Author Topic: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative  (Read 44064 times)

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Offline livingspeedbump

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Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 14:24:10 »
Based on the official comment from Bob, the owner of SP (included below) I think we should start discussing finding a person to be the official GeekHack representative to Signature Plastics.






Can we have an official statement regarding this issue.

It's been brought up to the community that MD gets a bigger discount after breaking certain MOQs/Tiers. If we face the same challenges, why don't we get the same privileges they do?

First let me say that Signature Plastics is very grateful to the mechanical keyboard community for allowing us the opportunity to manufacture your custom keysets. We see it as a tremendous win for both SP and the growing number of keyboard enthusiasts.
As you may know, Massdrop has quickly become one of our largest customers. The response to group buys run through their system is staggering compared to group buys run on other platforms (check out the sales graph in our new Gallery).  Their relationship with SP is very much like a distributorship and because of that they have earned preferred ‘wholesale’ pricing.  Obviously this will result in a lower profit margin per keyset for SP but it gives MD the ability to add their own profit margin and still offer a product with competitive pricing resulting in a win for the consumer. MD is a great company and a valued customer and we are very pleased with the relationship we have with them.
We also value the relationship we have with the mechanical keyboard community. This dates back to the days when Ripster first schooled us on kerning. A couple years later, and with encouragement from the community, we finally did something about the “shif t” key. The community’s input has been invaluable and we make every effort to listen to what you say and try to make it happen. We also recognize that we would not be where we are today without this great relationship.
From what I understand, I think there may be a disconnect, however, in equating community input on product design with entitled pricing discounts. We don’t deny that SP benefits from the community’s passion for these keysets and that we would not be offering the products we do today without the community’s input. But orders placed by members of the mechanical keyboard community, whether they have an alliance with Geekhack, Deskthority, Reddit or whoever, are still being placed by individuals and not by a single business. Yes, these designers may represent a particular forum or organization but at the end of the day Melissa is still dealing with individuals, some knowledgeable in our products, processes and systems, but many who are not and will require her valuable time over and over again.
We would like to suggest that if a volunteer from the GH community were to form a business entity representing GH, and that person became the go-to person for every set run independent of the MD and PMK systems, then we would be able to quantifiably track sales volumes and review potential pricing discounts for GH. This person would be the sole GH contact person and would work with Melissa on all new keyset designs. Orders would be placed, product run, and a single shipment made to that individual. In a real sense this new company would become an SP distributor similar to MD.
On another note, I also wanted to address the concern over our SA pricing. We did implement some pricing changes with that family for several reasons and we apologize for the confusion and alarm it has caused.
First, we had an error in the costing program regarding part weight. The values in that field represented our DSA keys and not the SA. SA keys are nearly three times the weight of DSA. This error also explained why we continued to run out of material on the 1976 and Juke Box orders when we had purchased what the computer said we would require.
Second, the costing program also had the incorrect number of cavities per shot listed for the special shapes. So the actual quantity of parts per hour produced was really only half of what the computer had calculated.
And third, the costing program was calculating set-up costs based on an all Row 3 order. A basic 104 board run in Row 3 has 9 different 1st and 9 different 2nd shot mold changes. Typically these changes take around two hours each. A sculptured SA 104 board on the other has 32 total mold changes.
We apologize for these oversights in our costing program but in all fairness the sculptured SA tooling had not been run for over 20 years prior to the recent retro interest. If it wasn’t for the community’s insistence on re-commissioning these molds and building the new shapes that complete today’s boards, we would have been happy producing everything in Row 3. Our ears remain open to the wants of the community so continue to keep us informed and we will do our best to provide.
Bob Guenser, Owner

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Offline ghostjuggernaut

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 14:32:59 »
I think this would be a good idea also, altough there are still some questions that would need to be addressed.

Would they just be a liaison between GB runners and SP?  Would they be the ones handling all the logistics between the two?  Still many questions to be answered before something like this can be decided.

Offline Atredl

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 14:36:21 »

I'm sure this is the way this would happen if someone stepped up to the plate for this:
The group buy leader would still create interest checks, create mockups, collect money etc.
One point of contact submits orders to SP, receives caps.
Group buy leader then receives caps from the contact person and distributes caps to the participants.


Otherwise, it seems like way too much work to pin on the contact guy.

Just quoting this here from the other thread.

This seems like the way to go since there are often many GB's in the planning stages.

Offline ghostjuggernaut

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 14:45:38 »
It just seems very unreasonable to me.

Many of us work full time, and some have families.  I cannot imagine having to worry about reshipping XX amount of GB keysets to a GB runner.  Then what happens when someone INTL runs a GB?  More fingers in the pot will just cause increased issues with the entire process.  In theory it doesn't sound terrible, but once implemented I can't imagine it would last very long.

