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Offline HoffmanMyster

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Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 10:13:59 »
Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines

Hey everyone. As you may have noticed, the Group Buy rules are a little unclear on some topics, and could generally use an update. We have rewritten the Group Buy rules accordingly. Review the rules below before organizing or participating in a Group Buy, and please let myself or another moderator know if any items need further clarification.



What is “Group Buys and Preorders”?

The Group Buys and Preorders subforum is a marketplace for the purpose of bringing new products to the community that would otherwise not be feasible or possible. This typically consists of a Group Buy organizer (or a set of regional vendors, coordinated by the Group Buy organizer) collecting funds from forum members to reach a Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) with a manufacturer in order to obtain a product at a lower price tier through volume discounts, or to create multiple custom products to lower cost per unit. The product in question would not yet be produced; if the product exists in a vendor’s inventory, it shall be sold in the Vendor subforum of the marketplace. If, on the other hand, the product is to be produced in limited quantities by the organizer, that sale belongs in the Artisan subforum.

Please see ”What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines” for more information from the participant’s perspective.



Who can create a Group Buy thread?

Forum members, Artisans, and Vendors may start threads in this section. Reminder to Vendors, please check the Vendor Terms of Service.

A Minimum forum membership duration of 2 months + post count of 25 are required to create new threads. If you do not meet this requirement, the "New Topic" button will not be visible to draft a new thread. (Note: This minimum post count includes both Threads that are created and Post replies to other threads made in subforums which count posts; if your official Post Count listed below your username is lower than expected, it's due to posts being made in subforums that do not count posts)

When a Group Buy organizer is personally responsible for ordering/sorting/shipping (when applicable) items from a Group Buy, that organizer is limited to creating 2 concurrent (from starting and until finished delivery) Group Buy / Preorder threads if they are a Member/Artisan and 4 concurrent threads if they are a Vendor. Note that this rule does not apply if an organizer is acting only as a designer, and group buys are then fulfilled by a third-party vendor. Such third-party vendors are in no way vetted by geekhack; please do your research before placing an order, as you would with any independent website.

Only those who are directly involved in running a group buy are allowed to start threads here (i.e. please do not post a thread on behalf of someone else).

If you would like to advertise products entirely in your possession, please use the Classifieds, or, if applicable, you may use the Artisan Services or Vendor Forums sections.



What are my responsibilities as a Group Buy organizer after creating the thread?

geekhack.org is a community of keyboard enthusiasts and not simply an advertising platform for keyboard-related sales. Thus we require that any group buy organizers who post their group buy threads in this section also provide updates in the thread they have started until the conclusion of the group buy, even if updates are also posted somewhere else. It is requested to post an update at least monthly, even if there is no progress in manufacturing.

Group buy threads made here are for group buy progress discussion as well as open discussion of any quality control issues. If a group buy organizer decides to provide an off-site instant message chat option for faster order support (for example Discord), any such communication needs to be optional when it comes to non-sensitive order information (individual support involving personal information is not required to, and should not, be posted in the public thread).



Group Buy Thread Requirements

Please follow the posting requirements detailed here when creating your GB thread. Failure to do so may result in your post not being approved. If you believe that a particular portion of these requirements do not apply to your Group Buy for any reason, please feel free to contact the moderation team to explain the situation.

Group Buy Thread Title

The “[GB]” prefix must be used in your thread title in order to make thread titles in this subforum more distinctive for those browsing using Spy or Unread Topics. Please include manufacturer/material information when applicable, and avoid all-caps or other click-baity writing styles.

Group Buy Thread Contents

There are a few items which are required within a Group Buy thread, while others are sometimes included to enhance the thread or only if applicable. A non-exhaustive list of potential items to include is detailed below. All required items are in Orange with an asterisk.

  • Teaser photo
  • GB name*
  • General description of GB*, including inspiration/history if desired
  • Start and end date*
  • Estimated fulfillment date* (to give an idea to prospective buyers - for example, Q2 2022)
  • Detailed kitting information (for keycaps GBs) with photos, if applicable*
  • Detailed configuration options (for keyboard/accesory GBs) with photos, if applicable*
  • Vendor information, or link to purchase form, etc*
  • Pricing information*, which may be vendor-specific and can therefore be communicated in the best manner as determined by the organizer
  • Information about additional accesories and/or collaborations that may be available
  • Feel free to include a link to a Discord page where buyers can discuss the product amongst themselves and ask real-time questions of the organizer/vendors; please bear in mind that important and regular updates must be posted to the geekhack GB thread even if that information is posted elsewhere - no geekhack user shall be expected to visit an external site in order to gain information that should otherwise be available here
  • Additional renders/photos, signature promotional code, and thank yous as desired

Group Buy Thread Approval

The Group Buy subforum, along with most other sections of the Marketplace, operates on a thread approval system. Submitted posts must be reviewed by a moderator, after which they will be approved if they follow the rules detailed in this post. If they do not meet all requirements, a moderator will reach out to you to inform you of which details are missing and how to achieve compliance with your post.

