Plenty of people shop elsewhere for best prices and some of these Vendors are well known (not necessarily well liked). For instance, Boxing Week sale items from King Ed are posted here and not banned. People shop at and recommend J&L and Rogers Aquatics all the time.
I just don't see what the big deal is. As for "secretly" PM'ing? By definition, PM means Private Messaging, so yeah, it's "secret". I email and text my old BCA friends about Ken's, Wet Spot, Harold, Saul, and we arrange group buys from the US and all over Canada for the "best" prices, but often for stuff we can't get here. We also go to Alberta Aquatica, Canreef, ReefCentral, SimplyDiscus, The Barr Report, Plantedtank.net, Planetcatfish, Zebrapleco, etc. etc. to buy stuff and talk fish. It IS the World Wide Web after all, why do we have to restrict ourselves to BC Aquaria, which is basically mostly MetroVancouver Aquaria?
There are plenty of sites which don't restrict selling of any sort. I think there was one called the Aquarium Connection or something, but the problem is that without revenue, those sites collapse. If and when BC Aquaria becomes so horrible no one will sponsor and no one visits it, then I suspect it will collapse too. In the meantime, I and many of the good folks here don't treat BC Aquaria as Craigslist for fish and just worry about what we can buy and sell here, but rather what we can learn and share here. I think that was the spirit of the old BC Aquaria. Maybe it isn't so much any more.