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W C Greene
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OK, after reading various "pro & con" views on selling here on Freerails, I will be the big guys' "Huckleberry" and write NO SELLING ON FREERAILS. PERIOD.
I know that this will piss some off, I have been "deleted" from at least 2 websites when I called them "de-facto ebays" but I am here because the information I find is worthwhile and the modeling is the best around. I do not like to read something that looks to be something it's not...in other words, if something is for sale, it needs to be on ebay or some other place where selling is tolerated. If somebody doesn't like this attitude, just holler and bitch at me personally. Otherwise.............

Woodie C Greene

jtrain
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I agree completely with Woodie.

Besides, online forums are a terrible way to get rid of stuff.  Plenty of places online and in the real world that will accept used trains and train collections.  With a forum you've got to post, sift through the pages upon pages of posts, contact the one or two people who are generally interested, trade addresses, set up shipping, wait for a check to arrive, etc...  It's simply more trouble than it's worth.

But if you need another reason, a forum that allows stuff to be bought, traded, and sold quickly turns into an online farmer's market for train stuff.  This is a modeling forum for people to show off and discuss model trains, not Craigslist.  I can't speak for anyone else, but I'd greatly prefer the forum to be kept that way.

Pass it on, no damn selling on the site!  {putting that in my signature for the next few weeks}

I'd hate to see people get banned for trying to get rid of their stuff, so heed Woodie's warning well and go find a more appropriate platform to sell stuff. Please.

--James

Bob D
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I've never sold anything, except for some old DCS/PS2 electronics that were replaced with BPRC.  When I see somethings being offered, I wonder why they bought it in the first place L:

I don't mind individual folks who do though, I like to pick up bargains when I can.

But when I see people selling week after week and often selling brand new equipment I begin to wonder if they are individuals, or businesses trying to get around the system.

The OGR forum has a good For Sale and Wanted sub-forum, but even there I see folks who are definitely in it as a business.  OGR claims zero responsibility for transactions in those forums, so anything that goes south is handled by the participants, although the crooks usually get booted, by word of mouth, fairly quickly.  I've picked up some nice pieces off their For Sale forum.

Here's their "Rules":

The posting rules here are pretty simple:
  • OGR Forum members may post items for sale in this forum only.
  • You are allowed ONE POST PER DAY.
  • If you have multiple items to sell, put them all in a SINGLE post.
  • You must list a price for each of your items. This is not an auction site.
  • Conversations about the products being sold should be done via email, not via additional posts on the thread.
  • "Bumping" is not permitted.
    If a post is added to your thread, that will "bump" it to the top. If you do that, the entire thread may be deleted.
  • If you add or delete items from your original post or change the price(s) by a significant amount, you may add a post to the thread announcing that. We won't consider that to be a bump.
  • Do NOT post "Email Sent." or other communications like that.
    That is considered a "bump" and the post will be deleted anyway.
  • Use pictures! Items listed with pictures sell much faster than items listed without pics.

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Admin. are investigating a number of threads at the moment


They are all basically ADVERTORIALS


Commercial companies using Freerails for the purpose of free advertising



This site is called Freerails.com


Not freakin FREE ADVERTISING . COM !



:f:



Eddie

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I follow and contribute to this great forum for advise,help,ideas and inspiration which has happened many times.I think having advertising and for sale adds, how ever it is done is taking the idea of the forum away from it's purpose and lowering the standard of this forum.If I want to buy trains I go to an on- line shop or even E bay.If I need inspiration and ideas  I come here.I like it as it is...just my thoughts....Peter  :thumb:  

Helmut
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You're right when you install mechanisms to save the forum from becoming the playground for all sorts of spam and camouflaged advertising in threads. On the other hand, if I and many others would not have read e.g. DavidT's posts, some fruitful outcomes in BPRC of model railroads would not have happened here. It is difficult to handle contributions that are both very useful  how-tos and referring to the contributor's business at the same  time. Many of those are what MR in a 60's article used to call 'Basement Operators', that is hobbyists who try to market hobby-related items on a rather small scale, too. Mostly they have specialized in one aspect, have developed some techniques and tools which they found useful and timesaving, and try to reap some compensation for their efforts they think others can also benefit from.
Many forums have handled this problem by establishing a classified corner, the rules described a bit further up seem to be a good guideline for that.
Just my 2 cents.

