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Thread: An open letter to Classifieds users

  1. #26
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Scott, please excuse me if this has already been covered, but I still see the word "free" in regards to the classifieds and perhaps it's time to clarify The Cafe's position in regards to what's "free" and what isn't. There are many pro dealers and also "non-pro" dealers that use the classifieds constantly. I understand that some of the pro dealers also advertise on your site, but for the non-pro, "home-grown" variety perhaps you should just charge a fee. Maybe not. I just think what was once called "the free classifieds" should perhaps lose the "free". It might save some headaches, misunderstandings, etc...

  2. #27
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Good for you, Scott.

  3. #28
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Such a great message Scott.
    As soon as I hit send I'm headed to the donation button to send some money your way just to help cover for the deadbeat(s) who fail to do so. This has been a great site for me and I really want it to stay just the way it is.

  4. #29
    Site founder Scott Tichenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Quote Originally Posted by Glassweb View Post
    Scott, please excuse me if this has already been covered, but I still see the word "free" in regards to the classifieds and perhaps it's time to clarify The Cafe's position in regards to what's "free" and what isn't. There are many pro dealers and also "non-pro" dealers that use the classifieds constantly. I understand that some of the pro dealers also advertise on your site, but for the non-pro, "home-grown" variety perhaps you should just charge a fee. Maybe not. I just think what was once called "the free classifieds" should perhaps lose the "free". It might save some headaches, misunderstandings, etc...
    Free does not appear on the home page.
    Free does not appear on the ad submission page.
    Free does not appear in Replies sent to ad users.
    Free does not appear in emails sent to those placing new ads.
    Free does not appear in my opening post in this thread.
    Free does not appear in the posting guidelines.

    The only place I know of is where we state anything like that is the statement "Like to make sure this resource stays free?" next to donate buttons. Are you confused that means you shouldn't pay for all those ads you've placed when you make a sale? If you're just buying, I'm fine. If you're selling and I'm lining your pockets and you don't support us, what's to clarify, really? Everything I've said has been clearly stated. There's no problem here other than people too cheap to be a part of the what's asked and is fair. I'll take it you mean well, though I could be wrong, but that's an unfortunate and clumsy statement on your part. That or you just didn't read anything else I've already clearly stated above.

    So that you aren't further confused, I'll edit that statement appropriately.

    EDIT: there, no more confusion, edited out! Good grief. That's certainly a stretch. The only way you would know it was there was because you've placed enough ads.
    Last edited by Scott Tichenor; Aug-24-2016 at 6:23pm.

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  6. #30
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    This whole thread reminds me of my local pub. I live in a very small town in Australia and we have one pub. On Christmas Day the pub puts on free drinks for the locals for a couple of hours. One family turns up every Christmas Day for the free drinks but you never see them in the pub on any other day of the year.
    So well said Scott. I can sense from your posts that this is something you really needed to get off your chest.

  7. #31
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Just sad that you had to even post this. Even more so that there are repeat offenders for big ticket items.

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  8. #32

    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    The classifieds on this site are unbeatable. Thanks for the work you put in on the site.

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  10. #33
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Thanks, Scott! That's all I can really think of to add.

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  12. #34
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    I am glad to know this. I was planning to sell a few small items in the next few months, and I had planned to make a donation, but am glad for the guidelines as to amount. I am happy to support this site!

  13. #35
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Scott, Thank you for letting us know what it is like to make all this happen for so many people. I am really appreciative of the chance to learn more about what time and work is involved, although I can only imagine it is a great deal of volunteer time and responsibility.

    I have been very fortunate to gain a few wonderful instruments to learn and grow with, and also the opportunity to sell to others. This community is a great place and we are fortunate to have your leadership and oversight.

    Your words made sense and I promise to take them to heart, as I have tried my best to do in the past. However, I can always improve. Your supporter and friend, Dan
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  14. #36

    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    If donating is not required, then it's not required and really, you shouldn't be surprised that some choose to not volunteer money. It fits their business model, but not yours.

    I'm surprised you let the practice continue beyond some $ threshold since it bothers you so. I would change the rules or let go of the frustration because it certainly won't do you any good.

    Assuming uniform goodwill from strangers on the Internet may not be a uniformly satisfying long term practice.

    Realize I'm trying to support you here in whatever choice you make. Good luck

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  16. #37
    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    If donating is not required, then it's not required and really, you shouldn't be surprised that some choose to not volunteer money. It fits their business model, but not yours.

    I'm surprised you let the practice continue beyond some $ threshold since it bothers you so. I would change the rules or let go of the frustration because it certainly won't do you any good.

    Assuming uniform goodwill from strangers on the Internet may not be a uniformly satisfying long term practice.

