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Draft of a Sticky Topic for the For Sale Forum (work needed)


skp51443

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Edited - in purple to add phone number hiding and editing if some items from a set sell. Also removed some extra "--" sections not needed, worked on line spacing, adding periods and spaces following periods.

 

Edited - in green to make to-do point 15 about scrolling a bit clearer and to clean up the wording.

 

================

 

I thought about making some "How To" topics a while back and got this very rough draft of some information done for the For Sale forum before I got distracted. If anyone is willing to help get it into a state where we could request it be turned into a forum "sticky" post I'll revive my interest.

 

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Things to do for sale ads:

 

1. Always start a new topic for a new item, don't piggy-back on an earlier one as it makes things confusing once folks start replying.

 

2. Consider putting individual items in their own topics instead of all in one. Exception's to that would be for selling a truck and trailer, toad and hitch or other things that might be bought as a set. If part of a set sells edit the title and your first post to show that to reduce confusion and the need to read the whole topic.

 

3. Use a good title, something like: 2004 Beaver Coach for sale. You need enough there to catch the eye of shoppers, putting in a subject like "rig for sale" isn't going to be very helpful.

 

4. Include contact info in your post. Your profile may have ways to contact you but many visitors don't see that so put in an e-mail address and a phone number. Make sure to post your e-mail using "at" instead of @ like this: "happycamper at escapees.com" that change will keep the spammer's robots from picking up your address and pestering you. You can do something similar to your phone number, try (eight, zero, zero) 555-1212 so it isn't easily harvested by a robot but a human has little difficulty. Once your item is sold you can come back and remove the contact information if you want to.

 

5. Photos are good!

  • You can put a limited number of small photos on the forum.
  • You can link to a photo sharing site which is probably better for most folks.
  • If you don't have a picture but can find a website with one including a link to it can help.

6. Include the location of the item, folks will be more likely to follow up if you are close to their location or they know someone close to you that can pick it up for them.

 

7. An often asked question is "Why are you selling?" and you might want to include that information.

 

8. Set the forum to send you a notification e-mail when someone posts to your topic. Just tick the "Follow this topic" box to the right of the post entry box. If you forget to do this when posting then visit your topic and at the top right you will see a Follow button to click.

 

9. When updating your post consider updating the title too, adding a "price reduction" or something similar can get you another look from potential buyers. After you finish the edit and submit the new post you also need to make a new post to the topic, mention the change you made to the original post in it. This accomplishes a couple things, it moves your post back to the top of the listing and it sends notifications to folks following your topic that you made a change. It also adds your new post to the list folks see when they click the forum's "new content" link so they can scroll up to see your changes if they are interested.

 

10. When you sell come back and edit your title to say SOLD as the first word and remove your contact information so folks that miss the sold change won't pester you. You can also stop following the topic using the button at the top right of the topic. Do the same thing for trades or other topics so folks know it is gone.

 

11. Include a good description of the item and as many details as possible, the more information the better and you have plenty of room.

  • Your contact information.
  • Brand, year and model.
  • Price.
  • Mileage.
  • Options.
  • Things you added.
  • Standard features on your model that aren't on every brand of rig.
  • Age and condition of tires, include date codes too.
  • Any repairs needed.
  • Last service mileage and date.

12. Try to avoid confusion by being complete and specific when listing options and features.

  • You do not want the buyer to be surprised when they arrive to purchase the unit, the more complete and accurate your description the better. If you are unsure of something take the time to get it right before you post, corrections/changes do not make a good impression on the buyers.
  • A common issue is with the type of auxiliary brakes. If you have a Jacobs engine brake make that clear by saying something like "Jacobs three stage engine brake." If you have an exhaust brake make that clear by saying "Jacobs (or factory or other brand) exhaust brake." Do the same if you have an electric or hydraulic retarder, give the buyer a clear description of what is there.

13. Include other web resources if you know them, the more info you give the buyer the happier they will be.

  • Your item's page at the manufacturer's site.
  • Discussion forum or group for your item.
  • Any reviews or ratings sites for your rig.

