Author Topic: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative  (Read 47138 times)

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Offline livingspeedbump

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






Can we have an official statement regarding this issue.

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

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

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Offline ghostjuggernaut

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

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

Offline Atredl

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

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


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

Just quoting this here from the other thread.

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

Offline ghostjuggernaut

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

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

Offline Atredl

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

Offline nubbinator

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

Offline FLFisherman

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

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

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

Offline Homenubbie

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

THAT will keep him out of trouble!

Offline livingspeedbump

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe what is really needed is a representative to MD?

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

Offline romevi

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

Offline livingspeedbump

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

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

Offline jdcarpe

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

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

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

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

Offline HoffmanMyster

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

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

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

Offline CPTBadAss

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

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

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

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

Yeah, those are the obvious 3
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Offline jbondeson

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

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

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

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

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

Offline mashby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Offline romevi

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

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

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

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

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

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

Offline mashby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Offline nubbinator

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

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

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

Offline sherryton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Offline Vittra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agreed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"CTRL" isnt a vendor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Offline LXXXIX

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

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

Offline sherryton

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

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


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

Offline abjr

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

And SP is the one making the caps.

Offline abjr

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

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


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

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

And SP is the one making the caps.

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

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

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


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

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

And SP is the one making the caps.

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

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

Offline Melvang

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

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

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

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

What say you??
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Offline Niomosy

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

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

Offline zslane

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

Offline Melvang

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

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

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

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

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

Offline Niomosy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Offline livingspeedbump

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

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

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

"CTRL" isnt a vendor

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

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

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

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #50 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 20:53:30 »
If GH had a "preferred user" PMK account of some kind through which it funneled all GH-originated group buys, then it is quite feasible that over time it could earn wholesale price benefits. I'm not sure that the PMK webstore is set up currently to make it easy for SP to automatically apply special discounts on a per-user-account basis, but I think if such a GH account put up really significant sales numbers, they would consider tweaking the code to make it possible.

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, they definitely want a business of some kind it would seem to be created in order to take this own. And the tax issues are definitely going to be a problem as well.

In all honesty asking about giving up any designer royalties in exchange for the community to get that 5% discount is actually one of the more feasible ideas so far. That may be something to talk to them more about.
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Offline Melvang

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #51 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 20:59:45 »
If GH had a "preferred user" PMK account of some kind through which it funneled all GH-originated group buys, then it is quite feasible that over time it could earn wholesale price benefits. I'm not sure that the PMK webstore is set up currently to make it easy for SP to automatically apply special discounts on a per-user-account basis, but I think if such a GH account put up really significant sales numbers, they would consider tweaking the code to make it possible.

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

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

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

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

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

I can call my tax guy on the tax question, that is unless we have an accountant here.  Either way, this would still be less issues to keep track of than if GH had a pure business and handled ALL the logistics.
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Offline LXXXIX

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #52 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 21:26:47 »
I like the idea of having a singular PMK account, but I would still like a liaison to make this process easier on their end.

My idea would be to do an IC the old fashioned way. Months later when we are ready to process the GB (after final mockups and whatnot) we inform our liaison. They inform SP and they set up shop over on their site. That way it would save a headache on their end without having to talk to too many individual, but one person on our end isn't burdened with all the logistics.

Offline livingspeedbump

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #53 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 21:52:19 »
I like the idea of having a singular PMK account, but I would still like a liaison to make this process easier on their end.

My idea would be to do an IC the old fashioned way. Months later when we are ready to process the GB (after final mockups and whatnot) we inform our liaison. They inform SP and they set up shop over on their site. That way it would save a headache on their end without having to talk to too many individual, but one person on our end isn't burdened with all the logistics.

I like the way this train of though is going.

Few things to add. First, if it is just an account with PMK, we could talk to them about being able to put X number of sets in the production line in x amount of time, without having to go through their "Launch Pad" IC system. While this system is great for people that may not be connected to the forums, in this case GH generally runs very developed IC's, and putting a set up there seems a bit redundant.

Secondly, if this was as simple as having a PMK account that simply posted up the sets to PMK or dealt with Emailing the .svgs to Melissa, multiple people could do this job. For the sake of example only lets say Hashbaz, iMav, and Mashby all share this role. That doesn't really seem like an issue, as nobody will actually be collecting any money, they will simply be acting as the liaison.

Finally, we could talk about the designers 5% simply going back into the sets presented/produced by the Official GH account as a way to jump start savings right off the bat.
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Offline LXXXIX

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #54 on: Thu, 28 January 2016, 22:10:18 »
I like the idea of having a singular PMK account, but I would still like a liaison to make this process easier on their end.

My idea would be to do an IC the old fashioned way. Months later when we are ready to process the GB (after final mockups and whatnot) we inform our liaison. They inform SP and they set up shop over on their site. That way it would save a headache on their end without having to talk to too many individual, but one person on our end isn't burdened with all the logistics.

I like the way this train of though is going.

Few things to add. First, if it is just an account with PMK, we could talk to them about being able to put X number of sets in the production line in x amount of time, without having to go through their "Launch Pad" IC system. While this system is great for people that may not be connected to the forums, in this case GH generally runs very developed IC's, and putting a set up there seems a bit redundant.

Secondly, if this was as simple as having a PMK account that simply posted up the sets to PMK or dealt with Emailing the .svgs to Melissa, multiple people could do this job. For the sake of example only lets say Hashbaz, iMav, and Mashby all share this role. That doesn't really seem like an issue, as nobody will actually be collecting any money, they will simply be acting as the liaison.

Finally, we could talk about the designers 5% simply going back into the sets presented/produced by the Official GH account as a way to jump start savings right off the bat.

The 5% going back into the account would be the right idea. I think this would be a good investment for future buys without being burdened with the price hikes.

At the end of the day though, we still don't know if we would receive the same pricing as MD even if we jumped through all these hurdles. I think our first step before we delegate anyone to take on the task or ordering, is someone who can properly negotiate this whole operation via phone or e-mail to SP.

Honestly guys this is a lot of work at avoiding MD, but if the end result is a more streamlined and affordable solution for both parties then I'm happy. :thumb:

Offline Pieminister

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #55 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 04:18:36 »
I think there is literally no reason any sane person would want to take on the responsibility of being a GH Liaison.

Interest checks and group guys are already pretty chaotic with people constantly asking for one thing or another and the GH leader subsequently emailing someone at SP to see if we can do X Y or Z. Could you imagine all the back and forth the liaison would have to handle for multiple group buys?
Then when the Group Buy is finalised and all the money is collected and sent to the group buy leader and he will then have to forward it to the liaison. People have already mentioned that this may well create a huge headache with the constant in and out of large quantities of money. This also adds an extra middle man that could potentially go AWOL with the money.
Then the caps are shipped to the liaison. He then has to forward all the caps to the actual group buy leader for further distribution. That could well mean that a group buy is unnecessarily shipped back and forth between continents. Also the headache of potentially having to send it to various proxies.
Then when the inevitable complaints arise, is the liaison expected to deal with every Tom **** and Harry's missing keys?

