Author Topic: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys  (Read 137685 times)

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Offline HoffmanMyster

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Update 2023-06-30

Per our last update, moderators from Geekhack, /r/MechanicalKeyboards, /r/Mechmarket, and MechGroupBuys have been in contact with Chris and Mike of Mechs & Co. Unfortunately, it's been a one sided conversation. We, as a united front, have offered to help in any way we can with Mechs & Co's situation, but while we've made good on our actionable items, we have not seen the same from Mech's & Co.
  • We have reached out to other vendors for the possibility of assisting with fullfillment
  • We have reached out to other vendors who would be interested in purchasing bulk in stock product to inject money into shipments
  • We have ensured an open line of communication directly to the mod team
  • We have offered advice and suggestions as to improve communication with the community
  • Mechs & Co did not deliver upon regular updates to the team with hard deadlines set collaboratively
  • Mechs & Co did not reopen their discord, nor did they post a transparent update
  • Mechs & Co were unresponsive and unreachable through traditional avenues of communication

With that being said, we believe that there is significant risk of insolvency or bankruptcy which would put the fulfillment of the paid group buy invoices, let alone the unpaid ones, in serious jeopardy. Mechs & Co has a considerable amount of in-stock, unsold inventory, and we have seen no attempt to discount in attempt to revitalize cash flow. Due to the lack of cash flow out of Mechs & Co, manufacturers are cancelling unpaid invoices and have had to list Mechs & Co's stock directly or resell to other customers or vendors.

For the sake of transparency, we've included a list of paid and unpaid group buys given to us by Mechs & Co. There are group buys in which we did not get a status such as GMK Taiga and GMK Moonlight. Some of us are customers too, so when we decided to include this, it's because it's what we as customers would want. Mechs & Co collected money for all of the following sets and keyboard group buys.

Keycap Sets
KeysetPayment StatusProduct Status
GMK ArtPaidIn Production Queue
GMK Terror BelowPaidDelivered to Mechs & Co
GMK TruffelschweinPaidIn production queue
GMK TakoPaidShipping to vendors
GMK TerrorUnpaid-
GMK TiramisuUnpaid-
GMK NTDPartially Paid-
GMK ArcticUnpaid-
GMK MercuryUnpaid-
GMK GladiatorUnpaid-
GMK Cream MatchaUnpaid-
GMK CinderUnpaid-
GMK BordeauxUnpaid-
GMK RegalUnpaid-
GMK Beige AddonUnpaid-
GMK WoB EssentialsUnpaid-
MW HereseyPaidA-Stock in Transit
MW PlutoUnpaid-
MW Stone AgeUnpaid-
MW CulturedUnpaid-
MW BaristaUnpaid-
MW FuyuPaidShipped to M&C
MW PavilionUnpaid-
MW CommuteUnpaid-
MW HayastanUnpaid-
DMK RubberPaidIn transit

Keyboards
KeyboardPayment Status
Jex 3CV2Paid
BulwarkUnpaid
Hubble65Partially Paid - Final Invoice still owed
XOX70Paid
Saevus CorUnpaid/Cancelled
Loki65Unpaid/Cancelled
Norvus60Paid - Status Unknown (Supposedly in M&C Warehouse)

As this situation continues to unfold, we want to remind the community of a few things:
  • Watch for red flags in vendors such as excessive group buys or lack of communication
  • When possible, purchase with a payment method that offers buyer protection, like many credit card companies do
  • Do your due diligence for GBs, and report a thread or profile to the mod team when you believe there is a scam
  • Be wary of content that seems inorganic or persistently biased in favor of a company
  • When in doubt, ask questions; if you don't get answers you're satisfied with, it may be a sign to take your business elsewhere

We are not advocating for any specific action; however, here is a brief summary of your consumer rights, which applies to ALL Group Buys, Pre-Orders, and General Purchases:
  • Always use a credit card and an official e-commerce platform like PayPal, Shopify, Shop, or Stripe (some unscrupulous business try to request venmo / zelle / bank transfer).
  • The PayPal Dispute Period is 180 Days; you should pay attention to advertised turnaround times (like some cable makers claim 2-6 weeks). Communication is Key. If they start ghosting customers and you’re at the 5 month mark, you should probably file a dispute, as this is the easiest time to do so. Furthermore, if enough people file disputes they’ll be penalized $35 per dispute, so it’s an incentive for them to follow through. Even if they are communicating, artisans and cables really shouldn’t be taking 6 months, so you have to ask yourself if you’re comfortable with the risks of potentially never receiving your item.
  • However, provided you used a Credit Card and not a Debit Card, if you are past the 180 days PayPal dispute period, you may be able to escalate to a Credit Card Chargeback for Reason Code: Goods Not Shipped / Delivered.
  • MasterCard, Visa, and American Express Credit Card Networks typically support between 360-540 days for a dispute, but it is best to submit one before the 1 year mark when possible. Also note that you may need to escalate to a supervisor, and specify that the items you ordered were Never Shipped, thus your chargeback reason is for Goods Not Shipped.
  • Additionally, in the event you believe you’ve been scammed, file a report with your relevant local regulatory body, such as the FTC
  • If you are not in the USA, there are also other relevant country Consumer Protection regulations, such as in the UK, Canada, EU, and Australia, so you may want to check what legal rights you have if you are not covered by a Credit Card.

As a cross platform Mod Team, we've taken a few things away from this situation to improve what we can do for the community:
  • In the future you will most likely see rules regarding vendors and group buys to be consistent cross platform. While each community retains it's own unique space, it's important that we have some baseline rules to help ensure that we are doing everything we can to help avoid situations like this in the future.
  • We've already begun to cross-ban scammers and people willing to take advantage of the community.

Signed,
The Mods of /r/MechanicalKeyboards, /r/mechmarket, Mech Group Buys, and geekhack

Edit: Further status updates made on 2023-07-01



Original Post

Our hobby is subject to the same economic cycles resulting in reduced overall market demand over the past year. This in turn has increased financial pressures on several KB vendors, many of whom operate on limited cash flow and deferred product fulfillment.

Some vendors (such as Prevail) closed while making good on their customer obligations, while others have overextended themselves, resulting in insufficient funds to fulfill orders or pay manufacturers for existing orders. Notably, while the hobby was in peak demand during covid, several vendors re-invested Group Buy (GB) profits to meet Minimum Order Quantities or MOQ (for example, if there is a minimum quantity of 1000 and only 700 sets sold, the lead vendor bought the remaining required 300), and/or bought a large quantity of extra units beyond the MOQ. Vendors purchased these extra units hoping to make more profit, assuming demand would continue to grow, which has not happened.

