Swaylock's Marketplace

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Swaylockers,

(I've taken the liberty of moving this thread from the Marketplace forum because I really need some feedback on this)

I've been mulling over an idea for quite some time -- and now I believe Swaylock's has reached the point where I'm ready to begin implementing it. But before I do, I think it's a good idea to put the idea out into the community.

My idea is to expand the Swaylock's Community Marketplace in such a way that enables users (you guys) to set up your own store on Swaylock's and sell your own stuff. It wouldn't really be me selling to the world but rather the Swaylock's community selling to the world.

Here's some of the characteristics that I envision for the Marketplace, in no particular order.

  • Any Swaylock's user can set up a store.
  • Fees for a store will likely be in the form of some sort of "rent" based on # of products offered.
  • Swaylock's will incur a small transaction fee.
  • There is no limitation on what you can sell as long as it is surfing & surfcraft related.
  • Stores can be used for retail or wholesale purposes.
  • Store owners must be a member of the Swaylock's Community.
  • Store owners can (and should) be reviewed by other community members for the "quality of their service."
  • Bad/dishonest/poorly rated store owners can have their stores shut down.
  • Store owners are responsible for maintaining their store and will exist largely independent of Swaylock's.
  • The stores will accept credit card purchases and handle tracking and all that stuff.

Is this something that ANY of you would be interested in? If yes, please respond here or PM me. I would like to hear from about 10 of you that would tentantively commit before I move forward.

Ultimately, for reasons both practical and philosophical, I think this is something that will benefit and expand the community. If you agree or disagree please let it be known either publically here or you can PM me.

Thanks and enjoy!
Mike

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markssd's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Mike,

This sounds interesting, I think there are a
lot of people who could benefit from this idea.
This is a nice way to help the store owner and the site financially.
Hope this works out?

Mark Scott

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F1surf's picture
Joined: 05/14/2004

I would be interested, it sounds like a good plan, From what we have run into with our shopping cart software and storefronts is shipping, its hard to do board shipping as obviously if the customer buys a board, they are not going to have to pay for shipping for the leash, traction, wax, fins, and t-shirt because it will all fit in that same box.
If you can find a shopping cart that will realize that if a board has been selected, then it needs to drop the rest of the shipping charges.

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swordie's picture
Joined: 06/01/2004

wont be setting up a shop, but will be interested in acquiring things like wooden twinny keel fins , which I can't get here in the UK.
I'm sure I will use it as long as people are prepared to mail stuff overseas

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gregloehr's picture
Joined: 03/22/2004

Count me in. Just let me know some further details but I think would be a good fit for our business. It would be very easy to service Swaylockians from this very site. It might also make the payment issues smoother than we now have it. This would also allow us to increase the product line, offer more products and speed service. And there are some AWESOME new technologies coming about. The only way to make some of this stuff available to surfing would be through such a store.

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joe's picture
joe
Joined: 03/18/2004

Sounds good to me, I sell a small range of footware in Europe as well as a few surfboards, also be nice to buy hard to find items that aren't ready available in Europe . Best to keep the business within a friendly field if you ask me.

cheers joe

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droptrow's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

Sounds good to me. I am working with a buddy of mine on online surf shop, www.dasurfshop.com. And would most likely be interested in setting something up on Swaylocks, of course depending on details. We would be happy to give a discount to regular Swaylock users, if something like that could be incorporated.

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carl's picture
Joined: 07/12/2004

I think you should consider two basic services:
1) The store fronts you have suggested.
2) Advertisement space for those who don't need store fronts but want the exposure.

It all sounds very commercial, but it's an obvious extension of the Design Forum philosophy,
that is to find the knowledge. Once you find that, the struggle is to find the "stuff."

Interested in how you set up the stores and handle billing, tracking etc. Quite a few
headaches there.

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jimthegenius's picture
Joined: 04/02/2004

Mike, as you said about uncredible/unresponsible/dishonest. I received a complaint from an eastern dealer who paid upfront for boards from one of our contributors to this forum. The boards were months late, had horrid, lumpy, bumpy, twisted shapes, terrible glassing, fin box resin under the gloss, sand throughs glossed over, with bad polishes and incomplete number of boards shipped.

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CarlOlsen's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Mike- Sounds like a great idea to me! I am looking forward to it. -Carl

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ambrose's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

o ,ooo, oo...jumpin jehosephat..I get to be ten...yep count me in , cooledge a-go go.yep yassir indubitubly sterling idea.a defiite progression to an evolved market...one of mutual admiration and like minded production and access... Up the revolution and forward to a liberated economy... and better than a milage plus credit card maxxed out by that woman who lives here ... where better to contribute a % than to the Dutchy of Swayliholia ... AMBROSE ... color me enthused

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ambrose M. curry III

Feraldave's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

yes mike sounds great once you nut out all the details im in! maybe a pecent of turnover would be the safest bet for you.