This sounds like a pretty huge secretarial job as well as having some more serious tax-man implications.
Why would anyone volunteer to do this for free, along side with a real job? You have nothing but responsibility, with no gain. You don't even get the satisfaction of having designed and run your own GB, because you're just a middle man.
Just to afford someone a 5-10% discount? I don't see it happening, it sounds completely unreasonable. I think it is for that reason that we see people eager to nominate a delegate, but no one actually willing to step up the plate. And why would you?
« Last Edit: Fri, 29 January 2016, 04:20:53 by Pieminister »

Offline Dee1

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #56 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 09:17:18 »
I think this would just end up being another job for whoever did it. There'd be no way for it to be a volunteer and have it be fair to them.

The person would need to set aside time for:
  • Going back and forth with SP and with the GB leader to get the GB submitted and started. Would they have to handle the money transfer as well? That's more work for them.
  • Receive and then reship out the sets to the actual GB leader
  • Deal with the post-GB problems and go back to SP about incomplete sets/messed up keys/etc. (I assume the actual data would be collected by the GB leader.)

And then if we consider how many GB's we run concurrently ... it's practically a second job. For it to be fair in any way to the liaison, they'd have to be part of an actual business entity (like SP themselves mentioned). That way, this poor person could actually get paid.

Another thing to consider is if it's really worth it to do all this when we already have other avenues open for us go run GB's through. Namely, PMK and Massdrop.

In my honest opinion, we should just use Massdrop.
« Last Edit: Fri, 29 January 2016, 09:28:21 by Dee1 »

Offline tronbeaver

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #57 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 09:46:43 »
I volunteer Ripster.

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #58 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 09:52:36 »
I volunteer Ripster.
I thought you were Ripster... : confused:

Offline FLFisherman

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #59 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 09:53:12 »
I volunteer Ripster.
I thought you were Ripster... : confused:

And I thought you were Ripster.  :(

Offline Pieminister

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #60 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 10:17:38 »
I think this would just end up being another job for whoever did it. There'd be no way for it to be a volunteer and have it be fair to them.

The person would need to set aside time for:
  • Going back and forth with SP and with the GB leader to get the GB submitted and started. Would they have to handle the money transfer as well? That's more work for them.
  • Receive and then reship out the sets to the actual GB leader
  • Deal with the post-GB problems and go back to SP about incomplete sets/messed up keys/etc. (I assume the actual data would be collected by the GB leader.)

And then if we consider how many GB's we run concurrently ... it's practically a second job. For it to be fair in any way to the liaison, they'd have to be part of an actual business entity (like SP themselves mentioned). That way, this poor person could actually get paid.

Another thing to consider is if it's really worth it to do all this when we already have other avenues open for us go run GB's through. Namely, PMK and Massdrop.

In my honest opinion, we should just use Massdrop.

That is sort of the conclusion I have come to. When you get to the point where the job for a single person is so large that you have to pay them a living wage to do it, then you really are just re-creating mass drop and negating any saving you were trying to make in the first place. I am not really a big advocate for SP or MD, and their international shipping sometime  sucks, but it feels like we would just re-invent the wheel. Really what this community needs most is more competition from manufacturers, and with the rapid growth of this community, I think we are starting to see the beginnings of it: CTRL ALT (JTK) gateron and oldies like GMK
« Last Edit: Fri, 29 January 2016, 12:15:23 by Pieminister »

Offline Dernubenfrieken

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #61 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 10:31:30 »
I think this would just end up being another job for whoever did it. There'd be no way for it to be a volunteer and have it be fair to them.

The person would need to set aside time for:
  • Going back and forth with SP and with the GB leader to get the GB submitted and started. Would they have to handle the money transfer as well? That's more work for them.
  • Receive and then reship out the sets to the actual GB leader
  • Deal with the post-GB problems and go back to SP about incomplete sets/messed up keys/etc. (I assume the actual data would be collected by the GB leader.)

And then if we consider how many GB's we run concurrently ... it's practically a second job. For it to be fair in any way to the liaison, they'd have to be part of an actual business entity (like SP themselves mentioned). That way, this poor person could actually get paid.

Another thing to consider is if it's really worth it to do all this when we already have other avenues open for us go run GB's through. Namely, PMK and Massdrop.

In my honest opinion, we should just use Massdrop.

That is sort of the conclusion I have come to. When you get to the point where to job for a single person is so large that you have to pay them a living wage to do it, then you really are just re-creating mass drop and negating any saving you were trying to make in the first place. I am not really a big advocate for SP or MD, and their international shipping sometime  sucks, but it feels like we would just re-invent the wheel. Really what this community needs most is more competition from manufacturers, and with the rapid growth of this community, I think we are starting to see the beginnings of it: CTRL ALT (JTK) gateron and oldies like GMK

I have to agree with this, and think our time could be better spent trying to improve MD and SP. They have both been receptive to community input, and have their issues that could be resolved with our help.
    

Offline whmeltonjr

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #62 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 10:39:42 »
I volunteer Ripster.
I thought you were Ripster... : confused:

Would make sense. Posts nothing but troll posts.

This seems like a huge task just to avoid Massdrop or PMK. I haven't read through everything all the way through, but is it worth all of the work it would take just to avoid Massdrop?

Offline mashby

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #63 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 11:14:25 »
I volunteer Ripster.
I thought you were Ripster... : confused:

Would make sense. Posts nothing but troll posts.

This seems like a huge task just to avoid Massdrop or PMK. I haven't read through everything all the way through, but is it worth all of the work it would take just to avoid Massdrop?

My thoughts exactly. Maybe I missed it, but I don't see where the benefit is? Clearly some folks have dogmatic reasons for not liking PMK, or Massdrop, but I don't see where the benefit is in taking on all this work for the community.

Offline Lepidus

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #64 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 11:23:30 »
My thoughts exactly. Maybe I missed it, but I don't see where the benefit is?

The prices?  :V

Offline mashby

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #65 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 11:29:48 »
My thoughts exactly. Maybe I missed it, but I don't see where the benefit is?

The prices?  :V

Which would be what?

Offline Lepidus

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #66 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 11:48:04 »
My thoughts exactly. Maybe I missed it, but I don't see where the benefit is?

The prices?  :V

Which would be what?

Considering massdrop prices include massdrop profits, designer profits and are still lower than someone dealing directly with SP with no profit at all, probably a fair bit.
« Last Edit: Fri, 29 January 2016, 11:54:31 by Lepidus »

Offline Vittra

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #67 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 11:55:51 »
The volume of product Massdrop requests from SP to attain their "wholesale" discount is enormous. Massdrop doesn't just tap on the kb enthusiast community for these sales, one must keep in mind how Massdrop grew to prominence - essentially providing discounts through volume sales to people who are looking for a discount on an item (regardless of the product).

Between that, the cost adjustments for tooling for SA, and the enormous workload this would thrust upon one individual - even someone willing to take on the burden - we must consider if this is really actually worth it.

Beyond the obvious problems of management of funds and communication, what happens if this individual gets sick? Gets a reshuffling of responsibilities in their real life? Becomes burned out? It is not easy for someone else to simply take for the interim.
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Offline FLFisherman

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #68 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 11:57:12 »
The volume of product Massdrop requests from SP to attain their "wholesale" discount is enormous. Massdrop doesn't just tap on the kb enthusiast community for these sales, one must keep in mind how Massdrop grew to prominence - essentially providing discounts through volume sales to people who are looking for a discount on an item (regardless of the product).