It is recommended to report your new and unapproved thread to the moderator team in order to bring it to our attention quicker and gain approval in a more timely manner. This can be done by clicking the "Report to moderator" link at the bottom of your new post. Don't worry about bugging us or intruding by doing so - we much prefer to handle approvals as threads are submitted rather than discovering a thread that was missed, and this is the easiest way to ensure that a new thread is approved quickly after submission.



Since these rules are recently revamped and completely rewritten, there may be some additional clarifications required. If you have any questions or notice any errors, please message myself or another moderator to address the issue.




PS: As always, CAVEAT EMPTOR




Updates
  • 2021/11/17 - Updated verbiage of "Who can create a Group Buy thread?" section to specify that users are only limited in the number of concurrent threads "when a Group Buy organizer is personally responsible for ordering/sorting/shipping (when applicable) items from a Group Buy"
  • 2022/05/09 - Updated verbiage of "Who can create a Group Buy thread?" section to include information regarding which posts are counted and will contribute to total Post Count needed to create a GB thread
« Last Edit: Mon, 09 May 2022, 13:50:48 by HoffmanMyster »

Offline dededecline

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 10:22:39 »
Quote
There is a limit of 2 concurrent (from starting and until finished delivery) Group Buy / Preorder threads per Member/Artisan and 4 concurrent threads per Vendor.

Has this always been the case? This seems pretty restrictive, especially considering the reality of lead times right now. Wouldn't "start of GB to end of GB purchase period" make more sense?

Offline Lil

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 10:42:13 »
Quote
There is a limit of 2 concurrent (from starting and until finished delivery) Group Buy / Preorder threads per Member/Artisan and 4 concurrent threads per Vendor.

Has this always been the case? This seems pretty restrictive, especially considering the reality of lead times right now. Wouldn't "start of GB to end of GB purchase period" make more sense?

I sense a de-decline in the number of GB posts you will be able to make   ;)
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Offline HoffmanMyster

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 10:50:19 »
Quote
There is a limit of 2 concurrent (from starting and until finished delivery) Group Buy / Preorder threads per Member/Artisan and 4 concurrent threads per Vendor.

Has this always been the case? This seems pretty restrictive, especially considering the reality of lead times right now. Wouldn't "start of GB to end of GB purchase period" make more sense?

The intent of that rule is to minimize the chances of a runner taking on more than they can handle, becoming overwhelmed, and not being able to complete the buys. Given how most GBs are run these days (logistics handled through vendors, overall buy organized by a designer), there's definitely a case to be made that those runners could handle more threads. We'll talk this over and update here. :thumb: Thanks for the feedback. :)

Offline dededecline

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 10:52:41 »
Quote
There is a limit of 2 concurrent (from starting and until finished delivery) Group Buy / Preorder threads per Member/Artisan and 4 concurrent threads per Vendor.

Has this always been the case? This seems pretty restrictive, especially considering the reality of lead times right now. Wouldn't "start of GB to end of GB purchase period" make more sense?

The intent of that rule is to minimize the chances of a runner taking on more than they can handle, becoming overwhelmed, and not being able to complete the buys. Given how most GBs are run these days (logistics handled through vendors, overall buy organized by a designer), there's definitely a case to be made that those runners could handle more threads. We'll talk this over and update here. :thumb: Thanks for the feedback. :)

Thanks for the quick response! I think another relevant point on top of what you said is that after the sale period, the work required on the designer side is fairly minimal.

Offline AuthenticDanger

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 10:59:00 »
if the product exists in a vendor’s inventory, it shall be sold in the Vendor subforum of the marketplace. If, on the other hand, the product is to be produced in limited quantities by the organizer, that sale belongs in the Artisan subforum.

Since Artisans usually pre-make their goods in small batches, couldn't those sales go in the "Vendor" subforum? And at that point, shouldn't there be no distinction between a 25 unit run of a CNC'd macropad and a bunch of keycaps? With so many people making things (keycaps, wristrests, cases, deskmats, cables, etc) in small quantities both at home and via manus, I think the line between "vendor" and "artisan" is very blurred.

