New questions, comments, etc., should be posted elsewhere.
1. Why are my messages stuck in my Outbox?
They are not “stuck.” Messages will remain in your Outbox until they are read by the recipient (or one of the recipients, if there is more than one). From there, the message will move to your “Sent messages” folder.
2. Why was my thread locked?
There are many possible reasons why a thread might be locked. Most commonly, it is because you violated our rules on “bumping.” Yes. I’m aware our forums don’t bump in the traditional sense. We still use the term, though.
If your thread was not bumped (which generally refers to you replying to your own thread outside of the limited manner that we allow), you should check the site rules to see if you violated any. If you do not see any rules violations, you can post a message in the “Have questions? Need help?” forum and someone will find your answer.
3. Is it an official rule that the lowest rated trader has to ship first?
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
Anyone who refers to “Lower rating ships/pays first” (or any similar form) as a site rule is (a) lying or (b) misinformed. While it is probably the MOST common “personal” rule that many traders (myself included) adhere to, it is MOST CERTAINLY not endorsed by the site or any staff member as an OFFICIAL rule in any capacity.
4. Why can't I reply to ads that are looking for painters/converters? (Why do I have to pay to advertise here if I want to operate as a business?)
Bartertown is free to use. What it isn’t, however, is free to run. To keep a site with 35,000 members running, there are notable costs involved. Staff members volunteer our time (Yes. We’re unpaid!) to keep the site running, but we do not volunteer our bank accounts. As such, we sell advertising to keep the place going.
Since we accept money from people to allow them to advertise their businesses and services here, it would not be fair to them to allow others to do so for free; it’s our responsibility to protect their investment. By allowing you to offer your painting or other services here without charging you, we are giving you for free what others pay for. Eventually, those paying advertisers decide that the investment is no longer worth it and back out. With no funds available to keep the site running, we have to close down.
No advertiser investments = no Bartertown.
5. What is ITL?
ITL is the Internet Trade Listing. It is where your references are stored. The site pulls from the ITL to show the little # next to your User ID that is your Reference Score.
6. How do I leave a reference?
Click on the “Post a Reference” tab above (right below the advertising banner). Fill out the requisite spaces (denoted by red asterisks) –we LIKE it when you use the trader’s REAL name, but it is not required- then hit “Submit.”
Next, you will get to the confirmation screen. It will ask, “Are you sure you want to post this reference?” Presuming you do, hit the “Yes” button.
You will be directed to a final screen that says, “The trade reference has been posted.” If you do not receive that message, the reference was NOT posted to their profile.
7. What if my trade partner won't leave me a reference?
You can politely ask them to do so. Keep in mind that, per Bartertown rules, references are NOT required. Harassing someone for failure to leave you a reference is not acceptable.
One option you can try is to include verbiage in your trade agreement that makes the leaving of references part of your trade agreement: “Upon the successful completion of the trade, Trader X will leave a positive reference and Trader Y will do so in return within 5 business days.” If your trade partner agrees to this, it becomes an enforceable part of the agreement. If Trader X leaves a reference and does not receive one in the allotted time, he can contact an Admin. We would remove the reference in that case (once proof has been provided).
8. When using PayPal to pay for stuff why do sellers get upset if I choose "I'm paying for goods or services" (as opposed to "I'm sending money to family or friends")? Isn't that what I'm doing?
PayPal charges a lot of money to use their service for receiving payments. As a result, many people look to alleviate that cost whenever possible. You are, of course, doing the right thing.
Some sellers will ask or insist that you use “Friends and Family” (F&F) to eliminate the fees that PayPal charges. You should never feel obligated to do so and, in fact, should never do it if you are not 100% comfortable with it. Also, it is a violation of PayPal policy to send a payment in this manner for a transaction such as you’ll have here. It is a rule, however, and not a law. Therefore, Bartertown has no official stance on whether or not you should pay via F&F if you are comfortable doing so.
As a second option, you can opt to pay the fees yourself. While it will cost you a little more, it will give you the protection of a “regular” payment while making your trade partner happy that he received the entire amount.
9. What should I do if I haven't received my items?
First and foremost, if you received a tracking number for the package, you should check it. It might answer your question as to when the item was shipped and where it is. If you did not get a tracking number 9always insist on tracked shipping) or the USPS system does not have any information on it, you should contact your trade partner. Ask him for an update.
If your partner does not reply, or you are not happy with the response, you should investigate a Deadbeat & Back Out (DB/BO) or Bad Trader Report (BTR). Rules, guidelines and instructions for those reports can be found in their respective forums.
10. My link to a non-advertiser got removed. Why?
The answer is similar to #4, above:
Since we accept money from people to allow them to advertise their businesses and services here, it would not be fair to them to allow others to do so for free; it’s our responsibility to protect their investment. By allowing links to other commercial endeavors, we are sending traffic their way; essentially, that is allowing free advertising for those sites.
It is a little bit of a heavy handed policy. We realize that. In the end, though, we decided to err on the side of our advertisers.
