Information Guides and rules for retailers and importers

Discussion in 'Information & Guides - Please read first' started by Pyro Pete, Jul 4, 2012.

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  1. Pyro Pete

    Pyro Pete Forum Editor

    In this post which is aimed at firework retailers and other members in the fireworks trade I'll run through the process of adding your video clips either as new reviews or to existing threads, along with the house rules and some other information which will apply to you.

    First, have a check in the relevant section to see if that particular firework is already listed. If it isn't, you should use the "Post New Thread" to start a brand new thread. Otherwise, you should add your video or comment to an existing thread by going into that thread and adding a reply.


    New threads:

    The thread prefix (the drop down menu just in front of the thread title) should be chosen to reflect the firework type, such as a cake or rocket.

    The thread title should be the exact name of the firework. It is not necessary to include either the firework type or the brand in this title. This is because the firework type is already shown by the thread prefix and the brand is already made clear by the section you are posting in.

    Retailers should keep information factual and refrain from posting subjective comments about the firework. Otherwise we will of course end up with every retailer posting reviews saying how good their fireworks are - so leave it to your customers to post up the actual reviews. You should just stick to the facts and we suggest:

    • A description of the firework's performance, such as the number of shots, colours or type of effects. Keep it objective and factual and avoid any words that endorse the product or sound subjective, such as "Great firework", "Stunning barrage" etc.
    • An indication of the RRP or normal selling price.
    • Any important information relating to your video. For example don't be afraid to state the video is a demo from China, or given to you by your supplier, members respect openness and transparency from retailers. If the video is a preview of the item (for example an item that has not arrived in the UK yet) then say so.
    • You absolutely MUST make it clear if a video clip shows multiple items being fired. Whilst we prefer video of individual items, we don't mind if a clip has several going off providing this is made obvious.
    • You are welcome to post up preview clips of items not yet in the UK providing you make this clear in the post that it is a preview.
    Suggested format for new threads

    The following thread can be used as a guide to the information that would be useful to add at the start of a new thread:

    Screen shot 2012-07-04 at 15.08.22.png


    As you can see this new thread contains basic information about the firework, feel free to cut and paste this and use it in your posts. If you're unsure about any of this info, don't worry, just add what you definitely know. Remember also you don't need to add this info if you are commenting on an existing firework, since this info should already be present in the original post:

    RRP: £
    Category: [EU Cat 2, EU Cat 3, Cat 2 , Cat 3 - useful to explicitly state distance if known eg. 5m, 8m]
    Shots:
    Duration:
    Shape: [Straight, fanned etc.]
    Class: [1.3G or 1.4G]
    Description:

    Video

    Video comments (example: "Filmed at our demo night". "China factory demo clip". "Supplied by the importer" etc).


    Need help adding video?

    Please see the video tutorial showing how to easily add YouTube and Vimeo clips to a post:

    http://www.fireworks-forum.org.uk/threads/how-to-add-video-to-your-forum-posts.18070/


    Adding to existing threads:

    If a thread already exists for a firework that you stock and you would like to add your own video to this, go into the thread and then use the "Reply" option to add your own video and any relevant comments.

    Your video clip must be different to any clips already posted. We do not allow retailers to simply post up the same clips but from their own forum accounts - you must have new and original content to add.

    Examples of where the posting of additional clips is welcomed:

    • Where the original retailer posted up a China factory demo clip and you are posting up actual footage of the item fired and filmed in the UK.
    • Where you are adding new footage of items you have fired and filmed at a demo night.
    • Where you have been given updated or different footage by your supplier and want to share this.
    • Where one of your customers has filmed an item they bought from you and you want to share this.
    It is not necessary to explain the firework's performance or other details if these are already shown in the first post in that thread and they are correct. But you are welcome to post any new information providing this is factual and directly relevant to the firework.

    Is your brand not listed?

    If the brand name for your firework(s) is not listed, please let me know, and I will add a new section for you.


    Posting video and other content - General house rules

    You should always try and post up the price of the firework, as this helps people so much when it comes to judging value or whether it is suitable for their displays. The price posted should be the price the firework usually sells for before discounts or special offers and this is usually the RRP. So, if a firework has an RRP of £99, it should be listed at £99 even if retailer A sells it for £89, retailer B sells it for £75 or you sell it for £65. UKFR should never be used to highlight special deals or offers or draw attention to specific retailers; legitimate sponsors have the Buy Fireworks section and their adverts to do this.

