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Introducing the "MK Vendor Trust and Safety System" for Group Buys

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Rhienfo:
While I think the idea is good, the more I look into it and discuss it with many members of the community, the more I start to see this as an flawed idea.

I feel that the entire idea of a rating system is stupid, because it treats the situation as a objective thing when it really isn't. there are so many moving variables when it comes to these situations that rating it objectively is kinda missing the point, there are far more moving variables than just if they delivered or not and if they are responsive for support, people can have a perfectly good track record and still just go away never to be seen. This feels like a way to minimize damage and not actively prevent it, which is better than nothing but doesn't fix the issue long term and will allow people to get scammed still.

I have concerns with how concentrated the amount of power is through this system, in the hands of a few people. It does not help that the system feels like it's designed to benefit the big players in the hobby and not the small ones. I am worried about the massive conflict of interest here and I think a lot of people wouldn't trust a bunch of discord and reddit mods to handle this in a way that is unbiased. What is stopping someone from excluding someone from this list, someone who has not done anything wrong and is a reputable business just simply because someone on the team doesn't like the person running the business, or a large company, secretly paying someone to get rid of competition of the list, limiting the ability to advertise to a lot of the community, the way the system is currently implemented seems exploitable.

I also understand that this is very early in development but presentation needs a lot of work, I feel that the new people who need this info the most will not go and read a random spreadsheet about it, this information needs to be properly presented in a website in an appealing way.

At the end of the day, a centralized data set about vendors is a good thing. But I feel that the whole thing seems rushed without any foresight into the long term effects and how this would affect smaller vendors and individuals. I hope things can improve and the system be fully fleshed out.

That's just how I feel though. Would like to hear other opinions.

eksuen:
Hoff works for Drop/Corsair. Being on a committee that rates competitors and has access to some of their GB data from the Vendor Profile Form submissions is a massive conflict of interest. Even the appearance of impropriety or a potential conflict of interest would be a violation of any serious code of conduct. That he sits on a Trust & Safety Admin Team is hilariously ironic.

kiyoboard:
I am honestly not sure if all these rating system was necessary and I can see it hurting new or small vendors. So far, all the scams seem to happen due to a person or vendor not paying the invoice, regardless of their previous successful GBs, and none of the parties involved mentioning anything until it is too late. I think rather than giving scores, a better system would be to have all vendors have their invoice information publicly available. I see that in the document there is an info about GB status updates, but nothing is mentioned about invoices. I think vendor accepting or not accepting this is a better indication of a potential scam than a score system designed by few people that can also be exploited or abused in the future.

Kokaloo:

--- Quote from: kiyoboard on Fri, 10 November 2023, 22:27:38 ---I am honestly not sure if all these rating system was necessary and I can see it hurting new or small vendors. So far, all the scams seem to happen due to a person or vendor not paying the invoice, regardless of their previous successful GBs, and none of the parties involved mentioning anything until it is too late. I think rather than giving scores, a better system would be to have all vendors have their invoice information publicly available. I see that in the document there is an info about GB status updates, but nothing is mentioned about invoices. I think vendor accepting or not accepting this is a better indication of a potential scam than a score system designed by few people that can also be exploited or abused in the future.

--- End quote ---

Further adding to this hurting new vendors, I think it's by design. They don't want so many untrustworthy newcomers when there is always an established circle of vendors who can pick any project. Advertising on this platform doesn't mean much anymore, and during my last gb Reddit's r/mechanicalkeyboards wasn't allowing promotional posts by most anyone, however allowed some posts from larger vendors absolutely hurting the numbers and exposure for my set. There should be a process to prove that a business is in this hobby for real, however I don't think that's possible, but everyone should remember we had to trust novelkeys, Dixie, originative, zeal, etc without any reason to believe they were for real too. This rating system absolutely harms people attempting to profit from the hobby without an already established connection, harming lesser designers and vendors. There's absolutely no correct precaution for joining gbs other than giving people the facts and their rights as a consumer.

dvorcol:

--- Quote from: eksuen on Thu, 09 November 2023, 14:38:09 ---Hoff works for Drop/Corsair. Being on a committee that rates competitors and has access to some of their GB data from the Vendor Profile Form submissions is a massive conflict of interest. Even the appearance of impropriety or a potential conflict of interest would be a violation of any serious code of conduct. That he sits on a Trust & Safety Admin Team is hilariously ironic.

--- End quote ---

I don't understand why Drop is considered different from other vendors.  They started in 2012 as two people running GBs to support communities interested in niche products - https://drop.com/talk/1954/the-history-of-massdrop?mode=guest_open

If Drop should be excluded from this activity, shouldn't all vendors?

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