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 Post subject: Viability
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:59 pm
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Location: Cedarpines Park, CA, US
Anybody besides me think that US Audio Mart is moribund and for all intents and purposes dead in the water?


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 Post subject: Re: Viability
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:03 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
mij1 wrote:
Anybody besides me think that US Audio Mart is moribund and for all intents and purposes dead in the water?


I know I'm biased, but I think we're doing ok under the circumstances. I am very much interested to hear your thoughts and suggestions and we'll hopefully use that to make the site better.

Right now USAM is growing in traffic 20% month over month since inception. CAM grows a very healthy 15-25% per year, and all of that growth leads to more exposure for all USAM classifieds. The 20% month over month growth is impossible to keep up, otherwise in 2 years we'll be double the size of Audiogon. Yes, we're not seeing as many postings as Agon, and yes we're not seeing as many sales and deals, but it takes years and years to build up volume to the point where USAM is a valuable alternative. I'd say CAM alone is a very viable alternative to Agon for Canadians and will eventually surpass Agon's usefulness. I believe in a few years USAM will be in the same position to be valuable, but will require much more support before we can reach parity. We're also going to be continuing to upgrade the site throughout 2013.


At the moment we are at the disadvantage that we don't have the history and feedback that users have collected over the years on other sites. Only time, and the support of the community can do anything about that. In the past 8 years CAM has grown 17x its original size. If USAM grows at that rate we will definitely be on equal footing with even the largest online audio market in the US. We never launched USAM thinking it would overtake all the other sites overnight, and we're in it for the long haul.

Also, from our perspective, the concept of viability is really 2 things:

* will people use it? (they currently do, and hopefully more and more people will join and use the service)
* will the people behind it be able to keep running it?

That second question is very important. CAM is currently self sufficient and sustainable. It can pay for its hosting, maintenance, upkeep, and upgrades over time. As of this very moment, USAM is already self sufficient in terms of hosting costs because it piggy backs off of CAM, and all the technical work to maintain it and improve it is also borne on CAM's own requirements. I do much of my work on CAM/USAM as a hobby, and some of the work is supplemented by our work on other projects. So as far as financial viability, it is on stable footing. This is a distinction I emphasize because lots of operations aren't financially viable at all, whether they have users or not. And let's face it, most of the other audio "market" sites over the years have disappeared because their founders have lost the steam to keep running something that makes no money and probably costs them too much time and money to keep going. 8 years of CAM experience already taught us much in terms of how to keep this ship running, and our superb team of mods deserve all the credit for the incredible effort keeping the site clean and safe. I am very proud that CAM is a very community driven site and I hope USAM goes that way too.

For now, the forums will remain quite quiet, and we will continue to plug along on the classifieds side. Please don't give up on the site yet, I know we won't and I hope you don't either.

For those who are watching classifieds or who want to keep helping to make USAM viable, there are still some features that you can take advantage of:

  • Use the notification system to get emails whenever items are sold or wanted that you care about
  • Start to add users to your "hotlist", this will show their classified postings on the USAM homepage. many of our users use this to follow reliable and trusted sellers and buyers. In the future I think its worth getting email notifications when people you follow post new items.


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 Post subject: Re: Viability
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:43 am
Posts: 22
Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
As a CAM guy who has been around since before CAM was even launched all those years ago (I worked a bit with the original designer before the site was launched) I think the USAM site shows some nice steady growth. There's new gear to consider every day, my colleagues who post in the Dealer News forum show there are substantial views on their announcements - so they're happy - Google Analytics shows decent traffic to their web sites from their ad campaigns on both CAM and USAM (I'm quite surprised more dealers don't take advantage of the "Dealer News" forum - that should be a no-brainer for marketing purposes!)
Sure - the discussion forums are slow - but there are So Many audio forums around anyway that I don't see that as an issue.

So - all in - USAM seems to be doing fine and healthy. That's from my perspective.

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jac - desperaudio at large
Revival Audio - Edmonton, Alberta


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 Post subject: Re: Viability
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:05 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Victoria, BC, CA
revjac wrote:
Sure - the discussion forums are slow - but there are So Many audio forums around anyway that I don't see that as an issue.


I find that there is some interests, many "lukkers" from the side line, and in time it will become much more active.
I have been involved in a few other forums before, although not audio related, and I see a positive trend.

Doc Sage


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 Post subject: Re: Viability
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:12 pm
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
mij1 wrote:
Anybody besides me think that US Audio Mart is moribund and for all intents and purposes dead in the water?


What I am wondering is if you wrote this post just so that you could use moribund in a sentence?


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 Post subject: Re: Viability
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:37 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Rural, MB, CA
:lol:

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there's an app for that...


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 Post subject: Re: Viability
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 7:30 am 
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Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 11:16 pm
Posts: 3
Location: El Dorado, CA, US
I'd like to see another solid alternative to Audiogon, their policies are getting cumbersome.


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 Post subject: Re: Viability
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 8:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:56 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Reno, NV, US
I just signed up as a member and I am currently trying to buy something listed on US Audio Mart.

As a new user, one issue that I see is that there isn't any kind of buyer commitment button or offer submission via USAM (that I can find) and as a buyer I don't feel really confident that the seller is committed to sell to me or that if the item is never shipped that the seller will be held accountable. I plan to use PayPal to pay as they have buyer assurance that the item is delivered, but there isn't anything on USAM that says I am committing to purchase.

I looked through the FAQ's and there isn't anything that tells me what a typical transaction looks like, how I am assured that purchased items will be delivered, or even what other services are available to get these things accomplished. I appreciate that USAM is staying out of the actual transaction, but an FAQ of how a typical transaction should be safely completed would give the user a lot more confidence.


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 Post subject: Re: Viability
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:03 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
Hi Mtn-tech,

Thanks for the feedback.

Since CAM is just a classifieds site we don't have any tools to ensure the transaction will go through and we can't enforce either side to commit in any way. What we offer is the ability to connect two interested parties so they can work out details. In this respect, we're more like Craigslist or other classifieds sites. We do have a Feedback system, which in a site as young as USAM isn't as valuable, but for users who have built up credibility on the site it might result in more trust between users. Some users are very comfortable with this model, while others prefer a more structured environment such as that on auction sites or Agon. All of these models have their pros and cons, which is why we're not a replacement for those other venues, just another alternative for those comfortable with this type of transaction.

The steps you're taking already are pretty good (eg using Paypal). I also want to suggest using an escrow service such as escrow.com. We always advocate in person exchanges and auditions where possible. We also have this handy set of guidelines to help reduce fraud:

http://www.usaudiomart.com/scams.php

I think it makes sense to offer some guidance and ideas on how to make a successful transaction, I'd love to have some of our veteran users write up some tips and hints from which we could build a more comprehensive FAQ entry.


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