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KirkPutnam's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

El Palor count me in sounds good.Give me a buzz cuzz.

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Poobah's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Sounds cool. This is somewhat related to a thread I started this morning in the Events Section about official Swayloholics coffee mugs:

http://www.swaylocks.com/forum/gforum.cgi?post=166759;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread

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Bryanlamb's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

Mike,

Great idea. You just have to put in some form of measure that would prevent people from taking advantage of the swaylocks exposure to rip people off. A lot of people are going to order stuff from these "swaylocks stores" under the impression that the swaylocks reputation applies to the stores.

Just be careful.

Aloha

Bryan

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tuna's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Money is the root of all evil. You're walking on shaky ground here, go easy. (Remember the Fat penquin?)

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Bert_Burger's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

bryan had a point, so did jim,,,
i think mike did mention something about quality control , having other users rate the quality/ performance and reliability of a store owner...
you would need well respected non commercially tainted opinions , coz ultimatly someone would have to police quality of product/service...
on top of that if a store owner felt unfairly prejudiced , by say a disatisfied customer with a grudge or even a competitor who acts out of jealousy and wants to undermine a credible store owner with some sort of bad press or slured product review...
then there needs to some sort of system in place to protect against false accusations....open and transparent....

i think a percentage of sales would be a fair reward , plus any costs incured in set up would all be incured by the store owner...

mike question??? when you said rent ,,,do you basically mean meg space , like a host would charge...??? percentage/rent ,, its gota work for everybody...
definatly what turns me off about the surfer site is the in ya face commercialism,,,,
i like it here way better...
my personal opinion would be to not mix the design forum with any commercial taints and pop ups and keep it clear in another section...

hey tuna!!!! the love of money is the root of evil ,, not money itself...
its obvious mike needs to pay the bills like the rest of us...
i think its a good idea that could get well and truly refined ,,,considering theres so many users with years of bussiness experience, theres a wealth of knowledge regarding the do's and dont's ....

good idea worthy of more consideration....
id sign up but i still got a ten month back log to churn through....

regards
BERT

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www.sunovasurfboards.com

J.Troy's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

I like the idea! Count me in also.

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cleanlines's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Mike thats a great idea.Maybe you could set it up kind of like Ebay only not in the Auction format...more like the "buy now" that is so common.Make it easy for a seller to post the pics and info.Paypal seems to be a good venue for secure credit card transactions and anybody with a bank account and an email adress can use it.You could charge listing fee to cover expenses.I don't know about a Final Value fee.Heck you could even use the Feedback deal like ebay to keep everyone on the straight and narrow.Holy Moly its..........SWAYBAY!!!

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paulobaka's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004

The idea makes a lot of sense. It is always nice to see skilled craftsman and artists cut out the middle man, so that they can be more justly compensated and the savings also passed onto the client. I think this site can help to accomplish that.

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DougSchuch's picture
Joined: 03/22/2004

Tuna, Correction: The Love of money is the root of all evil. Good people doing business for mutual benefit is a necessary part of living. Since the caveman days.

Mike, You must be tuned in. I was thinking recently that a marketplace would be a great addition to the Swaylock's community. Lots of details to work out, but count me in. Doug

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chiledub's picture
Joined: 06/16/2005

"Money is the root of all good." Lil' Abner

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Anonymous's picture
solosurfer (not verified)

Mike,
I think it is a good idea. Keep it simple. Let me know when your ready to put in stores, I will be one of the first. This is a quality site.

I have been going on about ratings for years, I feel rating retailers as well as surfboards is a good idea if done fairly and based on quality not taste in design.

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Anonymous's picture
MikePaler (not verified)

(I moved this thread out of the general discussion -- I didn't want to totally flaunt one of my Forum Rules.)

Thankyou all for some excellent feedback. I think's it's enough to convince me to move this thing forward.

Some thoughts based on your responses. Beyond the technical challenge of setting up such a system, the greater challenge will be the new social dynamic it will create. The big challenge will be to manage that new dynamic in a positive manner that allows positive growth.

From Jim and Bert's comments, it's apparent that the biggest challenges will be 1. quality control of a store owners products/services and 2. "a disatisfied customer with a grudge or even a competitor who acts out of jealousy and wants to undermine a credible store owner with some sort of bad press or slured product review... "

Jim's problem in my mind is a larger one, so I'll discuss that later.