Between that, the cost adjustments for tooling for SA, and the enormous workload this would thrust upon one individual - even someone willing to take on the burden - we must consider if this is really actually worth it.

Beyond the obvious problems of management of funds and communication, what happens if this individual gets sick? Gets a reshuffling of responsibilities in their real life? Becomes burned out? It is not easy for someone else to simply take for the interim.

Why does it have to be just one person? Why can't it be a team?

Offline Vittra

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #69 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 12:01:37 »
SP seems interested in having a singular person as a point of contact to represent the board. If they are willing to allow a collective of individuals share responsibility, that would be more feasible, though it does introduce other variables that some people will have concerns about (sharing of responsibilities, who is ultimately responsible and accountable, etc). Too many people and you are back to their initial concerns of "too many hands in the pot".
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Offline FLFisherman

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #70 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 12:07:06 »
SP seems interested in having a singular person as a point of contact to represent the board. If they are willing to allow a collective of individuals share responsibility, that would be more feasible, though it does introduce other variables that some people will have concerns about (sharing of responsibilities, who is ultimately responsible and accountable, etc). Too many people and you are back to their initial concerns of "too many hands in the pot".

The concern isn't "too many hands in the pot", their concern is that they're dealing with too many independent entities. They don't want to deal with Tony (running an SA set) and Angie (running another SA set) and Victor (running a DSA set) and Rachel (running her own DSA, or maybe it'll be SA?, set). SP wants to deal with one entity, GeekHack, so that their accounting is easier and they don't have a million requests coming from a million different directions. The sole GH business entity / liaison will field all the individual emails and group buys and merge them into single statements that are then sent to SP. That way SP can get daily updates from one entity, which greatly lessens the burden on them.

Offline jdcarpe

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #71 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 12:08:39 »
Who besides me is still running old school GB's here? I know Sifo was going to do Flatline, but who else? Would there even be any interest in something like this? Seems like every GB organizer goes through MD or PMK as it is...
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Offline FLFisherman

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #72 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 12:09:56 »
Who besides me is still running old school GB's here? I know Sifo was going to do Flatline, but who else? Would there even be any interest in something like this? Seems like every GB organizer goes through MD or PMK as it is...

I think that's it at the moment, but I'll be that changes from month to month.

Offline zslane

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #73 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 12:23:09 »
The ideal solution is to find a manufacturer in Europe who can duplicate SP's production capability. Not only would a new player put competitive pressure on SP, it would ease the shipping issues in the EU. Surely that would be simpler than trying to be treated like a business (by SP) while trying to avoid actually being/operating as a business.

Offline Dernubenfrieken

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #74 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 12:36:45 »
Who besides me is still running old school GB's here? I know Sifo was going to do Flatline, but who else? Would there even be any interest in something like this? Seems like every GB organizer goes through MD or PMK as it is...

Skully Dazed (although he is now doing a storefront and has a relationship with SP) is doing an oldschool buy for Nantucket Selectric. You had Skidata in november, and some of the other GMK sets have been strictly GH.
    

Offline LeandreN

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #75 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 12:39:41 »
I'm in on the keycaps in Europe deal...

Offline Melvang

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #76 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 12:44:45 »
The ideal solution is to find a manufacturer in Europe who can duplicate SP's production capability. Not only would a new player put competitive pressure on SP, it would ease the shipping issues in the EU. Surely that would be simpler than trying to be treated like a business (by SP) while trying to avoid actually being/operating as a business.

So, take jobs from USA people, give to EU people, while increasing shipping cost to the majority of GH (US based) to ease shipping on EU side of things.  Sorry, I would be very much against this.  Don't get me wrong, I have zero issue with EU products there, but I find it sickening when people move capable and competitive production jobs to other countries just to get a cheaper price.  While some may not share my same sentiment, but really why are you mad with SP providing a whole sale discount to MD when they do more business in a 6 months than GH individuals do with SP in 2 years?  The only other reason for the price hike was they FIXED an ERROR in their estimation software that went unnoticed until know. 

I realize that GMK is currently the only source for Cherry profile thick caps.  I understand that, but where else has anything for a uniform profile cap set INCLUDING ALL the key sizes needed?

If you are truely worried about the the combination of shipping time, price, and overall price, for the most people on GH, then you need to be looking at injection molding companies that provide US based manufacturing.  But I warn you, be prepared to crowd fund probably close to a quarter mill for tooling including molds for all caps and sizes in the proper row profiles and legends for double shot.  This is also PER key profile. 
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Offline livingspeedbump

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #77 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 13:53:17 »
Who besides me is still running old school GB's here? I know Sifo was going to do Flatline, but who else? Would there even be any interest in something like this? Seems like every GB organizer goes through MD or PMK as it is...

Skully Dazed (although he is now doing a storefront and has a relationship with SP) is doing an oldschool buy for Nantucket Selectric. You had Skidata in november, and some of the other GMK sets have been strictly GH.

We should only consider SP sets though, this has nothing to do with GMK buys, or other buys like Gateron that people like Shadowvved do.
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Offline HoffmanMyster

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #78 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 13:56:45 »
So, take jobs from USA people, give to EU people

Melvang, we are on a global keyboard forum.

Also, at what point does this stop?  If work leaves Iowa to go to Wisconsin, is it a problem?  If work leaves Waterloo to go to Dubuque, is it a problem?  If work leaves your neighborhood to go down the street, is it a problem?  If work leaves your home to go to your neighbor, is it a problem?  Why is the line drawn when it crosses the USA border?  What's so special about this arbitrary line that should prevent other human beings from working these particular jobs?

We live in a global economy.  At some point the whole us vs them needs to stop.


Working conditions and product quality are very valid reasons to not want to give someone business, but these issues can be present in any country.

Offline Melvang

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #79 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 14:11:13 »
So, take jobs from USA people, give to EU people

Melvang, we are on a global keyboard forum.

Also, at what point does this stop?  If work leaves Iowa to go to Wisconsin, is it a problem?  If work leaves Waterloo to go to Dubuque, is it a problem?  If work leaves your neighborhood to go down the street, is it a problem?  If work leaves your home to go to your neighbor, is it a problem?  Why is the line drawn when it crosses the USA border?  What's so special about this arbitrary line that should prevent other human beings from working these particular jobs?

We live in a global economy.  At some point the whole us vs them needs to stop.


Working conditions and product quality are very valid reasons to not want to give someone business, but these issues can be present in any country.

State to state or city to city doesn't bother me because that typically doesn't happen as often as moving to another country.  The number one companies move to other countries is profit.  They can get stuff made for cheaper labor, cheaper raw material, cheaper tooling, cheaper environmental issues, etc.  It is the taking away of our jobs so CEOs can make more money.

Even John Deere makes harvesting equipment in China.  But those products stay there. 

I understand it is a global economy and and yes it is US vs THEM. But in my eyes it US is the blue collar/working class, with the THEM being CEOs and execs that close production facilities and put people like me and you out of a job so they can make another $2 million a year.  Would you still give money to a company that put you out of a job so they could make the same parts for half the cost?  That is my point.  I don't have an issue with GMKs product, though I have no opinion as the only Cherry profile caps I have are very old.  I had forgotten I had them as it is only the alpha keys.  Cherry was a German based company that started there, I have no issue with that.  GMK another German based company, bought their cap tooling, no issues there.  Now if SP moves production to China, Korea, Taiwan, or any other country known for cheap labor, I will no longer buy their products if I can help it.