Offline Atredl

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 14:55:50 »
An issue that I see arising is the rep being partial to some people. I can see it becoming an issue of "rep doesn't personally like me and won't run my GB".

Offline nubbinator

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 14:57:01 »
Another huge question.  If they only work with the rep, would the rep be the only one able to collect and transfer the money?

Offline FLFisherman

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 15:02:14 »
Another huge question.  If they only work with the rep, would the rep be the only one able to collect and transfer the money?

This is a great question. I think everyone can agree that there's still a lot of discussion necessary for this before a representative can even be considered.

Also, as ghost mentioned, this will be almost like a full-time job. Massdrop can do what they do because they are a company. They have staff and a warehouse and that is how they make their living. A representative would not be able to do this.

Offline Homenubbie

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 15:10:08 »
I vote Demik.

THAT will keep him out of trouble!

Offline livingspeedbump

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 15:14:53 »
Another huge question.  If they only work with the rep, would the rep be the only one able to collect and transfer the money?

This is a great question. I think everyone can agree that there's still a lot of discussion necessary for this before a representative can even be considered.

Also, as ghost mentioned, this will be almost like a full-time job. Massdrop can do what they do because they are a company. They have staff and a warehouse and that is how they make their living. A representative would not be able to do this.

End of the day I would think this person would juste need to be very trusted to pay and receive the caps. After they get the shipment they could always just forward it to the GB leader or whatever. But yeah, lots to consider.
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Offline Wilkie

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 15:15:11 »
Other ways to look at this:

How to get more sets that start as ICs here onto MD?

Maybe what is really needed is a representative to MD?

Maybe what is really needed is a platform like MD, but run by GH (and international)?

Offline romevi

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 15:15:50 »
Oof. That's a lot to take on. The only person I can think of is BunnyLake, but that would mean corroborating with designers and SP before submitting final designs, which itself is a lot of back-and-forth work.

Offline livingspeedbump

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 15:30:29 »
This also makes the point of what do we gain from running it off the forums and not going through the PMK Store/Massdrop?
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Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 15:39:06 »
Guys don't miss out on the part where it says 'business entity representing GH'

Offline jdcarpe

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 15:41:00 »
The biggest problem I see is actually a financial one. I would be willing to be the face of GH to SP, with all that would entail. But what would be my tax liability at the end of the year when either collecting, or at the least transferring, that amount of money?
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Offline jdcarpe

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 15:42:17 »
Guys don't miss out on the part where it says 'business entity representing GH'
Basically along the lines of mkawa's Geekhackers, LLC
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Offline redbanshee

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 15:44:01 »
But what would be my tax liability at the end of the year when either collecting, or at the least transferring, that amount of money?

If you are just a container for the money, you would only report any earnings you made not what you collected (in the US anyway). If the money just goes thru you, you should NOT have tax consequences on that amount, only the earnings that you make.
« Last Edit: Thu, 28 January 2016, 15:51:55 by redbanshee »

Offline HoffmanMyster

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Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 15:59:26 »
I really appreciate Bob's response. Thank you SP for responding to us despite all the recent tension surrounding this. After the full explanation, the reasoning makes a lot of sense and unfortunately I know those very same frustrations all too well.  :))

To the subject at hand. Thinking through the supply chain at MD, these group buys give MD non-trivial profit (their employees make a living doing this, among other buys). If a GH representative took on a similar role for these "GH community" buys, the community would see all those profits as savings (yay!) while the liaison donates their time. Unless of course they don't donate it. How would the community feel about "hiring" someone to split that profit as partial savings to the community and partial compensation to the liaison for their time and efforts? I, for one, would be interested in at least exploring this option. There are a lot of factors that would be at play, but I'm just going to throw the idea out there.

Edit: I understand there are implications here with me being a moderator. Again, just throwing it out there.  :thumb:  Doesn't even have to be me for that matter. I'm just saying I would be interested in exploring it.

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 16:07:35 »
I think paying someone is a good idea. It legitimizes the position and makes the person much more responsible. It's harder to run off with someone's info for a paycheck and on a payroll.

And to be honest, there's very few people I'd vote for to this position. Hash, Hoff, and JD
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Offline livingspeedbump

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 16:10:14 »
I think paying someone is a good idea. It legitimizes the position and makes the person much more responsible. It's harder to run off with someone's info for a paycheck and on a payroll.

And to be honest, there's very few people I'd vote for to this position. Hash, Hoff, and JD

Yeah, those are the obvious 3
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Offline jbondeson

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 16:13:13 »

I think paying someone is a good idea. It legitimizes the position and makes the person much more responsible. It's harder to run off with someone's info for a paycheck and on a payroll.

