FAQS for Rate & Review Forum, there are None

remy_gwJanuary 4, 2009

Hi All,

I started a new thread about when starting a new member review to title the post with member's name only, no ++++, super, etc. because all trades don't always go equally.

You also may know I have the "Search for a member's name before starting a new post" thread over there which also includes making sure you spell correctly. Anyway I made the comment to Sue we need a FAQ for that forum on the "Search for a member's..." thread.

Here's Sue's post to me:

You know what we really need a FAQ!

Yes we do! How about you take on that little task? I, with the input of a lot of others, will be redoing the FAQ at the Seed Exchange, and The Plant Exchange sometime in the future.

It is 'usually' a group effort, with input from a lot of folks, but sometimes is just by one person, as in the FAQ at WS, and Canna.

Then the new FAQ must be OKed by GW, then they give you the ability to access the actual FAQ for inputting them.

You wanna start a thread over on Conversations?...or maybe somewhere else where it would see more action, like at The Seed Exchange Conversations?

Anywho, my minds clicking...it's the coffee.

How to do a search for an existing review thread for a member, as there are now 3 search boxes on the page.

Which thread to post to, if there happen to be numerous ones.

Member Name only in subject line, and the importance if it being spelled exactly as it appears on their member Page

What to include in the review

Seed trade, plant trade, Round Robin swap

Why it was a good trade

Why it was a bad trade...maybe include key words such as 'negative' or 'bad'. Just state the facts of the trade please. Not packed well, did not send, did not label, quit responding to emails.

How long to wait before posting a negative review?

Now that will tact some thought and tactful wording, as each case is quite different, imho.

What 'not' to include

Full names or full addresses

Comments of any sort by anyone who did not actually make a trade with the member.

Can or should reviews be done for members who respond to seeds for postage offers, ie SASE, SASBE, BEAP?

I kind of feel this is optional for the offering member to do reviews on the members who respond. I know in a lot of cases the offering member has a lot of time wrapped up in emails, receiving in the bubblies, and finally packing and mailing out the seeds. I do think it's nice though to post these, time allowing, so new members can be given credit with following through in a timely manner, and for following instructions.

Well, how's all that for food for thought?

Remy? Angela? Rosepedal/Barb?

Oh...maybe also a little hints and tips section.

When starting a new review thread, do not check the box below the message box that says Check here if you would like copies of follow-ups to your message emailed to you.

If the box is checked, a member could be receiving the follow-up emails for years to come. I have seen where a few members 'have' checked the box.

I would love comments, suggestions, whatever you may think!


Here is a link that might be useful: Post on Member's Name Only on R&R

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I would love comments, suggestions, whatever you may think!
I'm sorry, but I think I'm tapped out for today. Possibly tomorrow over coffee will bring a few other things to mind, as well as perusing the Conversation side of the Rate and Review Forum

Sue...wordless for a change

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 10:17PM
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I think alot of people have "negative rate and review anxiety". It would help if there were a defined time frame for posting of "just the facts" without accusations of being a bad trader etc. For example, it is automatically acceptable to make such a note after 3 or 4 weeks. I dont feel good about it when people feel they need to 'ask permission' to post a review. it is better to do it SOONER rather than wait until you are stinking mad and post a bunch of #()#%^) that needs to be deleted.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 11:58PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

I think alot of people have "negative rate and review anxiety".
I agree.

I dont feel good about it when people feel they need to 'ask permission' to post a review.
I do think though that a lot of newer members especially, really aren't sure of just when enough time has passed and the traders given enough chances to come through.
I do know though that I have sometimes been slow to send, but I try to keep the member updated as to when I hope to mail/ship. I try to be sure and initiate an email why I have missed shipping when I had hoped to.

GW is such a friendly forum that I think it is just rather hard to say anything bad about another trader. Sticking to "just the facts' should make posting a negative review not so bad though.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 12:22AM
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"I do think though that a lot of newer members especially, really aren't sure of just when enough time has passed and the traders given enough chances to come through. "

This is exactly why I suggest a standard be set.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:24AM
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"wordless for a change" LOL!