Also, artisan keycap makers often run multiple sales in a row before shipping, which completely skirts the rules because they do it by recycling 1 thread.
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Offline of_sam

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 11:06:32 »
I am very much looking forward to a similar set of rules for the IC section of GH. Please add a minimum required post count and account age for that as well.
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Offline Vortext

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 11:13:22 »
I am very much looking forward to a similar set of rules for the IC section of GH. Please add a minimum required post count and account age for that as well.
Yeah this would be great  :thumb:

Offline blacksimon

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 11:20:46 »
Firstly, I think this is a good direction to go in, assuming decent enforcement.

I like where this is going, however, when trying to think of users with more than 4 concurrent GBs that are failing to deliver, the number is tiny.

The account age age post requirements is fantastic for weeding out obvious trash - but I would love to see some sort of basic rules on ICs.

The smart play is always to attack a problem at its source, and since every GB thread (should) have a companion IC thread - I think it may be a good plan to at least have some basic rules in effect for IC contents and concurrent thread limit.

Obviously, it would be terrible to inhibit people's passion projects - so a light touch would be needed, but some very basic rules would go a long way - perhaps defining a max amount of active IC threads in place of GB threads may solve both problems, since the threads are essentially married.

Realistically, users could simply IC on GH and then post their GB elsewhere, circumnavigating the rules set forth above (by posting GB info in their IC thread without notice) - which I understand is technically not your problem, but if the goal is to protect the community, it is something to consider.

This, of course is entirely up to the moderation team and you guys will know best, but I believe some IC oversight would kill two birds with one stone (and hopefully reduce the total amount of man hours for moderation by nipping problems before they arise, instead of later)

Offline anatworkaccount

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 11:59:44 »

I like where this is going, however, when trying to think of users with more than 4 concurrent GBs that are failing to deliver, the number is tiny.


Oh I can think of one, they have a pinned post a few down from this.

Offline Faceman76

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 12:55:41 »
Reducing the amount of active group buy threads per vendor will just make their Discord more active and here less active.

If a vendor is struggling or problematic, it would be best to let everyone here easily see it.

Otherwise, everything looks great.



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Offline Bub

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 13:06:29 »
I am very much looking forward to a similar set of rules for the IC section of GH. Please add a minimum required post count and account age for that as well.

I'd like this as well.

Also, agreed with Simon on the 2 concurrent posts being pretty low. Its really hurting designers who work hard more than preventing idiots from speedrunning bad designs. Especially with lead times the way they are.

I'm not really against the rule for monthly updates even if most of those updates are "no updates."

I do think having more controls in the IC forum will really help get this place to where the community wants it to be.

Either way, love this forum. Thx for your hardwork.
« Last Edit: Wed, 03 November 2021, 13:32:16 by Bub »

Offline TyPo.mk

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 13:09:38 »
What happens if you don’t update your GB page monthly?

Offline clik_clak

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 13:24:19 »
So my question is...

What are the consequences of not following these rules? There are a very large number of GB's that are in violation of these guidelines already. I'm referring specifically to the "update once a month" rule.

Offline TyPo.mk

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 13:27:30 »
So my question is...

What are the consequences of not following these rules? There are a very large number of GB's that are in violation of these guidelines already. I'm referring specifically to the "update once a month" rule.

Why would I update my gb thread just to say “no updates” when there are people actively in group buy trying to keep their posts at the top

Offline Gondolindrim

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 13:56:34 »
I'm also in favour of a somewhat similar set of rules for ICs. I think something no one has touched on is that people started confusing Interest Checks with a place to publish concepts and gather feedback, which has its own forum in the Making Stuff Togetther! forum.

I say this because I think we have somewhat lost the DIY gist of the hobby and new makers find it ever more difficult to interact and gather feedback on ideas. I also think that the majority of what people call "low effort" posts are in fact well-intended newcomers that want to design stuff but don't have a dedicated place, so they make a very initial post on what they want to achieve or what they envision for that idea. Given, they could read and interact more on the other Geekhack forums, but the ICs and GBs forum are what garner attraction...

I am also up for a tighter rule enforcement. It does not make sense to have a set of rules which in practicality do not exist; I may be going out of my way here, but I am with Simon and Sam. The rules as they are need some polishing but the major problem is making sure they are followed.

EDIT: I am also going waay out of my way here, but being in this hobby for almost a decade now I feel I need to talk about this:

The intent of that rule is to minimize the chances of a runner taking on more than they can handle, becoming overwhelmed, and not being able to complete the buys. Given how most GBs are run these days (logistics handled through vendors, overall buy organized by a designer), there's definitely a case to be made that those runners could handle more threads. We'll talk this over and update here. :thumb: Thanks for the feedback. :)

Let me preface by saying Hoffman is a much more seasoned keyboarder than I am, so his opinion is surely way more palpable and verossimile than mine in the sense he has more time and experience moderating and interacting with the community. However, I strongly disagree with this statement. There will be no healthy way to prevent someone from someone taking on more than they can handle. There are runners running literally one sigle GB and they haven't delivered and will probably never. And even then, they can just publish their GBs on Reddit if they already have more than two posts here on GH. So I am afraid nothing of this will prevent anyone from overwhelming themselves in the smallest.

