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Old 09-14-2021, 11:57 PM
mh9162013 mh9162013 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: KY
Posts: 1,148

I don't think it would be as difficult to implement as you think, Tom.

They could set it up where it's like a ridesharing app. The customer has his or her payment info on the website/app, then its gets charged automatically a base fee when the ring finder arrives on site. Then the rest of the fee gets paid after the hunt.

I don't think the real problem would be differentiating b/w professionals and hobbyists. The real problem is keeping the parties involved in any transaction from using cash or some other "off the books" payment method. Perhaps that's why they use their current payment/business model, I don't know. But there are ways around this.

Some companies, like eBay and Upwork, face this problem and have special website software or w/e in place that catches people who try to take communications offline. So any exchange of cell phone or email information is largely prevented, with all communications taking place through the app or website. And if a dectorist or customer violates these terms, they're banned from the site. This isn't that big of a deterent for a customer, as they're not likely to use the site that often. But for a professional detectorist who relies on the Ring Finders website for repeat business? Yeah, it'll be a strong deterrent. And it should't be that hard to review website and payment analytics to spot people who are using the site for profit (as opposed to as a hobby), then get paid offline instead of through the website.

But maybe the owner(s) of the website don't feel it's worth this hassle...fair enough, they can do what they want. But I think it's discouraging the hobby-level detectorists from using the site. But as some people here have strongly hinted or implied, Ring Finders isn't about doing good deeds, it's about making money.

And your bread example isn't analogous. What woud be analogous is charging someone the partial price of a loaf of bread before they're even allowed into the store. Then once in the store and checking out, they pay the remaining balance for the bread. And if they decide not to buy bread, they don't get their partial payment back (I assume the $65 Ring Finder fee is nonrefundable?)
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