Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

The place for any thing site related
User avatar

Topic author
oddshoes
Posts: 1307
Joined: 29/08/06 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 12
MR2's Owned: 6
Real Name: Dave
Location: Aylesbury, Bucks
Contact:

Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by oddshoes » 29/12/18 17:00

To Whom It Concerns,

Hello all I know this is another post about membership and those of you that know me you know that I don't mind spending money and can also be quite tight too on some other things. I have been a member going on 10+ years, been a regional rep and am an OC member through and through compared to all the other mr2 forums I am a member of. However as the last few years that have gone by and as times have changed I have found it more difficult personally to justify renewing and paying out for membership. I would like to continue helping the club and being part of what has become an extended family to me, but I am finding it harder and harder every year to justify renewing my membership without knowing where exactly are the subs going!
Am I and many others helping to fill someones pockets, or is money from the subs being whittled away on things that could be possible achieved with less finical impact from members or cheaper sources?
Would it be possible that as a paid full member we could also see the clubs books so we know what we are paying for or not?

I know there are other clubs out there but if you take JAE over the last few years...

IMOC - (and I know they are running 3 clubs together to get size that they do at these shows) the bits that they do over the show puts us to shame to to mention hog roast, marquees already set up and taken down for them, which costs less than here

Bodgeworks - Chris is a super nice fella and always at the show that the club attend and they even won best stand iirc correctly, which the cost is FREE

I will stop there as I don't want this come across as a rant I would like if this came across as a concerned member expressing a genuine thought and trying to find a reason why I should pay into something where there does not seem to be value for money.


Best Regards

Dave aka oddshoes


Image

11 years with mr2's
Rev1 Turbo, Rev5 GTI, Rev3 Turbo, PFL Roadster, Rev3 3VZ, PFL MR-S

User avatar

TonyleFrog
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 5281
Joined: 29/07/06 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 12
MR2's Owned: 5
Real Name: Three guesses!
Location: Kent

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by TonyleFrog » 31/12/18 4:56

oddshoes wrote:
29/12/18 17:00
Would it be possible that as a paid full member we could also see the clubs books so we know what we are paying for or not?
Dave, FWIW my 2p.

Neither MR2OC nor IMOC are a Club/Association (whereby all members have a vote at an AGM) but Private Limited Companies. It is entitrely up to the owners (i.e. the shareholders) whether or not to permit anyone else to see the nitty-gritty detail.

FWIW, you can look at their respective annual Balance Sheets* because that is a minimum requirement for a listed company. All you can usefully glean from those though is whether the company is solvent.

* You can find these on the Companies House web site.

As for value for money, that's a judgement call for each indivudual.
The annual MR2OC sub equates to £1** per month (that's 3.3p per day).
I can't speak for anyone else but that barely registers on my radar.

** £1 is less than the price of one loaf of fresh bread from the in-store bakery at my local supermarket.

Re your comparison with IMOC at JAE: I have no idea what the perks you mentioned cost.
At the last JAE I attended I reckoned that the M in IMOC is now sailing close a bit close to the wind re the Trades Descriptions Act... :blink:
Size matters. With the extra fan base they may well have a larger paid membership than we do.
It could even be that they have had to expand in that way to still be able to afford those JAE extras.

Chris's moniker is BodgeWerks btw, not Bodgeworks. ;)
I'm not sure how him winning the Best Club Stand at JAE is relevant.
As far as his forum is concerned the hosting is free.
So he has no need for an income stream to cover the cost.
If you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much room!

HM wrote: TonyleFrog aka "The Fog Penetrator"

User avatar

gavsdavs
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 960
Joined: 10/08/10 12:30
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 0
MR2's Owned: 1
Location: London

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by gavsdavs » 31/12/18 10:07

For me it is a lot more about what I get to participate in having paid the subs to see all the groups.
It's about well organised drives (kent & norfolk runs, national meets, track days) which are publicised and actually participated in from here more than from any of the other forums. imoc people talk about wanting to meet up but apart from pistol pete (that I can see) rarely go through with it.

