Vendor rules likely to change:

Discussion in 'Dealer Advertisements' started by Tom, May 5, 2009.

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  1. Tom

    Tom Active Member

    After a few bad eggs and much drama, the vendor regulations are going to tighten up a bit. I wanted to post a notice to the vendors so this isn't out of the blue.

    Online and offline vendors will be segregated, and offline vendors will be treated as regular members for all intensive purposes. You are an online vendor if you ship anything.

    Online vendors will not be allowed to discuss their products at all except for the vendor area, and except when answer questions specific to their product. Online vendors will be able to post a new thread in the vendor area once every two weeks, and will not be allowed to "bump" their own thread.

    Online vendors will either have to pay a nominal subscription fee, or validate that they are a contributing member, and not just here to pimp their products. We are not sure which path we are going to go with yet.

    Once implemented, any violations of these rules will result in infractions, which could get you banned temporary or permanently, depending on how often you break the rules.

  2. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    tom, if it helps...
    I have a 12.5m radius (25m diameter)that is my selling area
    I believe that all EZM dealers are given the same
    I, personally, have no intention nor desire to ship anything
    (the last time I shipped something, it cost almost as much as I sold the wheel for)
    some dealers might be selling to areas without dealer representation, and therefore shipping though
    I enjoy my status as a member and think I contribute to the site as such
  3. augidog

    augidog Banned

    loophole talk

    ok...say i reinsert gebe's commercial link in my sig. but i call myself an offline vendor.

    let's say i don't actually do the shipping, but gebe gives me a dealer's share of every sale shipped to my area.

    so, i'm "offline" but i direct clicks towards an "online" sales site that ships direct, then (sometimes) pays me...where would i fit in?

    (no, i'm not doing it, and that's not my arrangement...this is a hypothetical...but you know by now that some people will try anything)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2009
  4. Tom

    Tom Active Member

    You would absolutely be considered an offline vendor. The "Shipping" rule should be worded to ask the question:

    "If customers were no longer allowed to receive shipments, would my revenue dramatically decrease?"

    For you, the answer is no.

    Furthermore, you may have a thriving online-only motorized bike business, and you can absolutely enjoy the forum as long as you never try to promote your business.

    Hmmm... You bring up a very interesting hypothetical situation there.

    We can re-phrase the shipping question for this situation:

    "Will I benefit from shipped sales as a result of promotion on the forum?"

    I would say one should register as a vendor if they want a commercial link in their signature.
  5. augidog

    augidog Banned

    Tom, you're to be commended for responding to the "drama" so graciously...thank you for taking a closer look, & for taking what i believe will be the final steps needed to level the playing field. i think it's going to be a good thing for a market that still bears close watching, but also needs room to grow.

    i believe that MBc's atmosphere will slowly mellow as folks learn exactly what is expected and what to expect whenever they logon.

  6. lordoflightaz

    lordoflightaz Member

    Well now, I'm not a vendor. I'm just a guy that likes these MB things they give me joy. I will say this: I am glad that there is more than one forum for these "toys" or "tools" it sort of depends on how you look at them.

    I can see where this is going to be a problem that is determental to the members. I know that I don't want to wait two weeks to find out that some product that was out of stock is now available from a vendor, because they posted a thread in the Vendor Area. This can't be a good thing.

    Basically anything said by a "ez" dealer should be forbidden, because the product does ship, even if they don't personally ship it. Especially since they "ez" don't even sponsor the forum. I have to question whether that is the sort of attitude that you are now promoting. I can think of one dealer who is a dealer primarily as a way to get a product he otherwised could not afford.

    I can only think of one of the forum sponsors that has it own forum to discuss their product outside the 2 MB forums. Most rely either on emails or phone calls to support their product or one of these forums. I don't know how these private conversations can beneift other members that have the same type of issues with a product.

    Where does one post about a vendor, if they are not in the vendor review area? What about vendors of bicycles?

    Where does this put the vendors that have more than one storefront and hide behind these different storefronts.

    I really think that needs to think about this a bit more before they look in these new rules.

    I remember in my past having a situation based on who I worked for. I worked for a distributor of computer equipment. I had little to do with the acutally selling of the product. Maybe this will help you relate to these forums.

