Generally speaking, we don't like "rules". Thus, if a rule exists, it's a good indicator that there have been too many cases of individuals going overboard with something. But, to keep moderation fair and even-handed, we also use the Guidelines as the basis for moderation. It gives us something to point to when individual behavior goes astray. This avoids the "But, where does it say I can't do that?" problem. We also try to be fairly precise in how we word items in the Guidelines, so our intent is properly reflected, while retaining an appropriate amount of "wiggle room" for rational moderation.
I've had sales fouled by negative comments. I had one lens listed, the lens happened to have a tiny pin-sized coating mark (which was clearly disclosed in the ad). Some busy-body made some comment like "you want that much for a lens with a coating mark?". He basically made my ad useless so I deleted it and sold the lens on ebay for more than I was asking here!
But on the other hand, there are some ads where the seller isn't sure what he or she has (and since prices are mandatory, who wouldn't aim high?). Some may even be misleading due to a wrong model number, etc. So when, for example, someone chimes in to say something isn't what it's being presented as, that can be helpful, especially to less-experienced buyers. I do think that simple "your price is too high" comments are useless and rude.
In some cases there may be a fine line between helpful informational posts and less helpful judgements on pricing. So even though I've been burned by these types of comments, I think that it is a mistake to limit them.
Considering that I've had worse experiences buying stuff here than on ebay, I'll probably stop using the B&S forum anyway. But I think this rule goes too far.
Why not use PM for comments... for both positive and negative, then let the seller decide how to adapt his sales and marketing effort? Seems both simple and polite.
The only time I respond to for-sale ads is to explain something the seller has not explained, that might be misleading to the newer members of the forum. A recent example was explaining that a Sinaron-S, which included APO in the title, is an APO-Sironar-N, not the APO-Sironar-S hinted by a mis-typed dimension in the title (which the moderators corrected after it came out). A Sironar-N is a superb lens, but the S has more coverage and attracts a higher price, so a mistake there is mislead, certainly not intentionally so by the seller. I did mention that the distinction should affect the price, though I didn't say how much--let the seller figure that out based on market response. There is no shortage of pricing information on the internet and people who buy common items in ignorance get what they get with no sympathy from me.
I will also describe items that are not that common but where I have specific knowledge the seller doesn't, in order to help build the market. This happens mostly with the ex-Communist stuff that I have studied for a number of years. There are lots of things out there that people come by and want to sell that have special qualities unknown to them but that might be also unknown to someone who might prize that particular quality.
And there have been times when I chuckled to myself. But if the product was fairly represented, then buyers can do their own research.
I think my approach is consistent with the new rule. But if I run astray and a post gets deleted, then I'll adjust to the new boundary.
Rick "who has paid high prices at times for something valuable to me beyond what it might be to others" Denney
What a great price. If I did not already have five of these I would be all over this.
I can't believe this hasn't sold yet.
This is a steal.
"Anonamus" is a friend and I highly recommend you buy from him.
These sorts of gratuitous meaningless positive comments drive me crazy.
If you are going to ban one kind of comment you should ban both.
To allow only positive comments is to favour the selling member who has the best spin with the buying member having no spin.
Puts me in mind of the thread in which Fluidrive sold his 14 inch Pinkham
One post creating mild suspicion: another with mild personal support; neither really pertinent.
The recent post for a home made camera demonstrated poor judgement with a inapropriate negative comment which was quickly corrected by other members followed by a reconciliation.
I think the new policy is an over reaction to this recent thread.
But there has been value in the past to negative comments which have driven VERY poor sellers away or readjusted new sellers to the true value of some item (say for example an enlarger).
It is never a good idea to adjust policy to try to avoid the extreme outliers as society's past adoption of zero tolerance policies have demonstrated
"There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).
Sorry to have offended you with positive comments. When I do leave them I mean them as genuine and am trying to be helpful. Seems better than "bump" every hour as some people do.
What's on General Hospital today? I have to go to the doctor and then visit the priest later. Then go get my hair dyed blue. Obviously we're a bunch of old ladies here.
Besides, I don't think I've ever come across anybody using the comment function to talk down a realistically priced camera or lens below market value - so the above isn't really a issue.
What about if we get ripped off as I recently did on a lens purchase? May I respond in a public post after the sale or would that be considered 'rude'?
OK Sevo, say you're trying to sell your Schneider lens for 300x, which is what you have invested in it and is a reasonable price.
Some random person comments that they just bought the same lens for 150x. They don't have to substantiate their statement, it may have been an anomalous price, it could be your ex-wife's boyfriend, who knows?
Do you really expect someone to come along afterwards and offer you 300x?
Negative comments depress prices. That may be nice for buyers, but what about photographers who need to sell an item to pay for their next camera? And if prices on this forum become artificially depressed, how long before predatory speculators descend?
I think it's like a lot of legislation - good intentions but unintended consequences. But I guess I am talking to the wall here. Slam away!!!