Let's Talk About The BuSo Marketplace

MetaData

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The Marketplace will be the next major addition to the forum, the first of a handful of new features to expect before the end of the year. It will be launching in the near future, but we haven't put an exact date on it. We aim to hit certain membership milestones before taking it live, however there will be a soft launch / pilot version before that. It's easier to start small and adapt to any issues on a smaller scale rather than going balls-to-the-wall and risking an unfortunate meeting between shit and the fan.


Some things are already written in stone. We will be turning away vendors who aren't willing to be completely forthcoming with their offers (More on that in a second). This isn't a marketplace for hopes, wishes, dreams, or magical voo-doo-secret-sauce-just-trust-me-bro.


Before moving forward, I want to take the temperature of what the community needs, expects and wants from a Marketplace from a buyer's and seller's point of view. Many of you have already seen this thread, and both @The Engineer and I have had some very enthusiastic PMs which are very encouraging.


There are plenty of places out there where you look at the offers and you can tell that they're total BS, and the attitude is basically "It's up to the buyer to have realistic expectations and ignore the fact that the seller is outright lying to them..." That's not okay, at least not here.


Looking for your thoughts on the following items...

1) Review copies. The problem I see is that people can feel obligated to either leave a positive review or not leave one at all.. whether it's because they're nice and don't want to hurt someone's business, or because that person now knows their website and they're afraid of retaliation for negative reviews. One idea was to have it be 'randomized', as in the seller offers a review copy and a mod or admin picks someone at random (Out of a pool of people that have expressed interest in helping evaluate various Marketplace offerings, perhaps?) We're all aware of popular marketplaces that look great at first glance, but soon you realize there's a lot of "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" and ultimately the reviews are meaningless and anyone with anything negative to say is fearful of being banned. We want to avoid those types of situations, or any situation that could compromise the integrity of the Marketplace.

2) Types of offers. The one thing that will be categorically banned across the board is anything illegal. When it comes to ethics, everyone has their own line on what's okay and what isn't, but I think common sense dictates for the most part what's acceptable to sell here and what's not. Still, it wouldn't hurt to have some concrete examples. If anything comes to mind that should categorically not be allowed here, besides anything illegal, please let us know (PM if you would prefer.)

3) Describe your dream Marketplace. Where have other markets fallen short (Just examples, no names please.)? And what do you love about other marketplaces? We're looking for answers from a buyer's POV and a seller's.

4) Quality. At the end of the day, it's important to us that being listed in the BuSo Marketplace carries prestige with it. Have a friend who's just starting their first website? We want you to feel safe sending them here, knowing that everything will be represented accurately and honestly.


Here are some hypothetical situations involving threads that would NOT be approved.

  1. Someone selling content writing services with a sales letter that's riddled with errors.

  2. Someone selling standard GSA blasts but acting like it's some type of magical, whitehat, client-safe links.

  3. Someone selling social signals and pretending they're from REAL accounts.

  4. Anyone wanting to offer any type of consulting or coaching services that DOESN'T have a proven and verifiable track-record. Oh you read an ebook telling you to make money online as a consultant...? Not here, champ. There's a forum full of “combatants” that will welcome you with open arms.
Now let's turn the tables.

  1. Someone who doesn't have English as a first language but manages a team of great writers - but they've also bothered to get one of those writers to proofread their thread. You can be great at managing a team even if you aren't a great writer yourself.

  2. Call a spade a spade & all types of SEO services are welcome as long as they aren't misleading. GSA all day.

  3. Someone selling social signals that doesn't try to mislead anybody. If they're from accounts designed to look as genuine as possible, just say that.

  4. Fake gurus need not apply, but sometimes bringing in a consultant in an area that you aren't as familiar with can be very beneficial if they know their stuff. If someone's been mastering email marketing for the past 5 years and wants to consult and help Builders really make their campaigns sing, I don't see a problem with that at all.

You've probably noticed our feedback system, we strongly encourage everyone to use it. Before leaving a neutral or negative, it's important to let the seller know why you are unsatisfied and to give them an opportunity to improve.


At the end of the day, if we hold every offer to a high standard it might hurt conversion rates initially (Both for the sellers and for people opening threads in the Market) but in the long run we'll have a place where buyers feel safe - and that's priceless. If that makes you nervous about your offer, as a seller, you're probably in the wrong place.


We're looking for sellers who read all of this and think "Perfect, I would rather be on 5th Avenue than Mugger's Lane."


Your turn!
(If you want to mention anything specific / names, please send a PM instead.)
 
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In the specific nice the idea of random picks for reviews copy.
It would be good also to offer them with a big discount for anyone testing seriously the service through a case study that will show how it works properly: this will be more data for the forum members and a natural feedback for the service itself, without hype or fireworks.
The seller could suggest/help with the best use of his service to be sure to have it done right.

What best publicity than the results got by @RadiantDarkness + @Daniyal services through their own case studies to prove it is not hearsay ?
What is better than a member having results with a review copy case study and not only the sellers?
No secret sauce, only the services.

Another interesting thing would be inside a BST thread to advise without any "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" combo services/deals when possible with complementary services who help and are very advisable. Too often you read in a BST things like, "that is not included in the service", "you should make or purchase this or that apart" and so on.
In few word a kind of holistic vision of what members need to succeed.

Let's have the best BST providers, everyone in his specific field who combined together bring the desired results.
 

vinnypolston

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I know we already talked about this in private but wanted to contribute to the thread :thumbsup:

I'm 100% on board with you on this.

We all know the other marketplaces and what they have to offer and I think you nailed it right on the head. Yes there are great products/services on them but you REALLY have to weed through the junk to find the good stuff.

Maybe have a manual review for first-time marketplace sellers? I know it could be a bit of a load on the moderators but that would ensure only the good gets through. After a member is approved for their first sales thread they get a trophy 'BST approved'. In addition to that, their sales threads moving forward don't need a manual review UNLESS their iTrader goes below a certain point?

Doing it that way utilizes the iTrader system to weed out bad sellers. Like have it set their account to 'under review' as far as the selling goes.

I honestly can't wait!
 

MetaData

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Thanks for the feedback so far.

@Chitrarath I like those suggestions but at the same time, my concern is that I don't want the case study section to turn into a commercial for The Marketplace, either, like a late-night infomercial "case study" that's actually just an advertisement. I'm curious to hear everyone else's thoughts on this. I think in theory it's great, but in practice it might be a bit of a fine line that we have to make sure we don't cross. The Lab and [Name not yet released - "super lab" section - coming soon. Don't worry, it'll be free.]... it's very important to have integrity there, as with the marketplace... not sure if we're combining Church and State or not, but I'd like to hear what other people think.

@vinnypolston Every thread will need to be manually approved, at least at first if not indefinitely. Now, if someone is just renewing or selling the same thing, we won't need to review it each time - will have to figure out the backend for that. Good idea for the trophy, we had already discussed that. But yeah, when someone opens a thread - that fee isn't "just because we can", it's going towards the time it takes to properly moderate and to work with sellers to ensure their offers are a great fit.

We don't have a set price in mind yet but it's going to be considerably less than certain other marketplaces that aren't moderated whatsoever, which should make it viable for a wide variety of service providers to open up shop and a better place for buyers, too.