Author Topic: What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines  (Read 33262 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline HoffmanMyster

  • HOFF, MAN OF MYSTERY
  • * Senior Moderator
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 10340
  • Location: WI
What is a Group Buy?
A group buy is a process through which we, as a community, can use our collective buying power to purchase goods at a reduced price or at all.  Some Group Buys take advantage of price breaks to offer products to the community at a more desirable price, often at the cost of the GB organizer's time/efforts.  Others simply give us the ability to make something happen that otherwise would have too much cost/risk associated with it for a vendor to buy into it and bring it to market themselves.

Should I join this Group Buy?
Assuming the product in question appeals to you, the answer is "it depends". 
Group Buys are risky endeavors!
The fact of the matter is that there is a lot of risk inherent to every single Group Buy, even the most reliable.  You are giving your money to a stranger on the other side of the world and hoping that they will give you the product in exchange.  And it takes months, sometimes a year+ for group buys to complete.  Be prepared to wait.  If you're in a group buy to save a little bit of money, maybe you'd rather not take on the risk and just pay a higher price. 
Who do I trust?
However, many group buys, as mentioned above, are for items that are not otherwise available so you face a decision - should I trust this organizer?  The moderation team has recently started to screen Group Buys in hopes of cutting back on ill-prepared members running group buys and falling short.  I'd say the GB landscape is better in that sense than it was a couple years ago, but it's still far from perfect.  Determining someone's aptitude at running a complex operation such as a group buy is incredibly hard to judge unless you have past experience to go by - but at that point, they're not new to the process.  I urge you to use your own best judgement in every case.  As always, Caveat Emptor, but don't be afraid to ask questions about logistics/pricing/shipping/time commitment.  You are fronting your hard-earned money, after all, and I think we all deserve to know these details if the buy in question is the organizer's first.  Don't be a jerk about it and threadcrap, but clarifying questions are okay - you're probably not the only one wondering.

What if a Group Buy goes south?
As mentioned previously, Caveat Emptor.  However, the mod team is far from apathetic; we are also members here, after all, and participate in group buys just as everyone else does.  As I said above, there is some degree of pre-screening before a group buy thread is approved, but once money changes hands there is very little the mod team can do.  Remember that we are all just humans sitting in front of computer screens, and no matter how much we try we cannot force someone in another country/state to get in their car and drive to the post office.  It's an unfortunate truth, but one that seems to be overlooked from time to time.  Again, this is not to say that we don't care about the outcome of group buys (we do), but rather to reiterate the reality of the situation.

I want to contact a GB organizer. What's the best way?
BunnyLake made a very thorough post about this subject a few months ago.  I highly recommend reading it if you are new to Group Buys.



I'd like for this thread to be a centralized location for FAQs about Group Buys, any other helpful tips/guidelines for people new to the process, and any other relevant discussions about GBs.  I will be adding content as I see fit, and welcome anyone else to contribute as they desire.  :thumb:

Offline HoffmanMyster

  • HOFF, MAN OF MYSTERY
  • * Senior Moderator
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 10340
  • Location: WI
Re: What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 20 November 2015, 18:14:07 »
Reserved because why not

Offline UsualSuspectXXX

  • Posts: 2829
  • Location: Persephone
  • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Re: What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 20 November 2015, 19:18:45 »
Very good information here. Thanks for the post.

Offline 00zeRO

  • mechanicalkeyboards.com
  • * Commercial Vendor
  • Posts: 2212
  • Location: Tennessee
  • The 00verseer of Vault 77
    • Mechanical Keyboards
Re: What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 21 November 2015, 22:10:08 »
Hoff is the man! Much thanks...  :thumb:
Daily Driver: BIVOUAC-92 | Clear MX (found while prospecting in Vault 59)
Alternate: Lightrez Blackbird-87 | Green Gats MXC (found while exploring the Grid)


Offline justnits

  • Posts: 663
  • Location: Malaysia
Re: What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 20 January 2016, 23:59:00 »
These rules are mainly for groupbuy participants.
Should there be at least some certain guidelines for Groupbuy organizers to adhere to?
| | | |
Ducky DK9008 Shine 2 Gateron Red w/ Korean 55g gold lubed spring & custom LED | Ergodox with Aluminium top plate | IBM Model M SSK | GHPad | GON's Nerd TKL | Filco Majestouch 2 TKL MX Blue
[Sold]Keycool 87 PBT White Cherry MX Blue | [Sold]ikbc F-104 Cherry MX Brown

Offline rowdy

  • HHKB Hapster
  • * Erudite Elder
  • Posts: 20239
  • Location: melbourne.vic.au
  • Missed another sale.
Re: What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 21 January 2016, 03:52:40 »
These rules are mainly for groupbuy participants.
Should there be at least some certain guidelines for Groupbuy organizers to adhere to?

