Rules governing group buys?

arowanaclub.ca

Administrator
Staff member
Does this site need a policy for group buys, especially the high end ones for aros and rays?

Should the farms be named?
Should the prices be listed?
Should photos be publicly provided?
Should an organizer be or become a sponsor of the site?
Should we encourage the farms themselves to become sponsors of the site?
Should we institute a trade-ranking system, where members can rank past sales transactions as positive or negative?
Should we try to limit criticism to a private-registration only section of the forum?
How can we best forward the needs of hobbyists in Canada to obtain the best quality fish/products through group buys, at the best price, with the least risk?

What are your thoughts?
 

RTG_Gerry

Super Moderator
Does this site need a policy for group buys, especially the high end ones for aros and rays?

Should the farms be named?
Should the prices be listed?
Should photos be publicly provided?
Should an organizer be or become a sponsor of the site?
Should we encourage the farms themselves to become sponsors of the site?
Should we institute a trade-ranking system, where members can rank past sales transactions as positive or negative?
Should we try to limit criticism to a private-registration only section of the forum?
How can we best forward the needs of hobbyists in Canada to obtain the best quality fish/products through group buys, at the best price, with the least risk?

What are your thoughts?

I think forum sponsors should have first kick at dealing with group buys on this forum, otherwise, where's the incentive for being a sponsor? If the sponsor(s) chooses to bypass an opportunity, then it's fair game, imo.

Anyone who is selling aros (other than private sellers) should be required to become a sponsor, if they want their names bandied about on the forum. Again, fair is fair for the actual site sponsors.

I do think group buys should be contained in a pw-protected folder. There all info can be posted.

A ranking system is an excellent idea.
 

xenon240

New Member
First lets define the purpose of a Forum, "to invite user-to-user interaction, sharing of ideas and experiences". Through group buys this forum has afforded the opportunity of many ARO fans the pleasure of owning a rare fish at an affordable price. Without this forum the average ARO fan would never have had the opportunity to enter the hobby on his own. In addition it has also contributed to lower prices almost half of what they use to cost just a couple of years ago.

Organizing a group buy is no different from the "For Sale" area. Just note the increased number of entries whenever Dragonfish lands an order. If someone wants to take on the additional risk of organizing and landing an order; and providing a quality fish at possibly better price then, say, an existing sponsor, why should they be to held back to appease the Sponsors?

Sponsorship is a business decision. They advertise to get the exposure. If you have a solid business model you shouldn't be afraid of a little competition. These group buys are not intended to be a place of business.

Should the farms be named? Yes

Should the prices be listed? yes, but as with any importation you can only estimate the final cost

Should photos be publicly provided? yes, how else would you know of the quality

Should we encourage the farms themselves to become sponsors of the site? No need to, they are the exporters, however it is their choice if they want the exposure

Should we institute a trade-ranking system, where members can rank past sales transactions as positive or negative? Absolutely it will help "weed" out those intent on being dishonest

Should we try to limit criticism to a private-registration only section of the forum? No, it goes against the principles of a forum

How can we best forward the needs of hobbyists in Canada to obtain the best quality fish/products through group buys, at the best price, with the least risk?
Good question, trust is earned. Right from the exporter down to the buyer. There is risk at every stage. Those that commit to their product will be still standing at the end of the day. If you are careful with your selection you will find the trustworthy exporters. Look for Group buy organizers offering a minimal down payment, and competitive prices. Start a registry with the moderator where organizers need to provided detailed contact information. It is difficult to eliminate risk but it is possible to reduce it to a minimum.
 

arowanaclub.ca

Administrator
Staff member
Organizing a group buy is no different from the "For Sale" area. Just note the increased number of entries whenever Dragonfish lands an order. If someone wants to take on the additional risk of organizing and landing an order; and providing a quality fish at possibly better price then, say, an existing sponsor, why should they be to held back to appease the Sponsors?.

Because the sponsors are helping to pay for the costs of running the site; running the site creates a targeted audience; why should someone be able to access the targeted audience for "free" if everyone else is paying?

Sponsorship is a business decision. They advertise to get the exposure. If you have a solid business model you shouldn't be afraid of a little competition. These group buys are not intended to be a place of business..

In the beginning group buys may not have been business, but over time the scale has grown, and with the increased scale has come increased "business".

A few points to consider:

1. The moderators of the site deserve to be paid something. The only source of that payment can be sponsorship I think.

2. The annual costs to run this site are around $300-600. It would be nice to hire a professional to upgrade the software soon, so add on another $300-500. Sponsorship money can pay for the operating costs.

3. Looking at 1 and 2 above, it seems that this site needs sponsors to meet costs and grow.

4. Organizing a group buy for the purpose of offsetting the cost of a high end fish is still "business". If all the other businesses providing a similar product are paying to support the site, it seems fair to have a level playing field and ask that everyone who seeks to do high value group imports also contributes to paying for the site.