It has come to our attention that Mechs & Co, who ran many GBs, has been financially struggling due to the aforementioned circumstances. We are currently in touch with the owners, who have committed to providing regular updates and transparency on their unfulfilled GBs and pending orders. While this will not solve the problem for all customers, if they deliver on their promise, it will at least provide more visibility which is currently lacking.

We strongly recommend that the community be extremely cautious when joining any GB from any vendor, especially those who have a large number of unfulfilled GBs. Be alert when updates start to become irregular or cease, and avoid joining more GBs from those vendors.
We intend to follow up as soon as we have more information about the situation.

Signed,
The Mods of /r/MechanicalKeyboards, /r/mechmarket, Mech Group Buys, and Geekhack

Link to /r/mk topic on the matter
« Last Edit: Sat, 01 July 2023, 08:27:28 by HoffmanMyster »

Offline hali

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 23 June 2023, 12:45:07 »
Thanks for the PSA. Unfortunately, I feel that some of the cues require you to dig deeper and also be able to recognize certain trends. It's not always easy for newcomers to read the signs and make an informed purchase decision, especially when other vendors can be doing the same things and still appear "fine."

for real though, maybe a guide to safer buying or similar could help

Offline ggggggg

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 23 June 2023, 16:40:25 »
^good stuff

Please give mykeyboard.eu a stern talking to next.

Offline EdgeOfInfinity

  • Posts: 348
Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 24 June 2023, 00:23:53 »
appreciate the info Hoff & Hali coming thru w/ the receipts; a true shame though.

Online Rhienfo

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 24 June 2023, 09:43:19 »
Thanks for mentioning this. COVID was probably the main reason why the hobby exploded in popularity and for some reason these vendors didn't think to themselves whether the hobby will maintain it's popularity after covid, and whether it was sustainable to do so.

after all of these fiasco with shady vendors, it has definitely made me more weary when it comes to joining group buys and I hope everything can get resolved with vendors like Mech&Co but the reality is that products might not be delivered ever, so I hope that damage is minimal.
 

Offline Puddsy

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 25 June 2023, 22:11:36 »
mechs and co expanded too big too fast

it's no secret at this point that most GBs are making the bulk of their money on extras (or at least were during normal times), where the product can be sold at much higher margin

to predict what sets become hype and what sets don't is impossible, and generally a losing battle -- therein lies the problem

thus the hobby moves on

will we learn this time? no
« Last Edit: Sun, 25 June 2023, 22:16:57 by Puddsy »
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Offline DaaDaa

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 27 June 2023, 16:29:52 »
So mechs and Co has literally run with people's money? Wow I have so many gb sets with them.
piggy60 red upgraded PVD w/ GMK umka zaku | tiramisuit w/ GMK noire JWK silk emerald | mr.suit black/chrome glossy chamfers w/ GMK minimal cow POM stem | jelly epoch w/ SA oblivion zaku | mode80 deco w/ gmk boneyard alpaca | mode 80 imperial with ePBT origami alpaca| MODE80 viridian /w CRP boba LT | RAMA thermal kuro w/ GMK muted 2 pewter | BBox60 C64 wih marshmellows and c64 keycaps | MODE Sonnet green /w MW voynich gateron ink box pink

Offline DaaDaa

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 27 June 2023, 17:47:01 »
ok I checked and all payments that i have to them are past the point that i would have any recourse. They are located in Middletown NY and I am relatively close. I intend to get an update in person.
piggy60 red upgraded PVD w/ GMK umka zaku | tiramisuit w/ GMK noire JWK silk emerald | mr.suit black/chrome glossy chamfers w/ GMK minimal cow POM stem | jelly epoch w/ SA oblivion zaku | mode80 deco w/ gmk boneyard alpaca | mode 80 imperial with ePBT origami alpaca| MODE80 viridian /w CRP boba LT | RAMA thermal kuro w/ GMK muted 2 pewter | BBox60 C64 wih marshmellows and c64 keycaps | MODE Sonnet green /w MW voynich gateron ink box pink

Offline EdgeOfInfinity

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 28 June 2023, 12:15:38 »
I intend to get an update in person.

let us know how that goes! lmao  ;D

Offline DaaDaa

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 28 June 2023, 19:34:39 »
I intend to get an update in person.

let us know how that goes! lmao  ;D

you got it bae
piggy60 red upgraded PVD w/ GMK umka zaku | tiramisuit w/ GMK noire JWK silk emerald | mr.suit black/chrome glossy chamfers w/ GMK minimal cow POM stem | jelly epoch w/ SA oblivion zaku | mode80 deco w/ gmk boneyard alpaca | mode 80 imperial with ePBT origami alpaca| MODE80 viridian /w CRP boba LT | RAMA thermal kuro w/ GMK muted 2 pewter | BBox60 C64 wih marshmellows and c64 keycaps | MODE Sonnet green /w MW voynich gateron ink box pink

Offline //gainsborough

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 29 June 2023, 14:31:27 »
I also have quite a bit of money tied up in GBs with them.  Please report back with whatever information you find out!

Offline codecoffeecode

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 29 June 2023, 18:49:42 »
Is there any consistent method of gathering order stats without having to wait for the vendors or folks like dvorcol to post numbers? These patterns emerge in hindsight but how can potential customers see these data points prior to the conclusion of the group buy? Even then, some vendors never end up providing those order numbers or don't allow group buy refunds.

Personally, I had managed to remain unscathed by the seemingly increasing number overwhelmed vendors and straight-up scams up until this point. I suppose I could have tried to predict M&C's over-extension, but how would I have done this? If I join Fancy Vendor's group buy today, and then Fancy Vendor starts fifty more over the next few weeks, what can I do except hope that they deliver my group buy before they are inundated with the others?

Our hobby's standard practice is to provide these companies with six-figure interest-free loans and hope they keep their **** together for the year or two or three or four it takes for them to pay the manufacturers and eventually mail us our pieces of plastic and slabs of aluminum.

Perhaps we as a hobby need to start ensuring that manufacturers are paid before any customer pays the vendor. That's why interest checks are so important and why they are typically held to such a high standard on GeekHack: that's your market research. Vendors can get an idea of the number of potential buyers, account for people that will inevitably flake, and place the order with the manufacturer before taking a dime from customers. The manufacturers can then have representatives confirm payment has been made in the GB threads.

There would definitely be situations where not enough people buy the products and the vendors struggle to pay back their business loans (or pay themselves back if they're rolling in it), but that's the nature of a business: sometimes products don't sell and the vendor loses money and even goes under. But the companies running these group buys need to be the ones financially responsible when **** goes sideways. There's no reason all of the risk is on the customer.

