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Old 03-17-2020, 01:57 PM   #1
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Disappointed in forum ethics!

How do you folks feel about ad
erts for facemasks at ten dollars. Price gouging during crisis?
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Old 03-17-2020, 02:16 PM   #2
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Price gouging really isn't the issue (more on that later). These face masks are not needed for protection and buying them keeps people who do need them from getting them. That's the issue.

As to price gouging, people don't like it, but it is actually a good thing. If the price had gone up on toilet paper, then people wouldn't be having a year and a half supply in their house while others go without (and/or flush things down the toilet that they shouldn't be flushing). https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...es-coronavirus

Any time the price is too low there will be shortages. Price controls are why we had gas lines in the 1970s. People think it's taking advantage, but if the price of their stock goes up they are not hesitant at all to sell when few others are willing.
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Old 03-17-2020, 03:14 PM   #3
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Price gouging during hurricanes is outlawed, so it would seem logical for law abiding folks to certainly think it low-ball ethics go do now.
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Old 03-17-2020, 03:15 PM   #4
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Morich, the website isn't choosing those ads. Here's how most of those ads work - Andy R and his staff put some coding in each ad spot. Their team tries to sell those ad placements to specific vendors. But the vendors do not buy up all the quantity of views that the website generates. So, any unsold ad spaces get filled automatically by ad networks - like Google, Facebook, Verizon, AOL and literally hundreds of others.

Andy has a say in topics he can block, and he can block certain keywords, but other than that he has no control over the ads that are placed.

Sometimes, unscrupulous companies, like those selling facemasks at rip off prices do all they can to cheat their way into the ad networks. Sometimes, even hackers will pay to have ads placed that carry malware.

I owned a network of 9 large guitar forums for 20-years. I met Andy long ago through my business in the forum industry. I can tell you Andy and his staff work super hard to keep bad ads from appearing but it's a huge job and the rotten advertisers use all kinds of devious methods to cheat their way onto websites.

There are thousand of ad networks all over the world. And millions of advertisers all over the world. And all of these ads pour into the networks and are automatically placed. When bad ones are seen, they are removed and blocked but it's just impossible to monitor completely.

PS. When you see RV related ads those are generally the ads that Andy's ad sales people have been able to sell. It's the non-RV ones that are most likely placed automatically by "remnant ad networks."
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:44 PM   #5
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Thank CREATIVEPART you for that insight. Good and useful perspective.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:20 AM   #6
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Thank You Creativepart! Well played Sir!

Caveat emptor!
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Old 03-18-2020, 09:37 AM   #7
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How does it work if the final end user complains up the line about things which are obviously very close to illegal?
Perhaps the whole group needs to contact their own states attorney general with the information. Does that speed the process?
I feel I am a law abiding citizen and part of that brings the responsibility to help those who enforce the laws.
This is where the "law abiding " folks often fall on their face as it begins to come close to home. Always very easy to say it's somebody else's job, right? Duck and cover and say it's somebody else is what got us here.
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:10 AM   #8
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Richard, sounds good but as with most things there is a BUT.

It will be impossible to find out where the ad came from. What company is behind the ad. Who's actually selling the product?

Have you heard about scammers that steal thousands of dollars from people via email? None of them are caught. None are able to be located even though the poor people that are scammed have the info provided by the scammer to receive the stolen monies.

Anyone can put up a website and sell, well, anything. And it's super easy to disguise the true identity of the website owner and even it's location.

When I ran all those forums we'd get ads that contained malware. Placed by crooks these ads try to get you to visit a bogus site so they can infect your computer. When we identified those, which was difficult, not once were we or even our ad network partners able to locate the people responsible for the ads.

That's the thing with the internet, it's open and it's anonymous and for the large part untraceable. (NOTE: it's very easy to trace web and email traffic, but it's not possible to trace traffic that's been designed to be untraceable by very knowledgeable hacker types.)
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Old 03-18-2020, 11:43 AM   #9
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How would you prove it was price gouging? You'd need to show the price history.

If you look on Amazon there have always been sellers who are offering things for ridiculous prices. And I love it when you look at the prices on buying multiple. It can be something like one for $25, two for $75 and three for $350. And I'm hardly exaggerating!
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