MBTA On Line Store Discussion

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Re: MBTA On Line Store Discussion

Postby diburning » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:10 am

saulblum wrote:
CircusFreakGRITZ wrote:But most people won't really care if something from Park St is categorized as being from the "Red Line/Green Line" station even though TECHNICALLY the sign existed before color-coding took place.


Exactly. Should a map of New York from 1630 not be labeled and keyworded as such, because it was New Amsterdam then?


Yes.
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Re: MBTA On Line Store Discussion

Postby WickedPissah » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:24 am

3rdrail wrote:Streetcars from Summer via the Fish Pier to the Army Base ?

WickedPissah wrote:Our listing is correct. According to page 34 of Streetcar Lines of the Hub, the MTA ran streetcars here in the 40s.

Your listing is not correct. It is not the routing that is incorrect, it is the fact that the rollsign includes the "Fish Pier" and is listed as from a "streetcar". The Massachusetts Railroad Commission and Boston City Council approved the rights to the Bay State Street Railway Co. and Boston and Worcester Air Line to run "Trolley Freight and Express Service" within the City of Boston. An agreement was later made by which BERy laid rail down connecting with Summer St. (and the street railway network) to the D St. Viaduct, to Viaduct Ramp, and onto Northern Ave. to just outside the Fish Pier, by which B&W and BSStRy used to pick up loads of fish in their trolley freight enterprise. There never was a passenger routing via streetcar to the Fish Pier. What we know by seeing "Fish Pier" on the rollsign then is that this rollsign came from a bus. Aside from the basic fact that it is just in error, the problem here is that an item from a streetcar generally denotes a higher price tag than does a bus of equal era. I would not want to see a buyer get stung, nor a complaint of "false advertising" brought upon yourselves for such a mistake. Like it or not, you are selling antiques, are therefore "antique dealers", and are supposed to know what you are selling.

I do like that I am an antique dealer. I never imagined this would be my job.
The fact is that simply was an error. Nothing more. I will gladly address all points brought up about factual inacurracies.The website listing has been updated to reflect this. You could have left it at that, simply point out why it's a bus. I do know what I am selling in my store, even if an extremely small minority of the roughly 15,000 antique maps and vintage transit items for sale have an error in one portion of their description on the website. There is no need to try and teach me about how "antique dealers" are supposed to function. Thank you for the suggestion.

3rdrail wrote:Trackless trolleys in Wakefield and North Reading ?

WickedPissah wrote:Our listing is correct. There are no trackless routes in Wakefiled and North Reading. We have a single category for all bus types (bus, trackless trolley, BRT, etc) on our website. The title is the same for all bus and trackless vehicles.

I have a similiar problem with this as the example above it. A "one size fits all" approach just doesn't cut it with antique dealers selling articles of $1,000.00 and beyond. Even if one daughter sees your description and buys a pricey rollsign for her retired trackless operator dad from this listing, that's wrong. Some people will believe what you are telling them whether it's a mistake or otherwise.

This is not a one size fits all issue. Trackless trollies are a type of bus. Grouping trackless and non-trackless buses into one category perfectly acceptable. To clarify your concern, the category is now called "Bus or Trackless Trolley". People do believe what we tell them. It concerns me when a listing is incorrect and I will always fix it. I wish we were selling pricey rollsigns all day long, but in reality, the majority of our rollsigns are priced under $300 and there are only a handful over $1,000. The expensive ones include the front rollsign, in the original case, from a Boeing LRV.

3rdrail wrote:Even the "Park St." "baked enamel on steel" sign (it's actually known as a porcelain-enamel sign) is advertised as coming from the "MTA Rapid Transit, subway or elevated on either Red or Green Line". There was no such thing as color coding in the MTA era nor is there any documentation that I have seen that this sign existed outside the MTA (Surface Car Line) Park Street Station,


WickedPissah wrote:If you want to get picky, isn't it actually vitreous enamel? We do not advetrise the sign as coming from the "subway or eleveated on the Red or Green line". Where did you see that? I am fully aware the MBTA was created in 1964 and the MTA didn't have line colors. There is a general paragraph of text that accompanies all authentic signs. This paragraph must be the same language and valid for any authentic sign. Perhaps this is where you think you saw that? On WardMaps.com the Park St sign is tied to the keywords "Green Line" and "Red Line". Our customers often search for signs based on the MBTA colors. This is simply there to assist in searches. Just because the line wasn't green yet, doesn't mean people won't search for green to find it. We run into a similar issue with our antique maps. Customers often search for current geography.


