Author Topic: Why is there no keycap buyers association?  (Read 1160 times)

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Online voodoo6k

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Why is there no keycap buyers association?
« on: Fri, 04 January 2019, 17:49:22 »
It seems that standardizing the process of group buys (knowledge base, tools, communication, etc.)  could ultimately get us better pricing on keycaps...

Has there ever been talks of a keycap designer "collective" of some sort, with greater buying power and thus bargaining power?

It seems manufacturers, designers, and more importantly buyers would benefit from this.

Obviously, I can see a million ways it could fail but, basically, Massdrop is already doing it for itself...

Just wondering.

Online csmertx

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Re: Why is there no keycap buyers association?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 04 January 2019, 19:14:24 »
Better pricing? The prices of hand poured and packaged tiny artisan keycaps are priced as they are because the work is extremely tedious.

Also from what I've gathered, the bigger manufactures sell to consumer based outlets as a sort of on the side job for times when industrial orders are trickling through.
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Online voodoo6k

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Re: Why is there no keycap buyers association?
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 04 January 2019, 19:48:50 »
Well, to be honest, it is not my idea.

I couldn't remember if it was Melissa (from SP) who suggested it explicitly or something I read elsewhere.

But I've found the post, which is an official statement from SP. In this particular passage:

[...]
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.
[...]
Bob Guenser, Owner

No one seems to address the topic in the original thread.


Better pricing? The prices of hand poured and packaged tiny artisan keycaps are priced as they are because the work is extremely tedious.

Also from what I've gathered, the bigger manufactures sell to consumer based outlets as a sort of on the side job for times when industrial orders are trickling through.

Taking the above (top) into consideration, there seems to be some leeway.

Especially considering that prices are quite astronomical relative to the mass produced variant; I will take any wholesale discount I can get.


Offline The Arthur

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Re: Why is there no keycap buyers association?
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 19 January 2019, 13:36:43 »
If I understand correctly, this isn't about artisans anyway. And yes economically it would in my opinion absolutely make sense.

If there were an on-site advisor who could coach projects and stardize them so that they would cost less work and worked more predictably, that'd be great. Biggest benefit would probably be to schedule different projects and coordinate their volumes and distribution. However at that point we're essentially talking about a small business. It might also mean that whoever manages these things get some say and power over individual GBs, which people might not like.

Offline switchnollie

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Re: Why is there no keycap buyers association?
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 19 January 2019, 13:58:59 »
Once you evolve to 7k we will know the answer :)