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EVERYONE PLEASE READ! We need marketplace info.

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baldylox

As the title states, we need info about our marketplace.  I have had several members ask me about possibly going back to the old setup we had on the old forums and reasons why.  I just talked to Averis about this and he asked me to start a thread and try to get as many users input on this as I can so we can figure something out.

 

Basically our new marketplace seems to have lost almost all traffic.  I know it used to be a big thing here and it drove traffic to the site often.  It also allowed the finding of cool stuff to be easier and to also possibly not limit users as much with posting as the new version.

 

So what I want from everyone who reads this is their opinion of what they think on the new marketplace versus the old one.  If you weren't here for the old one then you can let me know if you have any issues/likes/dislikes with the marketplace now.

 

PLEASE keep things civil and constructive.  Averis and I are trying to make things easier and better for everyone who wants to buy and sell here.  I'll let this run for about a week to see what comments we get and then go from there.  I thank you in advance for your input and help.  :)

 

 

Billy

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I gave up counting the girls I own, they keep multiplying and won't stop.

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Cauldroness

I would vote for the old marketplace!

With all items in one post, there are many seller benefits:

  • Easier for the seller to post items to sell, especially if they have lots of stuff
  • Makes it more worthwhile to post lower-priced items (especially sub-$5), because you only have to write out your selling & shipping policies ONCE for essentially an infinite number of items to sell -- having to do this again and again and again for each item makes it not worth posting cheaper items
  • Especially for lots of smaller items, you can just share them all in one photo without necessarily having to sell them as a set
  • No expiration date means sellers don't have to worry about post expiring, and they can keep items up until they sell
  • Sellers can also easily offer combo discounts! Buy 5 items, get 10% off, etc.

Buyers also see many benefits:

  • Easy to see if a single seller is offering multiple items you want... I won't pay shipping for one $5 item, but if a seller has 10 low-priced items I want, sure -- shipping is now worth it!
  • Easier to browse lots of items all in a single thread then opening up each one individually

I posted a lot of items for sale on the old forum, but I can't remember if I've bought or sold anything on the new one? Probably not?

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whitewhale

I totally forgot there was a Marketplace function. I assume it's home (tab) -> shopping? Might as well rename "shopping" to "marketplace" and put a conspicuous "marketplace" button above the "Recent Topics" element, or somewhere else on the front page.

Also, it may be nice to allow new members to browse "shopping" (but not buy) without being a full member. It would allow new people and potentially some passerby to see what's on offer so to keep it in mind or even before committing to this site.

Edited by whitewhale
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Monty

I agree with everything Cauldy said. I preferred the other one by far, was nicer to browse and seemed easier on sellers selling a lot. I can see listings on the current marketplace barely get views.

I also have been frustrated that the current system doesn’t allow feedback unless it was via the actual marketplace. Even if I still bought something from something on the forum, like a commission for example, I can’t give them feedback unless their sale was an actual marketplace post. On the old forum, I would have just been able to use the thread ID for feedback.

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Subaru

I miss the old "One Thread Per User" type threads!
The new marketplace is nice, but the extra bells and whistles made it feel a little counterintuitive for sellers who have a large amount of items. 

I didn't really understand the functionality of advertisements/listing expiring.....

The new feedback system was extremely confusing to use. I didn't know I had to delegate a specific forum user when "completing" the listing.

 

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finnleo

I guess the old style marketplace did do things to appeal to peoples attraction for fleamarket style tables ... which I personally did like -- stuff to browse through, and the relative ease of negotiating bulk deals for instance.

But one thing I have noticed from day one as a ex buyer current browser only, that some active sellers on the old marketplace didnt even try with the new one.

Was the one item per post really that big of a dealbreaker to not even try? -- or was there other things at play. (I dont remember did backers get some perks in terms of the marketplace, since I dont sell, so dunno.)

I also wonder did the purging of trade feedback do things to peoples enthusiasm, especially the more active folk who's feedbacks were in or near triple digits.