11. What is the difference between Chronological Order and Reverse Chronological Order and why should I care?
Chronological Order (CO) lists items in the order they happened, from oldest to newest. Reverse Chronological Order (RCO) does just the opposite; items are listed from newest to oldest.
Typically, CO and RCO only come into play when you’re looking for help in one form or another (via PM or BTR) or notifying the community of a problem (DB/BO). Posts that list communication, etc. in RCO are typically harder to read. That means people are less likely to want to offer help to you.
Look through the closed BTR forum. What you see about the overwhelming majority of those threads are that the communication history was posted in CO. Even in the active BTR forum, the most active BTRs are typically posted in CO.
12. What are the "Bartertown Information and Misc Messages" and "Have Questions? Need Help?" forums for? How are they different than the Discussion forums located at the bottom of the main page?
These two forums are specifically for communicating about site related issues. Information and Misc Messages might contain posts about how the site works, things important to traders (USPS updates), and site-related messages from staff (upcoming planned site outages, etc.).
The Have Questions? Need help? Forum is for just that. Have a question about how to act/react in a certain circumstance? Want to know how to interpret a rule? Want to know why your thread was locked? All of these are appropriate for this forum.
The Discussion forums at the bottom of the main page, on the other hand, are for general discussion. These are for gaming related, painting related, etc. discussions. As a general rule, if you’re not talking or asking about something that is specific to Bartertown, it probably goes down here.
DISCUSSION TOPICS SHOULD NEVER BE PLACED IN ANY TRADE FORUM.
Seriously, just don’t so it.
13. If I trade multiple times with the same person, will my rating go up each time?
Yes. Every separate, individual trade you do with any Bartertown member is eligible for a reference. This includes eBay transactions, provided you found the auction via a link posted by the seller on our site. Regardless how many times you trade with any individual, your score will adjust for each eligible reference they leave you.
14. I've lost my account name AND password, but I know I already have an account. Since I'm not allowed to have two accounts, how do I get a hold of someone to get help? How do I prove it's my account?
Advice on this can be found in our posted rules:
I would quote the exact rule here but (a) this way it means these FAQs will not need to be updated for any tweaks we make to that post and (b) it encourages you to read more of the rules, rather than just what suits you. : )
15. Why does everyone want me to ship my models before they pay me? That's not how the rest of the internet works.
As any experienced Bartertowner will tell you, this is not the rest of the internet.
Bartertown is a site where trades are based on trust. Someone with a higher reference score has done more to prove himself trustworthy than someone with a lower score. It is not a fool-proof system, we admit, but it works very well, over all. Typically, if you check your trade partner’s reference score, you’ll find that his is higher than yours. Other times, you’ll just find someone who’s not trusting of you for whatever reason.
In either of these situations, you’ll need to decide what makes you comfortable and act accordingly.
16. What happened to my trade ad? I went to view it and it's gone. I just posted it yesterday!
If your trade ad is only a couple days old and has gone missing, FIRST go to your profile and check your post history. You might have put it in a different forum than you intended or you might have put it in the WRONG forum and a staff member moved it. Another option is that you violated a rule (all 40K items in the generic Sci Fi forum, all CCGs in the Video & Board games forum, etc) and a staff member removed it.
Typically, in the latter case, you’ll receive a PM from the staff member who moved it, telling you why it was removed. In the case of the former, the staff member might’ve just replied to the ad with that information, if he did not PM you.
If you still cannot locate your ad and don’t know why it was removed, post an inquiry to the “Have Questions” forum.
17. What happened to my trade ad? I went to view it and it's gone. I posted it last month and wanted to copy the contents into a new trade ad.
Typically, you can expect a trade ad to stay on the site for 2 to 3 weeks before it is auto-pruned. Ads in different forums have different life spans, which is largely affected by how busy the forum is. In general, the busier the forum, the shorter the life span of the ad.
In each forum, Bartertown has a 7 day posting limit for regular members & 4 days for staff, advertisers and BT+ members. We encourage you to repost your ad at those intervals, rather than updating it, to maximize your views/clicks and to keep this from happening to you.
18. What do I need to do to keep my trade ad in a Word document and keep the formatting for bold, italics, underscore, etc. so that I can edit my trade ad offline?
To the best of my knowledge, you can’t do this… and you can.
If you want to embolden the ad in Word, then copy it to Bartertown and have that emboldening stay with you, I can’t help. On the other hand, if you write the original ad in the context of a forum post, using all the bracketed  commands necessary, you can then copy & paste that text into a Word document. Your word document won’t embolden, etc. the text, but it will store the bracketed  commands, allowing you to copy & paste them at a later time. When you upload that ad again, everything will show as you intend it (provided you did not make any errors when editing the ad).
19. How do I pack what I am sending without it getting smashed and broken?
As a general rule, don’t pack it so that it survives moving around in the box; pack it so that it never moves in the first place. Use packing peanuts, bubble wrap, air pillows, etc. to protect your items. “Pluck foam” tear outs from miniature carrying cases (Sabol, Battlefoam, etc) make excellent packing materials, as well.