It's also not a lot of money in the grander scheme of things to cough up once a year (at least for me).

I would be curious as to how much money is taken and where it goes, but I don't think it's being used for personal income.

User avatar

vanilla.coffee
Posts: 3271
Joined: 14/05/05 1:00
Years of MR2 Ownership: 39
MR2's Owned: 5
Real Name: Yankee.Candle
Location: Buckinghamshire

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by vanilla.coffee » 01/01/19 9:00

Edited.
Post removed.

Thread will fizzle away and become dormant.
Better off with the BJ Goblins.

This was clearly a grandstanding thread.
Last edited by vanilla.coffee on 05/01/19 19:26, edited 2 times in total.
They'll take the internet off us if people keep doing this.

User avatar

vinp182
Posts: 2881
Joined: 23/01/08 15:21
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 9
MR2's Owned: 100
Real Name: Vinny
Location: Walsall, West Midlands

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by vinp182 » 01/01/19 9:54

Makes me laugh when someone brings this up and everyone breaks it down to the pound and pence per day or week or month.. I’m sure he can work that out for himself. The cost is irrelevant, his question is what is he getting for his money?!
The answer is exactly the same as you get if you don’t pay a yearly subscription
Cars suck donkey balls

User avatar

jeff
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 1568
Joined: 28/04/03 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 16
MR2's Owned: 1
Real Name: Jeff
Has thanked: 4 times
Contact:

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by jeff » 01/01/19 11:06

whilst more than happy to drill down in what the subs pays for later today

the question is what do you want for your money ? easy to say your not getting any benefits, but go ahead and say what you think they should be and we can try to implement them

as you say its not the pounds and pence that is the issue, lowering the subs is not worth discussing then ?


oddshoes wrote:
29/12/18 17:00

Am I and many others helping to fill someones pockets
Dave aka oddshoes
i wish, been helping to keep the site running for nearly 17 years and not taken a penny in wages
Not Plan B again!! Why don't we just go with plan B in the first place?
It’s more important to lose a minute in life than your life in a minute

User avatar

TonyleFrog
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 5281
Joined: 29/07/06 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 12
MR2's Owned: 5
Real Name: Three guesses!
Location: Kent

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by TonyleFrog » 01/01/19 12:19

vinp182 wrote:
01/01/19 9:54
Makes me laugh when someone brings this up and everyone breaks it down to the pound and pence per day or week or month.. I’m sure he can work that out for himself. The cost is irrelevant, his question is what is he getting for his money?!
What he is asking for is an expenditure breakdown.
Oddshoes wrote:...knowing where exactly are the subs going.
...we know what we are paying for or not
Cost must be relevant (to him) otherwise why ask for that information?
It is objective because it is a known, fixed quantity.
Otoh, value (for money) is subjective because it varies from person to person.
vinp182 wrote:
01/01/19 9:54
The answer is exactly the same as you get if you don’t pay a yearly subscription
Really? Would the website/forums continue to exist without any paying members?
I am quite happy to pay £1 per month for that resource alone. YMMV.
There are still some things for which Faceache is not the only answer.
jeff wrote:
01/01/19 11:06
whilst more than happy to drill down in what the subs pays for later today

:cool1:
jeff wrote:
01/01/19 11:06
the question is what do you want for your money ? easy to say your not getting any benefits, but go ahead and say what you think they should be and we can implement them
Be careful about what you're promising. ;)
If you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much room!

HM wrote: TonyleFrog aka "The Fog Penetrator"

User avatar

vinp182
Posts: 2881
Joined: 23/01/08 15:21
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 9
MR2's Owned: 100
Real Name: Vinny
Location: Walsall, West Midlands

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by vinp182 » 01/01/19 16:29

There’s loads of car forums out there that are completely free Tony so why do the members have to pay to keep this one running?
Cars suck donkey balls

User avatar

TonyleFrog
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 5281
Joined: 29/07/06 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 12
MR2's Owned: 5
Real Name: Three guesses!
Location: Kent

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by TonyleFrog » 01/01/19 21:25

You're asking the wrong person Vinny. I don't run/maintain this website/forum.
I am not in a position to make an informed choice whether moving to a different host is a good idea.

