I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl.
This may be news to some of you but...The Camera business has a long history of scams, crooks, and cheats. Some of these guys are second generation pros. (Both as photographers and crooks.) They learned from their daddys, like my daddy taught me to watch out for them. (One doesn't stay innocent for long growing up just outside of NY. Especially if used photographic equipment is involved.)
I have bought and sold a number of items here, but nothing in the last year. Nobody ever left feed back for me and I never left it for them - it wasn't needed. It's where photographers sold to other photographers. The crooks like places like this. They are NOT Nikonians. At least not in spirit. Big deal. XXXX who will probably come back as YYYY may be reading this and getting a good laugh out of it. A $25 membership lets the Sharks in with the Goldfish. Cheap at twice the price.
Nikonians is no longer a small internet town where everybody knows everybody else and we don't steal from one another. From what I have been reading here tonight you already know this. Moral outrage will get you no place. The shock in the eyes of the lamb means nothing to the lion.
Now the question is whats to be done about it. A serious rating system? The problem is the most honest of us. The guy who sells a lens or two a year will not have enough feed back. The dealers will have pleanty. (I'm sure there are some legitmite dealers here, if not, they will be. Cheaper then E-bay.)
Posting is one form of protection. Somebody who posts a lot will have something to loose - their reputation. But even this has holes. I bought and sold some expensive items from honest Nikonians who don't post.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#1. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0sabre Nikonian since 31st Dec 2006Thu 06-Mar-08 10:06 AM
Your summary of the situation is correct. It is sad that a few dishonest people (who are probably reading this and sneering at us) are spoiling things for all the perfectly honest members in our community.
Choosing a way around this problem without incurring extra costs and complicated administration is almost impossible -- but the thieves know that and I am sure they are delighted to know this dilemma plays straight into their deceptive hands.
The only real way around the problems would be for Nikonians to expand the forum into a paid-for service, with payment and goods being brokered through a safe handling facility for a nominal fee. For example, buyer sends money to Nikonians, seller sends lens to Nikonians, payment and lens are forwarded to intended recipients and Nikonians gets a fee for the service. HOWEVER, this kind of defeats the intention of this informal selling forum and Nikonians might not want to extend its services to provide this type of service anyway. Also, what fee would be charged and how would that affect the value-for-money aspect of buying in this forum? And what about the complexities of a seller in country A selling to a buyer in country B? It would all get too difficult too quickly and if such a service was only provided for the majority of members (USA), the rest of the membership would feel left out in what should should be a global community.
For now, I am going to continue to use the buy/sell forums. I have purchased off some excellent Nikonians whose integrity is above and beyond reproach - I don't mind singing their praises - Brian Tilley for example! However, I will steer well clear of anybody who is new or relatively unknown in our community. It's a sad situation, but there just does not seem to be any way round this.
Steve (Bedfordshire, England)
My Nikonians Gallery- please visit and leave a comment
A Nikon in the hand is worth two in the bag!
#3. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 1antca Registered since 05th Feb 2007Thu 06-Mar-08 02:05 PM
Well, I don't usually contribute to the posts much, but if someone has a Granny Weather wax quote I can't help it.
The scammers should be called Feegles (like to drink, fight and STEAL) and we should all yell "CRIVENS" when we see them. A deadicated possitive and negative feedback thread would at least help (not fix).
D70s and not enough lenses!
#23. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 1PeteZ28 Registered since 02nd Oct 2007Fri 07-Mar-08 03:43 AM
The sad thing is, I sent Nikonians an E-mail a few months ago suggesting, and outlining, exactly such a system that I have seen sucessfully used on other sites. The premise is simple; start a seperate forum for feedback. Start a thread, and other members can leave feedback for you in that thread. Then you can just link the feedback thread with your ad. Yes it sucks for the "newbies" with no feedback, but something has to be done or one might as well close the entire "want to sell" forum.
#2. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
>Posting is one form of protection. Somebody who posts a lot
>will have something to loose - their reputation. But even this
>has holes. I bought and sold some expensive items from honest
>Nikonians who don't post.
I totally agree. I, for one, was buying my used equipment even before I became a member of Nikonians, and therefore was not able to leave feedback. After numerous deals without any problems, I decided to become a member of this great community. Unfortunately it takes a few bad eggs to spoil this community.
