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"Gear Swap" Etiquette
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Henry Blake
(Dragon) - F

Locale: Minnesota
"Gear Swap" Etiquette on 03/01/2010 17:47:29 MST Print View

I was thinking about the 10 pages of posts last week about a Squall 2 for sale on Gear Swap. I stayed out of that fracus. But I've felt slighted on a couple occasions myself. So I thought I'd get some feedback from the community to see if my thinking is "right on" or "off base".

On two occasions an item was on sale that I was interested in. I added onto the thread expressing interest with my questions, but did not say at that moment, "I'll take it". Either before I got online again to see the seller's response, or before the response came, someone else added to the thread to say, "I'll take it", or something like, "If it's still available, I'll take it." I felt like I should be able to either take it or not, prior to the next inquiry or interested party being able to take it.

In both cases, I let it slide and kept quiet. But I didn't like it. I wondered whether I should have said, "I'll take it. Please answer these questions." And then if I didn't like the answers, give it up, which means the seller has to find another buyer. Is that fair to him?

What's the correct way to think about and to act "nicely" in this kind of situation?

Edited by Dragon on 03/01/2010 17:48:30 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: "Gear Swap" Etiquette on 03/01/2010 17:53:56 MST Print View

If it were me selling to you in that situation, and you expressed enough interest, I would answer your questions and keep you first in line. Assuming you gave me an answer within a respectable amount of time (one day) you'd get the item. If someone else said "I'll take it" in the meantime, I'd let them know they were second in line.

If all you said was, "what's its weight" or some similar question, I wouldn't consider that a big enough interest. For me, you must say "I'm very interested, but have a question."

But thats me.

David Lutz

Locale: Bay Area
"Gear Swap" Etiquette" on 03/01/2010 18:06:58 MST Print View

I have posted something along the lines of:

"Please but me first in line for the XX, but I would like to check something out before I commit. I will get right back to you".

Then I check what I need to know and get back to the person ASAP.

Otherwise, if you wait to finish your research, the item will likely be gone.

Seems to have worked ok so far......

Edited by davidlutz on 03/01/2010 18:07:53 MST.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: "Gear Swap" Etiquette" on 03/01/2010 18:19:36 MST Print View

I'm with you guys on this.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: "Gear Swap" Etiquette on 03/01/2010 18:43:08 MST Print View

"If all you said was, "what's its weight" or some similar question, I wouldn't consider that a big enough interest. For me, you must say "I'm very interested, but have a question.""


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: "Gear Swap" Etiquette on 03/01/2010 19:25:43 MST Print View

"Hey B2W, what color is that jacket you're selling?"
"OK, B2W, I want it, how do I paypal you?"
"Sorry, it's gone."

There's no single correct way, but for me as a seller, using the example above, I would feel like I could have / should have been more courteous to a fellow hiker. If I answered an inquiry, and moments later, a second person expresses an interest to buy -- then yeah, I would let the first person know -- and give him a reasonable chance to respond as a courtesy. I would also let the second person know that he/she is next in line.

But courtesy goes both ways. As a buyer -- when I ask seller a question or express an interest -- and later decide against buying -- I will always let the seller know.

Edited by ben2world on 03/01/2010 19:37:04 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: "Gear Swap" Etiquette on 03/01/2010 19:28:53 MST Print View

Yes, I should have added in my original post that I would have at least let the other person know.

Greg Lewis
(gpl916) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: "Gear Swap" Etiquette on 03/01/2010 21:28:02 MST Print View

I agree too. I do think that the person who asked the question should respond within a couple of hours of the question being answered though- as long as the answer is not posted late at night.

I for one do not want to drag the process over days if there are people interested enough to purchase fairly quickly.

On a similiar note how do you guys feel about people who post an item with "make me an offer"? I for one would prefer they just post the price they are willing to accept. It's not an auction- right?


Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
make an offer on 03/01/2010 21:32:44 MST Print View

I personally don't like "make an offer." It compounds the process and can draw things out longer. I guess its ok when someone gives a price and also includes "offers will be considered." Which to ME says, "I may sell it for less than listed, not MORE."

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: "Gear Swap" Etiquette on 03/01/2010 21:40:09 MST Print View

-1 (or is it -3 now) for "make me an offer" type posts.

Greg Lewis
(gpl916) - F

Locale: PNW
re; make me an offer on 03/01/2010 21:45:26 MST Print View

Other websites that I know of states in the rules for their "swap" section that the price must be posted.


David T
(DaveT) - F
gear swap. on 03/01/2010 22:03:35 MST Print View

Another -1 for "Make an offer" posts. I would say that any item posted should have a price clearly stated, and the FIRST person who offers the asking price (and promptly pays) should get it.