    Realize I'm trying to support you here in whatever choice you make. Good luck
    I can't speak for Scott, and he doesn't need me to, but please re read his posts. I believe in his statements he specified frequent users and, essentially, participants in this community that are using it to help make their living.

    "Goodwill from strangers" is NOT what he is asking for.

    I guess if the advertiser doesn't specify they are a cafe supporter, or willing to donate a portion of the sale, we in the community need to stop supporting them, if we want to keep the 'cafe the way it is...
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

  17. #38

    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Thanks for educating me, Scott; I didn't know that a small donation is encouraged when selling an item in the classifieds (although I'm sure the suggestion is tactfully made somewhere in the Cafe's pages). I'm glad you raised this issue, I've learned a little something as a result; and I hope you feel a little better now that you've cleared the air. I'd also like to say good job, and thanks; not just for the Cafe's existence, care, and feeding, but also for being a gentleman in your dealings with us . . . even when we've peeved you off. Keep on keepin' on, Sir.
    Patiently tolerated by mandolins since 2013.

  18. #39
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    There could be a sliding scale for high volume sellers. However this site by Scott and Dan is supported by a community of like minded folks who sometimes become watch dogs as well. I'm perfectly happy so share gossip about 'slacker' advertisers. Just give a nod and a wink, and I'm on it.

  19. #40
    Registered User Marvino's Avatar
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Tichenor View Post
    Free does not appear on the home page.
    Free does not appear on the ad submission page.
    Free does not appear in Replies sent to ad users.
    Free does not appear in emails sent to those placing new ads.
    Free does not appear in my opening post in this thread.
    Free does not appear in the posting guidelines.

    The only place I know of is where we state anything like that is the statement "Like to make sure this resource stays free?" next to donate buttons. Are you confused that means you shouldn't pay for all those ads you've placed when you make a sale? If you're just buying, I'm fine. If you're selling and I'm lining your pockets and you don't support us, what's to clarify, really? Everything I've said has been clearly stated. There's no problem here other than people too cheap to be a part of the what's asked and is fair. I'll take it you mean well, though I could be wrong, but that's an unfortunate and clumsy statement on your part. That or you just didn't read anything else I've already clearly stated above.

    So that you aren't further confused, I'll edit that statement appropriately.

    EDIT: there, no more confusion, edited out! Good grief. That's certainly a stretch. The only way you would know it was there was because you've placed enough ads.

    I believe there is confusion due to the "make a donation page" via classifieds page donation button.

    At the risk of getting scolded, Glassweb is correct. It does say "sell something on our free classifieds ?". Not much of a stretch actually that someone would be confused.


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  20. #41
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    If donating is not required, then it's not required and really, you shouldn't be surprised that some choose to not volunteer money. It fits their business model, but not yours.

    I'm surprised you let the practice continue beyond some $ threshold since it bothers you so. I would change the rules or let go of the frustration because it certainly won't do you any good.

    Assuming uniform goodwill from strangers on the Internet may not be a uniformly satisfying long term practice.

    Realize I'm trying to support you here in whatever choice you make. Good luck
    There's no surprise here. I am not surprised at the lack of support by a few people, some that have sold between 100K and 500K without donating a penny, yet some guy that sells a few CDs will chip in $3. Nor did I say I was surprised. But I thank you for your criticism.

    Perhaps you are just the web programmer I'm looking for that could install a pay-for-play system on a complicated system in Perl, MySQL on Apache so that we could charge everyone up front. You did read my previous comments, right? When can I expect you to start on this project for which, I'm sorry, I would not be able to pay you, since you think that's a legitimate response? Someone else doing work for me so I can profit--sounds cool. Lets get started.


  21. #42
    Site founder Scott Tichenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Quote Originally Posted by Marvino View Post
    I believe there is confusion due to the "make a donation page" via classifieds page donation button.

    At the risk of getting scolded, Glassweb is correct. It does say "sell something on our free classifieds ?". Not much of a stretch actually that someone would be confused.


    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	149184
    I knew this was all my fault. Yep. Carry on. Apparently you can't discern what's right or not either. Brilliant. Maybe I'll edit that page as well so that the poor confused will not be... whatever. Or maybe I won't.

  22. #43
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    I do appreciate the measures you have put in place and I donate when I sell. But I would be less than honest and blowing smoke up your posterior if I said I liked the direction the classifieds have taken. I preferred when there were more private sellers and less mega ads from the retailers. Just my opinion, carry on.
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  23. #44
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    As an occasional seller, I must say that I have always seen the request for the 2% donation --- which is less than Reverb's fee and WAY less than eBay's. I've always made my donations the 20th-Century way: mailing in a check.

