Thanks so much for your interest in joining the Squad!
The first step to gaining your new superpower role is to become a Price Squad Rookie or Data Rookie. These are introductory roles that come with a certain set of privileges so you can learn how the site works and prepare to become a full Volunteer Squad member.
You can start with either role, it just depends on how you'd like to contribute to hobbyDB—Price Squad Rookies can add completed eBay sales to the Price Guide, and Data Rookies can add new database items to the site.
We have rules in the form of Price Point Quality Standards and Database Item Conventions that have been agreed over the years by existing Squad Members and that we ask you to follow when inputting data (they are there to get better and more consistent data). The Rookie roles provide a hands-on opportunity to learn those rules while maintaining the quality of hobbyDB's public-facing data. All price points and database items submitted by Rookies are reviewed by Volunteer Squad Mentors before they are officially added to the site.
Once you've made some contributions to the site as a Rookie, a Mentor will review your work and reach out to let you know what we might not have explained correctly or if you are ready to move on to the next role!
During the review for Price Squad Rookies, the Mentor will check each eBay listing entered to make sure it meets our Price Point Quality Standards. They will approve listings that meet those standards and remove any that don't. Once the Mentor has reviewed your entries, they will reach out to provide feedback and guidance.
Please pay close attention to this feedback so you know what kind of listings to add or skip in the future. There may be multiple reviews as the Mentor works with you to help you learn the best way to enter Price Points. Feel free to ask questions along the way! Your Mentor is there to help you work your way to graduation from the Rookie program. Please keep in mind though that we’re a small team stretched thin, and we can’t always respond to messages as quickly as we’d like.
When you get to the point where no more than around 3-5% of your entries have quality concerns, your mentor can recommend you for graduation from the Rookie program to become a full-fledged Volunteer Squad member. Price Squad Rookies graduate to the Contributor role and Data Rookies graduate to the Creator role. You will also be invited to join our Squad Facebook groups at that time.
Although we would absolutely love to promote everyone, participation as a Rookie does not guarantee that you will be able to graduate to Contributor or Creator. Like baseball for Michael Jordan, sometimes the Volunteer Squad is not a good fit. Maintaining the integrity of the database and Price Guide is essential to our community and if, after a reasonable amount of time and training, your submissions still require a lot of rework by other Squad members to meet expectations, we sometimes suggest that this is not quite for you (and encourage you to find another sport where you can excel, like basketball for Michael Jordan!). We will always try to do our best with training and help you as much as possible so we can avoid the situation where we would need to remove someone from the Rookie program.