Do not use crumpled up newspaper or plastic grocery store bags. These are weak and are easily crushed.
If you have bits or loose models, put it all in plastic bags (Ziploc, Walmart, etc.) so that parts don't fall out of any small holes in the box. Pack those bags within the box as described above.
Never attempt to seal your box with masking tape or cellophane (Scotch) tape. These are just BAD ideas. These tapes do not possess the durability to reliably survive a trip with the USPS. Instead, use clear packing tape. Be liberal with your tape usage. When sealing the top and bottom of a box, 3 layers of tape is best. Your first layer should evenly straddle the 2 flaps. The following layers should each be on one flap, half way overlapping the first layer of tape. This will support and strengthen your first layer. Another good practice is to strengthen the circumference of the box with packing tape. One continuous line of tape around each plane of the box will do wonders to help it retain its’ integrity in shipping.
20. What are some guidelines to writing a good trade posting?
Clearly state the game system each item is for, as well as how it is referred to in the game. Alternatively, list by the manufacturer & name they gave the item when possible.
Use full words and avoid excessive or obscure abbreviations. If you’re selling Warhammer 40K models, most people looking at your ad are going to understand “40K.” On the other hand, if you use a string of abbreviations (DE, AM, BA, BT, EH, CD, DoC, WS, IF), many people will skip your ad because (a) they aren’t sure what you’re offering and/or (b) it’s freaking annoying to try to decipher a huge string of abbreviations like that, and they’ll have lost interest in & patience with your post by then.
In your ad, clearly state the quantity and price/trade value of each item you have (if you’re not sure about price, list it as “make an offer”). Also be clear about the condition that each item is in & clearly disclose whether anything is damaged or modified, etc. This is actually in the rules. As the seller, it’s YOUR responsibility to list ANYTHING of note about your items that might change the buyer’s opinion on them. “You didn’t ask if they were painted, so I didn’t offer that information” means YOU are in the wrong and broke a rule.
21. Do I have to post "PM Sent" or a similar message in someone's trade thread when I PM them about items in their ad?
It’s annoying and unnecessary.
It’s not a rules violation to do so, however. So, if you do, you won’t get anything more than an eye roll from staff. : )
22. Should I edit my trade ad when my item is sold or traded to indicate that it's no longer available?
Not everyone does, and it is not a rule that you do so. That said, it’s not a bad practice to stay in the habit of.
23. I accidentally made an error in a reference I left for someone (should have been a positive, but left a negative; left two references; used the wrong Real Name). What should I do?
Post in the “Have Questions?” forum. Put the specifics there. An Admin will handle it for you and post a notification when he does.
24. What should I do if I need help from a staff member or Admin? Who should I PM?
The best option is to post in the “Have Questions?” forum. Put the specifics there. The first staff member who sees it that CAN help WILL help. Often, people think they need to have an Admin help but, in actuality, any staffer could do what they want done.
If the nature of your request is private/embarrassing/about a staff member, go ahead and PM an Admin directly. Please, keep in mind that it may take days (or more) for a reply.
25.If I work for Games Workshop, Privateer Press...etc, am I required to make this known? Are there any special rules I must follow?
Nope. Not at all. In fact, if you’re a GW employee, it’s probably best to just keep that to yourself. LOL
As an employee of one of these companies, you might have special requirements on their side. We have no special requirements for you to follow, though.
26. How do I join Bartertown Plus (and any related questions such as what I get for doing so, what happens if I want to join in September, etc .)?
That information can be found here:
27. How do I get my Live Chat to work?
By chatting somewhere else. LOL
In seriousness, though, there is no Live Chat feature on Bartertown.
Yes. There’s a tab. We know. Just ignore it. : )
28. How do I know that a trade has gone so sour it warrants a BTR?
This is a question that can potentially have a lengthy and convoluted answer. I happen to specialize at these, but would prefer not to make this any longer than necessary.
Generally, these are good rules of thumb:
You sent your items/money, but your trade partner has stopped communicating for more than a week.
You completed a trade with someone, but are unhappy with something they did (packing that resulted in damage, model condition, etc). Although you tried to work it out with them, you feel they’re being unreasonable.
What you received was not what was promised. Although you tried to work it out with them, you feel they’re being unreasonable.
If all else fails, PM an Admin (reminder: a reply might be slow to come). Tell them the generalities of what’s wrong and as their opinion. There’s no need to include your entire PM history, etc., unless they ask for it. Generally, a brief but accurate synopsis will suffice. He will advise you of his opinion.
29. What is Bartertown's connection to BartertownUK?
Bartertown UK (BTUK) is a sister site, of sorts. While we’re not directly related/affiliated, they DO use the Bartertown name with permission and have copied many of their rules, policies, etc. from us. We are independent sites, though, and operate as such.