Furthermore, I also agree with Simon that this can actually hurt invested, genuinely productive designers, that want to have multiple products up at once.

The first idea I could think of would be a "grading" of vendors and designers, say three levels, where the first level (a new unknown designer) can publish a single GB, a level 2 (say someone that has successfully ran two GBs) can do two and a level 3 (say someone that has successfully ran four GBs) can do four. This kind of levelling happens in most communities I am a part of and it seems to work well to filter out users actions by gradually giving more responsibility to members that successfully take on more responsibilities. Failing to uphold to the GB guidelines and rules will demote the vendor/designer level or completely revoke their status depending on severity/quantity et cetera.

Unfortunately this hobby of ours, in the model we have chosen to built it in with GBs and preorders being the main method of obtaining "unique" designs, trust and reputation will always be the pillar of the customer-designer-vendor relationship and that is something I think a forum cannot regulate. What I think is the right mindset is: we are doing this so that the GBs posted in Geekhack have a little bit more filtering and screening by not allowing someone to run multiple projects at once.

I also reckon that my suggestions and criticisms will take more time and effort from the moderation team, to which I step completely out of my league and say I can volunteer as a GH moderator if need be.

Nonetheless I think this is a step in the right direction given the current zeitgeist of the hobby. All hail Geekhack!
« Last Edit: Wed, 03 November 2021, 14:17:34 by Gondolindrim »
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Offline yoniwolf1202

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 03 November 2021, 21:43:17 »
The first idea I could think of would be a "grading" of vendors and designers, say three levels, where the first level (a new unknown designer) can publish a single GB, a level 2 (say someone that has successfully ran two GBs) can do two and a level 3 (say someone that has successfully ran four GBs) can do four. This kind of levelling happens in most communities I am a part of and it seems to work well to filter out users actions by gradually giving more responsibility to members that successfully take on more responsibilities. Failing to uphold to the GB guidelines and rules will demote the vendor/designer level or completely revoke their status depending on severity/quantity et cetera.
I'm a fan of this idea. It does seem logical and measurable even if it will take a bit more effort on the end of the mod team. Maybe also recruiting more mods to ensure rules are able to be enforced could be something to do as well.

Offline homerowco

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 05 November 2021, 09:32:51 »
if that goes along with approving GB posts in a timely manner and not two weeks post GB end date... that would be great, yes ;)

Offline mozaic

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #18 on: Sun, 07 November 2021, 11:13:15 »
These new rules sound good, but as Simon said regular enforcement by the moderation team will be what it really comes down to

Offline kk73715

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 08 November 2021, 06:15:00 »
Love this direction, thank you moderation team

Keep it up :thumb:

Offline cthalupa

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 16 November 2021, 17:27:09 »
Quote
There is a limit of 2 concurrent (from starting and until finished delivery) Group Buy / Preorder threads per Member/Artisan and 4 concurrent threads per Vendor.

I'll be frank: This is a good way to begin the process of removing GH as the central repository of GBs. People won't stop running sets because they're at this limit, they'll just post details elsewhere, which will then in turn mean people will start looking elsewhere, as they know they are missing out on things that are running if they only look here, which will further the cycle.

With lead times on most manus being 4-5x the amount of time required to design a set, and so little of the work after the GB completes being with the designer, it doesn't make much sense from the "Don't bite off more than you can chew" perspective, either. Even matching color samples is frequently outsourced to people like Nebulant these days, so I am liable to spend more time bothering my vendors to pay me out after running a GB than I am doing any significant work on the set itself.

Offline Signature

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 16 November 2021, 17:43:54 »
Quote
There is a limit of 2 concurrent (from starting and until finished delivery) Group Buy / Preorder threads per Member/Artisan and 4 concurrent threads per Vendor.

I'll be frank: This is a good way to begin the process of removing GH as the central repository of GBs. People won't stop running sets because they're at this limit, they'll just post details elsewhere, which will then in turn mean people will start looking elsewhere, as they know they are missing out on things that are running if they only look here, which will further the cycle.