#4. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
Agree with your thinking and dialog...I feel that the join-in fee is much to low
It should start at $110.00 and up from there.....the true Nikonians will understand and the "others' may fall apart....
We really are a great group, but the moderators have to take more care as to whom is allowed and more detailed info on the individual...
My @ cents...
#6. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 4Bump57 Nikonian since 01st Apr 2007Thu 06-Mar-08 03:17 PM
This type of thing has been a problem on the internet for a long time and it’s everywhere not just Nikonians. Like was stated some of these guys are pros and know the system well.
Raising the price of admission to Nikonians is not the answer. I mean think about it. If you are a thief and you know you can make a couple of thousand dollars in one particular forum then spending 100 bucks is peanuts.
Using a person’s post count is not an answer either. I am a good example of that. I have been here for over a year and a half and a member for about six months. I think I have a little over 50 posts, I know not much but I am one of the most honest people you would ever meet.
For the people that chose to be scammers/thieves there lives and identities on the forums are always changing and to keep track of these changes for any public forum would be almost impossible. The one thing I can think of that doesn’t change for them is their social security number!
Just thinking out loud here but maybe Nikonians could make it a little more difficult to get into the buy/sell forum.
Make the buy/sell forum members only with a separate signup with the same user name but different password. One where you have to be a member of Nikonians to begin with and then request a lot more personal info.
Have an additional membership fee say another 25 bucks which may help the Nikonians staff process the new member ship.
Have new members full Name
Home phone number
Work phone number
Current address with verification: Nikonians could do this buy sending the new member a question by snail mail with an answer to be placed in the application to complete the sign up process.
Maybe make it mandatory that all members of the buy/sell forum have a PayPal account. With this you could request an additional address verification by having the new member send the 25 dollar member ship fee via PayPal.
How about a driver’s license number that could be background checked?
Then lastly how about a social security number?
I am sure there maybe other info I don’t have listed above that would help and I know the last two items I listed are a little drastic but it would help to keep our buy/sell forum a little safer and I for one would be willing to do so.
#8. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 6
#9. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 6Thu 06-Mar-08 03:29 PM
Here's a solution I thought of overnight.
Place a locked thread on top of the forum where we can leave feedback. That way they are not all over. If NikonXYZ doesn't sell anything for a few months his good feed back would be lost in a sea of posts.
Verifing ID will not work. These people are not using their own. With nothing more then a name and SS number, you can be me and I can be you, so that's one item I'm not giving to any forum. (My health provider managed to loose a lap top loaded with them, including mine.)
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#22. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 9sparky16 Registered since 25th Sep 2007Fri 07-Mar-08 12:50 AM
I strongly agree with OP's idea of having a sticky thread where everyone can leave positive feedback. I have been looking at other forum(FM), and I love it's feedback system. It's feedback thread has 1719 pages as of this posting. Each page has about 25 feedbacks. Quite a few feedbacks! (here is the link if you want to peek : http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/board/10 - this may not work for non members)
I am not trying to promote another forum, but with it's easy to use search feature, anyone can find whomever's feedbacks you want in no time. I have to agree, even with the feedback system, they still have problems just like any other place on the net. But it will definitely help.
I don't believe raising the membership fee to any amount will deter any would be scammers. I also don't agree with requiring new members to provide Social Security Number or any other personal ID number. The web is just too dangerous place to leave anyone's important information. That will be asking more and bigger trouble, IMO. I will never give out my SSN to anyone, any entity unless I absolutely have to. But we can try verifying the member's physical address and phone number with US mail. But we have to consider the fact that a lot of people do not have land line anymore.
Just my thought.
#7. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
I am a new member here and enjoy the community. I have already bought and sold a few things on this forum and appreciate being able to get a good deal from an honest person now and then. However, I have recently retired and am on social security and because of that fact would feel that $110 a year would be more of a luxury than I would be comfortable with. I am a member of another camera site that is mainly canon but also nikon and most other mfg also and the cost there is nothing, but they do have guidelines for buying and selling that are more stringent than Nikonians. Just my .02 worth.
Western burbs of Chicago
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#10. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
There are many analogus situations, gun legislation for instance.Increased rules will, diminish yes, irradicate never. Vigilance is our own responsibility.
