I want to congratulate our team and our users. We just went over 80,000 users and 20 million pageviews per month! This is fantastic growth and we couldn't have done it without our users.. Thank You!
The wait is over! The Nex-Tech Classifieds iPhone app is done and ready to download in the app store. Now you can have an easy to use way to interact with all your Nex-Tech Classifieds tasks. Everything from posting listings to communicating with buyers and sellers. You no longer need to be tethered to your computer.
The app is compatible with all iOS version 6 devices. Our initial feedback is great but we want to know what you think. Don't forget to review the app and let us know your thoughts.
The story below is from one of our users. It is unedited and detailed. It also shows how persistent scammers are. As we always recommend... always deal in cash and if it is too good to be true or it doesn't feel right then it is a scam. We also recommend not showing your phone number if possible. If a scammer can see it they can now target you via text message. If you communicate within the site there are some safeguards built in that will help to slow the scammers down.
In January, I placed a woodstove for sale on a local classifieds website. In about 2 weeks, I received a phone text inquiry into the availability of the stove. I quickly realized this was a probable scam attempt, so I let them string me along.
Shortly after the conversation started, I did a Google search for the phone number. I found numerous complaint posts that the number was associated with scams similar to what I was seeing. I immediately established an email address to use, both as a point of contact and to use as a fictitious Paypal account name.
What follows are the exact unedited conversations.
8068537861: Hey do you still have for it for sale....Woodstove $500.00 - 17:51
Me: Yes I do. Call if you would like to talk about it. - 17:52
8068537861: (1/2) My name is Racing,am from TX,am ready to purchase if it's in good condition,but am not coming to inspect it,cause am kinda old - 17:53
8068537861: (2/2)fashion,no more power to run up and down,can you give me more detail about it - 17:53
Me: Anything you would like to know.. It has 15 years on it. Everything is in perfect working order.. Usual rubs etc etc for that many years.- 17:57
Me: Was used in my home till 2 weeks ago - 17:57
8068537861: For how long have you been using it and what;s your main reason for selling it,and how much is the final price?- 18:06
Me: i used it all winter, every winter to heat my entire home (1200+ sq ft), for all but the first year... - 18:07
Me: selling it because i used it on the second floor of my home, and fire chief tells me it violates code in our town... $500 firm, cash.- 18:08
Me: i am 65 yrs old, retired military officer, and completely honest. i wouldn't bring you all this way if it wasn't as i'm telling you.- 18:09
Me: it's extremely heavy. i used 3 guys besides myself to move it out 2 wks ago.- 18:10
8068537861: (1/3)Am okay with the condition,i can now proceed with the payment now,but my mode of payment will be via PayPal,so get back to me with your- 18:16
8068537861: (2/3)name and your paypal email address,to proceed with the payment, I have make arrangement with the shipping company they will take care - 18:16
8068537861: (3/3)of everything after the payment has been made - 18:16
Me: sorry for the delay. i'm not inclined to do business via paypal. i'll have to have the cash in hand. if you'd like to pursue this further, please call and speak to me. thanks.- 18:53
8068537861: (1/2) But paypal is fast and secure,and besides am paying upfront before any arrangement for pickup,you can logging to www.paypal.com to - 18:57
8068537861: (2/2)start up with them - 18:57
Me: i'm sorry. i don't think this is going to work out. - 19:14
Me: how do i know this isn't some kind of scam?- 19:30
8068537861: SCAM?- 19:31
Me: sorry. i'm just suspicious and can't afford to get ripped off.- 19:32
Me: sorry if I offended you. I'm just not too comfortable with doing internet payment. never done it before.- 19:42
8068537861: K- 19:45
Me: you don't want the stove, then?- 19:48
8068537861: I want it but i can only pay through- 19:51
8068537861: paypal- 19:51
Me: i looked into paypal and opened an account, so i guess i'll try it. ------@yahoo.com i won't release the stove until the money is safely there. is that ok?- 19:55
8068537861: Okay,but i will need the pickup address so that the shipping company can calculate my shipping cost - 19:59
Me: you have my paypal account, and the city I'm in, that's sufficient to determine shipping, I think. I'll give you specifics after I see the money in the account.- 20:03
8068537861: K- 20:05
Me: are you sending the money right away?- 20:08
