: Group Purchases



the Sandman
01-17-03, 10:30 AM
One of the benefits of a group like this is the ability to organize and carry out group purchases. This way, members of the community can save some money and get access to products they might not otherwise have been exposed to.

A GP usually takes form when someone decides they want a particular item and then decides to float the idea of a group buy. The first step is usually to contact the seller, distributor, or manufacturer of that item and see if the idea of the GP is amenable to them. If it is, details such as quantity price, time frame, and minimum numbers are set. The experienced GP organizer will then contact other potential suppliers of the same or similar products and see if there is a better deal to be had. With this information in hand, the idea is announced publicly online to the community to gauge interest and hopefully start making purchase arrangements. To be sure, it is possible to reverse things a bit and gauge the interst of the community first before approaching the vendor. In my experience, though, it's better to line up a vendor first.

Sounds easy, right? :tisk: Nope. The organizer has to be ready to field a *ton* of questions. There is definitely an investment of time here. Also, it's amazing how many people will say they're "interested" in a particular GP. What does interested mean exactly? You won't know until it's time to finalize the orders. Even people who seemingly have committed to the GP will decline from consummating the transaction. This can be a problem if there is a minimum order size.

There are also many details that need to be looked into up front. Will the vendor deal with each purchaser individually, accept payment from them and ship to them directly? Or will they insist on one combined payment and one combined shipment to the GP organizer who must then reship to the rest of the group? How must payment be made? Warranty? Returns?

The organizer of a GP has a responsibility to address these and other issues, to keep the group informed of progress at all stages, and to facilitate any interactions necessary to make the GP go as smoothly as possible. Also, it is assumed that the person who organizes a GP is unrelated to the vendor/supplier and not getting any special consideration themselves. If this is not the case, if there is some relationship between the person running the GP and the vendor, or some individual benefit to the GP organizer, this *must* be disclosed to the group from the beginning.

If you want to organize or participate in a GP do not be discouraged. The above information is presented as a reality check and starting point. There have been and will continue to be successful GP's by communities such as CadillacForums.com. You just need to know what exactly you're getting into.

As I write this there are 57 registered members at CadillacForums.com. *Probably* not enough for a GP. Yet. Let's see how long it takes until our first.

Feel free to post here or contact the Moderator of this Forum for advice in setting up or participating in Group Purchases.