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  Re: [Aroid-l] Selling plants on the aroid website??????
From: plantguy at zoominternet.net> on 2005.11.05 at 04:11:35(13510)
Well, ever since I read the original post from Brian I've been sort of
contemplating the idea put forth. I agree with Ken that this is a very
complex undertaking that likely will require a full-time employee that can
oversee all aspects of the auction business. Of course, the IAS needs to
decide whether their ambition is to become a business with the long-term
goal of furthering education with respect to aroids. I assume that the IAS
is a non-profit organization and so the hoped for wind-fall should be well
thought out in advance. If their are extra monies then who is going to
review the grant proposals that come in for exploration?? What sort of
format would be implemented to approve applications for monies?? I would
also hope that the IAS dues are not used for advertising purposes. While I
am considering joining the IAS as I benefit from the aroid-l and info
disseminated I would not join if I felt that my dues were being used to
advertise an auction house. Obviously, the money raised form the auctions
culd be used for that purpose. Also, if the IAS is taking an active role in
advertising the business end of things then they would seem to be tacitly
approving what is being sold. This is a critical point as it goes to
credibility. In my field of work (professor of Cell Biology and Physiology)
credibility is paramount and so it should be for any organization that is
attempting to educate the public at large. Having said that, I wonder who
would be responsible for policing the auctions? We have all seen the
auctions where a bulbifer bulbil is advertised as rare just because the
petiole is supposedly unique when of course it is not at all unique and the
seller must surely know that. How about an Amorph. konjac advertised as
being "rare"! Would the IAS wish to promote such a message with an auction
that they have advertised to draw people in?? If education is the goal of
the IAS, which I feel confident it is, then auctions being promoted by the
IAS should hopefully meet the same standard as the rest of the information
on the wonderful site that has been developed to date. I know that if I
were purchasing from such a site I would expect a correctly IDed plant that
is promoted fairly and not with an ostentatious, over the top, gimmic-laden,
ebay-ish bunch of nonsense. Obviously, I do not see this as simply an ebay
competitor. On ebay everyone must surely know that it is buyer beware,
whereas when you are purchasing an aroid from an aroid society promoted web
site I would sincerely hope that the standard would be far, far higher.
While the notion presented has merit, I clearly feel that one of the last
things to be considered is how much money can be made. Rather, I personally
feel that the education mission and credibility of the wonderful IAS
organization should be considered in terms of how it may be raised up or
diminished by such a venture. If a side benfit is making extra money that
can be used to further this mission then so be it, but more money at the
cost of credibility is of no consequence and in fact rather damaging.

I may be completely off base (not atypical), but I just felt after givng
this some thought that the IAS should consider something more than the
work-load and money that can be made which has dominated the posts to date.
Obviously, I sell a few different aroids on ebay, via my web site and via
communications with aroid geeks like myself and am not opposed to the
notion. I just feel that the members of the IAS should consider carefully
what sort of foot they want to put forward from the initial guiding
principles of education before venturing forth with a business venture that
will directly impact on the image of the society either favorably or the
less favorable possibility.

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