I've decided to ban loans from GameTZ. So I'm starting to take some steps to remove them from GameTZ and get the word out that they are no longer allowed here.
I just removed any topic in the forum that had "loan" in its subject.
If you see a new topic go up asking for a loan in some way, please use moderate on it to let me know. I'll remove it and try to talk to the people involved so they know it's no longer allowed.
This transition may take months and there are likely other steps coming. Things I'm considering:
o Add a new rule against loans on the Rules page.
o Search recent trades and send pm to users who have been doing loans to let them know.
o Send an email announcement about it.
If you have suggestions on things I can do to get loans off GameTZ, let me know.
Thanks for your support in this.
I think GameTZ just doesn't show up well in Google results in general (since several years ago afaik, despite much effort on my part to do better, SEO, etc).
Yeah, something like that, maybe semi-automated search then I'd copy/paste some standard notification/warning pm to people still doing loans. I have noticed there are less loan topics and reactions to people asking for loans have gotten fairly negative (if not extremely harshly unpleasant, which I didn't discourage). So, it seemed like not allowing new loan topics is a good first step.
I probably will do the newsletter-like email announcement thing. I don't really have a way to do the mass pm thing. Well, maybe I do, I forget. It has been a while since I did something like that. I vaguely recall emailing a lot of people can cause trouble too (emails can get rejected as spam in various ways... so, we'll see).
> I'm unsure what to do about existing loan trades. Deleting them would be drastic,
> maybe I could hide them in some way. I don't know.
> That recent ban-loans topic got me to rethink loans. I never liked them, wish they'd
> never happened here, but had felt I shouldn't stop people because of my personal
> beliefs. There have been a lot of BTRs, though statistically, it's not that much.
> But, I think many who give a loan and get ripped off, never file a BTR too. Seeing
> that the majority of the community seem to be against loans now helped convince me.
> I'm still unsure about the extra effort it may take, but I'm willing to give it
> a try. If loans stopped on GameTZ, I'd be much happier.
I am glad you made the decision to ban loans. A lot of people have been ripped off from loans or just struggle to pay whatever they owe back. As far as the existing loan trades I would say if you decide to delete all existing loan trades I do agree with you about sending an email to everybody that on this such date all loan trades will be deleted. Make sure they have a record of whatever was loaned out. Chances are a lot of those old loan trades aren't getting paid back anyway.
> I personally think you should leave past trades for loans. They were allowed at
> the time and can add meaning to accounts (even if the trade went fine, of course).
> We've allowed much less "important" or "significant" trade reports.
This. Why not delete freebie or Secret Santa trades as well?
> This. Why not delete freebie or Secret Santa trades as well?
To note it, "freebie" trades already are not allowed and should be removed if they haven't already.
The point of the trading system is to show the reliability and trustworthiness of users here. So, we decided long ago that trades should be allowed if they have significant value and therefore show that trust and/or reliability. Freebie trades do not show that. SS trades are a weird mix, but we've allowed them because, in general, they do show trustworthiness, reliability, and usually have real value (i.e. "this user sent a $20 item to someone, so that should meet the requirements."
Just my 2c -- and memory as a Mod when we discussed this before. Freebie trades (or items of "low value" -- which is a bit hard to define exactly, but we used to say "less than a couple of bucks" as a guideline) are out, but other trades "of value" are usually in.
> Porksta wrote:
>> This. Why not delete freebie or Secret Santa trades as well?
> To note it, "freebie" trades already are not allowed and should be removed if they
> haven't already.
> The point of the trading system is to show the reliability and trustworthiness of
> users here. So, we decided long ago that trades should be allowed if they have significant
> value and therefore show that trust and/or reliability. Freebie trades do not show
> that. SS trades are a weird mix, but we've allowed them because, in general, they
> do show trustworthiness, reliability, and usually have real value (i.e. "this user
> sent a $20 item to someone, so that should meet the requirements."
