I'm hoping that this will be an open discussion regarding the Buy/Sell rules here on HF. This is NOT to disrespect the Moderators or to encourage skirting of the rules, but to discuss whether the system could be improved. I think it could, and I'm fairly certain that there are others that agree.
I have seen an increasing number of threads that require moderator involvement to be settled and it makes me feel that the current system is flawed. I have never understood the reasoning behind the "I'll take it" rule. Out of all of the forums I participate in, HF has the most mature, fair, and courteous members, but is the only forum with this rule. Some of the other forums have many users of questionable character, and even so, there are relatively few purchase disputes. I believe that users are trustworthy enough to not abuse the "honor system" and will conduct their sales fairly.
I feel that allowing the sellers to handle their own sale without moderator involvement or via PM without making all communication public would not adversely affect the willingness of users to do business here and may make others (myself included) more willing to do business here. If I was new and looked at the Buy/Sell forum I would be hesitant to post after looking at the way some sales were handled. Here are some questions/examples/reasons/abuse of the rule.
1. Posts with "I'll take it" posted immediately to "reserve" the item which gives the user time to consider or research the item then withdrawn if it is not what they want. I see many "I'll take it if ____ backs out" posts. Which, to me, indicates that backing out is common enough that people feel they have a good chance of ending up with the item this way.
2. Users who need clarification on International shipping or other special consideration before committing to buy may not feel comfortable saying "I'll take it" then backing out, get sniped out of items by PMing for clarification first.
3. Does "I'll take it pending _____." count as a claim, or can an unconditional "I'll take it" 6 hours later supersede it?
4. The sheer confusion to buyers/sellers that may have done much business on other forums assuming that PMs are preferred. They PM a seller/buyer saying they want an item and request payment info only to return and find it sold to someone else hours later by an "I'll take it" post.
5. An "I'll take it" post after the seller has made it clear that an item is already sold (and possibly shipped). Does this mean that the seller should take it back from the buyer to sell to the one that posted?
6. (this one could be combined with #5) If a user makes a local sale prior to seeing an "I'll take it" post. Some users do not have access to HF 24 hours a day and can't post "Sold locally"
Most of these stem from the fact that I feel that the "I'll take it" system does not mirror the way that most folks do business in real life. Once again I do not mean any disrespect to the Moderators, they are just enforcing the current rules. I am just wondering if there is a better way. I look forward to hearing other user's thoughts/suggestions.