8068537861: I will let you know asap- 20:12
Me: ok. i'd like to get it over with quickly- 20:13
Me: racing, i've had another call.. cash buyer. i dealt with you first, so if you can deposit the money immediately i'll still sell to you.- 20:50
Me: if you can't, then i'll have to deal with the other person.- 20:50
CONVERSATION RESUMES THE NEXT MORNING:
8068537861: (1/3) Please i will have to wire the total fund of $980 into your paypal account,so once you receive the total money you will help me to - 10:14
8068537861: (2/3)send the 450$ to the shipper through western union that's why i add 30$ for western union charges,i would have love to pay them myself - 10:14
8068537861: (3/3)but there's no nearest western union here and i cant make it to far distance,let me know before i made the payment- 10:14
Me: I'll have to see the money in my paypal account before noon today, or i'll be selling to the other guy.- 10:21
8068537861: Will you help me to pay the shipping company after you receive the total money- 10:23
Me: as long as we are done with this by 12 o'clock today. who's the shipping company and what's their address? - 10:24
Me: this is getting very complicated- 10:25
8068537861: Good i will begin with the paymen rightaway,the shipping company will mail you there information once the payment as been made- 10:26
Me: ok. thanks. i'll be watching my email.- 10:27
8068537861: (1/3)I have wire the total fund into your paypal account,and am sure paypal should have credit your account with the total fund,you can- 11:04
8068537861: (2/3)check your mail box for the payment confirmation,and please send my shipping fees today so that they can come for the pickup at your - 11:04
8068537861: (3/3)convinient time- 11:04
4 EMAILS RECEIVED AT THIS POINT:
Me: Mr. Racing, I just received emails from paypal saying that your payment to them is "pending". i don't have $450 to send them without actually receiving your money.- 11:25
8068537861: WHAT,that can be,let me kindly mail them,i will keep you posted,but you can also reply them for adequate response- 11:27
Me: no, this has gone too far. i'm sorry but the deal is off and i'll be selling to someone else. i'm getting very bad feelings about this.- 11:29
8068537861: What are you talking about?- 11:32
Me: there are too many things wrong here. i will not be selling to you. i have another buyer. sorry.- 11:33
8068537861: (1/2)This nothing but a betrayer but we had a deal,do you know that paypal can never refund the money back to me cause i wired into your - 11:36
8068537861: (2/2)account myself- 11:37
Me: sorry. but there's no money in the account so you have lost nothing. we are finished, and i don't want to hear anymore about it.- 11:40
8068537861: But it has been deducted from my account- 11:48
Me: you'll have to deal with paypal on that. i'm out and i won't be responding to anymore of your texts.- 11:50
My first clue was grammar and punctuation. Initially I attributed it to poor language and typing skills, but the mistakes were oddly consistent from text to text. As our conversation continued, the grammar inconsistencies grew larger and became more frequent.
Secondly, this was a self described “old fashioned” guy who would only communicate by phone texts and would only pay through paypal, and all for an item he had no desire to inspect first. Old fashioned folks where I'm from talk on the phone and send money orders, but mostly they just do face to face transactions.
It was at this point that I Googled the phone number and knew that I was onto something. The “official” emails were surprisingly riddled with errors. I was surprised.
Toward the end, I was just sick of dealing with such slime so I broke it off. I have no doubt that tomorrow I would have received an email from the shipping company that their truck would be in my area and they needed the money immediately so they could do a pick up. The Paypal confusion would not have been resolved yet.
I was disappointed that they didn't try harder to keep me hooked. I assume that's because they have so many lines in the water that they don't want to waste time on just one fish.
Due to high demand we have added a new core category and some new sub-categories.
ATV's, Motorcycles, Etc./Accessories & Parts
Computers & Electronics/Cell Phones
Clothing/Wedding & Formal
Tools & Building Materials/Supplies
We are always looking for ways to better serve our users. If you have ideas of future categories please let us know, email@example.com. Don't forget to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter to get real time updates.
Last week was a great one. We added our fourth and fifth DiscoverStuff Affiliates to our growing network. We are very excited to welcome Siskiyou Telephone (Etna, CA) and XIT Communications (Dalhart, TX) to the family.