14. Format your information so it is easy to read.

  • Putting in a big block of text does not make it easy for buyers to read what you are providing. Break it up into sections of related items and keep the entries fairly short.
  • Stay with the standard font for most of your post. Users have the forum set to show posts as they like them, forcing them fiddle with their settings to view your post in another format isn't going to help you make a sale.
  • Avoid using colored text or colored backgrounds, they aren't easily visible on all computers.
  • Use the preview option to check that your post appears as you like it.
  • If you link to an external site for images using the "Image Tag" option in the post editor include a note that there are pictures included. That may seem a bit silly but several web privacy tools will hide the external photos by default. Having a note like "Images from photobucket.com" will let them know they are there.

15. Avoid the forum's "New Content" mode quirks, if someone gets to your post using the "New Content" tool the title may not be shown unless the viewer scrolls up the page. This is usually only an issue on posts more than a few lines long or ones that have gotten replies that make them longer. To avoid it just copy the title you used to the first line of the post body and avoid the potential problem. You might even put the copied title in the post body in bold or a slightly larger font.

 

 

==============================

 

 

Things not to do for sale ads:

 

1. Put up a "bump" post when there is no change in the topic, that is unfair to both the other sellers and to the buyers. It also can aggravate the administrators which is not a good idea.

 

2. Put in the wrong phone number or e-mail address, do go back and double check that you got them right.

 

3. Put in the wrong link address to your photos or other resources, do a preview and test them there.

 

4. Be careful of posting a link that requires the viewer to create an account and log in, most folks won't do that.

 

5. Link to a generic address at an RV dealer, you don't want the buyer shopping for other rigs there, you want them to see your rig.

 

 

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Looks good & complete. Only two comments:

 

1) spaces between the numbered paragraphs, look how much more readable the second half of the post is.

 

2) A couple of places where there is no space after the end of the sentence.

 

One tip, when it is finished to your satisfaction read it backwards, surprising what you sometimes see that way.

 

Just an old proofreader picking nits!

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Thanks Dennis, I am an awful typer and proofreading has been my downfall as a programmer for most of my life. I made a lot of changes to the format to clean it up and a couple actual edits, in purple. Linda and Jack... I sure wish you were around and grading assignments when I was in school! :-)

 

Edited in purple to add phone number hiding and editing if some items from a set sell.

 

Also removed some extra "--" sections not needed, worked on line spacing, adding periods and spaces following periods.

 

The line spacing on the bullet items is done by the forum so I can't open that part up.

 

 

 

Anybody else that wants to add some polish of suggest fixes or more/different information please jump in!

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"15. Deal with the forum's "New Content" mode quirks, if someone gets to your post using the "New Content" tool the title will not be shown unless the viewer scrolls up the page. Copy the title you used as the first line of the post. You might even put it in bold or a slightly larger font."

 

not sure I understand this. I use New Content button exclusively and the topics titles instantly show up.

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I just checked here using Chrome (my default browser) and if I open a new topic that I haven't visited before from a new content link what happens depends on the length of the post / topic:

 

On ones that have a single post and are only a couple lines long I do see the whole title and the whole post.

 

On slightly longer ones the title is moved up the page as opened but may still be visible and I see the whole post.

 

Ones where the post is long enough to fill the screen or where there are multiple replies the page opens with the top of the first post at the top of the screen and the title scrolled off the top of the screen.

 

-------

 

I'll try to confirm this in a couple other browsers as new posts / topics show up today.

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Here is a short topic I just opened in Chrome using New Content and you can see that the title and part of the header is scrolled up by comparing it to the second shot where I manually scrolled it to the top.

 

 

As opened by New Content:

 

forum-as-opened_zps99c7da58.png

 

 

 

Manually scrolled to show title:

 

forum-scrolled-up_zpse93bc751.png

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Things to do for sale ads:

1. Always start a new topic for a new item, don't piggy-back on an earlier one as it makes things confusing once folks start replying.

2. Consider putting individual items in their own topics instead of all in one. Exception's to that would be for selling a truck and trailer, toad and hitch or other things that might be bought as a set. If part of a set sells edit the title and your first post to show that to reduce confusion and the need to read the whole topic.

3. Use a good title, something like: 2004 Beaver Coach for sale. You need enough there to catch the eye of shoppers, putting in a subject like "rig for sale" isn't going to be very helpful.