Last edited on Thu Apr 27th, 2017 12:11 pm by Helmut

W C Greene
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It seems that these days, everyone can own a website to do with it whatever they want. If a "small time manufacturer" has something to sell, they need a site to spotlight it and promote/sell the product...but not here. I have some "dioramas" which I would like to begin selling but they are not really "model train oriented" and I will not offer them to this group. If I can find another way, others can also. Now it might be OK to post a link to a site but perhaps it should be prefaced with some type of disclaimer. This may be one of those "gray areas" or an outright "black hole".
The real problem is that something promoted for sale here and turns out to be crap might, MIGHT cause folks to condemn Freerails as being at fault for allowing this to happen. There are scammers out there, many in the model train hobby. Maybe most won't remember this but many years ago, a fellow began selling copies of SS Ltd. detail parts and kits...hell, they were worthless things made by a lousy mold maker who used the original SS parts, made "molds" and sold them in the model magazines. No internet then. After his scam was "discovered", his ads were taken off the mags but they still had to suffer readers writing about how they felt the magazines were complicit in allowing this to happen. And this is just one case of many others. That's probably why we (ME) don't want selling here. Do you see what I mean?

Woodie

pipopak
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When in doubt post at FleaBay.
Jose.

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I've been hanging out here for going on 6 years. It seems to me selling has just lately become a issue. I'm for no selling. Especially the misleading random post. Helmut mentioned DavidT.  He went about it in a different way.  It's not like he started a thread with a catchy headline just to get you to click and see his product. 
Stephen 

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Well, I am seeing something lately that makes me consider moving on. A moderator that hides behind a fake name and presumes to tell me what I can and can't watch and comment on.
I have looked at a few of these threads and can see no advert. The rules state no monetary value to be discussed here (something I agree with) however I see no sign of that on the threads I have looked at. In fact no sales pitch all all.
I have actually considered the low key interaction with suppliers of goods and services to be had here, one of the attractions of Freerails. There are opportunities I would not have known about if I was not on this site.

Sincerely
Robert Comerford
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pipopak
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The thing is, if somebody posts an ad on an otherwise sane thread, just delete the offending post and leave the rest alone. PM the offender, and in case of re-incidence boot him/her out.
My 1/2 cent.
Jose.

pipopak
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The rules state no monetary value to be discussed here

Commenting about the price of something is not advertising.
Jose.

Si.
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Hi Guys :wave:



Since Herb asked me to take on the role of Freerails 'General Manager' there has been an ongoing discussion regarding advertising.

Some of this originates from before my role as 'General Manager', some more recently.

Freerails has always been a non-commercial Site & is very unique in this respect.

I believe that the majority of Members want to keep it that way.



A number of Threads have been looked at in connection with this kind of problem.

Everything from adverts for 'online magazines', 'building kits', 'pdf downloads', 'electronic equipment', 'services' etc. etc.

Whilst Freerails is not saturated with this kind of use by Members, the problem does exist.

Some 'Members' it has been discovered, have ONLY posted adverts & nothing else !



Woodie hit the nail on the head, as far as I am concerned on this, by saying :-

" I do not like to read something that looks to be something it's not "

Many of the problem Threads have been 'thinly' veiled, as 'scratchbuilds', 'how to do its', 'video links', 'free magazine subscriptions' etc. etc.

It is blindingly obvious in ALL cases that have been looked at, the COMMERCIAL origins of the Threads in question.



John (oztrainz) and myself have discussed the matter, at great length on the phone.

The matter has also been discussed in the 'Crew Forum' by the entire Freerails Crew as well.

If any Members would like to comment on the situation regarding advertising & product placement Threads, it would be good to hear.

Bear in mind, someone has to make decisions about these things, so 1 rule for 1 thing, & 1 rule for another, isn't a realistic option.



I would welcome all & every comment on these matters from Members.

The debate has continued, somewhat tediously to be honest.