Offline vhaarr

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 30 June 2023, 00:13:01 »
There's no reason all of the risk is on the customer.
But we're not customers. We're a group of people who essentially created their own Kickstarter-ecosystem without diversification to help keep connection hubs (between manu-enduser) afloat.
these companies
Is there any reason to believe that "these companies" are anything else than small endeavours started by enthusiasts like yourself? You might have the best intentions, but (1) you could be just bad at running a company like this and not know it (ever heard of Dunning-Kruger?), or (2) you could be overwhelmed and stressed out from all the work, i.e. unable to handle the workload and unable to pay enough to hire someone to help you, or (3) perhaps one or more close family relatives die so you stop caring, or (4) perhaps you chop your leg off with a chainsaw (literally happened to a friend of mine 2 months ago) and so your priorities change and you neglect the company - perhaps you hire someone to run it, who doesn't care about the hobby, who ****s up big time, or, or, or.

Most people have good intentions.

I'm not defending M&C, I have no idea who they are, how long they've operated, or why they failed. I imagine they're in the US, I am on the other side of the world. But companies are started - most times - by single individuals like yourself with good intentions and a dream.

I'd be really curious to know more about what happened here, so that hopefully our ecosystem can learn from it and grow, and help prevent this thing from happening in the future. But until proven otherwise I'm not willing to think of any group buy vendor as anything but a clone of myself with a different life path.

They're not faceless corporations, they're people like me.
Let the Holy Handgrenades rain.
Hammering on an old Happy Hacking Pro 2. Still going strong!

Offline codecoffeecode

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 30 June 2023, 02:14:27 »
Quote
But we're not customers. We're a group of people who essentially created their own Kickstarter-ecosystem without diversification to help keep connection hubs (between manu-enduser) afloat.

But I am a customer: I paid a business expecting a product in return.

Quote
Is there any reason to believe that "these companies" are anything else than small endeavours started by enthusiasts like yourself?

These companies being small endeavors run by enthusiasts doesn't absolve them of the financial obligations they've undertaken by running a business. A financial transaction took place; this wasn't a $50 loan to a friend.

Quote
They're not faceless corporations, they're people like me.
If you were to go on r/mechmarket and pay a "person like you" some amount of money for keycaps and never receive them, are you going to let it go because they're just a person, or are you going to attempt to get your money back just like you would with any other faceless corporation? We can't keep treating these businesses like chums who bear no obligations to the people from whom they have taken money.

Quote
(1) you could be just bad at running a company like this and not know it (ever heard of Dunning-Kruger?), or (2) you could be overwhelmed and stressed out from all the work, i.e. unable to handle the workload and unable to pay enough to hire someone to help you, or (3) perhaps one or more close family relatives die so you stop caring, or (4) perhaps you chop your leg off with a chainsaw

**** happens. That's an inherent risk you take not just in starting a business, but just living life. I'm not particularly interested in the how and why of Mechs & Co.'s current situation; I just want them to fulfill their obligations to me as a customer who supported them in this hobby.



Offline HoffmanMyster

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 30 June 2023, 10:22:37 »
Updated the OP with current information

Offline kiyoboard

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 30 June 2023, 10:42:35 »
I have always thought that GMK starts production only after they get paid in full. How does it work in this case? Also, feels like that information should be public so that customers can react quicker if there is an issue with the invoice payment.

Offline Puddsy

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 30 June 2023, 12:41:33 »
hubris led them to bascally do a ponzi scheme

awful all around
QFR | MJ2 TKL | "Bulgogiboard" (Keycon 104) | ctrl.alt x GON 60% | TGR Alice | Mira SE #29 | Mira SE #34 | Revo One | z | Keycult No. 1 | AIS65 | First CW87 prototype | Mech27v1 | Camp C225 | Duck Orion V1 | LZ CLS sxh | Geon Frog TKL | Hiney TKL One | Geon Glare TKL



"Everything is worse, but in a barely perceptible and indefinable way" -dollartacos, after I came back from a break | "Is Linkshine our Nixon?" -NAV | "Puddsy is the Puddsy of keebs" -ns90

Offline clik_clak

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 30 June 2023, 15:08:25 »
Put in a CC dispute today for my GMK Regal order from 363 days ago. Thankfully they accepted the dispute with no issues.

Pretty dumb that orders placed a year ago still haven't been paid to the vendor. I didn't loan this business money, I paid for a product. I expect my money to be used in a timely manner to get the product I paid for into production.

Poeple need to stop giving these businesses/GB runners passes for their scammy practices.

If you start selling products to people, you need to now treat your hobby like the business it now became.


Offline involuntarysoul

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 30 June 2023, 18:58:18 »
I'd be really curious to know more about what happened here

they used GB payments for personal investments, such as a down payment for a new house etc, thinking they will easily make the money back by selling overpriced extras, comes 2021, extras have stopped selling they have no other source of income so they started to take on multiple groupbuys and use the GB payment to paying off their debt. Like all ponzi scheme there will be a point when people realize and try to get money back, in their case it is the Loki65 GB

Offline DaaDaa

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 30 June 2023, 22:41:27 »
,.....
« Last Edit: Thu, 06 July 2023, 17:13:25 by DaaDaa »
piggy60 red upgraded PVD w/ GMK umka zaku | tiramisuit w/ GMK noire JWK silk emerald | mr.suit black/chrome glossy chamfers w/ GMK minimal cow POM stem | jelly epoch w/ SA oblivion zaku | mode80 deco w/ gmk boneyard alpaca | mode 80 imperial with ePBT origami alpaca| MODE80 viridian /w CRP boba LT | RAMA thermal kuro w/ GMK muted 2 pewter | BBox60 C64 wih marshmellows and c64 keycaps | MODE Sonnet green /w MW voynich gateron ink box pink

Online Rhienfo

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 01 July 2023, 04:09:44 »
I was not able to dispute the ones for GMK tiramisu, heresy, and GMK Bordeaux but they said that they will take a note and consider it in their investigation. actually there is a good chance that amex will come through for those too. this is very unfortunate because it is going to really make starting another business or even getting a credit card difficult for them. they really should have worked with geekhack, mechmarket and us.  I have quite a few different credit cards but thankfully for all transactions with them I had used amex which really takes care of me or at least has so far. so i already got reimbursed for dmk rubber and MW barista and I might even get back my money for heresy, and tiramisu and Boudreaux.
Hope you eventually get you money back there. I think that even if they worked with geekhack etc and did everything they could by the end of it some people still wouldn't have gotten back their money or the things they ordered but the lack of communication as described is truly shocking. It's like they have completely given up on trying to help people, it seems they have done nothing to try and save the situation here (as said stuff like discounting stuff in stock and then using that money to refund people or fulfill orders) which is selfish and horrible to the people that bought from them.



