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Old 02-10-2019, 02:02 PM
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commasense commasense is offline
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Posting about items for sale or auction.

The other day I started this thread about a model from Starship Troopers being up for sale on eBay. I knew about the auction because the item was being sold by a friend/acquaintance of mine who had emailed a few people he thought might be interested in it. I posted because the film has been a frequent topic of discussion here, and I thought some Dopers might be interested in knowing about the model, if not actually buying it.

Let me be clear: I was not asked to post by the seller and I have no interest or stake in the sale. It was not my intent to promote the sale as such, and I apologize if it appeared otherwise. Reading it now, I can see how it might have been seen that way, and I don't blame Chronos for closing it, although I would have explained myself if he or another mod had asked.

Although I think it highly unlikely this situation will come up again for me personally, what should I have done differently? It seems to me that many people have posted here about interesting eBay sales or other auctions they found without running afoul of the rules or having their threads closed.
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:18 PM
elbows elbows is online now
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Perhaps you could simply leave out that it belongs to a friend, and not mention that it’s for sale. Let the viewer discover that on their own, (I’m assuming that part is easily discoverable and the photo links to a For Sale ad!)

Just tell everyone what’s so cool about it, and why you think it’s awesome!

Just a suggestion, Good Luck!

Last edited by elbows; 02-10-2019 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:15 PM
kopek kopek is offline
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Details are foggy in my brain but I believe someone mentioned about listing a lot of things on eBay (kinda-a-PM-me-for-my-sellers-name sort of mention) and a few times I have asked for help in identification of some aspect of something I was going to buy. The latest is an odd meat cleaver with writing on the blade in some language I can't identify -- possibly Mongolian or something like that. I am very curious as well what you should/could have done different because it may never come up for you but I can see it coming up for me some day.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:55 PM
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engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is offline
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However you word it, if a friend is selling something, it often implies that you are somehow profiting from it or at the very least are doing your friend a favor to help it get sold. The best thing to do in this type of situation is to obtain permission from us first before posting. Send a PM or an e-mail to the moderators of the forum where you want to make your post, along with a copy of exactly what you want to post. We might think that it's not appropriate to post, or we might approve it as-is, or we might ask you to make some changes to the post. If you obtain approval, make sure that you clearly state that you have been given moderator approval in your post.

The moderators of each forum at down at the bottom of the page for that forum. However, they don't show up if you are using the mobile theme (Sultantheme's Responsive vB3-blue, one of many known bugs with that theme). They show up fine on the regular theme (Straight Dope v3.7.3).

You can also go to the main page for the SDMB (boards.straightdope.com) and click on "View Forum leaders". This particular page is apparently served up by snails on sedatives instead of the normal hamsters, but it should eventually load.

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Old 02-12-2019, 06:46 AM
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As a Charter Member, couldn't the OP just put it in the Marketplace?
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:24 AM
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commasense commasense is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
As a Charter Member, couldn't the OP just put it in the Marketplace?
In future, if I have something to sell, or want to help a friend sell something, I will. But in this case it was just something I thought my fellow Dopers might be interested in seeing and knowing about, not necessarily buying, and I was not trying to help the seller. The fact that I happen to know him was, from my point of view, incidental. I might have made a similar post if I had just randomly come across the sale.

But it seems that mentioning the seller was a friend created the impression that I was posting an ad, not simply telling the SDMB about something interesting.

Last edited by commasense; 02-12-2019 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:15 AM
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engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is offline
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The way it is worded is basically "my friend is selling X, bidding starts at Y." The whole thing really does look like an ad. While your intent was more along the lines of "hey, some Starship Trooper fans may find this interesting," that's not how it came across. There is nothing in the body or title of the post that indicates that it is anything other than an ad.

There is nothing wrong with mentioning that you know the seller. What makes it look like an ad is that this is about all you did, along with posting a copy of the ebay description.

It's actually a good idea to mention if you know the seller or if this is just something you stumbled across. If you do know the seller it's also probably a good idea to mention whether or not you have a financial stake in the sale. If your intention is along the lines of "hey, fans may find this interesting" then you need to actually say that somewhere in the post. Your title of "want a model that was actually used in the film?" is more along the lines of a sales pitch than sharing something interesting.

Saying something more along the lines of "my friend is selling this but I thought some fans might at least find it interesting whether you want to buy it or not" would be better, but since it is something that is for sale, it's very easy to accidentally make the post come across as an ad. This can be true for something that you just stumble across and want to share as well, though it's a bit more clear if you point out that you just stumbled across it. Either way, if you check with a moderator first, we can look over your post and tell you if it comes across too much like an advertisement or not.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:53 AM
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commasense commasense is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
The way it is worded is basically "my friend is selling X, bidding starts at Y." The whole thing really does look like an ad. While your intent was more along the lines of "hey, some Starship Trooper fans may find this interesting," that's not how it came across. There is nothing in the body or title of the post that indicates that it is anything other than an ad.
You're right, and I realized that when I re-read the post after Chronos closed it. The reason I mentioned the opening price was that it wasn't included in the body of the listing.

Quote:
There is nothing wrong with mentioning that you know the seller. What makes it look like an ad is that this is about all you did, along with posting a copy of the ebay description.
Yup. I see that, and I agree with the rest of your post. Again, my apologies for accidentally brushing up against the edges of the rules.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:12 PM
kopek kopek is offline
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ECG -- thanks! All that is a great help for me in my brain. Usually when its come up for me its been in the course of an existing thread (Think you have every Star Wars toy out there? You got one of these?) but I did post a notice in Marketplace when my former employer had me doing a big clearance sale and asked opinions in the MMP and places a time of three. Yeah -- its not something that comes up to me weekly or even monthly but when the thread got closed I got curious.
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