If this thread stays on topic, I will be happy to answer questions.
Ground rules for my participation:
1. No post here is intended as advertising against Northwest Sign-Ups -- Just answering questions. Nuff Said.
2. Stay on topic. No arguing, complaining, etc.. Start a new thread if you wish to do so. I will not be participating in said thread.
3. All statements are MY OPINION -- You don't have to agree with them.
Here are answers and opinions to a few of the questions that have been asked...
@ snap7times Post #14
- I am not aware of any specific issue related directly to a company that had a 3rd party link, but the discussion of potential liability did come up in various stages of decision making. Depending on the event, there can be ALOT of money outstanding.
@ Rebecca Post #17
- As a new feature this year, all tournaments larger than really small C-Tiers receive both an email notification, AND all pertinent data in Excel spreadsheet format; formatted to be cut & pasted into the PDGA Electronic TD Report.
This is in preparation for a forthcoming feature mentioned below.
@ Rideout Post #19
- The decision to stop allowing 3rd party links was made when the PDGA decided to 'internalize' the signup system to better allow integration with their forthcoming 'Phase 2' of the new PDGA webiste.
Among other cool features coming, the biggest will be automatically updating the PDGA Registered Players List for the Tournament Director. While we (Breiner) have this capability now, we are waiting on a PDGA side re-write of the code that handles importing in the PDGA Admin section to allow incremental updates (ie 1 name at a time).
As mentioned in the reply to Rebecca above, we have already rolled out the posting of data in an Excel spreadsheet format to help ease the workload on Tournament Directors. In addition to providing information in a data format, the system auto checks PDGA #'s etc.., again saving Tournament Directors time related to tracking down mis-entered info.
For larger events (like The Memorial Championships, Beaver State Fling, and those who ASK), we handle the waitlist, track down members that are not current by a posted deadline, track down those who have not taken the Officials Test, etc.. We can handle just about anything if you ask nicely.
@ LJ Jubner Post #20
- Remember, PayPal also charges a per transaction fee (same as other Credit Card providers).
- Someone (Tournament Director, Club, etc..) still has to set it up.
Assuming the view of 'other' sign up sites as 'competition' to www.pdgasignup.com
True competition will most likely never come from a '3rd Party Site'... there's really not a profit incentive for someone to build a truly competitive site.
The actual 'competition' if you look at it that way will most certainly come from Club Websites using a content management system, and a payment service such as PayPal. PayPal, and similar services (Google Checkout, Amazon Payments, etc..) have made it pretty easy for 'anyone' to accept credit cards. The tools for integrating their services are getting better and better each year.
The PDGA system will grow; but it will grow because of the SERVICE BEING PROVIDED (ie.. Labor, Features, Tournament Director Tools, etc..)... not just because we can process credit cards.
PayPal offers a great service and most certainly should not be discounted. I have PayPal integrated into various shopping carts, and use their services on a daily basis.
@ Flash Post #21
- True. Regardless of which credit card provider you use, they charge a percentage of the transaction, PLUS a per transaction fee, PLUS various penalties for non compliance (such as when a CVV Code is not supplied, a billing Zip Code does not match, etc..). The fees are quite frankly more than a bit ridiculous considering the transactions are completely automated. This is a major reason why there are some serious Credit Card Charge reforms going on in Australia right now (imposing limitations on how much the CC companies can charge merchants).
@ Altophish Post #22
- It's www.pdgasignup.com
= their system.
We prototyped the system as www.discgolfsignup.com
for 3 years prior to the PDGA system [internal] launch.
Breiner handles the processing for the PDGA similar to processing memberships, fulfillment, etc...
@ LJ Jubner Post #23
If you like PayPal better, then use PayPal. Use the system or site that best meets your needs.
It is absolutely TRUE that you can simply process a credit card payment cheaper; you (as the Tournament Director), still have to handle everything else after that.
Depending on the Sign Up service that you use, various aspects of processing are taken care of on your behalf, thus hopefully making your life a bit easier. To provide these services, a portion of the 'Handling Fee' is just that, a 'Service Charge'.
Currently, as far as I know, every sign up site passes this 'Handling Fee' on to the Player in the form of a 'Convenience Fee' -- maybe that will change someday under a different model.
As an example, an advertising supported model; which is VERY HARD to justify, b/c signing up for an event is a 'destination service' -- People arrive, do what they need to do, and leave. There is almost no way for an advertiser to get any real benefit out of it. Tournament Directors are all too familiar with this model. There are certainly some very good hearted 'sponsors' out there, but most of the time, they are just that -- good hearted.