 

Offline DaaDaa

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 01 July 2023, 11:27:43 »
The announcement of their discord that they just put up is hilarious. It doesn't answer any questions or give any info, it just asked us all to sit back and take it as it has been uncomfortable for them.
« Last Edit: Sat, 01 July 2023, 11:56:27 by DaaDaa »
piggy60 red upgraded PVD w/ GMK umka zaku | tiramisuit w/ GMK noire JWK silk emerald | mr.suit black/chrome glossy chamfers w/ GMK minimal cow POM stem | jelly epoch w/ SA oblivion zaku | mode80 deco w/ gmk boneyard alpaca | mode 80 imperial with ePBT origami alpaca| MODE80 viridian /w CRP boba LT | RAMA thermal kuro w/ GMK muted 2 pewter | BBox60 C64 wih marshmellows and c64 keycaps | MODE Sonnet green /w MW voynich gateron ink box pink

Offline zebus

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 01 July 2023, 12:20:46 »
The announcement of their discord that they just put up is hilarious. It doesn't answer any questions or give any info, it just asked us all to sit back and take it as it has been uncomfortable for them.

Worse than that. They used their one update to throw out the victim card while simultaneously doubling down on the fact that they are watching out for their star players and don’t give a **** about anyone else, peppered with thinly veiled threats aimed at the people they’ve already ****ed over that lined their pockets for them.

Offline Pandamom98

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 01 July 2023, 12:36:34 »
Here's their update they posted in discord if anyone wanted to read it

@everyone

While we continue to work on fulfilling orders and managing to stabilize our business due to the recent community issues, we ask that everyone be patient with us and the response as the mass influx of requests from both the updates side and refunds side has been overwhelming.

It’s no secret that us as well as other vendors have hit cash flow issues due to the state of the hobby, the market changing and other factors. We’re doing our best to take care of what we can and still generate revenue with in stock product to operate so we can continue fulfilling GBs that have run.

With that, we also ask that _absolutely no one_ unless asked to otherwise, reach out to anyone affiliated with M&C through personal channels or their family members or share personal sensitive information. We have a business and LLC setup for a reason and we’re working with multiple people and organizations in the community to continue fulfilling orders and move forward with projects the best way possible. If we feel it’s best to stop operations and close down based on legal counsel then we will do so but until then we will continue operating the best we can under these circumstances. Every member has family and people they care about and we understand everyone’s frustrations but that’s not the appropriate route for anyone to take.

Some people also expect responses on weekends and holidays and we are not in during those times, example this weekend through Tuesday. We are working on a sheet with the Mechmarket Mods for updates on all outstanding GBs and we hope to have it by the middle of next week for further transparency.

Thanks for reading and understanding,
M&C


Offline AmethystDCVR

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #24 on: Sat, 01 July 2023, 14:57:27 »
another one bites the dust. im lucky i got out unscathed since monochrome was my last GB i did with them. i feel bad for anyone else still caught in the rubble

Vala's ponzi scheme will probably collapse soon after this one

Offline DaaDaa

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 01 July 2023, 16:37:04 »
another one bites the dust. im lucky i got out unscathed since monochrome was my last GB i did with them. i feel bad for anyone else still caught in the rubble

Vala's ponzi scheme will probably collapse soon after this one

Vala has been giving refund per request fr any GB for any reason so they are on my cool side and i have gmk electric with them which i am really looking forward to as it is, to me, one of the most exciting GMK designs.
piggy60 red upgraded PVD w/ GMK umka zaku | tiramisuit w/ GMK noire JWK silk emerald | mr.suit black/chrome glossy chamfers w/ GMK minimal cow POM stem | jelly epoch w/ SA oblivion zaku | mode80 deco w/ gmk boneyard alpaca | mode 80 imperial with ePBT origami alpaca| MODE80 viridian /w CRP boba LT | RAMA thermal kuro w/ GMK muted 2 pewter | BBox60 C64 wih marshmellows and c64 keycaps | MODE Sonnet green /w MW voynich gateron ink box pink

Offline Pandamom98

  • Posts: 40
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #26 on: Sat, 01 July 2023, 19:37:49 »
Vala has been giving refund per request fr any GB for any reason so they are on my cool side and i have gmk electric with them which i am really looking forward to as it is, to me, one of the most exciting GMK designs.

Vala honestly seems to have turned it around with their own issues they were having and improved themselves (especially with shipping from what ive been hearing from others)


Offline vhaarr

  • Posts: 339
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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 02 July 2023, 01:21:49 »
Could it be an idea to require GB runners to post the number of extras that each vendor has ordered?

It would still require us to be vigilant, but then at least we could have some comparative reference using community google sheets or whatever.
Let the Holy Handgrenades rain.
Hammering on an old Happy Hacking Pro 2. Still going strong!

Offline Puddsy

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 02 July 2023, 15:01:09 »
Could it be an idea to require GB runners to post the number of extras that each vendor has ordered?

It would still require us to be vigilant, but then at least we could have some comparative reference using community google sheets or whatever.

no vendor will ever post on GH again if this happens
QFR | MJ2 TKL | "Bulgogiboard" (Keycon 104) | ctrl.alt x GON 60% | TGR Alice | Mira SE #29 | Mira SE #34 | Revo One | z | Keycult No. 1 | AIS65 | First CW87 prototype | Mech27v1 | Camp C225 | Duck Orion V1 | LZ CLS sxh | Geon Frog TKL | Hiney TKL One | Geon Glare TKL



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Offline Pandamom98

  • Posts: 40
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 06 July 2023, 14:57:57 »
Fedex was unable to deliver Fuyu to Mechs&co per Swishy's latest update

@member I come bearing bad news, I was informed yesterday that the fuyu shipment, could not make the final delivery to Mechs&Co. Fedex couldn’t reach anyone, so at this point the set will either be sent to a location in the US or sent back to china. :AnyaSob:

With that being said, if we do end up getting the set back, it will go up along the other sets on mwkeys.com, despite what the reddit update says, we were not actually paid for fuyu and that account is outstanding.  This is becoming an annoyingly tiresome journey that I know we all wish would resolve itself. I am genuinely sorry for those who are being impacted by the inaction of others.

Lastly, it would be a big help if yall could help spread the word of the MWkeys storefront, it not only helps us stay operational, but also helps those who may not follow the discord but are impacted.

