I started my reply early today and had to head into a meeting so I am a little late to the show.
I have been trying to wrap my mind around this issue as a Hunter and Member. I do not know if I have it figured out yet but here are some thoughts thus far.
There does not have to be an "attack" in the thread.
Public offerings are the back bone of the hunting deals from member outfitters.
As a hunter I feel this site has to be open to every legitimate offer available.
Someone posting a competitive offer that is similar to a previously posted offer is fine by me.
Is it in response to the previous post or simply timing of the post? It is a competitive market, right?
Just because someone got up an hour earlier and posted an offer should not preclude another outfitter from posting an offer.
However, in a small (outfitter) community it causes ranker and pushes offers under ground because they try and avoid the backlash behind the scenes. Trying to limit the market entry will cause creative individuals to find another entry point. Hence the PM's will start happening. (As others have noted)
I noticed this belief in action a while back when Jaco started posting on AH. Jaco alluded in a post with something to the effect about AH being Louis' turf. Quite frankly this turf concept pissed me off as a consumer and member. It effectively undercut the concept of a public forum.
My response was quickly posted to the contrary; Every legitimate outfitter is welcome to post offers and participate.
If a hunter wants to go for the absolute lowest dollar amount for a hunt they are going to do that no matter what.
Outfitters need to decide what there market is and understand it. "Price fixing" by restricting participation on this site is not acceptable either, in my view.
Every legitimate operator must be allowed to post offers here!
I use Jaco as the example because at no point has he ever come on AH and low balled anyone. He refuses to get into the low ball pricing war. He is actually openly supportive of other outfits and suggests people use them. I have not hunted with him but given his public interaction I would have no problem doing so, as with some others who have demonstrated similar actions.
What I really think this new rule stems from is something that undermines the community. Those outfitters who "mine" the site and PM interested hunters and "low ball" the public offers. Why would an outfitter continue to participate in AH? It becomes self defeating for the community. No public offers, no competition and business is funnelled away from participants and supporters.
PM's are also an excellent place to stay in the shadows and avoid public scrutiny for the less scrupulous. By participating, members undercut one of the major benefits of the community; Experience of other hunters and outfitters. Caveat Emptor!
How do you reward member outfitters who bother to participate and contribute to the community by actually posting a public offer for members to consider and compare?
Supporters and advertisers are given primacy through their ads and through familiarity by repeated participation.
At least reputation and experience play a role. With a PM offer there is no open competition.
Better public offers attract more attention and business for everyone.
Defining "better" is always the problem. Comparing apples to apples and not just low $. "Value for money", it is hard to get across.
"The more the merrier" and we (consumers) will then be more likely to be able to discern "Value for Money".
Just my nickels worth!
First I would like to say Great Post! Second I guess this is were I came up a little short as I said before I have sent out PM's to ensure that someone knew about a offer that I had posted in the past because I didn't want the other outfitters and agents, a lot of which have become good friends and I mean (sit down drink a beer shoot the shit friends) to think I was trying to undercut them by bumping my post up to beat theirs all of this is still a learning thing for me and as with this thread I learn new things.
Originally Posted by BRICKBURN
Although I haven't received any offers, I feel that this is much to-do about very little. If you get some spam that you don't want simply delete it. If it continues put that user on ignore or report it.
When I'm set to head over for a big hunt I'd welcome offers that would allow me to have more reserves for additional trophies.
Jerome, IF we post a want ad for a hunt, can we state that offers sent thru a PM are welcome as well as posted ones?
I agree with you 100 percent.
Originally Posted by AkMike
Bob, Your scenario is about bringing someones attention to a previous PUBLIC post. Not quite the same in my mind.
Originally Posted by Bobpuckett
Directing them to do a search like James does is the same type of thing.
I have PM'd and posted to requests for suggestions. Typically it is the whole darn list of active participant outfitters.
There are many forums that create rules about BTT, TTT, etc posts because they interfere with the forum by constantly ensuring there posts are at the top. I personally do not care if someone does this, within reason, because HUNT OFFERS are for a season or year.
This has not been abused on AH that I have seen. I hope it stays that way.
Stating a fact, like "there is still one hunt left"; or we changed the price to reflect new exchange rates are all "legitimate"
reasons to post to a thread and update people.
AkMike, If you request offers that is a different issue. The PM's are then sent as a response to a request.
Originally Posted by AkMike
If it was just about the hunters, I whole heartedly agree. If you get Spam or abuse of the system please report it. That helps the community.
I think I presented some of the other dynamics from various perspectives that are also important as part of the philosophy of AH. Public, transparent, etc.
I think J already answered your question in post #16: " Bill, that's okay, because as you said you asked for it."
As a hunter if i mentioned on " joe soaps " thread that i was interested in his offer and then later " jack sparrow" PM's me that he can give me the same offer for cheaper/better deal !!
Bring it on jack sparrow !!! Its my cash i do the research i take the risk either way.
This is how life/business works ... no use for anyone to get all sour grapes on here nothing in life is fair we were all taught that from young.
just my 2 cents
It'd be so very easy to see if the PM is from a newbie with a possible scam or someone that's been her for sometime with good reputable posts that show some idea of what's really going on.
I am also self employed and realize that the PH's need to keep a certain level of profitability. If someone needs to get some cash flow and is willing to offer a comparable hunt at a reduced cost so be it.
BUT I can also understand that in the professional circles he'd be branded as a cheap scab SOB and put out of the inner circles.
That's why I feel that a PM is needed to protect any peer pressure rather than an open post.
Thank you very much Jerome. I agree with some previous comments about this being a gentleman site. This site is so friendly that I originally assumed that most people on here were straight up and honest. Im sorry if this entire issue has caused problems with you guys but it may very well save you a horrible hunt in the future.
