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Michael Brookes - Scammer Alert

Discussion in 'classifieds' started by Nagraboy, Mar 16, 2023.

  1. hifi-dog

    hifi-dog pfm Member

    yes id go for B too
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    If I went to a subscription model I’d hide the room, i.e. it wouldn’t even be visible to posters with less than 50 posts, less than three months membership and who had paid the subscription fee. Anyone who didn’t meet all three criteria wouldn’t even know there was a room, let alone what was for sale in it.

    This really isn’t a clear cut win though. The reason I run the classified area at all is it attracts a lot of new people to the site and amounts to a lot of traffic and at least keeps the site stable size-wise. I’d need to do a lot of research as locking it down and charging a subscription may actually move things back, especially long-term. The classified area is a good loss-leader from my perspective and helps keep the site busy.

    Sites like this are complex things and I’d not profess to understand the dynamics at all, though the trajectory of say WigWam highlights just how easy it is to get the monetisation/traffic metric wrong (it started far smaller than pfm, grew far bigger, and is now far smaller again). pfm has remained pretty static with very slow but steady growth. I could really do with earning a bit more though so all options are open. I’ve definitely had a substantial pay cut in real terms even if the income and traffic figures are pretty consistent year by year. Inflation is a real killer for the self-employed.
    TheFlash, FLORIAN35, effinity and 2 others like this.
  3. Hcanning

    Hcanning pfm Member

    D) tighten up the classified rules, ensuring all offers and negotiations take place via the forums and not PMs, and incorporate something like this which could be made mandatory for remote sellers (i.e. when shipping the items, not meeting up and trading in person) to prove to a buyer who they are, along with being required to provide their full contact details. Buyers could also be encouraged to have a quick video chat with a seller before parting with their money. It all might sound like a bit of a faff but I expect for the value of stuff being sold here, and the relative infrequency of which the average buyer or seller will do a deal, it's worth it for peace of mind.

    You can then send out emails/forum notifications clearly stating the new rules and disallowing access to the classifieds until this has been acknowledged. Then everyone knows what to do.

    B would be fine by me and will help us support what this site offers, but there is more you can do :)

    This case is sad to read though. Unfortunately it's possible to fairly convincingly photoshop most things nowadays :(
    Johnraiders likes this.
  4. flutteringwow

    flutteringwow Never trust a Tory

    Please NO! not another AV Forums. Tony really dosent want to be moderating the classifieds and that would add so much work and so much annoyance like the Av Forums.
  5. stony

    stony pfm Member

    What about a new thread "Classified Wanted only" with access only for members 50 posts plus 3 month membership at least ?
    Leave an option to advertise wanted as it is now for everyone who wants to take the risk.
  6. Hcanning

    Hcanning pfm Member

    'No' to which bit?

    I have bought and sold numerous things through there and not once has it felt like an 'annoyance'. It's also a considerably larger forum than here which means any extra moderation aspect will be minimal on PFM's part.
  7. flutteringwow

    flutteringwow Never trust a Tory

    "ensuring all offers and negotiations take place via the forums and not PMs"

    This bit. This is how AVForums do it, and the moderation requirements are massively enhanced and the threads become absolutely ridiculous over time.
    TheFlash, kensalriser and Nagraboy like this.
  8. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    Personally I buy more from AV forums than any other forum but there are some right clowns on AV forums classifieds, I've literally seen people arguing over 50p.

    The mod team over there take no shit though.
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Agreed. I really can’t afford to moderate the classified area, hence the current system that requires members to take responsibility themselves. Any change has to be automated or self administered, there really isn’t a moderation budget for this!
    effinity and hifinutt like this.
  10. twotone

    twotone pfm Member

    You could always sub it out Tony:D
  11. flutteringwow

    flutteringwow Never trust a Tory

    The mod team on there are a bunch of tosspots Tory voting right wing my opinion :)

    You gotta see the way they group and conquer with threats when a mod has their own transaction dispute..

    But god yes, the threads where its down to 50p bargaining are tedious to say the least!
    FLORIAN35, Nye Samuel and twotone like this.
  12. alan967tiger

    alan967tiger pfm Member

    Perhaps each seller would agree to pay a fee to Tony? Eg 2, 3 or 5%? Up for debate?
  13. mikeyb

    mikeyb pfm Member

    AVForums Classifieds is one of the best in my opinion and really helpful if you have issues with deals. I've over 200 trades there and been great.

    @Tony L "If I went to a subscription model I’d hide the room, i.e. it wouldn’t even be visible to posters with less than 50 posts, less than three months membership and who had paid the subscription fee. Anyone who didn’t meet all three criteria wouldn’t even know there was a room, let alone what was for sale in it."

    That sounds good, never thought of doing it that way :)
  14. flutteringwow

    flutteringwow Never trust a Tory

    Wouldn't that add a certain level of assumed responsibility and I imagine would have legal connotations? Whats a scammer just saying they will?
    alan967tiger likes this.
  15. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    That's a good idea - it won't stop scamming but how about a voluntary donation on sales to help Tony? Even a flat £5 'fee' might help. People discount their prices here because there's no ebay fee but small, but high volume 'gestures' might be appreciated...
  16. Sloop John B

    Sloop John B for more years than I care to remember

    ..............and also to use 2FA.

    I think hiding the classifieds means it will die out as how will new members find out about it?

    Not unlike wikiepdia if every member this weekend hit the donations tab above and gave a fiver or some such, inflation would be sorted for a wee while for Tony and PFM.

    Tony Lockhart and hifi-dog like this.
  17. kensalriser

    kensalriser pfm Member

    Sorry to hear this. Is there a way of putting a more prominent scammer warning in the classifieds, perhaps even pinned to the top of every post in that forum?

    Personally when I buy anything over say £100 directly then I'm going to collect it in person, and even when buying through a marketplace I prefer to collect because I don't like to buy things unseen, even disregarding deliberate fraud. I bought an entire new (used) system pre covid and travelled from London to Wiltshire, W Midlands, Reading and Peterborough - the latter two I even managed on cheap train tickets with the help of a small foldable trolley and very helpful sellers giving me a lift to/from the station. I realise not everyone is so easily able to collect in person, but in that case it's better to buy from reputable dealers or though marketplaces where you have protection.
    szczemirek and lawrence001 like this.
  18. MikeMA

    MikeMA pfm Member

    Nagraboy likes this.
  19. Nye Samuel

    Nye Samuel Herr Katze

    I am on a cycling forum .LFGSS...fixed gear...the classifieds rule there is that every postal sale is made using PayPal with buyers protection friends and family or bank transfer...if you get caught using f&f or BT you will be permanently banned.
  20. divedeepdog

    divedeepdog pfm Member

    Monetising is a non win imo, it nearly killed the Wam.

    I’ve sent a few ££ Tony’s way when I’ve sold stuff here perhaps being a bit more vocal about voluntary contributions will help?

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