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Built-in buy/sell/auction system?

Built-in buy/sell/auction system?  

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In an effort to spur more interest in HH, I'm toying with the notion of a more formalized buy/sell/trade system with built-in buyer and seller feedback. We discussed this possibility about 10 years ago I think, but the functionality simply wasn't available to integrate easily.

Well, there are now third-party plug-ins that I can purchase that integrate to this message board. I would then link to it prominently on the main site, hopefully spurring more people to come over here and actively participate.

However, I don't want to go down this road without getting some sort of indication of whether or not people would use it.

Given how draconian eBay can be with the seller requirements, mandating shipping methods, not allowing you to accept checks, etc., I would want it to be more open and flexible than that and hopefully attract folks that are disgruntled with eBay.

Obviously since it will take time and out-of-pocket expense to implement this, the question becomes how to recoup the costs?

1. I could charge a nominal amount if/when an item sells, like 3% of the sale price or a flat $1.00 or something like that.

2. I could require a donation level to use it, but that didn't work so well with the buy/sell/trade forums.

3. I could just not charge for it, and hope that it would spur voluntary support... basically gamble.

I am pretty much against #1 from the get go. I don't want to be involved in any financial transactions, have to deal with "fee refunds" if someone returns something, not to mention potential sales tax issues, etc. It adds a level of complexity that isn't worth the hassle.

I'm thinking that #3 is the way to go, and if it doesn't get used enough or doesn't prompt support enough to justify renewal costs for subsequent years, I'll just remove it.

Thoughts? I would appreciate candid discussion both pro and con, as well as any suggestions.

Thanks,

-Dan

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