If a foreign company wants to make something over seas in their country and sell it here, fine no problems there.  But any US based company that produces products over seas just to ship back here to sell should be taxed to the point where that is no longer a viable option.  If a US based company wants to sell parts/pieces in China, thatss fine, either make parts here and sell there, or start a factory there and sell parts/pieces there.

My issue comes from using other countries economies and cheap work forces just to turn extra profit for the CEO and top execs.

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Offline zslane

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #80 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 14:14:07 »
For my own part I have no beef with SP. I like SP. I am a fan of SP. They make the keycaps I love.

At the same time, I am a big believer in capitalism and the notion of a competitive marketplace. There are times when a de facto monopoly benefits an industry, but I don't feel that is necessarily the case here. I believe that giving SP come competition is a Good Thing for everyone, even SP. And if that competition is in Europe and helps ease some of the shipping and logistical hurdles EU customer currently face, all the better.

Competition would not send jobs elsewhere. It would create new jobs elsewhere. This is not a zero-sum game. Rather, it has the potential to raise all boats, not just those docked in the new, hypothetical European facility.

Also note that if there is going to be a competitor outside the US someday, I would rather it be in Europe where there still remains a culture of paying a reasonable wage and treating its employees like human beings. I'm not a fan of seeing China get involved regardless of the potentially low prices we would see. That would be a blood discount I'm not interested in benefiting from.

Offline mashby

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #81 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 14:17:50 »
I think this is a valid and interesting discussion, so I'm glad that we're having it. However, the take away that I'm getting is that the goal of this endeavor would be to create a non-profit version of PMK/Massdrop in order for members of the community to receive a discount. In lieu of this perceived discount, a member can participate in a PMK/Massdrop group buy and have a more reliable commercial experience.

I haven't been around as long as some, but IMHO group buys have clearly evolved from the "good old days" and become much more commercialized. The number of group buys in a given year is tenfold what it was when I first become involved in GeekHack. Personally, I prefer the community method, but companies like PMK and Massdrop and hybrid groups like CTRLAlt have made purchasing a much smoother and easier process.

There is the potential for savings to the end buyer/member but the costs to reach those savings is rather limited when you run the numbers. It would be a trade off in that the savings would simply be converted into paying someone to manage this new company.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Question Of Profit - What About A CoOp?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
One of the threads in this discussion is the fact that Massdrop is profiting off of our orders. I don't have a problem with this, but some do and I respect that opinion even though I don't agree. But let's set that debate aside for a moment and talk about how to leverage the savings and profits as a community.

One alternative would be to setup a non-profit cooperative for placing group buys. It would be a company, but one that doesn't necessarily have profit as a motive.  Any monies received by the co-op during the running of the group buy(s) would be used to pay for the operation of the non-profit. Should there be money left over, then those funds could be returned to the members via a dividend.

It would be complicated to set up and to maintain -- no question -- but it could have the potential to achieve the goals suggested in this thread. Thoughts?

Offline FLFisherman

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #82 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 14:21:08 »
I think this is a valid and interesting discussion, so I'm glad that we're having it. However, the take away that I'm getting is that the goal of this endeavor would be to create a non-profit version of PMK/Massdrop in order for members of the community to receive a discount. In lieu of this perceived discount, a member can participate in a PMK/Massdrop group buy and have a more reliable commercial experience.

I haven't been around as long as some, but IMHO group buys have clearly evolved from the "good old days" and become much more commercialized. The number of group buys in a given year is tenfold what it was when I first become involved in GeekHack. Personally, I prefer the community method, but companies like PMK and Massdrop and hybrid groups like CTRLAlt have made purchasing a much smoother and easier process.

There is the potential for savings to the end buyer/member but the costs to reach those savings is rather limited when you run the numbers. It would be a trade off in that the savings would simply be converted into paying someone to manage this new company.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Question Of Profit - What About A CoOp?
------------------------------------------------------------------------
One of the threads in this discussion is the fact that Massdrop is profiting off of our orders. I don't have a problem with this, but some do and I respect that opinion even though I don't agree. But let's set that debate aside for a moment and talk about how to leverage the savings and profits as a community.

One alternative would be to setup a non-profit cooperative for placing group buys. It would be a company, but one that doesn't necessarily have profit as a motive.  Any monies received by the co-op during the running of the group buy(s) would be used to pay for the operation of the non-profit. Should there be money left over, then those funds could be returned to the members via a dividend.

It would be complicated to set up and to maintain -- no question -- but it could have the potential to achieve the goals suggested in this thread. Thoughts?

I like this suggestion of a coop. I presume you'd like to be run by multiple members so that you don't have just one person driving themselves crazy volunteering their time?

Offline mashby

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #83 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 14:31:35 »
I like this suggestion of a coop. I presume you'd like to be run by multiple members so that you don't have just one person driving themselves crazy volunteering their time?

It will take a MOUNTAIN of paperwork to set something like this up, but ideally, you would have one paid position to run the organization and the rest would be volunteers.

Offline Pieminister

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #84 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 14:46:31 »
So, take jobs from USA people, give to EU people

Melvang, we are on a global keyboard forum.

Also, at what point does this stop?  If work leaves Iowa to go to Wisconsin, is it a problem?  If work leaves Waterloo to go to Dubuque, is it a problem?  If work leaves your neighborhood to go down the street, is it a problem?  If work leaves your home to go to your neighbor, is it a problem?  Why is the line drawn when it crosses the USA border?  What's so special about this arbitrary line that should prevent other human beings from working these particular jobs?

We live in a global economy.  At some point the whole us vs them needs to stop.


Working conditions and product quality are very valid reasons to not want to give someone business, but these issues can be present in any country.

State to state or city to city doesn't bother me because that typically doesn't happen as often as moving to another country.  The number one companies move to other countries is profit.  They can get stuff made for cheaper labor, cheaper raw material, cheaper tooling, cheaper environmental issues, etc.  It is the taking away of our jobs so CEOs can make more money.

Even John Deere makes harvesting equipment in China.  But those products stay there. 

I understand it is a global economy and and yes it is US vs THEM. But in my eyes it US is the blue collar/working class, with the THEM being CEOs and execs that close production facilities and put people like me and you out of a job so they can make another $2 million a year.  Would you still give money to a company that put you out of a job so they could make the same parts for half the cost?  That is my point.  I don't have an issue with GMKs product, though I have no opinion as the only Cherry profile caps I have are very old.  I had forgotten I had them as it is only the alpha keys.  Cherry was a German based company that started there, I have no issue with that.  GMK another German based company, bought their cap tooling, no issues there.  Now if SP moves production to China, Korea, Taiwan, or any other country known for cheap labor, I will no longer buy their products if I can help it.

If a foreign company wants to make something over seas in their country and sell it here, fine no problems there.  But any US based company that produces products over seas just to ship back here to sell should be taxed to the point where that is no longer a viable option.  If a US based company wants to sell parts/pieces in China, thatss fine, either make parts here and sell there, or start a factory there and sell parts/pieces there.

