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Feedback wanted on potential changes to Buy & Sell forum

Discussion in 'Help and Feedback' started by Amin Sabet, May 29, 2014.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I am considering changing our Buy & Sell from the current format to a product called Panjo.

    Disclosure: My brother's firm are investors in Panjo. That said, I learned about Panjo because they are endorsed by vBulletin (the software we use for the forum) not from my brother.

    Back on topic, Panjo is a plugin for the forum that creates a new marketplace. When you make a listing, it simultaneously creates a thread in the Buy & Sell subforum just like our current forum while simultaneously creating a listing in iFrame format. There is also a Panjo app (currently iOS only) which includes all listings from Panjo marketplaces on forums everywhere that use Panjo.

    Some of the advantages of Panjo:
    -They do the payment processing, which as I understand it comes with some security and support (we currently offer no security or support)
    -They don't charge any fees to buyer or seller. I have no immediate plans to charge a fee either, so it will be just as free with Panjo as it is now if you are currently paying for things with PayPal
    -They've got a nice searchable format that lets you search only sales in your geographic area

    Some of the disadvatages that I see so far:
    -They only do payments by PayPal
    -You can only list one item at a time (can be seen as an advantage in some respects)

    Here are some links which you may find useful in evaluating this option:

    Nikonites Marketplace (with search, sort, filter, and marketplace management tools)
    The subforum to which the Nikonites marketplace listings are linked: http://nikonites.com/<wbr>marketplace/
    Again, all listings create synchronized, transactional thread posts.


    Example listing in the iFrame: Nikon Nikkor...
    The same listing as a thread: Nikon Nikkor...
    The same listing in the iPhone app (see attached)


    Examples of more active marketplaces:
    Audizine / linked sub forums
    Bimmerforums / linked sub forums
    Bushcraft / linked sub forums


    Here is a thread conversation to show member reactions following a recent launch on another site.



    Let me know what you think!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    May 25, 2010
    UK
    Graeme
    I'm not terribly keen on the "PayPal only" aspect, but I think just one item at a time would be a severe limitation. People often sell a few things at a time (say a camera and a couple of lenses) and if that wasn't possible they'd most likely go elsewhere.
     
  3. karma

    karma Mu-43 Regular

    71
    Jan 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Peter
    First, thank you, Amin, for providing this great forum for us m43 enthusiasts to gather and chat. I appreciate your willingness to open up this potential change for discussion.

    My take:

    One of my favorite things about mu43 is the sense of community and friendliness amongst its members. I think instituting such a formalized buying system would take away from that. It feels impersonal, and I don't want to feel like I'm dealing with a business. I like dealing with people, and the informalness of transactions are what draw me here.

    The FS board actually reminds me of my buying/selling days on head-fi.org (another community with high dollar value transactions going on). It was filled with great, friendly members, and while there were some scammers, the self-policing actions of members there were pretty effective. (I remember quite a few times where other members stepped in to help track down a scammer.)

    Beyond that, the limitation of being able to only list one item at a time would be a huge pain. That would really limit a person's ability to unload several pieces of equipment quickly.

    I also saw in one of the threads you linked that there's currently no support for listing WTB posts in Panjo. That's a major drawback for me. I've managed to complete several purchases thanks to people who responded to my WTB posts.

    Forcing Paypal payments can also be annoying. Personally, if I've dealt with an individual before, I'm fine using a gift payment to save some cash. But Panjo won't allow that.

    Lastly, I see that members of the other communities tend to resort to using PMs to circumvent the Panjo stuff, which just seems to be additional work that doesn't need to be there.

    Those are my thoughts. Ultimately, this is your site, and I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes and how many scamming incidents take place. I imagine Panjo would save you the time of having to deal with any disagreements/scams. So I understand and respect whatever you choose to do, but it would be sad for me to see the current B&S format go.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. panjo

    panjo New to Mu-43

    7
    May 29, 2014
    I am looking forward to member's questions. Here is one clarification about the PayPal payment processing aspect of the marketplace plugin. A buyer can purchase an item via: Visa, Master Card, AMEX, Discover, or PayPal. A seller needs a PayPal account in good standing to receive funds. When a seller creates a listing, a seller verifies his/her identity by submitting a valid PayPal email in good standing. When a buyer makes a purchase, the buyer can have confidence that the seller is a good actor. Panjo gets lots of information about each step in the transaction process and provides customer support in the case of any kind of dispute. Panjo helps make sure that both buyer and seller go through each step necessary to be entitled to maximum protections and money back guarantees.

    It is possible to create a listing without a PayPal account. Those listings don't afford the same protections to buyers and sellers. They are flagged as such.
     
  5. panjo

    panjo New to Mu-43

    7
    May 29, 2014
    Thanks for this feedback. On the topic of multiple items in a listing, there is nothing preventing a seller from creating a listing, "Camera, bag, and 5 lenses for $1,700." Inevitably, the seller might get an offer, "Will you take $500 for the camera?" And the seller could edit the existing listing and create a new listing with the camera by itself.

    On the topic of WTB, it is possible to create a WTB listing within Panjo for $0. In absence of a suite of tools dedicated to managing WTB offers and their unique qualities, WTB posts can be handled in a dedicated subforum. Nevertheless, full support for WTB posts is a high priority for Panjo and forthcoming.

    As for transactions completed over PM - buyers and sellers exchange a message over Panjo's message and price negotiation system every 2 minutes. (Panjo is no WhatsApp or SnapChat ;-) ) We just released an upgrade to that system yesterday to help lubricate those communications. Panjo strives to help a buyer and seller reach agreement as fast and effortlessly as possible.
     