But keeping Freerails advert & product-placement free, is worth talking about.

The vast majority of Members are well aware of the commercial-free aspect of Freerails & respect that when Posting.



L:



Si.



BTW ... None of this affects 'genuine' Members, Posting for example ...

" I like this Tamiya kit & got it for $xx.xxc " etc.

This is a recommendation, is a part of modeling, & obviously Posted by a 'modeler', not an 'advertiser'.

I'm sure that's fairly obvious.

In other words, this does NOT effect what 99.9% of Members are Posting.




pipopak
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Any free magazine has advertisements inside but the mag itself is free. Are links to the mag itself allowed?. Something like s scale resource dot com/
Jose.

Last edited on Thu Jun 8th, 2017 07:11 pm by pipopak

W C Greene
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I'm not against links to free mags like MRH, etc. Just selling stuff here. Now if somebody wants to tell about a Tamiya (etc) 1:48 Jeep kit and describe it and maybe even show a how-to about assembly, that's OK by me also. But if the poster includes "this kit (whatever) is available from me or maybe my website for $XXXXX" then I would consider the post to be selling something. Hell yes, I have lots of crap that I would love to get rid of for money but I won't use this forum to hawk my junk. Now would I post a link to my website, blog, whatever that has my junk for sale? NO! Get my drift?
That's my opinion and I realize that opinions are like a$$h)&^$%...everybody's got one!

Woodie

pipopak
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Thanks Woodie. Mess cleared up.
Jose.

Herb Kephart
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Watching the fur fly


Herb



mwiz64
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I'm probably in the minority here but one of the things I like best about buying and selling things in forums I participate in is that I'm dealing with people I've established a relationship with. I wouldn't for one moment be concerned about buying from another FreeRails friend and I would like to think they feel the same way about me. Fleabay and some of those other sites, I don't have much confidence in.

Let me ask a hypothetical question. What if I were conversing in a thread with someone that expressed an interest in a modeling product I was interested in selling. Can I PM them about letting them know I have an item that I'd sell?

Lee B
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I'm just fine with keeping the sales stuff out. There's enough of that elsewhere.

pipopak
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Can I PM them about letting them know I have an item that I'd sell?

Probably just emailing would be better.

Jose.

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Okay, but then what happens to regular members who have a commercial interest as well as a personal interest in the hobby?  Two examples I can think of are Joey Ricard and Mike Fifer.  Both are regular contributors, both produce excellent work, not to mention great videos.  But both also have small businesses and subtle advertising is crucial to their success.  Mike always mentions his hobby shop at the start of his videos and Joey often demonstrates his own products in his videos.  I'm also willing to bet that more than a few members here buy from their stores as well.

That being said, neither outright sells products on this site, they just advertise in the form of links to their websites.

I suppose then the question should be, will selling AND advertising of any kind be banned, or is advertisement okay so long as selling is done off the form?

Or...

Should the rule simply be that all posts lacking informative content are banned from the site?  That would free moderators to rid us of scams, blatant sales, fake accounts and other undesirables without needing to carve out a loophole for legit members with small businesses.

--James

W C Greene
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I do not believe in censorship but I do believe in self control. OK, if somebody wants to sell his wares without outright advertising then maybe he/she should use a bit of discretion and live with the "rules of the road". Today, too many are looking for the "back door" way to do something that is frowned upon, judgement is out the door, back or front.
No, I don't like the outright selling of products here on this site but I believe that those who do want to push their products, etc. will find a way to do it within the constraints of the "rules". Is this right? I don't believe so but if I push the issue then I may be seen as heavy-handed and pushing my beliefs on others who just want to promote themselves.
Today, few take responsibility for what they do just what they can get away with.
By the way, I own some ocean front property just outside Tucson which I would love to sell. Anybody?
To everybody's relief, I won't comment on this issue any more and if the Adm. wants to delete my words or the whole thread then that's OK. I got trains to build and a sideline which won't be promoted here...unless I can find that back door!

Woodie

pipopak
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Non-commercial is non-commercial. Period. You can't be "a little pregnant". Either you are or you are not.
Jose.