My issue comes from using other countries economies and cheap work forces just to turn extra profit for the CEO and top execs.

 I thought the point was that it would be great to have a wider variety of different manufacturers, including some based in Europe in order to benefit EU customers (just like SP benefits US customers). I dont think the aim was to outsource SP production to another country. Leave SP as it is, but having more competition would benefit everyone.

Offline Melvang

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #85 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 15:11:43 »
So, take jobs from USA people, give to EU people

Melvang, we are on a global keyboard forum.

Also, at what point does this stop?  If work leaves Iowa to go to Wisconsin, is it a problem?  If work leaves Waterloo to go to Dubuque, is it a problem?  If work leaves your neighborhood to go down the street, is it a problem?  If work leaves your home to go to your neighbor, is it a problem?  Why is the line drawn when it crosses the USA border?  What's so special about this arbitrary line that should prevent other human beings from working these particular jobs?

We live in a global economy.  At some point the whole us vs them needs to stop.


Working conditions and product quality are very valid reasons to not want to give someone business, but these issues can be present in any country.

State to state or city to city doesn't bother me because that typically doesn't happen as often as moving to another country.  The number one companies move to other countries is profit.  They can get stuff made for cheaper labor, cheaper raw material, cheaper tooling, cheaper environmental issues, etc.  It is the taking away of our jobs so CEOs can make more money.

Even John Deere makes harvesting equipment in China.  But those products stay there. 

I understand it is a global economy and and yes it is US vs THEM. But in my eyes it US is the blue collar/working class, with the THEM being CEOs and execs that close production facilities and put people like me and you out of a job so they can make another $2 million a year.  Would you still give money to a company that put you out of a job so they could make the same parts for half the cost?  That is my point.  I don't have an issue with GMKs product, though I have no opinion as the only Cherry profile caps I have are very old.  I had forgotten I had them as it is only the alpha keys.  Cherry was a German based company that started there, I have no issue with that.  GMK another German based company, bought their cap tooling, no issues there.  Now if SP moves production to China, Korea, Taiwan, or any other country known for cheap labor, I will no longer buy their products if I can help it.

If a foreign company wants to make something over seas in their country and sell it here, fine no problems there.  But any US based company that produces products over seas just to ship back here to sell should be taxed to the point where that is no longer a viable option.  If a US based company wants to sell parts/pieces in China, thatss fine, either make parts here and sell there, or start a factory there and sell parts/pieces there.

My issue comes from using other countries economies and cheap work forces just to turn extra profit for the CEO and top execs.

 I thought the point was that it would be great to have a wider variety of different manufacturers, including some based in Europe in order to benefit EU customers (just like SP benefits US customers). I dont think the aim was to outsource SP production to another country. Leave SP as it is, but having more competition would benefit everyone.

That's fine with the competition, but at what cost?  New molds for a new injection molding company are going to be VERY expensive.  I don't think this is going to happen without some crowd funding and advertising from someone with anything less than the internet presence of MassDrop.  Just look at how long it took for the funding for Cherry legends with SP.  New molds would likely take 25 times that dollar figure.

With the way some people were talking, the wanted to completely cut all ties and all but boycott SP without calling it that.  If there is another company with unique products, thats fine, I may buy some if I agree with the product, but to completely stop production for SA profile because people got pissy that they fixed the pricing, ehh, grow up.

But my word is not the gospel. 
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Offline zslane

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #86 on: Fri, 29 January 2016, 16:24:32 »
Finding alternatives to SP and finding alternatives to MassDrop are two very different things. I don't think any company is ready and able to offer equivalents to SP's products, nor are there any on the horizon in Europe or the US. There might be one emerging out of China, but I feel that will come with its own set of problems that nobody here will especially love either.

Finding or establishing an alternative to MassDrop is a less challenging endeavor, comparatively speaking, but it is still an enormous undertaking for a hobbyist community that isn't terribly business savvy as a collective (some individuals within it are, but they are not representative of the whole). I think a lot of interesting ideas have been put forward, but I'm not convinced GH has the collective will to put any of them into effective action. And even if they did, I'm not sure the results would be as satisfying as everyone thinks/expects/hopes.

Offline Homenubbie

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #87 on: Mon, 01 February 2016, 13:00:21 »
Looks like Massdrop pricing will be hard to beat.  PuLSE has a $80 base set.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/pulse-sa-keycap-set?mode=guest_open
« Last Edit: Mon, 01 February 2016, 13:02:49 by Homenubbie »

Offline FLFisherman

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #88 on: Mon, 01 February 2016, 13:02:26 »
Looks like Massdrop pricing will be hard to beat.  PuLSE has a $60 base set.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/pulse-sa-keycap-set?mode=guest_open

Looks like an $80 base set. Where are you seeing $60?

Offline Floody

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #89 on: Mon, 01 February 2016, 13:06:27 »
Looks like Massdrop pricing will be hard to beat.  PuLSE has a $60 base set.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/pulse-sa-keycap-set?mode=guest_open

Looks like an $80 base set. Where are you seeing $60?
Looks like it was just a typo

Offline hashbaz

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #90 on: Mon, 01 February 2016, 13:31:37 »
In my opinion this is a pipe dream. Managing all communication with SP and staying up to date on the status of every buy in the pipe is a job. The only way to protect against flaking, burn-out, and a huge backlog would be to pay the person and develop infrastructure to automate things. Which is exactly what Massdrop is.

I love this community and am amazed at the amount of trust, enthusiasm, and good-will volunteer effort that goes on here, but this is just way over the line of what we can get without paying for it. The group buy culture that we have built is too big now, and this SA pricing kerfuffle is evidence that the game has changed, like mashby and zslane have pointed out.

Offline mashby

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #91 on: Mon, 01 February 2016, 13:39:49 »
Looks like Massdrop pricing will be hard to beat.  PuLSE has a $80 base set.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/pulse-sa-keycap-set?mode=guest_open

What sort of pricing have others seen for a base SA set that we can compare it to?

Offline zslane

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #92 on: Mon, 01 February 2016, 14:40:26 »
So here are price estimates for SA Dasher. According to livingspeedbump, when you account for MassDrop's discount and markup, you end up with a price that is not much different from the raw quote below. If SA Dasher/Dancer manages to get on MassDrop, I have an idea of how to possibly bring the price down a little bit.

Kit25 sets50 sets100 sets
TKL$118$90$76
NUMPAD$38$26$19

I find it interesting that there is a bigger price break between 25 and 50 than between 50 and 100.

Offline Melvang

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #93 on: Mon, 01 February 2016, 15:06:11 »

I find it interesting that there is a bigger price break between 25 and 50 than between 50 and 100.

A lot of that has to do with percentage of time spent doing tooling changes vs machine time.  Price drops at higher tier are usually more related to bulk material pricing.
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Offline Homenubbie

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #94 on: Tue, 02 February 2016, 09:21:05 »
Looks like Massdrop pricing will be hard to beat.  PuLSE has a $60 base set.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/pulse-sa-keycap-set?mode=guest_open

Looks like an $80 base set. Where are you seeing $60?

Typo.

Fixed.  Now $75 after getting almost 1200 orders!

Excited to get my first SA set!

