Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bay Area
I am glad that Alan has brought this issue up. I have often thought about it myself, and it is quite complicated when it comes to enforcing strict rules, as the problem often comes down to original intent, and intent is a very difficult thing to determine without the ability to read minds.
Let me start by stating that I like the Swap Forum as part of this portal. It is definitely not the main reason I visit here, but I like the idea that if a member wishes to part with an item he or she no longer desires, the rest of us would get a chance at it. I believe in one or two instances, the items I bought through the Swap Forum had been discussed in the main discussion forums (but not immediately preceding their posting for sale).
With this said, I do not mind even those members, who are here solely as dealers. The reason is, as a collector I need dealers, and I actually like to have access to their items here as well.
What I do not like, however, is when an item is posted for discussion, without the poster acknowlidging his intention to sell. As discussed before, there should not be a problem when a regular collector decides to part with an item after receiving comments on it. The issue, if I understand correctly are the cases in which a dealer tries to disguise his real intentions only to abuse the collective knowledge in these forums.
Those cases leave a bad taste, because we feel deceived, and I often find myself unwilling to comment on certain items, as I suspect that the poster is just gathering info to help with a sale.
It would be great therefore that posters, who are contemplating the sale of the item they put up for discussion, simply specify so. Obviously, there will be exceptions, but I think it is common sense that if a poster regularly posts items for comments only to have a "change of heart" shortly thereafter, this would constitute a breach of the rules.
I also want to suggest another rule - since potential sellers would benefit from the knowledge others will share with them pertaining to their item, they should probably give back to the forum community. The simplest way to do this would be to list the item here, in the swap forum first, for at least a week. If it does not sell, then I would not mind them looking at other options, but I feel it is only fair to give a first chance to the other members here, as a token of gratitude for all the info received.