Gear Flippers Call-Out...

1:16 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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So, I've seen an influx of "gear flippers" here on Trailspace lately. You know them: just a few posts under their name, no bio, all of them looking for or trying to buy traditionally "vintage" gear...and almost always the stuff that can be immediately re-sold on ebay for a five or ten-fold profit. 

I want to figure out where they are coming from--i.e., which forums/websites "flippers" frequent to find out to come here--and have this thread be a running compendium of all current or past flippers. I'd like to see their Trailspace names posted, as well as any information and aliases we can associate with that name. I consider these people as nothing but scammers looking to exploit unknowing individuals. This kind of action ruins the Trailspace community, and as vested members of this community, it is up to us to do what we can to prevent it. This is certainly not to say these members should be shunned or banned; this thread will merely give those who wish to avoid dealing with such members, a resource to help them do so. Also, the fact that a screen-name is listed here does not automatically mean that member has been identified as a flipper/scammer; it means that member has done/posted something that is traditionally associated with flipper/scammer activity; in other words, that the person is suspected of said associations. Time will settle things.

If a member feels as though we are wrong in our reasoning, they'll have a chance to rebuff our suggestions once their post count allows a response. Again, I'm not saying they are scammers; I'm saying I think they are, and I want to help bring these members out of the shadows, into the gloriously bright sun!

1:37 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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schanderl = past, known, banned flipper. Posted Trailspace name: Shane

buttersmcs = newish member, looking for vintage gear. Posted Trailspace name: Shane

5:46 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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Since this topic concerns the Traispace community at large, I've moved it from "Off Topic" to "Feedback."

"schanderl" and "buttersmcs" are the same person. This individual was banned from Trailspace earlier this year for multiple community rule violations unrelated to "flipping."

There are also plenty of new members who are not flippers or scammers or dishonest. Let's please not let this turn into a witch hunt.

6:22 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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"I YAM WHO I YAM"

6:41 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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There is a really easy way to stop this if were willing. Just as one cannot post in Off-topic unless they have 50 post and cannot start a post if they don't have 100 posts why are we letting people come in from the outside and buy the really cool gear that is meant for the Trailspace community. Problem solved if we do this. Any person should be allowed to come here and sell gear. You should have to be a member of the community for a certain amount of posts to receive the privilege to buy gear off of the classifieds. The same goes for PIF. I would be impossible to ID any one who is a flipper as they can just go create a new ID. If Trailsspace is not willing to do this I will start.I vow that  "I will not sell to any one who does not have 50 or more posts" Problem solved.  I urge each and every one of us to adopt this standard if those who run Trailspace will not implement this in the classifieds.  Every time you post something you are more than welcome to decide with whom you wish to do a transaction with.  When you go to sell something put in the post that you must have 50 post to buy the item.  If it then does not sell, remove the requirement when you bump it up and it can be available to any and all. Problem solved.

7:09 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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apeman said:

There is a really easy way to stop this if were willing. Just as one cannot post in Off-topic unless they have 50 post and cannot start a post if they don't have 100 posts why are we letting people come in from the outside and buy the really cool gear that is meant for the Trailspace community. Problem solved if we do this. Any person should be allowed to come here and sell gear. You should have to be a member of the community for a certain amount of posts to receive the privilege to buy gear off of the classifieds. The same goes for PIF. I would be impossible to ID any one who is a flipper as they can just go create a new ID. If Trailsspace is not willing to do this I will start.I vow that  "I will not sell to any one who does not have 50 or more posts" Problem solved.  I urge each and every one of us to adopt this standard if those who run Trailspace will not implement this in the classifieds.  Every time you post something you are more than welcome to decide with whom you wish to do a transaction with.  When you go to sell something put in the post that you must have 50 post to buy the item.  If it then does not sell, remove the requirement when you bump it up and it can be available to any and all. Problem solved.

 Apeman the part about good standing is to infer atleast 50 posts for PIF. That and we know they are adding to the community. Cleric has been a member a long time and I sent him a alchy stove. He also contributes when he can. I am wioth Pillowthread to keep an eye out for scammers.

7:39 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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apeman said:

...would be impossible to ID any one who is a flipper as they can just go create a new ID...I vow that  "I will not sell to any one who does not have 50 or more posts" Problem solved.  I urge each and every one of us to adopt this standard if those who run Trailspace will not implement this in the classifieds.  Every time you post something you are more than welcome to decide with whom you wish to do a transaction with.  When you go to sell something put in the post that you must have 50 post to buy the item.  If it then does not sell, remove the requirement when you bump it up and it can be available to any and all. Problem solved.