Offline Dernubenfrieken

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #95 on: Tue, 02 February 2016, 10:14:42 »
Looks like Massdrop pricing will be hard to beat.  PuLSE has a $80 base set.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/pulse-sa-keycap-set?mode=guest_open

What sort of pricing have others seen for a base SA set that we can compare it to?

You could look at Nantucket Selectric, lowest tier is $85 with a few extra keys/an extra space bar.
    

Offline Melvang

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #96 on: Tue, 02 February 2016, 10:56:12 »
Looks like Massdrop pricing will be hard to beat.  PuLSE has a $80 base set.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/pulse-sa-keycap-set?mode=guest_open

What sort of pricing have others seen for a base SA set that we can compare it to?

You could look at Nantucket Selectric, lowest tier is $85 with a few extra keys/an extra space bar.

Was that priced before or after SP fixed the error in the software.
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Offline Homenubbie

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #97 on: Tue, 02 February 2016, 14:52:43 »
So here are price estimates for SA Dasher. According to livingspeedbump, when you account for MassDrop's discount and markup, you end up with a price that is not much different from the raw quote below. If SA Dasher/Dancer manages to get on MassDrop, I have an idea of how to possibly bring the price down a little bit.

Kit25 sets50 sets100 sets
TKL$118$90$76
NUMPAD$38$26$19

I find it interesting that there is a bigger price break between 25 and 50 than between 50 and 100.

True but this implies the group buy leader takes NO pay for considerable work as opposed to 10% royalty Massdrop would give you.

As others have said who would ever WANT this job.


Offline livingspeedbump

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #98 on: Tue, 02 February 2016, 15:00:40 »
So here are price estimates for SA Dasher. According to livingspeedbump, when you account for MassDrop's discount and markup, you end up with a price that is not much different from the raw quote below. If SA Dasher/Dancer manages to get on MassDrop, I have an idea of how to possibly bring the price down a little bit.

Kit25 sets50 sets100 sets
TKL$118$90$76
NUMPAD$38$26$19

I find it interesting that there is a bigger price break between 25 and 50 than between 50 and 100.

True but this implies the group buy leader takes NO pay for considerable work as opposed to 10% royalty Massdrop would give you.

As others have said who would ever WANT this job.


Yeah, thats about where I'm at now. Why would anyone want to do this? All that being said, Nantucket Selectric, for example, really isn't priced bad at all. Maybe a few bucks more than a MD set, but not by much. Seem like this really isn't all that big of a deal. Business is business for SP, which is very understandable. And as far as forum GB's go, I surely dont see the pricing alone killing them off by any means.
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Offline mashby

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #99 on: Tue, 02 February 2016, 15:27:03 »
So here are price estimates for SA Dasher. According to livingspeedbump, when you account for MassDrop's discount and markup, you end up with a price that is not much different from the raw quote below. If SA Dasher/Dancer manages to get on MassDrop, I have an idea of how to possibly bring the price down a little bit.

Kit25 sets50 sets100 sets
TKL$118$90$76
NUMPAD$38$26$19

I find it interesting that there is a bigger price break between 25 and 50 than between 50 and 100.

True but this implies the group buy leader takes NO pay for considerable work as opposed to 10% royalty Massdrop would give you.

As others have said who would ever WANT this job.


Yeah, thats about where I'm at now. Why would anyone want to do this? All that being said, Nantucket Selectric, for example, really isn't priced bad at all. Maybe a few bucks more than a MD set, but not by much. Seem like this really isn't all that big of a deal. Business is business for SP, which is very understandable. And as far as forum GB's go, I surely dont see the pricing alone killing them off by any means.

Agreed. I'm also thinking that the net cost to Massdrop is less, but that's for them to build in their profit for the sale. In other words, the customer doesn't see the cost difference, or at least very little of it. I'm OK with that, because they are a business, but I wonder if this isn't simply an example of us overthinking the "problem".

Perhaps it's not that self-run Group Buys will be that much more expensive to the consumer as much as we're more aware of potential cost savings that build it profit for companies that are large enough to take advantage of it.

Offline livingspeedbump

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #100 on: Tue, 02 February 2016, 15:32:18 »
So here are price estimates for SA Dasher. According to livingspeedbump, when you account for MassDrop's discount and markup, you end up with a price that is not much different from the raw quote below. If SA Dasher/Dancer manages to get on MassDrop, I have an idea of how to possibly bring the price down a little bit.

Kit25 sets50 sets100 sets
TKL$118$90$76
NUMPAD$38$26$19

I find it interesting that there is a bigger price break between 25 and 50 than between 50 and 100.

True but this implies the group buy leader takes NO pay for considerable work as opposed to 10% royalty Massdrop would give you.

As others have said who would ever WANT this job.


Yeah, thats about where I'm at now. Why would anyone want to do this? All that being said, Nantucket Selectric, for example, really isn't priced bad at all. Maybe a few bucks more than a MD set, but not by much. Seem like this really isn't all that big of a deal. Business is business for SP, which is very understandable. And as far as forum GB's go, I surely dont see the pricing alone killing them off by any means.

Agreed. I'm also thinking that the net cost to Massdrop is less, but that's for them to build in their profit for the sale. In other words, the customer doesn't see the cost difference, or at least very little of it. I'm OK with that, because they are a business, but I wonder if this isn't simply an example of us overthinking the "problem".

Perhaps it's not that self-run Group Buys will be that much more expensive to the consumer as much as we're more aware of potential cost savings that build it profit for companies that are large enough to take advantage of it.

And im honestly ok with that. Even without the official statement, I simply assumed there was a good discount for guys like MD that were moving huge numbers of units. I really dont think it is as huge of a deal as it was made to seem like in some instances. I mean, it would be silly of us to think we get the same pricing on GMK sets as come companies that order huge bulk quantities of their caps.
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Offline hashbaz

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #101 on: Tue, 02 February 2016, 16:12:19 »
The big deal was the price increase on our end for SA sets. The (ultimately unfounded) assumption was that SP was artificially raising prices for community-run buys in order to corral us into using Massdrop. Which, sure, is their prerogative as a business entity, but nonetheless would have been a **** move. The extra discounts that Massdrop apparently gets shouldn't in themselves be upsetting (and in fact are great news for the community since we are ultimately their customers).

Offline zslane

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #102 on: Wed, 03 February 2016, 14:58:10 »
The big deal was the price increase on our end for SA sets. The (ultimately unfounded) assumption was that SP was artificially raising prices for community-run buys in order to corral us into using Massdrop.

And while the price increase itself was disturbing to group buy organizers here, it was that unfounded assumption that was disturbing to me. That assumption, without a shred of evidence to support it, painted SP in the worst possible light. Of all the assumptions to adopt and conclusions to leap to, it was astonishing to me that so many folks would choose that one. I mean, there must have been an awful lot of pent up resentment just waiting for an event like this to tip it over into full-on revolt. How did we get to that point? How did a collaborative relationship, characterized here and in other threads as beneficial to everyone, sour so severely?

I have a sneaking suspicion that MassDrop's rapid growth and increasing dominance in keycap group buys has a lot to do with it.