No amount of an entrance fee will dissuade the wrong element if the possible gains exceed the fee. With the prices of much of digital equipment, I don't think 500.00 would keep them out. It would although, reduce membership to the point of Nikonian collapse, due to loss of revenue. These growing pains, are inherent with the expansion of the Web. Now people don't have to leave their house to rob you. We all know, the reason why we shop the buy and sell is to save money over buying and selling with brick and mortar retail. Therefore there is always and increased risk, when operating outside of a sure thing. So I am not surprised, just disappointed. We all know the names that pop up over and over, the regulars, here and other forums. I try to stick with them, not letting my NAS get the better of me, at my own peril. I am sure it will get increasingly difficult to avoid detection in the coming years for the guilty. Until then be careful when dipping your toe in the water.
#11. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 10Bump57 Nikonian since 01st Apr 2007Thu 06-Mar-08 04:11 PM
Ya………..you guys are probably right with the ID verification, it’s just sad & frustrating to see things like this to happen to good people. I guess my idea was just to make it more difficult to get into our buy/sell forum. It might not make it 100% safe but it would sure better the odds.
#12. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 11anyholt Registered since 21st Jul 2004Thu 06-Mar-08 04:40 PM
This is a good dialogue, along with the other similar posts in the forums. I'm interested to hear from Nikonians management about this. What are your thoughts?
I doubt the nikonians admins want to do anything that increases their liability, and I doubt they want to make this a full-fledged ebay wannabe (from a security standpoint, i mean). I think they'd just as soon shut down the WTB/WTS forum (which I hope doesn't happen). But they HAVE to do something. Even just a simple feedback system or dedicated feedback thread would help users make informed decisions.
I know that for me the member's post count and feedback/references let me know if I should be working with him/her or not. Will I pass up honest nikonians who haven't sold much yet? Probably, but i guess that's the cost of safety.
Oh, for the record: I DO NOT THINK RAISING THE MEMBERSHIP DUES IS THE ANSWER.
A Nikonian in Texas
D3, D200, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8 VR, 60mm f/2.8 macro
#13. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
The only real solution is swift and instant retribution. Immediate criminal prosecution. They also do not care about reputation. The one result that inspires an immediate response is a jail cell. If the Nikonians community bands together and makes fraud and theft by deception general knowledge and prosecutes for those acts, you will see very little of this type of behavior in the future. As for reaching as the Nikonian network is a huge advantage in real time intel is available. Learn to use that asset. Don't be a goldfish, be a shark!
#15. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
I agree with everyone that something needs to be changed with the "sell" forum but I am not sure what.
I do wish there was a way that buyers and sellers could easily leave feedback for each other besides having to being a paying member and post a message that will eventually get lost in the messages of yesteryear.
To be honest, I haven't been a member here that long, especially compared to many of the regular members. I haven't been a Nikon user that long and didn't know about this site until last fall. I also have not posted a ton of posts either. I read this forum daily and contribute when I feel I can. I don't post for the sake of posting. I take a little longer to build up a repoire with other members. Does that mean I am not an honest person that just wants to use the forum to sell things? No. That is just who I am.
I have sold lenses, a camera, and a laptop on this forum without any problems. I have also not had any feedback posted about those transactions. Most probably because the buyer was not a paying member and couldn't post on the "sell" forum but maybe also because sometimes the buyer doesn't think about it. How many of us remember to provide feedback on ebay, much less on this forum. I know there are times I don't. Because there isn't separate feedback messages on my transactions (both as buyer and seller), does that mean I am not trustworthy? Definitely not but then again I am biased and know I am trustworthy.
The problems that have happened lately is making it harder to trust the "sell" forum and that is understandable. Exchanging phone numbers may help provide some sense of security and having a conversation with the seller can also help to ease our minds.
But, the Nikonian community has to band together and support each other. Provide the feedback for each other and post if you see someone you bought from selling something else to help reassure potential buyers. This also is good for buyers as well because I had a transaction where I sent a lens and the buyer sent the cashier's check on the same day. We trusted each other and it went perfectly. There are many good, honest people here on Nikonians. We just have to acknowledge all of them.
Play Like A Champion Today
"Remember the qualities that form the foundation of
success: discipline, self-confidence, determination and perserverance"
#16. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 15Dickerson Registered since 03rd Oct 2006Thu 06-Mar-08 06:59 PM
I too agree that something has to be done, and quickly. This is a great site and I have purchased a couple of items with no problems. However, I have been ripped off BIG time on E-Bay and it's a real kick in the gut. It becomes a two-edged sword. Now when I purchase an item on various sites, if I don't receive instant communication with the seller, I become eteremely paranoid. Problem is,what can be done about it? There have been some excellent suggestions on here, but I don't think any of them would really keep the scammers at bay. Damn shame!
