I don't know if I'm alone in this but, but I don't get along with this rule on items advertised on this forum only being able to be sold through this forum.
Above is a link to an example.
There are several situations where it doesn't work in my eyes.
The first is say you have a few items for sale like I had recently. You sell one item listed through the forum, but then get asked on pick up or over email or the phone, "what else have you got for sale?" Now is this the buyer putting you in a bad situation, because you say that, "They are listed on the forum, so before I sell them to you can you please post up in the other thread that you want them please?" Otherwise you've broken the rules.
The second is an item is listed on the forum and you mention down the pub or at a meet to someone that you've bought some nice new alloys and the inevitable question pops up, "What are you doing with your old ones?" In this scenario the person isn't registered on the forum, they might not be registered on any forums, maybe that sort of thing doesn't interest them. You've either got to asked them to sign up or post up stating you are withdrawing the listing before you agree to sell them so as to comply with the rules.
In the case above, the OP would have been better posting that they are withdrawing the listing rather than telling the truth and stating they are sold.
The issue I have, is this is the only forum I've used that maintains an exclusivity rule and none of the other forums have exploded etc... If someone wants an item and posts but it has been sold, the simple reply is, "sorry bud, it's been sold." Minor annoyance to the potential buyer but not the end of the world.
The majority of threads on here where a person has sold an item before posting that it is being withdrawn only gets comments afterwards from people who had no interest in buying the item, often the OP had had no offers in the sale thread. My point being, who is being affected here by this rule other than the OP risking a suspension or selling ban?
Only recently have completed threads started to be archived and only then at the OP's request, so what's the difference with a listing where an item gets sold elsewhere? OP just posts up like above that the item is sold. Currently so as not to be seen to be breaking the rules the OP might be tempted to leave the thread without an update and the listing stays live indefinitely.
I'm a mod on another forum and our only real rules are a picture of the actual item for sale with a piece of paper including your username to prove you have it in your possession, when an item is sold the OP posts to say it is sold and no longer available (a mod then automatically assumes the thread can be archived) and all threads are archived after 90 days without any activity (easily done via vBulletin mod control panel).
This leaves the area tidy, and most people just post on live threads asking if it is still available if they are interested. It's simple and works.
I might be alone in this, but I think it is time for a change.
This thread is intended for discussion and is not a dig at the mods or any members.