Several have indicated that their only reason for forum participation is to buy and sell stuff, and the limitations on doing so render the forum not worth their time. Interests change and participation here is entirely at will, of course.

It has been true for my entire ten years here (still a newb compared to some) that the sales forum has been intended as a classifieds section for regular members to buy and sell amongst themselves. It has taken much of that time to make the FS forum act like a classifieds.

And the result is this: far less complaining about deals that went bad, incorrect listings, bump hogs, secret commercial enterprises, ridiculous prices, fraudulent claims, etc. etc. Those whose main reason to be here was sales, who felt they had to depend on practices like repeated bumping, have moved on to venues better suited to their approach. Better for them; better for those who remain. This forum is not bent on world domination and is happy to coexist with other services not central to our discussion group mission.

But there may also be some complaining about the rules as being the cause of a general decline in the use of the sorts of things we talk about and trade.

Many of us are already fully equipped, and the wave of buying used pro-grade large and medium-format film stuff being handed down from pros has perhaps run its course. Some items are getting more expensive (priced a good Pentax 67 lately?) but most are not, and this reflects the market. A year or so ago, I paid $300 in a high-end brick-and-mortar store for a Sinar P Expert kit (no lenses), with case and all the accessories, in really excellent condition. That $300 would barely have bought a Calumet ten years ago, and it’s what I did pay for a used Calumet 30 years ago when the Sinar would have been 10-20 times as much. I paid twice that a decade ago for a clapped out Sinar F that I had to just about rebuild.

If sales aren’t working as well here, don’t be too quick to blame the guidelines.

It is true that the guidelines are there to address practices about which we received abundant complaints, and which also caused many silent defections. There is no solution space here, if the objective is to make everyone happy. All we can do is remain true to the vision of this forum: a discussion group enhanced by a convenient way to move items surplus to needs to a forum acquaintance with the minimum of fuss.

Rick “respectfully submitted” Denney