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Thread: New Commercial Forum

  1. #1
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    New Commercial Forum

    Just in case you folks hadn't seen it, there's a new forum here at Family Woodworking, called the Commercial Post Zone. We've had a number of well-intentioned "commercial" members post offers for sale prices or other good deals for the members on the products they sell, but due to the commecialism rules in the Forum Rules and Code of Conduct (CoC), we've reluctantly had to ask that the posts be removed. (Commercial members are folks who work for a company that makes or sells things for woodworking.) This new forum allows commercial members to let the rest of us know about good deals or other info regarding the stuff they sell, and it provides a valuable service to the rest of the members.

    We are opening this up on a trial basis, and if it is a success, we will be proposing changes to the Forum Rules and Code of Conduct to make it official soon.

    The new forum is a sub-forum of the Classified Ads forum...all part of the Off Topic Area. If you haven't already, check it out now, and check it out often.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
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    I think that this is a good idea but I also think that it is not going to get a good test run since it is a subforum and will not be noticable when you log on. Would it be possible to have it as an individual forum so that it would have it's own heading under "Off Topic"?

  3. #3
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    I think itís a good idea too Ė as long as it doesnít turn into a shouting match between EZ/Festool!
    "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a
    friend...if you have one."
    --George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

    "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second..if there is
    one."
    --Winston Churchill, in response




  4. #4
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    Ok, I'm confused...is this new forum for
    1. posts from members selling tools/wood/services/whatever on a commercial basis
    or
    2. posts that would normally go into the 'Hot Deals' forum except that the member posting it happens to work at Rockler/Woodcraft/Home Depot/whatever?

    If it's #2, I'm not sure what the point is: the same information going into a different forum depending on who posts it.
    Where are we going? And what am I doing in this handbasket?

  5. #5
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    There is strong sentiment among some members to keep FW commercial free. It is hard to criticize their point of view. But (there's always a BUT ) eliminating commercialism is, from a practical viewpoint, impossible. Defining what is "commercial" or a "business" is where the trouble starts. A rule, to be fair, cannot have a fuzzy line of delineation. The line must be absolute. The difference must be clear. So, Joe Woodworker, who has a daytime job at a non-woodworking related company says, "I sell pens on weekends at the local craft show." comes along. It could be argued both ways that he is/is not a "business" and made a "commercial" statement. Many here are professionals and share their expertise with the rest of us. In doing so, they often refer to particular projects they are working on, or have worked on. That could be viewed as commercial advertising. I don't and wish to see many-many more such postings from these valuable members. I come down more on the side of the 'rule' being no rule at all. Not criticizing Vaughn, or others working on this. Some good thinking and effort has gone into this. But.......Where is the line?
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Bookout View Post
    I think that this is a good idea but I also think that it is not going to get a good test run since it is a subforum and will not be noticable when you log on. Would it be possible to have it as an individual forum so that it would have it's own heading under "Off Topic"?
    I agree with you Allen. It was a group decision among the staff to start with it as a subforum to the Classifieds, but I think it deserves better exposure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Page View Post
    I think itís a good idea too Ė as long as it doesnít turn into a shouting match between EZ/Festool!
    Agreed bigtime. We have specific mechanisms set up, and will be watching closely to avoid that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    Ok, I'm confused...is this new forum for
    1. posts from members selling tools/wood/services/whatever on a commercial basis
    or
    2. posts that would normally go into the 'Hot Deals' forum except that the member posting it happens to work at Rockler/Woodcraft/Home Depot/whatever?

    If it's #2, I'm not sure what the point is: the same information going into a different forum depending on who posts it.
    Number 1 is the intended use. Specifically, in the past we've had members like Craig Feuerzeig and Randy Wynn offer things to the members, but because of the current language in the CoC, it was jointly decided that they were "commercial" posts. We felt this was a disservice to the members and the guys with the good deals. We also hope the CPZ will be used for things like new product announcements and other similar information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    There is strong sentiment among some members to keep FW commercial free. It is hard to criticize their point of view. But (there's always a BUT ) eliminating commercialism is, from a practical viewpoint, impossible. Defining what is "commercial" or a "business" is where the trouble starts. A rule, to be fair, cannot have a fuzzy line of delineation. The line must be absolute. The difference must be clear. So, Joe Woodworker, who has a daytime job at a non-woodworking related company says, "I sell pens on weekends at the local craft show." comes along. It could be argued both ways that he is/is not a "business" and made a "commercial" statement. Many here are professionals and share their expertise with the rest of us. In doing so, they often refer to particular projects they are working on, or have worked on. That could be viewed as commercial advertising. I don't and wish to see many-many more such postings from these valuable members. I come down more on the side of the 'rule' being no rule at all. Not criticizing Vaughn, or others working on this. Some good thinking and effort has gone into this. But.......Where is the line?
    It's going to be in interesting line to define. You're right about many of us here who derive at least a little spending money by selling our woodworking.