In regard to the bad press/angry customer problem. There will be few checks in place there. I haven't thought through everything in terms of review rules (i will most likely copy what ever e-bay does), but consider the following:

  • Only registered users may purchase goods & services
  • Only registered users may review
  • You will be able to view all reviews of a given user
  • Reviews will be held to the same standard as other Swaylock's areas, namely no personal slander, and substantiate your claims.
  • Offenders will be warned and if it continues, they will be banished from these hallowed grounds.
  • Reviews can be deleted/edited
  • Store owners can respond to reviews & the reviewer publically or privately
  • Over time, if a store has quality goods & services, good reviews will over whealm any bad reviews and the cream will rise to the top.
  • Ultimately, this is what the review process is for -- to weed out unprofessional, unserious vendors. People won't buy from folks with a bad rating. Evenually, they will close their store because they are losing $$ and reputation.
Jim's problem is potentially bigger (though the more I think about it it is related to Berts comments). The problem with a shitty store owner is the "one bad apple can spoil the bunch" syndrome. Other Swaylock's store owners can potentially be brought down by a person who gives the overall "Swaylock's Stores" location a bad name. Hopefully, it will be painfully obvious to the buyer that Swaylock's store owners are relatively independent. Ulitmately, once again, I believe a solid, reliable rating/review system will all but solve this problem.

Perhaps there should be some sort of process to "screen" a vendor before they can open a store?

Cleanlines, "Swaybay". That's funny -- I already thought of that. How about "Sway-Mart?"

Again, thanks to all of you for the feed back & ideas. For those that have expressed interest both here and via PM, hopfully we can keep the discussions going in this new forum. Please, keep the feedback coming.

Mike
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Poobah's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Mike,
have you considered having all the stores use Pay Pal? Or 99% of them? Pay Pal has it's own rating system, refund & dispute process, fraud weeders and maybe they could handle the transaction fee that get's payed to Swaylocks.

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pandanus's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Mike, have run this past the minister for war , peace , tourism and finance , we're in.

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cleanlines's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Can I set up a store selling Antique Furniture on Swaylocks?I have some great stuff in the Ten to Fifty Thousand dollar range.I bet most surfers would really go for a cool Federal Boston Mahogany Chair Circa 1810.

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surfer-10's picture
Joined: 11/09/2004

I have been following the EBAY surf related items and they seem to be doing well. The idea is great where you can go to a place where it is all surf related stuff, rather than the big EBAY zoo.
I will be a regular looking for stuff and possibly selling some of my own.
Just have to be careful for the scammers, they are out there. I have been taken on EBAY 3 times. These were folks with good ratings, one of them a surfer from San Clemente, still waiting for the wetsuit.

I think it is great idea and can't wait to see it becoem a reality....

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Anonymous's picture
xx (not verified)

Quote:


Can I set up a store selling Antique Furniture on Swaylocks?I have some great stuff in the Ten to Fifty Thousand dollar range.I bet most surfers would really go for a cool Federal Boston Mahogany Chair Circa 1810.



Straight up,
that wood should make very cool looking nose and tail blocks. Get it on the site ASAP. 360's on my circa 1810 tail blocked surfboard, just too cool to imagine.
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decolgd's picture
Joined: 04/07/2005

Mike, as a seller I like the idea along cleanlines approach - an eBay type concept, though not auction, just buy-it-now and payment provisions via PayPal. We use PayPal for our email sales from our store in St. Louis. PayPal has the wherewithal to handle financial transactions securily for both buyer and seller. It is especially important for international sales. International money orders are expensive. Would have no objection to paying classified ad rent on the terrific Swaylocks site.

LD
decogld

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cfperry's picture
Joined: 12/29/2004

ebay is full of bandits , thieves, miscreants and harbor seals...........

f*#k ebay

f%*k paypal

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decolgd's picture
Joined: 04/07/2005

I take it that you have had bad experiences with eBay and PayPal. Can you expand on that? We have sold on eBay for more than 2 years now and have had very few negative experiences - only 3 non-paying bidders in all that time, over 500 sales. Most buyers request payment by PayPal. That is how we can handle credit card sales, and their 2.9% fee is no greater than we would have to pay if we had our own credit card accounts. We prefer money orders or cashiers checks when we can get them, but it is inconvenient for the buyers. We resisted using PayPal for a while at the beginning, but found out we had to offer something easier for the buyers than money orders. Just wanted to present a view from the sellers side of the experience.

Lorin
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airframe's picture
Joined: 01/11/2005

Mike... Count me in as well. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Ken

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foiltheworld's picture
Joined: 09/13/2005

Great Idea

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Surfifty's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

Mike,
Im having trouble trying to place an ad on Swaybay. It keeps telling me that I must fill in the field for the location of the Item (state/Country). I do not see this field. Can you help?

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Anonymous's picture
Swaylock (not verified)

You have to make sure your Account information is completely filled out.

Go here:

http://www.swaylocks.com/user/community.cgi?do=user_profile

And fill out all the required fields.