With lead times on most manus being 4-5x the amount of time required to design a set, and so little of the work after the GB completes being with the designer, it doesn't make much sense from the "Don't bite off more than you can chew" perspective, either. Even matching color samples is frequently outsourced to people like Nebulant these days, so I am liable to spend more time bothering my vendors to pay me out after running a GB than I am doing any significant work on the set itself.
We have always had this rule in place and we have not yet encountered anything that makes it seem problematic
Very busy with studies atm.

Offline cthalupa

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 16 November 2021, 17:57:56 »
Quote
There is a limit of 2 concurrent (from starting and until finished delivery) Group Buy / Preorder threads per Member/Artisan and 4 concurrent threads per Vendor.

I'll be frank: This is a good way to begin the process of removing GH as the central repository of GBs. People won't stop running sets because they're at this limit, they'll just post details elsewhere, which will then in turn mean people will start looking elsewhere, as they know they are missing out on things that are running if they only look here, which will further the cycle.

With lead times on most manus being 4-5x the amount of time required to design a set, and so little of the work after the GB completes being with the designer, it doesn't make much sense from the "Don't bite off more than you can chew" perspective, either. Even matching color samples is frequently outsourced to people like Nebulant these days, so I am liable to spend more time bothering my vendors to pay me out after running a GB than I am doing any significant work on the set itself.
We have always had this rule in place and we have not yet encountered anything that makes it seem problematic
Is just not enforced, then? I'll pick an easy (but not nearly unique) example in biip - he has significantly more than 2 group buys that are not delivered yet has continued to make GB threads.

Offline HoffmanMyster

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 17 November 2021, 10:14:39 »
Thanks everyone, these are some great discussions and points to consider. I've tried to cover all the responses here in summary, but do note the point at the bottom about any missed topics/responses.

Quote
There is a limit of 2 concurrent (from starting and until finished delivery) Group Buy / Preorder threads per Member/Artisan and 4 concurrent threads per Vendor.

Has this always been the case? This seems pretty restrictive, especially considering the reality of lead times right now. Wouldn't "start of GB to end of GB purchase period" make more sense?

Quote
There is a limit of 2 concurrent (from starting and until finished delivery) Group Buy / Preorder threads per Member/Artisan and 4 concurrent threads per Vendor.

I'll be frank: This is a good way to begin the process of removing GH as the central repository of GBs. People won't stop running sets because they're at this limit, they'll just post details elsewhere, which will then in turn mean people will start looking elsewhere, as they know they are missing out on things that are running if they only look here, which will further the cycle.

With lead times on most manus being 4-5x the amount of time required to design a set, and so little of the work after the GB completes being with the designer, it doesn't make much sense from the "Don't bite off more than you can chew" perspective, either. Even matching color samples is frequently outsourced to people like Nebulant these days, so I am liable to spend more time bothering my vendors to pay me out after running a GB than I am doing any significant work on the set itself.

Excellent points, thanks again for the feedback dededecline and cthalupa. The rules have been updated accordingly to include some verbiage making a distinction between those runners who are doing logistical work themselves vs those who are not. Feel free to comment further if that point can be clarified any better or if there are any edge cases not covered as it's currently written. :thumb:


These new rules sound good, but as Simon said regular enforcement by the moderation team will be what it really comes down to

Completely true. There was once a time that I was able to keep up with pretty much everything that went on here, but of course that is not possible anymore. We will absolutely be relying on users to notice anyone not following these rules and report them to the mod team. Please don't hesitate to do so, and thank you all in advance for the assistance! :)


The first idea I could think of would be a "grading" of vendors and designers, say three levels, where the first level (a new unknown designer) can publish a single GB, a level 2 (say someone that has successfully ran two GBs) can do two and a level 3 (say someone that has successfully ran four GBs) can do four. This kind of levelling happens in most communities I am a part of and it seems to work well to filter out users actions by gradually giving more responsibility to members that successfully take on more responsibilities. Failing to uphold to the GB guidelines and rules will demote the vendor/designer level or completely revoke their status depending on severity/quantity et cetera.
I'm a fan of this idea. It does seem logical and measurable even if it will take a bit more effort on the end of the mod team. Maybe also recruiting more mods to ensure rules are able to be enforced could be something to do as well.

This is a great idea. I think it might be time to create a new usergroup (think of Makers, Vendors, etc) for Group Buy Runners. This would both distinguish them visually to other users and create an "establishing" process which will allow the mod team to add the organizer to a list and begin to keep track of these things. As mentioned above, the limit has been lifted for those organizers who are only designing sets, but I think it could prove useful for users who are carrying out the logistics themselves and vendor teams that want to take on additional vendor-run buys as well.


if that goes along with approving GB posts in a timely manner and not two weeks post GB end date... that would be great, yes ;)

Yes... This has been a pretty big problem, I apologize. There has always been an unwritten protocol that reporting a thread will bring it to the mod team's attention and typically lead to much quicker approval. I'm optimistic that putting this into writing now will greatly help with timely approvals.