1. Don't be a ****.
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But that’s incorrect. It’s in HHKB’s slogan, but when America’s cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

NEC APC-H4100E | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED red | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED green | Link 900243-08 | CM QFR MX black | KeyCool 87 white MX reds | HHKB 2 Pro | Model M 02-Mar-1993 | Model M 29-Nov-1995 | CM Trigger (broken) | CM QFS MX green | Ducky DK9087 Shine 3 TKL Yellow Edition MX black | Lexmark SSK 21-Apr-1994 | IBM SSK 13-Oct-1987 | CODE TKL MX clear | Model M 122 01-Jun-1988

Ị̸͚̯̲́ͤ̃͑̇̑ͯ̊̂͟ͅs̞͚̩͉̝̪̲͗͊ͪ̽̚̚ ̭̦͖͕̑́͌ͬͩ͟t̷̻͔̙̑͟h̹̠̼͋ͤ͋i̤̜̣̦̱̫͈͔̞ͭ͑ͥ̌̔s̬͔͎̍̈ͥͫ̐̾ͣ̔̇͘ͅ ̩̘̼͆̐̕e̞̰͓̲̺̎͐̏ͬ̓̅̾͠͝ͅv̶̰͕̱̞̥̍ͣ̄̕e͕͙͖̬̜͓͎̤̊ͭ͐͝ṇ̰͎̱̤̟̭ͫ͌̌͢͠ͅ ̳̥̦ͮ̐ͤ̎̊ͣ͡͡n̤̜̙̺̪̒͜e̶̻̦̿ͮ̂̀c̝̘̝͖̠̖͐ͨͪ̈̐͌ͩ̀e̷̥͇̋ͦs̢̡̤ͤͤͯ͜s͈̠̉̑͘a̱͕̗͖̳̥̺ͬͦͧ͆̌̑͡r̶̟̖̈͘ỷ̮̦̩͙͔ͫ̾ͬ̔ͬͮ̌?̵̘͇͔͙ͥͪ͞ͅ

Offline jerue

  • (Whenever that happens :P)
  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 1237
  • Location: SC
Re: What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 21 January 2016, 11:49:23 »
These rules are mainly for groupbuy participants.
Should there be at least some certain guidelines for Groupbuy organizers to adhere to?

1. Don't be a ****.

2. Clear communication methods for support. If you want only PM's fine - if you want only a support form, fine - if you do either make sure you set aside time on a regular basis to go through it. So much confusion across PMs and whatnot - forms are nice since you can require a subject line - too many people PM GB leaders w/no subject with "where the **** is my ****?!". GB leaders must make clear on how to address issues in the OP.

Offline justnits

  • Posts: 663
  • Location: Malaysia
Re: What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 21 January 2016, 20:53:03 »
2. Clear communication methods for support. If you want only PM's fine - if you want only a support form, fine - if you do either make sure you set aside time on a regular basis to go through it. So much confusion across PMs and whatnot - forms are nice since you can require a subject line - too many people PM GB leaders w/no subject with "where the **** is my ****?!". GB leaders must make clear on how to address issues in the OP.

to be honest, geekhack's PM system isn't suitable for mass PMs. the first page/post is important for the organizer to update info there so that people don't have to browse through every post to get what they want to know. doing this will reduce subjectless PMs and i guess will definitely reduce the headaches for both the organizer and participants  ;D

so maybe my suggestions would be;
3) keep first page/post updated with progress logs and information. being quiet doesn't help to ease off participants with lower stress tolerance.

and how about this?

4) finish 1 groupbuy first before doing another, unless you are Massdrop or PMK.

couple of reasons for this.
a) this is to minimise the damage in case if a groupbuy organizer decides to go rogue. take drugger for example, what if he is running a few groupbuy in one go?

b) this is so that the organizer can focus on the groupbuy and hence reducing the likelihood of delay or confusion or mixed up order (just imagine a tsunami of PMs), unless you are Massdrop or PMK.
| | | |
Ducky DK9008 Shine 2 Gateron Red w/ Korean 55g gold lubed spring & custom LED | Ergodox with Aluminium top plate | IBM Model M SSK | GHPad | GON's Nerd TKL | Filco Majestouch 2 TKL MX Blue
[Sold]Keycool 87 PBT White Cherry MX Blue | [Sold]ikbc F-104 Cherry MX Brown

Offline mashby

  • ** Moderator Emeritus
  • Posts: 2811
  • Location: Nashville, TN
  • What Up Shoney? (ツ)_/¯
    • Mashby
Re: What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 22 January 2016, 13:09:59 »
Nicely done Hoff. Well done piece.

Offline Adgar

  • * Vendor
  • Posts: 180
  • Location: China
    • Pheilcia
Hello,I am a new comer ,If I want to star a group buy.What should I do,Or what preparations should I do?

Offline xondat

  • i'm not a star
  • * Maker
  • Posts: 3405
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 02 August 2016, 08:20:13 »
Hello,I am a new comer ,If I want to star a group buy.What should I do,Or what preparations should I do?
Depends what it is and what its for. If you want to PM me I can help.

Offline miya

  • Posts: 39
Re: What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 20 August 2016, 05:09:03 »
Very useful info, thanks :thumb:

Offline romevi

  • ur mam
  • * Exalted Elder
  • Posts: 7442
  • Location: The Windy City
Re: What is a group buy? Should I join one? Group Buy FAQ / Buying Guidelines
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 07 October 2016, 12:47:28 »
A little late, but thanks for this, Hoff.