Offline Waateva

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #103 on: Wed, 03 February 2016, 15:08:52 »
I would be more than willing to donate my time to help set up whatever entity if required as well as answer as many questions as I can in regards to the tax ramifications that may happen as a result of this.  I am in charge of setting up LLCs, S-Corps, C-Corps, and other tax entities at my accounting firm and I also prepare personal and business taxes year-round so I could give estimates as to what the tax consequences of doing something like this would be, but with the sheer volume of cash coming in and going out there are going to be some requirements like P&Ls, balance sheets, and also possible State complications depending on the State.  I know here in Michigan, if you have receipts over $250,000 you need to file a MBT (Michigan Business Tax) return which really should be pretty much a wash, but from personal experience pass-through entities like this would probably be never end up with no profit.
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Offline Melvang

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #104 on: Wed, 03 February 2016, 15:20:21 »
I would be more than willing to donate my time to help set up whatever entity if required as well as answer as many questions as I can in regards to the tax ramifications that may happen as a result of this.  I am in charge of setting up LLCs, S-Corps, C-Corps, and other tax entities at my accounting firm and I also prepare personal and business taxes year-round so I could give estimates as to what the tax consequences of doing something like this would be, but with the sheer volume of cash coming in and going out there are going to be some requirements like P&Ls, balance sheets, and also possible State complications depending on the State.  I know here in Michigan, if you have receipts over $250,000 you need to file a MBT (Michigan Business Tax) return which really should be pretty much a wash, but from personal experience pass-through entities like this would probably be never end up with no profit.

Speaking of this.  How would it work tax wise if we had a GH LLC and all business was conducted through PMK so technically, the only money coming in would be tr 5% commission?  I would assume the LLC would have to pay business income tax on that.  But this could also be used to fund legends, keep the site running, etc.
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Offline hashbaz

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #105 on: Wed, 03 February 2016, 17:45:22 »
And while the price increase itself was disturbing to group buy organizers here, it was that unfounded assumption that was disturbing to me. That assumption, without a shred of evidence to support it, painted SP in the worst possible light. Of all the assumptions to adopt and conclusions to leap to, it was astonishing to me that so many folks would choose that one. I mean, there must have been an awful lot of pent up resentment just waiting for an event like this to tip it over into full-on revolt. How did we get to that point? How did a collaborative relationship, characterized here and in other threads as beneficial to everyone, sour so severely?

I have a sneaking suspicion that MassDrop's rapid growth and increasing dominance in keycap group buys has a lot to do with it.

You're overthinking it. The combination of massive price increase for us with the revelation that Massdrop gets discounts that we weren't aware of before (despite having asked) lead pretty easily to the conclusion that people jumped to. Also, SP and the forum have always had a love/hate relationship. We've wanted other manufacturers for a long time.

Offline Waateva

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  • Location: Michigan, USA
Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #106 on: Wed, 03 February 2016, 18:05:22 »
I would be more than willing to donate my time to help set up whatever entity if required as well as answer as many questions as I can in regards to the tax ramifications that may happen as a result of this.  I am in charge of setting up LLCs, S-Corps, C-Corps, and other tax entities at my accounting firm and I also prepare personal and business taxes year-round so I could give estimates as to what the tax consequences of doing something like this would be, but with the sheer volume of cash coming in and going out there are going to be some requirements like P&Ls, balance sheets, and also possible State complications depending on the State.  I know here in Michigan, if you have receipts over $250,000 you need to file a MBT (Michigan Business Tax) return which really should be pretty much a wash, but from personal experience pass-through entities like this would probably be never end up with no profit.

Speaking of this.  How would it work tax wise if we had a GH LLC and all business was conducted through PMK so technically, the only money coming in would be tr 5% commission?  I would assume the LLC would have to pay business income tax on that.  But this could also be used to fund legends, keep the site running, etc.

LLCs are not Federally recognized tax entities, so the individual in charge of the LLC would have to file a Schedule C (Small business return) with their personal income tax and then pay Federal income tax as well as self-employment tax on any profit along with State tax if the LLC and representative are formed/reside in a State that has income tax.  Now, the 5% commissions wouldn't be a big problem as long as there are expenses to bring the profit down as much as possible, but if there are a lot of GBs run through this entity even the 5% would add up and could result in a pretty decent tax increase for the person filing the Schedule C, especially if they are single and not married.

It seems like a lot of the people here on Geekhack are at doing at least okay financially, so if we have a single person making even $50-60k take charge of this entity and show a profit of around $3k-4k, they are going to look at a tax hit of $1200 to $1600 just in Federal income taxes, and then if there are State taxes there would probably be another $200ish depending on the State tax rate.  Now ideally, there would be next to nothing for profit especially if this is somewhat of a pass-through entity, but I have never seen a pass-through entity break even from year to year so we would want to assume a worst case scenario.
Duck Black Bird - 80g Gatistotles /// O'Mira - V Blacks /// LZ GH v2 - V Clears /// NIU40 - Ergo Clears

Offline zslane

  • Posts: 2203
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #107 on: Wed, 03 February 2016, 18:12:08 »
And while the price increase itself was disturbing to group buy organizers here, it was that unfounded assumption that was disturbing to me. That assumption, without a shred of evidence to support it, painted SP in the worst possible light. Of all the assumptions to adopt and conclusions to leap to, it was astonishing to me that so many folks would choose that one. I mean, there must have been an awful lot of pent up resentment just waiting for an event like this to tip it over into full-on revolt. How did we get to that point? How did a collaborative relationship, characterized here and in other threads as beneficial to everyone, sour so severely?

I have a sneaking suspicion that MassDrop's rapid growth and increasing dominance in keycap group buys has a lot to do with it.

You're overthinking it. The combination of massive price increase for us with the revelation that Massdrop gets discounts that we weren't aware of before (despite having asked) lead pretty easily to the conclusion that people jumped to. Also, SP and the forum have always had a love/hate relationship. We've wanted other manufacturers for a long time.

I guess overthinking it is one way of putting it. On the other hand, there were multiple ways to interpret the events/facts as they were known at the time. The most popular interpretation seemed to be the one which cast SP as some sort of evil corporate monster conspiring to screw over a community it has historically worked with quite amicably. That was illuminating to me, and not for what it said about SP or their perceived lack of transparency.

I just wonder if there needs to be some clearing of the air between the leaders of this community and SP. I am skeptical that Bob's explanation satisfied anyone who felt so thoroughly burned by the new prices and/or MassDrop's wholesale distributor status. My gut tells me there is still a considerable degree of festering resentment over what we might call the new norm.

Offline hashbaz

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #108 on: Wed, 03 February 2016, 18:13:33 »
Over
Thinking

Pitchforks is what we do around here.

Offline livingspeedbump

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  • Gentlemen, a bobsled is a simple thing.
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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #109 on: Thu, 04 February 2016, 10:30:41 »
And while the price increase itself was disturbing to group buy organizers here, it was that unfounded assumption that was disturbing to me. That assumption, without a shred of evidence to support it, painted SP in the worst possible light. Of all the assumptions to adopt and conclusions to leap to, it was astonishing to me that so many folks would choose that one. I mean, there must have been an awful lot of pent up resentment just waiting for an event like this to tip it over into full-on revolt. How did we get to that point? How did a collaborative relationship, characterized here and in other threads as beneficial to everyone, sour so severely?

I have a sneaking suspicion that MassDrop's rapid growth and increasing dominance in keycap group buys has a lot to do with it.