I'm also in favour of a somewhat similar set of rules for ICs. I think something no one has touched on is that people started confusing Interest Checks with a place to publish concepts and gather feedback, which has its own forum in the Making Stuff Together! forum.

I say this because I think we have somewhat lost the DIY gist of the hobby and new makers find it ever more difficult to interact and gather feedback on ideas. I also think that the majority of what people call "low effort" posts are in fact well-intended newcomers that want to design stuff but don't have a dedicated place, so they make a very initial post on what they want to achieve or what they envision for that idea. Given, they could read and interact more on the other Geekhack forums, but the ICs and GBs forum are what garner attraction...

There have been a handful of ideas tossed around for the IC forum, and I'm not totally convinced of the right way to handle it. On the one hand, there are some pretty low-effort posts there, but at the same time, it's kind of the "find your footing" playground area where you don't necessarily want to stifle creativity. Definitely open to a more extensive dialogue on this. I think some have proposed a new subforum for this very rough ideating stuff, which may make sense. My main concern is fragmentation of threads and diluting content that way. There are already a few subforums which don't see much traffic as most users tend to check one or two subforums and don't have time/bandwidth/attention for much more.

I am also up for a tighter rule enforcement. It does not make sense to have a set of rules which in practicality do not exist; I may be going out of my way here, but I am with Simon and Sam. The rules as they are need some polishing but the major problem is making sure they are followed.

For sure. I touched on this above but wanted to keep your post in order. Please help us by reporting offending threads! :)
Also, you mentioned some polishing needed - if it wasn't something that you've already mentioned here, then don't hesitate to expand on it. I'm well aware that these rules won't be perfect, so any polishing or fine-tuning help would be appreciated. And if anyone doesn't feel comfortable posting here, you can always send a PM.

EDIT: I am also going waay out of my way here, but being in this hobby for almost a decade now I feel I need to talk about this:

The intent of that rule is to minimize the chances of a runner taking on more than they can handle, becoming overwhelmed, and not being able to complete the buys. Given how most GBs are run these days (logistics handled through vendors, overall buy organized by a designer), there's definitely a case to be made that those runners could handle more threads. We'll talk this over and update here. :thumb: Thanks for the feedback. :)

Let me preface by saying Hoffman is a much more seasoned keyboarder than I am, so his opinion is surely way more palpable and verossimile than mine in the sense he has more time and experience moderating and interacting with the community. However, I strongly disagree with this statement. There will be no healthy way to prevent someone from someone taking on more than they can handle. There are runners running literally one sigle GB and they haven't delivered and will probably never. And even then, they can just publish their GBs on Reddit if they already have more than two posts here on GH. So I am afraid nothing of this will prevent anyone from overwhelming themselves in the smallest.

Furthermore, I also agree with Simon that this can actually hurt invested, genuinely productive designers, that want to have multiple products up at once.

The first idea I could think of would be a "grading" of vendors and designers, say three levels, where the first level (a new unknown designer) can publish a single GB, a level 2 (say someone that has successfully ran two GBs) can do two and a level 3 (say someone that has successfully ran four GBs) can do four. This kind of levelling happens in most communities I am a part of and it seems to work well to filter out users actions by gradually giving more responsibility to members that successfully take on more responsibilities. Failing to uphold to the GB guidelines and rules will demote the vendor/designer level or completely revoke their status depending on severity/quantity et cetera.

Unfortunately this hobby of ours, in the model we have chosen to built it in with GBs and preorders being the main method of obtaining "unique" designs, trust and reputation will always be the pillar of the customer-designer-vendor relationship and that is something I think a forum cannot regulate. What I think is the right mindset is: we are doing this so that the GBs posted in Geekhack have a little bit more filtering and screening by not allowing someone to run multiple projects at once.

This was again discussed above (seems to be the most-discussed point of the new rules, for good reason), and I absolutely agree. There ultimately is little we can do to truly prevent bad things from happening, hence the heavy focus on caveat emptor on the forum. That said, if a rule is designed for that purpose but isn't reasonably doing anything to move the needle in that direction, then that's a silly rule. It didn't take much convincing to change that point of the rules, as you've seen. :) It was a bit of a carry-over from the previous era when vendors were not used to such a degree, and hadn't been updated in mindset to the current times. Definitely appreciate the feedback on that one and welcome any more similar observations on other rules. :thumb:

I also reckon that my suggestions and criticisms will take more time and effort from the moderation team, to which I step completely out of my league and say I can volunteer as a GH moderator if need be.

