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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    It's ridiculous to follow Sitepoint rules when there's a lot of money at stake

    Signing into Sitepoint sometimes has this effect of depressing me. It's the honest of sellers...or lack of it.

    I try to be charitable and put it down to oversight or genuine mistake but, no, they are largely a crooked, deceptive bunch.

    In this thread I've been looking to place a bid. The seller claims monthly revenues of between $2500 and $6100. If you look carefully you'll see that it's not current revenues, it's from a year ago. At present it's making only $600. Fair enough?

    If you dig deeper and ask questions it turns out that this past income was only achievable using a sales person (full time?) and that sales person has now gone. What the seller conveniently "forgot" to do was deduct this sales person's commission from the claimed revenue figures as it turns out later. What does it matter if he's disclosed the current earnings as $600? Deception is deception. Period. Particularly when it's about the figues. It doesn't have to be about current earnings.

    He's mentioned that he had paid writers but conveniently forgotten to deduce that cost (as well) from his claimed profit.

    Then there's this auction.. Finding the bidding going slowly he claims he has a private buyer via PM offering him the full BIN. That gets people bidding. Then this private buyer suddenly disappears. Yeah, right. When it's pointed out that the Sitepoint rules specifically forbid such private dealings when there's a public auction going on the seller says that it's ridiculous to follow rules when you're in a real-life situation and there's a lot of money at stake.

    Ridiculous to follow rules when there's a lot of money at stake!

    Unfortunately that's what a lot of sellers seem to believe

    Someone tell me their buying experience is usually different to mine. Please.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict g1siberia's Avatar
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    sure its unpleasant but its part of the learning curve that seperates the successful from the dreamers. a pro will always do their due dilligence and spot the scammers (like you clearly have). Sitepoint should work harder on their marketplace though, they have a near monopoly right now and seem to be sitting on their hands about it, instead of looking to constantly improve it.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    Sitepoint could encourage sellers to supply all the pieces of information buyers need to know by... er... having input boxes for them. Radical, I know.

    Why not change the form to make costs (all costs) a mandatory field when creating an auction. Yes, I know sellers can still lie but at least it's bringing costs to their attention and making it a deliberate lie instead of a mere forgiveable oversight.

    Basing the listing creation form on this website valuation tool wouldn't be a bad idea. I'm taking a guess that there just might be some overlap between what information a good valuation tool and a potential bidder need in order to make a valuation.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Guru
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    The ebizvaluation tool does allow users to test at different levels of input - such as earnings, time taken to manage the site etc - what their site is likely to get at auction.

    But, yes, it would be useful if sellers specifically listed costs and certified that no material facts have been excluded. Such a declaration potentially forms the basis for a legal case against them if it transpires they misled the market. What many sellers do not realise is that even failing to mention a known negative is a criminal offence in most countries - risks known to the seller need to be declared.

    In the UK under quoting real or nominal expenses - nominal expenses include dollar value of the owner's time spent - or inflating revenues is an offence that merits a jail term.

    There is no substitute for proper due diligence but in the interest of the marketplace it's important that outright deception is discouraged.

  5. #5
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    If a seller isn't following the rules then contact Sitepoint and let them know. They should soon put the seller straight.

    It is ridiculous to NOT follow rules when there's a lot of money at stake!
    Stephen J Chapman

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  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I did report one of those auctions and Sitepoint suspended it but I don't have time to play policeman and I don't like the "job". When I find a clear con I just move on and leave the auction to some other sucker.

    In many cases it's not even worth reporting to Sitepoint. In the first example I provided - where someone has "forgotten" to deduct costs from his profit or even mention that there are costs - what do you think Sitepoint's action would be? Nothing! They can't act on such frauds because they'd lose the majority of their auction listing business and might as well just close the marketplace down.

    If SP implements hooperman's ideas that should inject a little more trust.

    The message really is that there are sharks, damned sharks and Sitepoint sellers. If you're looking to buy your first site - good luck, you're going to need it.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    If a seller isn't following the rules then contact Sitepoint and let them know. They should soon put the seller straight.
    Actually, I don't believe Sitepoint are that serious about their own terms and conditions.

    For a particular infraction
    what they say: Your listing will be removed without refund and your account may be suspended.
    what they do: Suspend the auction for a few hours, have a word with the seller and then let the auction continue running.

    And that's for the most blatant violation of the rule with the seller publicly declaring in the thread that he won't follow the rule!

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member rapidfix2004's Avatar
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    Bottom line is DUE DILIGENCE specially if it involves big investments.


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