How to keep eBay cars out of your race

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gpraceman
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How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by gpraceman » Sat Feb 24, 2007 12:29 pm

Buying cars off of eBay and passing them off as a kid's car in a race is a real problem. Hundreds of these cars are sold every year and it continues to grow. There are so many reasons why this is wrong (on the seller's and buyer's part) but in the end, the ones that really are short changed are the kids and the adults that should have spent time with them.

So, what are some practical ideas to keep these cars out of your race? These ideas were gleaned from those mentioned in other threads. Hopefully, there are some ideas here that you can implement to help keep any eBay cars from showing up in your race. Not all ideas will work for every organization, so implement the ones that will work well for your organization.
  • Make sure that your rules specifically state that the car must be kid built (with the assistance of an adult).
  • When car kits are handed out, rules should also be handed out and explained.
  • Have all kids and their parent/guardian sign a form that they understand and will comply with the rules, especially the kid built (with adult assistance) part. This would be more effective if done when the rules are handed out and explained rather than after cars are built.
  • Stamp or brand each block with a hard to reproduce mark and require that all cars must have the mark in order to be checked-in. Though, this can limit the design possibilities for the builder.
  • If your organization doesn't provide one or more workshops with needed tools, materials and guidance then you should. IMO, if an organization does not do this, they are failing their members, especially the novice builders.
  • Make workshops mandatory.
  • Turn regular meetings (den meetings, club nights, pack meetings, etc.) into workshops.
  • Require racers to bring a photo of the unfinished car to check-in.
  • Scrap the traditional hand out kits and come back later with the built car. Hand out the kits (maybe even pre-cuts) on race day, give racers an hour or two to build the cars with the provided tools and materials and then hold the race.
As other ideas get proposed, this list will be updated.
Last edited by gpraceman on Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.


Randy Lisano
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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by derbykid71 » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:40 pm

:x I have not looked in the rule list in a while but that should be a rule no pre made or bought cars! The parents should not be very happy etheir because they did not spend any time with their child an just went out and bought a PWD car!



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by Bulldog » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:31 pm

I have to wonder how much of a problem this really is-

I personally cannot imagine anyone spending lots of cash for a car that someone else made. For what? A cheezy trophy, recognizing someone else's accomplishment? Who would want that?

I'm sure it happens, unfortunately, but I would hate to have to address it.

Of the suggestions listed, the only ones I would be comfortable might be the form signing, rules explanation, etc. Perhaps the branding, but as stated that could severely limit the design.

Mandatory workshops are not very practical. Turning den meetings into workshops takes away from the (quite frankly more important) tasks of learning necessary to earn awards and advancement.

And giving kids a couple hours before the race to build a car is absurd, IMO. MANY hours go into building a car. Reducing it to a rushed couple would limit the amount of time working together on the project, reduce the creativity and craftsmanship, reduce the FUN, and splatter paint all over the track.

How big of a problem is this really? Has anyone ever seen or suspected an ebay car at their race?



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by PWD_addict » Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:21 pm

Bulldog wrote:I have to wonder how much of a problem this really is-

I personally cannot imagine anyone spending lots of cash for a car that someone else made. For what? A cheezy trophy, recognizing someone else's accomplishment? Who would want that?

I'm sure it happens, unfortunately, but I would hate to have to address it.

Of the suggestions listed, the only ones I would be comfortable might be the form signing, rules explanation, etc. Perhaps the branding, but as stated that could severely limit the design.

Mandatory workshops are not very practical. Turning den meetings into workshops takes away from the (quite frankly more important) tasks of learning necessary to earn awards and advancement.

And giving kids a couple hours before the race to build a car is absurd, IMO. MANY hours go into building a car. Reducing it to a rushed couple would limit the amount of time working together on the project, reduce the creativity and craftsmanship, reduce the FUN, and splatter paint all over the track.

