Hey serebii!

I respectfully want to bring to attention an issue that, as an illustrator and graphic designer, is pressing to me. This pertains to the "Art-shop" section of the serebii forums.

I don't think that it would be unreasonable that artists offer their work in exchange for in-game items, such as pokemon, items, pokerus, etc. I do not mean currency. I am not talking about money, in any kind, here. I don't think that serebii.net is an appropriate place to pick up clients for any kind of art related commission work. That would simply take away focus from the forum and make it a place for artists' to advertise their work. That is not what anyone wants, I'm sure. (Plus, it would be unprofessional.)

Please read on before you immediately flame me, here.

I think that this is fair for a few reasons. And likewise, I have some suggestions as to make this system as scam-proof as possible.

1) The graphic design work, artwork, or other forms of work created by the artist takes time. Likewise, obtaining pokemon, especially shines, takes time. I think that it is only fair that, under the artists' and customers' discretion, a trade agreement can be made.

2) I understand that payment is not allowed according to the forum's rules in exchange for artwork, banners, and misc. graphic design work/sprite artwork. But I do not think that trading should be considered a form of payment. By definition, this is an exchange of goods/services in which no form of currency or likeness to currency is exchanged.

3) There is probably a wide margin of concern for scamming, since there is not a two way trade of in-game items happening here. I understand this concern. In order to confront that, there could be a few things put in place that might prevent/deter scammers:
-> Have the art-shops who do accept trades in exchange for their work more closely monitored.
-> Only allow an artist to accept trades for their work after their shop has had that clearance from a mod. (could be shown under their signature or name as some type of ribbon or medal) The artist must be able to prove that in the past, they have completed a great deal of requests and completed them on time, and in a professional manner.
-> Customers who get scammed should take the initiate to report the artist and their shop who scammed them. Artists should take it upon themselves to watermark their work until the trade is completed, so as to protect them from being scammed from the other end.

4) I think that if trades in art-shops were permitted, it would be a much more lively and respected area of the serebii forums. Everyone who runs one of these art-shops put a lot of time and effort into their work, and I'm sure they would appreciate the trade. Likewise, I think that their "customers" would feel that they received a top quality product. Trading would encourage artists to produce better work, while feeling more respected from the serebii community.

5) I don't think that every artist can and should request trades for their work. I still think request threads would shine, and many people would be perfectly content doing banners and artwork for nothing in exchange. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

6) To be honest, I don't see the harm in this at all.

That about sums it up. If you read it all, thank you! I really appreciate it!
I've done art and graphic design work for people on other game's forums and have done the same thing, where we trade in-game items for art. It turned out to be extremely successful and a lot of fun!

Thanks for your time!