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Thread: Advertising Discussions

  1. #1

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    Default Advertising Discussions

    Thanks to Braden and GC8REX for being the first I've seen to comment on the new ads in the threads. The reason I've done it is because this site just hasn't received much financial support (don't be worried I will be running this site for years or likely until I'm dead even if it still costs me lol-so I'm not trying to scare you guys or say I'll shut it down). But I am trying to find creative ways to at least break even. I've changed the ads to only appear every 5 posts.

    I thought this thread might bring up a few things some people don't know. JDMVip is not a business for me and I don't make money from it, although others certainly have been . In that way I feel like I've been taken for a ride as some Exporters have even approached me to help promote their business or have tried to cleverly "encourage me" (and some of the mods) into making changes to this site for their benefits (I won't do this either for cash or for praise because that's one of the reasons I started this site-to keep it unbiased and real). This is a generalization and probably applies to more companies than people might think wouldn't be the type.

    Bandwidth is not free and no money goes to this site unless a banner/ad is clicked (and I can tell you that usually they aren't clicked). Some people are also under the impression that the Importers and Exporters here who have been posting here are paying a fee (because they see company banners in the signature). This is actually not the case and only one Exporter in the past sponsored us for a year (thanks to Mark from Brave Auto). Any company who sponsors us will have it displayed in their title that they are an Official JDMVip sponsor.

    Don't get me wrong, I can't blame those companies making money for free because we've graciously allowed them to post ads and have signatures and banners as part of our rules (I'd do the same if I was in this business!). Some of them have contributed a bit of information to the forums, although many have simply used their posts/PMs as a vehicle to grab more customers (not that I wouldn't if I were in this business lol).

    I've also seen comments recently and in the past that people feel it's the companies who've been making money from this site and recommendations from jdmvip members which have lead to more business, should be paying a fee for listing and to promote their company on this site.

    Possible Solutions?

    Here's what some of you have suggested.

    1.) Charge an optional yearly membership fee and receive things like stickers, lanyards and other benefits on the forums.
    2.) Charge companies a fee to have banner coverage and to be able to list products/items for sale and to have their company name and banner in their signature.
    3.) Solely base everything on advertising of some sort (this is my idea).
    4.) Donations
    5.) Charge companies a fee to be on a lead/referral list (for some reason people always contact/e-mail our site asking if I can find XYZ part or car for them from around the world).

    I'm really not open to donations because this site is not a charity and I don't think the average person should have to support it that way. We do sell stickers and T-Shirts (thanks to GregA and Soren) but there is virtually no markup on them because I don't believe that would be fair.

    Membership fees are OK and I've been told our site has unique info that many would pay for but I don't think that's the way. I've never paid to join or be a member of a forum and I'd be a hypocrite to introduce it even as an optional thing with benefits . We've been getting a lot of new members lately but most are long-time/permanent lurkers as Soren has implied (and new members have often admitted).

    I feel companies who have made money from this site and ones who stand to profit from it should help (it helps them at the same time).

    I know some of you don't like the banners (ads never bothered me on other forums unless they were flash and slowed my CPU down) but I like them because if they interest any of our members and get clicked then they also help this site (I want to clarify I'm not encouraging you to click on anything for the sake of it as that will get me in trouble!).

    Those are my quick thoughts but I'd like to hear your thoughts/opinions/suggestions.

    Cheers guys
    Last edited by jdmfanatic; 11-28-2011 at 12:45 PM. Reason: got GC8REX's name wrong

  2. #2

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    A couple ideas from me:

    a)Importers/exporters pay a fee each year to be able to list more than x amount of vehicles per year. Many, many forums are like this. I think paying a small fee a year to list as many cars as you want that exposes your ad's to many people that buy/own/are researching JDM's would be well worth it. This also entitles you to advertise your business in your signature with a banner/link.

    b)Optional memberships. I'd be down for $25ish a year to get a fancy title under my name, and maybe a couple stickers (also as previously discussed, maybe we could do lanyards?). Expanding on this could include non-members are limited to the amount of cars they can list for sale per year, unlimited for members.

    Nothing wrong with this imo, this way the forum would still remain free for people to post, browse, sign up, ect. Maybe have a members section, for what, I do not know. But I have seen these member sections on other forums, I am not sure if I am really for/against it yet however. Also maybe a few banners for people that register, full on banners for people that do not register, and no banners for people with a membership. Not huge perks, but little incentives.

