Re: It's getting old
Another difficulty regarding vendors and their products is a common misconception - while obviously we appreciate innovation and even the availability of items difficult or even impossible for the average builder to fabricate themselves, our forum is primarily focused on the "do it yourselfer" the "the free & open exchange of ideas, innovations & assistance" mentioned above. We as staff as well as thousands of members spend countless hours exchanging ideas and trying to assist each other for no reason other than the love of the hobby, no compensation save a thanks & the knowledge that someone is now riding happily.
Some see this as a business opportunity & rightfully so, there's huge potential for new and innovative products, any number of items that if offered could make our builds easier, even safer - but the fact remains that if you're more interested in profit than assistance, if rather than a tutorial explaining how to make something yourself you simply wish to offer your wares without alternative - then the bottom line is you're after our members' hard earned cash, not helping them. This is all well and good, the very definition of capitalism and even needful to have a successful business - but it's not what we're here for, we are not to be used solely as an advertising platform for any commercial interest, if there's a product to offer, a business to promote - then it goes in our 'Swap and Shop' section. If that product is good enough it will be recommended by other members as a viable solution, recommending your own products as "solutions" is so obviously biased it's simply unacceptable, without explanation or alternative it's insulting to all those offering their assistance and advice for free.
We do value our vendors of course, without their products we'd have little to build our bikes with. Some of our vendors go out of their way to assist those having difficulty with their products and those we value most of all. Yet time and again we'll find that's not a primary interest and when threads get created with a commercial interest or questions answered with mere self promotion - we contact that vendor and remind them that all self promotion in the interest of profit belongs in 'Swap and Shop' and as such their threads/posts get moved/deleted as per our rules.
Sadly some don't see the inherent conflict of interest between this forum's philosophy and their profit generation, some even see our 'Swap and Shop' section as some sort of reprimand instead of a subforum specifically created for the exchange of their products and their self promotion and get irate - either refusing to continue a thread moved there or trying to circumvent our rules and incurring punitive actions, up to and including bans. Add in any number of ineffective or overpriced products, ideas that never went anywhere or were even just poorly conceived - the sheer number of folks that see our member base as an opportunity to make a quick buck instead of promoting creativity and you may begin to see why there's so many apparent "empty promises and come-on's"...personally - I see this as a sort of "Darwinism", any vendor unwilling or unable to understand and comply with such basic etiquette, those that in anger no longer remain active or ignore staff intervention and incur infractions or even bans, then simply put - they're not worth doing business with anyway as they're obviously unethical in the extreme, their selfishness and greed obvious they never seem to realize they're only hurting themselves in their spite.
As with anything there are of course some exceptions, as stated above - we greatly value those vendors that participate on our forum to assist our members experiencing difficulty with their products, those vendors in particular understanding the value, the inherent self-promotion of exemplary customer service that such assistance provides. There's those vendors that are in the middle of R&D, seeking feedback from our member base to improve items not available yet, there's those that go out of their way to help our members even with problems that have nothing to do with any of their products - understanding that every post they make as a titled dealer is in fact self promotion, that they are in actuality helping themselves as much as they're helping our members and that's fine - even commendable.
Unfortunately for every "ethical" vendor - there's any number that will try and "sneak" in shameless self promotion and as a result we've had to enforce our rules a little more than we'd like & the more this becomes prevalent - the more strict we have to be to preserve the integrity of this forum, unfortunately this can have a detrimental effect on those few vendors that respect our forum's philosophy, but we've little choice given the abuses others inflict. Our 'Swap and Shop' subforum is NOT a punishment - please do create threads to promote products and businesses there, members can and should post their queries for the vendors to answer in those threads & the more this is done, the better that subforum will be.
Bottom line: If you've something to sell, be it a component, bike or even a business name - it goes in 'Swap and Shop' & if it's good enough others will promote it for you, the rest of the forum is for our members and their projects not profiteering. Should anyone see an infringement of our rules - report it.
Last edited by BarelyAWake; 11-06-2010 at 06:35 AM.