  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Just to make it clear to everyone, I invited a Panjo representative to address questions and concerns in this thread and appreciate their willingness to do that.

    One question I have is whether a seller here could be approached by a buyer through the iOS app who was not a member of this community, and if so, would that seller be able to tell that the prospective buyer was not a member? Also, do both buyers and sellers need to create a Panjo account in order to participate in transactions?
     
  7. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    517
    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Bob
    One of the things I like most about this forum is that you usually ask what we think before making changes! Thanks, Amin. It's great!

    I've seen the Panjo forum at Nikonites and really dislike it . From a user's (shopper's) standpoint it is much less attractive, much slower to load / process and not really very easy to navigate past the first page of displayed items.

    The current Buy/Sell Forum setup that's already here is far superior to any others that I can recall. Fred Miranda's comes close, but this one is still better.

    At least in my NSHO!
     
  8. panjo

    panjo New to Mu-43

    7
    May 29, 2014
    When a seller creates a listing, the seller has an option not to expose the listing beyond the forum.

    If a seller chooses to publish the listing on the forum and through other Panjo outlets (namely: Panjo's photography channel & Panjo iOS) then the seller could be approached by a buyer who was not a member of this community. It is somewhat obvious that the interested buyer is not a member of the community. Arguably, the design of the purchase notification or inquiry aren't SO different as to shout that fact to the rafters. Nevertheless, a seller could always refuse a sale.

    A buyer does not need to create an account to make a purchase. A seller needs to "connect" his/her account to Panjo. The very first time a seller creates a listing, the seller must submit an email address for marketplace notifications. A seller needs to be logged into the forum in order to create a listing. A seller simply clicks on the same "post new thread" button in the same legacy classifieds subforum as always to create a transactional listing. Instead of the classic 'post new thread' form, the button will point to a new 'listing creation form.'

    listing_creation.
     
  9. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    517
    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Bob
    I should also add that I believe the Buy / Sell Forum here, along with it's easy, "just like the rest of the site" thread navigation is one of your greatest assets. I think Karma (above) makes some good points. One of the biggest pains about the Panjo system is having to JOIN something else to execute a transaction.

    The Buy / Sell Forum on mu-43 is the very first place I go whenever I hit the Forum (It's my primary page bookmark for this site), and I'd really hate to see it change for (IMO) the worse.
     
  10. karma

    karma Mu-43 Regular

    71
    Jan 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Peter
    Another thing I should mention is that adding Panjo would introduce an additional dependency/point of failure (but that's just the developer in me talking :smile:).
     
  11. panjo

    panjo New to Mu-43

    7
    May 29, 2014
    The subforums dedicated to buying and selling all stay in place. The FS listings continue to show up in those subforums and 'today's posts.' The listing creation form is new (see above) and the listings themselves get "buy now" buttons in the case that a seller wants to take advantage of that integrated payment processing option. And for those who prefer it, buyers get the new visual gallery. audi marketplace example
     
  12. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    May 25, 2010
    UK
    Graeme
    I don't understand - do all sellers have to receive payment by Paypal or not? If a buyer and seller trust each other then the option to avoid the 3.4% fees would be helpful.
     
  13. Kilauea

    Kilauea Mu-43 Regular

    110
    Jun 9, 2012
    Canada
    Nicolas
    I do not like that its Paypal only. Sure it is a method of payment, but it is not my favored one if the other buyer is also in Canada.
     
  14. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    Since nothing is really free, I'd like to know who's paying for this "free" service. Is it ad supported? I don't really like ads wasting my bandwidth. Is it another way to track my movements on the internet, to data mine? Is Panjo a new arm of Paypal?

    I like the small friendly (mostly) community we have here. If sellers want more exposure there are other venues. If buyers want more choices there are other venues.

    Fred
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. panjo

    panjo New to Mu-43

    7
    May 29, 2014
    All sellers do not have to receive payment by PayPal. If a buyer and seller know one another and want to 'gift' the money to avoid PayPal fees, that is fine.
     
  16. panjo

    panjo New to Mu-43

    7
    May 29, 2014
    Panjo charges listing, promotion, and transaction fees to sellers who are NOT members of enthusiast forums like this one. If a seller goes to Panjo.com and creates a listing, the seller incurs marketplace fees. All Panjo fees are waived for sellers who are members of Panjo-parnter sites.
     
  17. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I think one major advantage of Panjo is that those who want to exclude USA listings will find it much easier to do so.

    I appreciate that members find our current Buy & Sell to work very well - I've worked hard to make it usable - but my skills are rudimentary at best, and there are a lot of features I've never been able to implement. For example: sorting by location, having closed listings automatically removed from search, etc etc.

    I'd love to see a similar discussion on a board that used to have a market like ours and switched to Panjo several months ago. Always tough to know if something will be better than what you've got.
     
  18. peter124

    peter124 Mu-43 Regular

    Panjo may not be charging fees now, but what's to say they won't impose them at some point in the future?
     
  19. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    321
    Jun 29, 2010
    Ottawa
    BINGO! That is the million dollar question. Also, even if they say that there is not intention to change the fee structure, things almost always change.

    Another point, for Canadians, I and I assume most others prefer to make and receive payments through the Canadian email money transfer through banks. The buyer is able to receive the money almost immediately, even when banks are closed. How would Panjo be the middle man for transactions such as these? The banks will not release info on their clients to anyone or any company.
     
  20. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    We wouldn't have to stay with them.