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osCommerce

The e-commerce.

Proposal for new Forum


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There is already a froum for people looking for commecial help.

 

What about a forum for those who offer commercial help?

 

I know that commercial posts are not allowed in the OSC forums and I am not advocating allowing postings like 'designer available for $20.00 per hour'. BUT in view of some of the stories in several threads about clients who don't pay designers, designers who rip clients off and other variations on the same theme, what I am suggesting is that there is a forum where people who are will to offer commercial help could post a resume of what they can do, links to examples of their work so that anyone who is looking for help can at least go and have a look first.

 

Strictly speaking this shouldn't actually be classed as a commercial posting as no mention of charges should be made.

 

I would like to see something like this as I have posted a request for commercial help which was fairly clear in what I needed and what I wanted from anyone quoting to do the work. So far I have had several replies, only one person has given me any sort of references!!

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I don't mean to sound stupid or anything, but wouldn't the commercial help area they have now be the place to "advertise" your services since these are people looking for help? Your post there could contain all that info and links,etc.....or maybe I am just misunderstanding what you mean.....

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Won't happen.... The earth would turn red and the ground would erupt in fire and mankind will die out before you are [GASP] supposed to make any money on an open source ecommerce engine.

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Won't happen.... The earth would turn red and the ground would erupt in fire and mankind will die out before you are [GASP] supposed to make any money on an open source ecommerce engine.

 

This is an incorrect statement and is uneccesarily inflamatory. But this is to be expected from apraticular group of people that frequent these forums.

 

There are 2 kinds of people who use Open Source software, those that find it and can do the coding themselves or want to learn how to do it themselves and those that find it because it offers features that they want and need, but they do NOT want to code themselves.

 

The first group should be able to do it themselves without paying for contributions and simple code advice.

 

The second group is more than happy to pay for installation and customization.

 

Making money on Open Source is not forbidden, advertising in a forum where there are more "do it myself" folks than "I am willing to pay" folks, and taking advantage of people that have no clue what they have just found is not allowed.

 

If you need commercial help you post in the commercial forum and get private replies. Those are the rules of THIS forum.

 

If you offer web design as a business you can most certainly use your WWW link to link to a site that contains your portfolio.

 

A large number of people in this forum do web design, hosting and customization and coding. To allow "commercial postings" would create a section where there are a large number of posts and no way for the person browsing to determine if people were reputable or not. You have to do your own homework to find that out. A separate forum here would turn into a "he said, she said" section and people that are fly-by-night developers would "spam and run".

 

Not needed here.

 

And that is of course, ONE person's opinion.

 

Take it or leave it :twisted:

[no external urls in signatures please, kthanks]

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If you need examples of "Spam and Run" developers that were frequent posters I would be glad to share some names of the shady, privately of course!

[no external urls in signatures please, kthanks]

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Perhaps I should have made myself a little clearer!

 

I AM proposing a forum where people who offer commercial help can post their name, contact details, a summary of the type of work they can do, links to work already done and so on.

 

THAT IS IT!!!

 

I am not suggesting that they should publish a menu of prices nor am I suggesting that there should be lots of follow up posts of 'he said this - he said that'.

 

I had this idea because I have been ripped by a member of this forum and I am pissed off as my site was down for a considerable period, many of my customers thought I had gone out of business and I lost credibility which in many ways is more important to me to me than the money I lost through the site being down and what I paid to the man that ripped me. If the forum I am proposing existed, then I could have looked at the postings and the links, decided who I wanted to approach and then done so.

 

Loxley ? there is a 3rd type of person who uses OS stuff, that is the person who wants what the product can offer and can do some of the programming but doesn?t have the skill or time to do some of the programming they would like to customise the product.

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Sorry, I think that should be done in your WWW link, and you need to do your own research to find competent designers, coders. A list in this forum will NOT help. I trusted people that I conversed with a lot on this forum and privately and also was taken for a ride, both with my hosting and with other things.

