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Thread: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

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    SeanB's Avatar
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    How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    Myself and the mods have answered this question many times and in many ways, both on the site and via private messages. I try not to make too big a deal about it but recent posts have shown that a number of you have some misconceptions about how TFP operates and how the site is funded.

    Let me first point out that TFP (TroubleFreePool.com) and TF testkits, are NOT the same company and I do NOT profit from the sale of the test kits or anything else sold at their site.) Keep reading and I'll explain...

    Some may think me either a fool or too generous for not profiting from vendors featured on TFP with links or forums, but I do not. Since this keeps coming up again and again, I'll give a more detailed explanation:

    When TFP started, I recognized a void that was being created by peoples inability to join at Pool Forum. I also recognized that Ben's kit was a key ingredient to the sites success. After starting TFP I actually contacted several online e-tailers to see if any of them had any interest in making a kit geared toward our target audience. Not only did I not find any takers, I did not even get a single reply. Most e-tailers are not fond of our little niche - we buck the trends of buying more chemicals to fix your pool woes. We educate the consumer and try and help them save time and money and this sometimes means less sales for those companies who sell the chemicals. I applaud those who still value our market and are willing to work to make a profit while still valuing the true needs of the customer.

    During the same time period that I was searching for a better kit, Dave (duraleigh) contacted me about mentioning his kit on TFP and explained that it would be very similar to the kit previously sold on Pool Forum with some improvements - increased quantities, faster shipping. I did not immediately say yes. Dave was an unknown quantity. I was looking for someone established, however, after several phone conversations getting to know Dave, his ethics and extensive experience delivering on customer service, I felt confident our two ventures would be mutually beneficial. I think it was even me who suggested the name for his kit. Had I known then how large the site would become and how confusing this would be for some people, I would have never suggested a name so similar to the site name. It was just a lack of foresight on my part - I've been as surprised by the success of TFP as anyone. I do believe though, that part of the reason for our success has been because of duraleigh's participation and the activitiy surrounding the use of his kits. It's not simply a one sided issue.

    In fairness, Dave did offer me a percentage of the profits - which is a normal practice. He wasn't trying to pull anything over on me, quite the opposite. The fact is, I declined for one simple reason... I don't want TFP to be beholden to anyone, or dependant upon someone else's business practices. Regardless of what happens with Dave's kits - if business goes south, or he gets hit by a bus on his way home tonight (no offense Dave), TFP will function as it always has. I have had offers from other vendors for various profit sharing - affiliate programs, etc and have made the same reply to them all...pass the savings on to the TFP members (supporters). If you don't believe me, ask ANY of them!

    My philosophy is simple, the more incentives I can create for users to take the next step and support TFP, as some have done, the more profitable the site will be, the more improvements we can make, more contests, etc. The costs have gone up dramatically, but so far donations have kept pace. I know that will be the case during the off months, but I'm doing my best to budget for that.

    I understand why this has been confusing to some and understand that this is not the typical business model. The site is not a non-profit and I don't apologize if I am able to be compensated for my time, which is substantial. I understand that there are a lot of other ways that I could monetize the site and make more money, but in doing so I think I risk losing some of what makes TFP so unique in the marketplace. You can rest assured that the companies the TFP chooses to associate with are chosen not because of what they can do for me personally but because they have a good reputation and are able to offer special pricing and or services to TFP supporters. I don't want TFP to be a flash in the pan. I am looking for long term, enduring success and with your help, I think we can do just that.

    I hope this clears things up.

    Thanks,
    Sean
    TFP Founder

    My Pool: 13K gal IG gunite with 7' spa, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Polaris 280 Cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

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    Re: How TFP is funded and why is matters to you...

    if business goes south, or he gets hit by a bus on his way home tonight
    Seanb, Thank you for your concern. There are no buses in the county in which I live. There are 6 cars, three of which are mine, two of which have run at various times this past year (currently two, but we have to jump start one) Life is good.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: How TFP is funded and why is matters to you...

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    if business goes south, or he gets hit by a bus on his way home tonight
    Seanb, Thank you for your concern. There are no buses in the county in which I live. There are 6 cars, three of which are mine, two of which have run at various times this past year (currently two, but we have to jump start one) Life is good.


    Sean, this was well said, thank you!

    Thanks Sean for providing such a valuable source of information for the masses!
    Thanks Dave for providing such an excellent test kit and firsthand customer service!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    DaveNJ's Avatar
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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    Very clear, its a shame that the subject comes up that often. I never thought about it. Just enjoy the site (daily) and am amazed at the knowledge base on a variety of subjects. Ask a question, someone's been there done that.
    Thanks
    IG 18x36 oval vinyl, Spill over spa, Northstar 2hp-2spd, 2.5" piping, S310T 500lb Sand filter, 400k gas heater, AutoPilot SWCG
    http://www.tftestkits.net/

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    No P in my ool's Avatar
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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    Sean,you do not have to defend yourself! For a pool owner who wants to take control of their pool this site is the bomb! Thank you!
    21' Leslies Beachland Ag Pool, 10,000 gallons, professionally installed (best money I ever spent) Hayward 16" sand filter w/Pentair two speed pump Fafco 4x20 solar heater,Aqua Trol RJ. Borates added. Hard plumbed.