Good points. People do get too worked up and write stuff that can get deleted instead of just the facts. I think it was you who said just the facts can be quite powerful.
The longest pkg. mailing time I ever had was one full month. I've had a few 3 week ones. Those people though did not stop responding to emails.
I wonder if the full month was the longest anyone has ever waited. The pkg. arrived inside a plastic bag. The bubble envelope was sticky. It looked like dried pop or jelly. I really think a mail person was eating near it, lol. Anyway, a true testament to bubble envelopes, all the contents were fine.

Humm... I'll have to think of good ways to word everything.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:32AM
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I had one go probably 8 weeks of constant nagging complaining promises etcetc and it turned out that she supposedly changed the name of my town and state and even LOOKED UP THE ZIP CODE of the town she picked. WTF are you doing changing those and justifying it by saying you "looked up the zip code to make sure it was right", and trying to make me look like the big meanie for bugging her about it. boy I am STILL STEAMING ON THAT ONE............................and I got my SEEDS! I didnt trade for about three months after that. I still kinda hold off on things I probably would have jumped on earlier.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 3:51PM
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Anyway, I dont know if I made my point up there, but I suggest four weeks as the standard. If you havent gotten your end of the trade after four weeks, and you are not satisifed with the response from the other trader, you should feel free to post the facts under the persons review thread.

I had good luck with this approach, the person was blowing me off and after 3 weeks, I posted under her thread and a about a week later I got my seeds and a sincere apology.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 4:04PM
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Hi Doris,
You did make your point. I didn't make sense : )
I didn't mean how long you waited for a pkg. to arrive. I meant when a pkg. was actually truly mailed(according to a postal date stamped on the pkg.) and never showed up. Since I've and I'm sure others have had pkgs. that for some reason took 3 weeks to go through our postal system, to state to wait one month from when the person said they put it in the mail before you think they lied is probably good since my plastic wrapped pkg. was probably the longest enroute pkg. ever, lol.

The changing of your address is one of the most bizarre trading stories ever!!!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 6:02PM
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gotcha, remy, I dont really pay attention to those dates, It would have been interested on a few tho, Ill have to think about that!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:44PM
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alwaysagarden(CA 9b)

Doris, at least yours emailed you. How would you like dealing with someone who makes out like she "is unaware of any correspondence other than what she has sent!" She says she isn't trying to ignore me...! Oh really then why didn't she ever inform me of what was going on! Why didn't she respond to my numerous emails? Ya, that's the personality of the flake I'm dealing with. She says she has has delivered the seeds twice, the last one via the post office. I've been waiting for these seeds for 10 weeks. She just emailed me tonight saying she just can't send anymore because her seeds storage is depleted. She also said she will try sending again if necessary. If necessary? LOL Well if they haven't reached me by now then um duh... maybe it is necessary! Where do these people come from?!!

Cindy (ready to stick a fork in this persons ---!)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 10:30PM
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Ask for some alternate seed and have her double check your address! But post your request on a thread, dont count on email, there is obviously something WHACKED about her email, maybe its putting your stuff in the spam folder?


    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 8:51AM
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alwaysagarden(CA 9b)

Hey Doris,
I've given her my address 3 separate times. She obviously responds to other gardeners emails or else she wouldn't be able to be doing all the trades and Round Robins she is involved in. I have no doubt she receives my emails and has my address, she just refuses to do anything about it.

Regarding the reviews for SASBE's. I think it is a great idea to give good reviews to someone who lets you know their envy is on the way and sends the envelope in quickly with all the necessary information and postage inside, as well as letting the sender know they recieved the envy and seeds.
Communication is always important in a trade or in a SASBE.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 11:04PM
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Well, I kept the new years resolution that I proposed for all of us and went and posted some facts under this persons thread.

