Poll

Which one you are OK with on the forum?

Sponsorship from dealers
13 (38.2%)
Coin-related Affiliate Program
0 (0%)
Google Text Ads
2 (5.9%)
Ask for Donation
19 (55.9%)

Total Members Voted: 34

Voting closed: May 14, 2016, 06:27:58 PM

Author Topic: Dear members, please help me make the decision!  (Read 15248 times)

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Offline snowball

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Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« on: May 04, 2016, 06:27:58 PM »
Hi All,

The forum is growing fast as you can see at the stats page: http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?action=stats
The hosting plan will soon need to be upgraded again.  My current hosting cost is $760/year.   After the upgrading, the yearly cost will be between $1000 to $1200.   I think it is time to add some ads or find some sponsors to financially support the forum.  

Here are the 4 options that I could think of:

Option 1:  3 dealer friends who are willing to sponsor the forum for $25/month or $300/year.  Sponsor's website link will be located at the link area at the bottom of the forum.  China-mint is a 13 year old website with very high google ranks on many coin related keywords.  Having a link here will dramatically increase your search engine ranks.   :001_smile:

Option 2:  I will search for up to 3 coin-related sites (mostly Pay Per Order program) as the sponsors of the forum.  The links location will be also at the bottom of the page.  

Option 3:  Google Text Ad at the top of the forum.  See sample on my old china-mint index page: http://china-mint.info/index2.html    The ad link starts with the word AdChoices.   This is a Pay Per Click program.  

Option 4: Add a Paypal donate button somewhere on the forum.   Members who make any amount of the donation will be given a special ranking.  :001_smile:


I personally prefer #1 or #3.    #1 will guarantee the hosting cost got covered.   #3 is the most easy way to do so, no extra transactions or paperworks.


It is not an easy decision to make.  So, I need everyone's help.  This Poll will run for 10 days.  
If you have any other suggestions,  feel free to let me know.



thank you!


best,


snowball

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Colin
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Offline silverpv

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2016, 06:34:51 PM »
I'm not allowed to see stats... Either way we'll see ads, which ever one reduces your overall cost is best. The only thing about google ads is are you sure you'll make enough to cover the additional costs? Are you running a vps?

Otherwise, I'd say hook up your friends first.

Offline snowball

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2016, 06:40:04 PM »
I'm not allowed to see stats... Either way we'll see ads, which ever one reduces your overall cost is best. The only thing about google ads is are you sure you'll make enough to cover the additional costs? Are you running a vps?


thanks.
Yes.  The site is running on VPS.  The hosting provider is https://www.liquidweb.com/vps.html   It might need to move to the 2nd lvl with 2GB memory and 100GB storage soon.    

You should be able to see the stats page now.
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Offline Mirkkanen

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2016, 06:42:49 PM »
I, and many other forum members, would likely be willing to donate a small sum on a yearly basis to help you offset the costs of the forum.

If, for example, 40-50 members donate $25 bucks, that is the forum's yearly cost.

Donations could be anonymous, or donating members could be given a special ranking similar to "hero member."


Offline snowball

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2016, 06:45:50 PM »
I, and many other forum members, would likely be willing to donate a small sum on a yearly basis to help you offset the costs of the forum.

If, for example, 40-50 members donate $25 bucks, that is the forum's yearly cost.

Donations could be anonymous, or donating members could be given a special ranking similar to "hero member."



Thanks!

So, it is option 4. 
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Offline Mirkkanen

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2016, 06:46:44 PM »
My suggestion is similar to option #4, right? Maybe no need for a 5th option.

Offline snowball

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2016, 06:47:46 PM »
My suggestion is similar to option #4, right? Maybe no need for a 5th option.

Yep.   N31 :001_smile:
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Offline mazinger7000

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2016, 07:02:49 PM »
i agree with mirk, a paypal donate button sounds like a good solution. and that does not prohibit you from also integrating option 1 or 2 if dealers or coin sites want to have their sites promoted here.

Offline snowball

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2016, 07:40:56 PM »
i agree with mirk, a paypal donate button sounds like a good solution. and that does not prohibit you from also integrating option 1 or 2 if dealers or coin sites want to have their sites promoted here.

Thank you!    :001_smile:
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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2016, 08:01:52 PM »
Just got back online a few minutes ago. First of all thanks for sponsoring this forum all these years.

I would be leary of dealing with Google as they like mining for personal information etc. Moreover I believe we should continue to maintain some independence from pressures and consequences of being taken over or "sponsored" by such entities.

