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APC Policy on posting items for sale or trade

Aquatic Plant Central (APC) is primarily a forum for discussion and exchange of information about aquatic plants. While APC encourages its members to buy and sell from each other and facilitates that endeavor by providing a forum (For Sale or Trade) for that purpose, APC is not the place for people who join primarily for the purpose of selling or trading. eBay or AquaBid are the appropriate places for people who are primarily interested in doing business. Commercial or Retail businessmen may make special arrangements to have a forum on APC (See Rule #2). Failure to heed this policy may lead to sanctions from suspension of privileges to an outright ban for life.

This is the most up-to-date version of the rules. Ignore other versions, drafts, etc on other pages of this thread or on other stickeys on this sub-forum.

1. Members need to have a minimum of 25 posts before being allowed to post on the For Sale or Trade forums. A substantial number of the first 25 posts should be in line with the discussion and exchange of information purpose of APC. "Post padding"---producing a lot of quick, short posts with little content primarily to reach the 25 post requirement and get on the For sale or Trade forum---is not allowed.

2. Any items posted for sale or trade are subject to the discretion of the APC staff. By posting items for sale or trade you agree to these restrictions. The WTB/WTS forum at APC exists to facilitate the exchange of plants, fish, and equipment between our participating members. These are users deemed to be active participants in the exchange and discussion of information on this forum pertaining to our hobby. If you plan on placing items for sale, be aware you are expected to be a participating member first!. If the staff feel a particular post or user does not follow the rules or the spirit of that forum, we reserve the right to edit or remove the thread and/or take action against the offender, who will get a private message explaining why. Additionally, the buying of goods outside of APC for the express purpose of reselling them here, or the assembly of items for sale here is not appropriate. We do not want to have "store front" sellers running a continuous business. We encourage our members to use more appropriate Internet sites for such activity. Retail endeavors of any size also may not post in the sale/trade forum. This includes any commercial businesses, large and small. We do offer low cost sponsorship opportunities that include a dedicated forum where you are free to post items for sale. Please contact us for more information.

3. All items offered for sale must be aquarium related. This includes cameras.

4. All items should have a high-quality photo and/or positive identification of the item, preferably both. Posts with poor quality photos and/or lacking identification of the item may be removed.

5. Descriptions should be as complete as possible. For example, include the number of stems per bunch, the volume of moss, or the size of the plant. Descriptions of growing conditions for sensitive or rare plants are always appreciated.

6. Dry goods and hardware should be described as completely as possible. Age, condition, and known defects should be noted. For lighting, list the approximate number of hours the bulbs and ballasts have been used.

7. Pricing and terms, including shipping method, should be clearly spelled out. Values are assumed to be in US currency unless clearly noted. Auctions and bids are not allowed.

8. The sale of any items illegally collected from nature is not allowed. Ads must clearly state the source of all items for sale collected directly from the environment. Plants listed on either the Federal Noxious Weed list or the noxious weed list of your state should not be put up for sale on APC. This link provides access to both federal and state noxious weed lists.

9. Want ads are encouraged; it's a great way to ask for desired plants. However, please offer a trade or agree to at least cover the cost of shipping. Wanton begging will lead to deleted posts. It is impolite and has no place in this forum. Moderator's discretion is final when identifying begging-type posts.

10. The use of the iTrader system is encouraged. This is an excellent tool for all to determine the reputation of others.

11. Communicate, communicate, communicate! By simply keeping the other party to the transaction updated on timing and shipping method (i.e., tracking number) most of the problems experienced in transactions could be avoided.

12. While APC facilitates sales between members, we DO NOT endorse either the buyer or the seller. All disputes must be handled by the parties to the transaction. APC and its staff will not be held liable for anything related to the transaction. APC WILL NOT mediate on behalf of any party to the transaction.

13. International Purchases - APC is a global community with members form all over the world. Currently there are sponsors from North America, Asia and Europe. APC recommends that members check local and/or national laws and regulations concerning the importation of goods and/or livestock before placing an order with a vendor outside of their home country. APC does not condone the improper importation of goods and/or livestock and will not be held responsible in any transactions between members and/or between members and sponsors that are not deemed legal in the purchasers' country of residence. APC strongly recommends that purchases be conducted in a lawful manner at all times.

14. Posting an item for sale will imply your agreement to these terms and conditions, as well as those in our user agreement.

15. The "For Sale or Trade" forum is expressly for selling and trading plants, related equipment and supplies. The APC Policy on posting items For Sale or Trade, however, applies to all forums on APC.

16. Group Buy Policy :
The group buy is a tool of hobbyists dating back many years as a way for the community to take advantage of lower costs associated with volume purchase. But how to differentiate the group buy from reselling?

Here are APC's guidelines:

In a true group buy, all original purchase information is public. The organizer will publicly inform all takers what the cost is for a given volume and must also identify the source. A link/contact information to the source must be provided for original price confirmation.

The intent of a group buy is not to make a profit, but to share the benefit of volume discount with the community. By making all original purchase information transparent, it is obvious how much is spent and whether profit is being made. Reasonable shipping costs are understandable when distributing the goods to participants, but the idea is to pass on a product without making a profit.