There's an angel on one shoulder, the one who told me to let this one go and there's the devil on the other shoulder who keeps poking me in the neck with his pitchfork(dang that thing is sharp) and telling me I should have posted this along time ago! Hopefully the pitchfork will rest in the toolshed soon.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 9:13AM
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well, I (or we, not sure) got yelled at for posting under that thread. Like "HOW DARE YOU". Apparently, some people have immunity from getting unfavorable reviews. Even if none of this is her fault, if her computers eats certain emails from certain people and her post office looses packages, I think people deserve to know that they are taking a risk with her puter and her post office and her immunity and stuff.

I guess rate and review anxiety is real. There's no guarantee that the negatives will ever get posted and it would seem that you REALLY DO NEED PERMISSION to say that something bad happened to you in spite of all the good stuff that happened to other people.

Its prolly all my fault for not complaining the first time, so other people got sucked in.

Dnt mind me, the coffee's a little bitter today.... need some new stuff.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 2:43PM
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I saw the post. Ignore it. You and Cindy both posted calm factual posts.
I started drinking my coffee with stevia. Hoping to trick my body into taking in less calories!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 9:01PM
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Thanks Remy,
I did hear from Wendy and we had a nice chat so I suppose things are on the mend. I hope it works out Ok for Cindy, Im not so worried about me tho.

I tried Stevia once and yukky! didnt like it in my coffee. Dont mind chewing on an actual leaf tho. Im getting used to drinking coffee without sweetener. Once in a while tho, it sure does taste good with it!

Before we were married, we had a meeting with the priest who was going to do the ceremony. DH told Fr. that it bothered him that I put too much sugar in my coffee. he didnt notice the GIANT coffee mug and cream and sugar set on Fr.s desk. Fr. D said "You got a problem with that"?, I cracked up and I know I liked that guy for some reason or other!


    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 9:27PM
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alwaysagarden(CA 9b)

Hi Remy,
I think my body is amune to taking in less calories! LOL
Wait a minute... that's not too funny! :(
Anyhoo, yes Doris and I did get yelled at. I guess certain people need to post things in caps because they think smaller letters are indecernable. I don't know about you guys but when I can't read the writing I put on something that was invented a long time ago, they are called "eyeglasses". Doris so glad to hear you and Wendy were able to talk.
That is too funny about what the Fr. said about the coffee!

Cindy : )

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 12:42AM
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Coffee is better today, Ive got Godiva Chocolate Caramel Coffee. I treated myself to a teaspoon of sugar with it. I got the coffee at the dollar spot clearance, 25c for the two ounce size. I bought all they had. Last year I spent 13 bucks on those little guys and had cheap yummy coffee all year long.

So, Im off the the healthclub to burn off the extra 15 calories! Is snowing today, so it I took me an hour and a half to get to the pharmacy for my kids ADD medicine. What a drag! At least the counter was empty and the guy knew my name and was friendly aobut it. I had to go to a different Walgreens cuz the regular one was out of it yesterday.

I WS'd a bag of IRIS seeds this morning and am REALY looking forward to maybe getting a flower or two from the ones I started last year.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 12:47PM
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Hi All,
No one else has suggestions?
Over on the RR forum, there's a new post about a card mailed in Dec. that just got there.

That is too funny about the priest! My stevia thing is going well. I also got sample pkts. of the other no calorie natural sweeteners at the same time. The natural foods section mgr. told me most people don't like the stevia and like the others. Well, I'm weird, lol. One is Erythritol(name brand Zsweet) and the other is Xylitol.
Godiva Chocolate Caramel Coffee mmmmm!

Here is a link that might be useful: RR Post late mail

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 1:04PM
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I think you gota watch the xylitol, too much of it gives you a leaky butt!

I saw about the late card, for all the packages that get blamed on the PO, you really dont see too many posts telling about the late arrivals.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 5:25PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

bumping this up.

