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View Poll Results: Which system should we implement to keep people honest?
Forum reputation system 21 31.82%
iTrader 30 45.45%
Complaint forum 9 13.64%
None (or new idea posted below) 6 9.09%
Voters: 66. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07-06-2007, 10:49 AM
Bernard's Avatar
PlantSwap Site Founder
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Zone 9b, Friendswood, TX
Posts: 1,971
iTrader: (0)

ExclamationWhat You Should Do if You Have Trading Problems with Forum Members


I just got a PM from one of our members indicating that another forum member has not held up their end of a trade negotiated here in the forums. As this is the first time I have received a complaint of this nature, I do not have any system in place currently to handle this.

First, let me make it clear that neither I nor the forum moderator(s) want to inherit the job of trade mediator. This is strictly a laissez faire medium.

There are several things I could do with the forum/site to allow members to rate each other or provide feedback on trading activity, but I'd like to ask all of you for input before I implement any of them. Please vote in the anonymous poll (and respond to this thread with your opinions if you like) on the following options:
  • Use forum's reputation system - This forum software has a reputation system that allows members to give positive or negative votes to other members' forum posts. The intention of the system is to highlight members who are liked by the community (either for being helpful or funny) and disliked. When active, the forum displays each member's reputation status with a graphic meter alongside every forum post and in their user profile. I'm not a huge fan of this system and that's why it is not active at this moment, but I'll be happy to activate it if you all would like to try it.
  • iTrader - There is a free modification available for this forum software that installs a trader rating system similar to the one on ebay where members can leave positive and negative feedback for specific trades. I had thought about implementing this when I first built this site, but thought that gardeners are such a friendly and honest group that it wouldn't be necessary.
  • Add a complaint forum - I could add a non-public forum to the site (ie. only logged in members could see it) where members could air their grievances publicly in an attempt to either shame a dishonest party or warn the rest of the membership. This would have the benefit of allowing both parties a chance to tell their sides of the story, but could get ugly and be a source of friction.
  #2  
Old 07-10-2007, 03:28 PM
Bernard's Avatar
PlantSwap Site Founder
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Zone 9b, Friendswood, TX
Posts: 1,971
iTrader: (0)
OK, looks like iTrader is the popular choice. I'll see about getting it installed soon.
  #3  
Old 07-11-2007, 08:35 AM
Bernard's Avatar
PlantSwap Site Founder
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Zone 9b, Friendswood, TX
Posts: 1,971
iTrader: (0)
OK. I've upgraded the forum software and installed iTrader.

You should now see iTrader info on the right hand side of the member's name at the top of every post (in the forums or PM). You can also find the iTrader info for every member in their profile.

Clicking on the number for the iTrader will take you to their ratings page where you can review feedback that has been left or post your own feedback.


If someone sends you something for free/postage, I would suggest leaving feedback "as the buyer". Otherwise, most feedback should be categorized as trades.

Please post any questions about the system (or suggestions to improve it) here.
  #4  
Old 07-17-2007, 08:47 AM
Bernard's Avatar
PlantSwap Site Founder
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Zone 9b, Friendswood, TX
Posts: 1,971
iTrader: (0)
Here's a pretty easy to read iTrader tutorial (with pictures).
  #5  
Old 12-06-2007, 02:28 AM
danabird's Avatar
Sprout
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 92
iTrader: (2)
In all fairness maybe people are like me and waiting for the things to go dormat before cutting them? I have 2 folks Im sending cuttings to as soon as I see it's safe to cut and ship.
  #6  
Old 12-10-2007, 06:08 PM
Bernard's Avatar
PlantSwap Site Founder
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Zone 9b, Friendswood, TX
Posts: 1,971
iTrader: (0)
That's perfectly understandable. Some members have had problems however, where the trading partner went completely incommunicado. I think most members are reasonable people, but if there is no communication, it becomes harder to give someone the benefit of the doubt.

Situations where you know you won't be shipping an item for a while should be communicated up front though.
  #7  
Old 12-11-2007, 09:41 AM
danabird's Avatar
Sprout
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 92
iTrader: (2)
I let the folks know that I am gonna swap with that I still have blooms on my plant which I will be cutting from, I thought things would be finished blooming by now here but we haven't had the cold weather yet. I know I once had thought someone was gonna send me some heirloom seeds for my dad but I never got them or heard from the person, so that was a big let down.
  #8  
Old 05-12-2008, 11:30 AM
dsanthony's Avatar
Sprout
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Zone 6, Spring Grove, PA
Posts: 28
iTrader: (1)
I am completely new to this site and the whole system. Can someone explain what Itrader is and how it will work?
  #9  
Old 05-12-2008, 11:37 AM
AlphaDog's Avatar
Flower
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Zone 7, North Alabama
Posts: 444
iTrader: (6)
dsanthony: iTrader is kind of like the feedback system on eBay. You rate the person you made a trade with as either good, bad or neutral.