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I've got no personal stake in this, being that I'm a average Joe with no commercial interest in the hobby, therefore I'm happy to go along with whatever the admin decide.  That being said, I still thought it was important to clarify that aspect of the rule changes.  When reducing a massive grey area to a fine line, there's a lot more to consider besides the occasional scam.

Thanks for the clarification.

--James

Si.
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" thought it was important to clarify that aspect of the rule changes.
When reducing a massive grey area to a fine line "  -  James.


" one of the things I like best about buying and selling things in forums I participate in
is that I'm dealing with people I've established a relationship with."  -  Mike.


" You're right when you install mechanisms to save the forum from becoming
the playground for all sorts of spam and camouflaged advertising "  -  Helmut.



Hi Guys :wave:



Thanks very much for all your thoughts regarding advertising & product-placement on Freerails.


Just to clarify several things.


First of all, there are no "rule changes" at present.

The guidelines for offering PERSONAL ITEMS for sale, were Posted by Herb, way back when.

They are both simple & clear, as to how PERSONAL ITEMS for sale may be Posted on Freerails.



They are here :-

Herbs Guidelines For PERSONAL ITEM Sales

Couldn't be more straightforward.



Since being a Member of Freerails myself, I've seen less than 1/2 a dozen items offered by Members.

They have ALL without exception, been PERSONAL ITEMS of a model-railroading nature.

They have NOT been 'advertorials' for commercial company bulk-product sales.

Neither have they directed Members to commercial company sales-websites.

Not a problem whatsoever.



The principal problem being looked into at the moment is ...

" all sorts of spam and camouflaged advertising "


Freerails as you know, is not a place jammed full of RULES !

Not only is potential 'rule-making' tedious, but is largely un-needed.

There are of course UNWRITTEN RULES as well !

One of the most blindingly obvious 'Unwritten Rules', is that Freerails is a NON-COMMERCIAL SITE.



What is being looked into at present, is simply instances where existing 'Guidelines' are NOT being followed.

There seems to be an idea floating about, that if $$$ money isn't mentioned, then it's OK.

The 'Guidelines' however, are clearly stated in regard to PERSONAL ITEMS only.

There are NO 'Guidelines' regarding COMMERCIAL COMPANIES ...

... since Freerails is a NON-COMMERCIAL SITE.



I hope that illustrates the difference between PERSONAL and COMMERCIAL fully.



It would be great to hear any further comments on this discussion.

So if any Members wish to chip in, please do so.



:bg:



Si.  

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I definitely do not want to see this site go commercial.  It's a lot of fun just the way it is.

On the other hand I do not want to be cut off from what happening in the wold of model railroading.  Very often here a specific item or product is mentioned to assist a modeler in achieving a desired goal. 

For example: Let's say that Woodie has decided to release some rolling stock in 1/35 scale.  I, for one, definitely want to know about it.  But, I don't want to have to hear about it every day.

To borrow Hipshot Percussion's motto: "Moderation In All Things."

http://stanlynde.net/images/site_graphics/Shay%20NEW%20YEARS%20HANG-OVER%20prints%20Feb%2019%202008%20015.jpg

W C Greene
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Interesting idea Michael, me releasing 35n2 kits! My God, I would make millions! It is OK to post:"I found this thing the other day, here's a link/photo, but I have no commercial connection whatsoever." That is fine. The idea is to provide information but not blatant sales BS. There are other websites that have "for sale" sections but here's what "the boss" & I think-somebody buys something shown here and gets ripped off, the buyer then is pissed off at Freerails for allowing some dude to sell crap or steal money from them. Get my drift?
That position was set up many years ago, in a galaxy far far away...but it is the way it is.
Now, fire up #4 and run some ore to the mines, that's more fun than worrying about this issue.
Woodie

pipopak
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Are you trying to SELL ORE here?. It's against regs!!!
Jose.

oztrainz
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Hey Woodie...
Your'e going the wrong way about this.
You should be haulin' ore AWAY from the mine with #4 :P

pipopak
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Must be a government-sponsored operation...
Jose.

Michael M
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The way things are run on my railroad sometimes you just might think that the government is in charge.

