Author Topic: Group Buy Protocol  (Read 7069 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline clappingcactus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 371
  • Location: Ottawa, Canada
Group Buy Protocol
« on: Wed, 30 August 2017, 19:23:58 »
It's looking like enough group buys are running into new harsher paypal policies that lock them out of their money and the ability to fulfill their runs in a timely or well controlled manner. This then leads to panic about the 6 month protection window, requests for refund, forced payment loss and increased worthless stock, and a total demolition of someone's bank account. This isn't just an opinion, here are the group buy organizers themselves:

Just a few truths that me and Linn are already sold something ( Linn sold his car ) to pay the factory first for you guys ( paypal holding too much money ).

2. Paypal was terrible. They held 50% amount of money for 6 months or until this GB finished (Paypal needs me to prove). I have used my own money for running this Group Buy.

With only 3/5 of the MOQ is fulfilled, aggreesively priced kit, money being withheld by PayPal, the delays and also issues with the QC, these are clearly the things that I have underestimated, when I naively pull Sherry and Sam in, to "give something back to community".

Sure, one solution is to run smaller buys (like riotonthebay has), or buys that don't involve keyboards (springs etc. won't trigger paypal's 'hold half your money' systems). But it's probably time for the geekhack management to step up.

Here are just some random suggestions off the top of my head:

  • Have a clear outlined universal protocol for how both vendors and customers should interact. This includes explaining to vendors that they need to notify customers of paypal shenanigans as soon as they arise, and notifies customers what steps can be taken to ensure their money's safety once paypal's protection ends. More on that below. But there really needs to be a clear list of do's and dont's that help everybody involved, rather than letting every thread that has a bad situation descend into madness on its own. This also has a trickle down effect, where organizers will themselves have similar requirements of the manufacturers that are working with them to relay back to the community.
  • Verify vendors on group buys contractually. This way organizers don't have to sell their stuff in a rush, but will be held financially liable in the case of fraud. This also allows for more trust from forum users that understand this. You can charge group buy organizers a flat fee or a percent fee for the advertising source and organizational ease you provide. That fee can either be used to offset unexpected fees that threaten a buy, or be put toward legal teams in the case of fraud in any of the buys.
  • Organize the forum so there are interest buttons, and group buy organizers don't need to panic if someone pulls out of a buy. You probably have dozens of visitors to every page every day that would buy a keyboard in a heartbeat and ease a buy's stress when someone pulls out or requests a refund. Integrate something in the forum system so it's easier to have a backlog of people who've shown that they'd like a spot. Share it with your vendors.
  • Maybe move towards a centralized business account with paypal. You're the management here. Discuss with paypal, have documentation about continued cases of difficulty as I've shown above, enter into an agreement with them, so that you can facilitate creators' jobs without them having to both be excellent engineers and flawless financiers.

Let's have a conversation about not just being a hobbyist community, but enabling ourselves to be one.

Offline SpAmRaY

  • NOT a Moderator
  • * Certified Spammer
  • Posts: 14630
  • Location: \(_o)/
  • because reasons.......
Re: Group Buy Protocol
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 30 August 2017, 19:33:18 »
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=36773.0


https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=77272.0


The forum 'management' wants nothing to do with managing group buys.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: Wed, 30 August 2017, 19:35:28 by SpAmRaY »

Online pixelpusher

  • Posts: 2804
  • Location: Tennessee - USA
Re: Group Buy Protocol
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 30 August 2017, 23:53:44 »
So I think what he's saying is that these ideas might be a great way to run group buys... but the moderators aren't going to enforce anything.  It would be up to the GB participants to demand these things from the seller.
:)

Offline HoffmanMyster

  • HOFF, smol MAN OF MYSTERY
  • * Senior Moderator
  • Posts: 10476
  • Location: WI
Re: Group Buy Protocol
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 31 August 2017, 12:59:33 »
As Spamray has mentioned, the overarching rule on the forum is Caveat Emptor.  The site "management" does not make any claims to guarantee the outcome of any group buy or sale conducted on the site. 