    The exception to the RRP is when an importer or brand has an offer "built in" to the firework from the offset. In this case, post up the price a consumer would normally pay. As an example, if a firework is £50 Buy One Get One Free as its normal price point, it should be listed as £50 BOGOF. If a firework is £99 but sold as "half price" at £50 and this is the price set for both the importer and retailers, it should be listed as £50, as no consumer in this case would ever pay £99 and to list it at that price would be misleading. Note: These rules were changed, specifically the removal of the insistence to list at RRP in the face of common sense when some brands use RRP only as a marketing gimmick, in January 2016 in order to remove UKFR from inter-retailer bun fights over pricing policies and the setting of "pretend" RRPs. Basically, we have no interest in all that, we just want this section to be useful to the consumer. We'll leave the trade to bicker amongst themselves over how to price their fireworks.

    Retailers should please refrain from posting subjective reviews of their own items. This means all comments posted should be factual and objective and relate only to that firework. You are welcome to describe the number of shots, the effects in the firework, technical information such as bore size or NEQ, but avoid any subjective comments such as "Great effects", "Super display of bright colours", "Sure to turn heads at your display" etc. Leave the reviewing to your customers :)

    Unless posting up new video, retailers are not expected to comment on existing threads unless they have something constructive and relevant to add. For example, if the effects have changed in this year's batch, if the number of shots have changed, if the RRP has changed or if any previously posted information is wrong. Or, if you are answering a member's question about that firework.

    You should not post any links, any banners or other images, or add any signatures to your post. You should NEVER post targeted keyword links. Readers can easily click on your avatar to read your member profile card and from there click through to your website. They can also easily click on the video and go directly through to your YouTube or Vimeo channel.

    Please don't abuse this, reviews which read more as PR, sales or SEO exercises undermine not only your own credibility but are also detrimental to the whole ethos of the review section.

    Watermarks and logos on video clips:

    We appreciate that most retailers watermark their video by adding a logo, URL or similar. We do not expect retailers to re-render existing clips to remove these so have taken the decision to allow watermarked clips, even from non-sponsors. This is to ensure we build up as diverse a range of video clips as possible to best serve our firework buying readers. However, clips from non-sponsors, whilst being allowed to contain a watermark, must not contain "excessive advertising" such as introduction or closing sections detailing special offers and the likes. This is obviously subjective and our decision on this matter is final, but we will communicate with you should a video be rejected and give details on how you can change it.

    Your video should be on YouTube or Vimeo and embedded in your post. You must embed the actual clip which must be viewable within the forum post. Videos which state "embedding not allowed" will be rejected. We do not allow the posting of links through to video hosted on your own site.

    We do not accept video clips uploaded as attachments to your post.

    Third party posting and ethical conduct:

    It is perfectly acceptable for a retailer to ask a third party, such as another UKFR member, to post up new reviews and video on their behalf. All we ask is that their conduct in this matter is ethical. For example, we would expect that member to act in the same manner as you, so they should not post up subjective comments about your fireworks (such as praising them) if in fact they are being employed to publicise your products because you don't have time to upload the video clips yourself.

    Please remember that it is now illegal in the UK to pretend to be a customer and to post up fake reviews, so don't even think of doing this. The damage this can cause to your reputation if discovered is unimaginable not to mention a flagrant abuse of the review section.

    With that in mind we strongly urge you to consider the impact that staff members (which includes firers, whether full time, part time or casual) can have when they are posting up "reviews" and product endorsements of your range. We certainly wouldn't discourage any staff member or firer to comment on their employer's own items but general speaking it doesn't go down too well if this is hidden or otherwise obscured and in some cases it can look and feel quite creepy.

    To put it simply if someone posts and makes it clear they are connected to a company and then goes on to make a subjective comment about an item they have seen or fired, everyone knows where they stand. Readers can decide to accept the comment in good faith or to ignore it as possibly biased.

    So to keep everything transparent and ethical, staff members, blog writers or firers should:

    • Either refrain from posting any subjective comments or reviews (and stick to just adding video, or other factual information). In this case it is not required that the staff member or firer declares who they work for, since they are not posting any subjective content. Or:
    • Staff members or firers should make it clear if posting subjective opinion or reviews that they have a connection to the company concerned.
    Members who want to post subjective reviews and who openly declare a conflict of interest get a lot of respect on UKFR. It really enhances both their own and your good ethical conduct and honesty.

    Remember, the rules about declaring conflicts of interest only apply if that person wants to post subjective comments and reviews of your products. If they are simply uploading new video to the section and making only factual comments about the product, it is not required they declare their conflict of interest.

    These guidelines were last updated on 22 Jan 2016.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
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