Si.
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" thought it was important to clarify that aspect of the rule changes.
When reducing a massive grey area to a fine line "  -  James.


" one of the things I like best about buying and selling things in forums I participate in
is that I'm dealing with people I've established a relationship with."  -  Mike.


" You're right when you install mechanisms to save the forum from becoming
the playground for all sorts of spam and camouflaged advertising "  -  Helmut.



Hi Guys :wave:



Thanks very much for all your thoughts regarding advertising & product-placement on Freerails.


Just to clarify several things.


First of all, there are no "rule changes" at present.

The guidelines for offering PERSONAL ITEMS for sale, were Posted by Herb, way back when.

They are both simple & clear, as to how PERSONAL ITEMS for sale may be Posted on Freerails.



They are here :-

Herbs Guidelines For PERSONAL ITEM Sales

Couldn't be more straightforward.



Since being a Member of Freerails myself, I've seen less than 1/2 a dozen items offered by Members.

They have ALL without exception, been PERSONAL ITEMS of a model-railroading nature.

They have NOT been 'advertorials' for commercial company bulk-product sales.

Neither have they directed Members to commercial company sales-websites.

Not a problem whatsoever.



The principal problem being looked into at the moment is ...

" all sorts of spam and camouflaged advertising "


Freerails as you know, is not a place jammed full of RULES !

Not only is potential 'rule-making' tedious, but is largely un-needed.

There are of course UNWRITTEN RULES as well !

One of the most blindingly obvious 'Unwritten Rules', is that Freerails is a NON-COMMERCIAL SITE.



What is being looked into at present, is simply instances where existing 'Guidelines' are NOT being followed.

There seems to be an idea floating about, that if $$$ money isn't mentioned, then it's OK.

The 'Guidelines' however, are clearly stated in regard to PERSONAL ITEMS only.

There are NO 'Guidelines' regarding COMMERCIAL COMPANIES ...

... since Freerails is a NON-COMMERCIAL SITE.



I hope that illustrates the difference between PERSONAL and COMMERCIAL fully.



:bg:



Si.  

W C Greene
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Si, don't think that po' old Herb established these rules, they go way back to the beginnings of Freerails,
Hotshot Dave and Paladin Don set up the rules and Herb is their Huckleberry now.
Occasionally Dave chimes in but I haven't seen Don's name in quite a while.
But, whatever Herb sez is OK by me anyway.
WCG


Si.
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Howdy Woodie :cb:



Dave originally said :- " No selling ... Period "



Herb, some years later, amended Daves original Topic/Post ...

... & very slightly relaxed that absolute NO policy ...

... to the current guidelines, in the link above ^^.



Nothing has actually changed, since that amendment ...

... other than a handful of commercial 'Ad. Threads' that slipped through the net being DELETED ! :f:



:)



Si.

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You deleted all my posts from the last 3 years Si?

Milocomarty
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Sorry guys, do not post much lately, the business is killing my time, but I find this a very interesting topic.

Also because the line between commercial and non commercial is very thin in my case.
I switched from woodworking to modeling a couple of years ago and have a pretty decent living out of my sales.
I'm not selling to the customer themself, but mainly through a selected dealer net.
Most of the green creations I posted here over the last 2 years, ended up as a product for sale.
Although I do not tell this item's for sale or any other reference where to buy.
I ask myself if I should I quit posting, because I have a certain commercial interest in showing?

The same for my weathering, most cars I show are ones from customers.
I get payed for painting. So I ask myself the same question here.

So help me out guys...


Si.
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Hi Martin.



Only a very, very few commercial advertising Threads were removed.

All were blatant adverts for specific commercial products of various sorts.

All the Posters of these adverts, also maintain large glossy commercial sales websites.



These Threads had no normal Members modeling content in whatsoever.

For the most part they had, either none, or extremely few comments or replies.



This was done several months ago.



Freerails crew haven't deleted anything you've Posted Martin.

I just looked at 'Dirty Stuff 1 & 2', 'Mara Harbour 1 & 2', 'Martins Greenery' and 'Cardigan Bay'.

4 of which are Forum 'Stickies'.

They appear to all be where they always have been.



So I don't understand.

