Author Topic: Finding a GH/Signature Plastic Representative  (Read 38448 times)

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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.