So, all in all... will the sellers even come back even if things were made easier? -- Especially since it was mentioned in the Good stuff thread that there are other trade routes established

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by finnleo

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Chise

absolutely everything Cauldy said

Making one post with all the items was much easier. Especially if you're like me who suddenly has like a literal box of small things and making a separate listing for each one is insane
Do not even understand how to leave feedback on the new system

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OccultBeast

I've only used the new Marketplace and only as a buyer, and I also only really have experience using Den of Angels' Marketplace to compare to, but the new Marketplace system definitely seems too complicated for what it's worth.  I think some organization could be great (like having broad sections for DD, MDD, Smart Doll, Off-Topic dolls, etc), but otherwise allowing sellers to just have a sort of 'catch all' thread of their own to update and bump when they have new items for offer seems like a better system for a forum setting such as this.  I can agree with others' opinions on having to create a listing for each item being too intimidating and time-consuming with the current setup.  Also, it seems like the new Marketplace system is just not user-friendly, so I'd definitely cast my vote for a more 'traditional style' forum Marketplace, and a standard Feedback Thread system as well.

I do still wholeheartedly think that it should remain exclusive to registered members with accounts that meet the requirements, though.  It ensures the most trustworthy users, both for sellers and buyers.  It's really not hard to meet the requirements for this forum, especially compared to DOA!

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MadQueenHarmony

I wasn't here for the old marketplace, but from what everyone is saying it sounds pretty good!


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Veravey

I never saw the old marketplace, but as a new member I'd appreciate a more active market. I'll be looking to get discontinued Smart Dolls down the road so the more listings we get, the better. Thanks for looking into this.


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Jezrah

While I am still willing to list things for sale in the new marketplace, I pretty much only list items that will sell individually for a decent price, or it's not worth the time to list it for me. Especially since you can sometimes have items that might not sell right away on their own, but might have sold as a toss in with something else.

With the listings expiring regularly- rather than keeping the items for sale fresh, it just seems to have killed people's will to have listings at all since the relisting takes too much effort and there's a limited number of relists before you have to wait to repost it. I get that the reasoning behind this was to keep down the number of items that no one seems to want, but it also causes more work.

The feedback system is ok, though as @Monty said, it does limit things to marketplace purchases only. My issue was with not realizing that a thread would be locked for leaving feedback if I didn't designate the buyer before the post expired. The timing of this went against my instinct since I needed to close the post before the package arrived with the buyer, which is my personal benchmark for a completed sale.

I don't know for sure if people will come back to our marketplace if it is changed to be like the old one, since many have moved on with how they sell things. But right now what we have as a whole isn't working as well.

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Gallye

I've actually been thinking about the various forms of marketplace recently, and I came to the conclusion that the one-item-per-post thing - like here and on DoA - works pretty well in two cases: when someone is trying to sell a whole doll, or when someone is looking for something specific.

(For example, the other day I was putting together an outfit, and I realized I wanted a pair of red flat-soled shoes to complete it - I was able to find just what I needed on DoA in about five minutes just by going to the right subforum and looking through the images on the left-hand side, which would not have worked if I needed to sift through a whole bunch of aggregate sales posts to find red flats.)

The big problem, as far as I can tell, is that it requires so much extra work on the part of the seller that it doesn't feel worthwhile to list anything but the big items. It barely feels worth the time to list a $20 wig; I'm definitely not going to spend the time to list a $5 shirt, and if I have seven shirts I want to get rid of? Wow, no. Aggregate sales threads feel better for casual browsing and also make it easier to throw in 'one more thing', but they do make it harder to find specific items.

I don't know. I don't have a solution. Maybe keep the current marketplace for big things like dolls and doll heads and then allow aggregate posts for smaller items?

 

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Tierparkzone

I agree with @Gallye on the fact that - as a buyer - it is much easier to find stuff, if everything is listed separately. However if we barely get any items listed because it's impractical for sellers, that doesn't help much.

As I understand, our forum software is a pretty sophisticated piece of code. I wonder if there is an option to activate support for listing templates or batch listing a bunch of items in one setup. That could make it practical for everyone.

Also selecting the category from a dropdown before the actual listing form comes up seems a bit roundabout (needs more mouse clicks). Can't it just be integrated into the actual form or are the forms for different categories actually different as well?

Then, while I think it is great that marketplace and forum are kept separate, I'd say for newer members it isn't all that obvious how to access it in the first place. As long as you're just using the forum (which is the only thing new members can do) you don't need to pay attention to the title bar. Once you become a full member you're still conditioned to ignore the title bar and it may take quite a while before you realize that the button "Marketplace" has now appeared up there. Maybe another button that links to the front page of the marketplace, just above the block on the right side that contains "Featured Adverts".

Finally I'd say the expiry of listings is causing more confusion than good. That's probably worth turning off.