 

A listing in a section of this forum would not have prevented that.

 

You want a list of trusted subcontractors, and it ain't gonna happen here. The Dev Team will not and should not take responsibility for recommending commercial contractors.

 

I'm outta here, I am not interested in continuing a discussion that has already been beaten to death on these forums.

 

Search and Learn, others have proposed this before you and it will not be happening.

[no external urls in signatures please, kthanks]

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Personally, I think the idea is good and should be implemented. It isn't the developer's recommending anything... I mean they already recommend on of the most expensive and in my opinion worst webhosting companies in the world on every page with their advertising.

 

Anyway, it would be recommending anything unless they went into a thread and said "We recommend this company". By not having a place where people can research who has experience with OSC, they are actually stifling the project and limiting the community of growth. Go look at your competitors and their sites. Look at their installed bases. Look at their recommendations on other sites. Miva merchant gets recommended by Web Professionals more than oscommerce. This is for two reasons 1) number of people willing to help with your site 2) professional support and caring about the customer. These are two things that OSC really needs if they truly want to compete in a crowded marketplace. Getting installed by default by cPanel isn't going to lead to market dominance.

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Perhaps I should have made myself a little clearer!

 

I AM proposing a forum where people who offer commercial help can post their name, contact details, a summary of the type of work they can do, links to work already done and so on.

 

THAT IS IT!!!

 

Personally, I think the idea is good and should be implemented. It isn't the developer's recommending anything...

 

 

Hmmm... and then we would have every man and his dog developer out there posting their details and nothing else - not contributing to the community...... just using it as free advertising :shock:

 

I think what we currently have in place is the best solution - potential clients are able to see people's performance (and attitude) and contributions on the forums - they can then look at a user's profile or go to their website via the www button, or contact them via the email button.

 

Who would like to decide the sort order of such a list..? :?

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With that methodology, it would be cheaper and easier to purchase a book and learn everything from scratch if you needed even the most minor modifications to the system.

 

Luckily, I know several communities where I can get the professional help I need in the various areas that I can't do. Not everyone here has that advantage because you forbid people from sharing the knowledge.

 

Like I said in the first post, no one is allowed to make money on this software which is kind of ludicrous.

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Oh don't worry about me anymore. I will be going elsewhere. Someplace where the developers and staff members actually care about their customers and users using the software profitably.

 

I have asked for my account to be deleted here before and it wasn't so I will just change the email address to gibberish and log out.

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With that methodology, it would be cheaper and easier to purchase a book and learn everything from scratch if you needed even the most minor modifications to the system.

 

Luckily, I know several communities where I can get the professional help I need in the various areas that I can't do. Not everyone here has that advantage because you forbid people from sharing the knowledge.

 

Like I said in the first post, no one is allowed to make money on this software which is kind of ludicrous.

To what are you responding? With what methodology? If you post that you need help on the Seeking Commercial Help forum, you will get people offering to help. With contact info. What are you expecting to get from the proposed list that you can't get that way?

 

It is quite possible to make money from osCommerce. There are people who are successfully getting US$1000-2000 for developing sites (complete new layout and theme). This is without any payments for licensing fees, etc. To do this, you need to find customers.

 

Unfortunately, the proposed list won't help people do this. The kind of customers who can afford to pay big bucks for site development are also the kind of customers who won't be wandering around open source sites looking for developers. You are far better off looking for successful businesses that could use a web store and selling them on the idea. Alternately, develop relations with hosting companies. Hosting companies actively look for ways to talk their customers into buying more services.

 

In the end, a list would leave us with the same problems we have now. There are as many developers (if not more!) on the forums as there are customers. As a result, Seeking Commercial Help postings produce a flood of responses. Good for the poster, but not much help for most of the developers. Similarly, most of the people on the list will never get any business. Sort order will be critically important to those looking for work. Advertised prices (if allowed) will be important. (Those who are unsure how to evaluate responses will tend to do so by price, since it is a nice easy comparison.