#17. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 16bob28 Nikonian since 25th Mar 2007Thu 06-Mar-08 09:33 PM
I would like to hear some of the ideas and opinions from the administrators to this, and many other similar threads I have read lately. Much to many!!!
When I first joined last year I read about photography, now every page, or two, has a problem with a thief or a fellow Nikonian getting screwed.
I would like to see a separate page for feedback, it means something, but it's not and end all. It would help in keeping all the feedback ratings in one place, and out of the info forums. What a shame our forum has turned into this by the few, it's sad
I keep learning and learning!!
#30. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 15
>I agree with everyone that something needs to be changed with
>the "sell" forum but I am not sure what.
How about a sticky at the top of the forum that mods can add and subtract names of sellers/buyers that have good transactions? Leaving feedback is great but sometimes that latest positive or negative feedback could be pages back.
----------------A Photo records history better than the written word----------------
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#18. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
I certainly agree with Mark V's commentary.
However, I do feel like I want to reach out shake a few people by the shoulders and remind them... this is the internet. It's a feeding ground. It should be the pinnacle of buyer beware. A thief has no concerns with dipping into your pocket or purse to steal your wallet while breathing down your back on line at the grocery store. Why wouldn't these same bad people prosper under the anonymity of screen names, hot-mail email addresses and Western Union cash delivery?
Even a member with a boat load of posts can be virtually unknown.. How many accounts can be opened under the same ISP? Hmmm...Make a $50 investment..open one account at work, one at home, have a few forum conversations with yourself to up your post count, Sell a few items at a small profit while you fake a few sales with yourself and leave some great feedback, then sell off that "extra D3" you ordered to someone who is naive enough to not insist on taking additional steps to protect them self. Not a bad ROI on that $50.
I've made some great friends here...had some really excellent transactions and frankly I am proud to be a member here. But I still recognize there are plenty of lurkers for whom the internet is a playground where they come solely to rip others off.
D300, D700 and a lot of other stuff
#19. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 18ttoolan Nikonian since 17th Jul 2004Thu 06-Mar-08 11:04 PM | edited Thu 06-Mar-08 11:05 PM by ttoolan
One comment that I have is this site was not really created to buy and sell Nikon Gear. Another comment is the number of scammers really seemed to increase when they started offering trial silver memberships allowing people onto the Buy/Sell forum with no outlay of money at all. It also increased the unofficial "dealers" on the forum.
I always wanted to be somebody, now I realize I should have been more specific.
My Nikonians gallery
#21. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 19
#24. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
Excellent thoughts. I would like to suggest a few very steps that Nikonians could take that would effectively weed out a large portion of these people. The primary cloak for scammers is their hidden identity. So, the first thing that we should do is to require ever member to provide a picture ID and address, such as a drivers license, issued by a government agency. That way we know who we are dealing with and most of us would have no hesitation in providing a copy of a drivers license or, depending on where one is, a copy of a passport. Any purchaser who did not receive the item purchased could have access to the copy. That way, only very accomplished thieves with fully constructed identity thefts could cloak themselves. AND before each purchase each purchaser could inquire in the state or country of the seller whether the drivers license or passport of that person had been reported stolen.
But for $25 and a unverified fake name, it is indeed much too easy.
This method would also facilitate sales.
Trust God. Live with honor
#26. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 24Wingmeister Nikonian since 18th Feb 2007Fri 07-Mar-08 12:12 PM
>Excellent thoughts. I would like to suggest a few very steps
>that Nikonians could take that would effectively weed out a
>large portion of these people. The primary cloak for scammers
>is their hidden identity. So, the first thing that we
>should do is to require ever member to provide a picture ID
>and address, such as a drivers license, issued by a government
>agency. That way we know who we are dealing with and most of
>us would have no hesitation in providing a copy of a drivers
>license or, depending on where one is, a copy of a passport.
>Any purchaser who did not receive the item purchased could
>have access to the copy. That way, only very accomplished
>thieves with fully constructed identity thefts could cloak
>themselves. AND before each purchase each purchaser could
>inquire in the state or country of the seller whether the
>drivers license or passport of that person had been reported
>But for $25 and a unverified fake name, it is indeed much too
>This method would also facilitate sales.