    Vendors here may have similar issues. Should they create new accounts to separate themselves from their business self?

    In my case I ended up getting a company to sell my company the piece of gear so my company could sell it to our resellers for use by my reseller to communicate with my company and since it was now in my company's distribution channel the reseller could resell it, but not get support for it (Sometimes, I ended up having to support the product). Some fun, LOL.

    I just ask you to consider this, especially for those folks that could be vendors one day and customers of products later that same day. This is supposed to be an open forum as a meeting place for users and suppliers, at least that is what is says at the top of this page.

    FWIW, I ended up working for that VAR 4 years later and never for any of those other companies (sometimes because they would not hire me away from the distributor)
  7. augidog

    augidog Banned

    a very thoughtful reply. reading your "example" made my head hurt! bin dere dun dat.

    this seems to boil down to "self-regulation beats forced-regulation" but many did not get that message.

    in an economy where every investment is critical to survival, it's just NOT fair to allow too much free-ride'ing to hamper the honest efforts of those who spend it to make it.

    i think we can trust Tom to consider your concerns. like you, i'm also glad there's more than one forum, because WE need to get back to the standards we're known for.

    if a seller wants to "meet" the consumer at MBC, then let the seller earn that priviledge thru transparent behaviors...the cream WILL rise to the top.

    btw-EZM (the company) is a paying sponsor. correction: the sponsor seems to be a single dealer.

    the jury's still out on dealer-status, of all companies, not only ez. when i changed all my profile and signature info, i wasn't stomping off but merely practicing what i'm preaching. when the time comes, i'll happily spring a few bucks to have vendor status so i can promote my hostel and continue to support gebe.

    and, others should note: both of the existing links in my sig right now have reciprocal links back to MBc. imo, that should be a condition of any "free" sig-link.
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  8. Tom

    Tom Active Member

    The once-every-2-weeks is more of a rule of thumb. We don't want vendors continually posting a new thread just because of some 50 cent discount. If there is a legitimate update, thread starting or posting can occur more than once every two weeks.

    We are trying to reduce the amount of commercially-driven topics on the forum. The monthly subscription isn't to make money from (although it does help cover the cost of free stickers and postage), it is more to create a barrier to commercial users of the forum.

    As stated in the rules, vendors can discuss their product when specifically asked by a member.

    For example, if a member posts "Need help installing my shift kit from SBP", Pablo or Jim are encouraged to pipe in and help them out, even if they are not subscribed vendors.

    However, if someone were to post and say "I want gears on my bike", Pablo or Jim would NOT be allowed to say "Well we can help you with that". If SBP sells a good product, SBP should rely on members giving positive word-of-mouth about the company. SBP may not go in and promote themselves.

    Anywhere. We just don't want VENDORS starting threads about themselves.

    Excellent point. I think that if any member who is also a vendor can promote their company or companies within the rules, they need only one subscription.

    As long as they follow the rules, they shouldn't need to do that. Also, creating multiple accounts is not allowed.

    We just want to eliminate the vendors getting "Free Rides" who promote their product and make some money without giving back to MBc. They receive without giving, make our lives harder as admins and mods, and leave some drama behind.

    The vendor subscriber fee is really not very much at all. Again, it is just a barrier to make double sure that you are following the rules.

    Correct. It is unfair to the paying sponsors who have to bump elbows with the free-riders.

    Agreed. The vendors can benefit greatly here if they simply follow the rules. The rules have become more strict and those who continue to follow will continue to benefit. Those who got by with the bare minimum either need to step up or fall off.

    Thanks for that.
  9. Forum rules


    Good evening!

    I assume this forum is your creation?...YOUR FORUM.

    Take charge of it...

    There are a lot of older guys that have no patience what-so-ever for the politically correct goop that infests every aspect of our lives.

    This forum is no exception! They don't want to see it here...neither do I.

    Put the useless complaints in the scrap bin! "It's your Forum"

    There is a simple, diplomatic, way that guys who make new innovative parts for motorbikes can let the community in general know. Through this forum...period...nothing complicated. If anyone feels the need to complicate it...shut them off!!!

