As all site veterans know, the ChipTalk forum has always had a clear focus on protecting seller's value by not allowing 'open market' sales. We build mechanisms for all types of sales, such as the Classifieds
for personal sales, and the rented forums in the Market Place
for commercial sales.
So what then, is this 'Auctions' forum? It seems like a free-for-all to post things for sale? Classifieds and Market Place forums have a cost associated with them. Users have to buy 'points' to sell in the Classifieds, and Market Place posting is allowed only under prepaid subscriptions.
In reality the Auctions forum is also
a revenue stream for ChipTalk. In fact it is one of the larger components of the diversified way we keep the lights on. The way that works is that links to eBay are tracked, and ChipTalk gets a portion of the eBay fees associated with anything that is purchased via Chiptalk links (posts, banners, ChipTalk Store
, anything from here). This is tracked by cookies, for seven days.
So despite the fact that it appears to be a way to post sales for free, it is really a cost-per-sale-sharing mechanism between ChipTalk and eBay.
- It is always 100% ok to post links to ebay. This is how these forum posts bring in revenue for ChipTalk.
- It is also ok to occasionaly post links to other sites (not your own sales), despite the fact that it will offer no value to ChipTalk but is a value to members.
- It is NOT ok to bypass the normal revenue model of Chiptalk (Classifieds, Rented Forums, Banners) by creating ads on free sites such as Craigs list or others and then posting a link here.
- It is NOT ok to be either side (seller or poster) of a 'proxy' post, which is to post a link to a sale outside this site in order to bypass normal ChipTalk revenue streams.