    At this point, that line is if you sell stuff for woodworking on a recurring basis, then you're a commercial poster. But even then, it's a fuzzy line. Steve Clardy sells fixes and sells planes from time to time. Is he a commercial poster? I dunno, and I'm glad I'm not a mod, so I don't have to figure this out.

    Good input guys...keep the suggestions going. That's why we're running this as a trial.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
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    Vaughn said, "Steve Clardy sells fixes and sells planes from time to time. Is he a commercial poster?"
    Good point and the opening for a (gentlemanly) debate.
    He also makes stuff from wood professionally on a regular basis. Should he even talk about that or mention it in his signature? It could be construed as soliciting business.
    My position on this is very libertarian.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Vaughn said, "Steve Clardy sells fixes and sells planes from time to time. Is he a commercial poster?"
    Good point and the opening for a (gentlemanly) debate.
    He also makes stuff from wood professionally on a regular basis. Should he even talk about that or mention it in his signature? It could be construed as soliciting business.
    My position on this is very libertarian.
    I think the difference lies in whether the products sold are for woodworkers, as opposed to being made by a woodworker. So in this case, Steve's planes might be considered commercial posts, but his stairways would not. (Plus, he's not really trying to sell stairways here.) To further cloud that particular issue, if Steve sells just 3 or 4 planes, I would think that's more of a Classified Ad...if he always has planes for sale, then maybe it'd be more of a Commercial post. Like I said, it's a somewhat fuzzy line that we all need to try to decide on, and that's why we're all discussing it.

    Or for another example, listing your pen blanks for sale might be considered commercial, but the fact that you make and sell pens and bottlestoppers would not automatically make you a commercial poster, since you're not pitching your turned products to the members here.

    Personally, I'm with you on the "less regulation" libertarian mindset, but that's only one opinion out of many. (And mine doesn't even count when it comes to votes among the elected moderators, who make the decisions on things like this.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
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    Good discussion guys, and I just want to point out that here at Family Woodworking, we can have these civil discussions, without anyone getting in trouble.

    I have to agree with Matt, my definition of a "Commercial Post" is going to be heavily swayed by the whole business license thing. Do you pay taxes to the government on your "Business".............??? If you do, and you are trying to sell something to members here, then, you have to use the CPZ to do so.

    One thing that I think has not been put across clearly enough, is that the CPZ is ONLY for Commercial members, you have to prove to us that you really are a commercial business, this is not a space for the guy selling his old TS as he bought a new one, that should go in the classified. This is also not the place for the "WOW 24" Bessey clamps on sale" posts either, that is the "Hot Deals section.

    The CPZ is for members, who run Commercial Businesses who are trying to sell something here to the members of Family Woodworking.

    Of course, we will have to deal with each individual on a case by case basis, within the rules we have set up.

    I hope that clears some things up.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    I have to agree with Matt, my definition of a "Commercial Post" is going to be heavily swayed by the whole business license thing. Do you pay taxes to the government on your "Business".............??? If you do, and you are trying to sell something to members here, then, you have to use the CPZ to do so.
    You're in a rather gray area here, and kind of murky gray at that.

    Depending on where you live, if (for example) you sell one pen to a co-worker, you may be legally required to have some sort of paperwork on file with some state or local government and collect sales tax. Other places you don't. For Matt's example of selling stuff at a local fair: in California, even if the fair organizer handles the sales tax, the individual sellers still need a sales-tax license on file.

    And of course, if your sales volume exceeds a certain threshold (which I don't recall offhand), you need to file Schedule C with the IRS...even if you operated at a loss. (US only, obviously.)

    Now I realize that a lot of people operating at low volume levels simply ignore these rules, but I don't think we want to use that as justification for or against our actions here.

    So we end up back at the same place: the exact same post ending up in a different place depending on factors completely separate from the poster's participation on this forum. Is this really a good idea?
    Where are we going? And what am I doing in this handbasket?

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