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To keep the Forums alive - change coming to Classifieds - Poll added, please vote!

What would the membership prefer?  

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I posted in the Mod forum that I was planning to shut down the Forums August 1st, because of a couple reasons. Mainly, since I am semi-retired, and no longer a Dillon dealer, I cannot afford any cost associated with hosting them.

 

I’ve kept exacting track of hosting cost vs. income - including Dealer Forum, Forum and Classified donations - and last year and definitely for this year, I’m in the hole. (Actually I’ve been in the hole with them for 20 years, but when I was a dealer for Dillon Precision, I didn’t care.)

 

The Forum Dealer’s renewal date is August 1st. Last August, only half of my Dealers renewed for this year. That hurt. And I would not be surprised if half of them do not renew this August.

 

And the Donations… when we started it, it worked well, but as is always the case with “donations” - they fizzle out after a while. 

 

Okay, back to a possible solution. The Mods overwhelmingly objected to shutting down the Forums, and offered a variety of ideas to bring some $ in to cover the hosting costs and keep them up and running.

 

So I am considering, at this point, in changing the Classifieds Forum from being n/c to members with 50+ posts, to charging a reasonable monthly fee to sell stuff in the Classifieds. Say for maybe $15/month, you could sell any amount or dollar value of items.

 

I’d also open up the Paid Classifieds to any member (regardless of post count).

 

NOTE: All paid Classified subscribers must have their Name and Location in their Profile. 

 

Updates to follow as our discussion ensues.

 

And comments are welcome.

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I sell only a few gift certificates that I get at matches so $15/month isn’t going to work for me.

 

Maybe have per ad charges and charge differently for categories?


$15 for a gun 

$5 brass 

$5 components 

 

A thought.

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I agree. Possibly a percentage basis.

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$15 does sound steep for smaller items.

 

As MikeyS mentioned, some graduated fee sounds more appropriate.    :) 

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On further,another minute, I think and annnual fee would be easiest.

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Not to sound like a jerk but close the forum or sell it. No way would I pay $15 per moth for classified sales. I’ll use Ken’s list on PractiScore going forward.

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5 minutes ago, jnr88 said:

On further,another minute, I think and annnual fee would be easiest.

I would have no problem with an annual fee but that might kill the site long term.  Very few newbies are going to sign up, everyone simply expects online content to be free.

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I’d be willing to pay an annual fee for the forum. How many active members are we now? What is the approximate cost of operations? 

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$20 per year to participate on the Enos forum, I think that would be reasonable.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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6 minutes ago, MikeyScuba said:

I would have no problem with an annual fee but that might kill the site long term.  Very few newbies are going to sign up, everyone simply expects online content to be free.

I would tend to agree. People won't pay to sign up and paying members will slowly drop off.

 

Anyways to sell 3rd party ads?

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From another forum that I belong to and pay for the privilege of posting in the classifieds:  

 This Forum's operating expenses are primarily paid by the generous contributions of members. With PayPal you can upgrade your Forum membership in seconds, with an email receipt. By upgrading your membership to Silver or Gold Levels you'll get unlimited FREE classifieds for one year. Gold members can upload custom avatars.

Silver is 25 per year

Gold is 50 per year

They seem to do pretty OK with it.  

I won't pay 15 a month.  As stated, not trying to be a jerk, but it's simply not worth it to me. I just won't come back.

 

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A price per listing makes sense.  Also have you considered moving hosting providers?  Hosting is relatively cheap now days.  I couldn't imagine the volume to these forums is very high.  

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1 hour ago, benos said:

I posted in the Mod forum that I was planning to shut down the Forums August 1st, because of a couple reasons. Mainly, since I am semi-retired, and no longer a Dillon dealer, I cannot afford any cost associated with hosting them.

 

I’ve kept exacting track of hosting cost vs. income - including Dealer Forum, Forum and Classified donations - and last year and definitely for this year, I’m in the hole. (Actually I’ve been in the hole with them for 20 years, but when I was a dealer for Dillon Precision, I didn’t care.)

 

The Forum Dealer’s renewal date is August 1st. Last August, only half of my Dealers renewed for this year. That hurt. And I would not be surprised if half of them do not renew this August.

 

And the Donations… when we started it, it worked well, but as is always the case with “donations” - they fizzle out after a while. 

 

Okay, back to a possible solution. The Mods overwhelmingly objected to shutting down the Forums, and offered a variety of ideas to bring some $ in to cover the hosting costs and keep them up and running.

 

So I am considering, at this point, in changing the Classifieds Forum from being n/c to members with 50+ posts, to charging a reasonable monthly fee to sell stuff in the Classifieds. Say for maybe $15/month, you could sell any amount or dollar value of items.

 

I’d also open up the Paid Classifieds to any member (regardless of post count).