 Hear, hear! I formally adopt the above standard until which time I find some better solution.

7:46 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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denis daly said:

apeman said:

There is a really easy way to stop this if were willing. Just as one cannot post in Off-topic unless they have 50 post and cannot start a post if they don't have 100 posts why are we letting people come in from the outside and buy the really cool gear that is meant for the Trailspace community. Problem solved if we do this. Any person should be allowed to come here and sell gear. You should have to be a member of the community for a certain amount of posts to receive the privilege to buy gear off of the classifieds. The same goes for PIF. I would be impossible to ID any one who is a flipper as they can just go create a new ID. If Trailsspace is not willing to do this I will start.I vow that  "I will not sell to any one who does not have 50 or more posts" Problem solved.  I urge each and every one of us to adopt this standard if those who run Trailspace will not implement this in the classifieds.  Every time you post something you are more than welcome to decide with whom you wish to do a transaction with.  When you go to sell something put in the post that you must have 50 post to buy the item.  If it then does not sell, remove the requirement when you bump it up and it can be available to any and all. Problem solved.

 Apeman the part about good standing is to infer atleast 50 posts for PIF. That and we know they are adding to the community. Cleric has been a member a long time and I sent him a alchy stove. He also contributes when he can. I am wioth Pillowthread to keep an eye out for scammers.

I agree that everything has it's limitations and a possible down sides. With that being said, by the time we look out for the flippers, ban them and have them just start a new member ID we will keep selling our gear to them. If your OK with that keep doing business as usual. I will not and I believe that I have found a solution. Just as it may not be considered fair that I may not be allowed to join a country club I must abide by their rules. Just as when I do join the country club I'm on a probationary period until  I'm a member in good standing. Once I meet their requirements I'm then a member in good standing and I have all the rights as other members in good standing. We are looking for a way to stop the flippers here. How long does it take to post 50 posts if your a contributing member of Trailspace. Once you have posted 50 post that shows me that you are a contributing member of Trailspace. I now will only sell to members of Trailspace in good standing. Since no one else has a definition I will use my own unless and until we can all come to a consensus. I have just found a way to exclude all except the most tenacious flippers. Get posting newbie’s!

Remember, even if anyone of us has 50 or more posting their are members here who keep their Eye's peeled for gear coming of off Trailspace showing up on EBay. I urge all who deal in buying/selling on EBay to Disclose the Ebay handles/site name. On Ebay I'm know as Smokinnn, why might you ask. Cause every time I bid on something in the last few seconds and win it I jump up and yell.............Smokinnn, which in and of itself came from the Jim Carrey movie the Mask. You may recall that when Jim Carry first's puts the Mask on he spin's faster then the eye can see and yell's Smokinnn.

8:38 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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denis daly said:  " Apeman the part about good standing is to infer atleast 50 posts for PIF. That and we know they are adding to the community. Cleric has been a member a long time and I sent him a alchy stove. He also contributes when he can.."

I'm not quite sure what your refering to as Cleric has 210 posts thereby being able to buy anything I might sell in the Trailspace Classifieds.

8:46 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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Just checking on some of those people that I have PIFed too. It seems that only one is still posting here. I'm making up my own rules now. Two tents gone with out a single PIF back. I'm to trusting

9:06 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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On a personal note, It would be nice if any gear bought or sold on Trailspace by "members in good standing" was done so with the intention it would get some real use in backcountry pursuits by those involved with the sale.

9:19 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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trouthunter said:

On a personal note, It would be nice if any gear bought or sold on Trailspace by "members in good standing" was done so with the intention it would get some real use in backcountry pursuits by those involved with the sale.

Trout as a collector and user of gear I can respect that. One the other had I believe that some things should be saved as so much of this fine vintage gear gets man handled and tread badly only to be thrown by the way side. I propose that if you want to sell an item to someone and that you want it sold with the intention of it getting used in the backcountry then please feel to post that in your sale add. I most certainly will respect that. With that being said I will very gingerly use the Moss Trillium I just got of off the Classifieds and use it very rarely and very gingerly as there are not many of them left and I wish it to be around for many years to come. As I must have a half live may the Trillium last decades longer than I do. If I have a piece of vintage gear I may ask that it not be used and abused in the back country as a condition of my sale as well. But the common denominator should still be no sales without 50 posts.

10:15 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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Apeman,

Please allow me to revise and extend my remarks (I watch too much C-span).