> Just my 2c -- and memory as a Mod when we discussed this before. Freebie trades
> (or items of "low value" -- which is a bit hard to define exactly, but we used to
> say "less than a couple of bucks" as a guideline) are out, but other trades "of value"
> are usually in.
> - John...
Incorrect. Freebie trades from the freebie forum have always been allowed. They only get deleted if someone abuses them.
It's also worth noting that there are likely many pending loans trades, lots are likely old and overdue and basically unfiled BTRs.
OK, looking those up... https://gametz.com/?A=Pending+Trades&q=loan
100s of rip offs?
No worries, I won't delete loans. Hiding them is a possibility, though I really don't have any great way to do that either. So, I probably won't. This whole loan thing is a problem that can't really be fixed, just made a little better perhaps (or not made worse may be a better way to put it).
> whitefire wrote:
>> One of the consequences of this I'm concerned about is anyone who is paying loans
>> with loans. Won't those just become BTRs soon?
> That may be precisely the behavior bill is trying to curtail. It makes GameTZ seem
> like one of those shady payday lending places, but with less risk of wrecking your
> credit if you default.
I agree 100%. I'm just still concerned about the fallout of it though.
My new year resolution was not doing loans anymore since now i have money saved up aside in case of anything
So it have been good for me to do that now i support this going forward
> I'm disappointed there are not people in here complaining about this.
I'm pleasantly surprised. Though the comedy value would be there.
When I first started here I did a few small loans because I thought it would be a good way to build up trust in the community. Luckily I never got burned, but I did have that uneasy feeling start to settle in on the last two or three I did and then was like, nope, I'm out. I remember that was right around the time a user, seems like it might have been qualityman, ran into some serious issues with getting stiffed or people wanting to renegotiate terms.
> I've done loans here in the past, but my main argument before was centered around
> bill being against it or not being the deciding factor - since he is, I support that,
> so no more loans.
Same here. I've done many, but as soon as Bill said that he just didn't want them, I was cool with that. In fact, when he said it before in the General thread, but then didn't ban them at that point, I decided to stop and also suggested that he ban them. It's his site, I support his wishes.
> Only 36 users over the past year+? So really only 18 potentially have requested.
> That's... Way less than expected. Not nearly the problem that we were lead to beileve.
> Oh well, if it helps the site and Bill, fire off the communication!
There could be a higher proportion of borrowers to lenders. Could be 26 people borrowing from 10 different lenders for example.
> That is still only 26 out of 1,950.
Used to be more but they have BTRs now.
@Tad is still paying off his, should be done soon though?
> This is where it gets ugly.
Oh boy, I assume Tad was one of the first people contacted. It would be pretty bad if he ignored you and did a loan anyway.
Yeah, I wondered if anyone might try to circumvent the system a bit without using the word "loan" in any of the trade details. Guess it didn't even take Bill actually putting an official stop to the loans for the circumventing to start.
> OK, I just sent out the 37 pms (had to add longhornsk57 because he pends loans without
> the word "loan" in them and had slipped through my search until I looked at Tad's
To be fair Tad is the one who sends me those offers and he's the only one I'd help out with a loan. But now that they're banned it's a moot point.
> I didn't intend any accusation. My search for "loan" is pretty crude. But, hopefully
> the word will get out either way.
Haha ya I know. It's all good I think the word has been spread far and wide my man.
> Someone did actually make a loan topic at like 4pm today.
Wow. Well then send out the carrier pigeons
> Was this complaint from someone who generally borrows or someone who lends? That
> changes the subtext somewhat.
My thought exactly. Wasn't it Shakespeare who wrote, "Neither a borrower or a lender be...or if thou prevent those things on your game trading website, a bigot you be?"
I guess Im lumped into one of the 36 people because I did a single loan lending right at the end of the year, lol. I had done a few in the past, but only with people that had a solid history of loans in their feedback. There is clearly one person everyone is targeting here, but if you look at his history, the guy does pay his stuff back. I can attest. Why he does it or how he makes it work I don't care, but I presume his GTZ credit rating would be pretty solid at this point.