>Trust God. Live with honor
I for one agree with your suggestion regarding the photo ID being on file here. That is the approach other sites (stock photo sites for one) take in order to become a contributing member. You can lurk all you want but to PARTICIPATE you must be a member... and membership requires the photo ID and address. It is a simple, low/no cost solution that would, I think, be easy to administer. The administrators need to verify the last opinion and I will be interested to hear their views on this suggestion.
Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.
Link:www.nikonians-images.com/galleries/showgallery.php?cat=500&si=&page=1&sort=1&perpage=24&password=&ppuser=126769&what=&name=&= My Nikonians Gallery
#27. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 25jbear Registered since 22nd May 2003Fri 07-Mar-08 12:50 PM
Well...that'd weed me out. Not worth it and the problem is not that big (and not growing). I've bought and sold here and elsewhere with only minor hitches, and I think this is being blown out of proportion. Of course that is my opinion...I respect yours (collectively) but I don't agree with it.
#28. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
Guys, whatever happened to the concept of cash on delivery? Why can't we just go back to that? If the buyer doesn't pay, the gear goes back to the seller. If the seller doesn't send it, no cash is paid out. What am I missing here?
#29. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 28
#31. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 29sparky16 Registered since 25th Sep 2007Fri 07-Mar-08 05:13 PM
COD is not CASH ON DELIVERY but it is short for COLLECT ON DELIVERY. What happens when it was paid with a bad check? USPS or UPS will take personal checks without any verification and just send the check they collected, not thier money order, to the sender.
#40. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 31farbster Registered since 27th Mar 2007Sat 08-Mar-08 02:52 AM
link above is to the Fedex page regarding COD.
If I read it correctly, they have 2 types.
You specify which one you want.
Secured = Money order, cashier's check or official check.
Unsecured = Personal check, money order, cashier's check, company check, official check or certified check.
Seems like a solution.
Why nikonians would want to get in the middle and hold money and ship goods is beyond me. The upside is far less than the potential liability I would think.
#41. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 40idofotos Basic MemberSat 08-Mar-08 02:38 PM
>link above is to the Fedex page regarding COD.
>If I read it correctly, they have 2 types.
>You specify which one you want.
>Secured = Money order, cashier's check or official check.
>Unsecured = Personal check, money order, cashier's check,
>company check, official check or certified check.
>Seems like a solution.
>Why nikonians would want to get in the middle and hold money
>and ship goods is beyond me. The upside is far less than the
>potential liability I would think.
I dont think COD is the answer, you might get a brick in the box and after the driver has left how would you prove thats what it was? I dont think higher membership fees will help, the reason we use the B&S is to get a good deal and used prices arent all that good anymore. We have to careful not to make this issue overwhelm the forum admin. so we should try to keep it simple. I have been very bad about leaving feedback but I guess I always had good experiences so I didnt feel like I needed it, I think we have done a very good job of policing ourselves & just need to continue. I dont think there is a way to buy or sell without some risk If we smell a rat let the admin know I think they would want to stop it as fast as possable Also just remember if it sounds to good to be true It probably is, NO Western Union, If they only accept Money orders then you should ask for a land line
use a reverse lookup on www.Anywho.com, and ask for references or ebay feedback or both
#32. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 28
Internet is full of scammers. It will NOT STOP whatever we do. It can be extremely difficult to identify them. As one of the kind Nikonians pointed out to me, this is why we have sites like http://www.ic3.gov:80/ . Despite this I am sure the majority of the transactions at Nikonians or even at eBay should be of genuine buyers/ sellers. The condition of the item described could be variable, hence the pictures become important.
Having a lot of feedback does not guarrantee to be a safer transaction. I was scammed buy an eBayer with a 99.8% positive feedback for >1000 items. At times the reputation could be overlooked by the greed!!!
The safest is to buying things in person after looking at the item. We all know it is difficult for variety of reasons. This is why we have to rely on internet shopping & accept the inherent risks associated with that!!!
#33. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 28
Just wondering if my money. Has any less worth than. The item in question... Send the item. Then I'll send my money. Cash on delivery is the answer.Only if you can test the item. Faster than UPS can drive off!!
