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Updates to the Marketplace guidelines and restrictions


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#1 Admin

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 19:22

Dear FPN members,

Due to the rather significant growth of activity in the FPN marketplace sub forums, a revision to the guidelines was required. Please read this carefully before continuing participation in the marketplace. The guidelines are pinned in the main Marketplace landing page, as well as in the For Sale sub forum.

Some highlights:
  • Revision on the number of concurrent postings and bumps
  • Clarification on posting details required
  • Addition of PayPal payment rules, stipulated by the PayPal corporation
Thank you for your attention!

Sincerely,

Edited by MYU, 23 January 2010 - 21:22.

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#2 QM2

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 19:39

This thread has been left open, so I assume feedback and questions are okay here

I have a question about the PayPal clause (4.a in the guidelines), which states that you cannot ask for paypal fees on top of the price. Does this refer only to the general fees, or also to the substantial fees when the buyer chooses to use a credit card?

There is a huge profit difference for the seller depending on whether the buyer pays with regular paypal or credit card paypal. If the guidelines state that the price must already include any fees, I will have no choice but to factor in the larger credit card fee in order to protect myself financially - which will be unfair to those not paying with credit card and will make the price of the item seem too high.

For example, if I sell a pen for $500 and the person pays with a credit card, I will receive only $425, which would be an unacceptable loss for me. To avoid this, I would need to bump the price of the pen up to $575, which will seem like an unfairly high price for that particular pen to the buyer.

Is it permitted to simply state "cash paypal only" and not to accept credit card sales? I do not see any other way out of this that is not damaging to the seller.

#3 hari317

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 20:25

[list][*]Revision on the number of concurrent postings and bumps


Is the 7 day rule applicable to older running sale threads too or for the new threads only?

Thanks!
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#4 MYU

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 21:26

The types of PayPal accepted are up to the seller, but they should state it. That's in the rules now. If a seller makes a mistake by omitting this and a buyer makes a credit card payment, that's something the seller and buyer need to work out. So, if a seller is assuming payment will be by PayPal credit card, the price should be stated accordingly. There is of course nothing to stop the seller from offering a 'discount' on other buying methods.

As far as the 7 day rule goes, this is with regard to "bump" posts as stated. There are plenty of "long term" sale threads where sellers are interacting with other members or adding a status. The whole point is for sellers to not keep making posts solely intended to push their sale topics back to the top. Beyond a week, if there are no buyers/takers, the seller should discontinue bumping. They are free to post another sale topic, however.

Regards,
~MYU

Edited by MYU, 23 January 2010 - 21:29.

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#5 Immoteus

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 22:53

I have a question about the first clause in the guidelines.

Accordingly, a member must have at least 30 posts and be registered for 30 days before they can post sales in the Marketplace. This restriction will not be grandfathered.


Why was the number 30 chosen for the requirement? It seems like a rather low number of posts (I was thinking of something of a number between 99 and 101).
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#6 Enai

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 00:23

Thank you for the updated guidelines and clarifications. It's an improvement, I think.
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#7 blopplop

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 01:18

Thank you for the updated guidelines and clarifications. It's an improvement, I think.


Ditto for me. Thank you Admins for all the time and effort you put in for making the forum run more smoothly.

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#8 sjs

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 02:04

For example, if I sell a pen for $500 and the person pays with a credit card, I will receive only $425


I had no idea that Paypal takes 15% from credit card payments. That's pretty incredible.
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#9 QM2

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 02:25

MYU thanks for the clarification. And I 100% agree that the new guidelines are an improvement.

SJS - Yes, Paypal takes 15% from credit card payments. For someone who is not a business but just trying to sell their own pen, that loss can be pretty substantial.

#10 blopplop

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 02:28

MYU thanks for the clarification. And I 100% agree that the new guidelines are an improvement.

SJS - Yes, Paypal takes 15% from credit card payments. For someone who is not a business but just trying to sell their own pen, that loss can be pretty substantial.


Really? 15%? Is that if you live outside the US? I've never had them take 15%. It's usually just under 4%.

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#11 Sidney

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 04:44

This is the fees for domestic transactions as listed on PayPal.com: 1.9% to 2.9% + $0.30 USD. I think they also charge a small percentage fee for currency conversion.
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#12 Blackforest

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 14:10

another suggestion: it would help a lot if the seller would state where they reside / from where they ship. it's also better to know that 2 o'clock in the morning when answering PMs...

regards
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#13 QM2

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 14:26

Really? 15%? Is that if you live outside the US? I've never had them take 15%. It's usually just under 4%.


I don't know what to tell you. I have been charged 15% for domestic credit card transactions. Not every time, but some of the time. I think it might depend on the type of credit card used, and possibly other factors. But it has happened to me several times, neither of which times the buyer warned me that they were going to pay in any sort of unusual method other than using a credit card. I find the PayPal system mysterious.

