Join Date: May 2006
There has been some good, solid input to this discussion.
Its great to see such a reaction on a topic which affects us all.
I endorse completely Rick's and David's declared intention to keep things simple.
I can understand David's stance that what happens outside the bounds of this site are not the concern of the people who regulate activity on this site. In fact, this was my own attitude at the outset of this discussion, however I am no longer certain that this attitude is the desireable one. It is certainly the most simple attitude to adopt, but I do have a problem with covert dealers extracting information to use in a sales pitch in another place.
Let me state up front that this would make not the slightest difference to me, because I do not buy in the same places that collectors buy. I have only ever bought two keris from Ebay , and both were keris that I had previously sold. I have never bought from the Swap Forum.
However, if a covert dealer extracts information by use of this Forum to assist his sales pitch, and thus the price realised, of an item he wishes to sell, he is in fact using the information supplied by collectors against those collectors.
I consider this to be unethical behaviour.
Ward has already pointed this out and said that it is the reason he no longer posts comment very often.
Think about this:-
all knowledge costs money and time to acquire
if a collector passes that knowledge on to somebody he regards as a fellow collector, he is giving that fellow collector a gift of his time, money, indeed of his life
if he passes the knowledge to a dealer who has posed as a collector in order to gain the knowledge, and who then uses that knowledge to increase the price of something he wishes to sell, then in my view, the dealer has stolen the knowledge from the collector; he has obtained the knowledge by deception.
in short:- the dealer has acted in an unethical fashion.
I believe that this Forum should attempt to assist its members by a policy of identifying unethical behaviour by dealers. I am not suggesting for one moment that such dealers should be identified openly. Nobody wants potential issues for litigation. But I am suggesting that unethical dealers should be denied the fellowship of this Forum. Keep them out.
Now the question is this:-
how do we identify a dealer?
to my mind the answer is simple:-
The relevant question could take a bit of thought to frame in an adequate fashion, but it could be done.
If a member states that he is not a dealer, and then demonstrates dealer-like behaviour he should be asked to explain, and if the explanation is inadequate, action should be taken against him.
Where a known dealer has acted in an unethical fashion that dealer should be asked to explain and if the explanation is unsatisfactory then action should taken against him.
All of this may sound complicated and possibly draconian, however in action it need not be. I believe that with thought, a simple administrative system could be put in place that would involve absolutely minimal work for our moderators and would return immeasureable benefits to our members.
On the other hand, if things continue as they have been, how many more collector/dealers like Ward, and I also fall into this category, will simply say:- "enough is enough, I'm not passing my knowledge along to other dealers". If this happens the pure collectors here will suffer great loss, because in general, dealers have access to more knowledge than people who do not deal.
PS--- I was about to post the above, and noted the post by Dizos. What he has written is very close to what is in my mind.