I have the same problem with this as I have answered above. You guys are supposed to not be catering to the lowest denominator but instead, educating and instructing. I wouldn't expect to find a daVinci listed in a museum guide as "from the land of Chef Boyardee". And no, the appropriate title, as used by collectors for that type of sign, is "Porcelain-Enamel Sign".

We are a business, not a research library. Our goal is to salvage this material and bring it to market. Our goal is to design, manufacture and sell merchandise for the T. The original MBTA merchandise contract did not include a section on salvaging authentic material. We made them add it in. Stuff like that is our goal. If we didn't add this language to the contract, we wouldn't have any authentic signs or car parts for sale on MBTAgifts at all. Some items on our website, like the Part St sign, are being sold on consignment from private collectors. Providing a single place where collectors can sell these items is our goal.

We cater to customers of all levels. Whether you search for the current or past naming or operator of a station, the item will show up in the search result. This is what we want and what our customers expect.

3rdrail wrote:I do think that you are in over your head

WickedPissah wrote:Some days I do feel overwhelmed, but in a good way. We're wicked busy. In this economy, that's fantastic. We haven't railfan geeks our entire lives, but we're getting there. We may list something partially incorreclty here or there, but we always strive to get it right and correct things immediately. Thanks again for pointing out the MTA Houghs Neck sign.

Enough said.

Just because I am running a successful small business and working my butt off at least 6 days a week does not mean I'm in over my head. I wish I could spend each working day researching vintage transit in detail. There is so much more that goes into running our business than just uploading a photograph, describing the item and giving it a price. All the small business owners I know have days where they feel overwhelmed. If you don't have those days, in my opinion, something is wrong.

You obviously know a lot. You also have lots of time to read about and research this material. Even so, you're not always right. Just like us, mistakes happen. What you do about it is what matters. We always fix errors and never knowingly list false information. You genuinely apologize when you are corrected. Thank you and I apologize if I've written anything to attack your character.
Brian Beaucher. Co-Owner WardMaps LLC, MBTAgifts and Boston Coasters
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Re: MBTA On Line Store Discussion

Postby djimpact1 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:36 am

WickedPissah wrote:Please feel free to ask for me or Steven and say hi the next time you're in. Or perhaps I already know you? I don't reconize your screen name. Your custom rollsign case is great! I'm impressed. I have a couple rollsigns (big surprise) hanging in my home. I rather like the idea of rolling one up in a case like yours. The original cases are often not that great for home display.


Thanks so much for the compliment...it's very much appreciated. I'm guessing this is Brian (since you mentioned Steven). I actually sent an e-mail to your mbtagifts e-mail a few days ago inquiring about rollsigns. I talked to your brother during a follow-up phone call the same day...very useful information he gave. You and I have chatted pretty much any time I've been in your store, and you were next to me taking pictures (like I was) outside while the Boeing LRV arrived at the Boston Trolley Meet, so I'm not a complete "stranger", ha.

To get this thread back on the positive side, after having bought one of two sign panels from your store (which came from Copley station) last year, after finally getting 95% of my basement refinishing project done, I ordered some custom vinyl lettering to customize the panel (it's removable if necessary, so I don't want anyone thinking I ruined the panel itself!) I located the panel right at the bottom of the staircase going from the main level to the basement level. (Note about the picture, "Grover" is my last name & the pic was taken w/ my phone, so excuse any blur). I can't thank you enough for offering such a great product that I get to mutually enjoy with my family every time we go to spend time in our refinished basement!

On a side note, maybe more time should be spent by others thanking Brian & Steven for going through the effort in making MBTAGifts/Ward Maps what it is, rather than criticizing them for, what some may feel are "inconsistencies". First & foremost, they're running a business. Only a short time ago, NONE of these items were readily available in one location as they are now, and everyone can thank them for it.

Instead of helping to educate others & tactfully express opinions, some feel as though they're an all-knowing encyclopedia of information who were granted permission to criticize every disputable piece of information, when in fact, we're all internet-participating transit fanatics who should respect each other & if necessary, agree to disagree. Like almost anything in life, if you don't like it, move on elsewhere...
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Re: MBTA On Line Store Discussion

Postby jr145 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:28 am

What an awesome idea, I like that a lot.
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Re: MBTA On Line Store Discussion

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:31 am

djimpact1 wrote:Instead of helping to educate others & tactfully express opinions, some feel as though they're an all-knowing encyclopedia of information who were granted permission to criticize every disputable piece of information, when in fact, we're all internet-participating transit fanatics who should respect each other & if necessary, agree to disagree. Like almost anything in life, if you don't like it, move on elsewhere...