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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    here here, I agree...I love TFP and my test kit!!! It was pretty great to tell the pool guys the exact FC number (after they shocked it for start up)..."yup' it was 13 I have a test kit that goes beyond 5" hee hee

    thank you so much for giving us the power to care for our own pools!!!! and I just love that hubby has to ask me about all the pool stuff ahhh' the beauty of the internet and great guidance from TFP


    chris
    30-40yr old prehistoric IG gunite 20 X 40 approx 30000gals
    now with new cool blue Diamond Brite and blue waterline tile (looking good for 40yr old pool)
    new Hayward 244T sand filter, 3/4 Hayward pump, Jandy heat pump
    pool skim (love it)

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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisa

    thank you so much for giving us the power to care for our own pools!!!!
    chris
    Chrisa, I don't think anyone has said it better than your statement! Sean, you really are giving us the power and outlet to save hundreds if not thousands of dollars and the joy of laying in our concrete ponds knowing the water is safe for us and our little ones (kids, nieces, nephews, parents, tried the cats once but they didn't like it , etc. )


    Great place to hang out at work
    My pool works thanks to TFP

    Please support the site! pages/supporters/

    It's cheaper than your first trip to the pool store!

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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    I can't tell you how much I appreciate this site.

    I consider the cost of becoming a lifetime supporter a STEAL considering I would have sunk a hundred times more money into the big cement hole in my backyard without it!

    I like the site. I like the test kit. It's a shame that this is such an ongoing issue for ya!

    Heather
    26,000 gal liner IG pool
    Doughboy with concrete construction
    Full sun most of the day
    1.5 hp pump system
    200lb sand filter

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    NCFlyersFan's Avatar
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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    Stand-by for an unsolicited TFP public service announcement....

    Thanks Sean for your dedication. Without your web site I would still be dumping a small fortune of Baquacil into my pool wondering what I was doing wrong. If you make profit from the site, GOOD ON YOU for providing a timely service that is in demand. God, I love capitalism.

    That being said, it is up to us, the members, to ensure Sean has enough capital to realize the long term viability of OUR community. If you have not already taken the time to become a lifetime supporter, I strongly recommend you consider doing so. The cost is trivial compared to what most of us used to spend on the junk the pool stores sold us.

    Nothing would be more frustrating than trying to access troublefreepool.com and getting the message from the web hosting service that the site has been shut down . What would I do while I am at work? ACTUALLY WORK??????
    13,000 gal AGP, Hayward X-Stream 100 sq ft cartridge, 1 HP Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Pump, all on two 6-hour on cycles per day. Baquacil to BBB convert.
    "It is necessary for us to learn from others' mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself." - Hyman G. Rickover

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    Quote Originally Posted by NCFlyersFan
    Stand-by for an unsolicited TFP public service announcement....

    Thanks Sean for your dedication. Without your web site I would still be dumping a small fortune of Baquacil into my pool wondering what I was doing wrong. If you make profit from the site, GOOD ON YOU for providing a timely service that is in demand. God, I love capitalism.

    That being said, it is up to us, the members, to ensure Sean has enough capital to realize the long term viability of OUR community. If you have not already taken the time to become a lifetime supporter, I strongly recommend you consider doing so. The cost is trivial compared to what most of us used to spend on the junk the pool stores sold us.

    Nothing would be more frustrating than trying to access troublefreepool.com and getting the message from the web hosting service that the site has been shut down . What would I do while I am at work? ACTUALLY WORK??????
    Well said. What would I do during my downtime from SAHM'ing it? I need a release, and this forum is it!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    I'm just gonna pile on here! I'm with everyone else. There ought not to be a single person on this forum that's been here for longer than a couple of months that doesn't show some support in whatever level is feasible. The information provided here is worth thousands in the real world, so IMHO $30 is an absolute steal!

    As for Sean making a profit....I would certainly hope so! I don't see any of the folks that have ill opinions on that trying to start up their own site. I'm just grateful that all I have to do is log on!

    Thank you Sean for all you do for us!
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Hayward SharkVac XL cleaner; Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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    SeanB's Avatar
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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    Thanks ALL! I didn't mean for this to turn into a let's thank Sean thread, but it was nice to read. :P

    Sean
    TFP Founder

    My Pool: 13K gal IG gunite with 7' spa, Pentair Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Polaris 280 Cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanB
    Thanks ALL! I didn't mean for this to turn into a let's thank Sean thread, but it was nice to read. :P
    Sean
    Well ok then, THANKS Sean On the serious side, I agree with the other post. This site is worth the $30.00 easy. AND what business it is of everyone if or how much profit Sean does make. Do we worry how much money you make in your "job"?Again a thank you to Sean , and all the MODS here.
    27' Round AG, 17,200 gallons, sand filter

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    krcossin's Avatar
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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    I read a lot over at PF, frustrated I was unable to join. TFP started, I lurked between the two forums for a while, then joined here and posted a little, but mostly read what was going on. I almost bought a Taylor kit from my local pool store, they wanted way too much for it. I noticed the new level of membership with it comes the shirt and the additional discount for the test kit, I had to pony up and very glad I did.
    I proudly support you Sean, and thank all moderators for their involvement.
    2007 - 24' AG Doughboy Desert Spring dished 1.5', with DB Power Pak II-1hp pump, DB Sequel I Plus DE, Hayward H-Series Heater 100k + 8gal LQ.

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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    I've said it before and I'll say it again "I support any of the sites I'm a member of with paid membership - I get more than that amount's worth in the knowledge I receive which allows me to do my job better!"

    I hope that everyone who has saved more than $30 from reading the info here will 'pony -up' and support this site with a 1 time donation 8)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Re: How TFP is funded and why it matters to you...

    Quote Originally Posted by waste
    I hope that everyone who has saved more than $30 from reading the info here will 'pony -up' and support this site with a 1 time donation


    Best $30 I ever spent.
    17000 gal free form plaster pool with 900 gal spillover spa, shared 2 HP 2 speed pump, cartridge filter, Pentair IC40 SWG, solar and gas heater, 1 hp pump for water features, 1.5 hp pump for spa. Dolphin Diagnostics robotic cleaner.

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