4. Include contact info in your post. Your profile may have ways to contact you but many visitors don't see that so put in an e-mail address and a phone number. Make sure to post your e-mail using "at" instead of @ like this: "happycamper at escapees.com" that change will keep the spammer's robots from picking up your address and pestering you. You can do something similar to your phone number, try (eight, zero, zero) 555-1212 so it isn't easily harvested by a robot but a human has little difficulty. Once your item is sold you can come back and remove the contact information if you want to.

5. Photos are good!

  • You can put a limited number of small photos on the forum.
  • You can link to a photo sharing site which is probably better for most folks.
  • If you don't have a picture but can find a website with one including a link to it can help.

6. Include the location of the item, folks will be more likely to follow up if you are close to their location or they know someone close to you that can pick it up for them.

7. An often asked question is "Why are you selling?" and you might want to include that information.

8. Set the forum to send you a notification e-mail when someone posts to your topic. Just tick the "Follow this topic" box to the right of the post entry box. If you forget to do this when posting then visit your topic and at the top right you will see a Follow button to click.

9. When updating your post consider updating the title too, adding a "price reduction" or something similar can get you another look from potential buyers. After you finish the edit and submit the new post you also need to make a new post to the topic, mention the change you made to the original post in it. This accomplishes a couple things, it moves your post back to the top of the listing and it sends notifications to folks following your topic that you made a change. It also adds your new post to the list folks see when they click the forum's "new content" link so they can scroll up to see your changes if they are interested.

10. When you sell come back and edit your title to say SOLD as the first word and remove your contact information so folks that miss the sold change won't pester you. You can also stop following the topic using the button at the top right of the topic. Do the same thing for trades or other topics so folks know it is gone.

11. Include a good description of the item and as many details as possible, the more information the better and you have plenty of room.

  • Your contact information.
  • Brand, year and model.
  • Price.
  • Mileage.
  • Options.
  • Things you added.
  • Standard features on your model that aren't on every brand of rig.
  • Age and condition of tires, include date codes too.
  • Any repairs needed.
  • Last service mileage and date.

12. Try to avoid confusion by being complete and specific when listing options and features.

  • You do not want the buyer to be surprised when they arrive to purchase the unit, the more complete and accurate your description the better. If you are unsure of something take the time to get it right before you post, corrections/changes do not make a good impression on the buyers.
  • A common issue is with the type of auxiliary brakes. If you have a Jacobs engine brake make that clear by saying something like "Jacobs three stage engine brake." If you have an exhaust brake make that clear by saying "Jacobs (or factory or other brand) exhaust brake." Do the same if you have an electric or hydraulic retarder, give the buyer a clear description of what is there.

13. Include other web resources if you know them, the more info you give the buyer the happier they will be.

  • Your item's page at the manufacturer's site.
  • Discussion forum or group for your item.
  • Any reviews or ratings sites for your rig.

14. Format your information so it is easy to read.

  • Putting in a big block of text does not make it easy for buyers to read what you are providing. Break it up into sections of related items and keep the entries fairly short.
  • Stay with the standard font for most of your post. Users have the forum set to show posts as they like them, forcing them fiddle with their settings to view your post in another format isn't going to help you make a sale.
  • Avoid using colored text or colored backgrounds, they aren't easily visible on all computers.
  • Use the preview option to check that your post appears as you like it.
  • If you link to an external site for images using the "Image Tag" option in the post editor include a note that there are pictures included. That may seem a bit silly but several web privacy tools will hide the external photos by default. Having a note like "Images from photobucket.com" will let them know they are there.

15. Avoid the forum's "New Content" mode quirks, if someone gets to your post using the "New Content" tool the title may not be shown unless the viewer scrolls up the page. This is usually only an issue on posts more than a few lines long or ones that have gotten replies that make them longer. To avoid it just copy the title you used to the first line of the post body and avoid the potential problem. You might even put the copied title in the post body in bold or a slightly larger font.


==============================


Things not to do for sale ads:

1. Put up a "bump" post when there is no change in the topic, that is unfair to both the other sellers and to the buyers. It also can aggravate the administrators which is not a good idea.

2. Put in the wrong phone number or e-mail address, do go back and double check that you got them right.

3. Put in the wrong link address to your photos or other resources, do a preview and test them there.

4. Be careful of posting a link that requires the viewer to create an account and log in, most folks won't do that.

5. Link to a generic address at an RV dealer, you don't want the buyer shopping for other rigs there, you want them to see your rig.

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