You're overthinking it. The combination of massive price increase for us with the revelation that Massdrop gets discounts that we weren't aware of before (despite having asked) lead pretty easily to the conclusion that people jumped to. Also, SP and the forum have always had a love/hate relationship. We've wanted other manufacturers for a long time.

I guess overthinking it is one way of putting it. On the other hand, there were multiple ways to interpret the events/facts as they were known at the time. The most popular interpretation seemed to be the one which cast SP as some sort of evil corporate monster conspiring to screw over a community it has historically worked with quite amicably. That was illuminating to me, and not for what it said about SP or their perceived lack of transparency.

I just wonder if there needs to be some clearing of the air between the leaders of this community and SP. I am skeptical that Bob's explanation satisfied anyone who felt so thoroughly burned by the new prices and/or MassDrop's wholesale distributor status. My gut tells me there is still a considerable degree of festering resentment over what we might call the new norm.

Gonna go wtih hashbaz here. This has been a result of overthinking. I am pretty sure the part about going through a single business entity in the letter was simply what we could do, but not really what we should do.

Quite frankly the pricing is just fine for community run sets still. Compare Nantucket Selectric to PuLSE (community vs MD) and the pricing really isnt all that different, surely not enough to deter me from joining the community buy.

If people feel buthurt over the fact that a huge business is getting huge business pricing, eh. I think a lot of people like to just rally around causes sometimes without entirely thinking them through. I think we have more than enough pitchforks around here already  ^-^
« Last Edit: Thu, 04 February 2016, 10:32:48 by livingspeedbump »
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Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #110 on: Thu, 04 February 2016, 16:20:07 »
Not even sure it's a matter of overthinking things but rather the thinking for some was on the negative side. 

Offline hashbaz

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #111 on: Thu, 04 February 2016, 16:53:36 »
To be clear, I was saying that zslane is overthinking it in their analysis of the forum's reaction.

Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #112 on: Thu, 04 February 2016, 17:10:21 »
To be clear, I was saying that zslane is overthinking it in their analysis of the forum's reaction.

Ahhh, I gotcha.    I was thinking more in terms of the knee-jerk negativity shown toward SP initially.

Offline HoffmanMyster

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #113 on: Thu, 04 February 2016, 17:45:32 »
To be clear, I was saying that zslane is overthinking it in their analysis of the forum's reaction.

Ahhh, I gotcha.    I was thinking more in terms of the knee-jerk negativity shown toward SP initially.

I admit to knee-jerk reacting, and regret doing so.  Apologies all around.  I'm still a bit hurt by the pricing discrepancies, but "business is business".  :-/

Offline Niomosy

  • Posts: 1239
Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #114 on: Fri, 05 February 2016, 00:13:56 »
To be clear, I was saying that zslane is overthinking it in their analysis of the forum's reaction.

Ahhh, I gotcha.    I was thinking more in terms of the knee-jerk negativity shown toward SP initially.

I admit to knee-jerk reacting, and regret doing so.  Apologies all around.  I'm still a bit hurt by the pricing discrepancies, but "business is business".  :-/

It happens to the best of us, Hoff.  No worries.  I know I've had my moments as well.

Offline zslane

  • Posts: 2203
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #115 on: Fri, 05 February 2016, 12:51:42 »
Oh I dunno. I think my analysis is pretty spot on. There were many who viewed the situation in the worst possible light even though there was no actual evidence of nefarious intent on SP's part. The resistance to giving SP the benefit of the doubt was eye-opening, to say the least. You can wave it off as "what we do here," but I'm not sure how that invalidates my observation.

It is one thing to be dismayed by a price hike and rattle some sabres in an effort to bring community attention to the "problem". It is another thing for people to write with the kind of venomous resentment I witnessed. That wasn't just knee-jerk reaction or letting off some steam, that was deeply pent up hostility that came from somewhere. I don't think it is "over thinking" it to point out the mob rule that took sway for a while, and suggest that people look a little deeper into their hearts and figure out why they decided to look for the very worst in SP.

Offline hashbaz

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Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #116 on: Fri, 05 February 2016, 13:07:23 »
Oh I dunno. I think my analysis is pretty spot on.

Lol. Of course you do.

People explained, repeatedly, why they reacted so strongly. I myself explained it a couple of different times in response to your posts. It's not that complicated.

Offline spectre6000

  • Posts: 26
Re: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative
« Reply #117 on: Tue, 16 February 2016, 23:05:27 »
I'll not weigh in on the "why" or the "should", but I can help with the "how". I'm what you might call a serial entrepreneur. I've owned a few companies and consulted for several startups. If someone came up to me and asked how this could work, here's how I'd go about it:

First off, it would help to be based in a state that allows LLCs. Most do, but not all. Additionally, one that doesn't have state income tax would be preferential. Set up a simple LLC to keep track of the taxes and keep everything above board. Filing fees and required documents vary by state. From memory, I think it's $50 here in CO, and aside from required internal documents, which a lot of companies don't actually ever really seem to get around to drafting, I want to say it's really just a single form and a short one at that. File at the federal level as well.

The individual doing the leg work here will be required to file income and self employment taxes at the federal level (I'm not going into state stuff since it's different everywhere), which need to be paid in quarterly installments. This can be done online, and it's pretty simple and straight forward through the IRS's e-file system. Ignoring state income tax, at the $60K/year rate I saw above and with no significant deductions I want to say you're looking at ~25% all in.

If anyone is worried about tax liabilities due to orders out when fiscal years end, just keep the accounting straight and trust that it'll net out in that the amount you pay extra one year comes back the next more or less. If it's a huge concern, go on holiday for whatever lead time works out to be at the end of your fiscal year. Your fiscal year doesn't have to end 12/31. So if xmas is a major buy time, have the FYE in March so the Helter Skelter has died down a bit.
Keep accurate records or spreadsheets or what have you, and if you really want to get serious Quickbooks is only about $30/month. Play it smart and don't take cash or checks (who would in 2016?), and your CC/PayPal statements will handle a lot of the lifting for you (most have Excel and QB exports that make this super painless).

Logistically, work with the GH moderators to rehash how ICs/GBs work and get things streamlined such that this 'caretaker' doesn't have to handle every single post in every single IC/GB. Additionally, keycap set-oriented GBs would need to be required to fit in whatever limitations this particular manufacturer has. That would honestly take care of the lions' share of the effort right there... This way, the 'caretaker' only handles completed GBs, and can handle intermediary legwork that sounds like this particular supplier needs and can't handle themselves. Once a GB is completed, the 'caretaker' submits an order for such-and-such keycap sets in such-and-such colors and configurations. This could even be done on a weekly basis to further mitigate workload. I'm not sure how these keycap sets arrive, but if it's just a loose pile of plastic you'll need to sort it out, that would be the biggest time consumer. If they come pre-sorted/setted and all you're doing is really handling shipping, labels are easy to print and the hard part simply becomes keeping track of which stickers go on which boxes (sharpies work wonders here). It's also easy to schedule pickups with whatever shipper is preferable. Have them come once a week and pick up your stack o' boxes.

Once you've gone through the initial entity formation and get in the right habits, you're looking at something like one day a week's worth of actual work if you're organized.
« Last Edit: Tue, 16 February 2016, 23:07:03 by spectre6000 »