Please remember to be kind to one another! And as always ask me any questions in ⁠general or https://forms.gle/4RtFQ351L4RFAiWt7


Offline DaaDaa

  • Posts: 292
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 09 July 2023, 14:34:45 »
An LLC or even bankruptcy does not mean that you can take money from consumers and go about your merry life.

1 - any money taken from buyers promising a service or product is not shielded by any LLC or bankruptcy, any business that has taken money and has not provided the product and service is required to give the money back. this is why other retailers like vala supply and novelkeys started issuing refund per consumer request last year.  report the money that you have paid to FTC now: https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/
2 - I an not even sure that these people actually register an LLC. i think the whole thing might be a fraud. in either case we can come together and take them to court. since we all have proof of the orders and payments we can easily get a judge to put a lien on REAL ESTATE or cars they might have. . even the ones in foreign countries can participate and will be covered. I already consulted a lawyer that has done two previous jobs for me here in Pennsylvania.
3 - save the records of your orders and screenshots of their website before they purge it.
4 -there is at least one other person that I know of that has initiated or started some kind of legal action, we need to coordinate. please contact me. via pm and ill give you my phone number. I'm willing to initiate the legal action and pay some fees up to $2000 just to get these bastards but I would like to be joined by everyone who has lost money.
5- the address that they have provided as their business also seems to be not valid. 55 Maple Ave 10921. this doesn't mean that they are sleek. this is proof of their misconduct according to the lawyer i consulted. a business address is required by law to be correct and valid even if its the owners personal residence and it is a rental, it still needs to be the actual place that the business is conducted from and they would be in trouble with IRS if its not.
« Last Edit: Sun, 09 July 2023, 14:48:24 by DaaDaa »
piggy60 red upgraded PVD w/ GMK umka zaku | tiramisuit w/ GMK noire JWK silk emerald | mr.suit black/chrome glossy chamfers w/ GMK minimal cow POM stem | jelly epoch w/ SA oblivion zaku | mode80 deco w/ gmk boneyard alpaca | mode 80 imperial with ePBT origami alpaca| MODE80 viridian /w CRP boba LT | RAMA thermal kuro w/ GMK muted 2 pewter | BBox60 C64 wih marshmellows and c64 keycaps | MODE Sonnet green /w MW voynich gateron ink box pink

Offline streamline

  • Posts: 76
  • Location: Austin, TX
    • saevus
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #31 on: Sun, 09 July 2023, 16:13:27 »
I have been dtry
An LLC or even bankruptcy does not mean that you can take money from consumers and go about your merry life.

1 - any money taken from buyers promising a service or product is not shielded by any LLC or bankruptcy, any business that has taken money and has not provided the product and service is required to give the money back. this is why other retailers like vala supply and novelkeys started issuing refund per consumer request last year.  report the money that you have paid to FTC now: https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/
2 - I an not even sure that these people actually register an LLC. i think the whole thing might be a fraud. in either case we can come together and take them to court. since we all have proof of the orders and payments we can easily get a judge to put a lien on REAL ESTATE or cars they might have. . even the ones in foreign countries can participate and will be covered. I already consulted a lawyer that has done two previous jobs for me here in Pennsylvania.
3 - save the records of your orders and screenshots of their website before they purge it.
4 -there is at least one other person that I know of that has initiated or started some kind of legal action, we need to coordinate. please contact me. via pm and ill give you my phone number. I'm willing to initiate the legal action and pay some fees up to $2000 just to get these bastards but I would like to be joined by everyone who has lost money.
5- the address that they have provided as their business also seems to be not valid. 55 Maple Ave 10921. this doesn't mean that they are sleek. this is proof of their misconduct according to the lawyer i consulted. a business address is required by law to be correct and valid even if its the owners personal residence and it is a rental, it still needs to be the actual place that the business is conducted from and they would be in trouble with IRS if its not.

add me on discord daadaa, I have been trying to get an attorney. discord is just streamline

Offline Cevazii

  • Posts: 2
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #32 on: Sun, 09 July 2023, 16:16:11 »
This is a piece of piss. :/ I was hoping to snag extras of KAM 80’s After Dark as I missed out on the initial GB, but now I’ve gotta hope that Zfrontier will have the kits I need or… *sigh* go back to Reddit. :/

Online Rhienfo

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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 10 July 2023, 10:48:19 »
Update on the mech and co situation, there was a reddit post on r/mk that details more info

The TLDR is, the founders from M&C are not responding (Including accepting deliveries), it seems that they have no money to ship anything so DO NOT buy anything in stock and if you can chargeback immediately. It looks like they are considering bankruptcy as an option and people may be pursuing legal action.

More detail to the situation can be found in the reddit post https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/14v52yp/mechs_co_vendor_update/
 

Offline Curin Derwin

  • Posts: 142
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 10 July 2023, 14:13:06 »
My GMK Moonlight sets, GMK Cobalt sets, and GMK Lazurite (Ramas) remain unfulfilled, as well, despite them being claimed to be in-stock and received.
« Last Edit: Mon, 10 July 2023, 14:55:02 by Curin Derwin »

Offline rmendis

  • Posts: 448
  • Artisan addict
Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 10 July 2023, 17:40:49 »
mechs and co expanded too big too fast

it's no secret at this point that most GBs are making the bulk of their money on extras (or at least were during normal times), where the product can be sold at much higher margin

to predict what sets become hype and what sets don't is impossible, and generally a losing battle -- therein lies the problem

thus the hobby moves on

will we learn this time? no

The problem is not about predicting which set will be hype or not, the problem is some vendors exploiting the GB model to get interest free capital that they then squander when sets don’t even hit moq. The GB model should be used by individuals only, not large vendors running multiple simultaneous multi million dollar buys. When you hold no risk, you lose respect for other peoples money, resulting in situations like this.
« Last Edit: Mon, 10 July 2023, 17:44:12 by rmendis »

Online Rhienfo

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Re: PSA regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 10 July 2023, 18:16:59 »
mechs and co expanded too big too fast

it's no secret at this point that most GBs are making the bulk of their money on extras (or at least were during normal times), where the product can be sold at much higher margin

to predict what sets become hype and what sets don't is impossible, and generally a losing battle -- therein lies the problem

thus the hobby moves on

will we learn this time? no

The problem is not about predicting which set will be hype or not, the problem is some vendors exploiting the GB model an interest free capital that they then squander when sets don’t even hit moq. The GB model should be used by individuals only, not large vendors running multiple simultaneous multi million dollar buys. When you hold no risk, you lose respect for other peoples money, resulting in situations like this.

