I too wish that had not been removed.
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Swampwalker has hit the nail on the head. they may claim it is a security measure, but the root of the change is financial security. Although I agree that the site requires income to sustain, it is also a community of people that share a passion for music and equipment. They should be permitted to communicate un-chaperoned. As a thought: how would everyone feel about a membership fee, that would offset the loss of income on the occasional side deal? Just a thought as a alternative to the censorship of e-mail addresses.
Swampwalker has pretty much nailed it. I wonder if they will be smart enough to charge an annual fee that will let members have that feature back again. They charge a fee for their Bluebook service, maybe if I send them $50 a year I can have e-mail access again. LOL!
Sadly......it's all about the Benjamins.
putting your email in the message is not that difficult, I do it all the time.
I included my email address in my last for sale ad and promptly received notification from Audiogon that it was a violation. They advised me to edit the ad and remove it. I removed the ad and sold the item through Audio Asylum.
End result is Audiogon did not receive their cut. I will check every avenue available before listing items.
I miss the ability to e-mail other members as well. I've had the pleasure of corresponding with quite a few people here outside of the forum in private. I hope they bring it back but I doubt it. As for paying a yearly membership. I'd consider it but it would depend on what is offered. Ability to contact other members. Discounts on listings/commissions. Access to Bluebook for a couple of months.
I believe the charge is 4 dollars for listing equipment for sale maybe they could give us an option on the email and charge accordingly perhaps an 8 dollar listing fee to include the email. It is so much easier I would have no problem with the additional fee. Also they could charge us for closing our listing early maybe a couple of dollars that would help offset their cost. Just food for thought.
I would receive 2-3 emails a week from Audiogon members wanting my advise on cable building (DIY) isolation or other topics I have experience in. Since starting my audio cable company I rarely use the forums because I have been accused of promoting my products. This became the only method for people to get my opinions, but that has been taken away. This only hurts the hobby, and in the end will hurt Audiogon. They have made a big mistake this time, I doubt they will own up to it.
It is easy to put your email in a forum post, but how about when you just want to contact a member more efficiently than just hoping that he or she will read your post and respond. Given the high $$ value of many of the items sold, its no wonder that the management went to model that gives them a cut based on the value of the sale. But it sure does cut back on the sense of community at the site.
Swampwalker is correct about the reason, of course, but I don't understand those talking about membership fees. Then what, would only members be able to see each other's e-mail addresses? Why make things more complicated than they already are? Simply charge whatever fee is needed up front when the ad is placed, and then who gives a crap if we e-mail each other. I personally don't care what they charge, but charge it up front. Flat fee, fee based on selling price, reduced fee for relisting the same ad, I don't care. There is no venue with a better readership for web based sales of audio equipment and the stuff we are selling costs thousands of dollars. Just charge a reasonable fee up front, keep it simple and lose the restrictions.
I am just surprised this conversation has continued with the changes we all have observed on this site. Input and feedback has seemed to be censored greatly. Google audiogon lately and look down at about the fifth item. :-) I don't hear or read too much positive feedback on the changes, and find that the amount of listings seems fewer for items I am in the market for. Definitely have the same feeling of nostalgia for what was such a vibrant community. I won't even discuss the inability to bookmark items. :-)
Best regards all,
I have no problem with Audiogon charging a percentage of a sale, they provide a valuable service to the audio community. However, it would be very desirable to regain the ability to email members as we could in the past. The sense of community among audiophiles is vital to maintain in the audio world's evolving retail landscape. I for one one do not like posting email addresses on an open forum page for the simple reason that harvest bots are a PITA. Yeah, we can alter the address to foil the lazy bots, but I still don't care for doing it.
Mitch2, this isn't just about contacting people about ads. I don't even look at the ads anymore (too much temptation :)). I remember being able to take a discussion offline with a member, to go into more details or to warn them of other's agendas (there are sharks in the water). 90% of my contacting members was for discussion threads, not sales ads.
That's the part I miss, when reading the forums I used to be able to just click on a members name and send them an note offline.
Looks like the conversation has been stopped.
For what it's worth, I'm in favor of Mitch2's suggestion to charge a flat fee rather than a percent of the sale. It would simplify things for Audiogon and allow us to talk freely. Problem solved.
As much as I miss being able to chat with some of you outside the forums, I won't pay an annual fee to do so.
Mitch2, this isn't just about contacting people about ads......90% of my contacting members was for discussion threads, not sales ads.....That's the part I miss, when reading the forums I used to be able to just click on a members name and send them an note offline.Jmcgrogan2, I agree with you. The best discussions were simply sharing ideas and experiences and had nothing to do with buying and selling. The only reason I can think of for them not to share the e-mail addresses is that they believe folks might try and trade outside the system to bypass the percentage fee. By charging their fee up-front they would remove that threat. Can anyone else think of another reason A'gon doesn't want us communicating off-line?
Audiogon, if you are listening, thank you for letting this thread go on, and please feel welcome to jump in and help us understand your thoughts on this topic.
It is a real problem for Audiogon. I do think the reason is financial, and they must have some evidence that sales are made outside of their system.
The issue with charging more up front is for people like myself who try to run at least one ad at any one time, in a year like 2011 when I had no sales, I would have lost a great deal of money, and need to stop advertising. I support Audiogon in their attempt to keep the cost of placing an ad down and affordable, I do not support losing the ability to enjoy other members without a moderator.
Perhaps if they did not censor as much as they do, then the need to converse directly would lessen, but then you get the "cables don't matter" guys interrupting what might be a real conversation, so that is a dumb idea on my part.
It's a tough spot for Audiogon, and unfortunately they took the wrong route and ended what was an important part of this community.
Here's a bizarre idea, how about Audiogon trust people and have them not feel the need to cheat the system if that is indeed happening, which I doubt is the problem they have made it into...