This post is intended to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the transition from the old SitePoint Marketplace/Trading Post and the new SitePoint Marketplace.
The first question is the one that has been asked, and answered, most frequently.
Why did you go from providing free listings to charging for listings?
Once, we didn't allow commercial posts of any kind on the forums, including in our Trading Post. All posts had to be of a non-commercial nature and involve no money changing hands or offers for sale. In an attempt to address the problem of spam by those ignoring our guidelines, we created separate forums in which members could advertise their services or items for sale, in the hope that moderation would be easier because the commercial posts were restricted to certain areas of the forums only.
However, we weren't prepared for the sudden explosive growth in traffic to these forums, which made moderating the forums very difficult, and distracted from the core purpose of the forums. The core purpose of the forums was to provide a community of discussions among Web developers, rather than to provide free for all advertising for those wishing to sell something. So, after several modifications of guidelines we decided to charge for commercial posts. It has helped us to moderate the Marketplace and has allowed us to focus more on the other sections of the forums. It has been a good compromise in that it allows most sellers to continue to sell their items, while reducing the problem of spam in those forums, and earning some money for SitePoint to offset the value we provide to our members.
Why don't SitePoint take a commission from the sale like ____ do?
SitePoint doesn't provide facilities for members to transfer money to each other, nor does it provide assistance for resolving disputes such as non-payment, non-receiving of goods, and so on. SitePoint therefore has no way of knowing the amount of money transferred or verifying the value of goods sold. SitePoint is providing the advertising space for your listing only. How you sell, and how much you sell for is to be sorted out between the buyer and seller.
What if our site or template doesn't sell?
You should take time to ensure that you have chosen an appropriate price for your item, and describe the item fully. You should also check the guidelines for each individual forum as we provide some hints for sellers, and do a bit of research to try and determine whether what you're selling might be popular. We cannot issue you with a refund for your listing if you are unable to sell your item.
Why do you sort threads by creation time rather than last post time?
This ensures that all people who purchase a listing receive an equal and fair amount of exposure for their advertisement, regardless of whether it receives a lot of attention in the form of replies or not. This removes the need for and effect of 'thread bumping' - the act of making worthless posts to a thread in order to compete for top position. Threads are listed according to the order in which they were created.
Can I bump my listing?
Eventually, your listing will decrease in visibility until it slips off the front page of listings, but it will remain viewable and searchable by those willing to browse or search. Your listing cannot be bumped except by purchasing and creating a new listing.
Where does all this money go?
The money goes to SitePoint, the company. Information about SitePoint is available here.
Is SitePoint planning on going public in the near future?
What a strange question. I don't think they are, but it is irrelevant.
I think you are charging too much money. What do you have to say about it?
We and many of our customers believe we provide a valuable service. This can be seen by the results. Have a look through the threads and notice how a number of Websites and templates have been sold. We have no intention of reducing the cost of listings while it is working as it is.
Why should I pay $9.95 when I sell my template for only $2-$3?
A issue with the previous "Sell Your Template" forum was that templates (with exclusive rights) were being sold for excessively low amounts of money, some even lower than the current cost of a listing. We realise that those wanting to sell templates for a very low price may not find it economical to do so with the listing fee. However, this is an unusually low price to sell a unique template. On the positive side, this may inadvertently reduce the likelihood of people selling advertising templates for sale which are not exclusive or which they do not have the right to sell.
Haven't you lost business by introducing the fee?
No, because previously we had no business with people selling items in the forums, and now we do. Business has changed from zero to something.