Yeah this would have never happened if the orders were in-stock, if the same scenario happened, the vendors would've just gone bust. I don't think it was reasonable to do it now, and it seems that vendors are struggling due to the mass exodus from a lot of the hobby which makes people lack the upfront capital in order to invest. When the hobby starts to stabilize I feel that the larger vendors, assuming the upfront capital is there have no excuse to do in-stock runs of things like keyboards (which already happens with some entry level boards). I feel that keycaps are a bit different, due to the larger demand and the large queue on some of the makers making it a bit too much of the risk, as well as a higher amount to be paid upfront. I also think that there would not be another instance where a vendor pays to make a set hit MOQ (or at least a large amount of orders paid by a vendor) due to the less demand, like extras aren't being sold out like they used to on some of the biggest vendors, so it's a massive risk that will not pay off.
 

Offline codecoffeecode

  • Posts: 42
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 11 July 2023, 23:44:41 »
I'm not sure the GB model is appropriate for individuals either: running a group buy as an individual invites personal liability for the organizer rather than liability for the business. I do think it's wise for group buy runners to protect themselves with a legally registered business.

As for the customer, at least when a group buy is run through a US-based company, there's a paper-trail: the state keeps a record of the business registration, if taxes have been paid, the physical office location (or at least the registered agent), the names of the company officers, etc.

When an individual does a group buy, there's nothing to go off of except who they say they are and their 'status' within the community: I couldn't tell you the first names, let alone the surnames, of the designers whose boards I've purchased. If a private individual's group buy goes sideways, how do you track down the right person to sue, or at least send a complaint to? Joining a group buy through someone whose only identity in the community is DaP00nSl4yer69#4200 on Discord is not any better than going through FooBar Company, LLC.

And maybe (definitely) I'm cynical: I know this community runs on trust, trust that has been taken advantage of. Again. And I know there are people who would entrust esteemed, aged members of the community with their life savings (or at least their rent money) for a year or two. But that doesn't mean we should.

Online Rhienfo

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  • Why is everything I want here so expensive :(
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #38 on: Wed, 12 July 2023, 00:30:43 »
I'm not sure the GB model is appropriate for individuals either: running a group buy as an individual invites personal liability for the organizer rather than liability for the business. I do think it's wise for group buy runners to protect themselves with a legally registered business.

As for the customer, at least when a group buy is run through a US-based company, there's a paper-trail: the state keeps a record of the business registration, if taxes have been paid, the physical office location (or at least the registered agent), the names of the company officers, etc.

When an individual does a group buy, there's nothing to go off of except who they say they are and their 'status' within the community: I couldn't tell you the first names, let alone the surnames, of the designers whose boards I've purchased. If a private individual's group buy goes sideways, how do you track down the right person to sue, or at least send a complaint to? Joining a group buy through someone whose only identity in the community is DaP00nSl4yer69#4200 on Discord is not any better than going through FooBar Company, LLC.

And maybe (definitely) I'm cynical: I know this community runs on trust, trust that has been taken advantage of. Again. And I know there are people who would entrust esteemed, aged members of the community with their life savings (or at least their rent money) for a year or two. But that doesn't mean we should.

Group buys are almost mandatory for individuals due to the lack of funds required to do an in stock run. It is already an investment to do a GB that isn't a trash project, with prototyping and logistics in terms of sending units to reviewers/content creators (this is optional but really helps selling the 50 or so units that an individual may run) and if something goes wrong that's even more money that's spent, often leading to a runners losing money on projects. It's just too much to ask a person to pay upfront.

Yeah there is an inherit risk for GBs in general whether it is a person or a large company, but to say that isn't appropriate acts like there is a better option for individuals but in almost every circumstance GBs are the only option, a lot of these boards that individuals run are passion projects, so funding from outside sources will not happen.
 

Offline codecoffeecode

  • Posts: 42
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 12 July 2023, 11:10:36 »
Quote
Group buys are almost mandatory for individuals due to the lack of funds required to do an in stock run. It is already an investment to do a GB that isn't a trash project, with prototyping and logistics in terms of sending units to reviewers/content creators (this is optional but really helps selling the 50 or so units that an individual may run) and if something goes wrong that's even more money that's spent, often leading to a runners losing money on projects. It's just too much to ask a person to pay upfront.

How is it too much to ask that someone wanting to undertake a business venture involving thousands of dollars not create a registered business and take out a business loan to acquire capital? That expectation exists in every other industry. If an enthusiast doesn't have the initial capital to make their design a reality, they shouldn't come crawling to the community for funds; they should go to a bank.

I get that part of the appeal of this hobby is that "anyone" can get their dream product manufactured and shipped to other enthusiasts through the group buy model. But we can't keep letting random individuals who often have very little work experience, let alone entrepreneurship experience, just take people's money and hope for the best.

As I said before, sometimes **** happens when running a business and it goes under. But that's the reality of running a business: most of them fail. But that fact shouldn't keep members of the community from trying get these products into the hands of other enthusiasts. The idea that high startup costs makes it okay to put the risk entirely on the customers is not okay at all.

Offline Kiririn

  • Posts: 48
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #40 on: Wed, 12 July 2023, 13:43:50 »
Looks like Mike has bailed. He changed his LinkedIn from Mechs & Co owner to a generic "Ecommerce Business" June 2020 - July 2023 while adding new employment somewhere else starting July 2023.

Offline HubertThemad

  • * St. Jude Supporter
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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 12 July 2023, 14:23:13 »
Quote
Group buys are almost mandatory for individuals due to the lack of funds required to do an in stock run. It is already an investment to do a GB that isn't a trash project, with prototyping and logistics in terms of sending units to reviewers/content creators (this is optional but really helps selling the 50 or so units that an individual may run) and if something goes wrong that's even more money that's spent, often leading to a runners losing money on projects. It's just too much to ask a person to pay upfront.

How is it too much to ask that someone wanting to undertake a business venture involving thousands of dollars not create a registered business and take out a business loan to acquire capital? That expectation exists in every other industry. If an enthusiast doesn't have the initial capital to make their design a reality, they shouldn't come crawling to the community for funds; they should go to a bank.

You don't just see group buys/crowdfunding in our keyboard hobby, however. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other similar sites have items or goods funded by crowdfunding for other hobbies and industries(video games, clothing, movies, you name it).

We've seen success stories from crowdfunding, we've seen disasters, and everything in between.

I love in-stock products, but just taking out a business loan end ending up with too many in-stock products versus running a GB can also be a problem and cause even the best vendors or businesses to go under, even if a business does their research and gauges interest the best they can.

