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As a supporting vendor, I am limited to two ads total in the classifieds section. I pay $500 a year to be a vendor. I feel two ads across all categories of the classifieds is extremely limited. Some days I go into the handguns section and the entire page is postings from one or two members.

I can understand the motive for limiting vendors' posts. I never liked seeing the pawn shops that post 20 ads in a row of the same overpriced guns every day on Armslist. I agree with the sentiment that vendors should have a limit. It tends to reduce clutter. I simply feel that currently the limit is too low. From a business perspective, I am not seeing a return of investment.

I am curious what the other members here think. For what it's worth, this is a new account I created with the start of my business. I have been active on NWFA since 2015.
 
Another way to look at it is that's $41.66 per month or $1.39 per day to get access to the members here. From my experience I've mostly tried to spend my money with the vendors here first unless it's a one-off item. Being a new business it's always hard to best determine where to spend your advertising dollars, that said I've read on many occasions members here also try to support the vendors that support this community. I'll certainly keep you in mind when I need what you provide.

My 2 cents.
I have checked out every sponsor here. I block ads on nearly every other site. Just in case that helps people make a decision on where to spend ad money.
 
Not my circus, not my monkeys, but it seems odd that the freeloaders here have virtually unlimited access to the classifieds, but the people who make significant contributions to the site have what seem to be unreasonable limits.
If these limits are necessary, shouldn't they be necessary for everyone??
From a buyer's perspective, the more stuff available the better. From a seller's perspective, it would be nice to not have my ad pushed off the front page right away, but that could be done with a more generous limit than 2 ads at a time, whether that be per section or total. A limit of 2-3 new ads per day, or 1 new ad every two hours, or something similar, along with a limit on the number of ads bumped per day would keep things spread out amongst the other member's ads.
How about a Classifieds filter for Supporting vendor/Supporting member/Non-supporting member??
if @Joe Link could weigh in on the purpose of the limit maybe we could help find a better system, or at least gain an understanding of why it is this way.
 
One thing to consider with non-supporting member limits... the classified volume is pretty low as it is. If that were reduced then it may not attract new members to the site that "may" end up being supporting members. It might also give currently supporting members reason to reconsider renewing if the site doesn't hold as much value to them as it once did.

Another aspect. If the classifieds die off and aren't drawing enough traffic to peoples ads, that's likely to push people to seek other listing alternatives, too.

With restrictions, some of those people "may" choose to become supporting members to continue with their buying/selling efforts, but some may just chose to start listing elsewhere... or... we would start seeing a lot more of the "20 item mix mash" single listings to stay under the allowed ads limit.

I can't speak for others, but those type of ads rarely attract my attention. I often find something in a listing title that I wasn't actually looking for, but it was obvious enough to draw my attention. "Mix mash" listings... I don't really waste my time reading through those just looking to see if there "might" be something I didn't know I wanted and just to find something to spend money on. KWIM?
 
Did that change recently, I thought supporting vendors were allowed 2 ads in each classified section?

The way I'm reading it is you're allowed two items in each category. So (2) Pistol, (2) Rifle...etc.


I currently have two classified ads open, and both are in the handgun section. If I go to post a new ad in the rifle section, I get a message saying I am at my limit. I was also under the impression that it was two ads per section, but this does not appear to be the case.
 
Let me start by saying I appreciate hearing thoughts on this, both from members and vendors. Lots of good comments and ideas to think about. I'm going to post mine and try to address everything mentioned here. I have days worth of notes on improvements I want to make to all aspects of this site, especially the classifieds system. Unfortunately, we have to work within our many limitations including technical expertise, software limitations, time, and money. We might not be able to do things exactly as we'd like, but I'll always strive to provide the best experience I can given what we have to work with. I'm proud that this community is among the top out there despite having only a small fraction of the resources.

The main reason we limit SV ads is because members have overwhelmingly told us they hate when the classifieds are flooded with vendor ads. The classified system isn't meant to be a "virtual storefront" for vendors; it's one benefit in a package designed to market the business to our members as a whole. Ads posted at retail prices are of no benefit to anyone; the reputation of the vendor takes a hit because members get frustrated and the items don't sell because people are looking for a deal. Price will always be the #1 determining factor for how well an ad does. Even on page 10, if someone were to drop their Deagle price from $1,950 to $950, that gun will be gone within the hour.

Vendors should primarily view the classifieds as an additional tool to generate interest in their business, get eyeballs on their website, get foot traffic in their store, and blow out items which didn't sell at retail prices. Combined with the other benefits, there is absolutely nowhere else a business is going to get in front of tens of thousands of local gun owners for anywhere close to $50/month (not even a tank of gas).

