I would like to have a ‘Vendors’ section on the site.
Another site I belong to offers this to supporting vendors and I find it very useful, not only as a vendor but as a customer as well. New members can see vendors and their products and posts about new products don’t get lost on busy sites.
I certainly don’t want any pop-up ads or side banner ads or anything like that - just an additional section of the forums dedicated to Supporting Vendors. The best model of this I have seen is on the 7123 mustangs site. They offer 2 packages for vendor advertising: 1 year for $100 or 2 years for $150.
Both plans include a rotating banner ad and a branded sub forum with a static company banner where the vendor can place product listings and special promotions.
I have found my section very useful as a sounding board for new products. The rotating banner ads are a small section up in the header section that changes to a different vendor every few minutes. Clicking on it takes you to their website. The sub forums are administered by the vendor so they don’t become cluttered or side-tracked.
I think this would be a great addition to help raise money to support the site as well as help connect members to vendors that specialize in our cars and support the site.
When I began the site I promised that we would not do advertising. This was in response to the way that Vertical Scope, the new owners of Mercury Cougar.Net loaded up that site with those “other type cougar” ads. It was embarrassing and demeaning to our female members and pretty disgusting that Vertical Scope was so blind. On a personal level I absolutely hate it when they hot link words in the posts and if you scroll over one, some kind of crap pops up. Worse yet, you can’t tell if it is good link put there by the poster, or a spammy crap link that takes you to a viagra ad. But I digress…
Since inception, Jay has donated his time and I have thrown in what ever money was needed to keep this site going. This has been partially offset by the donations made by many of the members here. It would be nice to have the site self sustaining, but it is not critical to survival.
On the other hand, what Bob is asking for seems reasonable and useful. I would like to see the vendors more engaged and also offering special deals to members. Maybe this is the right way to do that. I have had several others ask about what Bob is suggesting. What do you guys think?
Well, as someone who is both a member of this site / community AND employed by one of the main vendors (WCCC) in a marketing role, I have some thoughts!
I agree with Bill that we should not have any sort of banner ads or anything like that. The format should stay the same, but give real human beings from Cougar parts vendors the chance to announce new products, get opinions on proposed products, etc. Maybe even announce temporary specials, but I’m not even convinced on that idea, since that’s what email newsletters are for. That kind of stuff should be very selective IMO.
Ideally, something I could see happening is some “how to” threads that feature repro products, with a series of photos on how to install them, or how they fit and function. I’d like to see some content that’s actually useful from vendors.
Another possible use: sometimes at WCCC we have “orphan” items that can’t be sold as new, whether they’re blemished or open box or something like that. This could be a place to offer up some of those items as well.
What I don’t want to see is generic auto parts vendors like CarID signing up and spamming the forum with their one-size-fits-all crap.
Finally as an aside, for anyone following my Snowball project thread, you may have noticed that I tend to link to all the parts and products I’ve been using. This is partly to justify spending time writing on here while I’m at work, and partly to actually help anyone looking to tackle the same projects. I can think of no more genuine form of advertising than that, and I’m not hiding my personal opinion about the items I’m using from WCCC.
So in a nutshell, if this can be done in a way that stays genuine and relevant, I think it could be good.
I will post my two cents here. I would like to maybe see something like what the Concours Mustang Forum site has.
They have a Services Offered and a Links section, (only available to members) that can be a good spot for listing reliable
vendors/services offered and recommended by fellow enthusiasts like ourself’s
No popup ads or other useless non related stuff to deal with.
You could make it only available to members and control who is allowed to post their information.
A vendor section would be helpful especially if they are willing to offer discounts to forum members. I would vote for no ads and only approved vendors. It would be really great if a few select people could be enticed so we would all know “where do I get my carb restored?”
Having a vendor that uses the site regularly would definitely provide peace of mind if I had an original carb to send out for restoration and there was vendor here that offered that service with great feedback and customer satisfaction. Keep the classic cougar community that much tighter by everyone supporting each other.
Hats off and Kudos to Bill (xr7g428) for this Forum site. IMO, a Vendor Section or Services Offered Section could be beneficial to both; the Forum members, and support of the Forum site… w/o those mentioned “other type cougar” ads. For what it’s worth… I have discontinued participating in any discussion on M/C.net because of the banner ads & hot links.