Yes I should have added a caveat for vintage or rare gear.

I was thinking more in terms of people using Trailspace as a commodities exchange instead of a place they could sell an unused item or get a piece of gear they need for an upcoming trip or such.

I'm just saying it would be nice if the people who use the classifieds were primarily backcountry travelers as opposed to gear traders.

I have seen this get out of control on several forums, the end result is the members of the forum have to compete with gear traders to buy items they really want and would use personally.

10:21 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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I gotta agree with a lot that has been posted here. In the end though it all comes down to the seller, and a lot of the recent sellers, the ones I've seen at least, have had very few posts as well. They therefore have very little intrest or investment in this website. If I were to sell something I personally would want to know that it is getting used and that it is going to someone that will appreciate it.

Side note: After about a month of sheer comfort breaking in the 5's around work they have now been used for a weekend backpacking trip and a day of spelunking last weekend. God bless your fat feet Vince! (just kidding)

10:39 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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trouthunter said:

Apeman,

Please allow me to revise and extend my remarks (I watch too much C-span).

Yes I should have added a caveat for vintage or rare gear.

I was thinking more in terms of people using Trailspace as a commodities exchange instead of a place they could sell an unused item or get a piece of gear they need for an upcoming trip or such.

I'm just saying it would be nice if the people who use the classifieds were primarily backcountry travelers as opposed to gear traders.

I have seen this get out of control on several forums, the end result is the members of the forum have to compete with gear traders to buy items they really want and would use personally.

 Agreed.

10:50 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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Jake W said:

I gotta agree with a lot that has been posted here. In the end though it all comes down to the seller, and a lot of the recent sellers, the ones I've seen at least, have had very few posts as well. They therefore have very little intrest or investment in this website. If I were to sell something I personally would want to know that it is getting used and that it is going to someone that will appreciate it.

Side note: After about a month of sheer comfort breaking in the 5's around work they have now been used for a weekend backpacking trip and a day of spelunking last weekend. God bless your fat feet Vince! (just kidding)

Hey Jake,

I'm not concerned about the sellers with low or no posts. There just trying to sell their items for what they think it's worth. If they sell it then one of us has a new piece of gear. I'm concerned with the "professional gear trader's" whom take advantage of the quite often kind nature of Trailspacer’s to give each other a good deals on a various pieces of gear that ends up being bought and then resold a day later on EBay. That's why I proposed that to sell you don't have any posts under your belt. To buy you must have a least 50 posts under your belt so show me(use) that you are a contributing member here at Trailspace.

P.S. Just for you, another pict of Mogh in the "The day's high & low temps ... and, where you live" thread.

 

11:58 p.m. on November 18, 2011 (EST)
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There's actually a reason to limit sellers with low or no posts, but it's not related to "gear flipping".  Most likely most of us would trust the regulars on here if we were considering purchasing something.  But with a newcomer, posting a for-sale item without first establishing themselves as a member of the community, there's little to trust.

Hmmm, maybe this is self evident and others, like me, wouldn't be likely to buy from a newcomer anyway ... just like we wouldn't buy from an eBay seller with less than a 100% Feedback score.

3:49 a.m. on November 19, 2011 (EST)
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I agree with applying  some unwritten guidelines to the sale of quality gear.  I don't think there has to be an exact number of posts per se.  I would also take into consideration the date someone has joined, any gear reviews done and what kind of posts were made.  I dont post very much here but I am an avid reader and have learned much from everyone.

 I have a pair of boots for sale here.  They are also listed on some other sites but at a higher price. As appreciation my intention was to give members in good standing first shot for say 2 weeks.  If after  a couple weeks they are still unsold then I would be willing to work with a newbie.  I wasn't sure if that was going to be acceptable behavior so I didn't write it in my post.  But I see that I wasn't the only with these concerns about "flippers".   Good to know.

9:31 a.m. on November 19, 2011 (EST)
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MoZee said:

I agree with applying  some unwritten guidelines to the sale of quality gear.  I don't think there has to be an exact number of posts per se.  I would also take into consideration the date someone has joined, any gear reviews done and what kind of posts were made.  I dont post very much here but I am an avid reader and have learned much from everyone.

 I have a pair of boots for sale here.  They are also listed on some other sites but at a higher price. As appreciation my intention was to give members in good standing first shot for say 2 weeks.  If after  a couple weeks they are still unsold then I would be willing to work with a newbie.  I wasn't sure if that was going to be acceptable behavior so I didn't write it in my post.  But I see that I wasn't the only with these concerns about "flippers".   Good to know.

