Some recommendations when meeting-up with members

Discussion in 'Suggestion Box' started by CenlaReefer, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. CenlaReefer

    CenlaReefer CrossHatch Trigger LARC Supporter

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    I would like to make some general recommendations about meeting up with members:
    1. Select a safe and appropriate place. A member asked me to meet someone at the parking lot of a closed feed store in the middle of nowhere. There was very poor lighting in the parking lot that night. I thought this would've been quick, and I would have been on my way soon so it was no big deal. After 20 minutes from the appointed time, the member still did not show yet he explained by 2 separate texts that he was on his way. After my first 15 minutes of waiting, a black Mercedez-Benz parked near me with their lights on and their engine running. I guess it was the owner of the business. I was expecting the cops to show up at any minute. I had to ditch this trade before I could meet with the member. It would be far better to plan to meet someone at a gas station or other business that is open at the time of the meeting. I typically prefer to go in the gas station to get a soda, water, or snack so that my hanging out is not suspected as loitering. Having someone meet in the parking lot of a closed buisiness is a BAD idea. People in this day and age monitor their buisiness remotely via webcams that stream video to their cell phones.
    2. If you are running late, please apologize and/or give a good reason. Being late with no valid cause is breaking your word / promise. That deserves an apology. Last month, a member failed to meet-up because he had a party the night before and he "slept-in" and forgot to set the alarm. He apologized very sincerely and made arrangements; we were cool afterwards. I would be very willing to trade with him again. Sometimes if there is a good reason, no apology is necessary. It makes the other party much more willing to wait if you explain at the outset: "I had to help my disabled uncle" rather than, "I had to help my uncle with something." The first excuse brings compassion and diffuses any upset; the second excuse seems to suggest poor planning and disregard for the person you are scheduled to meet with.
    3. If you are running late, tell the other person a realistic time. Do not say you are 5 minutes away when you realize it may take you 15-20 minutes. I know this is hard to do, yet let's try to do our best.
    4. Consider not scheduling too much in one day if you are planning to meet-up. I am highly considering NEVER planning to meet someone on a tight schedule when I have something planned shortly afterwards. This will allow me flexibity to wait around an extra half an hour or whatever which I should typically expect from now on. If I have scheduled too much in one day, a person running late makes me late for my next appointment.
    5. Read your incoming texts carefully. I told the other member, I promised to do something with my family that evening. This person said, "Next time you [are] on a time crunch, it would't hurt to mention it to who[m] you are meeting [with]." He would have noted that I was on a "time crunch" if he carefully read my text prior.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  2. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Administrator LARC Supporter

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    Some good suggestions! I'm gonna sticky this.
     
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  3. CenlaReefer

    CenlaReefer CrossHatch Trigger LARC Supporter

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    Thanks Bobby! I am honored. I also like the super hero cartoon illustration.

    Folks, please offer other suggestions / recommendations.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  4. BluewaterLa

    BluewaterLa LARC Boil Master Administrator LARC Supporter

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    I agree that this is some great information.
    For one safety is always personal number one reason meeting an unknown person in a populated area.
    All the other points you make @CenlaReefer are very valid and need to be brought up from time to time even though some of the older folks on here just see this as common sense and courtesy.
    The sad reality is nothing too common about ''common sense / courtesy '' anymore in todays society.
    Thank you for posting and sharing with us.
     
  5. clsanchez77

    clsanchez77 Reefkeeping Extremist Global Moderator

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    Great write up. For me #4 is a deal killer. I always have something to offer or something I am interested in, but I NEVER have free time to set aside a few hours to meet. My schedule just does not allow it. And when I am home, I am backed up on chores. Oh well. Thanks for the write up again.
     
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  6. GPReefer

    GPReefer Let the Fin Begin! Administrator LARC Supporter POTM Winner

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    Yes, great write up. Should be common courtesy, like Mike mentioned, but that is a vanishing thing. I would also like to add:

    • Be extra cautious when dealing with someone that is not in our community already. Like sales listed on Craig's List, Facebook, or newspaper ads. We actually have a seller rating system available to us here on the forum, but it is seldom used. This would be a great way to know who you are dealing with and how reliable they are.

    • Don't fall for sending money to a seller through PayPal as "a gift." When you do this, you are giving up the protection that PayPal provides. If you want to pay the seller's fees instead, you can calculate what they would be HERE. Personally, I believe the seller should price the item accordingly and not even mention fees.

    • Be very careful having people that are not known in our community to your home to pick up items for sale. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but try to meet in a public place, at least until you become familiar with the person.
     