The combination of two options as suggested by forum members above seems to be the best compromise for now:
1: Have about three reputable MCC sellers/dealers part sponsor in 1-3 yearly cycles.
2: Allow forum members to donate towards hosting of the site; the Paypal payment approach is the most convenient. It can be either anonymous or words such as "Site Sponsor" or whatever reads better appended under the forum member's handle.

Best to have the sponsorship run from January to December to keep things simple.

Anyway, whatever the final formula I am sure many of us are ready to pitch in to support the forum and maintain its autonomy and objectivity.

Best wishes.
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Offline jc888888888

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2016, 08:44:43 PM »
I would support

Offline vkind

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2016, 09:03:23 PM »
Thanks for yours and others effort all these years.

Option#4!!!!!!

Offline paul4444

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2016, 09:15:34 PM »
This site has saved me lots of cash so I will help play it foward.  I will help donate.  I love this forum.  Thank you snowball for all that you do.  I got your back. 

Online Agpanda

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2016, 10:25:41 PM »
I would go for option 4, as I know that I would support
I have learnd a lot here, and still learning

Offline snowball

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2016, 10:37:57 PM »
Thank you, guys!!  I am really appreciated your support!!     N39 N40 N24
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Offline 1668Chris

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2016, 10:36:38 AM »
I like option 1 but rotating dealers every 6 months would give others visibility as opposed to dominating the space every year by the same ones

Offline 1668Chris

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2016, 10:38:44 AM »
Donations could be sporadic, and not reliable form of funding.  You will have to keep asking for donations until you meet your objective.  I am not in favor of this option.

Offline snowball

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2016, 11:30:12 AM »
Donations could be sporadic, and not reliable form of funding.  You will have to keep asking for donations until you meet your objective.  I am not in favor of this option.

Hi Chris,  Thank you for the suggestion!

Before I started this poll, I couldn't imagine donation got the highest # of votes so far.   I thought it would be my last option.  Thanks again for the support!  N39

Perhaps, I can mix #1 & #4.   Nothing is final.  We still have plenty time. 


best,

snowball
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Colin
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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2016, 12:58:45 PM »
If we assume the sponsorship year will run from January to December you can open a Member's Support thread on November 1st of the preceding year with the total amount needed and suggested minimum together with the Paypal payment button.

This is entirely optional and I believe that there are several members here who are very willing, including myself, to donate towards maintenance of this excellent forum.

I tell you there is merit to the idea of a member sponsored/supported (full or partial) forum!
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Offline silverpv

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2016, 01:05:57 PM »
Donations could be sporadic, and not reliable form of funding.  You will have to keep asking for donations until you meet your objective.  I am not in favor of this option.

This.. but I do think a mixture of 1 & 4 would work. It works well on a couple other forums I frequent. It would help build up a fund. I would also donate

Offline NBM

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2016, 03:29:36 PM »
I am surprised you don't already allow dealers to buy ad placement.
Some of the top names in the business post and sell here...
Quote
Average online per day: 76.49 with Average page views per day: 9309.13
Means the average "person" reads 122 pages here a day?
Start charging the bots.  :lol:

Offline snowball

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2016, 04:25:30 PM »
I am surprised you don't already allow dealers to buy ad placement.
Some of the top names in the business post and sell here...Means the average "person" reads 122 pages here a day?
Start charging the bots.  :lol:

Hello NBM
If it is not for the raising cost and my personal issue, I would never start this thread.    :crying:

Right now, the links at the bottom are my own sites, our ex-moderator, Peter's site, and sites that I really like.    Yes.  The forum is ads free, and it has been staying that way since the beginning.   

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Offline comeaux

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2016, 08:05:27 PM »
I voted for donation but I'm here to help however necessary to keep the forum running  :001_smile:

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2016, 12:06:50 AM »
If the coin-related sites, mentioned in Option 2, are NGC, PCGS, and major auction houses, I will vote for it. Otherwise, Option 4, donation.

Offline bklim1

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2016, 01:03:03 AM »
Hi I am new here but I don't mind making donation through PayPal. I enjoys the news here and gains knowledge  over here.

Offline wg

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2016, 02:22:32 AM »

 :001_wub:

option 4


Offline r3globe

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2016, 09:58:32 AM »
First, thank you snowball for providing this platform for all of us. Here are my 2 cents:

1) It is best keep it independent without any sponsorship
2) Donations can be unreliable
3) I might catch some flack for this, but I suggest a "PREMIUM section" in the forum that is only accessible by a "donation" There is so much valuable/actionable information such as provided by Arif, Poco, SANDAC,..etc Some of that can be in a premium section. $25-$50 a year is a steal for such information.