I believe that we need to have a litmus test that is  fair to all and gives everyone the same chance at a level playing field.   Lets say I offer up a really cool Early Winters tent and subject A responds and only has 10 postings and I immediately agree to a sale due to the fact that I just had a burst appendix and I need some quick cash. I then agree to sell the tent to subject A. Then while convalescing at home I decide to sell a really cool rare prototype Garuda tent and subject B responds with 12 postings but this time I’m in no hurry for the cash so I say to them, no, you need to have more posts. That is not fair and raises all kinds of ethical problems. Now lets say I'm selling the same things to the same people but I like subjects A's post's and really don't like subject B's post's so I sell my item to subject A but withhold it from subject B. Again the same ethical issues arise. So to keep everything fair to all whom we will be dealing with  I  propose that any and all items to be sold in the classified section here at Trailspace are to open to, be and offered to, people who have 50 postings for what ever “given  time” is specified in your posting.  I myself will use the term “given time”  to be 7 day’s.   If after that time I get no response  I can then, if I chose, open it up to any and all who wish to buy the item(s). I suggest that we each adhere to the 50 post rule to keep it fair across the board  so as to  keep it equally fair for all. This is of course up to each and everyone of use until and unless it is made policy or some other policy is made by Trailspace. This is a chance to police ourselves, make our own fair rules that treat everyone fairly and will go along way in taking care of the problem of “gear flippers” ourselves with out a higher authority making up policy because we could not do what needs to be done ourselves.  This will be up to each and everyone of you.  You must state in your classified ad(s) that you need to be a member in good standing with a 50+ post total to buy an item.  Do not assume anyone might know.  Io dnot believe that lenght of time after joing really matters.  If a person ahs been a member for 2.5 years and has oly 3 post that shoes me their noto investin making any contribution to the site and there for is only a member here to buy my for sale item.

"I vow that when I post any item(s) for sale, said item(s) will only be offered to Trailspace members in good standing with a posting total of 50 or more posts. If after 1 week (7 days) there are no responses from members in good standing, the item(s) will be offered to all if I so chose."  I can decide that I do not want to sell an item at any given time as usual. That is simple and fair. It makes it so no one can complain that some were treated more or less fairly or different than others. I realize that newbie’s will feel that this is  not fair, but I'm allowed to sell to whom ever I want as long as I use the same set of rules for all. And like I stated before, really, how long does it take to make 50 postings here at Trailspace with all the is going on and being said in the different Forums if your really into what’s going one here.

If someone has a better, more fair way to handle this I’m open to suggestion and will most certainly listen.  Doing nothing however will just make the problem worse than it is now. 

The 50 post rule should be implemented in regards to PIF as all is says it “a member in good standing”.  I have not as yet seen a definition of what constitutes a member in good standing.  I propose, that: "To be  member in good standing on the Trialspace web site one shall have a total of 50+  posts and not be banned in any form the site".

These of course are suggestions based on trying to be fair to all.  This is not my web site and I cannot make policy or rules for others.  I hope that we can come to an agreement to make this work.

 

 

_DSC7008.jpg said:
 

"There's actually a reason to limit sellers with low or no posts, but it's not related to "gear flipping".

 

I believe that a member in good standing rule should not apply to sellers due to the fact that what were trying to do here is stop "gear flipping". One always takes a chance when sending monies to someone without having the item in hand. I have seen many fine items that have been bought by Trailspace members (including myself), that they would not have had the chance to acquire had people been not allowed to sell their items here at the Trailspace site if they were not a member in good standing. One way to start becoming a member in good standing is buy selling things as one needs to post their wears and answer questions thereby building up a posting total as well as one gaining respect from how one handles their transaction(s).  In all my years of buying, selling, trading gear I have never been ripped of in anyway. With that being said,one always needs to take into account that is always possible to be ripped off buy unscrupulous sellers and should buy from unknown persons accordingly.

10:18 a.m. on November 19, 2011 (EST)
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I don't think there is an ethical issue if a person does not want to sell something to a particular person. As you said, this is about gear flipping. Nothing in the sale of a private item to another suggests you have to sell it to a person you prefer not to have that item. If you don't like me, or can assess from my posts that I am not as back country as you would like to see the item be, no harm no foul. If you were a commercial sales outlet, you could refuse service to people so long as it was not based on protected class discrimination. But you are a private seller and can use discretion about to whom you wish to sell something.