I think it is very useful and healthy for the forum to have this discussion. Please keep it coming one and all. :)
 

bcarlos

Member
Organizing a group buy is no different from the "For Sale" area. Just note the increased number of entries whenever Dragonfish lands an order. If someone wants to take on the additional risk of organizing and landing an order; and providing a quality fish at possibly better price then, say, an existing sponsor, why should they be to held back to appease the Sponsors?


I absolutely disagree with this statement. Not only is there a great deal of responsibility on the group organizer, but the buyers should expect a level of quality with their organizers that a sponsorship model would guarantee (i.e. not just any joe-blow looking to make a buck can become a group organizer). The Dragonfish name does hold some weight in the aro community, and if group organizers are using this name to conduct business, they should contribute to the operating costs of the site.

It's not an industry best practice to divulge pricing information in an open forum. This should be done via PM or email with interested buyers. I do like Gerry's point about the pw-protected space. I don't think we are using the special projects area of the site to it's full ability.
 

CORVETTE

New Member
Quote
"Because the sponsors are helping to pay for the costs of running the site; running the site creates a targeted audience; why should someone be able to access the targeted audience for "free" if everyone else is paying?"

I must agree with the importance of keeping site sponsors happy and involved. I have been a sponsor and ran part of my own site. If anyone is wondering what a site is like with out paying sponsors with buisness making opportunities look up Hardcore Aquatics.com..lol alot of action in there.....lol
I feel some policies are needed and are very important to sustain the quality of this site
 
Last edited:

xenon240

New Member
I absolutely disagree with this statement. Not only is there a great deal of responsibility on the group organizer, but the buyers should expect a level of quality with their organizers that a sponsorship model would guarantee (i.e. not just any joe-blow looking to make a buck can become a group organizer). The Dragonfish name does hold some weight in the aro community, and if group organizers are using this name to conduct business, they should contribute to the operating costs of the site.

It's not an industry best practice to divulge pricing information in an open forum. This should be done via PM or email with interested buyers. I do like Gerry's point about the pw-protected space. I don't think we are using the special projects area of the site to it's full ability.

HUH?
We are talking retail not whole sale, if an Aro farm gives you a price of a fish, that is the price he sells for everyone not just you. Why would you hide this price from the general public, unless you had something to hide, such as making a profit look like wholesale cost!!!! The real purpose of a group buy is to enable everyone to pay the same price as what the Farm offers to retailers, which is what Dragonfish did early on. By advertising prices you would be able to determine the one's that are ripping people off or the one's that are truely into the hobby and sharing their pride of ownership of AROS.

Yes I agree Sponsorship pays for the operation of the site, but how do you determine the legibility of a Sponsor? Anyone can become a sponsor by paying a small fee and end up ripping people off. Just because you are a sponsor does NOT guarantee quality or value.

I thinkk everyone is missing the point of REGIONAL group buys, this can be the most appealing to buyers, for example, on a Regional group buy, upon landing, buyers come to your location to pick, first come first server. unlike typical group buys where you don't even get an opportunity to see the fish you buy.

Let's face it guys, everyone is trying to make a buck and afraid to say it. Is it respectable when sellers are charging at least double what they paid for a fish? If someone out there comes alone and compromises that potential profit suddenly we see protectionism. If I said to you, I can get you a high quality fish for a minimum deposit of less than $40 and offer you the choice to choose your fish, who in there "right mind" would say it is a poor decision???
 

chen88

Super Moderator
all I can add to this is when I sell my fish...it's usually 30-50% off what I paid for them.....not DOUBLE what I paid as most of the guys in here know what prices it cost....
 

xenon240

New Member
Because the sponsors are helping to pay for the costs of running the site; running the site creates a targeted audience; why should someone be able to access the targeted audience for "free" if everyone else is paying?

As I said earlier I agree sponsorship helps keep the site operating, however there are many other opportunities to attract sponsors. What about equipment retailers, live food retailers; or use the profile information to determine other high interests of subscribers to target sponsors.

Free access - I go back to the definition of a Forum. Is this protectionism or free enterprise? I can google "arowana for sale" and get hundreds of thousands of sites, if one happens to chose this forum it certainly would not have had anything to do with a sponsor advertising on the site. Nor influence my decision to go with the sponsor. A web forum earns it's reputation by user-to-user interaction and between forums. If this site has quality sponsors and offers other opportunities such as quality group buys then it could be a top forum.

This reminds me of questions that people ask me at work, do I buy a Dell or do I buy a no-name brand with the same specs but cost a third less. The answer is it depends on what you are looking for. If you don't know anything about computers and need the choice to call a toll free number if you have any questions, then the asnswer is Dell. If you want quality at the same level as the Dell and have technical knowledge of computers, then the answer is the clone.

No different from AROS, if you don't have a clue about raising AROs you may need to go with a sponsor, who should be available to answer any questons. If you are experienced and know what you want and know how to raise aros, then you can save money with a group buy.
 