Say an IC is run for a keyboard, and 500 people state that they would absolutely buy the keyboard. Instead of running a GB, the vendor takes out a business loan to buy 300-500 keyboards, hoping that the interest was genuine and based on whatever market research and projections they did. That vendor only sells 100 keyboards out of the 300-500 they decided to buy because of the IC. They expected to sell more, and now they're left with in-stock products that they have to sell at cost, or more likely, at a loss. Now they're essentially screwed and have to find ways to get the rest of the money to pay that business loan back.

I understand why GBs happen. Runners want to know the exact number (or as close as possible) of individuals that will buy that item, or specifically, put money down for that item. Yes, there can be cancellations, but GBs can give you somewhat realistic expectations of what you're selling in terms of how many you'll sell. If 300 people buy into the GB, you have an actual number (as close as possible) of units to buy. This isn't assuming the costs it takes to prototype, design, and so on.

Also, there are the passion projects like what was said before. There are some GB runners that simply want to create a product and do not care about making money off of it and very likely will be losing money. For those GB runners, a business loan may not be feasible (and also, business loans may be different in other countries. It may be difficult/impossible for someone to obtain a business loan in a country outside of the US versus someone living in the US).

What you said about "letting random individuals that have little experience" run GBs is absolutely true. We all know that the chance of some delay or unforeseen circumstance happening during a GB is basically guaranteed, even if it's a small delay (or a worldwide pandemic), and if someone inexperienced runs into those issues, it could be a disaster. Of course, experienced GB runners can also experience disasters as well, but it obviously makes sense to believe that an experienced GB runner will know what to do more than an inexperienced runner.

I believe it also comes down to the consumer. Understanding what GB/project seems risky, what red flags to look for, and researching before you buy is really important. Does this mean that you can eliminate ALL risks? Absolutely not. Even if all signs point to a successful and well-ran GB, that doesn't mean that no issues will arise.

I don't know if anyone saw the red flags regarding Mechs & Co., because judging by different subreddits, geekhack posts, and various discord discussions and responses, a lot of people didn't see this coming, with some not being able to issue chargebacks or obtain refunds.

I think instead of focusing on GBs being a problem, we should make sure to stress being smart as a consumer, educate on what may be red flags, and MOST importantly of all, strive to improve communication from vendors/GB runners. Making a mistake or having delays, but communicating when those issues happen can go a long way. Yes, there are some things that have to be kept behind the scenes, but perhaps we would be in a different situation if we had better communication from Mechs & Co.

I'm not hating or being critical of your thoughts, CodeCoffee, I just wanted to put my thoughts of the GB model into words.

Offline EdgeOfInfinity

  • Posts: 348
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #42 on: Wed, 12 July 2023, 16:33:25 »
maybe the real keycaps were the friends we made along the way  ;)

Online Rhienfo

  • Posts: 656
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  • Why is everything I want here so expensive :(
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #43 on: Wed, 12 July 2023, 18:16:33 »

You don't just see group buys/crowdfunding in our keyboard hobby, however. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other similar sites have items or goods funded by crowdfunding for other hobbies and industries(video games, clothing, movies, you name it).

We've seen success stories from crowdfunding, we've seen disasters, and everything in between.

I love in-stock products, but just taking out a business loan end ending up with too many in-stock products versus running a GB can also be a problem and cause even the best vendors or businesses to go under, even if a business does their research and gauges interest the best they can.

Say an IC is run for a keyboard, and 500 people state that they would absolutely buy the keyboard. Instead of running a GB, the vendor takes out a business loan to buy 300-500 keyboards, hoping that the interest was genuine and based on whatever market research and projections they did. That vendor only sells 100 keyboards out of the 300-500 they decided to buy because of the IC. They expected to sell more, and now they're left with in-stock products that they have to sell at cost, or more likely, at a loss. Now they're essentially screwed and have to find ways to get the rest of the money to pay that business loan back.

I understand why GBs happen. Runners want to know the exact number (or as close as possible) of individuals that will buy that item, or specifically, put money down for that item. Yes, there can be cancellations, but GBs can give you somewhat realistic expectations of what you're selling in terms of how many you'll sell. If 300 people buy into the GB, you have an actual number (as close as possible) of units to buy. This isn't assuming the costs it takes to prototype, design, and so on.

Also, there are the passion projects like what was said before. There are some GB runners that simply want to create a product and do not care about making money off of it and very likely will be losing money. For those GB runners, a business loan may not be feasible (and also, business loans may be different in other countries. It may be difficult/impossible for someone to obtain a business loan in a country outside of the US versus someone living in the US).

What you said about "letting random individuals that have little experience" run GBs is absolutely true. We all know that the chance of some delay or unforeseen circumstance happening during a GB is basically guaranteed, even if it's a small delay (or a worldwide pandemic), and if someone inexperienced runs into those issues, it could be a disaster. Of course, experienced GB runners can also experience disasters as well, but it obviously makes sense to believe that an experienced GB runner will know what to do more than an inexperienced runner.

I believe it also comes down to the consumer. Understanding what GB/project seems risky, what red flags to look for, and researching before you buy is really important. Does this mean that you can eliminate ALL risks? Absolutely not. Even if all signs point to a successful and well-ran GB, that doesn't mean that no issues will arise.

I don't know if anyone saw the red flags regarding Mechs & Co., because judging by different subreddits, geekhack posts, and various discord discussions and responses, a lot of people didn't see this coming, with some not being able to issue chargebacks or obtain refunds.

I think instead of focusing on GBs being a problem, we should make sure to stress being smart as a consumer, educate on what may be red flags, and MOST importantly of all, strive to improve communication from vendors/GB runners. Making a mistake or having delays, but communicating when those issues happen can go a long way. Yes, there are some things that have to be kept behind the scenes, but perhaps we would be in a different situation if we had better communication from Mechs & Co.

I'm not hating or being critical of your thoughts, CodeCoffee, I just wanted to put my thoughts of the GB model into words.

Another thing to mention is that a lot of the people designing and running gbs have jobs outside of the hobby, Geon is a perfect example of this, the keyboarding part of his Machining business is a side thing, because he was a hobbyist. And he even puts risk when running gbs, take the original F2-84 where he lost $110000 (or at least had to pay that amount) replacing the production errors, let alone the risk he has when selling the instock frog tkl. And he can afford to pay those mistakes off, so Imagine a person who works a 9-5 job, who has to put so much risk, having debt that they can't pay which could ruin them financially, on top of the amount of issues that could go wrong.

