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Old 06-29-2010, 08:28 PM   #1
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Frag Swap Web Site

Not sure if this is really the place for this threat but i wanted to start it somewhere that it would be seen. Mods feel free to move it to a more appropriate location.

My brother (Jimbo7) and I have been tossing around ideas of putting up a frag swap web site. We are constantly looking for good frags and it always seems like the best coral come from other hobbyists and the smaller operations in some person's basement that collects rare or high quality coral. The problem is these people don't have a web site or their web sites are difficult to find / not always maintained and up to date. So this is not to try and replace frag swaps but more have one central location for WYSIWYG frags that any scale propagation operation from small to big can easily use.

So the basic outline of the idea is as follows. Vendors would be able to register with the site in order to obtain a "frag table". They would have a control panel that would allow them to upload pictures of their frags and populate some information fields about the corals. (common name, type of coral, size, ect.) This would not be an auction site like ebay and frags can stay up as long or short at time as desired. Along with the table i would like to have each vendor get a information page. This would include a space to tell everyone about them selves and their tanks. Information about what equipment/lighting they running for the frags. A place to upload pictures of their frag system, their personal tanks, themselves, or any saltwater/coral related photos they would like. Most importantly i would like each vendor information page to include a discussion board for people to socialize with them, ask questions about their set up, and just in general "talk saltwater".

Buyers would be required to register as well and all transactions would be run through paypal to remain secure. They would be able to search by coral, vendor, or location. I vendor rating system would be put in place in order to build up a good reputation and weed out any undesirable vendors. For obvious reasons rules would have to be set up about things like shipping requirements and photo manipulation.

This is a pretty broad overview there would be quite a few other things involved in the site that we have thought out but is beyond the scope of the discussion i would like for this thread. I am looking for general opinions of the idea. Do you all think this would be a useful tool?
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:45 PM   #2
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Absolutely! I'd be interested from the stand point of a buyer. I know a few who may be interested in the vendor side of it.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:13 PM   #3
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Sounds like a good idea, the only problem is shipping. Most people cant pay the large amount for overnight shipping, especially for one or two corals they like.

Many online retailers have deals with fedex and UPS due to the volume of their sales that makes shipping a little more affordable.

This could be a good idea for corals that can be priority mailed...

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Old 06-29-2010, 09:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Sounds like a good idea, the only problem is shipping. Most people cant pay the large amount for overnight shipping, especially for one or two corals they like.

Many online retailers have deals with fedex and UPS due to the volume of their sales that makes shipping a little more affordable.
Yes i agree that shipping is going to be our biggest obstacle. We are looking into different methods of shipping and figuring out what it will cost. If the site does well it will be easier to overcome because then buyers will be able to search for vendors by location. This will allow easier local exchange or cheaper shipping.

Because the site would be relatively small at the start we are hoping to plan online frag swap events. We would try to get verdors and buyer online for a weekend event much like a normal frag swap where there would be enough corals to buy several and save on shipping. It is an unfortunate side effect of buying livestock online. If anyone else has idea on how to overcome this please throw them out there.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:56 AM   #5
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Right now we have a couple ideas,
first, have a report generated after the swap of all the purchases, and the vendor and buyer locations. We would then try and group nearby vendors and nearby buyers and try and get them to ship all together, and be distributed by a credible source at the destination. IE, trusted people and admins on this site, or a trusted reefer in a local club.
Second, we would sign up as a business, and at the end of the weekend we would buy all the shipping and forward the information onto the vendors. Would be much easier and hopefully we would qualify for some of the business discounts out there.

Anyone who has shipped coral before, whats your favorite way to do it/carrier/whatever?
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:00 AM   #6
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Id love to have this work out...I will wind up having acans to trade as they keep popping up new heads each week...Plus, I cant wait to try my hand at fragging them and the many different zoanthids I have sitting around! Oh yea, xenias and GSP got to go! Haha!

Ive heard Priority mail works for zoanthids, but no guarantees. Maybe we should all start spreading the word and listing our locations?
For me:
Tallahassee, Florida.

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Old 06-30-2010, 12:04 PM   #7
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We would too, we also will take any suggestions or comments that anyone has. The most important thing with this is getting the numbers behind it to back it. It might be a little costly for everyone at first (including us) but hopefully we can keep it going long enough to experiment and figure out what works to make it a stable thing.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:18 PM   #8
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The thread has lots of views and not very many posts. Please let us know what you are thinking. If you think the idea is a real stinker that is still useful information to us.

I think I would also like to include a page where people organizing real frag swaps can put up their location, time, and date. This way we would have a frag swap location page. Possibly something similar to local reef groups to make it easier to find a group in your area.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:45 AM   #9
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Contact the majore shippers to find out about discount shipping rates that you can offer through your site. It may not be much at first, but could be signicant as the site grows.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:07 AM   #10
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here is one site that has a trade
Frag Outpost - Coral Frags, Coral Frag Trading Portal and Coral Propagation Resources
if done with nano's in mind then they could look in the area where they are , larger tanks are likely to get more but unless it is a dealer that sells shipping would be killer since you would have more than 1 shipping location
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