    BTW, I have never had any issue in buying or selling an instrument through the Cafe Classifieds. I even had one instance where I bought a mandolin that had a small undisclosed crack, and the seller immediately offered me a full refund and covered the return shipping cost.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

  24. #45
    Site founder Scott Tichenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Quote Originally Posted by nickster60 View Post
    I do appreciate the measures you have put in place and I donate when I sell. But I would be less than honest and blowing smoke up your posterior if I said I liked the direction the classifieds have taken. I preferred when there were more private sellers and less mega ads from the retailers. Just my opinion, carry on.
    I understand that opinion and get it. I don't have a problem with you saying that and have publicly addressed this several times. And by the way, this has virtually nothing to do with the discussion at hand other than derailing the conversation, but I will address it nevertheless.

    The issue is that for this site to survive long-term, we had to open the Classifieds up to everyone and remove the limit on ads. No other Classified site I know of limits to individual sellers or tells retailers they can't post. eBay, Reverb, Craig's List, Hangout sites (not totally sure, don't follow close enough), gBase, dozen others. Those are our competition and we were getting killed, in danger of becoming irrelevant until we opened it up. Retailers need the support and are happy for it. When a retailer shuts down there's a huge public cry, but supporting them, well, that's not so popular. For the record, not a single retailer I'm concerned about not supporting us. Good folks pretty much to a 't'. It's all individual users, and most of them are folks that deal in a lot of very high end instruments. Those are the ones that don't support this site. Some of them have posted in this thread. Surprise.

    Bottom line, if you want a place where you don't have to give a credit card up or a PayPal account that has better than industry standard safety, we're providing that. But we do ask that--what kind of stupid business model is this???--you treat others as you would like to be treated, and that means if you sell a $3,000 or $10,000 instrument you should be able to donate $60 or $100 at least.

    But as far as this b.s. that it's our fault because the word "free" appeared a few places and that supposedly we confused someone into thinking that because that word appeared next to a donate button after a suggested 2% donation that it meant you didn't have to. You can take that pile of crap and go elsewhere. I don't want your business. Sorry if that language bothers some but I've had enough.

    There are mostly good people that support our efforts. Those that don't, I will not hesitate a second to tell you to move on and I promise you I will sleep well tonight and this site will continue to thrive.

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  26. #46
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    No complaint thread needed,the experience has just become cumbersome. If you run a business you know you must forge relationships to survive and thrive. The one man show's have always been the thorn in a legitimate businesses side.
    Last edited by nickster60; Aug-24-2016 at 10:53pm.
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  27. #47
    This Kid Needs Practice Bill Clements's Avatar
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Selling something here is just another good reason to donate to this website. If you enjoyed a post, learned something, or made a friend, I encourage you to support the Cafe financially.
    Scott, thank you.
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  29. #48
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Clements View Post
    Selling something here on the Cafe is just another good reason to donate to this website. If you enjoyed a post, learned something, or made a friend, I encourage you to pitch in.
    Scott, thank you.
    Yes. I've never sold anything on the classifieds, bought a few small things and traded a few picks. I've done my best to donate to this site by providing information and creating tabs/transcriptions, etc. This place has been a great resource of learning and networking for me, I'll always do my best to give back. Thank you, Scott! Look forward to picking a tune one day. Cheers to a great community.
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  31. #49
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    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    Scott, thank you for all your work here. I am very grateful for this resource. As a beginner I have posted infrequently, not yet sold anything, but I visit daily and I have learned more than a semester of college would have offered, if it existed. Yet I haven't given it a thought until I read this post. Shame on me. Call it willful ignorance. In political science, it is called the collective action dilemma. A need exists and great effort is required by a few, yet the benefits are shared by all. So free-riders are content to share in the benefits while contributing nothing to the cause. I apologize. Thank you for your letter. I will donate tomorrow.

  32. #50

    Default Re: An open letter to Classifieds users

    I've bought a few mandolins, a couple cases, did a trade without money involved, and advertised a few times without making a sale. (A Godsend not selling my #148 two point Nugget I was stupid enough to advertise once!) With all that BLAH BLAH, I look at the home page usually at least twice a day and many times look through the classifieds first few pages, even if it's the sixth time that day! I enjoy gaining current market knowledge and General mandolin knowledge by being able to consistently read, look at or learn something mandolin related.

    Thank you for doing what you do to keep things cool for folks like me who make turning to The Mandolin Cafe a daily routine and spreading the love for and knowledge of mandolins, etc.

    I just donated $200.00 before I posted this. I'm not posting to say, "Hey, look at me!" Rather I'm hopeful that it might inspire more to think what they'd pay to go to a movie...one time...for a couple hours, then figure how many hours of enjoyment they've gotten from this site and make a reasonable donation. AND, of course I posted it to say thank you for your hard work!

    Dale Inskeep

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