I’m not sure why selling something is being villainized. When people mention “sales thread” there is undoubtedly someone who brings it up as a negative thing.
On the flip side, people without a sales thread here are most of the times taken as selfless givers.
In reality, neither of the above is (entirely) true.
Behind almost every single serious sales thread here is a person who has contributed a ton. In some cases, because of those contribution and expertise is why they see there is a need for a product or a service that ends up on the marketplace.
Plus, through the products and the services, one gains a lot of experience which ends up being poured back in the forum in one shape or form.
Not to mention that the market decides if a product / service is needed or good enough. If the market needs good proxies and there is someone who delivers quality, everyone wins. If the product is not needed, too expensive or someone is under-delivering on quality, it will show immediately on the thread and in the reviews.
Sellers are often seem as only “pushing” their own products if they ever talk about a topic that is related.
If I want to know about proxies, I want to hear from @HenryCooper. But someone will without a doubt see that as promotion.
Same with me and hashtags. Yes, I have a services that I provide around them, but one cannot find a thread outside of the actual sales thread where I “promote” my hashtag service. Yet, I have been thrown under the bus in numerous hashtag threads as “he is only providing answers here so people can buy his service”.
@dma0245 has shared a metric ton of what he knows and does. As soon as he had a sales thread for a service (which people seem to be loving), the replies that he is promoting started flying around.
I can give you numerous such examples, but you get idea.
Of course, there are sellers who do nothing but promote (which is against the rules btw) and sooner or later an admin will catch up to them.
But, to think that all of us who have sales threads are here just to make a buck if highly skewed.
On the flip side, people who do NOT have a sales thread, or at least one that individuals are aware of are seen as selfless people doing it for the greater good. While that might be true for some, it is not an automatic qualifier.