My point of view is I joined this forum because of the extreme camaraderie I witnessed and everyone seemed to be having fun. I am guessing that in 2005 when the thread first started if you had made it members only Style Forum itself would be smaller and less interesting and you would have nowhere near 70K posts. This thread was the only reason I stopped lurking and joined, actually it was the only reason I even lurked I love this thread and read it almost obsessively.
I heard this same theory in the mid-2000's about auctions and flipping houses that if you publicize it everyone would start doing it. I don't think you realize the amount of work it takes to get to the level of a Spoo or Brianpore etc. First how many of us can look at a label like Spoo and say counterfeit, very few. That's because you need a deep knowledge of the brands and their history. Yes you might get the kid who walks into a thrift and finds 10 Kiton suits from a dead guy, but more likely you will get someone like me who buys a Saddlebred XXL 40% Polyester shirt for $7.99 and finally gets a bidder for .99 and $5 shipping then actually spends $5.70 to ship it... What do you think the chances are I am going to quit my Engineering job and try to thrift for a living? I will continue to go thrifting mainly because I think it is exciting when you do find something great for a low price. After my fiasco of trying to sell on eBay I will find things in my size or sizes of friends on this forum and leave everything else. Although if I do find 10 Kiton suits I will be buying them
Also, you can see one of my first posts was to give away a few SWUs' on American Airline, the reason I did this here instead of giving them to co-workers or a travel forum is expressly due to Spoo and the others on this thread spreading their knowledge and having fun doing it. I think it would be a huge disservice to yourselves and everything you have built here at StyleForum to hide away your knowledge.