#14 dandelion

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 15:09


Really? 15%? Is that if you live outside the US? I've never had them take 15%. It's usually just under 4%.


I don't know what to tell you. I have been charged 15% for domestic credit card transactions. Not every time, but some of the time. I think it might depend on the type of credit card used, and possibly other factors. But it has happened to me several times, neither of which times the buyer warned me that they were going to pay in any sort of unusual method other than using a credit card. I find the PayPal system mysterious.


How very strange! I was also a little puzzled when you spoke about 15% fees. Have you contacted PayPal because of this? I have used PayPal rather frequently the past year and accepted credit card payments and never been charged more than the usual. Since I live in a small country all currency exchange/cross border exchange charges are applied and I still pay tops 5% fees. I actually think you should consider contacting them to find out why you have been charged such fees. Best/dandelion
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#15 dandelion

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 15:10

PS I'm also happy about the new marketplace rules!
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#16 dizzypen

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 23:34

Wonderful new rules. Thanks you very much! In particular thank you for enforcing the PayPal rules.

On that subject, if we see a post where someone is charging the buyer for the Paypal fees should we report it?
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#17 kernando

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 01:11

Is the picture rule #3 really necessary, and who was consulted in coming up with that one? Is that recent or did mods suddenly decide to enforce it? Sellers know that pictures sell better. Buyers know what pens look like and whether to trust a seller and description. I'm old-fashioned and I use film and don't have any digital camera worth using that can take any picture better than others can find by Google.

#18 Doug Add

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 20:14

Is the picture rule #3 really necessary, and who was consulted in coming up with that one? Is that recent or did mods suddenly decide to enforce it? Sellers know that pictures sell better. Buyers know what pens look like and whether to trust a seller and description. I'm old-fashioned and I use film and don't have any digital camera worth using that can take any picture better than others can find by Google.

While the picture stipulation was around prior to this set of rules, I also find it unfortunate. While I am not restricted to film only, the best I can do is take a photo with my phone. Of course, this will not show the detail such a picture is intended to convey in a sales listing. I have read some discussions in which the quality of a seller is equated with the quality of photos posted.

This regulation has effectively prevented me from selling/trading pens on FPN where I have concluded several satisfactory transactions the past few years.

#19 MYU

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 20:57

Thanks for the good questions, folks.

The rules do state that a seller should indicate country of origin. Where they ship to is up to them. If they choose not to state it and have to deal with clarifications from buyers, that's their choice. Any rational buyer will ask a seller that is outside their own country if they will ship to them.

So yes, about PayPal fees, it is not appropriate for someone to say a pen is $XXX and that the buyer must add 4% on top of that if paying by PayPal. If you see it, please report it.

Regarding the minimum 30 days and 30 posts, we are working to put this into effect via a website function. We instituted 30 posts by the majority vote. If it turns out that it's not enough to keep "sell only" type members from joining, we'll raise the minimums as needed. The main issue has been keeping the volume under control. The marketplace is now the most active part of FPN, which was NOT the original intention. :rolleyes: It seems we're getting a lot of overflow from "that auction site" where fees are rather high.

As for images, we've had this as a requirement for quite some time -- it's not new. We've just made a clarification on what we expect for image sizing. If you have a film camera only, then take your pictures, get them developed, and then scan them in for the electronic image equivalent. The whole reason for providing images is for protection of the seller... that the buyer can't make any claims about the pen being the "wrong one" or having any glaring discrepancies from what was described. You can take fairly decent photos with many cellphones today. Of course, some phone cameras will be sub par, for certain... but then, it's all a matter of whether the seller feels they can get the price they want based on what is shown. The better the photos, the greater the chance of a buyer willing to pay the asking price. If you don't have a digital camera and plan on selling pens on FPN from time to time, consider buying an inexpensive digital camera. Many can be had these days for very little money.


Thank you for all of the positive feedback. We're glad to see that most people appreciate our updated guidelines. :)
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#20 wimg

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 22:14

To add to MYU's comment: in principle you only need a 2MP camera of reasonably decent quality, with a reasonable lens to take a good picture of a pen.

It shouldn't set you back too much , IOW.

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#21 Doug Add

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 23:21

Thanks for the tips guys, I guess my next purchase should be a nice camera instead of another pen.

#22 wimg

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 23:27

Thanks for the tips guys, I guess my next purchase should be a nice camera instead of another pen.

If you need any (further) help with that, or help operating the camera etc., please do post a message in the Pictures and Pen Photography forum; there are plenty of people around happy to help you with that.

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#23 Margana

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 23:39

To add to MYU's comment: in principle you only need a 2MP camera of reasonably decent quality, with a reasonable lens to take a good picture of a pen.

It shouldn't set you back too much , IOW.