Two ads might not seem like a lot, but even a Bronze Vendor could absolutely flood the classifieds (as there's no daily limit). If you post two ads and they sell in an hour, you can immediately post two more. This is done to encourage vendors to price their ads competitively (for the reasons mentioned above). That said, I don't disagree with @AME Firearms that two ads is a low limit if you're posting and waiting weeks or months for them to sell.

The current classified system situation is a nightmare. Our old classifieds system is held together with duct tape and bailing wire, and we're extremely limited as to what we can change. As for the new system, a major update of the software we use was released just as we were about to launch (with an even bigger update soon to follow). Our developer had to pause work on the one last feature we're waiting on to address compatibility with these updates, and we currently have no ETA for completion. As soon as that last feature is done we can launch the new system and begin work on development of a planned rate limit for both posting and bumping ads (based on support level). These limits should address the age-old complaint of one member taking over the front page, and allow us to raise the overall ad limit for vendors. We also plan on developing Supporting Member and Supporting Vendor ad filters (hopefully increasing tolerance for these additional vendor ads).

The idea of charging and/or limiting ads for non-supporting members comes up quite often, mostly from members with their heart in the right place who hate seeing these people take advantage of the site. While I appreciate the thought, this change alone would likely lead to the eventual downfall of our entire community. People visit websites for content. Generally, the more content (volume) you have, the more visitors you can expect. Those new members add their own content, the process continues, and the community grows. Restricting content has the opposite affect; In all my years, I've never seen it not shrink (or outright destroy) a thriving community.

On the topic of combining ads, we generally don't recommend it as the vast majority of members use the filter system to find ads. While searches search the body of an ad, most filters do not. For example, a buyer is looking for a Glock and you have a Glock 19, Sig P320, and CZ SP-01 in a single ad. If the buyer filters by manufacturer (Glock), that ad isn't going to show (because the manufacturer will be set to "Other / Not Listed"). Same goes for caliber (unless they're the same). It is infinitely better for members to create a separate ad for each item (as there's no limit on total number of ads). This is different for vendors, due to the ad limit. Most will do better with one ad in the handgun section, one ad in the rifle section, etc. listing all items of that type.

I sat down to type this two hours ago, hopefully I didn't miss anything :confused: :D
 
If I may, the assumption that supporting vendors will price items higher than non-supporting non-FFL members, is questionable. Used Gen 3 Glocks for %10 over retail are common. Cerakoted Glocks with generic FOD-harvesting slide cuts for 200% of retail are also regular visitors.
 
If I may, the assumption that supporting vendors will price items higher than non-supporting non-FFL members, is questionable. Used Gen 3 Glocks for %10 over retail are common. Cerakoted Glocks with generic FOD-harvesting slide cuts for 200% of retail are also regular visitors.
Respectfully, that sounds a little like one of those, "the exceptions disprove the rules" arguments that, in general terms, doesn't hold a lot of water.

There are, obviously, situations where a retailer will post something for sale at a loss. Low demand, they've been sitting on it too long... and if you're not constantly "flipping" your money... you're losing money just from your overhead. It's sometimes good business to liquidate an asset simply to get your money back into the pipeline working for you again.

Private sellers, obviously, there are those that are trying to turn a profit, have an emotional attachment to an inanimate object or have a perceived value in the gucci components they invested heavily in, which doesn't actually exist in terms of "real world value". Just because they post something higher than market value also doesn't mean they are actually selling at those prices.

In general terms though, retailers "have to" make a profit on their wares to stay in business. Private sellers are not so constrained. So in general, it's much more difficult for retailers to price competitively with private sellers.

For supporting vendors, the classifieds can be a real asset to quickly flip "dead stock", offer an exceptional deal or post something rare and/or in high demand... that's really difficult to come by. Flooding the classifieds with full retail "everyday" products that aren't likely to sell quickly, or at all, and clogging up the listings really only serves to devalue the classifieds system for members. IMO, anyway.

I think having a posting limit really does help to limit retailers to carefully consider what they are posting and encourages them to stick with only those items they are likely to have a quick turn around.
 
Last Edited:
Thank you all for your input. I will be trying to make some changes on my end to increase exposure of my business.

I can understand why Joe would not want to restructure the post limits if the classifieds are about to be completely overhauled.
 
