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Re: [Aroid-l] Selling plants on the aroid website??????

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Selling plants on the aroid website??????
  • From: Ken Mosher ken@spatulacity.com
  • Date: Tue, 01 Nov 2005 00:51:07 -0500

Hi Brian,

I think one of your last statements probably settles the matter; "it will not be an easy task." You understate, creating an auction site is a huge task, and handling the money makes it even harder.

eBay has spent many millions of dollars just on the functionality of their site, and millions more to ensure security and confidentiality. The best we can probably do would be to improve the trading part of the site. I haven't been there in a while so I don't have any suggestions for improvements right now.

The trick to having an all-volunteer web site like aroid.org work well is to automate as much as possible. The automation takes the burden off the webmaster (or other moderators) by allowing the work to be spread across many people. (As an example, wouldn't it be great if the group that maintains all the genus/species listings with photos had a web-based interface for managing those entries? It would take a lot of work off the hands of the webmaster. But the entire thing would have to move from the world of static HTML to being database driven.)

Of course, the automation takes a lot of effort up-front by someone. And then if that person can't maintain it after its creation, when it breaks or needs enhancement (they always do) then somebody has to dive into another person's programming. That's always a challenge!

I think is speaks volumes that a large web site like aroid.org works at all while being run by volunteer(s). I'm not sure who helps Albert, if anyone, but every person who references our web site owes Albert, past webmasters and all the content providers a huge debt of gratitude. 95% of our members probably don't know how much work it takes.

-Ken Mosher

Brian Williams wrote:
I am not sure if the aroid society still has a online board were they discuss stuff like this. When I first joined they allowed me on. At that time I did not quite grasp it's purpose. If their is still a board I would like to join back I think I could throw in a few good suggestions if they like.

The web site is the key to the society. I purpose a aroid-ebay. Their should be a area were we the collectors and nursery's can sell plants on the aroid web site to other aroiders. Much like ebay. The society takes out a a percent of the winnings or charges so much for each auction. If someone is willing to donate a plant his auction should be free and all winnings go to the society. Another feature could be if you want to sell on the site your will have to join the society and that the joining fee will be taken out slowly form the auctions? The web site hits a large audience and with some advertisement from the society and other members I think it could bring in a good crowd of target buyers. As well as new members looking for rare unusual aroids. I know people like me and Enid give Ebay tons of money every year just to reach buyers for our plants. I would much rather give this money to the society if they can get the buyers to come to the site and bid. It may take a bit of money to advertise but in the long run I think it could make the society a lot of needed money to help it move forward as well as branch out. I know that the society has tried many times with a trade area and a sales area but both seem to have failed manly because of low attendance and lack of participation. A message board under each auction could also help sell the plants. The society members can talk about plant up for auction give opinions on ID as well as growing tips and other info.
I am not sure how much a program like this would cost or who could work it out for the group. I do think that many of us could use it and that if it was put together well and easy to operate it could be a huge asset to the society and it's members. Not only a source of income but of information on each individual plant sold.

I would like to know what the group thinks of such an idea. Is it worth it will it work should it be tired? I personally believe it could help the society in many ways. I think it would not be a easy task and that if it is done it should be done full throttle.
I look forward to any responses and hope all my friends in Florida are doing well. These hurricanes are a real mess. At least it's not freezing like it is here.
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