And to be honest, there's very few people I'd vote for to this position. Hash, Hoff, and JD

I would say it's the only way this works. But at the same time it can't be a nights & weekend job. This would have to be a daytime-available thing (discussions with SP and receiving deliveries).

Frankly to do that you'd be taking about doing something akin to DT and become a club with voting etc.

Offline mashby

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 16:13:27 »
The biggest problem I see is actually a financial one. I would be willing to be the face of GH to SP, with all that would entail. But what would be my tax liability at the end of the year when either collecting, or at the least transferring, that amount of money?

I'm accepting the money for 7bit's group buys over at DT and there is definitely a tax component. For what I do, I require that all money that I've collected be sent to SP by the end of the year to limit my tax exposure.

Whomever does this will need to know that they will have to keep books on their company to account for all the money collected, but also where the money went. It can be a bit of a PITA if you're not already doing this for your business. I was, so it wasn't as much of a burden.

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 16:15:17 »
The biggest problem I see is actually a financial one. I would be willing to be the face of GH to SP, with all that would entail. But what would be my tax liability at the end of the year when either collecting, or at the least transferring, that amount of money?

I'm accepting the money for 7bit's group buys over at DT and there is definitely a tax component. For what I do, I require that all money that I've collected be sent to SP by the end of the year to limit my tax exposure.

Whomever does this will need to know that they will have to keep books on their company to account for all the money collected, but also where the money went. It can be a bit of a PITA if you're not already doing this for your business. I was, so it wasn't as much of a burden.

@Mashby can you speak to how this works as far as it showing up as income? Does paypal report it as such to the IRS?

Are you saying so long as the money is in and out within a calendar year its no problem?

Offline romevi

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 16:20:21 »
The biggest problem I see is actually a financial one. I would be willing to be the face of GH to SP, with all that would entail. But what would be my tax liability at the end of the year when either collecting, or at the least transferring, that amount of money?

I'm accepting the money for 7bit's group buys over at DT and there is definitely a tax component. For what I do, I require that all money that I've collected be sent to SP by the end of the year to limit my tax exposure.

Whomever does this will need to know that they will have to keep books on their company to account for all the money collected, but also where the money went. It can be a bit of a PITA if you're not already doing this for your business. I was, so it wasn't as much of a burden.

@Mashby can you speak to how this works as far as it showing up as income? Does paypal report it as such to the IRS?

Are you saying so long as the money is in and out within a calendar year its no problem?

According to PayPal's rules, they report any and all income received if it meets both these marks: $20k in sales and over 200 transactions. They don't care what it's for; they report it. If you don't put a tax number in (at least in the States), my assumption is they lock your account or something.

Offline mashby

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 16:25:28 »
The biggest problem I see is actually a financial one. I would be willing to be the face of GH to SP, with all that would entail. But what would be my tax liability at the end of the year when either collecting, or at the least transferring, that amount of money?

I'm accepting the money for 7bit's group buys over at DT and there is definitely a tax component. For what I do, I require that all money that I've collected be sent to SP by the end of the year to limit my tax exposure.

Whomever does this will need to know that they will have to keep books on their company to account for all the money collected, but also where the money went. It can be a bit of a PITA if you're not already doing this for your business. I was, so it wasn't as much of a burden.

@Mashby can you speak to how this works as far as it showing up as income? Does paypal report it as such to the IRS?

Are you saying so long as the money is in and out within a calendar year its no problem?

It all shows up as income on your books. PayPal doesn't report it that I recall, but you should of course.

If you were to collect $50,000 via PayPal/Google Wallet over the course of a year then you've received $50,000 in income. Melissa sends you an invoice for $50,000 and you now have expenses equally that so the net effect is $0 income. However, if you're holding onto money into the next fiscal year then you don't have an expense to offset, so you're looking at "profit" and taxes would more than likely be due.

FWIW, I don't know what the benefit would be to set something up like this when CTRLAlt, MD and PMK already have systems in place. I see this getting complicated in a hurry and turning your hobby into a business is a sure way to kill the love you have for a hobby.

Offline nubbinator

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 16:31:27 »
More
The biggest problem I see is actually a financial one. I would be willing to be the face of GH to SP, with all that would entail. But what would be my tax liability at the end of the year when either collecting, or at the least transferring, that amount of money?
I'm accepting the money for 7bit's group buys over at DT and there is definitely a tax component. For what I do, I require that all money that I've collected be sent to SP by the end of the year to limit my tax exposure.

Whomever does this will need to know that they will have to keep books on their company to account for all the money collected, but also where the money went. It can be a bit of a PITA if you're not already doing this for your business. I was, so it wasn't as much of a burden.

