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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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Forum question

Hey, just wondering about this rule:

7. Pricing and terms, including shipping method, should be clearly spelled out. Any pricing in non-US currency should be labeled as to the type.

I've seen a couple threads in the past that would just ask the buyer to pm the seller with the price he has in mind, and generally that seems to be acceptable. I've dealed with a plant I wanted in this manner and was actually happy with the result. However, I approached the person first, not through the For Sale forum. Doesn't the buyer, however, end up on the short end of these type of deals if they're posted here? I'm sure that's why Rule 7 was listed. The question of unfairness is of course subjective because you have to take into account how badly the buyer wants it, and the availability of the product that is being sold. Just want to know because to me personally it seems shady. But again, I want to stress that there are always people that would be willing to buy at a higher-than-normal price to get what they want, which is just capitalism at work.

Just want a yes or no question from a moderator, and also for all future sellers to be aware of the answer.
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Thanks for making that clear gnatster. Yeah, I really like how iTrader functions. More people are willing to accept cash through the mail with me since others have had good experiences with it :D. And Mike was right, I wasn't talking about him =].
8. The use of the iTrader system is mandatory.

Just curious, how is this rule enforced? I'd like to know because I have to pay by cash through the mail, and I'd like to have as much feedback as possible so people are more willing to accept that method of payment. I also want to avoid sending nagging reminders to those who have received payment from me or received plants from me.
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