Maybe give a few examples of some simple tactful negative reviews....such as...
Janedoe and finalized our seed trade agreement on Jan 2nd. I mailed Jan 3rd and she responded that she has received my seeds. She has since quit responding to my many follow-up emails asking about when she had mailed or when she will mail my seeds. It has now been 3 weeks since I last heard from her.
I recently had a seed trade with Janedoe. I'm sorry to say it, but the seeds she sent me were not the ones we had agreed upon, and she is no longer responding to try and get things worked out.
I recently had a seed trade with Janedoe. She mailed in a timely fashion, and all was well except she did not package them in a bubble envelope and some of the seeds were crushed. We have discussed the necessity of having to use proper padding, and she now understands that most seeds require bubble envelopes or similar packing so they will be protected in transit.
I recently did a seed trade with Janedoe. Though she used a bubble envelope, she failed to put enough postage on it. She mailed it with just a 42 cent stamp on it, thus 41 cents postage was due when it was delivered to me. I informed her of the cost of mailing bubble envelopes, and think she should now be up to speed on the costs, or will start mailing them through a Post Office clerk.

Sue...who thinks she has had too much coffee already

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 9:35AM
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Samples reviews sound good.

Checking the forum for names before starting a new thread is a good idea, assuming the search will work.

Making sure that the thread just lists the name and not things like A+++++
I know people that have seen the heading on a thread and that is as far as it goes, but sometimes good traders don't last and seeing the praise in the thread is all that is read.

Having those that have gotten SASBE seeds post reviews as well. I think some members think the rate and review is for trades only and not for SASBE. I personally think that those that receive SASBE seeds should also post a review for the member that sent seeds.

My question though.

Should we figure out a way to do something with reviews that have gotten really long with so many reviews? Do you think that people read all of them or just look at the first few and that's it?
Do they need to be edited some how when they reach 30 and more good reviews? Should they be edited? How would anyone be able to edit them?


    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 9:46PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Yoe Remy, I know life is very busy just being 'Remy' but thought I would bump this up for exposure and maybe some more input.

Maybe when the snow is flying this winter (and after WS is done for the large part) you can find some time to work on putting them together.


Rate and Rview Forum

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 8:29AM
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Hi Sue,
I forgot all about this! Yes, I am incredibly busy right now, and it would be nice for a little more input too. So if anyone does have a suggestion please post.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 9:03AM
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I am not really in favor of leaving someone a favorable comment simply because they followed through in sending an SASBE in order to get seeds. To me, it's like praising someone for coming to the dinner table and eating my food.

And if we leave positive feedback for those who send out their SASBE requests, then shouldn't it follow that we leave negative feedback for someone who doesn't follow through? If that was the case, I'd be leaving negative feedback for dozens of people, as I'm sure anyone who has offered seeds for SASBE would as well. Though it's frustrating to hold seeds for someone who doesn't follow through, I don't really think it's an important enough of a matter to leave negative comments over.

The whole concept of posting comments regarding SASBEs has other drawbacks. Last spring I offered a lot of seeds for SASBE, and one in particular stuck out. When I had looked at the person's want list, I saw she was looking for hardy geraniums. I found a few odds and ends, small amounts of several varieties, so I packaged them separately and included them as well thinking she'd be happy with the additional surpise. I was quite taken aback when she emailed me after receiving the SASBE and told me that I needed to read the FAQs, that "10 or 12 seeds was not considered a sufficient amount of seeds" and she would be leaving me negative feedback. I was stunned. Fortunately for her, she didn't leave the comments, or I would have responded with words including "ignorant", "selfish", and "ungrateful"... (Can you tell I'm still a tad steamed, LOL...)

I think the sample comments for negative reviews are very good ones--Jack Webb of Dragnet would be happy with the "Just the facts, Maam" attitude. However, there are a few gray areas I am wondering about.

What do you suggest regarding feedback if the trader sends mismarked seeds (ie, agastache instead of lavender); unviable seeds (such as sunflower seeds that were flat, white, and bendy, obviously underdeveloped); or a trader who waits until he/she has received the other person's seeds to tell them that he/she is out of several of the seeds they wanted and that they need to pick substitutes. I've always handled these matters privately. I know honest mistakes happen as in the first two cases--but the third example has happened to me a few times now (twice with the same trader--not going to trade with her again) and is starting to bother me as I feel it may be a bait and switch tactic. Still I'm not sure I'm comfortable about leaving negative feedback even in that situation.