What do you think is missing ?



Si.

Milocomarty
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Nothing Si,

just a bit of a joke because I have a commercial interest in being a good modeler.



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And Martin, you sure are a good modeler.

Love your hints and tips, especially scenery and tree stuff.

Keep posting.



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is there a specific thread for posting "for sale items"?

oztrainz
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Hi Southpier (a first name in the signature really helps to keep things a bit more friendly)

The short answer is that there is no dedicated "For Sale" Thread on Freerails,
because Freerails has been a "commercial-selling-free" Site,
since its inception way back in the early 2000s.

Please have a read of Si's 32nd Post above, and go have a read of the link in that Thread.
There has been no change in policy regarding the non-commercial nature for Freerails,
in the last 2 years, since the Postings previous to yours,
and there have been no "selling" problems in these last 2 years.

Now here's where it gets tricky - If you follow the existing guidelines there is no problem.
But if a modeller starts advertising "private stuff" for sale here at a relatively frequent rate,
then at some point that "private seller" becomes a "commercial seller" -
ie is making a "commercial amount" of money off Freerails members.
THAT is against the spirit and rules of Freerails.

As Administrators we would prefer (and will ensure)
that Freerails remains a Site for modelling, rather than selling stuff.
There are other places on the Web that are more suitable,
and will likely move your stuff easier and quicker than Freerails.

There is a tripwire out there that is administered by us "Administrators".
That's what we do when we have to.
We would prefer not to have to "administrate" at all.
But we will if we have to.

I hope that helps clarify why there is no dedicated "For Sale" Thread on Freerails.


southpier
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I was using this as a guideline as it appeared to be the most succinct explanation I could find:

http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=2520&forum_id=3

But in all honesty, the possibility of offering something of general use at a good value,
is overshadowed by the controversy, so I will do something else with it.


W C Greene
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The Site's guidelines about selling stuff, You might realize that today's
"I'm gonna sue you and everybody associated..." attitude, particularly in the US,
it is fortunate that they stand.
I trust that you'll understand.

Woodie


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" I was using this as a guideline as it appeared to be the most succinct explanation I could find "



That Thread has been deliberately edited to be "succinct" & those guidelines have been the same for years

It has also been deliberately made very easy to "find" & has also been made a Forum Sticky as well

Posted in block-capitals right at the top of the General Talk Forum along with this current Thread

- SELLING ITEMS ON FREERAILS ? - Selling Personal Items Is OK If You Follow The Guidelines



" But in all honesty, the possibility of offering something of general use at a good value,
is overshadowed by the controversy, so I will do something else with it "



If one wants to make a mountain out of a mole hill then that mountain will be made

That mountain will then in all honesty just overshadow every very simple possibility with controversy

Here is an example of that from 2 years ago & in fact the Forums only example of a 'How Not To Do It'

For Sale - Making room on the shelves



Guidelines regarding the offering of personal items For Sale on Freerails are as clear as crystal

This current Thread has extended that crystal clarity in regard to commercial items being disallowed



Oh BTW one or two of you out there just might have heard of a little Internet Site called EBAY ! 

Everything possibly imaginable can be both bought & sold there as easy as anything

From Lakers tickets to loo roll they got it


:f:


Eddie


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The principal problem being looked into at the moment is ...

" all sorts of spam and camouflaged advertising "



Freerails as you know, is not a place jammed full of RULES !

Not only is potential 'rule-making' tedious, but is largely un-needed.

There are of course UNWRITTEN RULES as well !

One of the most blindingly obvious 'Unwritten Rules', is that Freerails is a NON-COMMERCIAL SITE.



What is being looked into at present, is simply instances where existing 'Guidelines' are NOT being followed.

There seems to be an idea floating about, that if $$$ money isn't mentioned, then it's OK.

The 'Guidelines' however, are clearly stated in regard to PERSONAL ITEMS only.

There are NO 'Guidelines' regarding COMMERCIAL COMPANIES ...

... since Freerails is a NON-COMMERCIAL SITE.



I hope that illustrates the difference between PERSONAL and COMMERCIAL fully.






An important extract of text taken from the last page


:f:


Eddie



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