Preferred Vendors

Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
We have teamed up with MachineCraft and are testing a pilot program for long-time, vetted sellers. If this program goes well, we will make this available to more of you as we go. If you would be interested in being a part of this program, please send me a message and let's talk but for the time being, we are only testing with MC. If you have any issues or difficulties, please let us know ASAP.
 

tennantlim

Hunter
Question. Are we allowed to buy things from ourself? Because tennantlim ’s pictures are making it seriously tempting.

In all seriousness, this is a great thing for the TDH community and we look forward to adding even more items to the roster very soon!
PM me for the parts you're interested in :p

Looking forward to seeing more vendors joining the ranks!
 

Barking Dragon

New Hunter
I still have VERY little knowledge when it comes to Boba Fett's costume. It would be great to have a 'go to' list of sellers that provide parts that have meet a certain standard of accuracy set my Art or whoever needed to make the decision. By this I mean, If I were to buy a Gauntlet Rocket from say Machine Craft (which I intend to in the future) I would know that in terms of accuracy, I'd be getting one that has passed as screen accurate and is of high quality.

From speaking to a few vendors lately and getting some advice on who to buy from, while a lot of parts I thought from some sellers looked good, the parts aren't accurate or the quality was lacking....something I didn't know being new to this and would like to avoid buying in the future. Don't get me wrong, not everyone wants to pay or sees the need to buy the best but it would be nice to have a list that if you did buy from one of those listed sellers, you'd be getting the most accurate part available at the time.
 

Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
I still have VERY little knowledge when it comes to Boba Fett's costume. It would be great to have a 'go to' list of sellers that provide parts that have meet a certain standard of accuracy set my Art or whoever needed to make the decision. By this I mean, If I were to buy a Gauntlet Rocket from say Machine Craft (which I intend to in the future) I would know that in terms of accuracy, I'd be getting one that has passed as screen accurate and is of high quality.
While I can certainly see the appeal, that would be a very dangerous road to travel as it could very quickly devolve into playing favorites or making a lot of random calls. There is often more than one seller who sells a piece, both of which are VERY good and VERY accurate even though they might have slight differences from one another. I know it would make it easy for members if we (as a site) would say "THIS IS THE ONE" but at that point, we become a bit of a dictator, instead of a community.

From speaking to a few vendors lately and getting some advice on who to buy from, while a lot of parts I thought from some sellers looked good, the parts aren't accurate or the quality was lacking....something I didn't know being new to this and would like to avoid buying in the future. Don't get me wrong, not everyone wants to pay or sees the need to buy the best but it would be nice to have a list that if you did buy from one of those listed sellers, you'd be getting the most accurate part available at the time.
The community itself is always going to be the best gauge. Again, I hear and share your frustrations. I too have purchased "the best" of certain parts and been disappointed both with the quality and accuracy. It is never fun when it happens, but I usually go back to the community and see that I didn't look hard enough there or I would have known before purchasing what to expect. It isn't' always the case, but more often than not, the fault is on my end.
 

Barking Dragon

New Hunter
While I can certainly see the appeal, that would be a very dangerous road to travel as it could very quickly devolve into playing favorites or making a lot of random calls. There is often more than one seller who sells a piece, both of which are VERY good and VERY accurate even though they might have slight differences from one another. I know it would make it easy for members if we (as a site) would say "THIS IS THE ONE" but at that point, we become a bit of a dictator, instead of a community.



The community itself is always going to be the best gauge. Again, I hear and share your frustrations. I too have purchased "the best" of certain parts and been disappointed both with the quality and accuracy. It is never fun when it happens, but I usually go back to the community and see that I didn't look hard enough there or I would have known before purchasing what to expect. It isn't' always the case, but more often than not, the fault is on my end.
I guess your right that it could be seen as playing favorites and even if something may not be entirely screen accurate doesn't mean it sucks. I'm grateful to certain people here who over the past few months have taken then time to help educate me on some of the sellers not just to avoid but for what reasons. Either way I think this 'Preferred Vendors' section is a fantastic idea.
 

Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
In this usage, would "vendor" include members who provide a service as well as, or in place of, a physical product?
For example, oh I don't know, say... painting commissions?
That is an interesting question. It was not a part of our original scope, but let me think about it a bit and figure out if we could make it work.
 

Funkyred

Hunter
We thought about calling these "approved" but that goes a bit beyond what we are willing to claim on their behalf.
Isn't the cargo hold the place to find Preffered vendors? My concerns would be that by having a Preffered section Fett builders/buyers would by-pass emerging new vendors in the cargo hold in favour of the Preffered vendor section. Possibly discouraging them from offering their wares or even beginng their prop making journey, just because there was no point trying to compete. Prop making is a fickle hobby and makers come and go sometimes for personal reasons (they grow out of the hobby or move on) and also financial. We must not discourage new prop makers as they may be the next generations Preffered vendors.
 

Darth Voorhees

Well-Known Hunter
Thats a very good point Elliot! I didnt even think of that, but i could def see that happening.

The pathfinders detachment has a Vendor section, which is for all sellers that make a product on a regular basis. Maybe doing something like that and then having a "Vendor feedback" section similar to what the 501st BHG has (which would likely need a moderator just for that section to keep it to facts and not bashing. It seems to be working well on the BHG. .....Or we could go by the "trader feedback"

Which reminds me, i noticed the old feedbacks i had from before the upgrade is gone. I had quite a few, and now i have 1. That kind of sucks, but id guess it was an unavoidable thing to get us upgraded. oh well! lol
 
Isn't the cargo hold the place to find Preffered vendors? My concerns would be that by having a Preffered section Fett builders/buyers would by-pass emerging new vendors in the cargo hold in favour of the Preffered vendor section. Possibly discouraging them from offering their wares or even beginng their prop making journey, just because there was no point trying to compete. Prop making is a fickle hobby and makers come and go sometimes for personal reasons (they grow out of the hobby or move on) and also financial. We must not discourage new prop makers as they may be the next generations Preffered vendors.
While I agree with your sentiment, I'd also like to offer a couple counter points in defense of why I feel this solution is not only beneficial, but necessary for our community.

Standards - Setting rules and standards for what constitutes Preferred Vendors will help protect newcomers from being taken advantage of. Time and time again TDH members have bought from sellers, never received items, and then ask TDH moderators to step in and help. In many instances those members paid the seller by gift and short of threatening a ban there isn't much the moderators can actually do. Banning will just prevent that vendor from communicating on TDH which may do more harm than good. I have personally seen many newcomers give up the hobby entirely after a bad experience with a seller. Preferred Vendors can be held to standards that protect buyers by making sure they pay via goods/services, and the threat of lost business if the seller's Preferred Vendors status gets revoked.

Currently, this is an example of the kind of standards MachineCraft is being held to for this pilot:
- Listed items must be in hand and ready to ship
- Items must be shipped within 14 days of order
- Listings must have high-quality and up-to-date product pictures
- Comprehensive item descriptions

Simplifying the Process - This is pretty self explanatory. Being able to browse available items, see pictures, and read customer testimonials/installation tips for specific items is both helpful for buyers and helpful for me as a seller to make future improvements (like the set screw we put in our RF Stalks for servo kits). Lets face it, we live in the Amazon age where people want to look for something, read about it, and click "Buy now." Not having to conduct transactions solely through emails benefits the buyer who is excited to buy new parts (that he/she knows are from reputable TDH vendors), and benefits the seller who now spends less time emailing and more time producing and shipping parts.


I don't want to speak for Art, but I don't think that the Cargo Hold is going anywhere anytime soon - it is a pretty vital part of this community. There will always be opportunity for new prop makers to make a name for themselves whether it be because they offer a superior product, or because another maker fades away or retires. Preferred Vendors isn't an exclusive club, and my understanding is that it will be open to all vendors who meet the requirements of the program when those are published. My personal hope is that it will drive more people to TDH instead of cesspools like TheForceForum that are taking advantage of people who don't know any better.
 
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