That was the huge concern for me and why I asked if the contact would have to collect the money.  Not only that, but it also means that they are then responsible for any chargebacks.  The contact only really works if the GB leader can be the one to collect the funds and submit the payment.

Offline sherryton

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 16:58:28 »
The biggest problem I see is actually a financial one. I would be willing to be the face of GH to SP, with all that would entail. But what would be my tax liability at the end of the year when either collecting, or at the least transferring, that amount of money?

I'm accepting the money for 7bit's group buys over at DT and there is definitely a tax component. For what I do, I require that all money that I've collected be sent to SP by the end of the year to limit my tax exposure.

Whomever does this will need to know that they will have to keep books on their company to account for all the money collected, but also where the money went. It can be a bit of a PITA if you're not already doing this for your business. I was, so it wasn't as much of a burden.

@Mashby can you speak to how this works as far as it showing up as income? Does paypal report it as such to the IRS?

Are you saying so long as the money is in and out within a calendar year its no problem?

It all shows up as income on your books. PayPal doesn't report it that I recall, but you should of course.

If you were to collect $50,000 via PayPal/Google Wallet over the course of a year then you've received $50,000 in income. Melissa sends you an invoice for $50,000 and you now have expenses equally that so the net effect is $0 income. However, if you're holding onto money into the next fiscal year then you don't have an expense to offset, so you're looking at "profit" and taxes would more than likely be due.

FWIW, I don't know what the benefit would be to set something up like this when CTRLAlt, MD and PMK already have systems in place. I see this getting complicated in a hurry and turning your hobby into a business is a sure way to kill the love you have for a hobby.

This is true, but there's also State Taxes, fees, shipping boxes, etc.

There's no way to calculate it perfectly. It'll be hard to get net income at $0.

Offline Vittra

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 17:14:51 »
It makes sense why SP would request this - it streamlines the process for them by alleviating some of the extra work and redundancy, and I can see it certainly providing them with a way to have some solid metrics on sales volume.

Unfortunately it looks like it just relocates some of that overhead to the communities side, as this will add a lot of potential confusion and complexity, as well as the potential for additional errors, due to their being an additional link in the chain.
« Last Edit: Thu, 28 January 2016, 20:35:53 by Vittra »
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Offline FrostyToast

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 17:23:45 »
This would obviously require someone on GH with Moderator, or perhaps even, Admin status.
There would definitely need to be some form of payment to compensate said person for their efforts; you can't just expect someone to work for free.
Honestly I don't think we have any suitable members here on GH.

Hoff has a ton of experience shipping orders but has very little time.
Mashby is good with collecting funds but I don't recall him handling shipping.
The guys at CTRL would have the most experience in both of these fields, however, perhaps there could be a conflict of interests at some point.
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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 17:25:34 »
The guys at CTRL would have the most experience in both of these fields, however, perhaps there could be a conflict of interests at some point.

Not only that, but they are already extremely busy as is. I don't think that would be the best avenue unless they hired staff.

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 17:25:49 »
The biggest problem I see is actually a financial one. I would be willing to be the face of GH to SP, with all that would entail. But what would be my tax liability at the end of the year when either collecting, or at the least transferring, that amount of money?

I'm accepting the money for 7bit's group buys over at DT and there is definitely a tax component. For what I do, I require that all money that I've collected be sent to SP by the end of the year to limit my tax exposure.

Whomever does this will need to know that they will have to keep books on their company to account for all the money collected, but also where the money went. It can be a bit of a PITA if you're not already doing this for your business. I was, so it wasn't as much of a burden.

@Mashby can you speak to how this works as far as it showing up as income? Does paypal report it as such to the IRS?

Are you saying so long as the money is in and out within a calendar year its no problem?

It all shows up as income on your books. PayPal doesn't report it that I recall, but you should of course.

If you were to collect $50,000 via PayPal/Google Wallet over the course of a year then you've received $50,000 in income. Melissa sends you an invoice for $50,000 and you now have expenses equally that so the net effect is $0 income. However, if you're holding onto money into the next fiscal year then you don't have an expense to offset, so you're looking at "profit" and taxes would more than likely be due.

FWIW, I don't know what the benefit would be to set something up like this when CTRLAlt, MD and PMK already have systems in place. I see this getting complicated in a hurry and turning your hobby into a business is a sure way to kill the love you have for a hobby.

This is true, but there's also State Taxes, fees, shipping boxes, etc.

There's no way to calculate it perfectly. It'll be hard to get net income at $0.

Agreed.

Having an established business is the only way that makes sense. My business was already in place and operational, so it hasn't been a big deal for me to handle the payment processing for 7bit. However, if I also had to be the middleman for SP and coordinate all of the orders and possibly shipping -- no freakin' way.