Nonetheless I think this is a step in the right direction given the current zeitgeist of the hobby. All hail Geekhack!

Perhaps! But if it's the right direction to head, then we will do our best to make it happen. If you're serious about volunteering, please check out the Moderator Application thread and consider submitting an app! We're always looking for new people to add to the team. :thumb:


Thanks again to all for the feedback and your thoughts on the new rules (and how to make them even better). :thumb:
I may have missed a point or two as I was going through, so please don't hesitate to raise a point again if I haven't addressed it in this response. My omission was not an implicit tossing away of the feedback.

Offline ZOMOPLUS

  • Posts: 19
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    • ZOMOPLUS
Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 09 December 2021, 00:39:22 »
Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines

Hey everyone. As you may have noticed, the Group Buy rules are a little unclear on some topics, and could generally use an update. We have rewritten the Group Buy rules accordingly. Review the rules below before organizing or participating in a Group Buy, and please let myself or another moderator know if any items need further clarification.



What is “Group Buys and Preorders”?

The Group Buys and Preorders subforum is a marketplace for the purpose of bringing new products to the community that would otherwise not be feasible or possible. This typically consists of a Group Buy organizer (or a set of regional vendors, coordinated by the Group Buy organizer) collecting funds from forum members to reach a Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) with a manufacturer in order to obtain a product at a lower price tier through volume discounts, or to create multiple custom products to lower cost per unit. The product in question would not yet be produced; if the product exists in a vendor’s inventory, it shall be sold in the Vendor subforum of the marketplace. If, on the other hand, the product is to be produced in limited quantities by the organizer, that sale belongs in the Artisan subforum.

Please see ”What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines” for more information from the participant’s perspective.



Who can create a Group Buy thread?

Forum members, Artisans, and Vendors may start threads in this section. Reminder to Vendors, please check the Vendor Terms of Service.

A Minimum forum membership duration of 2 months + post count of 25 are required to create new threads. If you do not meet this requirement, the "New Topic" button will not be visible to draft a new thread.

When a Group Buy organizer is personally responsible for ordering/sorting/shipping (when applicable) items from a Group Buy, that organizer is limited to creating 2 concurrent (from starting and until finished delivery) Group Buy / Preorder threads if they are a Member/Artisan and 4 concurrent threads if they are a Vendor. Note that this rule does not apply if an organizer is acting only as a designer, and group buys are then fulfilled by a third-party vendor. Such third-party vendors are in no way vetted by geekhack; please do your research before placing an order, as you would with any independent website.

Only those who are directly involved in running a group buy are allowed to start threads here (i.e. please do not post a thread on behalf of someone else).

If you would like to advertise products entirely in your possession, please use the Classifieds, or, if applicable, you may use the Artisan Services or Vendor Forums sections.



What are my responsibilities as a Group Buy organizer after creating the thread?

geekhack.org is a community of keyboard enthusiasts and not simply an advertising platform for keyboard-related sales. Thus we require that any group buy organizers who post their group buy threads in this section also provide updates in the thread they have started until the conclusion of the group buy, even if updates are also posted somewhere else. It is requested to post an update at least monthly, even if there is no progress in manufacturing.

Group buy threads made here are for group buy progress discussion as well as open discussion of any quality control issues. If a group buy organizer decides to provide an off-site instant message chat option for faster order support (for example Discord), any such communication needs to be optional when it comes to non-sensitive order information (individual support involving personal information is not required to, and should not, be posted in the public thread).



Group Buy Thread Requirements

Please follow the posting requirements detailed here when creating your GB thread. Failure to do so may result in your post not being approved. If you believe that a particular portion of these requirements do not apply to your Group Buy for any reason, please feel free to contact the moderation team to explain the situation.

Group Buy Thread Title

The “[GB]” prefix must be used in your thread title in order to make thread titles in this subforum more distinctive for those browsing using Spy or Unread Topics. Please include manufacturer/material information when applicable, and avoid all-caps or other click-baity writing styles.

Group Buy Thread Contents

There are a few items which are required within a Group Buy thread, while others are sometimes included to enhance the thread or only if applicable. A non-exhaustive list of potential items to include is detailed below. All required items are in Orange with an asterisk.

