Author Topic: A little help to decide if you want to do a groupbuy or not...  (Read 237 times)

Offline taera249

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A little help to decide if you want to do a groupbuy or not...
« on: January 26, 2018, 10:44:07 am »
Since i highly underestimated the amount of work and potential stress of a groupbuy i decided i will create a post for everyone who goes with the thought of starting a groupbuy on its own. I will describe what you have to await so you see this more correctly.

Firstly, i started a groupbuy for avalon asic chips Generation 1. Our groupbuy bought 5.6 batches, totaling 4816BTC. We had exactly 300 members involved.

The first thing i thought is that it wont be much work. The biggest work will be the packaging of the chips. Highly wrong. In fact the packaging is something that can be done in a couple hours. Which is a tiny fraction, not even worth to mention. But a groupbuy will mean to you work of 2-6 hours each day, 7 days a week and for me now unbelievable 4 months long (didnt notice this till now). Very seldom only 1 hour a day. You have to stay in contact with your groupbuyers. Nothing is worse for the situation than a groupbuy organizer that doesnt get back to the members. You can await that very fast rumours appear and fears lead to a doom loop that goes in a direction no one wants. Im sure you saw such groupbuys already since there are groupbuys of all kinds on bitcointalk.

Saying that... support is the biggest part of work. Up to 100 pm's each day are common most of the time, if nothing happens for some days you might only get around 20 a day but its seldom. Luckily i can type machine so im fast writing. If you cant it might take you even more time.

You need to be able to maintain a correct dataset. In my case i used a calc sheet of open office. Calc can greatly lower your work amount with automatic formulas and so on. For example i let calc create automatically forum topic, status text and order tables in bbc-code. It would have been a hell of a lot more work otherwise without this help.
Keep sure this data is protected. Backups is something you need very much since you deal not with your own money, its others people money. Even when you dont make backups for your own, at this point you have to when you dont want to risk real trouble.

Before starting a groupbuy make a set of rules. Its easier for you when you can point to explainations this way and it makes the rules clear for both side. The same goes for the fee you take, shipping cost and so on.

You need to specify refund rules. This topic will appear for sure and you need to be prepared. And according to my experience it might happen that everything stops for a reason you cant change and everyone wants his bitcoins back. Its best you have a rule prepared for that case so that you dont sit on the costs and work you had.
If something goes wrong (miner arent worth much anymore because of difficulty rise, seller did something wrong) and you werent fully in contact then await to be the one that was the reason for the problems. My members didnt say that luckily and i constantly was in contact but there might be others outside of the groupbuy that dont bother if you did it. Be prepared to be the one that lured them into buying and planned everything to scam in order to earn money. They simply search a scapegoat because some people cant simply search the error in their decision. It probably cant be changed since you cant be everywhere in each forum thread. So better stay in touch to prevent the doom loop i mentioned above. You dont want get this developed in a shitstorm without real base.

Important point... dont underestimate the legal problems. If as private groupbuy or as a business, the rules are different but there are possible problems that can really make you trouble in real life. Keep sure you thought everything through. I wont go into detail though. In case you want to start a groupbuy and want to know what i mean ask me via pm.

If youre unlucky you have a seller that isnt communicating. That doesnt only bring you much stress because you are the connection between your members and the seller. You get all the possible anger so you can transfer it to the seller. And what do you do when the seller isnt reacting? You collect this in form of stress. In my case i then started to try every way of contact and had to put a lot of time in it. At the end i had to give up realizing there wont be an answer.
I only want to warn you that this can happen.

It might get even worse. What if all was a scam? When the seller took the money and ran? Im not a lawyer but you better didnt do this as a company but instead as a private person that only ordered with its friends a bigger thing. Otherwise you would be the one taking all the loss. But like i said, im not a lawyer, maybe im wrong.
You might even think of rules regarding the case of scam happening. Its always better you have something to point at in case something unawaited happens.

Shipping, like i said, is something that doesnt really cost much time. I didnt ship the actual chips but many shipments with sample chips. Its not much time involved compared to the real time. You might use electronic stamps to speed up the process or similar things.
While we are at shipping. If its special hardware you need to make sure you can provide correct shipment. In my case buying pakets, antistatic bags, antistatic workplace to not hurt the chips, bubble foil and more. Be prepared since most probably time isnt something you will have much when the products were delivered to you.
I had to search a import company to solve some potential problems. To make sure that it will run correctly i travelled to the company and signed a contract to make sure i dont risk the bitcoins of other people because otherwise it would have been my problem.
I only say this to tell that such unawaited things happen too.

Next thing is information collecting. In case you need more infos, for example email, billing address, refund yes or no and so on, you have to collect them to move on. I had to do this several times. If you need that info its not enough to make a post. The response will be very low. You need to create pm. You can send 20 pm with one pm. For example let calc create you ready made lines like "username", "username2", that you can copy into BCC(Blindcopy)-Field so that no other member see the other receivers in case you offered anonymity of some kind. Theres a 120 PM limit per hour at the moment. Only if you do this you can hope to get the needed info in the next days. But even then you will miss 25%. Those remaining infos can come in slowly in weeks or months for mostly good reasons. Sometimes you dont get it at all.
But you will have again much work with it. Especially when you need the info to move on and have to remind often.

My personal result of the groupbuy i did is... my wall to break to do something like that again is huge. The reward is not even close to the stress and work that has to be done. Its really a full time job like someone said before. Luckily i was able to stop my normal work for other reasons, so i found this time. It would have been not be possible for me to do this properly otherwise.
A good result is on the other hand that people learn to know you. After you did this they know if youre trustworthy. Since trust is everything in bitcoin + the Net this is something valuable for sure.

I hope i could help someone with my experiences who thinks about making a groupbuy. Wink

Offline mayuri27

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Re: A little help to decide if you want to do a groupbuy or not...
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2018, 05:54:30 pm »
Nice article regarding the buying in group.
But I think its good idea somewhat but still I strongly suggest to buy personally.