Assuming there's someone that want's to take on this responsibility, it would be a big one and I don't see where the upside for this individual would be.

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 17:26:29 »
This would obviously require someone on GH with Moderator, or perhaps even, Admin status.
There would definitely need to be some form of payment to compensate said person for their efforts; you can't just expect someone to work for free.
Honestly I don't think we have any suitable members here on GH.

Hoff has a ton of experience shipping orders but has very little time.
Mashby is good with collecting funds but I don't recall him handling shipping.
The guys at CTRL would have the most experience in both of these fields, however, perhaps there could be a conflict of interests at some point.
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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #31 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 17:28:11 »
This would obviously require someone on GH with Moderator, or perhaps even, Admin status.
There would definitely need to be some form of payment to compensate said person for their efforts; you can't just expect someone to work for free.
Honestly I don't think we have any suitable members here on GH.

Hoff has a ton of experience shipping orders but has very little time.
Mashby is good with collecting funds but I don't recall him handling shipping.
The guys at CTRL would have the most experience in both of these fields, however, perhaps there could be a conflict of interests at some point.
Perhaps you missed his stellar performance with commando.

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Offline livingspeedbump

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 17:28:28 »
This would obviously require someone on GH with Moderator, or perhaps even, Admin status.
There would definitely need to be some form of payment to compensate said person for their efforts; you can't just expect someone to work for free.
Honestly I don't think we have any suitable members here on GH.

Hoff has a ton of experience shipping orders but has very little time.
Mashby is good with collecting funds but I don't recall him handling shipping.
The guys at CTRL would have the most experience in both of these fields, however, perhaps there could be a conflict of interests at some point.

Yeah, tough for sure.
I don't thing CTRL is a good option, or any other vendor. That in itself is a conflict of interest. A neutral party is an absolute must.
We basically do need someone that is trustworthy, and has time to take on a part time job. Indeed a large order. Which again brings into questions why not just move to going through the other options like PMK store or MD that already can handle things, and quite frankly are more efficient at doing so? For international orders, a simple proxy may be needed, which could be any member the buying parties trust.
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Offline FrostyToast

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 17:33:20 »
This would obviously require someone on GH with Moderator, or perhaps even, Admin status.
There would definitely need to be some form of payment to compensate said person for their efforts; you can't just expect someone to work for free.
Honestly I don't think we have any suitable members here on GH.

Hoff has a ton of experience shipping orders but has very little time.
Mashby is good with collecting funds but I don't recall him handling shipping.
The guys at CTRL would have the most experience in both of these fields, however, perhaps there could be a conflict of interests at some point.

Yeah, tough for sure.
I don't thing CTRL is a good option, or any other vendor. That in itself is a conflict of interest. A neutral party is an absolute must.
We basically do need someone that is trustworthy, and has time to take on a part time job. Indeed a large order. Which again brings into questions why not just move to going through the other options like PMK store or MD that already can handle things, and quite frankly are more efficient at doing so? For international orders, a simple proxy may be needed, which could be any member the buying parties trust.

I'm sure that some members of the community here would love to get a little more control on the GBs we run.
Though it seems like a trend here on GH that we can never find a reliable person to run GBs.
Even when they are making bank on it.
Lately the only superstar we have is Shadovved but maybe shipping might be better if we had a guy in the states.
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Offline BunnyLake

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #34 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 17:48:05 »
This would obviously require someone on GH with Moderator, or perhaps even, Admin status.
There would definitely need to be some form of payment to compensate said person for their efforts; you can't just expect someone to work for free.
Honestly I don't think we have any suitable members here on GH.

Hoff has a ton of experience shipping orders but has very little time.
Mashby is good with collecting funds but I don't recall him handling shipping.
The guys at CTRL would have the most experience in both of these fields, however, perhaps there could be a conflict of interests at some point.

Yeah, tough for sure.
I don't thing CTRL is a good option, or any other vendor. That in itself is a conflict of interest. A neutral party is an absolute must.
We basically do need someone that is trustworthy, and has time to take on a part time job. Indeed a large order. Which again brings into questions why not just move to going through the other options like PMK store or MD that already can handle things, and quite frankly are more efficient at doing so? For international orders, a simple proxy may be needed, which could be any member the buying parties trust.

"CTRL" isnt a vendor

that being said its not a position id have any interest in, frankly i think the whole thing is a joke
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Offline abjr

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #35 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 18:54:44 »
Thinking through the supply chain at MD, these group buys give MD non-trivial profit (their employees make a living doing this, among other buys). If a GH representative took on a similar role for these "GH community" buys, the community would see all those profits as savings (yay!) while the liaison donates their time. Unless of course they don't donate it. How would the community feel about "hiring" someone to split that profit as partial savings to the community and partial compensation to the liaison for their time and efforts?