Perhaps a different approach could have been putting rules in place for loans, although this may have been difficult to monitor. Such as:
- If you have under 5 loans taken out, you can only have one outstanding at a time and for $25 or less. Use this to build up loan rep.
- Once 5 complete, the cap bumps to $50 with 2 outstanding at a time.
- once 10 complete, you get an "approved borrower" flair, cap goes to $100 but can still only do 2 at a time.
These measures mitigate the risk on possible losses, and prevent someone from taking out a bunch of $50-100 loans and ghosting. Again, may be tough to monitor unless Bill or whomever kept using the "loan" search on trades a couple times a week.
Not entirely sure loans are illegal per say, although I don't know the legality of being on a public forum. I cant imagine any action could, or would, be taken however.
Anyway, they are banned and Im cool with that so this doesnt matter just wanted to chime in!
> if you look at his history, the guy does pay his stuff back.
> I can attest. Why he does it or how he makes it work I don't care, but I presume
> his GTZ credit rating would be pretty solid at this point.
You consider loans that are two and a half years past due to be "pretty solid"? In that case, can you lend me some money? I'll be sure to get it back to you....sometime....maybe.
> Becvar wrote:
>> Not entirely sure loans are illegal per say, although I don't know the legality
>> being on a public forum. I cant imagine any action could, or would, be taken however.
> The problem with loans is usury laws. There are limits on interest rates (or "fees")
> for loans in the majority of states. Most people doing loans here seem to be ignoring
> those -- most of the interest/fees charged are well above legal rates in most states.
It gets more complicated when you talk about online loans between states / countries. Ald also, whether usury laws apply to private loans between individuals, although I would guess that if someone is making a lot of loans it could be argued that they no longer count as an individual and move up to the status of business...
And there's always the chance that someone will potentially include GameTZ in a lawsuit regarding a financial loss related to their use of the site.
Plus, having unnecessary debt is just a bad idea in general - particularly when it becomes a cycle of continually borrowing from one lender to pay back another.
> @bill FYI the email you sent went to my junk folder. Not sure if there's anything
> you can do about that, but it's possible some users won't see it at all.
I never even received it, and I checked my spam folder. Maybe gmail auto-pruned it.
I calculate the APR on that recent "80" for "90 mar 3" loan/trade to be just under 100% APR using the method on this page https://www.thebalance.com/annual-percentage-rate-...
(under "Calculate APR on Payday Loans" which has a way to do it by day, this is a 46 day loan). Most states seem to have APR limits more like 10% as far as I know.
Though, clearly, it's more complicated than that because payday loan places often can get 300%+ APR and seem to be operating legally as far as I can tell. I know in my state they were shutdown then came back. I think it's complicated and political to some degree.
I'm using my (perhaps bigoted) power to simply say "no" here. It's my site and I never intended it to be a place to do loans. I personally think payday loans are horrible and exploitative, ultimately hurting the people getting the loans tremendously, though they have a hard time seeing or understanding that. Financial literacy in this country is shamefully bad and we all pay for it. I could rant some more, but I'll cut myself off
I don't want loans here in any form. I don't have to give a reason. It's my site, I'm laying down the law on this. It's not up for discussion. I should have done this 15+ years ago and I deeply regret not doing that. No Loans period, end of story. Don't like it, there's the door. I think Boss said there are other sites that do loans, go there.
> It gets more complicated when you talk about online loans between states / countries.
Agreed -- but, in most cases, it still applies to the state making the loan, at least. I did some research on this last year.
> Ald also, whether usury laws apply to private loans between individuals, although
> I would guess that if someone is making a lot of loans it could be argued that they
> no longer count as an individual and move up to the status of business...
Usury laws in most states absolutely apply to individuals. In fact, it is the reverse of what you might think -- in many states, you can write a contract that ignores usury laws as long as the loan is for a business entity -- but you can't do that for personal loans. So, yes, most usury laws do apply to private loans between individuals.
> And there's always the chance that someone will potentially include GameTZ in a lawsuit
> regarding a financial loss related to their use of the site.
Agreed -- people will sue anyone for anything.