#34. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
As a very new member, I too am saddened by what I have been reading. I have bought a few things over the years on that big auction site and was lucky. I have good feedback there, but not that much as I am not a " dealer ". I just needed something at the time.
I don't have many posts here as I am new and have been reading and learning. I joined mostly with the intent of buying some used gear as I am heading into retirement and thanks to my son have my own web-site which he solely designed and runs from his college dorm room with the purpose of posting and selling of the sports pics that I take to the very appeciative parents in the community.
I have gotten some very useful tips from this community, both just by reading the threads and some by asking questions. I have posted some pics and have every intent of buying on the site. But I will be very cautious and will be leary of anyone that hasn't been here very long and can't provide me with enough info, proof, and or contact information to satisfy me that the transaction will go off without a hitch. And thanks again to all of you that have helped and are willing to help us " novice " photographers find our place in the wonderful world of picture taking.
#35. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 34ttoolan Nikonian since 17th Jul 2004Fri 07-Mar-08 11:46 PM
That really shouldn't have changed. This forum is no safer or dangerous than it ever has been. Just hopefully we are more aware and therefore better armed to negotiate the minefield that transactions have always been.
If it's too good to be true it probably is. There's no such thing as a free lunch, and buyer beware.
I always wanted to be somebody, now I realize I should have been more specific.
My Nikonians gallery
#36. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
I concur with Mark V's comments. I've read some of the other comments as well. Certainly something needs to be done - but raising the fee to 110.00 US a year would certainly make it a luxury that I would be hard pressed to pay. And I Love the Nikonians community. I've learned a lot here. It would be a shame if people new to photography were to be locked out from gaining all this valuable and useful information to help learn the art simply because of economics.
I have bought and sold items on Nikonians with no hitch involved. I prefer to deal with people here who REALLY love photography and can appreciate the value of an item rather than going over to that auction site where everyone is looking for valuables at garage sale prices.
Going to a cash basis is not the answer either. Many of these scams are perpertrated by the seller accepting cash or money orders only. That should be a red flag to anyone considering dealing with the seller.
One possible solution is to require everyone who transacts (either buying or selling) to have a Paypal account with a validated address. And always use a regular credit card rather than a checking draft or debit card. Between the protections of your credit card bank and Paypal, you would have avenues of redress to recover your money.
I might be mistaken, but I have yet to hear of someone being scammed by a seller using Paypal.
| D300 | D200 | SB600 | 18-200mm VR | 70-300mm VR |
#37. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 36Sat 08-Mar-08 12:52 AM | edited Sat 08-Mar-08 12:53 AM by mtpenmaker
Unfortunately, people have been scammed when using PayPal and if you don't use a credit card for the purchase you can be out of luck since PayPal limits their buyer protection to $200. It's actually not hard to use PayPal for fraudulent purposes. And the scam can go either way, buyers can claim they never got the merchandise and if the seller doesn't have proof of delivery they lose out.
F4, D40, FM2n, N90s and not enough glass
#38. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
This is a very informative thread. I've been using online photography forums for close to two years. Starting with photo.net then more recently FM and now Nikonians for maybe 2-3 months or so. I've bought and sold a ton of stuff on FM and shipped some stuff blindly via "cross-shipping" for a trade or check in the mail. Heck, I got my D3 by sending my D300 + cash and guy shipped his D3 at the same time.
A lot of good suggestions have been made. I like the sticky thread option however many of us who have bought and sold have never left feedback. That is actually one of the first things I asked a seller when I got here because I noticed the lack of feedback posts. He said don't worry about it. Raising the price will deter thieves as much as the threat of a death penalty stops people from committing major crimes. If somebody can steal $4000 of your money on say a 200-400 they are not going to care about a $100 entrance fee. Think about all of the people you will lose by increasing the price. I was already paying fees to FM and Photo.net but I saw that Nikonians was similarly priced so I figured no problem. At >$100 I would probably have to think hard about it.
When I sell again I will link pics. I link pics on FM because that seems more of the culture over there so maybe that is not such a bad thing here too. I will give my username and if the buyer wants to call me up to chat no problem. I will even let you know where I work and it is easy to find me since I'm in the student directory at UW. However, I doubt I'll be giving up my drivers license or social security number unless Nikonians starts to use better encryption.
One of the things I like to see in a buyer is a link to his or her pictures or basically a filled out profile. I think we got a little too trusty and that has let a couple bad apples into the bunch. But, I'm not sure there needs to be a drastic overhaul.
