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Old October 13, 2012, 09:52 AM   #1
Derek Zeanah
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Join Date: December 20, 2002
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Commercial and Contributing Memberships and Policies

Paid memberships are now available. There are two types:
  • Commercial memberships. These are required if you are conducting business here on THR. If you sell items commercially, or if you have a single login for use by employees for the purpose of interacting with THR members, then you need a commercial membership. These cost $99 every six months.
  • Contributing memberships were created because people kept asking for them. Contributing members get a title change, more PM space, more storage space on disk, and access to the albums feature, but the experience here won't change. There are no "members only" forums or anything, and contributing members are held to the same standards as everyone else. Contributing memberships cost $25 per year.

Both memberships are turned on via the Paid Subscriptions function. Click on User Options, then look in the bottom left-hand panel. Or, click here. Processing is handled by EC Suite even though vBulletin thinks its CC-Bill.

Last edited by ugaarguy; April 3, 2014 at 02:03 AM.
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Old October 14, 2012, 02:15 AM   #2
RCArms.com
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Zeanah View Post
Paid memberships are now available. There are two types:
  • Commercial memberships. These are required if you are conducting business here on THR. If you sell items commercially, or if you have a single login for use by employees for the purpose of interacting with THR members, then you need a commercial membership. These cost $99 every six months.
  • Contributing memberships were created because people kept asking for them. Contributing members get a title change, more PM space, more storage space on disk, and access to the albums feature, but the experience here won't change. There are no "members only" forums or anything, and contributing members are held to the same standards as everyone else. Contributing memberships cost $25 per year.

Both memberships are turned on via the Paid Subscriptions function. Click on User Options, then look in the bottom left-hand panel. Or, click here. Processing is handled by EC Suite even though vBulletin thinks its CC-Bill.
Derek,

Just to make sure I understand the policy.

If I hold a FFL01 and only come to THR for participation on discussion threads, would I still be considered a Commercial User and required to activate a commercial membership?

I look forward to your reply.

Don
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Old October 14, 2012, 04:56 AM   #3
Derek Zeanah
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Nope. Only if you're using THR as an extension of your gun counter.
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... the Constitutional text forthrightly promises that 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' No amount of artful linguistic acrobatics or fanciful historical tales can rub those plain words out of the text. -- ACLU, in their amicus brief in DC vs Heller
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Old October 14, 2012, 10:29 AM   #4
Derek Zeanah
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Commercial Use Policy

Over the past decade THR has grown into the premier online shooting community. What started as a great place for shooters to hang out and talk about our hobbies has become a great place for commercial interests to try to sell products or generate interest in new offerings. As we approach 8.5 million posts and 170,000 members it has become necessary to introduce our new commercial use policy to battle problems that were less of an issue to our earlier, smaller self.

The goals of this policy are as follows:
  • Identify commercial members as such, so that their comments in threads that discuss their products (or those of their competitors) can be given an appropriate level of scrutiny.
  • Segregate the posts in the buy/sell/trade areas of the site. These were originally intended for private sales, but we have quite a few members who have a handful of posts on THR that contribute to their post count, but have hundreds of posts in the buy/sell/trade areas. These retail sellers should be more easily identified by users who are trying to facilitate a person-to-person sale.
  • Clear guidance needs to be given to members with regard to advertising. We are noticing an increasing number of new members who only join in order to promote their business. That's not why we exist, and these kinds of promotional posts do not help THR in our mission of promoting responsible gun ownership.
  • Provide funding to THR. This is listed last because it is the lowest priority among the goals, but it does exist as an ongoing need.

It is not our intent to discourage the contributions of members who happen to make a living from shooting-related activities; this is about correcting abuses that we see and providing guidance to members on what is and is not appropriate.

