Note on Features: Some features documented here require an addon, refer to the Feature List for details.
Note about 'Listings': The use of the term "listings" in the user manual can refer to classifieds, classified ads, standard auctions, dutch auctions, reverse auctions, and buy now only.
Table of Contents
Anonymous Classified Ads
The feature has been constructed as an Addon for the Geo 4+ classified ad software, which means you can enable/disable it through the Manage Addons screen in the Admin. At present, this is the only way to administrate the addon – there is no other switch in the admin – if the addon is installed and enabled, anonymous classifieds are possible on your site; if the addon is not installed and enabled, classifieds may not be posted anonymously. That brings up another point worth mentioning: only Classifieds Ads (not auctions) may be posted anonymously at this time. Notwithstanding the whole no-admin-settings thing, the text/css of pages new to the addon (specifically, the two new pages involving the edit password) may be edited via the Manage Addons > Edit Text tool.
Placing an Anonymous Classified Ad
If anonymous listings are enabled, the classified ad placement process behaves as follows:
If a user is logged in, the user system “overrides” the anonymous processes. A logged in user cannot post a classified ad anonymously, nor can he edit an existing classified ad posted anonymously (without first logging out).
Users who view the cart while not logged in will not see options for order items that are not anonymous-capable. Currently, the only anonymous-capable order item is the new Classified Ad listing. If no anonymous-capable order items are available, users will be prompted to log in when attempting to view the cart
If a logged-out user chooses the create a new Classified option, the listing process will ensue as normal, with an added step towards the end. After entering the details and images for the classified ad, the user is presented with a separate page showcasing a password generated by the system for this classified ad. In the current version of the Addon, this password is a randomized, 10-digit, hexadecimal (uses characters 0-9 and a-f) number. An example password is: f38a0db772. The user must record this password for use in identifying himself to edit the classified ad later (it will also be emailed to him, if he provides an email address). The user then clicks a Continue to Checkout link and proceeds with payment/checkout as normal.
Anonymously placed listings cannot be renewed. If an anonymous poster wants to renew their listing they must create a new listing with the same information as the old listing.
Editing an Anonymous Classified Ad
Once an anonymous classified ad has been placed and approved and appears on the site, the poster (who has the password mentioned above) may edit it by clicking on the Edit button next to the classified ad on a browse page, at which point he will be prompted for the password. Correctly entering the password will enable him to step through the Edit Listing process as normal for that listing.
The anonymously placed listing can only be edited by the anonymous user placing the listing. If they want to delete their listing they will need to contact the admin to have it removed from the system. We would suggest that the admin user set the expiration to current time so that listing will be expired and archived by the system. If the admin deletes a listing from the client side that completely removes it from the system which may not be best for future accounting purposes.
Controlling Pricing of Anonymous Classified Ads
In order to enable pricing control, the Anonymous Listing addon creates a “user” named Anonymous and makes use of that user “behind the scenes” to post all anonymous classified ads. Logging into the site as the Anonymous user is not possible – it exists only to provide options for specific anonymous listings from within the Admin.
Warning: Do not remove the Anonymous user from the system, or certain functionality will no longer work! If you inadvertently remove the Anonymous user, you should be able to fix it by disabling and un-installing the anonymous listing addon, then installing and enabling again.
Since all anonymous classified ads are attached to that user, the site admin may assign that Anonymous user to a user group / price plan in order to set the prices of classified ads placed anonymously. This “user” is identified in Admin controls by the name “Anonymous.”
IMPORTANT: Because of the way the system was set up in previous releases (before the anonymous “user” mentioned above was created in 4.0 RC8), the anonymous addon will not allow anonymous posting if the default price plan is subscription-based. A future version may change this behavior to concern the anonymous “user's” price plan instead of the site default.
Display of Anonymous Classified Ads
There are a couple of things to note about the actual display of anonymous listings. Certain user-specific fields have been removed from the classified ad display page when the listing being shown is anonymous. These are:
- Contact Seller links will only work if the seller filled out the e-mail field when placing the listing. If that field is left blank, the contact seller links will not appear.1)
- “Member Since” label and text (an anonymous lister is, by definition, NOT a site member at all)
- Seller's name (BUT see Admin Menu > Addons > Anonymous Listings > Settings for more information on what is displayed instead)