Nor, for example, do I know whether the Club Shop is totally self financing or requires any subsidy.
e.g. covering credit card merchant costs.

Call me old fashioned but I don't expect to get owt for nowt.
I grant you it may not be in hard cash but there is ALWAYS a price to be paid.
No such thing as a free lunch.

I have ancestral Yorkshire roots and we Tykes are not known for being flash with our brass. ;)

@ Jeff. Nifty bit of editing there. :clapping:
If you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much room!

HM wrote: TonyleFrog aka "The Fog Penetrator"

User avatar

shinny
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4612
Joined: 07/05/06 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 12
MR2's Owned: 6
Real Name: Mark
Location: Reading, UK
Contact:

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by shinny » 01/01/19 22:42

A sad fact of life is that Facebook groups have put a huge dent in forums all over the internet... and, IMHO, they're not as good at storing useful information, promoting decent discussion or forming community as this place has been. Therefore I still want places like this to exist.

At the end of the day, someone has to pay for server space for anything you use on the net; nothing is free, even if it's "free" at point of use. I don't think it's reasonable to expect Jeff to cover all the costs himself and I don't really want tacky click-bait ads all over the site, so I figure some proportion of that money must come from me, the user... call it a membership or a donation, I don't care, but I'll keep chipping in for as long as I own MR2s and the OC exists. For me it's not about what I get for being a paid member over an unpaid member, but it's about ensuring this place still exists. If the club's continued existence is less important to you than the membership fee then I, for one, can respect that and will still welcome and value your involvement here :th:

User avatar

TonyleFrog
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 5281
Joined: 29/07/06 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 12
MR2's Owned: 5
Real Name: Three guesses!
Location: Kent

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by TonyleFrog » 01/01/19 23:45

Excellent summary, sir! :th:
Do you do Tarot readings as well?

Just one point of order if I may.
If the club ceases to exist, he won't be able to post.
'cause there will no longer be a 'here'...
:)

Well, well: look what I just found in my e-mail Inbox. :th:

If you renew before your existing subscription expires you can use this coupon code to get a £2 discount on your subscription or you can give the Club some extra support by continuing to pay the full £12, the choice is yours.

16.67% off is not to be sneezed at. Which way to jump...? :mrgreen:
If you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much room!

HM wrote: TonyleFrog aka "The Fog Penetrator"

User avatar

Topic author
oddshoes
Posts: 1307
Joined: 29/08/06 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 12
MR2's Owned: 6
Real Name: Dave
Location: Aylesbury, Bucks
Contact:

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by oddshoes » 03/01/19 20:36

I thought that I would let the post run for a few days before I responded;

I have a lot of time for the owners club as it has been a major part of my life for the last 12 years. I have had some great experiences and met some really nice people through it - some of them I can call my closest friends. I met Laura through MR2's, and as of nearly 2 years ago she became my wife and life partner. I know that the membership does only equate to £1 per month which is nothing really, I probably drop more than the yearly amount in tobacco when I roll my own fags each month!

I know that the site needs to be kept running for us all to be able to socialize, arrange meets and events.

I understand that Jeff has been doing this for some time and the site is generally always running and doesn't seem to have any downtime which is nice and appreciated. But when other car forums are cheaper or free (and you have access to the whole site) you might wonder where does the extra cost in subs go and what does it achieve?

My query is, could the wealth of knowledge and experience held by the members help reduce the club and site expenditure? We don't know unless we (regularly) have the conversation. If there were ways in which I could help the club minimize costs by helping, I would!

Regarding the club shop - could that be moved to somewhere like redbubble.com, where the payment/stocking/manufacturing/posting is taken care of by a third party?

If the club was to then become slightly more affluent it might be able to supply some merchandise like the membership cards and key fobs that used to be shipped out to new paid members. I feel that this is one example that gave members a greater value for money as well as a physical item that people enjoy having. And if there was a member with a printing company the items could be sourced from them (if it was cheaper than alternatives).

