We're implementing several new policies and procedures that will streamline new account registration, increase dealer visibility, and require registration for all users. These changes will give Tradeloop members access to a larger number of contacts and clearly identify dealers from end users (who buy equipment for their own use, not for resale). We'll have a larger trading community, more retail users, and will continue to protect the integrity of wholesale market information.
The user registration requirement is an important security upgrade. It requires public users to register before they can view retail listings on Tradeloop. Remember that Google and other search engines index "Public" Broadcasts, but not "Dealer Only" Broadcasts. Any public user doing a Google search can find Tradeloop "Public" Broadcasts, then contact a dealer and say "I saw you on Tradeloop." That insinuates that the person calling is also a Tradeloop member. Most times, it's an innocent comment, but we have had cases where fraudsters tried to pass themselves off as Tradeloop members this way.
Now, everyone must be a registered user – no more anonymous searches of retail listings.
Dealers benefit because they'll have more information available about searchers. Now, when a dealer checks his "Search History" reports, he sees something like "PUBLIC 22.214.171.124" when a public user has searched on his retail items. With this change however, that relatively anonymous IP address will be replaced with a contact name and email address. This information will allow dealers to be proactive in contacting these end users to help make deals.
As always, retail users will be blocked from viewing any wholesale prices. End users can only search inventory that's listed as part of Tradeloop's End User program; they can't see wholesale prices now - and never will. And Tradeloop members (as opposed to registered, public users) will still have the option to search anonymously.
We expect that this change will result in a surge in new registrations. We're modifying our verification procedures to make it easier and faster for new registrants and members to contact Tradeloop members.
Many Tradeloop members are small businesses without huge staffs standing by to take and return phone calls, so our policy of requiring phone validation can delay processing by several days or even a week. Unfortunately, we sometimes lose prospective members and end users because they get tired of waiting for access.
We know that member validation is critical for wholesale dealers. After all, you're setting up a deal that could be worth tens of thousands of dollars; you need to know who you're dealing with. But many end users don’t want to join Tradeloop; they just want to buy a laptop battery – and don't want to wait a day or two to do it!
With the new system, new members and public users will have access to the Tradeloop community when they register. We'll still validate their information, but this change will give them access while validation is in process. All users will be clearly identified by their status: DEALER, NON-VALIDATED, END USER. Tradeloop members can tell at a glance who has been validated and who hasn't. It's up to them to make the decision to deal with that company or not. We think it's a better system than blocking all contact until verification is complete.
Note that we will still use the same rigorous criteria to validate all new members: those who don't meet the criteria will be removed from the community immediately. These new policies just make the registration and membership process easier and give Tradeloop members in the End User program a new way to market their products to retail users.