Very good system! Already been implemented.
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  #10  
Old 05-12-2008, 12:27 PM
Flowering Shrub
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: **
Posts: 781
iTrader: (39)
Originally Posted by dsanthony View Post:
Can someone explain what Itrader is and how it will work?
After you have received your plants from the person you agreed to swap or postage with-you need to leave them feedback. Whenever someone posts on the forum, you will see in the upper right hand corner of their posts, how many trades they have successfully done. It will say "iTrader:3" (or another number) this means they have had success with 3 members they have traded with. That number is highlighted and if you click on it you will see a dropdown box that will let you view their ratings or leave a rating. There are wonderful people here that have a long history but don't trade much and then there are people like me who have spurts where they make trading a full time job! (At least it seems that way!) I do love to swap. You can see how long a person has been visiting the site also by the date of their membership on their profile. If you really re concerned about swapping with someone-you can pm some of the people on their feedback and ask them about their swap (if they remember!) I know I have a lot of feedback but I've made three mistakes (and probably many more). Once I sent Mary Taylor 400 glad bulbs when she only requested "some" (sorry!) and the other time I sent a package to the same person twice because I didn't check them off my list of who I needed to send a package to (oops!). Then again, there was a plant that I swapped that wasn't the same plant the receiver thought I was swapping (generic names). We all make mistakes. I try to err on the side of over-generosity. I hope everyone is pleased with our swaps. If not I will correct the situation. (I even went out and bought the plant my swapper thought I was swapping so I can grow it to give to her later. It was cost a bit so I asked if I could grow it first. She's fine with that.) On the feedback page you can give negative feedback and the person can respond to the comment and post a rebuttal. I would prefer if people just sent me a private message if they aren't happy because I want a chance to rectify the situation.
-D
  #11  
Old 07-11-2008, 11:09 AM
MSgardener's Avatar
Sprout
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Coastal MS zone 8
Posts: 53
iTrader: (8)

QuestionVery Disappointed!


I am very disappointed. I dig the plants, wrap them carefully, travel 10 miles to the Post Office, mail the plants to all that ask for them, and then wait...Nothing...Only 4 people that I have swaps with have let me know that they received. Only the same 4 did the swap and they were great. But nothing from the other 10 members, no answer to my request "Did you receive your plants"..nothing...Guess all are to busy in the garden to answer. Just had to say what I was thinking.....
  #12  
Old 08-30-2008, 07:57 PM
Tree
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: 4
Posts: 1,527
iTrader: (9)

lettin people know...


I might be guilty of not letting people know I got my trade. If I did forget.. please just PM me and ask. I am new to this and I still need to get a regular routine. Im am truely trying to do my very best. I promise!!!
  #13  
Old 09-01-2008, 09:56 AM
Bernard's Avatar
PlantSwap Site Founder
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Zone 9b, Friendswood, TX
Posts: 1,971
iTrader: (0)

ExclamationPlease use iTrader for all trades - even bad ones


It's been brought to my attention that some members here have had trades where they were unsatisfied/disappointed and elected not to post a neutral or negative iTrader rating because they felt that the person with whom they had traded was a more active and "well-liked" member.

No one here is more important than anyone else. This isn't a popularity contest!

If you are unhappy with a trade, you should say so (via iTrader). Otherwise, how is anyone to know you were dissatisfied? Being honest doesn't make you a bad person.

No one is perfect and even folks who have a long history of good trades (many positive iTrader ratings) can slip up once in a while. Negative feedback helps everyone - especially the one receiving the feedback - know that expectations were not met. Either expectations were set too high, or the member didn't follow through as promised.

I haven't traded much on this forum (just once so far to be exact) - I prefer to save my babies for swap meets where I can meet folks in person - but I'm pretty sure the member I traded with was not satisfied with what I sent in return for what was given. The member didn't post any iTrader (first clue) or acknowledge receipt of the package (second clue).

I'm smart enough to read between the lines and earnest enough to want to make up for any shortcomings/inequity in the trade (I'm very happy with what I received), so I will be sending another package to the member with more plants to make up for the disappointing one I sent. I would not have been offended if the member had given me negative iTrader for this trade. I realize that equal value was not exchanged. Negative iTrader is just an incentive to make things right.