 

NOTE: All paid Classified subscribers must have their Name and Location in their Profile. 

 

Updates to follow as our discussion ensues.

 

And comments are welcome.

Would it be sell anything you want, even stuff we manufacture? 

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There's more value to this forum than just the classifieds. Hard to put a precise dollar value on the ability to post an obscure equipment related "This keep happening....how do I fix it? questions that typically get multiple helpful answers in hours if not minutes. 

 

Instead of $15/mo to sell the occasional random thing, make it...…….$100/year for access to the forum. You can sell the occasional thing AND have access to what is essentially the Dead Sea Scrolls of USPSA.

 

Probably already been tried but maybe contact USPSA and see if they'll contribute. This has become the de facto forum for USPSA; maybe they'd chip in. 

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I really don't know why you don't just sell banner ads and have options for paid premium members like every other forum in the world. They all actually make money every month and is still free for most. I actually like the banner ads and sometimes buy stuff from them. 

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1 minute ago, louu said:

I really don't know why you don't just sell banner ads and have options for paid premium members like every other forum in the world. They all actually make money every month and is still free for most. I actually like the banner ads and sometimes buy stuff from them. 


This. I’d rather scroll past ads than see the resource disappear.

 

I’d also pay $20 a year for the forum. I’ve donated more than that anyway. 👍

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I don’t sell things often

 

I posted I would donate if there is a creation of a CO Sub-Forum

 

I don’t want to be a part owner of a highly moderated forum when I have no control and disagree with some moderating guidelines

 

Benos has been an incredible source of information over the years

 

 

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I think selling access to the forums is a bad idea and will lead to a quick death .

 

In addition to banner ads, why not suggest that anyone who successfully sells something through the classifieds donates 1% or 0.5% of the sale to the forum. That's a fairly modest cost and doesn't disproportionately affect people who only sell the occasional small item. And is a method I have seen used on other free forums/sites that host classifieds. 

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5 minutes ago, regor said:

 

 

In addition to banner ads, why not suggest that anyone who successfully sells something through the classifieds donates 1% or 0.5% of the sale to the forum. That's a fairly modest cost and doesn't disproportionately affect people who only sell the occasional small item. And is a method I have seen used on other free forums/sites that host classifieds. 

They have already tried that. 

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I consider these forums and the Classifieds a HUGE asset and don't want to see them go away. I'd be a paying annual member with no issue but $15/mo to list the few items I do wouldn't fit my model. If you could charge a transaction and/or % cost (kinda like PP), I'd be cool with that. I'm sure the difficulty is implementing such a scheme. It would be much easier to simply charge everyone a flat fee for access. Was $15/mo just throwing out a number or is that what you'd need to make it work?

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2 minutes ago, kmc said:

I consider these forums and the Classifieds a HUGE asset and don't want to see them go away. I'd be a paying annual member with no issue but $15/mo to list the few items I do wouldn't fit my model. If you could charge a transaction and/or % cost (kinda like PP), I'd be cool with that. I'm sure the difficulty is implementing such a scheme. It would be much easier to simply charge everyone a flat fee for access. Was $15/mo just throwing out a number or is that what you'd need to make it work?

 

Lets say there are 100 active classified users (i dont know what that number is as of right now there are 550 users online), thats 1500 a month.  If the hosting fees for this website are anywhere close to that then that should be resolved first.    I imagine the hosting costs are currently around $600 a month, but they could be reduced by moving to a lower cost platform.  

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34 minutes ago, zhunter said:

I don’t want to be a part owner of a highly moderated forum when I have no control and disagree with some moderating guidelines

The moderation here is EXACTLY why most people I know no longer come here.  God forbid you post a negative review on a forum “contributor” or sell too much stuff to fellow shooters for a great deal. 
 

I would be absolutely livid if I had posts nuked or sales pulled if I payed for access.  

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Look at it like this (I know not everyone will pay) at $15.00 a year and with over 67,000 members IF all paid the $15.00, that’s just over

ONE MILLION dollars. Even if 25,000 members paid the $15. that $375,000 and if only 5,000 subscribers paid it’s still $75,000, so what’s the cost to keep the forum in the black? 

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Looks like there are more non-members on the forum now than member, F6FDC4F7-D5C0-4F1C-9AD1-F6396C17B3F9.jpeg.887b8a17523d064ab2f60a1bcadfb7ae.jpegmore than 2 to 1. 

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Looks like there are more non-members on the forum now than member, F6FDC4F7-D5C0-4F1C-9AD1-F6396C17B3F9.jpeg.887b8a17523d064ab2f60a1bcadfb7ae.jpegmore than 2 to 1. 

That’s just the amount of members removed for selling too much stuff without posting “meaningful content” at others discretion.

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