We did, in recent years, take a couple steps to help buyers and attempt to make the process better.  GB organizers are only permitted to run a limited number of buys at the same time, and newer members are not allowed to run GBs (some level of "trust" must be established first).  Beyond that, it really is a matter of sending money to someone on the internet, and buyers must understand the risks involved with that. 

All of the ideas outlined here seem to misinterpret the structure of geekhack.  This is not a corporation or business, it is a forum run by volunteer enthusiasts in their free time.  There is no legal involvement of any sort, and we don't have the resources to enter into agreements or partnerships with Paypal or any other corporations.  There is no kickback from vendors or GB runners, or anything of that sort. 

Offline digi

  • elite af tbh
  • * Exquisite Elder
  • Posts: 2779
  • keyboard game on fleek
Re: Group Buy Protocol
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 31 August 2017, 13:01:23 »
As Spamray has mentioned, the overarching rule on the forum is Caveat Emptor.  The site "management" does not make any claims to guarantee the outcome of any group buy or sale conducted on the site. 

We did, in recent years, take a couple steps to help buyers and attempt to make the process better.  GB organizers are only permitted to run a limited number of buys at the same time, and newer members are not allowed to run GBs (some level of "trust" must be established first).  Beyond that, it really is a matter of sending money to someone on the internet, and buyers must understand the risks involved with that. 

All of the ideas outlined here seem to misinterpret the structure of geekhack.  This is not a corporation or business, it is a forum run by volunteer enthusiasts in their free time.  There is no legal involvement of any sort, and we don't have the resources to enter into agreements or partnerships with Paypal or any other corporations.  There is no kickback from vendors or GB runners, or anything of that sort. 

Well said Hoffbrau....did you get that $100 I sent ya? :D

Offline HoffmanMyster

  • HOFF, smol MAN OF MYSTERY
  • * Senior Moderator
  • Posts: 10476
  • Location: WI
Re: Group Buy Protocol
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 31 August 2017, 13:02:02 »
As Spamray has mentioned, the overarching rule on the forum is Caveat Emptor.  The site "management" does not make any claims to guarantee the outcome of any group buy or sale conducted on the site. 

We did, in recent years, take a couple steps to help buyers and attempt to make the process better.  GB organizers are only permitted to run a limited number of buys at the same time, and newer members are not allowed to run GBs (some level of "trust" must be established first).  Beyond that, it really is a matter of sending money to someone on the internet, and buyers must understand the risks involved with that. 

All of the ideas outlined here seem to misinterpret the structure of geekhack.  This is not a corporation or business, it is a forum run by volunteer enthusiasts in their free time.  There is no legal involvement of any sort, and we don't have the resources to enter into agreements or partnerships with Paypal or any other corporations.  There is no kickback from vendors or GB runners, or anything of that sort. 

Well said Hoffbrau....did you get that $100 I sent ya? :D

;)

Offline HotRoderX

  • Posts: 672
Re: Group Buy Protocol
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 31 August 2017, 14:58:31 »
This might sound harsh but please keep in mind the context and the truth of what I say.

I want a guaranteed group buy. I go to massdrop!

Most other places and companies ran by 1-2 people .. I take a risk of knowing that after 6 months there a good chance if I hadn't got my product that I won't nor my money.


The reason I say Massdrop is a Guarantee is because there a decent size company. They most likely have least 20-30 employee's and that how they make there living. Unless something catastrophic happen your going to get the product or your money.

Other Sources like hmm I use a fake example Billy Bobs Keyboard Emporium.. has 1-2 people working there... and they do it on the side. They want to give back to the community which is great! A lot of the community seems really cool!.. They take your money and suddenly something happens RL hits one or both of them. Suddenly things start taking longer falling thought.. etc.. Use your imagination on what happened to them. Sickness, being fired from there job, having something happen to a love one etc etc. These are things that can't be avoided... there slow to answer emails.. there slow to respond... just in general drop off the face of the earth. There was no  malicious intent just things happened and there only some much you can do.