  7. CenlaReefer

    CenlaReefer CrossHatch Trigger LARC Supporter

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    For most days I have hours of home health paperwork that I can do on my work-issued iPad. If I am motivated, I can be productive in the middle of nowhere. I could also surf the Internet on our unlimited wireless plan. From now on, I will ensure I never leave the iPad home when planning a meet-up. I have books to read if I plan ahead. The only thing that's difficult, is that my family wants me to come back home and see them... especially after a long week of work. Who wants to sit alone in a dark parking lot on a Friday night?
     
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  8. CenlaReefer

    CenlaReefer CrossHatch Trigger LARC Supporter

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    95% of the time I am very pleased with my experience with meeting with LARC members. I cannot give the same percentage regarding meets with folks from Craig's list or social media.
     
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  9. clsanchez77

    clsanchez77 Reefkeeping Extremist Global Moderator

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    I have had only 1 good experience from Craigslist, one. It was a used iPhone, cash sale, down at the bottom of Algiers in the evening. Everything was stacked against that one but it worked out well lol. Everything else has been with some back-ended intention. I couldn't even sell a stereo on there without some dude asking if I was interested in X. Never again. My eBay account got suspended back in the 90's because someone made a fraudulent complaint against me and eBay would not investigate my claim until I paid the guy out first. I never looked back.
     
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  10. Kirk_M

    Kirk_M Chevron Tang LARC Supporter

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    I've gotten to the point that I just throw stuff out now (frags, etc.) or bring them to the LFS, after deciding I didn't want to deal with this kind of stuff any more. Things have changed quite a bit, and, people have gotten weirder, since I first got into the hobby.
     
  11. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Administrator LARC Supporter

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    This is sad, but I do understand. There was a time when most looked forward to meeting someone with a common interest, making a new friend, etc. The transaction itself was sometimes just secondary to helping a fellow reefer out.

    Nowadays people are worried about those they deal with not being on the up-and-up. Everybody suffers. :-(
     
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  12. GPReefer

    GPReefer Let the Fin Begin! Administrator LARC Supporter POTM Winner

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    We used to have a fairly large saltwater club here in Lake Charles back in the early to mid 80s. Maybe 50 members, or more. We were always at each other's homes and lending a hand moving tanks, trading - or giving - people equipment / supplies / fish, etc (not really any coral back then). We were all genuinely friends and trusted one another. The internet has changed all of that. I used to be able to call on dozens of people in case I needed help with something and now, I probably don't know 5 reefers in my area. Hardly any real, face to face social interaction nowadays. I like our meets, when we have them, it is just that we are spread out so much, it is hard for a lot of people on the forum to get together.
     
  13. CenlaReefer

    CenlaReefer CrossHatch Trigger LARC Supporter

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    Much of this thread was written concerning safety.

    Much of my conern was also a desire for better communication and consideration from the onset to prevent deals from being broken and people getting offended at one another. My desire would be that folks on LARC that I trade, buy, or sell stuff to can be considered as friends. Still, I can truly understand that some folks are not interested in additional friendships because their lives are too consumed with work, family, and other interests. Given that this may be the case, we should at least be considerate of others as mere customers. When we meet-up with other reefers on LARC, we should not just see them as a source of money. The website says LARC is "a friendly on-line community for saltwater and reef keeping enthusiasts." Lets think of ways to work towards that.

    I have offered to help some reefers in past years and months. Both of them refused my offer. One of them no longer keeps a reef tank. He may have hung in there if he had some help and encouragement. Perhaps some folks do not want help because they think the other person ALWAYs wants something in return. I guess that is true in my case. What I want in return is some fellowship in enjoying a common interest. New friends are nice as well. I am a believer that one cannot have too many true friends. I want to enjoy looking at the living, created wonders that they have sustained and nurtured in their home. I want to learn from a more experienced reefer. I want to see the amazement and wonder of the new reefer as they look with wonder at something new and beautiful. I want to enjoy my part in helping someone else succeed with their reef tank. Still, in all of this, I want to be treated with consideration as a friend or at least as a respected customer. Lastly, if I sense that it is a bother to meet, let's just not meet at all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
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  14. 6lilfish

    6lilfish Ko-Ko Worm

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    It’s not the meeting I have a problem with. It’s the 20 messages back and forth then when I’m in route to meet someone that says they will meet at a certain time then just quits answering texts and calls. If you don’t plan to buy or don’t have the money. Then don’t start a buy. I had it from someone I was supposed to buy from 15 minutes before we were going to meet stop answering texts and calls.


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  15. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Administrator LARC Supporter

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    I've had people agree to a price & everything, and then try to haggle with me on the spot. Not cool. :mad:
     
  16. 6lilfish

    6lilfish Ko-Ko Worm

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    Yes this too


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  17. CenlaReefer

    CenlaReefer CrossHatch Trigger LARC Supporter

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    Wow! That is terrible. I have not had that one happen to me yet or the haggling at the last minute.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017

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