More comments based on lengthy personal experience. I think vendors (except
perhaps for one man shows) stay off of lists (or remain incognito) because
appearing as a vendor is too big a risk. I won't personal give examples, but
believe me I've been there.
The folk on this list are good natured. Some lists are less so. But even
here, there are members who will take advantage of a vendor by complaining
in public about something that should have been done in private. (You see it
all the time in flames - most of them should have been handled off-list but
aren't.) Some of the people in true innocence, or stupidity, or meanness
(the motivation doesn't matter) will ask loaded questions and put the vendor
in a corner. If he is dealing with someone, the someone may say things to
demean the vendor, but it is verboten for the vendor to fight fire with
fire. So it is a 'probably lose, best you can do is break even' kind of
I think the best approach is typified by Bob Adler. He contributes, but
never does business on the list. He also knows what he is talking about -
very important. People who desire his services presumable contact him
privately. What I mean is it is ok for a business person to be a list
member, and even to have his business relationship well known, but he should
never let anyone address business issues to him directly.
> Tom Caperton recalls:
> "I believe Jim Forbes (previous Oletrucker) contacted one
> or two vendors to
> try and get them interested in the list. I don't believe he had
> any success.
> It's a great idea....and makes perfect sense...but vendors don't
> seem to be
> too interested."
> That's sad.
> Tom goes on to ask:
> "Has anyone ever approached a vendor and said..."We have
> 500 members. If
> you'll give us a 10% (or 20% or whatever) discount, we can give
> you lots of
> business." Maybe it hasn't happened because we've just never
> presented it."