7:45 a.m. on November 20, 2011 (EST)
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I have to take back my earlier comment, :D 

2:06 p.m. on November 20, 2011 (EST)
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@apeman, I guess what I was getting at with my comment was that if there are rules such as, for example, not being able to post to the off-topic forum, until a certain number of posts have been attained, then it'd be a logical extension to say new users can't post to the Classifieds forum either.  The impact of selling something is higher than making an inappropriate forum post.

In reality, for such a system I'd prefer the "score" to be based on something more than simple "post count" though.   I'm thinking along the lines of some formula involving overall post count, length of membership, average # of posts per month, their "was this helpful" score, etc, etc.

3:33 p.m. on November 20, 2011 (EST)
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apeman said:

  Lets say I offer up a really cool Early Winters tent.....

 Yea Right Apeman!  We all know your a hoarder and hoarders NEVER sell anything!! :D 

But other then that I think this is a reasonable and fair process for buying gear.  I do have a few questions about member status from the site.  What dose the site use to constitute a "Junior Member" vs. a "Full Member" vs. a "Senior Member" and the other "Titles"  I just noticed that mine went from Junior to Full but I am not sure when it happened, 100 post??  or is it something else.  If this is outlined some where else on the site please direct me to the correct location.

Thanks for the great Site and vast world of knowledge that the members offer. 

Wolfman

PS:  What, if anything, should we (The members) do with regards to new members that are posting the spam and or unrelated advertising post in threads?  Should we "Notify" someone or PM someone?  Thanks.

7:50 p.m. on November 20, 2011 (EST)
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Wolfie -

short answer - Yes, please. The moderators and owners have their hands full, but there are several (mostly senior) members who are helping by flagging spam and suspicious advertising. The more eyes, the better. You can flag questionable items either by a PM to one of the moderators or posting to the thread pointing to the questionable post. Most moderators are indicated by the title "Moderator" under their name by posts. It is not necessary to write a long rant to raise the flag. Just note where the post is and in 3 or 4 words why you raised the alert flag.

9:00 p.m. on November 20, 2011 (EST)
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By all means please feel free to shoot me a pm. I love 86ing spam.

2:35 a.m. on November 21, 2011 (EST)
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bheiser1 said:

@apeman, I guess what I was getting at with my comment was that if there are rules such as, for example, not being able to post to the off-topic forum, until a certain number of posts have been attained, then it'd be a logical extension to say new users can't post to the Classifieds forum either.  The impact of selling something is higher than making an inappropriate forum post.

In reality, for such a system I'd prefer the "score" to be based on something more than simple "post count" though.   I'm thinking along the lines of some formula involving overall post count, length of membership, average # of posts per month, their "was this helpful" score, etc, etc.

 There have been recient changes is the offtopic fourm listed under the heading of "Changes to the Off Topic forum"

Changes to the Off Topic forum :

Publisher
Joined: Mar 14, 2001
Posts: 799

The Off Topic forum was created as place for established members of the Trailspace community to discuss topics that aren't directly related to backcountry recreation and outdoor gear.

In response to some recent concerns, we have made a few changes to the way that the Off Topic forum works:

  1. The Off Topic forum is now only visible to registered members.
  2. Posts made in Off Topic will no longer count toward your post total.
  3. To participate in an Off Topic discussion, you must have made at least 50 posts in public forums.
  4. To start a new thread in Off Topic, you must have made at least 100 posts in public forums.

___________________________________________________________________

 

So. I'm merely using a similar process (as is used in the offtopic section) as is already being used in regards to how I think things can be handled regarding  the problems that are happening in the classifieds section in due to the "gear flippers". As the Trailspace owners and higher-ups have not instituted any rules or regulations in regards to the selling and buying practices in the classifieds section as of this point, I'm merely trying to make sure that any thing I might sell does not fall into the hands of a "gear flipper" while still being fair to all. I will only open my selling to those with 50+ postings. The reason not to institute this policy in any of the other forums is that we do not have the problems in any of the other forums like we have in the classifieds. If we use a system as you have suggested then things start to get really complicated and who is the one to decide all of the things you listed and to there percentages in applying and ways of combining them so as to have a final application in the creating of a system. You are more than welcome to use your formula in so far as determining how and who to sell your items to. I have found a way that works for me.