This club has become like a family to most long term members and this is felt at the car shows that we go to, but with the major meets so far apart this feeling is rarely felt. I know social media has contributed to the downturn of traffic to club forums and when you are battling free and easy posting and photo hosting sites this will be an issue. I worry about the club and its long-term success and I want to help.

I propose that a thread is created, to be updated annually (or bi-annually), to document a cost breakdown of running the site and club. Maybe also to list the added value points such as no random adverts. Members can then provide (constructive/positive) comments and suggestions. This can also be (read-only) accessible for unpaid members to show the importance of paid membership.
Image

11 years with mr2's
Rev1 Turbo, Rev5 GTI, Rev3 Turbo, PFL Roadster, Rev3 3VZ, PFL MR-S

User avatar

TonyleFrog
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 5281
Joined: 29/07/06 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 12
MR2's Owned: 5
Real Name: Three guesses!
Location: Kent

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by TonyleFrog » 04/01/19 1:22

oddshoes wrote:
03/01/19 20:36
This club has become like a family to most long term members and this is felt at the car shows that we go to, but with the major meets so far apart this feeling is rarely felt.
Are you referring to geographical spread or a time line? I'm not convinced that there aren't enough shows.
Whether the locations thereof can attract enough interested/committed members is an entirely different kettle.

You and I joined the same year a mere 4 weeks apart. Back then the Area Groups were vibrant. Not any more. In the South East, the Kent monthly meet staggered on and eventually became defunct towards the end of 2017. Essex followed suit soon after. There has been **** all happening elsewhere for way longer. Rhon's West Midlands monthly meet is about the only one still going AFAICS.

As for drive outs, I've kept the Kent Run alive (and have now passed the baton to Andy Ayres) but there has been zero fresh blood for a long time now. Whether the Norfolk run will happen again in 2019 remains to be seen. Jay is trying to resurrect the East Midlands with one run last year but the subsequent one was cancelled. Up in the air whether it will take off again in 2019.

I'm not on Faceache so I have no idea how much meet/run activity takes place via that medium. I know there is a closed group MR2 UK South which some on here (and IMOC) belong to. A few of that group who are not on the OC came to JDMCombe last year. Trying to work out who they were caused me a few problems!

The MR2 ceased production the year after we joined the OC. A single marque club devoted to one specific model is unlikely to have the critical mass to sustain it in the long term and the numbers still left, taxed or SORNed, keep declining. In our case it's even worse as the Mk1 and Mk3 have their own dedicated websites. The owner demographic has undergone a radical change as well. The dedicated active core ownership is way down and I suspect the churn (people owning an MR2 for less than 2 years and moving on) is considerable. Indeed I'm amazed that there are sufficient numbers to underpin 4 separate UK online clubs (two specific and two general) devoted solely to the MR2!

The main bright spot for me personally is that the Highland Drive still attracts a loyal following (although most of the West Midlands Mafia will be absent this time around).

Hopefully we can resuscitate the patient but I'm sanguine that it's going to be an uphill battle.
If you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much room!

HM wrote: TonyleFrog aka "The Fog Penetrator"

User avatar

vanilla.coffee
Posts: 3271
Joined: 14/05/05 1:00
Years of MR2 Ownership: 39
MR2's Owned: 5
Real Name: Yankee.Candle
Location: Buckinghamshire

Re: Open letter: Membership Renewal & Where does it go?

Post by vanilla.coffee » 05/01/19 19:33

BJ Goblins.
I was going to write a poem about having a flannel and liking it very much, but, to be perfectly honest, I'm knackered, so am going to bed.
It's been quite a day on the forum, what with me being told how to put up pictures and everything. Wonder what adventures I'll have on here tomorrow...? I might even write that pesky poem about my flannel !


EDIT: Sorry, I meant to put this on Mumsnet.
They'll take the internet off us if people keep doing this.

Post Reply

Return to “Site Related”