Siskiyou now gives us inventory from Northern California. This is a part of the country where we haven't had exposure in the past. The Siskiyou team is very excited about becoming and affiliate and I expect to see inventory quickly.
XIT gives our current network of Kansas and Oklahoma a natural progression into Texas. They are also excited and our regional footprint just got better.
The deadline for our upcoming iPhone/iPad app is getting close. I thought we could provide a little teaser for those hardcore Apple fans out there. Development is going great and we expect to have the app ready by the end of 2012.
The iOS app will follow our current Android app from a feature standpoint. The look and feel will be different with an even easier to use interface. You will be able to completely manage your listings from taking the picture, posting the listing and communicating with buyers/sellers. We will also be adding some new features as well. Probably the biggest one is the “Location Distance”. This will work like the website where you choose your location and then the mileage radius for the listings you would like to see. This should help narrow down what you are looking for which is especially important when you are mobile and on the go. Another great feature is the ability to share listings using the standard iOS sharing system. This is becoming more and more important from a sellers standpoint.
Overall we know how important being mobile is. Our own team is chomping at the bit to get their hands on the first beta when ready. We also have some new ideas for all our mobile apps in 2013. I won’t give away all our secrets but I will say garage sailing will be easier...
At some point in your online life you have or will deal with users who you would rather not communicate with. This could be someone harassing you, trying to scam you or just uses language you don't care for.
Well now you have a tool to deal with those users on DiscoverStuff. You can now block users via the communications system. Once the conversation has started either user can block the other one. You always have the option to unblock them but they will have no control to get to you via the site.
This doesn't stop them from calling, texting or e-mailing you if you make that information available which is why we always recommend using the internal communications system when possible. Here is a quick video showing how the new feature works.
Late last week we found out about a new scam regarding cell phones. We heard of a user who had purchased an iPhone from a seller but when they went to activate the phone on their own account they were told some bad news. The iPhone they just bought was still tied to the sellers account who had bad debt therefore couldn't be activated.
We recommend getting the ESN number for the phone from the buyer then calling the wireless provider. They should be able to tell you if the phone is capable of being activated before you make your purchase.
Hopefully this is a random event but we wanted to let you know that it can happen.
Development is underway on our new iPhone and iPad app. We expect the app to be ready in late 2012. Keep an eye on this post for updates along the way.
It has been a while since we posted a scam related story. With our tremendous growth I thought we should educate a little and also remind our old school users. Today's reminder is about the communications system on the site. We built it with the primary goal to stop scammers. We have built in black lists for words and phrases that scammers typically use. When these words or phrases are used the messages get blocked before our users even see them. Out of sight out of mind so you don't get taken advantage of. If you do communicate with someone you think is trying to scam you can also alert us by using the "Report as Bad/Scam" link within the message. This will send us the information and we will deal with the person asap. The system works great and helps to stop quite a few scam attempts everyday.
Now the downside and the reason for this post. Scammers know what we are doing so they routinely ask users to contact them via e-mail or text message. They know if you use one of those methods there is no way for anyone to know what they are requesting of you and can manipulate however they choose.
So what did we learn?
- When possible use the communications system built into the site.
- If something is too good to be true it always is.
- Use the "Report as Bad/Scam" option when necessary.
Our team is constantly working to make the site better and easier to use. This week we have a couple of changes that follow that philosophy. Currently in the Gallery view you cannot see what city the listing is in unless you click on it. That is about to change, check out the example below.
You will now be able to view your expired listings before you renew them. This should save time for users who have multiple similar listings.
The biggest change for this week is the default distance setting. When we rolled out the new look the default distance was set to 100 miles. In retrospect this was not a good decision. We have heard the feedback and we are pivoting. After this update the default distance will be set to "Entire Country" for every user. We apologize to those users who have manually changed their distance in their profile. These users will need to change their setting once again but that should be the last time.
Our team is shooting for tomorrow night, Thursday at midnight to complete this update. We are going to take advantage of this maintenance window to complete some more in depth back end server upgrades as well. The site will be down from midnight to no later than 5am. If you have any comments or questions send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our Facebook page and leave a comment.
Tomorrow (7/20/12) mid morning we will have a short maintenance window. The following items are the changes you will see.