How big of a problem is this really? Has anyone ever seen or suspected an ebay car at their race?
Bulldog--do a search for eBay. It has happened to several board members and is likely to happen more unless we get educated about what to do and educate our boys on why it's wrong (my opinion).



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by gpraceman » Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:07 pm

Bulldog wrote:I personally cannot imagine anyone spending lots of cash for a car that someone else made. For what? A cheezy trophy, recognizing someone else's accomplishment? Who would want that?
Unfortunately, it does happen. Some think they are doing the kid a favor or that their kid "deserves it", while others just want to win at all costs. We see it more and more in any sport involving kids (and even with adults - NASCAR is a recent example).
Bulldog wrote:I have to wonder how much of a problem this really is-
...
How big of a problem is this really? Has anyone ever seen or suspected an ebay car at their race?
It has happened at races other Derby Talk members have either participated in or organized. Hundreds of these cars get sold every year and the quantity is increasing. Maybe a small fraction of these are being used to learn techniques from, used in an open division race, or to add to a car collection. However, it seems that the vast majority of them are being being used in kids races. Just read the feedback that these sellers are getting. That gives you a good clue on how they are being used and how they are cheating other racers out of trophies.

If you have any practical suggestions on stemming this problem, please share. That is what this thread is about.


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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by Bulldog » Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:42 pm

Sorry guys, I certainly wasn't meaning to belittle the apparent problem or step on any toes, so to speak. Personally, I can imagine being pretty darn angry were I to find out someone was purchasing cars at my son's derby.

As for my suggestions, I faver the honest approach first. Explaining the rules at pack meeting, signing agreements, etc. If those didn't work, then perhaps try more drastic measures, such as the branding.



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by gpraceman » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:29 am

Here's an example of what we are up against.
[no advertising for this vendor] wrote:I sell cars on ebay. I make them for people who might not have access to tools and time to make their own. I understand people thinking that its cheating but lets face it, what 7 year old makes their own car. I know their are a few but the competition is realy between the dads whether its right or not. Plus I dont really advertise for winning scout races, I just provide a nice product for any reason such as collecting, research, or testing against their own cars.
This was posted to another forum recently. It is this attitude ("the competition is realy between the dads whether its right or not") by the sellers (and the buyers) that only makes matters worse.

My response was:
gpraceman wrote:Yes. It is CHEATING. No tap dancing around that. What percentage of the cars you sell do you think are being used for collecting, research or testing? I have a feeling it is extremely low. That is obvious by the feedback left for these purchases.

Do you really think you are helping the kids in any way? If so, I think you are deluding yourself. It really seems that the selling of these cars is being driven by the $$$, not in helping the kids. Be honest now. Unfortunately, you have chosen to contribute to the problem.

You also miss the intent of the kid's races. It has always been intended to be a joint project of an adult working with a child, where the child does what they are capable of doing. BTW - A 7 year old is capable of doing quite a bit.
Here's also a feedback left to one of the sellers:
oda572 wrote:We won Pack but were cheated out at district...
So, who was the one cheating?


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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by psycaz » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:29 pm

gpraceman wrote: Here's also a feedback left to one of the sellers:
oda572 wrote:We won Pack but were cheated out at district...
So, who was the one cheating?
The only way that it would be funnier is if they got beat by a car from another ebay seller and are complaining about it.



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by RacerRusty » Wed May 09, 2007 1:40 pm

psycaz wrote:The only way that it would be funnier is if they got beat by a car from another ebay seller and are complaining about it.
Poetic justice would be for him to get beaten in a district race by a car he built and sold on ebay. :mrgreen:



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by Teeeman » Wed May 09, 2007 2:40 pm

Meant to do this year and ran outta time as a race rules “Sheriff”:

Make a detailed search on eBay and collect photos and other info… perhaps do this routinely for months prior to next season.
Create a notebook of “known” eBay designs… organize it by general styles of car if that is possible…
Train the judges to look for the BODY (not just the paint)… that matches known eBay cars.