Thanks again.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2016, 12:01:09 PM »
First, thank you snowball for providing this platform for all of us. Here are my 2 cents:

1) It is best keep it independent without any sponsorship
2) Donations can be unreliable
3) I might catch some flack for this, but I suggest a "PREMIUM section" in the forum that is only accessible by a "donation" There is so much valuable/actionable information such as provided by Arif, Poco, SANDAC,..etc Some of that can be in a premium section. $25-$50 a year is a steal for such information.

Thanks again.

Suggestion #3 runs the risk of doing the same thing this forum has been fighting against all these years. It will create an elite sub-group of forum members who have information others do not have with the consequence/risk of market/member manipulation for personal gain.

Once we start divvying up forum members, seeds of suspicion and interclass warfare are sown. This forum will go downhill.

This also brings up another safeguard that has to be placed here if even ALL members donate under Suggestion#2; the fact that some members donated towards the hosting of the forum does not mean that they have any special rights in the forum over those who did not donate. They are still regular members who are subject to all the rules and protocols of the forum.

This is just my opinion. Perhaps others can help clarify the discussion.
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Offline dynamike51

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2016, 12:25:44 PM »

3) I might catch some flack for this, but I suggest a "PREMIUM section" in the forum that is only accessible by a "donation" There is so much valuable/actionable information such as provided by Arif, Poco, SANDAC,..etc Some of that can be in a premium section. $25-$50 a year is a steal for such information.


You won't catch any flack from me. I actually think it's a very creative idea. On top of that, perhaps moving BST into the premium section can potentially eliminate scammers.

Offline Mirkkanen

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2016, 12:26:25 PM »
Yes,

If the donation idea is pursued (and I believe it should be since the cost of running this forum for a year is minimal when split between many members, and because many of us profit from the use of this unique platform), the donors would not have special privileges over non-donating members. This is a tricky issue. I have seen it work well at other forums, however, I don't like the secrecy. It sometimes creates an elitest attitude within the privileged members.

I paid $50 bucks for Peter's newest book and I pay a monthly subscription fee to China Pricepedia, so chipping in for this site, which is another excellent information resource PLUS a means by which to acquire and distribute MCC would be a no-brainer.





Offline Cornishfarmer

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2016, 01:19:18 PM »
I'm a member of a cracking silver forum in the uk. We have is where we pay a small sub for the year, then we get to see items for sale 3 days before non sub payers. Then everyone gets to see all content, but if you want to get first choice you pay up. Few other little perks but that is the main reason we pay

Offline dynamike51

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2016, 01:28:00 PM »
Many websites have the same idea where they offer free (basic) content and services. But if someone wants perks/extras/privileges, they have to pay to get them. All the current CCF members have enjoyed a free service of content and the privilege of BST for years. But as snowball stated at the beginning of this thread that the need to upgrade is imminent and the cost associated to the upgrade. It's not unreasonable to ask the forum members to chip in to keep the current theme going. Personally, I do not see anything wrong with paying a premium for service/privilege if one really wants/needs it. Everyone is given the same option - if one wants the privilege/service, he will pay for it - but it's an option.

Offline Tao-Panda

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2016, 01:58:22 PM »
Giving special privileges to donating members is question of the philosophy the forum wants to get... making a difference between members or wishing equality between members.
Personally, I prefer equality.

Offline wittu

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2016, 02:40:32 PM »
I am not sure, if donating is supposed to mean an automatically special service?

I am no fan of different classes of members.

Maybe there are enough donating members, that don`t expect an extra treatment afterwards?
Just wondering...

Option 4

Greetings,
wittu  N48

edit
and of course dealers are invited, to donate anonymous, too  (Option 1 involved)


Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2016, 03:08:54 PM »
If you go through the archives of this forum you will see tons of information that members have freely provided for the benefit of others. If such egalitarian activities are to continue in this forum we have to make sure we do not segment membership.

Individuals who believe they need market thumping information can set up independent newsletters and similar subscription based publications such as some have done with the stock market. That will be completely normal and legal.

I still think we have a good thing going on here at CCF and we need to work together to make sure that the balance is maintained.
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Offline dynamike51

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2016, 03:09:32 PM »
I am not sure, if donating is supposed to mean an automatically special service?

I am no fan of different classes of members.

Maybe there are enough donating members, that don`t expect an extra treatment afterwards?
Just wondering...

Greetings,
wittu  N48



wittu,

The problem is, as a few here pointed out, voluntary donation can be sporadic. So what happens when the donations don't come in? I, personally, don't view it as different classes of members - while I respect your view if you do. I simply think of it as a pay subscription to get what I want. We, the forum members, have been getting it free of charge for years because snowball is kind and generous enough to provide the cost for it, but it's calling for a change. JMHO.