Warm regards, Wim


For some people even purchasing such a low-end camera would be prohibitive especially just to sell a few fountain pens. However, there remain other pen forums where photos are not required. They do not have the traffic that FPN enjoys but pens do sell there.
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#24 ZeissIkon

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 01:22


To add to MYU's comment: in principle you only need a 2MP camera of reasonably decent quality, with a reasonable lens to take a good picture of a pen.

It shouldn't set you back too much , IOW.

Warm regards, Wim


For some people even purchasing such a low-end camera would be prohibitive especially just to sell a few fountain pens. However, there remain other pen forums where photos are not required. They do not have the traffic that FPN enjoys but pens do sell there.


While this is true as far as it goes (the lowest quality digital camera that stands a reasonable chance of taking a good photo of a pen is probably in the 5 MP range, mostly because cheaper ones either can't focus close enough or the image can't be cropped enough, or both, to give a useful final image), many cell phones have 2 MP now; my own, an LG enV2, is coming on two years old and cost under $100 with contract then (similar phones are cheaper now); with a simple, weak magnifying lens held in front of the phone's camera lens I can easily take acceptable macro images of nibs and such. Anyone who can afford a major carrier cell phone can have such a phone at their next upgrade.
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#25 richardandtracy

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:24

In the UK retailers like Argos sell a suitable 5Mp camera for about £40 (at current exchange rates that's $65), and is substantially lower than a majority of the price of pens in the sales posts.

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#26 cvasara

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 15:34

I note that IF I don't log in to FPN, that I can no longer view most boards in the Miscellaneous section. Is this a new feature resulting from the most recent 'upgrade'? I can fully understand the 30/30 rule that is new, but doesn't the block of not allowing non-registers eliminate a lot of traffic lookers, gawlers, (or potential buyers) in marketplace, and in perhaps helping others in members helping members?
I don't sell much on marketplace, the photo posting 'upgrades' made it very time consuming, with link requirements, etc., but I do like to browse the contents if for no other reason to see if there might be something that I might be interested in. To log in just for that, just to look around, seems like a possible potential lost sale.
Same photo problems stopped me from visiting chatter too, but thats just me.
Can I ask, without having to duck an incoming shoe, Are all the "upgrades really necessary? In other words, When does an upgrade cease being an upgrade?
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#27 PinarelloOnly

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 16:27

I note that IF I don't log in to FPN, that I can no longer view most boards in the Miscellaneous section. Is this a new feature resulting from the most recent 'upgrade'? I can fully understand the 30/30 rule that is new, but doesn't the block of not allowing non-registers eliminate a lot of traffic lookers, gawlers, (or potential buyers) in marketplace, and in perhaps helping others in members helping members?
I don't sell much on marketplace, the photo posting 'upgrades' made it very time consuming, with link requirements, etc., but I do like to browse the contents if for no other reason to see if there might be something that I might be interested in. To log in just for that, just to look around, seems like a possible potential lost sale.
Same photo problems stopped me from visiting chatter too, but thats just me.
Can I ask, without having to duck an incoming shoe, Are all the "upgrades really necessary? In other words, When does an upgrade cease being an upgrade?
Just my 2¢worth


Some lurkers are PayPal address hunters. Having individuals meet the min req. for posting, selling AND logging in to "see" is just a little more protection for all of us.

Edited by PinarelloOnly, 26 January 2010 - 16:29.


#28 wimg

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 18:10

I note that IF I don't log in to FPN, that I can no longer view most boards in the Miscellaneous section. Is this a new feature resulting from the most recent 'upgrade'? I can fully understand the 30/30 rule that is new, but doesn't the block of not allowing non-registers eliminate a lot of traffic lookers, gawlers, (or potential buyers) in marketplace, and in perhaps helping others in members helping members?
I don't sell much on marketplace, the photo posting 'upgrades' made it very time consuming, with link requirements, etc., but I do like to browse the contents if for no other reason to see if there might be something that I might be interested in. To log in just for that, just to look around, seems like a possible potential lost sale.
Same photo problems stopped me from visiting chatter too, but thats just me.
Can I ask, without having to duck an incoming shoe, Are all the "upgrades really necessary? In other words, When does an upgrade cease being an upgrade?
Just my 2¢worth

Neither of these have anything to do with software upgrades. They are purely "upgrades" of the rules here on the board, essentially a combination of trying to protect our own members better, and to comply with law and other rules and regulations.

If you don't want to view images in posts, there is a simple option to do so in My Settings. Go to the Forums tab, View/Posting/Email Prefs, and disable " View images in posts, such as smilies and posted images". If you'd like, you can disable other things here as well.

Warm regards, Wim

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#29 Sidney

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 19:44

If you don't want to invest in a digital camera you can probably find a friend with a one that will take some pictures for you.
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#30 wimg

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 20:40

If you don't want to invest in a digital camera you can probably find a friend with a one that will take some pictures for you.

Yes, that too. My first ever pen pictures, the ones in my nib smoothing article, were actually taken for me by a colleague with a 5 MP Ixus 50 Posted Image. That only took a few minutes....

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