RTG_Gerry

Super Moderator
HUH?
We are talking retail not whole sale, if an Aro farm gives you a price of a fish, that is the price he sells for everyone not just you. Why would you hide this price from the general public, unless you had something to hide, such as making a profit look like wholesale cost!!!! The real purpose of a group buy is to enable everyone to pay the same price as what the Farm offers to retailers, which is what Dragonfish did early on. By advertising prices you would be able to determine the one's that are ripping people off or the one's that are truely into the hobby and sharing their pride of ownership of AROS.

Yes I agree Sponsorship pays for the operation of the site, but how do you determine the legibility of a Sponsor? Anyone can become a sponsor by paying a small fee and end up ripping people off. Just because you are a sponsor does NOT guarantee quality or value.

I thinkk everyone is missing the point of REGIONAL group buys, this can be the most appealing to buyers, for example, on a Regional group buy, upon landing, buyers come to your location to pick, first come first server. unlike typical group buys where you don't even get an opportunity to see the fish you buy.

Let's face it guys, everyone is trying to make a buck and afraid to say it. Is it respectable when sellers are charging at least double what they paid for a fish? If someone out there comes alone and compromises that potential profit suddenly we see protectionism. If I said to you, I can get you a high quality fish for a minimum deposit of less than $40 and offer you the choice to choose your fish, who in there "right mind" would say it is a poor decision???

I, and others obviously, am against providing a venue for lurkers to come along and use this forum to browse for prices and deals without registering and contributing to this site. I am also against for-profit businesses using this site to advertise for free, and that can easily happen through proxy. The admin pay for this site to run and would be crazy to engage in free advertising, imo.

How many hobbyist driven web sites can you go to where aro farms or vendors make their prices public? It's almost always done privately.

Please also note that sponsors are pre-qualified and agreed upon by mods and admins, so not just any flim flam fly by nighter can set up shop and end up embarrassing the admin.

There's a lot of work and often much travel involved to source out some of the contacts that Theo has made over the years. Do you really expect him to simply give it up for anyone and everyone just because they want the info?

There's nothing to stop anyone from sourcing out their own contacts and doing their own group buys on their local fish forums. There's nothing forcing people to be members here.

No one here is trying to get rich. I think we all do much better at our actual jobs.
 

xenon240

New Member
Why all the pessimism, no where did I refer to letting just anyone start group buys.

Yes there should be checks to validate the integrity of the organizer. First and formost is the participation on this forum.

Gerry, if you wanted to start a grouop buy would there be any concerns from anyone???
 

Marowana420

New Member
i agree with exnon, mostly.
i think there is alot of work and risk to organize a group buy. organizers should be rewarded for their time and effort.
a rating system or buyer's feedback would be beneficial to the sponsors here, rather than trying to muscle someone out of here. there are lots of members that will leave great feedbacks for dragonfish. most of us perfer pets from reputable dealers.

or maybe this site can be sponsored by porn....
 

bcarlos

Member
Agree with Gerry. If anyone thinks that you can simply contact a farm like Maju and get the prices that Theo is getting, you're off your rocker. A lot of money, travel and trust has been invested in making these relationships, and the same model should ring true here in the form of sponsorship. We've got a network of trustworthy, experienced and knowledgable folks in here all across the country. If they're interested in organizing regional group buys, there is no reason why they can't pay a sponsorship fee to be afforded the opportunity to do so.
 

RTG_Gerry

Super Moderator
Why all the pessimism, no where did I refer to letting just anyone start group buys.

Yes there should be checks to validate the integrity of the organizer. First and formost is the participation on this forum.

Gerry, if you wanted to start a grouop buy would there be any concerns from anyone???

I hope there wouldn't be any concerns, but I'm not just anyone. ;)

If I come across as cynical, that's my nature. I work with drug addicts for a living. ;)

I'll play ball with whatever is decided here. At the end of the day, it's all good. :)
 

arowanaclub.ca

Administrator
Staff member
It is clear we need rules and a system for all future group buy organizers to follow. After consideration, here is what I propose:

1. Install trade rating system for members

2. For high end group buys, Aro/ray importers or farms should become sponsors of this site; this will ensure a level of accountability that goes beyond an anonymous poster trying to set up a one time group buy. Even if a forum member wants to do only a single import, hopefully the farm they are importing from wants to do more in future. Thus, I think the farms themselves should be the ones to provide sponsorship for this site. A sponsorship fee of a few hundred dollars could go a long way to demonstrate commitment to servicing the Canadian market.

3 a) Any forum member is free to organize a regional group buy from a forum sponsor.
b) For fish or products that are not available from current sponsors, anyone can organize a group buy.

4. The entire group-buy section of the site wil be open only to logged-on members.

5. PM's are to stay private unless you have the expressed permission of the sender to share the information.

6. All funds collected from sponsorship will be used to first pay off the web-hosting and software costs for this site; any money left over is to be divided amongst the moderators.

In relation to this, I thank Oliver for sponsoring this site on behalf of www.belowwater.com and Bret for spsonsoring the site on behalf of www.shineaquatics.ca (and indirectly Pang Long).

Again, thanks to all for participating in this discussion. Final comments or questions?
 

chen88

Super Moderator
Best way to show our appreciation to the sponsors is to buy from them! Especially the two we have now.
 
Top