 

The current system at least encourages people to visit the forums to check out the Seeking Commercial Help postings. A list would make this unnecessary, thus benefiting those who don't want to spend much time on the forums. How does this help osCommerce? How does it support development. Does it improve support?

 

Currently, those who post a lot and have significant sized portfolios (with quality sites) are at an advantage when responding to Seeking Commercial Help postings by PM. A list would reduce the value of posting a lot, thus reducing the support available in the forums.

 

The list would also encourage developers not to contribute their work, since if they contribute it, presumably you'd install the contribution. If they don't contribute it, it will be advertised on the list, and they can get work out of it. This is not a good way to build the incentive system. Under the current system, a good contribution can bring a developer work, as people will look to the original developer to make mods. This encourages contributions.

 

A list would also pull away resources from other things. It would have to be moderated in some way. How to handle the first time someone posts that they designed madmacgames.com and wizardandwars points out that they didn't (that site and poster came to mind as an example of a nice looking site created by someone who works for the store full time, rather than as a consultant)? Since appearing at the top would be important, how would it be determined? How do you handle dead listings (i.e. if the company goes out of business, what happens and when). If someone is banned from the forums, are they also banned from the list? If someone does lousy work, should they be removed from the list? How about if they take the down payment and then disappear? Where is that line drawn?

 

Even though it may not be part of the current proposal, a rating system would be an immediate request if the list were created. Obviously, a good rating system would improve the list immensely. However, how do you develop such a thing? How do you handle ratings blackmail? (I'm not going to pay the last payment, but I still expect you to send me the files; otherwise, I'll give you a bad rating.) Rating spam (where developers give each other 0 ratings or where they find people to give them top ratings without trying their services).

 

Without the rating system what good is the list? As I said, you can get a list by posting to the Seeking Commercial Help forum. Why would this list be better? It would certainly be longer, but what good is that? You only need to hire one developer. It would also be less specific. The responses to an SCH post are all interested in the work. The list can't offer that.

 

Looking for ways to increase involvement are great, but it is important to examine the effects of changes. Not all changes are for the better. Particularly if you start to look at the unintended side effects.

 

Cheers,

Matt

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As a designer and developer who does make money with osCommerce AS WELL AS a frequent visitor and long time reader/contributor of these forums, I would have to say that what exists now is perfect. I do agree that if we were to create another category it would be nuts. There would be tons of threads the first day, and way too many to actually read and find what you are looking for. Sure, I would love to advertise the services that I offer, especially on this forum, but I don't think that would be a wise move for Harold or the other Team Members.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

-Chris

Chris Sullivan

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If you need examples of "Spam and Run" developers that were frequent posters I would be glad to share some names of the shady, privately of course!

 

Allied to this, I'd be quite happy to provide a list of people who contract for work to be done and then either;

 

- don't pay at all

- pay late

- agree a payment schedule and then stop paying as agreed

 

So it does work both ways.

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loxly wrote:

If you need examples of "Spam and Run" developers that were frequent posters I would be glad to share some names of the shady, privately of course!

 

Allied to this, I'd be quite happy to provide a list of people who contract for work to be done and then either;  

 

- don't pay at all  

- pay late  

- agree a payment schedule and then stop paying as agreed  

 

So it does work both ways.

And I for one would thank you. I posted a commercial request months back- when I started my project. I got eight or ten responses. Prices varied wildly, and how do I know which offers are reliable? really, I am a woodworker, who became webmistress because I had to- and also because of my constant curiosity.

With the help of Deb and others here I learned just enough php to get myself back out of trouble each time I effed up, and I am pretty happy with my results. I feel confident enough that I can offer to build a few for friends- for practice- and feel that I won't have to spend hundreds and hundreds of hours on it again.... just maybe on hundred. :wink:

psst... wanna buy a wand?

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