This assumes that orders via this "GH representative" will be large enough to produce significant pricing discounts from SP to even realize any profits. SP should be able to give some data based on past group buys from community members to see if discounts are even realistic. This scenario doesn't seem very likely to me.
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Offline Niomosy

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #36 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 19:05:37 »
This would obviously require someone on GH with Moderator, or perhaps even, Admin status.
There would definitely need to be some form of payment to compensate said person for their efforts; you can't just expect someone to work for free.
Honestly I don't think we have any suitable members here on GH.

Hoff has a ton of experience shipping orders but has very little time.
Mashby is good with collecting funds but I don't recall him handling shipping.
The guys at CTRL would have the most experience in both of these fields, however, perhaps there could be a conflict of interests at some point.

Yeah, tough for sure.
I don't thing CTRL is a good option, or any other vendor. That in itself is a conflict of interest. A neutral party is an absolute must.
We basically do need someone that is trustworthy, and has time to take on a part time job. Indeed a large order. Which again brings into questions why not just move to going through the other options like PMK store or MD that already can handle things, and quite frankly are more efficient at doing so? For international orders, a simple proxy may be needed, which could be any member the buying parties trust.

This is my question as well.  We have companies in place already prepared for this type of sales and distribution system.  Why not work with them to improve their services for our needs?  Relying on a person or group that's going to end up burned out on such an endeavor with all community-run group buys filtered through them seems problematic. 


Offline LXXXIX

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 19:20:48 »
This also makes the point of what do we gain from running it off the forums and not going through the PMK Store/Massdrop?

This has been my question from the start. :rolleyes:

Offline sherryton

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #38 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 19:30:07 »
Thinking through the supply chain at MD, these group buys give MD non-trivial profit (their employees make a living doing this, among other buys). If a GH representative took on a similar role for these "GH community" buys, the community would see all those profits as savings (yay!) while the liaison donates their time. Unless of course they don't donate it. How would the community feel about "hiring" someone to split that profit as partial savings to the community and partial compensation to the liaison for their time and efforts?

This assumes that orders via this "GH representative" will be large enough to produce significant pricing discounts from SP to even realize any profits. SP should be able to give some data based on past group buys from community members to see if discounts are even realistic. This scenario doesn't seem very likely to me.


This isn't the point. The point is that SP gets bombarded with e-mails daily. I believe one way to stop bombarding e-mails is to give a higher price. The best way is to have 1 rep.

Offline abjr

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #39 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 19:32:46 »
Thinking through the supply chain at MD, these group buys give MD non-trivial profit (their employees make a living doing this, among other buys). If a GH representative took on a similar role for these "GH community" buys, the community would see all those profits as savings (yay!) while the liaison donates their time. Unless of course they don't donate it. How would the community feel about "hiring" someone to split that profit as partial savings to the community and partial compensation to the liaison for their time and efforts?

This assumes that orders via this "GH representative" will be large enough to produce significant pricing discounts from SP to even realize any profits. SP should be able to give some data based on past group buys from community members to see if discounts are even realistic. This scenario doesn't seem very likely to me.


This isn't the point. The point is that SP gets bombarded with e-mails daily. I believe one way to stop bombarding e-mails is to give a higher price. The best way is to have 1 rep.

That might be the point from SP's point of view, but not the community's ...
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Offline romevi

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #40 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 19:36:52 »
Thinking through the supply chain at MD, these group buys give MD non-trivial profit (their employees make a living doing this, among other buys). If a GH representative took on a similar role for these "GH community" buys, the community would see all those profits as savings (yay!) while the liaison donates their time. Unless of course they don't donate it. How would the community feel about "hiring" someone to split that profit as partial savings to the community and partial compensation to the liaison for their time and efforts?

This assumes that orders via this "GH representative" will be large enough to produce significant pricing discounts from SP to even realize any profits. SP should be able to give some data based on past group buys from community members to see if discounts are even realistic. This scenario doesn't seem very likely to me.


This isn't the point. The point is that SP gets bombarded with e-mails daily. I believe one way to stop bombarding e-mails is to give a higher price. The best way is to have 1 rep.

That might be the point from SP's point of view, but not the community's ...

And SP is the one making the caps.

Offline abjr

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #41 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 19:46:34 »
Thinking through the supply chain at MD, these group buys give MD non-trivial profit (their employees make a living doing this, among other buys). If a GH representative took on a similar role for these "GH community" buys, the community would see all those profits as savings (yay!) while the liaison donates their time. Unless of course they don't donate it. How would the community feel about "hiring" someone to split that profit as partial savings to the community and partial compensation to the liaison for their time and efforts?