If a suspect car is found, interrogate the ADULT who is with the Scout presenting the car and simply ask a few questions:

1. did you buy this car in whole or in part?
2. what specific steps did you use to create it (what tools)?
etc.

The idea would be simple: You already suspect them if you start the questions. Ask them number 1, if they insist they built the car an experienced Pinewood builder should be able to sniff out the truth if they can’t tell you the first thing about how they built it.

If you really think the adult is laying it on thick, find out what steps the child performed and ask the adult to have the child tell you about making the car a bit? (last resort only!)


-Terry


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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by TAL » Wed May 09, 2007 7:27 pm

How to keep eBay cars out of your race...

Seems everybody likes the 5 ounce 7 inch specs...

Why not throw a twist in your rules every year...

Instead of the all popular 5 ounce 7inch, why not go with 6 ounce 6 inch
specs one year then go with 4 ounce 6 1/2" the next...

Long as the top (council ,district) rank is passing down the rules and all is in accordance why would that be a problem of switching specs...

Seems it would also help keep last years cars out, and would also put all on a level planning feild far as rules being handed out instead of someone building cars all year and then choose the fastest car they build throughout the year...

Another suggestion is : Why not change your wheel specs from year to year...
It would increase the imagination ability and keep things changing and would make people read the rules....

Say like Outterside of wheel must remain unaltered...

Tread surface can be no wider than 1/8" but the ridges on the outter side of the tire must remain...

Or tread surface must be V shaped...

I mean heck, are'nt the rules and pinewood derby suppose to be fun and creative...

Why is everybody stuck on 5 ounce 7 inch and flat surfaced wheels...



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by SlartyBartFast » Thu May 10, 2007 11:38 am

TAL wrote:Why not throw a twist in your rules every year...
Amazing idea. 8)

Now we need a list of rules modifications...

Actually, simply changing the car length and wheel base would probably do it. How difficult would it be to set up a production run of blocks with different slots and length each year?



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by Darin McGrew » Thu May 10, 2007 11:42 am

I like the idea of mixing things up a bit from year to year, and varying the limits from the "standard" ones. However, it should be possible to "just build the car" without unintentionally violating some rule and being disqualified. If the block in your official kit is 7" long, then a maximum length less than 7" is going to cause problems at registration time.

One advantage we have is that there is less demand for CSB speed wheels/axles than there is for BSA speed wheels/axles.



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by Darin McGrew » Thu May 10, 2007 11:52 am

SlartyBartFast wrote:Actually, simply changing the car length and wheel base would probably do it. How difficult would it be to set up a production run of blocks with different slots and length each year?
Varying the car dimensions is a lot easier if you're willing to make your own blocks, although you still need them to fit your track. (Cars with an 8" wheelbase wouldn't fit on our starting gate, for example.)

If someone in your group has a table saw, then it isn't difficult. One of the men in our church sets up a few jigs to precut the blocks for the younger kids into a few standard shapes. He could certainly set up a few jigs to cut basic blocks from raw lumber: one to cut the blocks to length, one each for the sides, and another for the axle slots.



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Re: How to keep eBay cars out of your race

Post by TAL » Thu May 10, 2007 3:58 pm

SlartyBartFast wrote:
Amazing idea. 8)

Now we need a list of rules modifications...
Why would you need a list of modifications if you change one or maybe two things...
Just put a Note beside the changed rule...
SlartyBartFast wrote:Actually, simply changing the car length and wheel base would probably do it. How difficult would it be to set up a production run of blocks with different slots and length each year?
You could simply cut off 1/2" or 1" of the original block ...

The wheel base could be the same and even with an inch removed from the original block the wheels could and still are protected by the block...

Like I say, 1 simple twist in the rules could make a difference,

Dropping or rising the weight limit by 1 or 2 ounces, Shortening the block by 1" or 1/2" ...

Just what ever rule you change put a notation beside it...

With (a) new rule each year it would kinda be like a first time derby for all... All would really have to read the rules, even to buy a car...



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