Abusive use of ad bumping in the classifieds...

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Resident Demon
Resident Demon
Sep 22, 2009
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Naples, FL, USA

Recently I was made aware of some issues concerning members spending an apparent inordinate amount of time and effort bumping their ads within the classifieds section, sometimes to the extent that it appears they were bumping the ads on an hourly basis. I do applaud their industriousness, but from a practical standpoint, there really isn't anyway I can let that sort of practice continue. I believe potential buyers WANT to see new ads as often as possible, displaying new stuff for sale that they didn't see yesterday when they browsed through those classified sections. Chances are, that if they weren't inclined to buy what they saw yesterday, they really aren't going to be suddenly inclined to buy it today when they see it again. There is also the problem that having the same ads bumped over and over again, makes the site appear stagnant, even thought there may be lots of new ads placed, but the bumping just pushed them onto the back pages so quickly that the front page makes it APPEAR that nothing new has been added.

So, no, this really isn't a good thing for this site nor most of the people posting ads here trying to attract customers.

Furthermore, one of the few perks I am able to provide in order to entice members to become PAYING members to help support this site financially, is that the Classifieds Control Panel (which, incidentally, non paying members CAN use the basic functions of) has an added perk in that those paying members can use it to easily bump and highlight their ads from a single page. The bump/highlight function does so for a number of threads per 30 day period, and is scaled such that the higher level paid memberships get more bumps/highlights, than the lower level paid memberships. Obviously, I want this to be attractive to members in order to give them incentive to spring for a paid membership. But honestly, if non paying members just go ahead and bump their ads manually by simply making a reply to their ad (normally with nothing more than "BUMP" posted in the rely), well this sure shoots the hell out of my hopes. But honestly until I started seeing this getting WAY out of hand, I really wasn't all that concerned about the paid membership aspect of it. But now that it is out of hand, then I might as well address ALL aspects of the problem now before it gets MUCH worse.

My programmer has developed some custom coding that in effect limits replies BY the author of a classified ad thread in such a way that someone else must post in that thread before they are able to make a reply. This was done in lieu of ceasing replies completely by the author so that the author of the classified thread will be able to reply to questions within that ad to correspond to potential customers. So, say for instance Joe Blow creates a new classified ad, and wants to bump that ad after there have been no replies to it. Well, that will be blocked. Unless and until someone ELSE posts in that thread, Joe cannot reply again to that ad. But if someone ELSE posts in that ad, asking something, like "What will shipping be to zip code XXXXX?", Joe is then free to post a reply in order to be able to answer that question. And then Joe will NOT be able to make another reply until there is another reply made by someone else. See how that works?

BTW, that applies to the Paid Membership Levels as well. The only authorized method any longer to bump ads is via the function offered in the Classifieds Control Panel. Which, by the way, if you haven't stumbled on that Classifieds Control Panel yet, here is how you access it -> http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/forums/classifieds.php?. This link should be at the top of the page in your User CP page when you need it.

I will be increasing the number of allowed bump/highlights for the paid memberships shortly to make this option much more attractive to them, as the numbers I originally chose were at a time when traffic in the classifieds was much lower than it is now. Things have changed, and I need to try to keep in step with the increased needs the paid membership needs to have this fair to them for the money they spend to help out this site.

Yeah, I can hear you thinking that this is going to be easy to get around and cheat on simply by getting someone else to alternate posts with you on your ads. :NoNo: There is a new infraction in place for this sort of thing, and I have asked the mods to keep a close eye on this. The infraction level will be light at first, but increase quickly as I feel word has gotten around about this policy change. So yeah, you CAN get some free bumps before getting banned for three days. I guess for some people that's much better than paying $25....

I am considering re-enabling the Participant level membership for those people who may have only a very limited number of animals or goods to sell, but would like to at least bump that ad a few times using a legitimate method to do so.

Anyway, I'm really hoping you all will be considerate of others, and take this in the spirit I am presenting it. I'm trying to make this site as effective for as many people as possible to be able to sell what they are advertising. That means that everyone has to bend a little to share the limited resources that the first page in any classified ad forum represents. Yes, I know everyone would like THEIR ad to be at the top of the first page all of the time, but that just cannot happen. Trust me, I don't need the headaches of having to deal with something like this, so I am giving what I consider as THIS compromise a shot to see how it works out.

Also, please note that I have increased the number of bump/highlights for each of the paid membership user groups.

Contributor Level was changed from 10 to 30 per 30 day period.
Benefactor Level was changed from 50 to 150 per 30 day period.
Endowment Level was changed from 200 to 400 per 30 day period.

In case anyone is confused about how this works, this is all done via the Classifieds Control Panel, which can be accessed through your User CP page.

Each ad you bump/highlight is independent of the others, and the clock starts ticking for each ad you activate in that manner. The 30 day countdown is relevant to EACH ad separately, and this isn't a group time limit whereby at the first of the month all ads are cleared and the clock resets to 30 days. It is 30 days for EACH and EVERY ad you activate in this manner.

Again, just to emphasize this point, BUMPING is as of this moment only allowed via the Classifieds Control Panel for paid member groups. Any other bumping done will incur an infraction which can be cumulative to the point of temporarily being banned. The moderators may, at their discretion, delete either the post that causes the bump of the ad, or DELETE the entire ad if they find they are having trouble getting this point across to any particular member.


There's an ongoing discussion regarding this policy in the feedback forum...
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