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View Full Version : Deletion of Sales references to Ebay!



Steven Tribe
16-Mar-2014, 14:55
I have noticed that when someone forgets the "rules" and posts a direct link/reference to an item elsewhere - especialy Ebay - mods are quick to intervene.


What remains, however, is the title line and the comments added by relevant moderator.

An example from this evening:


Cooke PS945

Started by cowanw, Today 21:42 Thread deleted by Ken Lee
Reason: Sorry but eBay cross-postings not allowed even when helpful.

If I was a desparate person, trying to get a sale, I would be extremely happy with the continued presence of this basis information at LFPF. And I would make sure the title said it all!

Couldn't we have a total deletion system not to encourage planned misuse?
I realise this mail will have to be deleted too, so as not to perpetuate the misery!

Steven Tribe
17-Mar-2014, 03:28
Apparently, Mods consider that reference by posters to sales elsewhere is acceptable - as long as there is no electronic link to the auction item.

I realise this case in point is very much "doing friends a service" - both seller and interested purchasers, rather than doing hard business.
I suppose the guidelines of the underlined section could be interpreted as meaning only "direct link to the relevant web page".



•Classifieds (for sale or wanted ads) should only be posted in the "For Sale/Wanted" sub-forum, which is open only to those who have been members for 30 days or more. Classified ads are limited to the personal photographic equipment, photography books, and prints of registered users. Posts by dealers are not allowed. The sales price must be clearly stated in the original post. Auctions are not permitted. Links to other auction sites such as eBay or other points of sale are prohibited and will be deleted without notice. Please prefix all post titles to indicate intent: "WTB", "FS" , "FT" (for trade), etc. Use of the "For Sale/Wanted" section is completely at your own risk. Readers of "For Sale" posts should refrain from intruding on the thread by making negative comments about the item or the price being requested. Doing so is rude, and thus in violation of general forum guidelines.

If this is Moderator policy, then perhaps an extension of the concept of "link" to include the de facto indication of item and location, should be adopted?

A link is a link, automatic or otherwise.

Ken Lee
17-Mar-2014, 04:04
Thanks for bringing this up: we'll see how the other moderators see the issue.

(For the record, I'm the moderator who removed the original thread about the Cooke PS945 lens which contained a direct link to eBay, and then PM'd the OP with explicit permission to make a similar posting without a link.)

The existing policy statement seems clear enough to me: a "link" in this context means an explicit HTML link.

In the text editor provided by the forum software, when we move the mouse over the button which lets us embed a link in a post, the tool-tip which appears over the button identifies the tool as "link".

Steven Tribe
17-Mar-2014, 05:56
Thanks Ken for the dialogue!

Using "Cooke PS945" and "Ebay" , I found the listing in under 10 seconds.

cowanw
17-Mar-2014, 06:17
And of course I am the original poster. I did err as per the guidelines and it was a mistake. Ken was very kind to message me about it, which I appreciated.

I would however point out the other points of sale that do not seem to cause the same conniptions.
The LEICASHOP and WESTLICHT AUCTION are both recently referenced as Links in a thread and some members participated in that thread.
Which only shows that Humans err (like me) or can be inconsistent, and that there are two sides to every coin.

As well as the desperate seller looking to expose their item to as many people as possible, one might envision a desperate buyer seeking to limit the exposure of an item and gain an edge.
Fortunately most of us are between these two extremes and simply try to muddle on.
It is only the internet.
I hope someone from the LFF community wins the item for a price they want to pay and the seller hopes to get.

Jac@stafford.net
17-Mar-2014, 06:22
Does the auction site, or any other site possibly harvest linked connections for marketing purposes? Tracking users?
.

rdenney
17-Mar-2014, 15:23
We are discussing it, and will probably lean towards being more restrictive with announcements of eBay sales. I had removed Bill's second thread until Ken and I conferred and he told me he'd permitted it. I reinstated it immediately. But probably in the future will ask people not to post announcements of sales elsewhere, even when they are well-intentioned. We already get a lot of for-sale traffic.

But, as I said, we are still discussing it.

Remember that we don't see all threads and posts. One should not attempt to infer what the mods are trying to do empirically--often we don't see a post that violates the guidelines and nobody brings it to our attention, but I'd we did see it we would take action. And we do exercise discretion, not always consistently.

Rick "noting a fundamental desire not to further overwhelm the forum with sales postings" Denney

Doremus Scudder
18-Mar-2014, 02:19
We are discussing it, and will probably lean towards being more restrictive with announcements of eBay sales. I had removed Bill's second thread until Ken and I conferred and he told me he'd permitted it. I reinstated it immediately. But probably in the future will ask people not to post announcements of sales elsewhere, even when they are well-intentioned. We already get a lot of for-sale traffic.

But, as I said, we are still discussing it.

Remember that we don't see all threads and posts. One should not attempt to infer what the mods are trying to do empirically--often we don't see a post that violates the guidelines and nobody brings it to our attention, but I'd we did see it we would take action. And we do exercise discretion, not always consistently.

Rick "noting a fundamental desire not to further overwhelm the forum with sales postings" Denney

Dear Moderators,

I'm going to come down on the side of less-restrictive rules. Certainly, posting an eBay link purely as a "for sale" posting should be prohibited, just like one would prohibit "advertising" from any company or person. But I really think posts like, "Will this lens fit on my speed graphic?" or "Has any one dealt with this seller? - Are his products of high quality?" should be allowed, and with the link to the listing included.