Let me start by saying I appreciate hearing thoughts on this, both from members and vendors. Lots of good comments and ideas to think about. I'm going to post mine and try to address everything mentioned here. I have days worth of notes on improvements I want to make to all aspects of this site, especially the classifieds system. Unfortunately, we have to work within our many limitations including technical expertise, software limitations, time, and money. We might not be able to do things exactly as we'd like, but I'll always strive to provide the best experience I can given what we have to work with. I'm proud that this community is among the top out there despite having only a small fraction of the resources.

The main reason we limit SV ads is because members have overwhelmingly told us they hate when the classifieds are flooded with vendor ads. The classified system isn't meant to be a "virtual storefront" for vendors; it's one benefit in a package designed to market the business to our members as a whole. Ads posted at retail prices are of no benefit to anyone; the reputation of the vendor takes a hit because members get frustrated and the items don't sell because people are looking for a deal. Price will always be the #1 determining factor for how well an ad does. Even on page 10, if someone were to drop their Deagle price from $1,950 to $950, that gun will be gone within the hour.

Vendors should primarily view the classifieds as an additional tool to generate interest in their business, get eyeballs on their website, get foot traffic in their store, and blow out items which didn't sell at retail prices. Combined with the other benefits, there is absolutely nowhere else a business is going to get in front of tens of thousands of local gun owners for anywhere close to $50/month (not even a tank of gas).

Two ads might not seem like a lot, but even a Bronze Vendor could absolutely flood the classifieds (as there's no daily limit). If you post two ads and they sell in an hour, you can immediately post two more. This is done to encourage vendors to price their ads competitively (for the reasons mentioned above). That said, I don't disagree with @AME Firearms that two ads is a low limit if you're posting and waiting weeks or months for them to sell.

The current classified system situation is a nightmare. Our old classifieds system is held together with duct tape and bailing wire, and we're extremely limited as to what we can change. As for the new system, a major update of the software we use was released just as we were about to launch (with an even bigger update soon to follow). Our developer had to pause work on the one last feature we're waiting on to address compatibility with these updates, and we currently have no ETA for completion. As soon as that last feature is done we can launch the new system and begin work on development of a planned rate limit for both posting and bumping ads (based on support level). These limits should address the age-old complaint of one member taking over the front page, and allow us to raise the overall ad limit for vendors. We also plan on developing Supporting Member and Supporting Vendor ad filters (hopefully increasing tolerance for these additional vendor ads).

The idea of charging and/or limiting ads for non-supporting members comes up quite often, mostly from members with their heart in the right place who hate seeing these people take advantage of the site. While I appreciate the thought, this change alone would likely lead to the eventual downfall of our entire community. People visit websites for content. Generally, the more content (volume) you have, the more visitors you can expect. Those new members add their own content, the process continues, and the community grows. Restricting content has the opposite affect; In all my years, I've never seen it not shrink (or outright destroy) a thriving community.

On the topic of combining ads, we generally don't recommend it as the vast majority of members use the filter system to find ads. While searches search the body of an ad, most filters do not. For example, a buyer is looking for a Glock and you have a Glock 19, Sig P320, and CZ SP-01 in a single ad. If the buyer filters by manufacturer (Glock), that ad isn't going to show (because the manufacturer will be set to "Other / Not Listed"). Same goes for caliber (unless they're the same). It is infinitely better for members to create a separate ad for each item (as there's no limit on total number of ads). This is different for vendors, due to the ad limit. Most will do better with one ad in the handgun section, one ad in the rifle section, etc. listing all items of that type.

I sat down to type this two hours ago, hopefully I didn't miss anything :confused: :D
That puts things into perspective quite well Joe.
 
Not my circus, not my monkeys, but it seems odd that the freeloaders here have virtually unlimited access to the classifieds, but the people who make significant contributions to the site have what seem to be unreasonable limits.
If these limits are necessary, shouldn't they be necessary for everyone??
From a buyer's perspective, the more stuff available the better. From a seller's perspective, it would be nice to not have my ad pushed off the front page right away, but that could be done with a more generous limit than 2 ads at a time, whether that be per section or total. A limit of 2-3 new ads per day, or 1 new ad every two hours, or something similar, along with a limit on the number of ads bumped per day would keep things spread out amongst the other member's ads.
How about a Classifieds filter for Supporting vendor/Supporting member/Non-supporting member??
if @Joe Link could weigh in on the purpose of the limit maybe we could help find a better system, or at least gain an understanding of why it is this way.
Now, apply that logic to taxpayers! The most productive get the least amount of return.
 

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