I'm a newcomer so I'm not suggesting my word counts among the veterans but I think there is a fine line between attracting/retaining members and extreme identity requirements like soc sec or license numbers or high entrance fees.
#42. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 38onesickpuppy Registered since 03rd Sep 2003Sat 08-Mar-08 10:37 PM
Well.........I guess I'll throw in my nickles worth
I have been a member here, then let my subscription drop, and only renewed due to needing to sell some remaining niknon gear. I also participate in many other forums as well (big and small).
Here are some thoughts I think would work:
I like how FM site works, you get full access as a "member", but have to pay to sell and upload images. I would suggest that maybe $50 for those priveleges would be fair, since if your selling, your making some money as well.
I like how FM does a feedback on sellers/members, its a sticky on the top of the board, and you post there basic info on the deal. What we need is a measure of what the deal intales and a locked in place (not scattered through the FS threads) that can be searched for feedback.
There are some boards that require you to have a minimum of posts before you can sell on that forum....maybe that would be a great change as well.
Now dont take that FM is the only site I like, just remember that its used for illustration purposes.
I personally don't do deals where I can't verify the seller wiht the following:
successful deals (feedback)with numerous parties
full info on seller....sometimes I even call them
again, since it is the internet, we can only trust OUR OWN security in how we approach dealing blindly.
I long have not enjoyed that we can't update a thread after several days, along with not having a feedback folder. These are minor issues, but it really does make a difference on a FS thread.
With the growth of any forum, comes the responsability of the seller/buyer to use common sense and safeguards. We all know that the forum is NOT responsible, and its up to each to guard their dealings with the most stringent means to assure each deal goes smoothly.
We ALL want that smokin deal.....we ALL wish that the other guy was as honest as US....but we still need to move causiously when money is involved.
#43. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 42jbear Registered since 22nd May 2003Sun 09-Mar-08 05:10 AM | edited Sun 09-Mar-08 03:00 PM by jbear
This is my final 2 cents. I have been considering letting my membership elapse for quite a few reasons, but this would definitely be the last straw for me. I used to only sell on Ebay because I had been collecting guitars there and I was comfortable. Then I started to sell here becuase I felt like I wanted to send my gear to people I "knew." I have done this on several other sites as well. Almost all of the gear that I have has been acquired in this manner, and I have sold quite a bit as well. I have had two negative experiences total (neither one here). I do my homework and I deal with people who have been around for a while (when large sums are involved). I am polite and communicative with my sellers and buyers, and still I understand the risk involved. If I was not comfortable with that I would go to the store. This tone of thread seems unduly reactionary to me, and it makes it seem as if there has been a huge increase in fraudulent activity. I just don't see that as an accurate state of affairs. It seems analogous to the response to a shark attack...the media spews sensationalist stories about the "increase" of attacks, and the public cries out to kill all of the sharks. Then biologists say, "Hey, there aren't any more now than there have been in the past." and it blows over. Statistically, there is the smallest of chances that you will be a victim, but...the only way to be 100% sure you won't get attacked is to swim in the pool.
I submit this with due respect, and I will just sit back and see what happens, but if the price goes up I gotta say...I'm gone.
#44. "RE: I was afraid of this - the sharks are in the goldfish bowl." | In response to Reply # 0
I think eBay just suffers from too much volume and the fact that it's physically and technically impossible to accurately and fully monitor such a huge volume of transactions, listings and potential problems.
While Nikonians is still manageable in size, why not impose posting limits. What that means is simply creating a restriction on the number of buy and sell posts each day, essentially maintaining a number that the system monitors, sysops, IT staff (or whomever) can monitor for obvious problems, inappropriate payment requests, push selling, and so on. Add a system of monitoring multiple posts by individuals to prevent volume selling situations (which are favored by thieves wishing to generate quick cash by collecting for more than one item at a time), along with a membership system restriction which does not grant buy/sell privileges for 60 days.
There are other things that can be done, gradually, over some months, which are cost-effective (and in some cases relatively cost-free to the Nikonians owners), and which won't result in membership fee increases. It takes an effort of will and some hard work to plan, organize and implement effective, friendly and positive security measures, but it's certainly not rocket science. That means it can and should be done. Perhaps Nikonians has reached the point at which its owners should consider working with an online security expert?