I recently was asked/saw mention of keeping all discussions on the thread until the sale was agreed. This was an old CFUK rule, one that was put in, not for the protection of sellers, because quite frankly, there was nothing the forum could do. It was actually worse for sellers, which was why, when I became a mod I wanted to change the system and unfortunately had to use paid software to do it. I am not paranoid and was on that forum for over 10 years, watching the sales section carefully and I never sold anything via that forum!
It’s disadvantages and disbenefits to the seller were:
- Open negotiations on a thread or even registrations of interest, allowed hidden communications using the forum private messaging system. This could mean a user id offers items under the radar to potential buyers. These sales never appearing on the forum with members unaware they are happening. These offers made in full awareness of the open offer situation.
- Very low offers being made on items, by one or more than one user id, persuading sellers to accept lowball offers. This gaming of the system seemed to happen too often to be a coincidence, especially by accounts seemingly newly created for the purpose. Or a quiet lowball offer as using method 1 above
- People expressing interest on an item, could, using method one, be put off said item with negative comments being made by pm and how such and such item was better. Then miraculously an offer using method 1 appears from someone selling the better item.
- It affected the future pricing of all such items, with a “One was sold on here for £ last year”, or 3 months ago etc..
- This was all supported by the having to accept the first offer you agreed to, even if a higher offer was made. Also having pressure put on you to accept the first offer.
- The first come first served rule for those expressing an interest, pretty much works to a sellers disadvantage
If you are selling an item on here, it’s between you and the buyer, no one else (genuine questions about the item of course might be on the thread).
- You don’t have to accept the first offer and can hold out for better offers.
- You don’t have to disclose what it sold for…
- You don’t have any obligation to say who purchased it
- there is no first come first served rule
These discussions are your private business. This is to protect you, because in reality the forum can’t do anything, in the same way CFUK couldn’t. You also don’t have to say where else you have the item advertised. It’s effectively like a classifieds listing in a newspaper…..I only ask one thing. Mark it sold if it’s sold, or ask myself/one of the mods, to mark it sold for you.
So it’s important to have a method of contact (e-mail forward), in your signature.