We can respectfully agree to disagree.  N39   N66

Offline wittu

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2016, 03:13:07 PM »
and i respectfully take a step back.
I am pretty new and i enjoy being here.

So whatever older members decide ... i will follow without any question. I am sure, you all will find a good way of solving this problem  N25

Greetings,
wittu  N48

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2016, 03:22:47 PM »
I do not foresee any problems with generating the amount quoted for hosting the forum every year. I have suggested a two month period (November-December) every year in which members can donate voluntarily through paypal to cover the amount required for the coming year. The caliber/drive/networth of individuals who use this forum is such that it is unlikely to take one week to complete donations each year.

Please note that this is an opinion but I defer to Snowball at the end of the day to determine which arrangement makes the greatest sense to him.

Thanks.
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Offline poconopenn

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #38 on: May 11, 2016, 11:18:58 PM »
Giving special privileges to donating members is question of the philosophy the forum wants to get... making a difference between members or wishing equality between members.
Personally, I prefer equality.


Agree. I will make donation and do not want any special privilege.

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #39 on: May 11, 2016, 11:27:07 PM »
Many websites have the same idea where they offer free (basic) content and services. But if someone wants perks/extras/privileges, they have to pay to get them. All the current CCF members have enjoyed a free service of content and the privilege of BST for years. But as snowball stated at the beginning of this thread that the need to upgrade is imminent and the cost associated to the upgrade. It's not unreasonable to ask the forum members to chip in to keep the current theme going. Personally, I do not see anything wrong with paying a premium for service/privilege if one really wants/needs it. Everyone is given the same option - if one wants the privilege/service, he will pay for it - but it's an option.

I would like to purpose Option #5.

Annual fee for member who initiates BST thread.

Currently, the total number of topic at BST forum is 3320, about the combined total numbers of Modern Chinese coins, Imperial & Republic coins and Fake Chinese Coins together. IMO, the significant increase in traffic, which forces the upgrade of hosting plan has something to do with the activities at BST forum.

From 1/1/2016 to today, 42 sellers and 9 buyers have initiated thread at BST forum. Annual fee of $20 will be sufficient to cover the cost of running this forum. This option will keep this forum clean, free of ads and without outside sponsors. It also will have some effects to keep scammer away from this forum.



Offline Pandora

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2016, 11:59:48 AM »
I would like to purpose Option #5.

Annual fee for member who initiates BST thread.

Currently, the total number of topic at BST forum is 3320, about the combined total numbers of Modern Chinese coins, Imperial & Republic coins and Fake Chinese Coins together. IMO, the significant increase in traffic, which forces the upgrade of hosting plan has something to do with the activities at BST forum.

From 1/1/2016 to today, 42 sellers and 9 buyers have initiated thread at BST forum. Annual fee of $20 will be sufficient to cover the cost of running this forum. This option will keep this forum clean, free of ads and without outside sponsors. It also will have some effects to keep scammer away from this forum.




I will support this option as well. $20 fee is very reasonable, yet it will deter scammers. I will favor the fee only for sellers. Buyer need not pay it.

Offline snowball

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #41 on: May 12, 2016, 12:43:56 PM »
Thanks a lot for all the suggestions!


Charging annual fee on sellers might not be the best option.  There are many members here don’t sell that frequently as dealer members.    A large % of the members don’t even participate the BST.  They are mainly here for information.  It is not a good idea to charge them fees If one day they only want to post a few selling threads.   
We could add more limitation on new sellers in order to prevent scammers.  However, charging seller fees is not an option I am going to consider.


best regards,


snowball
Happy Collecting!  快乐收藏!

Colin
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Offline poconopenn

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2016, 01:56:30 PM »
Thanks a lot for all the suggestions!


Charging annual fee on sellers might not be the best option.  There are many members here don’t sell that frequently as dealer members.    A large % of the members don’t even participate the BST.  They are mainly here for information.  It is not a good idea to charge them fees If one day they only want to post a few selling threads.   
We could add more limitation on new sellers in order to prevent scammers.  However, charging seller fees is not an option I am going to consider.


best regards,


snowball


Thanks for the response. I respect and understand your decision.

Offline purpuratum

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #43 on: May 12, 2016, 02:30:19 PM »
Agree. I will make donation and do not want any special privilege.

The same applies to me. I personally have taken a lot of benefits by being a silent reader for many years. I want to give something back.
I will make a donation too. N31

Offline Grip

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Re: Dear members, please help me make the decision!
« Reply #44 on: May 12, 2016, 05:39:50 PM »
I like the donation idea..