This assumes that orders via this "GH representative" will be large enough to produce significant pricing discounts from SP to even realize any profits. SP should be able to give some data based on past group buys from community members to see if discounts are even realistic. This scenario doesn't seem very likely to me.


This isn't the point. The point is that SP gets bombarded with e-mails daily. I believe one way to stop bombarding e-mails is to give a higher price. The best way is to have 1 rep.

That might be the point from SP's point of view, but not the community's ...

And SP is the one making the caps.

I think you're both missing my point. Orders from a GH rep are still not going to get significant discounts. So there will be no "profits" for Hoff (or whomever) would be willing to undertake such an endeavor.
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Offline zslane

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #42 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 19:53:22 »
Thinking through the supply chain at MD, these group buys give MD non-trivial profit (their employees make a living doing this, among other buys). If a GH representative took on a similar role for these "GH community" buys, the community would see all those profits as savings (yay!) while the liaison donates their time. Unless of course they don't donate it. How would the community feel about "hiring" someone to split that profit as partial savings to the community and partial compensation to the liaison for their time and efforts?

This assumes that orders via this "GH representative" will be large enough to produce significant pricing discounts from SP to even realize any profits. SP should be able to give some data based on past group buys from community members to see if discounts are even realistic. This scenario doesn't seem very likely to me.


This isn't the point. The point is that SP gets bombarded with e-mails daily. I believe one way to stop bombarding e-mails is to give a higher price. The best way is to have 1 rep.

That might be the point from SP's point of view, but not the community's ...

And SP is the one making the caps.

I think you're both missing my point. Orders from a GH rep are still not going to get significant discounts. So there will be no "profits" for Hoff (or whomever) would be willing to undertake such an endeavor.

They would if the annual sales volume from the GH rep was comparable to the annual sales volume of MassDrop.

Offline Melvang

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #43 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 20:02:02 »
Alright guys, I may not be an edukmatd man, but hear me out. 

If GH were to set up a business entity for the sole sake of preforming community GBs, this pretty much entirely for the purpose of cheaper pricing, then that is going to be VERY large amount of work.  This has been stated though earlier in the thread ranging from money/record keeping, the logistics itself initially to get that legally setup, one person then handles shipping, money collection, payment, sorting, and then after that comes the logistics of missing, wrong, broken, and errors, getting those sorted and shipped out as well.  Where do you plan on getting the money to handle the extra shipping for remakes and such?  A fee built into the GB?  Charge the end buyer for this?  They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Now I am not putting anyone down, pointing fingers, or have a lack of trust with any of the names that have been suggested, but lets face it, **** happens.  We have seen this with many group buys in the past.  And like was just mentioned, this is all assuming we can get enough volume of material (not number of GBs) to actually warrant wholesaler pricing.  Just looking at the last drop for Granite, they had close to 6k orders.  When was the last group buy to even come close to that?  This is why they are getting the wholesale pricing. 

They provide massive quantities of stuff for SP to make.  As was mentioned in the response from Bob, tooling changes for a full sculpted profile requires 32 tooling changes at 2 man hours per swap.  This is over one person getting paid a week and a half of pay just in tooling changes.  When you get an order for 6,000 sets, you still have the same number of tooling swaps, but you can run the machine for 6-10 times longer than what I have seen for GH community group buys.  Not only does this save SP money in tooling change, but actually changing tooling is where 90% of tooling damage has the greatest chance of happening.

Now this is where my idea comes in.  What if we were to talk with SP and see if  we can setup a GH PMK account and do that instead of a GH business entity.  Not only does this take a TON of requirements and logistics off our end, but it still lets SP monitor our traffic and potentially still get us a bit of a discount.  If this were to work, the only thing that would need to be done would be marketing, direct logistics with SP, and GB initiation.  All money handling, shipping, sorting and such would still be handled by SP.  But they already have people in place, and probably well trained in this.  This already makes this a very attractive idea in my book.  Hell, they probably even get shipping discounts on shipping due to volume.  We  could possibly even see about getting a quick training course so we can ask questions to the GH SP liaison about process requirements, cap sizes, manufacturing process, etc.  Not only this, but the 5% comission could then be put back into SP in terms of new molds for a new profile, IE cherry profile/DCS but the thickness of GMK, but with the color palatte of SPs offerings.

What say you??
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Offline Niomosy

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #44 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 20:17:43 »
I think the question becomes whether or not the PMK system will have pricing similar to the MassDrop discounted pricing.  If all buys get that same price because you're going direct, the single contact via PMK system is not necessary.

If not, then we could look at that and see what kind of discount is feasible through the PMK system.

