I like the fact that AJ does not push parts. There are other appliance repair forums/blogs that I visit, but don't post at all in because it seems all they want to do is sell parts.
I also don't post in a couple of them because they charge a stupid fee to post, WTF!
Just some of my thoughts about ApplianceJunk.com
Let me explain why my forum does charge a $5 Lifetime membership fee, and its certainly not because we need the money!!!
When I started my forum back in Aug. 2004, I had 2 other tech. helpers to help with answering questions, then more tech. helpers came to help as well, so for 3 years it was free for anyone to post. But as time passed the tech. helpers had other things/priorities that came up and they weren't able to post answers to questions as much, which put me in a situation of answering all the questions that weren't getting answered myself, as I hate for a question to be ignored from a member.
I was finding myself sitting in front of my computer 10-12 hours a day answering questions, which left me no time to run outside field calls, and especially no family time on the weekends. I felt chained to my computer. And with my parents being in their mid-80's, they need more attention as well.
I would be more than happy to make it free again, if I had more techs helping out. And if the situation is a tech. that helps out doesn't feel they are getting compensated after a while then I'd be glad to find a remedy for that, whether it be shipping a case of Beer, coffee, cigarettes, even money once a month.
As a appliance tech. myself for over 20 years, I love the feeling of self-satisfaction of helping others fix their appliances either out in the field or online.
So basically the $5 fee is just a speed bump to slow the questions down enough so I can handle all the answers without being chained to my computer. Anyone can still search our forum free, and you'd be surprised how many members just pay the $5 fee just to join and publically thank our site for finding the answers to fix their appliances.
Believe me, I hated to have to put the $5 fee in place, but I had no other solution.