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Tide 03-03-2012 09:35 AM

Members - What improvements would you like to see on Vendors.
We'd like to get member opinions on how we can make the Vendor program here better. Let us know what is working, what isn't working, and what we're missing outright.

Given the openness of this discussion, let's remember to keep things civil and no need to single out specific vendors for issues or rehash old wounds. You're of course welcome to PM me anonymous issues/complaints, past or present.

Tide 03-03-2012 09:58 AM

Thing we're considering:

- Disallowing of advertising of 'knocked off' parts.
- Requiring source of manufacturing of parts under your name.
- Better integrated "reviews" into a Vendor profile (itrader on steroids)

lucas569 03-03-2012 10:18 AM

i wouldn't "disallow" knocked off parts as some people cant afford "name brand" BUT i would not allow vendors to post up " XX style" part.... or imply its "name brand" style.

blongo804 03-03-2012 10:24 AM

Tide, I feel you guys are definitely on the right track with revisions but lucas above me has a better point. Knock-offs still need to be sold but not as being compared to the real product.

Tide 03-03-2012 10:35 AM

But originals are more expensive due to a) R&D and b) quality. It seems to reason if I don't have to put money upfront into design and development, just copying, I'm going to be profitable at a lower price point.

lucas569 03-03-2012 10:53 AM


Originally Posted by Tide (Post 3777087)
But originals are more expensive due to a) R&D and b) quality. It seems to reason if I don't have to put money upfront into design and development, just copying, I'm going to be profitable at a lower price point.

but its about choices, my father always told me "buy the best son,you'll always be happy" but some people cant afford the name brand parts.

Im guilty of looking at knockoffs on here but still chose not to buy after making an informed decision.

My only beef is calling it XX style part, don't call it that and don't imply it compares to that.

Let the part speak for itself, if its POS were going to know sooner or later... heck even name brand parts have ended up being duds!

fahr_side 03-03-2012 12:17 PM

There are vendors who bring real value to the forum in the form of application advice, install tips and troubleshooting help. Then there are those who cannot contribute anything more than 'bump, Tuesday sale, here all day'. Just tell me how much more money I need to donate to the running costs of the site that we can run it without having to cater to the agenda of the second category, or bend over backwards to protect them, because I just don't need them.

StoplightAssassin 03-03-2012 07:35 PM

I've noticed a huge drop off in forum participation by the reputable vendors I always buy from. I believe this is directly correlated to the prominence of knockoff parts being sold on this forum. I can't really blame them for wasting their time. It saddens me because if I had a question about a specific part, I could PM them or just post in their thread and get a quick, knowledgeable response.

I see in some vendor threads now, 100% legitimate questions being asked and the vendor will flat out not respond to the question, he does not know the answer, or he regurgitates some marketing crap.

It's great to have knowledgeable members on this forum that keep some of these vendors in line, because it saves the rest of us from buying over hyped up crap.

Also, in addition to vendor reviews, I'd like to see some sort of forum arbitration or punishment for vendors that repeatedly have the same issues reported.

Tide 03-03-2012 09:04 PM

I would love to get more private / anonymous vendor issues reported to us. We're looking at keeping a mod-only log of issues that members may not want to air publicly, but still want known to the staff.

BAC5.2 03-04-2012 05:01 AM

1) Disallow public posting in vendor subforums. It's unnecessary and hurts the communities knowledge of a vendor and/or product. It helps no one if negative issues are brought to light, only to be squashed. If you have a question for a vendor, PM them. If you want to discuss a product, post in the OPEN forum so all can benefit.

2) Absolutely disallow the open advertising of knock-offs. If you aren't willing to put forth any money or effort into R&D, you should not be allowed to profit from the sweat of someone elses brow. Let the product speak for itself, and be prepared to back up that product if you intend to sell it. I don't think vendors should be allowed to post at all about their knock-offs. If you can't afford the "real thing", think about who you are hurting by buying the knock-off. Manufacturers aren't going to make products for a community that doesn't support them.

3) Remove the vendor announcements/classifieds stuff. All I see is the same post in both forums. Just have one.

4) Can't there be some kind of rule about posting the exact same "deals" every day? Or perhaps reducing the number of posts in their vendor thread in an hour. It sucks to open "New Posts" and have an entire page filled.

5) It would be nice if there was an actual review forum. Not the "reviews" link at the top of the page that no one ever clicks.

mwiener2 03-04-2012 11:08 AM

It would be nice if every thread a vendor posted in didn't turn into a 'for sale' thread. That's what PM's are for.

LegAC_GT 03-05-2012 09:50 AM

I agree with everything said so far lol.

Vendors who only "bump" their threads, sell knock offs, and doesnt know their customer base very well should not be allowed on here or any forum for that matter.
I think we need to raise vendor costs to be on here a bit more? Or maybe there can be a more detailed usergroup for the vendors? basically use a ranking system? maybe 1-5 stars vendor. or by color (bronze, silver, gold) maybe even lump of coal vendor for the daily bumpers :-D? I know there are some smaller businesses that are private business out of homes on the forums, those people are the hard workers, maybe after once we set rules for the vendors, those who stick to them the best will get rewards, like maybe advertisement on the front page or something in those regards. In a sense sometimes our money isnt just what the vendors want right? :-) Sorry if i am making no sense. This just seemed uber interesting and i wasnt quite sure how to explain it the way i wanted to.

lucas569 03-05-2012 10:04 AM

Please lets not turn this into a witchhunt... Some comments are coming off as singling out. All vendors have a place and purpose, many of us go to walmart for cheap prices but alot of also frequent the smaller retailers for PERSONABLE service.

fahr_side 03-05-2012 10:17 AM


Originally Posted by lucas569 (Post 3779669)
Please lets not turn this into a witchhunt... Some comments are coming off as singling out.

I think if you know who exactly is being discussed by the sort of broad descriptions posted above, the descriptions are accurate.

In the end we collectively will get what we deserve. If we buy from the vendors who cannot or will not bring anything to the table but a slightly lower price, those with knowledge will be out of business and they won't bring their know-how to the forum. It'll be the equivalent of trying to get the minimum-wage kids at the big-box store to diagnose a problem with your DVD player or set up the shifters on your $100 bike. By the time you realize you need that specialist retailer who actually knows the answer he'll be closed up and gone.

spec.B Dream 03-05-2012 10:48 AM

I agree with nearly all comments here. What about adding an incentive to get vendors more active in the community. I assume vendors pay a periodic fee to retain their vendor status. What about reducing or waiving the fee for vendors who add to the community by one of the following:
  • Develop a new product (actually deliver a new product, not just a never ending development thread
  • Provide a detailed how-to with lots of pictures/video
  • Actively participate in competition or sponsor forum members in competitions (racing, show & shine, SPL, etc.)
  • Provide some sort of highlight for American-made (US/Canada) vendors. This would be for vendors who have their manufacturing done in America or who primarily sell American-made parts
  • Provide a behind the scenes look at their business (office, warehouse, manufacturing)
  • Provide a periodically updated "A day in the life of a vendor" series. Most of us have no idea how they spend their time. This would help some of us not get anxious when we don't immediately get a response to our question.
  • Vendors who are actively involved in charities

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