As I said before there is an inherit risk, and only people who know what they are doing, who understand the risks involved should be running GBs, and we should educate people and notify people on red flags with a project, I also agree that runners should be able to be contacted even if they delete everything, and try to exit scam. But a lot of the time it's unreasonable to make individuals get business loans for what is such a high risk that can lead to disaster.

Also with M&C there were very few red flags in the public, the only red flag I know was to look at Sales data, noticed the trends and know about how vendors work to know that they were buying way too many extras, then predict that the hobby would lose a lot of popularity across 2022/2023 and that the economy would get a lot worse so no money would flow into the vendors and that vendors wouldn't have the money to pay those makers due to buying extras. It would be almost impossible to know that, so people put their money in expecting a stable business and basically got scammed.
 

Offline involuntarysoul

  • Posts: 191
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #44 on: Wed, 12 July 2023, 18:27:46 »
in M&C's case they never brought the extras because they did not even pay the invoice, the GB money went somewhere else, prob used it to pay off their student loans

Offline codecoffeecode

  • Posts: 42
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 12 July 2023, 19:15:17 »
Quote
You don't just see group buys/crowdfunding in our keyboard hobby, however. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other similar sites have items or goods funded by crowdfunding for other hobbies and industries(video games, clothing, movies, you name it).

That's true and I hate it. And I'd argue those companies do it for the similar reasons people in this hobby do group buys: it's a way to skirt investing their own capital to produce a product.

Quote
Say an IC is run for a keyboard, and 500 people state that they would absolutely buy the keyboard. Instead of running a GB, the vendor takes out a business loan to buy 300-500 keyboards, hoping that the interest was genuine and based on whatever market research and projections they did. That vendor only sells 100 keyboards out of the 300-500 they decided to buy because of the IC. They expected to sell more, and now they're left with in-stock products that they have to sell at cost, or more likely, at a loss. Now they're essentially screwed and have to find ways to get the rest of the money to pay that business loan back.

That situation is a real risk for a group buy organizer. But if the organizers aren't willing to take on that risk, then they shouldn't be running a group buy. If a bank isn't willing to give a 20-something with no experience a business loan, what sense does it make for the community provide a loan with zero collateral and no interest?

Quote
I believe it also comes down to the consumer. Understanding what GB/project seems risky, what red flags to look for, and researching before you buy is really important. Does this mean that you can eliminate ALL risks? Absolutely not. Even if all signs point to a successful and well-ran GB, that doesn't mean that no issues will arise.

That's the thing: every group buy and project is a huge risk for customers. I don't think it's valid to write this situation off as customers not seeing red flags or not doing enough research: as I said in a previous post, if I join a group buy that doesn't look like it's going to reach MOQ, and the vendor then buys out the rest of MOQ and then some, what can I as a customer do about that? Perhaps we just need to stop the practice of providing interest free loans to randos on the internet.

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Another thing to mention is that a lot of the people designing and running gbs have jobs outside of the hobby, Geon is a perfect example of this, the keyboarding part of his Machining business is a side thing, because he was a hobbyist. And he even puts risk when running gbs, take the original F2-84 where he lost $110000 (or at least had to pay that amount) replacing the production errors, let alone the risk he has when selling the instock frog tkl. And he can afford to pay those mistakes off, so Imagine a person who works a 9-5 job, who has to put so much risk, having debt that they can't pay which could ruin them financially, on top of the amount of issues that could go wrong.

It's good that Geon could afford to take that risk and lose that money. That's the standard we need to hold all group buy organizers to: if they don't have the capital to lose, they shouldn't do a group buy.




Offline codecoffeecode

  • Posts: 42
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #46 on: Wed, 12 July 2023, 20:24:34 »
...and now https://www.mechsandco.com has gone private. Perfect.

Offline Morbii

  • Posts: 86
  • Location: The Depths
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #47 on: Wed, 12 July 2023, 21:44:35 »
Man…

Offline evidentLEE

  • Posts: 66
Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #48 on: Wed, 12 July 2023, 22:05:36 »
Really hope these a holes face legal ramifications.
Give a man a gun, he'll rob a bank. Give a man a bank, he'll rob the world.

Online Rhienfo

  • Posts: 656
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Update 2023-06-30: PSA Regarding Mechs & Co and Vendor Group Buys
« Reply #49 on: Thu, 13 July 2023, 00:42:42 »
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That's the thing: every group buy and project is a huge risk for customers. I don't think it's valid to write this situation off as customers not seeing red flags or not doing enough research: as I said in a previous post, if I join a group buy that doesn't look like it's going to reach MOQ, and the vendor then buys out the rest of MOQ and then some, what can I as a customer do about that? Perhaps we just need to stop the practice of providing interest free loans to randos on the internet.

While I still think that GBs are the only way for some individuals to do runs, I do actually agree with this mostly, while you can avoid projects that have red flags pretty well, something can always come up which may result to losing you money. Seemingly ok projects from people who have done successful runs/reputable members have exit scammed before (Moon TKL r2 and Rukia r2 as examples), but I don't think that means that we can devalue the entirety of the system.

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It's good that Geon could afford to take that risk and lose that money. That's the standard we need to hold all group buy organizers to: if they don't have the capital to lose, they shouldn't do a group buy.

I think it's more nuanced than that. Some projects lasted for years before they were finally done, which meant that capital that was earned later on could be used in finishing all of the units, I'm not too well versed with what happened with the 280 by noxary, but that took some people 4 years before people got their units in hand, obviously only trust designers who have had a history of doing this though. Also geon is always the exception to everything from capital to pricing of boards, we cannot hold someone who runs a big cnc machine to people who probably don't even have 10000 that can be spend compared to 11 times that amount.

I understand where you come from, but in a lot of cases it's just impossible for some people to do in stock runs, there are positives and negatives to both instock and group buys, and completely disregarding one isn't practical. I know this is the most filmsy thing I've said yet but without smaller makers doing group buys, we wouldn't have a lot of the cool things that are in this hobby, and pay-walling a lot of small designers from making designs that they really want to make will stifle the innovation in the hobby and a lot of people, like people who enjoy ergo boards, custom boards that use topre/ec etc from truly enjoying the hobby.

...and now https://www.mechsandco.com has gone private. Perfect.

Really hope these a holes face legal ramifications.

Yeah it's all over for them. Bankruptcy is basically an inevitable at this point. I have heard several people talk about a lawsuit (including in this thread) so it seems that it may happen. I think they could be charged because it seems that they were mishandling funds in order to make more money through extras, then the money wrung dry and they couldn't pay for it all (it's like a weird ponzi scheme or something). But I don't know I'm not a laywer so maybe not or maybe I read the info wrong.