Let me know if that works.

Mike

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Surfifty's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

thanks Mike. I'll try my post later on this evening.

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mitchfromoz's picture
Joined: 08/21/2008

sounds good, would like to be able to buy or sell stuf and not have to search ebays millions of hits...

obviously its costs the runner of swaylocks money to provide these services, so some kind of fee's are in good order...

maybe a yearly fee of 50$ could buy you a page, where you can sell as many items that fit there
(myspace style maybe, where you keep your photo's elswhere like photobucket etc))

Then I suppose a debate could be , would you (as a seller)
prefer to have an item fee
(say $2.50 for items upto $100 , $10 for items $100 or more)
or a small percentage of each product sold (2.5% - 5%)

that would be the first thing swaylocks would have to sort out..

Then I would say its compulsory that a comment section remain on that persons page.
Only for customers to write reviews, not general public, (they may like to include a general public reveiw section though)

If only buyers can leave feed back, then rival companies cannot slander them, (unless they buy somthing I suppose)

as some bonus protection ,(maybe) sellers and buyers must make all their personal details available to one another, (not the world)
could even go as far as having to provide photos, so if one party renigs, thay can be banned/slandered etc


Hope you go through with it, these are only some of my quick thoughts...

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kayu's picture
Joined: 07/24/2009

A solid idea....set up and run correctly, it would be beneficial to all participants. Still, anything business related comes down to the numbers . If members with large amounts to spend on their marketing programs dominated, it would be just another shop and thats all .........I am only a recent member to Sway's , and wouldn't like to see it changed in style , spirit or the integrity that exists in here . It's one of the  few places on the web thats not flashing like a pinball machine every time you sign in, so I hope that stays the same ...........basically , If it helps both small and larger manufacturers to increase their sales , at a fair price , it will succeed.       Protecting and preserving what currently exists in Swaylock's should always be a given.

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http://www.currumbinwoodworks.com.au/

DEADSHAPER's picture
Joined: 03/23/2007

It's a big undertaking but the potential is there.  You only have one Ebay & Paypal hater here but using them as a model makes good sense.  Why reinvent the wheel when they have already laid things out for you?

My understanding is that Ebay owns Paypal. 

W/O getting into some issues over what constitutes a monopoly, my own personal experience for selling globally has shown Paypal to be the easiest and cost effective method for both my domestic & international customers to pay me, whether using a credit card (which I do not have set up) or some other means.  You can even create an invoice and bill someone thru their email address that IS NOT a Paypal account holder.

Paypal was a godsend when I discovered a Canadian check drawn on a bank in Vancouver would be subjected to an immediate $35 charge and "6 to 8 weeks needed for processing".  I was also told that Postal Money Orders were subject to the same terms as the banks had managed to get a law passed putting this into effect.  It is the same for my credit union.

This is the case for ALL non domestic payments coming into the United States.  My Australian account gets around this and other transaction fees by having a domestic bank account.  My Japanese distributor has a similar set up based in Southern California. These are a blessing for me doing volume.  But for the many individuals contacting me and wanting to have peace of mind in their transaction, Paypal works like a charm.  It is a quick easy way of sending and receiving payment.

You may find that the new marketplace gets flooded with Asian companies promoting cheap products.  There quite likely will be a torrential flood of them once they catch wind of your venue.  Some consumers will love that, while others will have mixed feelings or even resentment.

I wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do, and I will be watching closely to see how it fares,  offering any constructive ideas along the way.

BF

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christopher coggan's picture
Joined: 10/20/2014

Mike,

I was wondering - I have only a single board for sale - a 1957 Balsa board shaped by Wayne Land from Burland Surfshop in La Jolla ( a Double Ender). Single owner, my pops, who grew up here in La Jolla. I have been told it is really a one of a kind board that is priceless to the right collector. Do I need to set up a store to sell this single board, or is there a different thread that I should post this to?

Please let me know!

thanks

Chris

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Christoper Coggan

[email protected]

Founder, Blacks Morning Crew

DEADSHAPER's picture
Joined: 03/23/2007

I was just revisiting this thread with Mike's proposal, and I would think there could be an option for one time selling versus regular ongoing stores.  That should be easy to facilitate.

I think the whole idea is a good one for a forum that has helped so many diyer's and some in the industry.  IMHO it's okay to have a commercial facet included in Sways just as there is a division of threads for General and Industry. 

I hope we see some follow thru on this........ wasn't it Dylan that sang "you gotta serve somebody."?  

I know he got paid for singing about all kinds of stuff...

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kayu's picture
Joined: 07/24/2009
Are there any boards for sale yet ?......have you sorted out the transaction details Mike ?
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http://www.currumbinwoodworks.com.au/