Negative ratings can be updated/edited to positive when shortcomings are addressed (within 30 days of the posting date - trades rectified after this point require mod/admin intervention to fix). If they are not addressed, it serves warning to others. Don't be afraid to post a negative rating if you are unsatisfied. The system won't work if everyone is afraid to use it properly.

~~~

I closed the poll attached to this thread a while back. I am not going to open the forum reputation system or create a public complaint forum.

Having discussed trading and member personality issues extensively with the mod team, I just don't see how either one is going offer more benefit than the problems they will most certainly bring.

As I mentioned in the first post here - this is a laissez faire medium. Neither I nor the forum moderator(s) want to inherit the job of trade mediator.

iTrader is your tool to facilitate honesty and integrity in trades. It's not perfect, but it's the best tool we have at our disposal.
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Last edited by Bernard; 09-01-2008 at 10:17 AM..
  #14  
Old 10-11-2008, 09:36 AM
onyx's Avatar
Flowering Shrub
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Zone 7, Tulsa OK
Posts: 665
iTrader: (2)
well, that's not nice of people to do that!! in the few days i've been here i've learned a whole lot about swapping & seeds & plants & pests & etc.. i've been reading everything & reply to stuff that's relevant. i think this place is awesome! and you shouldn't make it a bad place by not keeping your end of the bargain! the itrader plugin is a really great idea.

i would hope that if someone wasn't happy with what i traded that they'd tell me before they left me some negative feedback.. cause i am happy to buy a new packet of seeds for them or do what i can to correct the problem if the person isn't happy with whatever was traded. that being said, if i wasn't happy with a trade, i would first let the person know that i had a problem & give them the opportunity to fix it or tell me what i did wrong (cause that can happen- i'm a newbie.. i may have not put the seeds in the right kind of soil or something like that).. then after the problem has been resolved or they rip me a new one or whatever, i would leave them feedback based on that. i think that most people would be nice enough to at least try to resolve the issue, though & i don't believe anyone really means to be a bad trader (i'm naive like that lol).
  #15  
Old 10-11-2008, 09:39 PM
jessiebella677's Avatar
Flowering Shrub
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: zone 4
Posts: 586
iTrader: (17)
Send a message via Yahoo to jessiebella677
I agree. I think you have made alot of valid points. I really hope I do a good job trading. I also hope that if there are unhappinesses in some ways that we always try to work it out first,,most times its a misunderstanding and lack of communication on one or both sides. Also most times it can be worked out.

Originally Posted by PlantSwap View Post:
It's been brought to my attention that some members here have had trades where they were unsatisfied/disappointed and elected not to post a neutral or negative iTrader rating because they felt that the person with whom they had traded was a more active and "well-liked" member.

No one here is more important than anyone else. This isn't a popularity contest!

If you are unhappy with a trade, you should say so (via iTrader). Otherwise, how is anyone to know you were dissatisfied? Being honest doesn't make you a bad person.

No one is perfect and even folks who have a long history of good trades (many positive iTrader ratings) can slip up once in a while. Negative feedback helps everyone - especially the one receiving the feedback - know that expectations were not met. Either expectations were set too high, or the member didn't follow through as promised.

I haven't traded much on this forum (just once so far to be exact) - I prefer to save my babies for swap meets where I can meet folks in person - but I'm pretty sure the member I traded with was not satisfied with what I sent in return for what was given. The member didn't post any iTrader (first clue) or acknowledge receipt of the package (second clue).

I'm smart enough to read between the lines and earnest enough to want to make up for any shortcomings/inequity in the trade (I'm very happy with what I received), so I will be sending another package to the member with more plants to make up for the disappointing one I sent. I would not have been offended if the member had given me negative iTrader for this trade. I realize that equal value was not exchanged. Negative iTrader is just an incentive to make things right.

Negative ratings can be updated/edited to positive when shortcomings are addressed (within 30 days of the posting date - trades rectified after this point require mod/admin intervention to fix). If they are not addressed, it serves warning to others. Don't be afraid to post a negative rating if you are unsatisfied. The system won't work if everyone is afraid to use it properly.

~~~

I closed the poll attached to this thread a while back. I am not going to open the forum reputation system or create a public complaint forum.

Having discussed trading and member personality issues extensively with the mod team, I just don't see how either one is going offer more benefit than the problems they will most certainly bring.

As I mentioned in the first post here - this is a laissez faire medium. Neither I nor the forum moderator(s) want to inherit the job of trade mediator.

iTrader is your tool to facilitate honesty and integrity in trades. It's not perfect, but it's the best tool we have at our disposal.
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