  • Teaser photo
  • GB name*
  • General description of GB*, including inspiration/history if desired
  • Start and end date*
  • Estimated fulfillment date* (to give an idea to prospective buyers - for example, Q2 2022)
  • Detailed kitting information (for keycaps GBs) with photos, if applicable*
  • Detailed configuration options (for keyboard/accesory GBs) with photos, if applicable*
  • Vendor information, or link to purchase form, etc*
  • Pricing information*, which may be vendor-specific and can therefore be communicated in the best manner as determined by the organizer
  • Information about additional accesories and/or collaborations that may be available
  • Feel free to include a link to a Discord page where buyers can discuss the product amongst themselves and ask real-time questions of the organizer/vendors; please bear in mind that important and regular updates must be posted to the geekhack GB thread even if that information is posted elsewhere - no geekhack user shall be expected to visit an external site in order to gain information that should otherwise be available here
  • Additional renders/photos, signature promotional code, and thank yous as desired

Group Buy Thread Approval

The Group Buy subforum, along with most other sections of the Marketplace, operates on a thread approval system. Submitted posts must be reviewed by a moderator, after which they will be approved if they follow the rules detailed in this post. If they do not meet all requirements, a moderator will reach out to you to inform you of which details are missing and how to achieve compliance with your post.

It is recommended to report your new and unapproved thread to the moderator team in order to bring it to our attention quicker and gain approval in a more timely manner. This can be done by clicking the "Report to moderator" link at the bottom of your new post. Don't worry about bugging us or intruding by doing so - we much prefer to handle approvals as threads are submitted rather than discovering a thread that was missed, and this is the easiest way to ensure that a new thread is approved quickly after submission.



Since these rules are recently revamped and completely rewritten, there may be some additional clarifications required. If you have any questions or notice any errors, please message myself or another moderator to address the issue.




PS: As always, CAVEAT EMPTOR




Updates
  • 2021/11/17 - Updated verbiage of "Who can create a Group Buy thread?" section to specify that users are only limited in the number of concurrent threads "when a Group Buy organizer is personally responsible for ordering/sorting/shipping (when applicable) items from a Group Buy"

Hi, I wonder if the post count of 25 means the threads count or the count of anything posted in the forum by the member. Thx.

Offline HoffmanMyster

  • HOFF, smol MAN OF MYSTERY
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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 09 December 2021, 10:15:25 »
Hi, I wonder if the post count of 25 means the threads count or the count of anything posted in the forum by the member. Thx.

Hey :) The post count requirement refers to any post (thread or response) in a subforum which counts posts (some forums, like Off Topic, do not count posts).

Offline cheswick

  • Posts: 92
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    • cheswick.dev
Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 16 March 2022, 09:57:14 »
Waiting for the approval of my GB now for more then 60 hours, got no message if anything is missing. Is there a way to get in touch with a mod to check on the GB?

Offline dvorcol

  • Posts: 2787
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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #27 on: Wed, 16 March 2022, 17:27:23 »
Waiting for the approval of my GB now for more then 60 hours, got no message if anything is missing. Is there a way to get in touch with a mod to check on the GB?

Did you click the "Report to moderator" link at the bottom of your new thread?


Offline nFaiz

  • Posts: 73
Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #28 on: Wed, 04 May 2022, 21:06:50 »
If there would be an instock product would it still be posted in the GB sub form or somewhere else?

Online suicidal_orange

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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 05 May 2022, 03:57:49 »
If there would be an instock product would it still be posted in the GB sub form or somewhere else?
It would be somewhere else - Artisan Services if it's a small amount or handmade and Vendor if it's being sold by a professional.
120/100g linear Zealio R1  
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Offline Kevin-3992

  • Posts: 25
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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 08 May 2022, 01:15:24 »
 post count of 25。
Does this rule require 25 posting records or just replies?

Offline dvorcol

  • Posts: 2787
  • Location: Michigan
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Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 09 May 2022, 01:52:37 »
post count of 25。
Does this rule require 25 posting records or just replies?

Replies count as posts.  The "Posts: #" directly below your avatar shows where you're at.

Edit: the number below your avatar is the posts that count, so if it is at least 25 you qualify to start a GB thread.  Posts made in certain sub-forums, for example buying/selling, do not count.  See HoffmanMyster's post for a detailed explanation.
« Last Edit: Mon, 09 May 2022, 12:44:48 by dvorcol »

Offline HoffmanMyster

  • HOFF, smol MAN OF MYSTERY
  • * Senior Moderator
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  • Posts: 11100
  • Location: WI
Re: Updated Group Buy Rules and Guidelines
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 09 May 2022, 13:52:00 »
post count of 25。
Does this rule require 25 posting records or just replies?

Replies count as posts.  The "Posts: #" directly below your avatar shows where you're at.

Edit: the number below your avatar is the posts that count, so if it is at least 25 you qualify to start a GB thread.  Posts made in certain sub-forums, for example buying/selling, do not count.  See HoffmanMyster's post for a detailed explanation.

Thanks for answering @dvorcol - updated the OP with clarified details on this point. :)