Virbank City Pokémart 30,000 Member Mega Announcement

Hey guys,

Virbank City Pokémart has come a LONG way. That is to say: We all have come a long way as a community. From humble origins as one of the first social media-based online Pokémon TCG communities to now, the Mart has stood out as the front edge of how the organized online Pokémon community buys, sells and trades. For that: I want to thank you. Every single person that has played a positive role in making this community the best in the world is uniquely to thank for where we are now.

Given the precedent-setting nature of the Mart, it seems only appropriate to commemorate this moment with something in kind. So join me in cutting our digital red ribbon for the new assistant to the Mart:

This website is NOT a replacement for any function of the community or how it operates. It IS a stacked assistant that helps us function in all of the ways that our platform has limited us in the past. Let’s talk about those upgrades!

Organized Information:
One of the greatest challenges of the group has been organizing information in a way that can be accessed by all members quickly, easily, and intuitively. The announcement section only pins one post at a time. The about section is character limited and hard to find on mobile applications. This new website takes all of those challenges out of the equation and makes it easier for every member to effectively utilize the group.

Clearer Communication:
In conjunction with the organized information, we have the ability to communicate changes without an expiration date and without limits on how clear we can be. The rules are being expanded to include points of clarification, so no member is stuck guessing how to interpret a rule. We are able to expand useful sections like best practices for buying and selling to assist new members in their journey to becoming staples in the community.

Expanded Networking:
By clearly listing and linking our partners, we are able to make sure that the members of Virbank are able to quickly locate and access the growing network of groups and affiliates wanting to serve Virbank City Pokémart. This will ultimately allow members to access dedicated communities built around localities and interests that are suited to them in addition to the high-traffic homepage that the core group serves as. Furthermore, this allows us to partner with established providers of services and products that can give exclusive deals, exclusive opportunities (do I smell giveaways?), and an overall safer and more satisfying buying experience.

Streamlined Access to Staff:
One of the biggest and coolest features of the new site is integrated forms. We are launching with three forms. One allows members to use auction reserves without having to contact staff ahead of time. This also allows us to quickly and effectively enforce these reserves to make sure that members are living up to what they’re advertising. The second form is a readmittance form. We understand that in the past, many people were not given the communication they deserved about their removal from the group. This was a growing pain that we hope to rectify now with our second chance policy. People who have previously been removed from the group have the opportunity to be heard and appeal the decision that led to them being removed. This will be a heavily situational policy and no application is guaranteed readmittance, but it’s an opportunity for members of the past to be heard out on a topic that staff members of all groups find difficult to keep track of and balance effectively with limited time. Finally, we have an application that groups and businesses can fill out to apply to partner with Virbank City Pokémart. In addition to the forms, we also have a contact tab that will allow the whole staff to manage incoming requests for help. This allows us to spread the work more evenly and reduces the redundancies that often occur when a frantic member is messaging every staff member trying to get a response.

Sex Appeal:
I mean, look at it.

As we make the assistance of the website the norm in the group and continue to improve on what it has to offer, we will roll out additional updates sharing what is being worked on and what is available to members!

I’m super excited to put this extensive project in front of the whole group! And one thing is clear: even at 30,000 members, Virbank City Pokémart is just at the beginning of its journey.

Charlie and the Virbank City Pokémart Staff

- Charlie, 9/16/2020