Ok, so many of you are probably farmiliar with the NSTO thing I started/have been somewhat maintaining. Doug got interested in the idea, so I sent him an email:
Hey Doug, its Rowen from NS,
So you asked about the whole NSTOR idea. Let me give you a quick background about what I started:
So back in Feb of this year, I was frustrated. Frustrated by the rise in scams on NS and of repeated bad buyers making off with peoples money. Also incredibly annoyed by the pages and pages of the "good buyer/seller" thread, but having to search through every page when I wanted to see if someone had a transaction history and if they could be trusted. So I came up with an idea to try and make things better; The NewSchoolers.com Trade Organization. I had plans for a cult of admins and such, but that never materialized to much to be honest. I'll explain the idea of the list and skip over that part:\
The NSTOR file is in essence, all of the user submitted feedback from transactions made on NS. I went through the sticky in ski equipment and made a huge list of all the users that were 'recommended' by others and compiled a list of how many times they were mentioned. I figured that getting a mark for being a good seller was worth two points, a good buyer 1 point (since buying takes less work/commitment) and 1.5 points for good trade transactions. If they just got a random 'props to XXXXX" I gave them 1 point. Thats the basic system. Every time someone mentions you as a good seller or buyer, you get an according point. This is added to your total to get your NSTOR: NS Trade Organization Rating. Members that buy/sell/trade a lot will eventually get high ratings - and accordingly, you should feel like you can trust these people a little more than your average user. While its still a system that people COULD manipulate to increase their own rating, via multiple accounts and such, its the best we can get for now. So far, nobody has tried to mess with it, so trust has worked so far.
Bad sellers and deals have occured with this list, and I've gotten a few messages from people about these. The rules I've worked out so far with bad transactions and getting marked as a bad seller are as follows:
-If someone claims someone is a bad seller or buyer, the claim is made on the buyer seller thread thats stickied. If the other party fails to respond within 30 days to the claim, they go up on the list and get a "bad seller" tick after their NSTOR, with a quick recap of who claimed it and for what reason.
-If the 'bad seller' disputes the claim made against them (eg, the sale was actually as promised), then both parties have 30 days after the initial claim to absolve the difference somehow. If no agreement can be reached between the parties, the bad seller does go up on the list, but with added information that they dispute this claim.
-A 'bad seller' can resolve the dispute anytime they wish; all we need to take them off the list and remove the mark is a message from both involved parties clearly stating their wish to remove the mark.
Right now this file has a lot of members on it. Its an excel file which I keep on my computer and try to update every page the thread grows. I upload it to a filesharing site and then post the link for others to use. A recent wrench has been thrown into the gears of this project with the revamp of the site.... users can now freely change their username. A potential way around this problem is to use the member numbers instead... but thats going to be a lot of work for me to look up everyone's and change them.
So, what I would absolutely love:
I've heard lots of people who definitely want to see something like this on the site. We need some way to track member transactions and let people know if the user has made transactions on the site before, just to make the busy ski equipment thread a little safer. While the NSTOR file is no sure way of stopping scams, its a little added protection. However, its an absolute bitch keeping it updated. I would LOVE a feature on profiles where you could instantly add 'good seller' or 'good buyer' feedback points, and maybe a little space for a quick recap of how the transaction went. This information could be kept with every individual members profile, which others could see. For example,
I bought a helmet from shipskier57. I go to his profile, where I click on a "leave feedback" button (maybe optional for members to enable in account tools?). On the feedback page, I can leave, good seller, good buyer, bad buyer, bad seller, good trader or bad trader feedback by the click of a button. To click the button, I also need to first enter a short description of what I bought - just a simple "bought a helmet, came as described, would deal with again!" After this, on shipskier57's feedback page, it would have my comment and (current) username. It would also have at the top his NSTOR - I'd like to keep the point system as is, but I'm open to changing it if we come up with something better. The next time shipskier57 wants to sell something, someone might want to know if he's been labeled a good seller before - they go to his feedback page, see my entry, look at his NSTOR and decide for themselves if thats good enough for them to trust him. If they want, they can even message past members to see how he was in dealing with them.
It would also be a cool added feature to have top seller and buyer list, just so we can see who is at the top and all... just some added ideas for this. But adding this to profiles would eliminate the name changing confusion thats imminent to the list and also make the rating a whole lot more accessible - nobody wants to jump through the host's hoops to download the file and open it, and it doesnt work for macs = (. At the very least, I would love to at least move the current file to a HTML page hosted by the site, just so its easily accessible for every member, even the mac users.
Anyways, this is a long email already, and I'm sure you probably have questions of me. Feel free to pass this along to everyone else there at NS that runs the site, and email or message me with any questions you may have. Hope this or something like it gets implemented soon - it would make NS a much better site to sell, buy and trade on. Thanks Doug, and keep up the hard work!
So yeah, I would also love to open this up to you all as well. What would you like to see for member buying/selling/trading tracking? Is this a good idea? Improvements? Too much? Possible flaws?