Offline zslane

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #45 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 20:26:34 »
If GH had a "preferred user" PMK account of some kind through which it funneled all GH-originated group buys, then it is quite feasible that over time it could earn wholesale price benefits. I'm not sure that the PMK webstore is set up currently to make it easy for SP to automatically apply special discounts on a per-user-account basis, but I think if such a GH account put up really significant sales numbers, they would consider tweaking the code to make it possible.

Offline Melvang

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #46 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 20:35:31 »
If GH had a "preferred user" PMK account of some kind through which it funneled all GH-originated group buys, then it is quite feasible that over time it could earn wholesale price benefits. I'm not sure that the PMK webstore is set up currently to make it easy for SP to automatically apply special discounts on a per-user-account basis, but I think if such a GH account put up really significant sales numbers, they would consider tweaking the code to make it possible.

I think the question becomes whether or not the PMK system will have pricing similar to the MassDrop discounted pricing.  If all buys get that same price because you're going direct, the single contact via PMK system is not necessary.

If not, then we could look at that and see what kind of discount is feasible through the PMK system.

While this is true, think of it this way, even if we don't get a special discount, we would still be getting the 5% commission that could then be used to put toward other stuff.  And without a discount on cap prices, the commission comes in faster as it is based off net sales, no number of sets sold.  It could also be put to other uses such as, community driven keyboard design, new SP molds for thicker Cherry/DCS profile, more custom colors, especially PBT, etc.  Pay for GH servers as well, remember this site itself has overhead that needs to be taken care of as well.
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Offline zslane

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #47 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 20:40:42 »
I suppose if GH group buys could put up truly significant numbers (as some members believe it can), over time that 5% could really add up. The proof would be in the pudding, I suppose.

Offline Niomosy

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #48 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 20:49:07 »
If GH had a "preferred user" PMK account of some kind through which it funneled all GH-originated group buys, then it is quite feasible that over time it could earn wholesale price benefits. I'm not sure that the PMK webstore is set up currently to make it easy for SP to automatically apply special discounts on a per-user-account basis, but I think if such a GH account put up really significant sales numbers, they would consider tweaking the code to make it possible.

I think the question becomes whether or not the PMK system will have pricing similar to the MassDrop discounted pricing.  If all buys get that same price because you're going direct, the single contact via PMK system is not necessary.

If not, then we could look at that and see what kind of discount is feasible through the PMK system.

While this is true, think of it this way, even if we don't get a special discount, we would still be getting the 5% commission that could then be used to put toward other stuff.  And without a discount on cap prices, the commission comes in faster as it is based off net sales, no number of sets sold.  It could also be put to other uses such as, community driven keyboard design, new SP molds for thicker Cherry/DCS profile, more custom colors, especially PBT, etc.  Pay for GH servers as well, remember this site itself has overhead that needs to be taken care of as well.

The problem there becomes that 5%.  There are tax issues that go along with that money.  Spread across many users and it might simply be a small thing.  Centralized in a single account and you're going to probably want a legal entity of some kind for it to sit behind.

There's another thought, though.  Since PMK does not do pre-purchasing and sets are simply produced and put up for sale, there need not be any specialized pricing that the system has to do before hand.  SP would simply list the product and enter pricing like they do for other sets possibly.  If so, it might be feasible for them to simply adjust pricing by 5%, moving the designer payout into a community discount and avoid the potential tax problems.
« Last Edit: Thu, 28 January 2016, 20:54:49 by Niomosy »

Offline livingspeedbump

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #49 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 20:50:10 »
This would obviously require someone on GH with Moderator, or perhaps even, Admin status.
There would definitely need to be some form of payment to compensate said person for their efforts; you can't just expect someone to work for free.
Honestly I don't think we have any suitable members here on GH.

Hoff has a ton of experience shipping orders but has very little time.
Mashby is good with collecting funds but I don't recall him handling shipping.
The guys at CTRL would have the most experience in both of these fields, however, perhaps there could be a conflict of interests at some point.

Yeah, tough for sure.
I don't thing CTRL is a good option, or any other vendor. That in itself is a conflict of interest. A neutral party is an absolute must.
We basically do need someone that is trustworthy, and has time to take on a part time job. Indeed a large order. Which again brings into questions why not just move to going through the other options like PMK store or MD that already can handle things, and quite frankly are more efficient at doing so? For international orders, a simple proxy may be needed, which could be any member the buying parties trust.

"CTRL" isnt a vendor

that being said its not a position id have any interest in, frankly i think the whole thing is a joke

I am sorry If my label was incorrect, not entirely sure what the correct label is. A collective?

But my point shouldn't have been misunderstood by my incorrect label. It was not intended as any kind of knock on CTRL. The point was simple though. It should be someone that is not already running sales of their own, as that could easily make a conflict of interest OR give the appearance of a conflict on interest, so I said that to protect both the GB leaders and the person in the position.
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