Im having a hard time trying to explain what Jerome is doing without being long winded and have finally settled on a very rude and eye opening way to put it out there.
Look at your local sci banquet. Look very carefully at the donations being offered. They mostly include an impala and 5 days of daily rates. How much is this typical donation worth? I would say it puts the outfitter out about $1,000 in ph costs and food for the client. When you talk to the safari company they always say the same thing. "How are we suppose to make money?" They then explain how they expect the hunter to shoot extra animals, bring extra people, and stay longer. The point is that these guys are't donating a dime to sci or dsc. They are simply "USING" a charitable organization to pad their own pockets. when you look into it many of your safari operator are of this type and are in it for the money. that means you have to be very careful. I've been around the country at various banquets and have made note of the outfitters who continuously donate generously to sci. Look at the free hunts offered to Jerome on this website. Sure these guys are out to make money but they also have a giving heart and that is what Jerome wants on this website. He wants gentlemen and real outfitters. He's trying to attract the men who truly love hunting and aren't out to simply make a profit. Hunting is NOT about making money but about sharing memories with like minded individuals. If you aren't man enough to put your offer out publicly then you are obviously feeling guilty for some reason about your supposed offer. That's called having a check in your spirit and beings that I am a Christian I interpret that as god telling you that's not exactly the right choice to make. That basically means that your participating in questionable business practices and that's not what Jerome wants on his site. Sorry to all you booking agents and free lance ph's on here but im not worried about your feelings. This is about hunting and keeping it clean. Hunting is a passion and not something to be sought after for a profit. Just my take but that's my two cents.
I agree, I hate to say it...it should be a customer market. If someone wants to undercut a price by thousands go ahead. I think every body has to pay attention to professional behavior and reputation. The cream should rise to the top. I kinda hate it on here when guys rag on some one hunting on a small property...maybe that was their price range. We all know a lot the smaller properties have to uncut their price to compete with the big properties.
Originally Posted by AkMike
I really don't see a problem with this rule.
As I understand it, it is to stop outfitters/agents from sending members PMs with offers they didn't ask for.
If you want outfitters to PM you offers, then ask them.
No one is stopping you from making a public post asking for the best price for X number of hunting days an X number of trophies and that you want the offers in PMs.
Then don't enlist the aid and services of outfitters and PH's. They are in it to make a living and enjoy their jobs.
Originally Posted by tap
Thank you for summarizing this so well Norwegianwoods, that's exactly what this new rule is about!
Originally Posted by Norwegianwoods
From an outfitters perspective, it makes no sense to me sending offers via PM as posting it publicly provides you with more exposure and the possibility of more buyers........
Requested PM's are a different thing.. I dont know..... Then you might as well schedule SKYPE.. :):confused:
My best always.
Tap agree and disagree, if I had to hunt just for the pleasure and not run a buisiness, I would be foreclosed upon, that simple.
There are certain ways of doing buisiness, for sure, I agree, 250%..... BUT We must always remember.... what others do for a past time or a vacation is our business and ultimalty our lively hoods....., that pays $6 a gallon on fuel and much higher grocery store prices and vehicle prices than what the avareage guys experiences in the US or Canada and many other places, it also puts my child through school and hopefully college and will generate a nest egg for the day when I can run around in the bush anymore.
It also pays a total marketing Bill of very close to $80 000 every single year...
Honest work deserves honest pay, every man deserves this, every man also deserves to get exactly what he pays for,.... some guys give more.....in terms of service, knowledge and just the entire experience which ultimatly creates the memory and that sets them apart from the rest,....................... no one should give this away for free.....
Donations are all about exposure and its not the safari operators fault... It is a pre requisite from SCI they have used it to manipulate and work a system.
Interesting statistic... of all safari complaints received during the 2012 season 85% were donation related.
My best always.
Tap i have hopefully edited your post down ok. what you say here seems to be contradictory . the very generous operators who put hunts on here to be won by competitions etc are still using it as a marketing public relations exercise, as well as giving a bit back to the client base . with the positive publicity and good hunt reports they hope people will book with them in the future. as some one who is obviously doing well in business i dont understand your statement that, "hunting is NOT about making money but about sharing memories with like minded individuals"...fine if you are on the client side of things, but there would be no opportunities for the relatively affordable choice of hunting that people have the chance to take part in in various african countries now. are you suggesting that the people who have invested lots of time and even greater amounts of money building up reserves/ranches, hunting operations should somehow wave a magic wand and hope everything is ok, so that you can hunt for free?? Jaco, louis, marius, and jerome himself, all love hunting and being in the african bush as i do, but we all are in it to make money/profit, or try and make some .....i think that you have been shafted too many times, and this has obviously made you pretty cynical about african hunting which is unfortunate. i see that with the hunts you have recently booked you are giving it another chance which is great. what i read on here all the time is do your homework, and of the hunts i have done and the ones i have booked for people all have been great .i was lucky in a way and didnt have to do the homework thing, as they were booked with people i got to know , or with people these friends recommended. so maybe you didnt do your homework correctly...........;)
Originally Posted by tap
well put Spike !
I too agree with you and nothing is for free even if they give free hunts or large discounts that looks good to us as the hunters , we still don't really know what game prices go for at the auctions vs the dollar price they sell it for on a hunt or even the "SA prices " for local hunters is a bit lower too.
Its like at any shop they say 60 % off but we don't ever see the original price , but people still buy it as that's how the humans brain works when we see the red sale sign .
I'm aware they still make profit on all these goods deals they need to make a living of course its normal.
Fully agree with the new PM rule, it makes a lot of sense.