I'm sure it sounds as though I am focusing on the bad side of trading/SASBEs, which I am, but it's only because good trades and positive feedback are pretty self-evident.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 12:51AM
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Hi Kate,
All good points. As you said good trades are pretty self-evident. I like your Dragnet analogy.I think that is a good thing to use.
I can't believe someone complained about amounts when you were giving them seeds they wanted without a trade!

I'm not sure anyone wanted people to post for a person who follows through on a SASBE. I think people feel that people who receive SASBE's should post to thank the generous donor. Though that's a bit difficult to get to happen. Some people don't even write a thank you note directly to the donor.

I think when a trader makes an honest mistake about the seed quality or non-existant seed(all chaff,) it should be handled privately first and tell them they made a mistake. I once did this to someone who sent a seed head full of chaff. It was a more unusual variety, and I didn't want them to do the same thing to someone else who might not be so understanding. I told them I didn't want anything else, just wanted to let them know. Well, they sent me a package a few months later when they tracked down the seed from someone else! That was awful nice. Now if someone got nasty about telling them they made a mistake, then a post might be warranted, yes, no?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 8:49PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Bumping this up...

Please be sure and do a search for an existing review thread at The Rate and Review Forum. It is important that you use the Search Box found just below the list of threads there on page one. That is the only box that will give search results for just the Rate and Review Forum

Also, when starting a review thread, because there isn't an existing one, please be sure and spell the Member Name, exactly as it appears on their Member Page. There are many Member Names that are very similar so if it isn't 'exact' it either won't be found via a search or will cause confusion in the future.


Here is a link that might be useful: Rate and Review Forum Instructions and some tips.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 10:22AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

YOE (rhymes with toe) Remy

GW is looking for a Rate and Review Forum Volunteer FAQ Editor!

Volunteer FAQ Editor Needed

I know we have covered a lot here in this thread...you up to maybe signing up to put them together? Possibly an outline would help at getting things/thoughts organized...maybe? See my post with the FAQ outline for the Seed Exchange which I will be reworking...covering some additional things with referrals to the Seed Saving Forum for some specifics on gathering and drying seeds.

I don't think there is a great rush to get them completed, as it says, "While compiling information should be a group effort, one person would be charged with pulling it together into useful FAQs."

imho, there are a lot of good helpers here with good input.

It sure would help if GW could/would remove the search box at the very top of the R and R Forum, (along with the one at the very bottom) which yields results for all of the GW site as opposed to just the R and R Forum.....very confusing and hard to find an existing review thread for newer members not familiar with the forum there...sigh. I wonder if that might be a possibility...or get to get an actual Search Box inserted into the Forum Instructions....like the have here Ponds and Aquatic Plants

OK, I just read my sample negative (but nice) replies above...
Maybe give them headings for the examples
No seeds-no email replies
Sent the wrong seeds-now no email replies
Bad Packaging-seeds damaged
Received seeds but only one stamp on bubblie so postage was due. Now this is not to be confused with a envelope that probably has correct postage on it, yet the PO is trying to charge Parcel Rate and is overcharging...sticky, huh?
What other cases might there be> Problems with labeling? Problems with amount or counts agreed upon? I don't think that happens very often though.
Sent moldy seeds?
Sent seeds with bugs
Sent nothing but chaff-no seeds

Sue....I also signed up for the Bulb Forum FAQ...What was I thinking?

Too much coffee again!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 8:39AM
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Reviews and Ratings. right now I'm having concerns about this. I'm having problems with my mail carrier and after talking to her supervisor things have gotten worse. I'm now going all the way to the next town to send my mail out.

I suppose I should just stop trading but I really love to trade. So far I've had to double send out packages and ask people to wait much longer than they should for their seeds. What happens in a case like this? Am I penalized for my post office?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 10:12AM
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