Another thing to keep in mind this is dramatic but kinda leaves one to wonder! I had this happen to a friend I worked with. He suddenly got sick stopped going to work! vanished for like 6 months. Then he logged into his messaging account! I message asking him how he was doing feeling.. telling him missed talking hanging out etc. Turns out it wasn't him. It was his wife she was just logging in to check his emails. He passed away like 4 months earlier she didn't have any way to contact people or even know who to contact. He had left work about a month after getting sick because he just couldn't work at the time. She had just gain accessed to a lot of his accounts was going over things like the email, messager etc. This is something else that could happen during a group buy. its extreme but yea. I always wonder when someone just suddenly vanishes is it because they wanted to or did something really happen to them. So unless your dealing directly with a company the harsh reality is that things can happen. Be Prepared.

Offline AuthenticDanger

  • Posts: 294
Re: Group Buy Protocol
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 31 August 2017, 16:32:55 »
I want a guaranteed group buy. I go to massdrop!

Have you seen the insane delays with some massdrop drops? There are plenty of MD horror stories. It's always a risk, and when it takes 8 months or a year before anything starts to trickle out to buyers, you're likely far outside of your credit card dispute window if it goes sideways.

Also, MD customer service and communication is pretty bad from my experience.
F Keys belong on the left.

Offline clappingcactus

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 371
  • Location: Ottawa, Canada
Re: Group Buy Protocol
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 31 August 2017, 19:19:52 »
All of the ideas outlined here seem to misinterpret the structure of geekhack.  This is not a corporation or business, it is a forum run by volunteer enthusiasts in their free time.  There is no legal involvement of any sort, and we don't have the resources to enter into agreements or partnerships with Paypal or any other corporations.  There is no kickback from vendors or GB runners, or anything of that sort.

While I knew all of these things I also (maybe naively) thought that maybe there's an evolution down the line that streamlines some of the biggest problems the community has. If the geekhack administration absolutely wants nothing to do with it, that's fine, but I just would've wished that someone in your position (the collective your) would have tried to see what could be done/attempted.

Offline HotRoderX

  • Posts: 672
Re: Group Buy Protocol
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 31 August 2017, 20:29:41 »
All of the ideas outlined here seem to misinterpret the structure of geekhack.  This is not a corporation or business, it is a forum run by volunteer enthusiasts in their free time.  There is no legal involvement of any sort, and we don't have the resources to enter into agreements or partnerships with Paypal or any other corporations.  There is no kickback from vendors or GB runners, or anything of that sort.

While I knew all of these things I also (maybe naively) thought that maybe there's an evolution down the line that streamlines some of the biggest problems the community has. If the geekhack administration absolutely wants nothing to do with it, that's fine, but I just would've wished that someone in your position (the collective your) would have tried to see what could be done/attempted.

I might be wrong and not a lawyer but I think the biggest hurdle would be... if they did something like this possible legal ramifications.. this could bring them personally and could bring the website its self. Perhaps if you feel very strongly about this you could look into becoming a independent certifications for group buys? Perhaps get some others! start up what you had listed...  then have people contact you to certify them and there buy agreeing to follow certain rules and terms. Policing those rules and terms. Just a thought every idea every company starts from some where. Though personally I feel it be a TON of work who knows if its even possible.

Offline HoffmanMyster

  • HOFF, smol MAN OF MYSTERY
  • * Senior Moderator
  • Posts: 10476
  • Location: WI
Re: Group Buy Protocol
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 31 August 2017, 21:15:51 »
All of the ideas outlined here seem to misinterpret the structure of geekhack.  This is not a corporation or business, it is a forum run by volunteer enthusiasts in their free time.  There is no legal involvement of any sort, and we don't have the resources to enter into agreements or partnerships with Paypal or any other corporations.  There is no kickback from vendors or GB runners, or anything of that sort.

While I knew all of these things I also (maybe naively) thought that maybe there's an evolution down the line that streamlines some of the biggest problems the community has. If the geekhack administration absolutely wants nothing to do with it, that's fine, but I just would've wished that someone in your position (the collective your) would have tried to see what could be done/attempted.

I might be wrong and not a lawyer but I think the biggest hurdle would be... if they did something like this possible legal ramifications.. this could bring them personally and could bring the website its self.

This is absolutely the one and only reason.  I am also not a lawyer, but I do know enough to know that I don't know enough.  ;)  So I'm not about to push the limits.  As much as I would personally love to turn the system into a better version of itself, most of the viable solutions bring tremendous liability risks with them.  :-/