questionswhat spam is acceptable? should it at least be a…

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This is a tough question-- and the answer depends in part on what should be considered SPAM.

If a vendor posts one product each day and it is a genuinely good price for that product, I would not consider that SPAM. To be sure, it would be preferable if that vendor gave wooters a break (or occasionally ponied up for a sponsored deal).

After all, what's the difference between my posting NewEgg's "Shell-Shocker" on a semi-regular basis and someone from NewEgg doing it?

It seems to me that unacceptable postings include:

* many posts in a short period (not sure where the threshold is, but @poolcenter, @sistersdress, and a number of others clearly cross that line)
* prices that aren't competitive
* prices with hidden, inflated, shipping costs
* 1 item e-bay auctions
* fake prices with links to a general auction site
* things that belong on Craigslist (e.g. services)

And what else did I miss...?

[Edit] P.S. Mileage may vary, and so will opinions.

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If it is on a low frequency of posts like the @teextile, than it is okay, the voting system will keep it at bay. However Spam would constitute anything that @heymo just specified.

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http://deals.woot.com/deals/users/sistersdress Sistersdress is bad I agree, although it stays with in the 2 deals a day limit.

and we already know that poolcenter is horrid, and rude too if he comes back. Don't forget that babyfoodcentral - can't recall the name properly? But they got upset and left when we basically told them their deals weren't deals. There are others Velocitytech?, man I spend way too much time on here if I can recall these while in the comment box. Oh yea and @guitarwoot.

some will reform themselves others just keep on going.

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It's true that items are posted just because someone thinks that they are interesting and cool. I'm not trying to start that discussion again. The difference is when the item is not a deal and is being posted by the retailer for the link & to drive traffic to their site.

I guess that this is a question about the slippery slope now that deals.woot is on the radar for SEO/Spam benefits. Should retailers simply be allowed to post their new products at full retail without coupons/discounts or should that truly be reserved for the sponsored section? I agree that @teextile is a low volume poster but what happens as an increasing number of retailers recognize that this is tolerated and do the same thing?

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@sgoman5674: I'm glad that you posted the links, it was interesting to re-read @Snapster's take on the subject. I'm not trying to be a jerk and launch the same conversation again. Most of the spam discussions have focused around the frequency of posting.

It's true that @teextile is not posting frequently enough to be too much of a bother. It's that deals.woot is coming onto the SEO radar now. Sites don't need a deal to reach popular to enjoy the benefits. I was asking the question now to see if anyone else cared about retailers not bothering to actually post deals (just products). I suppose that the question will be addressed in the future as the volume of these non-deal posts from retailers increases.

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@hobbit: anyway - I got interuppted by work - Some are great too. I like the sponsored deals who come in and actually answer questions on their own deals, which is supposed to be what they should do. Just like we answer questions on our deals. It is all relative. @heymo is right and I agree.

at least they retailers are posting under their company names, I am more concerned with that really then them posting deals.

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@hobbit: I agree, I do appreciate when retailers post under their names. Luckily the search functions on the site make it pretty transparent even when they don't.

Please don't misunderstand. I think that retailer participation is great (and @Snapster is a really big fan of that). I just think that there should be some parameters that they are expected to participate within.

The problem is that a lot of spam is initially relatively benign until it increases in scale. I actually just got called out on gchat by a friend/peer for this question. Asking this is a bit counter intuitive given how I make a living but I actually enjoy deals.woot.

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@glindagw: Right @teextile's rate of posting is not what I would consider spam. they may not be discounted, but they could be considered "cool." I have posted "deals" that might not have been a deal, but was something I found amusing or cool.

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@hobbit: B and H photo is very good at lurking on the site and posting deals and answering questions for their deals.

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@glindagw: we also as the members are pretty quick to spot someone who does post as a retailer who isn't using their company name OR who posts comments under their deal using other names and we call them out or tattle or both. Staff deals with that.

and I get what you are saying. I too do not want deals to be taken advantage of by some bad retailers, but I think with enough of us out there, that probably won't happen. Weekends are the worst though, and I think retailers have figured that out, because when Friday rolls around it does seem like the spam increases just a bit.

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@all: Thank you for your contributions to this developing dialogue.

@retailers: We want your deals.

@heymo: Nice perspective.

We're all working on this together.
We welcome those that want to participate.
We'll continue to work hard to help everyone see the light.

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Interesting thread. I always enjoy the ones about what is spam and what isn't. A few thoughts.

Being a merchant on a deal site can be a minefield. Trust me, I was banned from life from a very well known deal site for responding with a user name that displayed my company affiliation. I did not post the deal, I only responded to a question about the capability of our site. I learned at that point that I was unwelcome there. Not only was I unwelcome to post deals, I was unwelcome to comment.

Not to be immodest, but having me around does add value. I am welcome at Deals.Woot. I therefore let this community know first when I have items that I think will be popular and I make sure to check back regualrly to ask questions. I even post my email address so people can contact me if they have issues or want to be added to a wii fit waiting list (who knew there was such a thirst for those things?).

The harder you make it for a merchant to operate, the less likely s/he will be (cont)

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... to learn the rules of the road. If I am made into a villain (such as by being banned for life) I am hardly going to hang around and try and figure out how to do the right thing.

Deals can also be very subjective. I posted the Wii Fits yesterday that went popular. They were at the same price that I always have them and I have posted them before. There is a very good argument that they weren't by someone's definition "a deal" but they went popular and I have many emails from people requesting I let them know when we have more.

I can understand asking merchants to limit the number of links we post on a daily basis. Having watched my posts shoot to the bottom made me a believer very quickly. But defining deals narrowly will do you a disservice in my opinion. The voting takes care of that all on its own.

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@erikadyscern: Thank you for your perspective. Both you and @jumbowoot make the very valid point that there is a danger of making it unappealing for good retailers to post. You do post items at competitive prices which makes them a deal in my book.

Ironically, my interpretation is probably overly conservative because work sometimes demands that I push up to that fine line that borders on spam (never on deals.woot which is fun for me). I appreciate everyone's input. Thanks for helping me gain insight on this question.

There is definitely a learning curve as retailers begin to participate on deals. @erikadyscern & @mpgearco immediately come to mind as retailers who are assets to deals. Are there other retailers who should be emulated as positive examples/role models?

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Besides the two listed this is my other favorite because they interact..

@indochino