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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a long time supporting vendor send me a message and also post in their prospective forum section today, they are dropping out after mid-January.
This long time vendor is a supplier to our 6.2L/6.5L, and Duramax community. This vendor visited the community often to engage with the members..

After their departure, this will leave us with only one 6.2/6.5L parts vendor to recommend and I imagine in the near future the sole vendor left will not be sticking around either because they do not engage with the community very much at all.

Our Duramax community still has approx. 5 engine/vehicle parts vendors but they do not engage the community much, if at all..

We need some kind of vendor retention policy in place to help retain these long time vendors that have been a part of the community


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We need some kind of vendor retention policy in place to help retain these long time vendors that have been a part of the community
I'm with you here Doug, we've just lost one who's been with us on two Ford sites for 7 or 8 years, and as well as being probably our main Vendor, they were very knowledgeable and helpful within the communities. They were only a small specialist Ford parts supplier, but were willing to help in any way they could.

To quote their own words "Verticalscope have put the price up by nearly 300% and we just cant justify it any more".
 

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I'm with you here Doug, we've just lost one who's been with us on two Ford sites for 7 or 8 years, and as well as being probably our main Vendor, they were very knowledgeable and helpful within the communities. They were only a small specialist Ford parts supplier, but were willing to help in any way they could.

To quote their own words "Verticalscope have put the price up by nearly 300% and we just cant justify it any more".
We went through this years ago, one vendor was a large Exhaust manufacturer where I knew the marketing manager personally, they and others left for 2 reasons, costs and the fact that ebay etc made it hard to compete. I visited and spoke to many of them and they helped us out with our social events (some still do, if we ever get back to holding them), many years ago we had one guy who owned a small lighting business, driving lights, headlight mods etc, and he said to me he could make money out of his Fakebook page but couldn't recover the costs of advertising with us. I posted notifications about supporting the vendors who support us, doesn't last all that long when people can save a $ or 2 by purchasing on line via ebay etc.
Sad but true for many I would dare to say.

EDIT: just realised I'd written could recover costs, the n't didn't go in.
 

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I've claimed all along that the vendor rate structure pushes them away rather than draw them in. I would much rather have 100 $10 supporting vendors as to have just 1 $1,000 vendor. But I guess I don't understand what VerticalScope is after. I do know I've had several contact VerticalScope and then contact me asking if they are crazy and we never see them again. Something is definitely wrong SOMEWHERE. Or at least allow that $1,000 vendor on every site VerticalScope has. They need to get SOMETHING for that kind of money in addition to the fancy bells and whistle offered. Even supporting Premium Members rates are crazy high for getting squat out of it. Just my very humble opinion for what it's worth. Which isn't much it seems. But I keep harping about it. Just how much does VerticalScope earn when they turn them away away? You need to draw them in before you lower the boom on them.
 

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Can-Am Forum Administrator
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I have one very active vendor on can-amforums. SuperATV assists many weather they buy from him or not. Very knowledgeable and and friendly. I hope I don't get a similar departing message from him.
 
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Are all the vendors mentioned here leaving due to pricing concerns? The first one didn't seem to be a pricing issue, but I'm not sure.

If you know vendors who are active and engaged, but leaving due to pricing changes, please let us know who these vendors are and we will see what we can do to save them.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention!
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are all the vendors mentioned here leaving due to pricing concerns? The first one didn't seem to be a pricing issue, but I'm not sure.

If you know vendors who are active and engaged, but leaving due to pricing changes, please let us know who these vendors are and we will see what we can do to save them.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention!
The vendor (Kennedy Diesel ) in question, is complaining that the rate got raised by 50% and that they cannot justify spending that extra money.
If you read the attached posting from them above you can see what the issue is
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
VS needs to rethink things to stop the vendor bleeding.

Kennedy mentions above that they cannot justify the spending.
With today's economy, I don't blame them for leaving..

Driving vendor traffic over to sites with lesser traffic to be able to afford to advertise ( Vendor mentioning the Duramax forum)...
This is not a welcoming atmosphere...... It gives a negative impression about the community to the membership to leave for other sites like the Duramax forum

Long time vendors who have been loyal to the forum need to be recognized and worked with to help maintain the community relationship

When VS pushes longtime vendors out the membership notices and forums lose members.
It's sending all the wrong signals
 

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SkyRoadster
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On my sites they never get as far as being vendors so I don’t have any leaving because of prices. It’s prices stopping them right from the start.
I suspect that this is the case with my forums as well.

We are small forums with limited traffic, and there are competing private forums that allow free "advertising", so there isn't much return for paid advertising. Adding the fact that our platform is an orphan that has been out of production for over a decade and the presence of FB and eBay, there just isn't any justification for anyone to pay the rate to advertise with us.

There are sure to be forums with enough traffic to attract advertisers at the current rate, but a one-size-fits-all rate structure definitely has some problems at the small end of the scale. A variable rate structure that accounts for traffic on the forum (easy to determine) and the size of the vendor (not so easy to determine) would make sense to me, but I am an engineer, not a business person.

It has already been mentioned that adding vendors, even at low rates, would be better than having no vendors since some income is better than none. More vendors will also attract more members that will, at some point, justify raising the vendor rates (moderately), and will attract more vendors.......
 