    I will add more ideas as I think of them
    Last edited by Braden; 11-28-2011 at 12:41 PM.

  3. #3

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    Spelled GC8REX

    I like the idea of a membership for added benefits as I think there are quite a few people who would be in for it.

    The ads seem more focussed toward me since you put them on posts, so I think advertising can still make a lot of money if maybe a bit less obnoxious.

  4. #4

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    I'm not sure what ads you are talking about because the only one I see is at the top of the page but they are fine.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine View Post
    I'm not sure what ads you are talking about because the only one I see is at the top of the page but they are fine.
    Go open a thread with a couple pages of posts, this morning it was pretty bad with a big ad banner per 3 posts or so haha. Now I believe there is an ad after every 5 posts (I think there will be one after this post once someone else posts again).

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    a.) Braden I like your ideas especially for the companies who want to list and advertise here and you are correct that those rules are fairly standard for most forums.
    b.) Braden I think the membership idea could work as long as it's not required. If we offer extra benefits like lanyards (not sure how we'd make them though, do you have any leads), stickers and a T-shirt. I think we'd have to charge more than $25 if we include the T-Shirt though because that is about the cost of the T-Shirt itself right now. Maybe we could have different membership options. I also don't want to divide our community between paying and non-paying members (a class system if you will).

    GC8REX sorry I'll edit my original post to correct your name.
    I don't want the ads to annoy anyone so thanks for your comments about them. How could they be made less obnoxious but still be visible enough so people will notice and click the ones they are interested in?

  7. #7

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    Sorry for the confusion I was using my original login for the above post.
    Sunshine, I like your attitude I find the ads can mainly be missed when scrolling quickly. Also if you have javascript disabled you won't see them.

  8. #8

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    Ads don't bother me. Every site has them and... I use amsoil! A fee doesn't sound bad to me but might be an issue for guys with no credit cards >.>

  9. #9

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    Sunshine you may have an ad-blocker running.

    One suggestion I might make is a Paypal account for the exporters/importers on an honour system. VIP you know the costs to run this place, and I'd submit that if it were me on the hook for the bill, I'd suggest to Sastrad, Brave, Derek, William etc that if a NEW client comes to them via the VIP, that they donate 20.00 of the fee they charge to VIP. 20.00 is really nothing in the scheme of things, especially because many of us become repeat buyers, who are happy to spend a grand in fees, what's 20.00 off of their first import fee?

    So, I'd think in a little while, you'd have a good collection of money, and you could stop the program for a couple years, then re-start 'er.

    I have worked with William, Mark and Derek, and I think that number one, they are all terribly trustworthy, which is why I'll continue to recommend them, and two, I don't forsee any of them looking at 20.00 being steep for a referral fee (in which they will gain business that will make them some money)

    Exporters/importers - don't get me wrong, I know that fee does not go into your pocket - I completely understand you have a lot of work ahead, and this pays your wage, as well as the stress while you have an overload of clients. I am just thinking out loud that you could spare 20.00 here or there, when a new client tells you they've been referred by JDMVIP.

    I'm not so much on board with sponsorships, because then it can give the appearance of being in the pocket of the exporters. We are quite often very exited about certain importers/exporters too, and it would be easy to confuse this excitement when banners everywhere proclaim "Sponsored by Japan Cars International" etc.

    In my opinion, new folks might think that unbiased was maybe a touch incorrect.

  10. #10

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    aha! The puzzle is solved. I wondered earlier this year who this OG JDMfanatic was! haha! He was even a mod at one point I think.. case closed, mr. Holmes!

    I forgot to mention that the ads are very distracting and clutter the clean look of this forum in my opinion. I also agree that we should not have different grades of posters. I like to think that we are all equal on this site, once we've had 20 or 30 posts or so.

    A fundraiser might be another good idea. I work in DVD/CD duplication replication, so perhaps I could set something up. Perhaps something like a show that we all like, and would buy if it supported this site. Maybe something like the Mighty Car Mods "Turbos and Temples" DVD. Maybe I could petition Maaaaty and Moog to see what kind of royalty rate I could pay to re-produce them legally here - and then we sell them from this site, with a portion supporting the workings of the forum?

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