Last Updated: November 5, 2019
Give As Much as You Take (Our #1 Rule)
“Give as much (if not more) than you take” is the biggest rule in our community. This is what makes our community sustainable with our limited numbers, and we enforce this policy strictly.
Problems occur if members post too many discussions asking for help relative to the feedback they provide others. For most discussions posted multiple people end up taking the time to reply. So please make sure to help much more frequently than you post “help needed” questions.
Participating is a Membership Requirement
Our Community is capped at 1,000 members to maintain intimacy, a level of confidentiality and ensure all members are contributing to the discussion. Members who seldom or never participate are at risk of having their accounts cancelled to make room for someone on our waiting list who is willing to be engaged.
We don’t lay out an exact formula or set of metrics we use to make these participation requirement decisions. There are too many variable and unique aspects to each member’s situation. We’ll look at each member on a case-by-case basis and do our best to look at both online and offline involvement.
That being said, here are some general guidance to work from so you know roughly the level of involvement that is required:
You post weekly, sometimes daily. Just about everyone in the forum recognizes your name. While we would love if everyone was this engaged, we realize that’s not possible and we are NOT expecting everyone to turn into a forum superstar overnight.
No Need to Worry
You have a history of commenting at least 2-3 times a month with helpful contributions for others. You’ve reviewed your software stack and maybe even made it to a meetup or two. Your membership is not at risk.
At Risk of Losing Membership
If you haven’t commented in 3 months or more and don’t have a track record of being previously engaged in the Community (i.e., lifetime comment count of 2), you are definitely at risk of having your account closed to make room for someone new.
Quality Metrics and Account Restrictions
We occasionally have to make hard decisions about some of the above guidelines related to quality, ensuring reciprocity, etc, that result in an account being restricted. We make these difficult decisions to ensure a healthy, vibrant and balanced Community.
We don’t disclose the exact ways we make decisions or calculate these metrics, but the decisions are made based on a combination of metrics as well as manual review. We look largely at:
- Number and frequency of discussions posted asking for help
- Helpful comments and thoughts left on other’s threads (or lack thereof)
- Reviews left in the service provider and software directories
- Engaging in the Community offline (hosting meetups, reputation helping other members via PM, etc)
If your account ever becomes restricted, you’ll need to demonstrate a long-term commitment to contributing back to the Community (see above) to have your ability to post new discussions reinstated. It may take time, but this is the only way to restore your account to full privileges.
Qualifying Business Information
Displaying a legitimate, qualifying business (including a valid url) in your profile is required. A qualifying business means that you are either an eCommerce store owner, are associated with an eCommerce store or have a seller account on Amazon. If you sell on Amazon, you must provide the url of your Amazon Seller’s page.
Required Profile Information
All members are required to use their real names and a current head-shot photo for their profile picture. Avatars, illustrations, pet photos, etc. are not permitted and will result in your account being cancelled.
No one wants to be involved in a community where members are constantly trying to sell services and software to other members. To make sure this doesn’t happen, we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to promoting services, software or apps.
Self-promotion includes but is not limited to:
- Responding to posts that are looking for a software/service/app.
- Contacting members via PM or Email to promote your software/service/app.
- Starting a new thread introducing/promoting your software/service/app.
The first time it happens you will be given a warning and the post will be removed. The second time will result in the termination of your eCommerceFuel account.
Our moderators are familiar with of all of our service providers, and will link to your software/service/app when appropriate.
The best way to gain attention and clients is by providing insightful comments on existing threads in your area of expertise. That will lead to members becoming familiar with you, and potentially asking about your software/service/app. If you are asked specifically about your service/software/app, it is ok to respond.
Occasionally we will make exceptions to this policy for our Experts and members who have a long track record of posting helpful responses. These types of posts must be cleared with a moderator before being posted.
This policy does not apply to products. If you have a new product that you would like to share with the community, by all means do so! We don’t encourage posting your url for the sake of gaining sales, but discussing products, marketing tactics, photography, Kickstarter campaigns, etc. is perfectly fine. Providing a discount code for members would also be much appreciated!
You are welcome to share links to third-party services, software, providers, etc. but please use a clean url. All affiliate links will be removed and continued use of them will result in your account being cancelled.
Be respectful. Disagreeing with others is fine as long as it’s done tactfully. People who put down others, are abusive, are short with others or just downright obnoxious will be removed with little or no warning!
Conduct that will result in immediate removal includes but is not limited to:
- Harassing or bullying members or moderators,
- Racist/sexist language
- Making threats against others,
- Stalking members or moderators,
- Spamming the forum or specific members,
- Promoting illegal activities,
- Promoting or discussing black-hat techniques,
- Promoting obscene materials,
- Posting child porn,
- Promoting violent conduct,
- Selling anything without forum permission,
- Uploading viruses,
- Uploading malware,
- Attempting to hack the back end of the forum,
- Promoting gambling,
- Soliciting members for sex,
- Posting adult content,
- Promoting contests without forum consent, and
- Promoting pyramid schemes.
Given the Community size, some members will be in overlapping or similar niches. Many members share sensitive business information, marketing information, strategies, etc. Use of any of this information outside of the community will result in immediate termination of your account. This includes, but is not limited to: graphics, images, logos, illustrations, financial information, content, product information, code, contact information, phone numbers, email addresses, presentations, videos or other documents.
Copying another member’s products (likeness, ingredients, packaging, wording, logo, manufacturing, marketing, design, etc.) will result in immediate termination of your account.
Service/Platform/Software Providers and Industry Professionals
Occasionally we grant membership to trusted, knowledgeable service providers and consultants. We count on ECF-member vendors to provide quality service to members. If we hear multiple reports of a service provider providing sub-par experiences to members we will likely revoke their membership. It’s important that members can expect quality, professional work from any vendors they encounter in our Community.
Privacy and Confidentiality
All forum discussions must remain private and confidential. Sharing particulars of a discussion – especially in written form – outside of the forum is prohibited and will lead to immediate account cancellation. The display of any portion of eCommerceFuel on another web site (such as via Iframe) is prohibited.
When you apply to eCommerceFuel, your application data will be shared with our team members and Community Guides as part of the vetting process. Additionally, parts of your application such as your web site urls and eCommerce experience will be used in your forum introduction thread, as well as on your community profile. If there is any information that you would prefer to keep private, please contact us via email.
The use of any type of site scraper or copying content in any way (even if for personal use) from eCommerceFuel will result in immediate termination of your account.
Sharing an account is not permitted. If you have multiple people in an organization who wish to be involved in the Community, each person must apply separately. We do not offer a discount for multiple accounts at the same company.
Keeping Your Information Current
Once or twice a year an automated system will request updated business information (url, yearly revenue, etc) via a simple questionnaire. Failure to update your information in a timely manner will result in your account being cancelled.
Cancelling Your Account
If you wish to cancel your account, please contact us via email. We will refund a prorated portion of your membership fee based on how much time is remaining in the billing period. Members who cancel will need to re-apply if they wish to rejoin the community, and will be subject to any new forum requirements (such as a case study).
Occasionally a moderator will need to take action on a post that violates the community guidelines in some way (spam, affiliate link, self-promotion, inappropriate comment, etc). If you have an issue with a moderator’s decision, please contact either Padraic or Andrew via PM. Discussing moderator’s decisions or actions within the forum is prohibited.
We reserve the right to edit any and all content that has been placed on eCommerceFuel.