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Trolling for Business at Signs 101

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Fred Weiss, Aug 24, 2006.

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  1. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I received a very troubling email this evening. It was from a member here who had started a thread that was loaded with a lot of very useful information. For that I think he was grateful. The thread was about production problems related to having received a sizeable order.

    What he did not expect to receive were numerous "offers" by email and by private message to wholesale production to him. There were so many messages that his description to me was "spam". He has requested of me that the entire thread be deleted and I have reluctantly complied with the request. A lot of very good information was lost in the process.

    To any readers of this who were among those making offers, I have this to say:

    The only times when making such offers is appropriate at Signs 101 is when you have paid to be a Merchant Member or when a poster specifically asks for quotations for work to be produced. Any other act of self-promotion is specifically against forum policy.

    Anyone receiving unwanted solicitations from other members is encouraged to contact me directly with the details including copies of the solicitations. My response will be a two strike policy. 1st time you get suspended from Signs 101 for one week. 2nd time and you get banned from ever participating here again.

    We have numerous Merchant Members who are short changed by such behind the scenes activities. In addition, if you are looking for business from other members, Merchant Membership is very easy to put into effect and, I think, very reasonably priced.

    To those among you who perhaps made offers that were such that you may have only had in your mind to be helpful, please take no offense at these remarks ... but please refrain in the future from making unsolicited offers through these boards.
     
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  2. myronb

    myronb Active Member

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    Just thought it was good idea to bump this to the top!
     
  3. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

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    hmm... interesting. I'll make sure I watch what I say. :thankyou:
     
  4. sandblast_dude

    sandblast_dude Member

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    Me too. Hopefully I have not overstepped my bounds in the past by telling people to contact me if they need help with "sandblast related" topics.
    Just trying to be helpful... Thats all.
     
  5. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

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    I think Fred is primarily referring to unsolicited PM's and emails, which is very common elsewhere.

    It is not a secret that many us of newtork through s101. There is ettiquette involved, just like anything else. A person should not be concerned with umpteen solicitations - except for merchant members (who are all too quiet).

    Fred, if I am out of bounds - please say so.

    If someone has some helpful advice that they are willing to share, they should. If a person desires your services, they will be smart enough to ask. It is rude and insulting to just blatantly solicit anybody - unless it is from a merchant member WHO IS SUPPOSE TO.
     
  6. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Your clarification even confused me. :Big Laugh

    If you pull my commentary from the core of my post it boils down to this:

    When someone posts that they are seeking to buy a product or service, that is a solicitation for said product or service and anyone may respond to the request either in the thread or by PM, email, telephone etc. As such they are making a solicited response.

    So if anyone is looking for someone to print up some decals and makes a post soliciting bids, then feel free to respond. Beyond that, and other than networking with others, if you contact other members without their permission soliciting business by utilizing any of the information and functions provided by this forum, then you are trolling and you may find yourself banned.

    When someone posts that they are looking for ways to become more productive because they received a large order, that is not a solicitation. It is a request for information. Anyone other than a Merchant Member that responds with any offer involving compensation for some product or service is making an Unsolicited Offer and an act of self-promotion at the expense of Signs 101 and its Merchant Members. If it is done in the open forums I will act on it accordingly. If it is done privately and a complaint is received from any member along with documentation, then I will also act accordingly as stated in my opening post.

    Private networking is not a matter of concern to me or this forum.

    In addition to what has already been put forth, I am also changing forum policy as to self-promoting signature entries. Entries such as "Wholesale Printing", "Website Design" etc. which, in my judgment, are seeking to self-promote and attract business from members and guests here without compensating Signs 101 for the advertising benefit will no longer be permitted. It isn't fair to Signs 101 and it isn't fair to our Merchant Members.
     
  7. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

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    That is what I meant :Big Laugh :Big Laugh
     
  8. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Thank you. It was clear the first time, but now... no one has an excuse.

    The part about the signature line is more than a fair and square answer.
     
  9. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    To further clarify because a certain kind of post happens with some kind of regularity here. That is when a member asks who others are using for any particular product or service. That is a request for referrals and recommendations. It is not a solicitation for bids, sales contact or a self recommendation unless the poster specifically asks others to contact him or her.

    The appropriate response is "I use ABC Widgets and have been very pleased."

    The inappropriate response, unless you are a Merchant Member here, that is self-promoting is "We do wholesale printing for the trade. Send me the details."
     
  10. 3CGraphics

    3CGraphics Member

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    For anyone reading this - merchant membership is a steal (don't read this Fred) - one job will more than pay for it AND you help signs101 - Fred doesn't push it and I'm not really as free exchange of ideas is really what signs101 is all about and no one should feel obligated (unless this thread applies to you) - but again- it's a steal IMO
     
  11. Steve C.

    Steve C. Very Active Member

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    Just bringing it to the top one more time......
     
  12. MAB SIGNS

    MAB SIGNS Very Active Member

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    Interesting, I tend to stay away from those who offer wholesale and retail. "Wholesale only" means I'm not ever bothered in the event the said wholesaler/retailer goes after my client. I'm not trying to offend those who offer products to associates on here, that's just always been my rule. I know there have been some good business relationships started here and you're fortunate if you have had those.
     
  13. Greenthorn

    Greenthorn Member

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    Fred, where can we find the "forum policy?" I can't seem to locate it.

    With most forums, you see it during registration, and that's it. If that's the case, maybe you could paste into a post and "lock and sticky" it.

    Also, I just noticed in another thread where someone was asking if his pricing was right on a large order of tshirts, and someone offered to contract print his order. I was thinking that we members could self-police the threads. We have "smilies" for Thread Pirate, and Design Police, maybe we could get one for Thread Police?
     
  14. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    The forum policy should be part of the FAQ section and has never been written and published there for a variety of weak reasons. I will attend to it in the near future.

    Suffice it to say that it really hasn't been necessary at the traffic levels we experienced here for the first couple of years and those few things which were a problem for the forum were just posted in General Topics as "Sticky" posts or listed in the forum descriptions. Beyond that, the forum has been allowed to run under unstated rules governed by social behavior, peer pressure, the legal system and occasional moderation on my part.

    There really isn't a lot:

    • Don't use this forum to break the law (file swapping, illegally duplicated software etc.).
    • Don't use this forum to self-promote yourself or your business without acquiring the paid for right to do so.
    • No profanity, items in bad taste, religous or political topics.
    And yes, I know that things go unenforced sometimes ... political discussions in particular. I don't run this forum for a living and there is only so much time available. So I count on members to act as good citizens and to sort out bad actors and inappropriate behavior on their own.
     
  15. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Forum policies added to FAQ

    Signs 101 forum policies are now posted in the FAQ section of the site.
     
  16. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

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    Back for it's 7-Month Bump !

    Good Info for All . . . !
     
  17. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Does a member posting pictures in Speedo's count as an unsolicited solicitation?

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
  18. 436HENRY

    436HENRY Member

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    Merchant member several months GREAT GREAT

    I have been a merchant member for several months. The items I sell are thing I make myself. I sell mostly thru Ebay and my web site. Also call on sign shops. I get lots of lookers and sales have been great. If you have something to sell or offer sign up for Merchant member you will suport the forum and your self. Get a web site and let the site do the selling. Sign up for paypal. Its safe Henry Goines
     
  19. Lunatic Taskbar

    Lunatic Taskbar Very Active Member

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    Bump good info in here
     
  20. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    I RESEMBLE THAT REMARK!!!!!!!
    i post a lot saying CALL ME....but iam doing only free one on one helpful information....(saves me from typin so much, since i kantspel, am old, and typin takes so long!!!)
     
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