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Cauldroness

I'd like to point out that the "one item per post" style that DoA also uses has also destroyed their Marketplace as well, even though their marketplace still uses traditional sales threads embedded directly in the main forum rather than the weird sales post feature that ours uses. Sure it might make it easier for buyers to find things... but there are fewer things for them to buy, too.

(And actually, I think it actually makes things WORSE for "browser-style" buyers for myself. If a seller has 50 items, and each is a separate listing, I have to look at fifty separate windows to see what all they're selling before if I can figure out that they have enough $5-$10 items to make the $15 shipping cost worth it. When it's all one thread, then I can just scroll through it all in one window.)

The old DoA marketplace, when they still allowed aggregate sales posts, was incredibly active. Yes, buyers had to do a little more digging to find stuff, but there was also just so much stuff to browse through! And most of the time, I was discovering stuff I didn't know I wanted until I saw it and went "Oh wow, I must have that!" (as opposed to looking for specific items). I used to buy a ton of things off the marketplace and now... I can't remember the last time I bought or sold anything there. In fact, I am actively looking for 12mm eyes and have been checking the forum for the past several months. The most recent listing is over a month old. There are only two pages of listings, total. It didn't used to be like this!

I've also noticed that the "one item per post" seems to have resulted in prices creeping upwards, too? Like the stuff on DoA is SO expensive now... Experienced sellers only list their most expensive items because it's too much time/effort to list their cheaper items individually. New sellers come along, see the high prices, and start listing their own stuff at quite high price points. Repeat this cycle a few times and suddenly a basic white t-shirt is listed for $28.

I'd vote a marketplace that uses sales threads, maybe allowing big items (full dolls, bodies and heads) to each have their own thread, and then one aggregate thread for everything else (clothes, shoes, wigs, eyes, etc.) per person. Each group order and split would also be a separate thread, since it doesn't make sense to mingle those, either.

I actually have one of those under-the-bed storage totes full of stuff I need to sell, but posting it all one-by-one is such a pain that I just... ignore it and hope maybe I'll be able to sell some of it whenever in-person meets can resume. But if I could just slap it all in one thread, maybe I'd finally get around to posting it online.

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Yumeiro

The only issue with the old one is that the threads were poorly updated, or that the thread title remained (due to people replying to the threads). So when searching for something, or just browsing, you'd get lots of results for already-sold items.
So for that reason I like the new marketplace. But overall it was nicer with the old, were you could see it all in one place, per person.

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Cydril

I never saw the old MP here, but as someone who uses DoA MP a lot, I find this current marketplace confusing. The time limits, the stuff still sold (?) showing up and the scrolling photos are harder to navigate than a simple title list and click. I personally DO like the one item per listing rule, but that only works well of the MP is broken up into parts. (Like different sections for dolls, wigs, clothes etc.) I know that the MP can be split up like that, but when you hit the marketplace top page, it doesnt seem organized.

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Selenae

Agreeing with @Cydril here. The current MP is a complete mess. But, on the other hand, even if the old MP were put back into place I don't see myself using it simply because selling on Discord, Instagram and FB is much, much faster. On these places I've had things sell within minutes, not weeks or months. It would honestly be to my detriment to use the MP here since the community is so tiny. And that's fine for chatting, but not for selling things.

Edited by Selenae

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baldylox

I knew this would get some replies.  😉 

 

So it seems that the overwhelming response is that the old marketplace was better and easier for everyone involved.  It also seems that most people find the newer MP more difficult to understand and post in as well as keep up with.  

 

I'm going to let this thread continue for a bit more to see if we get more replies but I do want everyone to understand something and this quote below really makes the point well:

 

3 hours ago, Yumeiro said:

The only issue with the old one is that the threads were poorly updated, or that the thread title remained (due to people replying to the threads). So when searching for something, or just browsing, you'd get lots of results for already-sold items.
So for that reason I like the new marketplace. But overall it was nicer with the old, were you could see it all in one place, per person.

 

THIS.  ALL DAY LONG.  

 

Read that again.  

 

Sellers NEED to update their sales posts EVERY TIME THEY SELL AN ITEM.  If you don't, it causes confusion and gets messages in my inbox complaining about it.  😉  It also deters potential buyers from buying from you because it can make you look slack or lazy or like you don't care.  So if things turn to where we reinstate the old style MP, we'll have to put some rules in place where sellers must update their sales posts whenever they sell something.  Otherwise things will get out of hand and cause issues for buyers.

