This is an announcement that MacRumors is going to change the nature of its Marketplace forum in July. The Marketplace forum will become a smaller, more privileged area of MacRumors. Fewer members will be able to participate, but for those who qualify we expect it to be a much more hospitable place, with a better atmosphere, fewer problems, and a higher percentage of successful transactions. Some members will lose Marketplace access at least temporarily, but we ask for your cooperation in making the new system work for the benefit of the membership as a whole. Background The Marketplace forum is an area of the MacRumors forums where qualified members can make deals to buy, sell, or trade personal items, typically but not always Apple products. The ability to start Marketplace threads has been available only to qualified members, based on a minimum post count of 100 in other forums. The purpose of the requirement is two-fold: to provide a more personal and private area for these transactions among a smaller community, and to prevent outsiders who are unknown to other members and have no other reason to be at MacRumors from starting threads. We don't want them to take advantage of a benefit intended for our regular forum members. As our community has grown, and people have been spending more and more time online, the qualifications we require for Marketplace participation have grown less effective. The forum moderators spend a disproportionate amount of time dealing with Marketplace problems, including removing posts that violate Marketplace rules, stopping members who make useless and rapid posts (spam) to build up their post count for Marketplace qualification, and dealing with problems that result from new and unknown members making deals that later fall apart. Although MacRumors is not responsible for the success of Marketplace transactions between our members, it is in our interest and the interest of our members that the Marketplace have a high success rate. Many members have voiced concern over problems in the current Marketplace. We think these changes will address those concerns, serve the overall membership, and go a long way toward solving the frequent problems. What's changing Next month, the Marketplace will become available only to qualified members, and we are raising the requirements for qualification. We will no longer distinguish the requirements for starting threads vs. replying to threads. In order to start threads, reply to threads, or view threads in the Marketplace, members will need at least 250 posts in other MacRumors forums (in which posts count) to have been a MacRumors member for at least 6 months (180 days) To make a smooth transition to the new Marketplace environment, there will be a transition period from July 1, 2008 to July 15, 2008. We're giving you advance notice with this announcement. We have introduced a new user title to distinguish members with 250 posts. Schedule On July 1: The transition period begins. The Marketplace forum will change to the Marketplace Archive forum. The Marketplace Archive forum will remain open for posting replies but closed to new threads. Members already involved in Marketplace deals can make posts to complete their transactions during this transition period. A new Marketplace forum will become available, in the Community section, only to qualifying members. Only members with 250 or more posts and memberships of 180 days or longer will be able to participate in the new Marketplace forum or see its threads and posts in the New Posts display, the Forum Spy, or in results of forum searches. For everyone else, the new forum and its threads will not appear, as if the "Exclude Forums" list in their User Options included the Marketplace forum (mandatory exclusion). Marketplace threads will no longer be shown on the MacRumors front page. On July 15: The transition period ends. The Marketplace Archive forum will be closed to posting and moved to the Archive section. Members still involved in deals in the Marketplace Archive forum must rely on Private Messages and/or email, not posts, to complete their transactions. The new Marketplace forum will remain available only to members with 250 or more posts and memberships of at least 180 days. For everyone else, the new Marketplace forum will be unavailable until they reach 250 posts and 180 days of membership. New user title Previously, we did not have a user title that began at 250 posts, but now it is beneficial to have one. We have changed the user titles so that members get user title 6502 at 250 posts and user title 6502a at 500 posts. Members who were previously 6502 are now 6502a and members with between 250 and 500 posts are now 6502 instead of Regular. Therefore, user title 6502 or above (plus 6 months membership) is required for Marketplace access, while user title 6502a is required for a forum avatar. Although the 500-post user title has changed, this is the same post count previously required for an avatar. Avatars require 500 posts, as before. Old:Member => 50 posts Regular => 100 posts 6502 => 500 posts (minimum required for avatar) New:Member => 50 posts Regular => 100 posts 6502 => 250 posts (minimum required for Marketplace forum access) 6502a => 500 posts (minimum required for avatar) Note: The 6502A chip was used in the Apple III computer, and "a" also stands for avatar. Have questions? The following post answers many likely questions, but you are invited to post your own comments and questions (and yes, complaints) in this thread.