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ClubFrontier and RoadGlide
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On my sites they never get as far as being vendors so I don’t have any leaving because of prices. It’s prices stopping them right from the start.
I've witnessed a few that have also backed right away from the start due to price.

@Lalji - we have had Discount Tire as a vendor on ClubFrontier for years now. The site was originally for only 1 of the Generations and now we have expanded to include all 3 Generations. I asked prior if we could offer Discount the ability to post into the new 3rd Gen sub-forum and that request just vanished into the air. Is this a reasonable request to keep this vendor on board? They are active and quite helpful to the community. Please and thanks get back to me
 

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Are all the vendors mentioned here leaving due to pricing concerns? The first one didn't seem to be a pricing issue, but I'm not sure.
Pricing is the main issue with the one I'm referring to Sameer, but he was also unhappy because in previous years he'd always been contacted by somebody from VS to discuss terms, whereas this time he was just shot with an invoice which was way above what he'd been paying.
 

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We have struggled getting vendors from before I joined, let alone moderated.

Now that they can have a free business listing, and a business card I cannot see them taking a risk in fee paying when other selling platforms are cheap and cheerful (also unreliable if you do not do due diligence before purchase).

Business wise we are looking at a few types of vendor.
Large volume, generic vendors (have other means of selling already).
Start ups (cheap ebay vs forum when cost are an issue at start up).
Forum focus specific. Unless there is a profit vs cost they will likely sell by ebay et al, or messaging.

Wish I had an answer, as vendors and premium members support the structure that keeps us going.
Best I have is something supporting low volume vendors along the lines of that suggested by @UNIT-er

Maybe that was in part behind the new classifieds and allowing vendors to sell. I still think (judging from previous situations) that it would just anger some of our members.
 

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On specialty vehicle forums I wish we had more vendors--getting custom parts is often difficult, and without custom parts a lot of members don't see the need to own a specialty vehicle, and that leads to far less forum participation.

With the current state of affairs in the U.S. we're going to see a decrease in custom vehicles due to a decrease in disposable income resulting in fewer new forums for revenue streams, so the existing forum health is hopefully a focus of VerticalScope.

Hopefully VS finds a way to attract new vendors, I want VS and our forums to stay healthy!
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
With the new VSS in place, this should be a big red flag that their pricing tier plan is not working..

The VSS should be attracting business, not pushing it away
Our long-term vendor that is leaving is not a Big Corp business.
 

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With the new VSS in place, this should be a big red flag that their pricing tier plan is not working..
Said something similar several months ago. Shortly after is when this Free Plan popped up. But one potential vendor later told me how much a month they wanted for the bottom of the barrel truly listed vendor and to me it was ridiculously high. Even for a deep pocket major vendor. It's like they think they are the major media networks running 30 second advertisements rather than forums that may or may not have a large audience. Especially when it comes to the less active, trying to grow, sites.

If that paid vendor got his/her stuff on all VS sites for that crazy price it would make more sense but not one site that has just a few hundred active members at best, no way. They really need to get down here in the trenches and look at what they are selling for those crazy prices. It isn't and hasn't worked and never will. We just aren't ABC, NBC or CBS and it seems that's what their price structure is geared for.

Most of these vendors are new to forums to begin with some don't even know how to get around, let alone try to use what they are selling. They simply need to get them hooked before they start selling these fantastic vendor plans and that means they need to get their hands dirty and help them. Now this is just from the one but had more that got back to me when I requested it and it was the same story, crazy high MONTHLY pricing. That crazy price for one year would be barely acceptable.

I have no idea how many they have actually turned away with this pricing but I doubt we'll ever see the ones already turned away again. That's the truly sad part. We try sending a potential vendor and they push them away. It's crazy. I'm tired of trying.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Said something similar several months ago. Shortly after is when this Free Plan popped up. But one potential vendor later told me how much a month they wanted for the bottom of the barrel truly listed vendor and to me it was ridiculously high. Even for a deep pocket major vendor. It's like they think they are the major media networks running 30 second advertisements rather than forums that may or may not have a large audience. Especially when it comes to the less active, trying to grow, sites.

If that paid vendor got his/her stuff on all VS sites for that crazy price it would make more sense but not one site that has just a few hundred active members at best, no way. They really need to get down here in the trenches and look at what they are selling for those crazy prices. It isn't and hasn't worked and never will. We just aren't ABC, NBC or CBS and it seems that's what their price structure is geared for.

Most of these vendors are new to forums to begin with some don't even know how to get around, let alone try to use what they are selling. They simply need to get them hooked before they start selling these fantastic vendor plans and that means they need to get their hands dirty and help them. Now this is just from the one but had more that got back to me when I requested it and it was the same story, crazy high MONTHLY pricing. That crazy price for one year would be barely acceptable.

I have no idea how many they have actually turned away with this pricing but I doubt we'll ever see the ones already turned away again. That's the truly sad part. We try sending a potential vendor and they push them away. It's crazy. I'm tired of trying.
It would be interesting to see the analytics from the new VSS.
VS needs to focus on this issue if they want to stay in the market
 

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We have an even worse situation on Michigan-Sportsman.com. We had "vendors" who were being charged monthly fees to have their ads displayed via Paypal and I believe some still are being charged. Since the change from Xenforo to Onefora, they lost their ads but many have still been getting charged the whole time and received nothing. I don't think they will be too inclined to sign up for the new Vendor program, and I have lost the ability to sort out the Paypal mess.
 
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