I just want to make it clear that we should never agree to disagree on facts.

As an educator and a librarian, we cant just let miss information get passed around.This is how rumors and fallacies are created. If someone has correcting information then please do post it. I can't tell you how many times a student will find incorrect information and run with it. Its is my job to help them with research to correct those errors. This can be a frustrating and tedious time when sloppy people just pass on incorrect info. Its a lot easier if the incorrect information is not continual passed on through different resources.

Paul has done a great job here on these forums expressing his life long learning about our topics. Is he infallible? No, of course not. The factual information he brings is top notice and should just not be passed off a "agree to disagree." We are a better society when we can have pleasant debates.
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Re: MBTA On Line Store Discussion

Postby jr145 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:48 am

You also need to realize that it is a store, not an educational website. The key is to get the products to the public as easily as possible. If someone wants a park street sign, and they don't know about the history of park st, they are going to look under the green or red line, they're not going to dig around trying to find it. So they may wind up moving on instead of purchasing something.
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Re: MBTA On Line Store Discussion

Postby djimpact1 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:09 am

jr145 wrote:What an awesome idea, I like that a lot.

Thank you jr145, that's very nice of you. I'd recommend to anyone who can buy a panel from MBTAGifts, to do the same thing. It's really a fun piece to have.

Adams_Umass_Boston wrote:
djimpact1 wrote:Instead of helping to educate others & tactfully express opinions, some feel as though they're an all-knowing encyclopedia of information who were granted permission to criticize every disputable piece of information, when in fact, we're all internet-participating transit fanatics who should respect each other & if necessary, agree to disagree. Like almost anything in life, if you don't like it, move on elsewhere...


I just want to make it clear that we should never agree to disagree on facts.

As an educator and a librarian, we cant just let miss information get passed around.This is how rumors and fallacies are created. If someone has correcting information then please do post it. I can't tell you how many times a student will find incorrect information and run with it. Its is my job to help them with research to correct those errors. This can be a frustrating and tedious time when sloppy people just pass on incorrect info. Its a lot easier if the incorrect information is not continual passed on through different resources.

Paul has done a great job here on these forums expressing his life long learning about our topics. Is he infallible? No, of course not. The factual information he brings is top notice and should just not be passed off a "agree to disagree." We are a better society when we can have pleasant debates.


Adams_Umass, I absolutely agree with you. Regarding my original post, I stress the phrases "educate others" and "tactfully express opinions". I should further explain that "agreeing to disagree" should apply to one's thoughts of 1) who a business caters to, 2) whether a certain approach towards listing items is rightly seen as 'lazy' or 'incorrect' when a business has decided to classify things in a certain manner, or 3) when a business appears to take on more than they can handle...this applies especially when the line between opinion & fact becomes blurred, even if just by the exclusion of "I believe..." or "...don't you think...".

My problem is when educating & absorbing information becomes an unnecessary conflict. If there are valid details/comments by the educator and also by the educated regarding one topic, it does not make either one solely right. When there is validity behind both sources (even if to a modest degree), I believe that's when it's time to "agree to disagree". There needs to be a fine balance of giving & receiving information, whether factual or opinion-based, and understanding that there is a justifiable difference between opinions and facts. Some shortcuts, though not 100% supporting of a factual piece of information, aren't incorrect if choosing that shortcut in the first place was intended.

I do appreciate and respect that you're fighting the good fight to keep facts as just that. I totally understand where you're coming from.
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Re: MBTA On Line Store Discussion

Postby jr145 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:35 am

Where did you order the letters from?
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Re: MBTA On Line Store Discussion

Postby djimpact1 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:08 pm

jr145 wrote:Where did you order the letters from?

If you want to PM me, I'll tell you off this thread.

For better clarity (& to show how good the quality of the panel from MBTAGifts is that I purchased), I'm attaching a picture taken from my regular non-phone camera.
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Re: MBTA On Line Store Discussion

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:22 am

That is *awesome*! Good use of a blank panel!
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