The problem is the forum takes money to run, and why all forums have some sort of fees. $10 membership fees aren't going to cover it. People never really left because of forum fees or vendor fees. They left because they either moved on to different interests, or the other two reasons already mentioned. Opinionated members (my opinion is the only one) and the classified movement to panjo. The classified section brought many people to the site. Once the classified browsing was over, they stayed on to read and post. I don't know if the site will close or not, but if you see many sections latest post are 2017, 2016 and 2015 there is a problem. Take panjo off and take the classifieds back to its earlier version, and I bet the traffic increases!I know I am new here, so take my advice as that.
I do not understand why shops are not allowed to use their shop names without being venders.
If you think about it most of their customers will come from a fifty mile range, advertising on a national basis does not make since.
These are the guys who are doing 90 % of the builds, if you encourage them to post build threads of what they are doing, then they will have a reason to come in here and post.
That way everyone benefits, he can stimulate business when visitor see his post, and the forum benefits by increasing post count and web traffic.
Increased web traffic relates to more venders who are selling product on a national basis, and not services.
I have seen too many forums die because from lack of post, I like this place and would hate to see it go away.
Just my 2 cents