Acceptable behaviors

Things that have been allowed since the beginning of the forum and are still allowed from all members include:
  • The sale of personally owned firearms and accessories in the non-commercial buy/sell/trade forums. A new restriction has been implemented, though: twelve threads per forum category per 12 month period. This should be enough to sell an entire collection if necessary.
  • Promotion of your shooting-related business via your signature line.
  • Contribution of your experience in threads where you have a commercial interest, provided that commercial interest is disclosed. If you make the best widget and want to say so in a thread about widgets then go ahead, but make sure you include the fact that you are something other than an unbiased but happy customer. There is nothing wrong with being proud of one's products and services, but there is quite a bit wrong with promoting your services by pretending to be a happy customer.
  • Starting threads that have a "marketing research" feel to them. If you are trying to determine whether there is interest in a given product with xxx features and yyy price point, then go ahead.
Please note that these are not unlimited freedoms. Abuse will certainly happen, and staff reserves the right to tell a user to either knock off a certain behavior, upgrade a membership if they wish to continue doing what they're doing, or change the behavior entirely. Expect these guidelines to change over time as we gain experience and come up with changes to cover the gaps we see.

Commercial behavior that requires a membership upgrade

The basic thinking here is that if you're using THR as an extension of your gun store counter, then you should pay for the privilege.

The most noticeable change is this one: commercial sales are no longer allowed in the traditional buy/sell/trade forums. Instead they must be posted in the commercial buy/sell/trade forums, and only commercial members with a paid subscription can post new threads in the commercial sales area. Click here to upgrade to a commercial membership.

Unacceptable behaviors

These should be self explanatory:
  • Spam. Don't join just to post advertisements, and don't contribute meaningless comments to threads in order to get more exposure for your signature line.
  • Spam. If a third party site is running a promotion, say giving away an AK-47 to the person who has the most click-throughs on a proprietary link, then don't promote your link here. If you do you run the risk of being banned.
  • Shilling. We take a poor view of companies who have employees post here as if they were customers. This also applies to "hardcore fans" who post primarily in support of a given vendor's products.
  • Attacking competitors. If you want to raise legitimate issues about a company that happens to be your competitor or its products, then so be it -- standard THR policies about civil discourse apply. Joining in order to disparage a competitor is something else entirely. This is now and will continue to be considered as acting as a shill for a company.
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... the Constitutional text forthrightly promises that 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' No amount of artful linguistic acrobatics or fanciful historical tales can rub those plain words out of the text. -- ACLU, in their amicus brief in DC vs Heller
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Old October 15, 2012, 02:13 AM   #5
AWorthyOpponent
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Disclaimer: I used to dabble in Web Marketing, So I am looking at this as a money making opportunity for THR, and nothing else...

For the people that are here more than not or want to donate more, is there a way to become a "Life Member"? For say, $50-75? Maybe it could get rid of the Advertising?It might be a good way for you to get more "donations" from those people that want to be a contributing member now, but choose not to renew next year, or the year after. Also, gives them a reason to keep coming back because they feel like they've paid to be here and that means more money up front for THR.
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Last edited by AWorthyOpponent; October 15, 2012 at 02:24 AM.
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Old October 15, 2012, 10:36 AM   #6
Derek Zeanah
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Join Date: December 20, 2002
Location: Statesboro, Georgia
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Quote:
Disclaimer: I used to dabble in Web Marketing, So I am looking at this as a money making opportunity for THR, and nothing else...
I added contributing members mostly as an afterthought to the commercial member policy, because lots of people were wanting to support THR directly.

I'd certainly consider a "no ads, contributing member" sort of set-up if there was some real demand for it. I don't know about the permanent memberships though -- the payments processor I'm using supports a max of 365 day purchases if I remember correctly. It's one thing to support an idea intellectually; it's another entirely to agree to handle the logistics for it forever. I can only imagine what my inbox would look like if I went on vacation for 3 weeks without Internet access and payments had been made in the mean-time...

I know what I'm good at, and I know what I'm bad at. Non-automated payment processing isn't something I'd like to commit to.

Thanks for the ideas, though.
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... the Constitutional text forthrightly promises that 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' No amount of artful linguistic acrobatics or fanciful historical tales can rub those plain words out of the text. -- ACLU, in their amicus brief in DC vs Heller
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