Similarly, I really think links to products at photo dealers offered as a solution to a problem or answer to a question should be allowed. E.g., "Wouldn't something like this [link-to-product-at-photodealer.com] would solve your problems?"

I realize there is a grey area and that we don't want to have the forum cluttered with thinly-veiled advertising-for-free. However, that's why we have you people to make judgement calls. (And thanks for all the hard work you do!)

I could understand an "any advertising with or without a direct link that is not in the classified section will be immediately deleted" policy easily. Deleting links offered as a help to posters or along with questions, however, makes this forum a poorer resource.

Best,

Doremus

Steven Tribe
18-Mar-2014, 03:03
I agree that the ability to make reference to on-line dealers' listing is a good tool in answering questions/illustrating points.

As regards auction sites, I am not too sure. Perhaps one could do a bit more research and find references in "completed listings" rather than active listings. There are, after all, far more items there than in current listings. This is not just Ebay as the better auction sites have many years of sales records available on-line.

The only thing that I am really at loggerheads with are posts that have the sole purpose of facilitating a sale.

Ralph Barker
18-Mar-2014, 04:38
Doremus, Steven, your point about examples is well taken. In most cases, however, a reference to the full product name, rather than a link to where one is available, would suffice. Part of the issue we face is that spammers are often cagey about how they advertize an item for sale.

Ralph Barker
20-Mar-2014, 05:23
After some discussion of the issues, the moderators have concluded:

eBay (and other site) links, alerts and pointers mostly seem to fall into two categories:

1. well-intentioned pointers or links to things that might be of interest to other LFPF members, and
2. posts that amount to secondary ads for the poster's own auction on the other site, or those of a friend.

"Examples" might be a third, less-frequent, type of post. In such cases, the use of the full product name should suffice, rather than posting a link to where one is for sale.

Posts of the #1 type are prohibited because the LFPF shouldn't be used to drum up business for eBay, and those who are actually interested can do their own searches there, while those who aren't interested are tired of seeing those posts. Posts of the #2 type amount to spam and will usually be hard-deleted, so they don't show in the forum index, and the poster warned.

This is reflected in a minor tweak to the rules:

"Auctions are not permitted, nor are announcements, pointers or links to items for sale at other web sites or points of sale. They are prohibited and will be deleted without notice. "

Moderators will continue to exercise a degree of discretion when dealing with specific posts.

Steven Tribe
20-Mar-2014, 15:43
Your work is much appreciated, both in this tricky matter and as regards general thread "housekeeping".

Will Whitaker
20-Mar-2014, 17:35
After some discussion of the issues, the moderators have concluded:

eBay (and other site) links, alerts and pointers mostly seem to fall into two categories:

1. well-intentioned pointers or links to things that might be of interest to other LFPF members, and
2. posts that amount to secondary ads for the poster's own auction on the other site, or those of a friend.

"Examples" might be a third, less-frequent, type of post. In such cases, the use of the full product name should suffice, rather than posting a link to where one is for sale.

Posts of the #1 type are prohibited because the LFPF shouldn't be used to drum up business for eBay, and those who are actually interested can do their own searches there, while those who aren't interested are tired of seeing those posts. Posts of the #2 type amount to spam and will usually be hard-deleted, so they don't show in the forum index, and the poster warned.


Does this also prohibit links to for-sale ads on this forum?

Ralph Barker
21-Mar-2014, 06:32
Does this also prohibit links to for-sale ads on this forum?

Good question, Will. I think that depends on how the "internal" link is posted. While we wouldn't want the main topic forums to be flooded with links to ads in the FS/WTB sub-forum (essentially internal spam), there might be cases where such a link could be appropriate for educational or reference purposes. So, I think that would be a case where moderator discretion would come into play.

mdarnton
21-Mar-2014, 06:48
The hostility to Ebay, and to sales in general, is interesting. I wouldn't have any of the equipment I have without it. Just as has always been the case with local camera stores, LF forum sales present the tiniest fingernail clipping of what's out there, and if I had to depend on those two sources I'd have hardly any stuff. I bet it's the same for many people here. Just one example, I finally landed a Cambo ground glass protector for my Cambo. I'd been looking for months; none of you are giving up yours, and if I had to depend on ads here I still wouldn't have one. In those months, exactly one has shown up anywhere, and you know where.

I think we should be singing the praised of Ebay, not censoring it. On some forums they won't even spell the word, as if hell will break loose and blanket the earth. From here, it appears some people just have deeply-seated mental problems and an inability to deal with the world with placid sanity. Where does all of that hostility come from, anyway?

rdenney
21-Mar-2014, 07:40
Most people here already own what they need and just want to talk about using it. We get many complaints about the volume of sales postings as it is. That doesn't mean they are hostile to sales services elsewhere.

eBay is available to anyone who is shopping. This is a non-commercial site and we decline commercial proposals of various types (including just links) frequently. The for-sale forum is a service to regular participants who do not want to use eBay for reasons they are not required to explain. Those who do want to use eBay don't need this forum--we all know how to use it if we are interested in shopping for something.

Rick "not hostile to many things we exclude from this forum" Denney

Kevin J. Kolosky
23-Mar-2014, 17:47
So, I think that would be a case where moderator discretion would come into play.

Uh, Oh!