Wolfman said: "Yea Right Apeman! We all know your a hoarder and hoarders NEVER sell anything!! :D"

The hording thing is true to some degree but as I'm a collector I don't need copies of the same tents I have. The reason I don't put them up for sale (here on Trailspace) much is that I either have to make some money on them so I sell them on EBay (I do not sell anything on EBay that I buy on Trialspace, I always offer it back to my fellow Trailspacers first)  or I have a long list of people who have given me lists of tents and other gear that their are looking for, so they get first crack at the extras I run accross.  Once I get a tent or other gear is it quite often already sold to the people whom have given me there names for what they are looking for. If I end up wiht things that are not on the lists I already have and don't need to make a profit on a specific item ( to feeded my hording/collecting addiction) I then do post it on Trailspace.  If there is anything your looking for I'll keep an eye out as I either see stuff all the time and or take in trades on bulk stuff that I buy.

 

9:32 a.m. on November 21, 2011 (EST)
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not sure where i fit into this, but i do "flip" some equipment.

i've gotten lucky when i bought my mattress and sleeping bag and backpack.  they are perfect (for my needs and wants).  did real well when i bought my stove, pots & pans, water filter.

my tent is another story.

i can't seem to find the "perfect" tent

had a kelty gunnison, mountain hardwear hammerhead, marmot limelight and now a black diamond ahwahnee.  and none of them were exactly what i was looking for.  (the problem must be me?)  all of these have been for sale here and ebay.  i'll keep flipping tents until i find the right one. 

hope i'm not part of the problem.....

9:33 a.m. on November 21, 2011 (EST)
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Thanks Gents for the info, and I will PM if I see any more. 

Aperman, You know I was just giving you a hard time, right? :D  But as for looking for a tent, well yes, yes I am!  :) 

Needed:  Nice fairly light 3 person tent for me and the kids with a good size vestibule.  I'll PM you tonight with what I have been looking for and design ideas for your thoughts.

Thanks

Wolfman

1:53 p.m. on November 21, 2011 (EST)
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caryernst said:

...my tent is another story.

i can't seem to find the "perfect" tent

...  i'll keep flipping tents until i find the right one. 

hope i'm not part of the problem.....

 I do not believe that what you are doing is the "problem" that pillow and Ape are referring to. Unless you are re-selling your tents for 5 -10 times what you paid for them (I think that was the multiple mentioned). The question raised by pillow (the OP) was the ethics of buying something cheap, then turning around immediately and selling it on eBay or elsewhere at an exorbitant profit. In particular, the question concerned some astute, knowledgeable person buying something really cheap from some unsuspecting soul, maybe at a garage sale, who did not realize s/he had a valuable collector's item, then selling it under the false pretense that the buyer was distressed/being evicted/suffered a great loss and in desperate need of money.

As the sign in the ancient Roman marketplace said "Caveat Emptor."

3:45 p.m. on November 21, 2011 (EST)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
234 reviewer rep
943 forum posts

One of our goals with Trailspace has always been to maintain an open and inclusive community: a place where regulars and newbies alike can ask, answer, share, and even disagree respectfully; place where we're able to leave our baggage at the door and celebrate our shared love of the outdoors; a place where new voices are welcomed into the discussion as peers.

There are members reading this thread whose first interaction with Trailspace came through the Classifieds. Some came here looking for a specific piece of gear, which a Trailspace member happened to be selling at the time. Others who were trying to find a good home for their old gear. Many have been successful, some have stuck around, and in all cases, the Trailspace community benefited.

In the 10+ years that we've had a Classifieds forum, I don't recall a single instance of a member reporting that they got burned on a transaction. Instead there's just this incredible sense of generosity exhibited in the PIF threads and elsewhere. I think that's remarkable, and it's something we should all be proud of.

I believe that the idea of a one-size-fits all litmus test for participation in the Classifieds forum runs counter to that ideal. When we start putting up walls, we start shutting out productive members of the community. As soon as we enshrine "Posts: 0" as "suspicious character" we change the whole dynamic of this place.

Which is not to say that we shouldn't each be using our own discretion in our financial dealings. If you're buying or selling gear here, it's your decision who you are or are not willing to do business with. We're probably each going to draw that line in a different place.

You're certainly not obligated to sell to, or buy from, anybody you're not comfortable dealing with. If you have a personal litmus test, you can make your expectations known publicly, or simply apply them as you see fit.

And if you believe that another member is in violation of the Trailspace Community Rules, please report your suspicions to one of the moderators. They will follow up and take appropriate action.

Ultimately we all must make our own decisions about who we do and do not trust. For some of us that may mean trusting a stranger, for others it may mean trusting our gut. The fact that we each approach it differently is part of what makes this community great. Let's celebrate that.

September 15, 2014
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