is all you'd need. Basically a format like Autotrader/eBay/CL

    Many times I was interested in a car only to find out through comments that it wasn't as described. That saved me time, money, and headaches.

    In my opinion having a few people take advantage of the Classified Section doesn't constitute changes like this going forward.

    I like Fchat a lot and think the Mods do a great job, but reading all this makes me shake my head.
     
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  15. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
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    "Anyone posting on an ad must be 1) asking a legitimate and relevant question; or 2) providing accurate, first-hand information on that specific car, item, or seller."
     
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  16. thorn

    thorn Formula 3
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    Unless you're considering buying the car yourself, sharing your like or dislike of the color combo is completely irrelevant to the sale listing.

    IE:
    If I'm shopping and someone's selling a blue 458, I don't care if you like blue. I care if I like blue.
     
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  17. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya F1 World Champ
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    So I'll ask again, what's the harm? On the other side of what you said, If I'm a seller I'd like as many comments and views as possible. Always two sides to a coin. I get what you are saying and I agree it's not relevant to the sale itself, but to me it's part of participating in this community. It's not a static ad like on Cars.com or something. I agree with what others have said then, just shut down comments altogether and be done with it. That would sure be a LOT easier for the mods.
     
  18. thorn

    thorn Formula 3
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    It's not so much as harm, but annoyance.

    If I'm scanning the listings a buyer, RED posts tell me there's been updates to the thread. Perhaps the buyer has adjusted price or added some new valuable info? Let click and find out.

    Nope, just another damned "Wish I was in the market!" (but you aren't) or GLWS! (as if anyone would wish ill luck on a seller) reply.

    There's like... what, 50-60 other subforums on Fchat dedicated to conversational participation? Seems like saying "no conversation on ads" won't risk shutting down the community too much. ;)
     
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  19. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
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    #69 ylshih, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    We do think it's appropriate for buyers and onlookers to offer helpful facts and personal knowledge about the car or seller or ask reasonable questions. So cutting off all commentary does a disservice in precluding those informative comments or relevant queries. At the same time, the function of "wish I was in the market", "love that color" and "GLWS" has been mostly taken over by the "Like" button which carries a similar message (and was not previously available) and causes a lot less clutter on the ad thread. Finally, sellers universally hate users (who might not even be buyers) who express an opinion about their price being too high; and adding a restriction about sellers friend's and same model owners so as to preclude their expressing an opinion that the price is too low seems only fair.

    The Parts & Collectible ad threads operate 90% to the model we're trying to get to, with very little unnecessary wishes or opinions or price commentary. Very few users think to drop an opinion about the color of a clutch part after all :cool: But users can and often ask: "Does this fit my model?" or "Will I need spacers?" and get informed replies. What's wrong with the car ads being more like the parts & collectible ads?
     
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  20. thorn

    thorn Formula 3
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    #70 thorn, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    I can understand where you're coming from on this. $250K in rotating (ha!) inventory is clearly not a hobby situation. But I do believe the Silver vs Rossa vs Classified (Commercial) ad # policy is a bit ... I dunno, overly punitive.

    Here's simply one example. I don't know or have any connection to the seller, nor do I own a 355. It's just a recent ad that caught my eye:

    https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/threads/f355-parts.586548/

    Seller has 6 random items in the garage, no use for them. Under his current sub, he can only list 5 items per year. According to current policy, it's not about "how much is it is all worth." You'll allow the seller to list it all as a single lot for $1465. But he cannot now just have a single ad with 6 items, because... only one per listing. He probably won't upgrade to Rossa just to sell that $30 dashboard cover. He'll toss it on ebay, or the trash, or back in the garage to be forgotten.

    A user's actual number of postings in the ad section obviously has next to zero impact on the server traffic. If traffic was a problem, you'd just shut down somewhere like P&R and save the bandwidth.

    Fchat's classified ad model isn't about how much the items are worth (which is a bit contrary to the problem with the $250K rim seller), but charging on a per-listing basis. You aren't taking a commission/percent off of items actually sold. So, it seems to be a tool to either get a non-subscriber to go Silver or Rossa (or, for a Silver to upgrade to Rossa)? Doubtful that a hobbyist with 21 random items is going to buy a $2K Commercial sub... on a related note, I believe I've visited the commercial classifieds exactly twice in 5 yrs. (Not sure if that's normal Fchat participation or not. But mostly it seems to be rims and exhaust headers.)

    I can respect that, but honestly - I'd consider upgrading to Rossa right now if it meant a) I don't see ads anymore and b) I never have to see the NEWS section/banner button again.
     
  21. XENU

    XENU F1 Veteran
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    I have three cars and a truck to sell at this time, and BaT seems like the way to go for me. For $99 per car, you get tremendous exposure and their site operates to sell cars. The rules https://bringatrailer.com/commenting-rules/ on commenting on BaT are very clear and the heavily moderated comments beneath the auction ads are a great asset to the site. FChat isn't a sales site, it is a forum with bargain ads for members. If you have more to sell than the rules permit, options exist. YMMV
     
  22. thorn

    thorn Formula 3
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    That's a good point.

    If an onlooker were to be allowed to post "I love that color!" or "Nice looking car!", why shouldn't I be allowed to offer my own personal observations... such as "Chocolate/Babyblue is an awful color combo ... good luck with that one" or "That engine bay looks like it's been ignored for the past 20 years".

    I mean - if it's meant to be participatory, one must anticipate that not everyone would love/want the car and comment as such.
     
  23. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
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    You've got the relationship backward. Ads were NOT an original perk in the package! The individual subscribed levels were not originally about the classified ads, I don't recall that we even had an ad section when the the subscription levels first came out. The subscription level benefits were about access to the private sections and other perks (like more PMs, more pictures, not having to see inline ads, having a custom avatar, and so on). The ad benefits got added, with no change in subscription fees, to individual subscriptions when the ad section got added a few years later. For 15 years, the subscription prices haven't changed, even as the ads got added and the site got more traffic.

    Then we found dealers and high volume advertisers had discovered the ad section, were using it heavily, and the fee disparity between individuals and commercial sponsors became too great given how heavily some individuals were posting in the ad section. That's when the admin began having to set ad limits for individuals and mandate commercial classifications on users who didn't want to own up to acting commercially. The "per listing" limits for individuals are an ad hoc mechanism and were only because the site doesn't have the tools to analyze ads for listing value, total it up, and charge a percentage commission like eBay. It's imperfect, but it's the best we can do right now.
     
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  24. thorn

    thorn Formula 3
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    Coolness. I think that sums up the situation nicely. Thanks for taking the time to type it out as such.
     
  25. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya F1 World Champ
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    This has been my main sticking point with the changes and I think this type of situation, although like I already admitted is probably a minority of the parts ads, is a loss to this community. It would be great if there was something to fill the gap between the lower Rossa/Silver ad limits and the full on and spendy Classified one. But life goes on and there are other resources like others have mentioned.

    Oh, I'd probably upgrade to Rossa to get rid of that NEWS banner too. :D
     

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