    If a peddler comes on-board with zero knowledge...shut them off! It's simple Tom!!!

    It's your forum Tom!

    Take charge of it!!!

    Best regards,
  10. lordoflightaz

    lordoflightaz Member

    Thanks for addressing my concerns. I hope your changes work out.

    That would be great if someone was showing how to do something. But what if it is such a great idea that someone decides to start selling the part.

    There are some folks who simply came up with ideas, and have the equipment to make their idea and sell them to anyone who is interested (like a light the works properly with the white wire).

    Heaven forbid I make the fatbob gas tank and want to start selling them to others. Or my rear rack, my trailer hitch/flag holder, recycled laptop case panniers, tool kits. I'm still thinking on the generator for the SBP shift kit. I would suddenly be either a vendor or manufacturer.

    Related to my story above, I can tell you my CEO had no problem putting me on a plane to fix a reseller/franchisee screw up instead of our tech support department. I had to pretend to be sales tech support, good thing my title was called Advanced Systems Analyst, and our tech support called themselves Advanced Systems Group. At the end of the day I was still an IT Operations guy and not a Sale Engineer (until I actually went to work as a Sales Engineer someplace else and was forbidden from touching customer equipment)

    FWIW I see CE and the SBP folks as the ones that will suffer from the rule changes the most along with the little shops that don't really sell online but happen to sell something in their shop, that usually needs to be purchased in quantity and they carry it. I sure hope that the mods take into consideration these situations.
  11. augidog

    augidog Banned

    there is another interesting spin on this too...

    thru the free exchange of ideas at MBc over the last 3 years, there are some good ideas here that have made it to market because someone had the resources and gumption to take the leap. SBP is such a success story (i think a little post about some electric drive components started the whole process) ...the vendor rules won't hurt 'em, but help, as they now sponsor MBc. come to think of it, very early "what-if" topics hinted at what was to come with EZM's transfer-case, and now here it is, and here they are, sponsoring MBc. CE...well, i've heard a lot about your work and am impressed. it seems you're confident in your offerings, as well you should be...imo the new rules will actually make it easier for you to get decent exposure at the vendor level, because as Tom said the negligible subscription fees should be enuff to keep the fly-by-night'ers at bay.

    "vendor" was becoming a derogatory term 'round here, & that wasn't helping anyone...

    i agree with Tom, it was time to do something about it.
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  12. Tom

    Tom Active Member

    There is no problem with being a vendor. You can still continue as an MBc member just as normal. When you start making money from selling stuff on the forum, simply subscribe and pay the nominal fee, and enjoy the additional benefits of starting topics about your product in the vendor area.
  13. Tom

    Tom Active Member

    There. Went ahead and updated the Vendor Rules. Take a look at them and keep in mind that the new system will be enforced starting Monday, May 11, 2009.
  14. I was up late last night doing some design work, (wasn't sleepy), I decided to take a break and have a look around on the forum.

    I couldn't believe all of the bickering.

    I should not have interjected...this topic has nothing to do with me. I apologize.

    I am a manufacturer not a vendor. By definition; there is a huge difference.

    Hey, if you ever decide to create a manufacturers "only" section...send me an email.

    Have fun guys

  15. echotraveler

    echotraveler Member

    i cant believe the drama...

    im tempted, to simply not follow any forum rules from now on...
  16. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    C'mon, it's hard to see how your second comment helps with the first.
  17. what does web-life mean?

    I for one, cannot figure out what would need to be done to be a contributing member? Does the fact that I coerced Don Grube into buying the tooling for the 9-hole sprocket you-all have enjoyed since 2003.5 help at all?

    I am at a loss to figure out where I could see the measure of a members participation, I'm convinced that sheer number of posts is meaningless, and merely saying "Hi" to strangers takes no special skills.

    I am a manufacturer, builder, dealer, distributor, dreamer, and many other things, tho certainly not a spammer!

    If it were not for this extremely weird circumstance, I would not be willing to waste the webspace to say this.

    Perhaps a clarification? Or Mod to pm and say so, who will ever know otherwise?

  18. Tom

    Tom Active Member

    I am not sure what you are trying to say. There is a huge 5-page thread where I provide LOTS of clarifications about the new rules.
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