If it is not possible to share this information, then reselling is assumed. In a reselling effort, the upfront cost and source of the product are private. There may or may not be a profit, nobody knows. Any post suspected to be reselling will be treated as such; reselling on APC is for sponsors only. Keep in mind that APC will maintain its neutrality in all sales transactions. Buyer beware, negotiate disputes politely and effectively​
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A 12th rule has been added to the for sale forum rules.
In this very thread, Cavan Allen... Moderator... says: You can post WTB posts before you have 25 posts. The 25 rule only applies to sellers.

Also, Dennis... a Supporting Member... says: You can post that you want to buy(wtb) plants or equipment. A person with less than 25 posts cannot sell only, buying or trading is perfectly acceptable.

based on these two comments, and me being new... I simply thought something was wrong, so I asked.

yes I could easily get 25 posts, but I am not always here for long, and will not go and litter a forum with 25 useless posts, just so I can get to 25. I post when I have something to say.

sorry if I offended anyone... I had no issue... was not trying to be impatient... it was simply a question.

Those responses were posted before we changed the rule. We had too many people ignoring the 25 post count rule before posted for sale ads so we changed the software to keep people from posting anything in the for sale forum until 25 posts are reached. You should still be able to PM sellers about whatever it is they have for sale. Unfortunately, posting WTB ads will now also have to wait for 25 posts to be completed.

It's not a perfect system, but I can assure you that the spirit of the rule is to keep people from abusing our forum and to encourage contribution to the community. Sorry for the confusion.
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I am new to this forum.

I don't have 25 post , however would like to post a WTB post.
However I am unable to locate this functionality .

All I see is NEW THREAD , and thats I am not allowed due to not having 25 or more post .

Any help will be appreciated.
Users are not allowed to post in the For Sale forum until they have a post count of 25 posts. You should be able to respond to ads via your private messages if you see plants for sale that you would like.
Yes, Natalie is correct. The rules were changed since this was originally posted.
Any chance of modifying this guideline to include seller's tank parameters? I know I would find it helpful if seller's included their conditions when listing items for sale. Since all of my tanks are low tech, I have better luck purchasing from similar set-ups than acclimating plants from drastically different conditions. It's nice to know if the plants are used to high light, CO2 and dosing schedules or not. Maybe other buyers would find that useful as well. It would save users a little time on trying to verify that info before committing to buying.
While a good suggestion, I'm not sure we can require that sellers add this information to their ads. We do have the Plant Finder that should allow buyers to do research on most of the plants listed in the For Sale forum to help them make informed purchases. Of course, everyone here at APC is usually more than willing to help out as well.
On the WTB issue mentioned above.

Only people with 25 posts can start new threads cause you want to limit ignorance and flaunting of the rules by dubious sellers. Which is great. Was noticed that this prevents buyers from posting want to buy threads. Was stated that it's a side effect of the rule, oh well (more or less).

This would seem easy to resolve my simply setting up a separate WTB area. Would also separate two different desires...buyers would troll the selling area, sellers the buying area.

I realize that you don't want to turn the forums into an auction site, something better for buyers might be nice.

I'm a prospective buyer of plants, won't be for a month, so i have time to establish myself, get my 25 post and not worry about this...however, i feel like this is a pretty practical a noob to planted tanks, i have little to offer in suggestions, and could really become annoying with questions and lack the personality to say "oh pretty tank" in a worthless post.

but would still like to post a wtb thread. something on the order of a noobs desire, "fill my 55 gal with anything for under 50 bucks".

considering that many of the sellers are senior members, your main and valued members, and often, to my eyes see their selling offers passed by, they may relish the opportunity to drop a bunch of prunings for a small profit. On something they'd otherwise throw away.

Yes, I know, anyone can buy as it is. Seller has to be motivated to sell though. Where as, a buyer's forum, which naturally consists generally of more noobish types, can provide an outlet for excess plants one's about to toss.

Just saying.
This option was actually discussed, but eventually voted against in the interest of keeping the forum as streamlined and clutter free as possible. Thanks for the suggestion though.
Dear Moderator,

I have recently joined APC and made a couple of purchase.

The package in my last purchase seemed lost at destination USPS office.
(The tracking suggests arrival at destination USPS office but was not delivered to me)
Right now, the carrier's supervisor at USPS office is make an inquiry to it.
Since there is no insurance, there is nothing we can do about it.

I, as a buyer, have already paid in full.

Could you tell me who should take responsibility of this lost on the way ?
Buyer or seller or both ?

Right now, I took the lost completely.
Sorry to hear about your troubles. As the rules state APC doesn't mediate sales in any capacity. Your best bet is to try to resolve this peacefully with the seller and use the trader feedback system accordingly.

9. Communicate, communicate, communicate! By simply keeping the other party to the transaction updated on timing and shipping method (i.e., tracking number) most of the problems experienced in transactions could be avoided.

While APC facilitates sales between members, we DO NOT endorse either the buyer or the seller. All disputes must be handled by the parties to the transaction. APC and its staff will not be held liable for anything related to the transaction. APC WILL NOT mediate on behalf of any party to the transaction.
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