The trusting and cooperative nature of the Gear Swap is one of the best things about BPL.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: "Gear Swap" Etiquette on 03/02/2010 06:33:46 MST Print View

"I would feel like I could have / should have been more courteous to a fellow hiker."

I don't feel I'm being discourteous at all. I've sold a lot of stuff through Gear Swap, and had a lot of people simply ask questions with seemingly no intention to buy. So just asking, 'hey what color is that jacket' isn't enough for me to consider interest. I think it's pretty easy to say, per Travis' example, 'hey, I'm interested. What color is it?' Doesn't mean you have to buy it, but let's me know you have more than a passing interest. And I'll then get back to you before selling to someone else if someone else says 'i want it' before you've replied to my answer.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Gear Swap" Etiquette on 03/02/2010 06:43:41 MST Print View

+1 with Doug.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Gear Swap" Etiquette on 03/02/2010 09:03:00 MST Print View

As long as we're talking about Gear Swap ettiquette, I humbly submit the following.

As the Gear Swap rules state, you should update your post to reflect the fact that your gear has sold. This is easily done by editing your original post. Sometimes the seller does this by replying to their original post with a 'SOLD' post. This has the effect of bumping a now dead thread to the top of the board and bumping active threads down a slot. I am certain no one is doing this with malicious intent, and don't mean to suggest otherwise. It's just a little thing that obviously doesn't cross the OP's mind, and I'm not losing any sleep over it, just pointing it out.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Gear swap stuff on 03/02/2010 09:13:31 MST Print View

Cold and straight out, "He who snoozes, loses." People ask questions all the time and never take action. People will make offers and then not act on it--- "will you take $X for it?" Some people respond by PM or email and the others never see the correspondence.

I go by the time on the communication on "I'll take it" offers and expect payment in 12-24 hours, then I go to the next in line.

It's not eBay, or Nordstrom's, and mistakes will be made. There are some flakes out there too, although I would say that is a tiny fraction compared to eBay, or Craig's List (flake central). My impression is that everyone here is doing the best they can.

Expecting action in a couple hours is unrealistic. There are people who have limited access to email and work for living, and have *lives*, so an offer made at 7AM can't be acted on until after dinner, etc.

I do think it would be flakey if someone jumped in with a higher offer and the seller took that over a commitment that was already made. While I don't think it is unscrupulous, "best offer" posts are a problem waiting to happen.

What is important to me is that people represent the condition of their offerings honestly and well-- and ship promptly.

If someone gets the item first, you have to take a win-a-few, lose-a-few attitude. We're trading toys here, not life-critical items. Stuff happens.

John Addleman
(Jaddleman) - F

Locale: Boulder
interest checks on 03/13/2010 09:45:33 MST Print View

I have sold many things on another forum, and something we did was interest checks, instead of 'make me an offer' posts. If it's a high-dollar item, and you're not sure about the market value, you can put it up without committing to selling it. Like "I've got this Squall that I've never used but I seamsealed it. Is anyone interested for $300?" One would entertain lower offers but not feel committed to selling the item.

And +1 on needing to express specific interest to get a spot in line. Otherwise it's just chaos.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Gear Swap" Etiquette on 03/13/2010 14:01:49 MST Print View

Hi all

I don't believe there is any single perfect solution.

I do think it is preferable that any posting should include a price, but I am sure there will be cases where that doesn't work. That's life.

I am sure there will be cases where a vendor is a bit slow in dealing with an email or even a Paypal payment. People get to eat and sleep at times.

Posting 'Sold' (or similar) and sending the money by Paypal should clinch the deal, but even then, what happens when two people do that at the same time?

All I can hope for is that we all try to work together and communicate nicely.


Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
Re: Re: Gear Swap" Etiquette on 03/14/2010 18:28:51 MDT Print View

Whoever first commits to buying my item, gets it. It is my responsibility to write an ad that leaves few or no questions for the readers.

Specific communication is important. Being "interested" and "will buy" have different meanings. Subtlety is lost on me. Use it at your risk.

Be patient, an identical item will come along. Measure your patience in seasons, not days.

Written by heyyou, the owner of the most mismatched gear colors due to my Gear Swap buying.

Mark Cashmere
(tinkrtoy) - M

Locale: NEOH
Both sides on 03/14/2010 21:01:31 MDT Print View

Just throwing an opinion in here, but I don't see the harm from a buyers perspective from putting a 'next in line' claim even if you aren't 100% committed at that point in time. It saves your spot and gives you the time to ask your questions with the opportunity of saying 'no thanks.' From the sellers perspective, it correctly identifies the potential buyer as a spot in line. If I were the seller, I would consider the person as a potential buyer and answer their questions as best I could. If they decided the item was not for them, then no harm just move on to the next in line. First come, first serve.