- "All Categories" option added.
- Added Mark/Unmark sold to the listing detail's "Manage Listing" menu.
- Added more explanation in email when upgrading customer's to a business free account.
- Allow rejected listings to be deleted if they are expired.
- Fixed bug of min/max placeholders being submitted when selecting filter options in categories (IE only).
- Fixed broken feedback link from API/app login page.
- Delete/Undelete of a message thread updates unread message count.
If you have any questions or see any new bugs after this update please e-mail us at email@example.com.
We pushed some bug fixes to production this evening.
- Some users who use Internet Explorer wouldn't go back to the listing they were looking at in the category view when hitting the back button in the listing details page. (Resolved)
- Multiple primary photo errors. This affected a very small number of listings on the site. (Resolved)
- Some users would come to the site and repeatedly be presented with the location/distance setting option.(Resolved)
- Location distance is now saved in the users profile.
If you have any questions or comments please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With our new upgrade we introduced the "Gallery" view when looking at categories. This has caused some confusion with users who think we completely went away from the "List" view. Well the good news is we have both and you can choose how you want to view the listings. Take a look at this short video we created explaining how to switch between views.
We are almost two days past our recent upgrade. I wanted to update everyone on a couple of issues we are currently seeing. These don't affect all users. We also haven't narrowed down all the Internet browsers and versions that are affected. Our programmers are working around the clock to get these figured out.
The first issue affects some users distance setting. The site will save the setting sometimes and others are prompted to re-enter their distance whenever they are going between pages.
The scond issue is less intrusive. When you are looking at the details of a listing and then hit the back button some users are not taken back to the same spot in the category view. They are instead moved all the way back to the top of the list.
Rest assured our team is working hard to get these fixed. We appreciate your patience. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me at email@example.com.
- Facebook integration! You will be able to tie your Nex-Tech Classifieds account to your Facebook profile. This will allow you to easily share your listings on your timeline.
- We are merging accounts that use the same e-mail address. Over a year ago we stopped allowing multiple accounts per e-mail address to prepare for this process. Users who are affected will be presented with their merge options the first time they log in after the upgrade.
- The category listings view is getting a big makeover. You will now have the option to have a “Gallery” or “List” view. The Gallery view will look exactly like the front page with larger images. The List view is similar to the Category view today except we have removed the necessary mouse over to see an image.
- Better control of the listings you see based on your location. You will now be able to view listings 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 or 250 miles from your set city or the entire country. This single setting will control every view and your search radius.
- Account structure changes. Today we have free Personal or paid Business accounts. We allow businesses to post a single listing for free, but they stay as a personal account in the system. This is confusing and too hard to manage. We will now have Personal (unlimited free), Business (1 free) or Business Pro (unlimited paid). If you are placed in a Business account, you will not be able to post more than a single listing at a time. If you try to post multiples, you will be directed to upgrade to a Business Pro account.
This is one we are really excited about. You will now be able to tie your Nex-Tech Classifieds account to your Facebook profile. This will allow you to do the following.
- Log into the Nex-Tech Classifieds with your Facebook credentials.
- When you place a listing you can now share it on your Facebook timeline which will get you even more exposure to help you sell your item.
- When you "Like" a Nex-Tech Classifieds listing it will show up on your Facebook timeline.
Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your thoughts on this feature.
This change should make finding items near you much easier. Today when you are looking at a category view you see everything no matter where it is located. You do have control over location when you search but not on general views. Once this feature is rolled out you will have a single place to choose where you would liked to see listings from. As you can see in the image below you can change the "Location +" measurement. You will be able to set your measurement as low as "5 miles" all the way to "entire country". The measurement is based on the city you have set in your profile. When you make a change to the mileage measurement it is saved in your profile so you can set it and forget it. Let us know what you think about this new feature via our feedback form or send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Over the next week we will be announcing a list of new features coming in July. The first upgrade we are announcing is our new category view. Currently when you are in a category your only option is a list view where you must mouse over the picture icon to see the item image. Very soon you will see that you no longer need to mouse over the image. All listings with images will have a small picture next to the listing name. Even more exciting is the addition of our image view. This view is much like the front page with larger pictures. We are very excited about these new changes and hope you like them too. Let us know your thoughts via our feedback form or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.