 

My biggest issue with moderating the old forum was the MP.  It took up 90% of my time when I was checking the forum and making sure things were going smoothly.  Most of that time was clearing out loads of bump posts..... every day those dang bumps would have me deleting previous ones so the sales threads stayed current but didn't have 3 pages of bump posts.  And while bumping a sales post daily is totally fine and complies with the rules, keeping up with that on my end was difficult.

 

But..... once I had all the older ones with pages of bumps cleared, keeping up with new bumps wasn't so bad.  And now that we have another moderator to help out, things would be easier to handle.  Now it sounds like I'm complaining about bringing back the old MP but I'm not.  I too actually preferred the old one to the new one.  :)  I just wanted everyone to know what issues we had with it on the staff use end of it and what we'd need from members to kind of help us and themselves out a little.

 

Keep the comments coming!

 

Oh and one other thing......

 

I am going to be clearing the photos of dolls from the main banner soon and will be asking for new submissions for them!  So expect fresh new faces up there for all to see!  :) 

 

 

 

Billy

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I gave up counting the girls I own, they keep multiplying and won't stop.

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Noxxbunny

Maybe the new MP rule can change to bumping every 2-3 days or something similar? I always felt that the old MP never moved so fast that daily bumping was really even needed? If it causes less strain on the mods for cleaning, it may be worth changing up.


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Deyja

I wasn't around for the old marketplace, but to me this ones seems very lacking I guess. It's not eye catching or attention grabbing. I've glanced through it but didn't find it super easy to use. I'd love an alternative to Facebook as I am trying to lessen how much I use it, so if the old marketplace was better I'm all for it.

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Jezrah

On the subject of bumping, I wonder if there's anyone who knows how DoA managed to instate their current system, where you just click a button to auto bump your thread without having to actually reply to your topic anymore. I imagine that if we could do something similar it would save mod work.

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jadepixel

Pretty much agreeing with everyone else that the old system was more user friendly and simple and would love a return to something similar. If the day arrives that there's an overwhelming amount of marketplace content to moderate, then there's always the possibility of re-enabling the module we have currently.

It's also difficult to find the current Marketplace when it gets hidden to a submenu on Mobile browsers. Whatever the solution ends up being, a mobile-friendly option would be ideal!

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NeeP

I admit that as a buyer, I prefer the old marketplace.  I would pick and choose multiple items from the same seller, and make purchase arrangements.
The new system is a bit disappointing for me to use, especially with the ads having expiration dates.  For instance. When I look at the Smart Doll category, it says there are 21 ads, but when I look closer, there is only 1 active advert.   So, maybe it’s a bit misleading as well?

I potentially would like to sell some items, like SmD frame parts, DD eyes, etc, but it would indeed be a hassle to list everything individually...

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hellFlower

I've never actually used the Marketplace here, just browsed, but I can agree with the others that it can be a little hard to use at times. I've browsed the DoA Marketplace as well and I find that I like the forum format much better. The DoA Marketplace is also on the front page of the forums so it's much easier to check if any of the categories I'm interested in have had any activity, compared to this one where it feels a little hidden away on a separate page. And even then, if I want to look at all the categories here, it's another click to yet another page to view them. I do quite like the "What's New" and "Expiring Soon" sections though. Being able o easily look at all of a user's adverts from their profile is also so much better than having to manually search for someone's username on DoA.

From the sounds of it, I also think I'd prefer the one item per listing style since I like the organisation of having different sections for different types of items, but I can see where having multiple items per listing would be really useful as well. This forum does have a tagging system, so I wonder if it would be possible to do something with that to get the best out of both systems.
Like maybe if you're selling say, a pair of eyes, you tag your sales post with "Eyes" and that way anyone who is looking for eyes can search via the tag instead of having to go through individual posts. We could have a specific list of tags for everyone to use (or - I don't know if this is possible - a list of tags to select from when creating/editing your post) so that everything is consistent. Not sure how well this idea would actually work though.

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Lynn

I have no experience of this forums marketplace, old or new. I think marketplace should be in the shopping section. Now the whole shopping area seems to be divided in two and it's rather confusing. Also, where is the feedback of the marketplace? I can't seem to find it. There should be a section where everyone has a thread for their feedback.

It seems like we need some sort of a penalty system, too. 😅 Like, for example, if you break the rules, you have a warning. For a three warnings, you have a ban from the marketplace for a certain period of time.

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