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Section - 3. What is appropriate to post, what isn't?

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  Article and newsgroup appropriateness is the most important,
    but least understood issue in the Usenet Marketplace.  If you
    post an inappropriate article, or if you post to the wrong
    group, you reach the wrong audience and you anger thousands
    of potential customers.  Why?  Because the money for your
    error comes from their pockets.

  The rest of this section will help you understand what you may
    advertise, while the next couple of sections explain
    how to advertise and in which groups to post.  These sections
    are our best attempt to guide you through the creation and
    posting of your ad.  However, you may leave here with
    additional questions.  If after reading these guides you are
    still unsure about the appropriateness of your work, then
    please e-mail your post to  We'll try to
    provide additional suggestions to help you maximize the
    effectiveness of your ad.

***We Mean Business***

  Please understand that the Usenet Marketplace is serious
    business.  Everyone is expected to adopt the same ethical
    standards as in other types of transactions.  Just because
    you don't deal face to face does not exempt you from laws
    pertaining to forgery, fraud, harassment, and other issues.

  This extends to your offerings.  False advertising and
    unethical practices will not be tolerated by the Usenet, nor
    by your system administrator.  Every post to these newsgroups
    should be serious.  Please make certain you are posting to
    the appropriate group, and please DO NOT POST TEST ARTICLES,
    JOKE ADS, UNREALISTIC SCHEMES, or articles with forged
    headers to the Marketplace.  Chain letters, pyramid schemes,
    spamming (crossposting to numerous groups), velveeta
    (posting too many times to one newsgroup) and similar
    activities have caused hundreds of users to lose their
    access, and in some cases, their privacy.  You will be
    surprised at the resourcefulness and avengeful nature of
    disgruntled Usenet readers.  DAVE RHODES, THIS MEANS YOU!

  Expect that inappropriate posting, crossposting, or spamming,
    especially to newsgroups which specifically prohibit
    off-charter material like the Marketplace, may result in
    automatic article cancellation by robots implemented by
    many administrators who have taken active measures to
    prevent such activities from destroying the functionality of
    USENET and BIZNET.  Information on what is allowed in a
    newsgroup can almost always be found in that group's FAQ.

***Are You Individual or Commercial?***

  Most transactions in the Marketplace fall under one of two
    classifications:  individual sales or continuing enterprises.
    The former belong in the groups.  The latter are
    considered commercial, and belong in biz.marketplace.  Simply
    put, if you're an individual trying to clean out your closet,
    post to the appropriate newsgroup.  If you are a
    continuing enterprise, post to biz.marketplace.

  Examples of Continuing Enterprise:
	Individuals selling crafts or handiwork
	Consultants, Lawyers, Doctors
	Freelance Photographers, Writers, Programmers
	Retailers of seconds, refurbished, or overstock goods
	Not-for-profit groups soliciting material donations
	Realtors, property managers
	Companies offering their services or products
	Clearance sales and inventory close-outs
	Anything whose primary market is corporate

  This list is far from comprehensive, but it should provide a
    good guideline to help you figure it out.  If you still
    aren't sure, send e-mail to and we'll be
    glad to help you out.

***Acceptable Offerings***

  For non-commercial individuals, almost any offering is welcome
    in the Marketplace.  Computer parts, household items, and
    sporting goods are common, but even the most eclectic of
    items appear from time to time.

  Continuing enterprises are subject to enforced restrictions. If
    you are in this category, please also read the section on
    commercial advertising.

  Wanted ads are welcome in the Marketplace groups, although
    commercial wanted ads are subject to the same restrictions as
    forsale ads.  Wanted ads should include "Wanted" or "WTB" in
    the subject line.

  Discussion is permitted in the *.discussion newsgroups.
    Marketplace issues like reputability, questions not answered
    by this FAQ, and questions about where to find elusive items
    are welcome in the *.discussion groups.  Ads are *not*
    permitted in these groups, and likewise, no followups or
    discussion should be posted to the advertising groups.
    For example, if you want to find a reputable mail-order
    computer dealer, you should post to b.m.computers.discussion.
    Do not post to m.f.computers.discussion, because many of the
    responses will be commercial.  Also, whenever possible,
    please respond to posted discussion by e-mail only.

  A few things are *strongly* discouraged, or even prohibited...

    Distributorships, Individual Income Opportunities, and MLM
	Multi-level marketers and distributors are welcome to
	  offer their merchandise in biz.marketplace.*, subject
	  to the usual conditions, but no mention of MLM or
	  distributorship opportunities may be made.  These
	  opportunities are considered jobs rather than services,
	  and historically are of no interest to readers.  Discussion
	  about such opportunities belongs in
	  or misc.entrepreneur.moderated, but ads are not permitted.

    Job Offerings
	Too many income opportunity posts have soured this topic in
	  the Marketplace, but topical and specific solicitation of
	  contract/freelance workers is still permitted.  Instead,

    Price or Product Flames
	If someone posts a price which you consider too high,
	  please do not post a response.  Readers on the
	  Marketplace almost always know the market and take the
	  opportunity to shop around, thus your post will only
	  waste	precious bandwidth.  A much better action is to
	  send e-mail directly to the poster suggesting that the
	  price is too high.  Usually, the poster will respond by
	  lowering the price.  The same goes for product flames.
	  If you have a technical point about an item, it's
	  welcome in the appropriate *.discussion group.  Flames
	  like "OS/2 Warp is better than Win95", however, are not
	If you *must* flame the price, again, send the poster
	  e-mail, DON'T POST!  If you still can't hold yourself
	  back, then you _must_ include the following
		The source of the better price
		The price quote and date issued
		A contact phone number and e-mail address
	  Also, prepare yourself for a flame war if your source
	  is out-of-stock or does not ship nationwide.  Remember
	  that the Marketplace is global; the price quoted may be
	  in Canadian or European currencies, and even after
	  conversion, prices are generally lower in the U.S. than
	  in Canada, Italy, or Kyrgyzstan.

    Again, chain letters, test messages, joke ads, spamming,
	and velveeta are not permitted.

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM