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GROUP BUYS SECTION!!
Old 31st May 2003
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

GROUP BUYS SECTION!!



Ok what do you guys think of this... there are products that alot of us seem to be interested at the same time... how about we arrange a deal either through a dealer or with smaller companies perhaps we can even deal directly... many dealers get prices by ordering certain quantities of items... for more obscure items like for instance I was considering this korby convertible mic but at $6000 it is quite a purchase....but with 5+ buyers I am sure we can do much much better....

thoughts?
Old 31st May 2003
  #2
Gear Nut
 
jflush's Avatar
 

I think this is a great idea! I'm sure somewhere the phone lines are busy with Gearslutz...trying to buy Benchmark DAC-1's. How about one call and everybody wins. Incidently, the Korby convertible looks real cool. I've already lost sleep over not owning it. I want. Has anybody tried this rig? stike
Old 31st May 2003
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Well i am curious of what Jules thinks of this...basically we would have a another section to the site and each thread would contain popular items discussed here... and people would respond whether they would be interested in the group buy in that thread.... after a certain # is confirmed the deal would go through... some stuff would be negotiate in advance to see what # we would have to reach to get a certain price... If you guys want you can use this thread to name certain items that you plan on purchasing soon... seems we have a vote for the korby and the benchmark...now if only we knew someone who worked at Benchmark heh
Old 31st May 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
cashewcupcake's Avatar
 

One thing we could do is keep a thread active with all the gearz that we want to buy very soon and that we have the fundz available for.
Old 31st May 2003
  #5
Hmmmm,

Would that be conspiring to diddle a dealer out making a living?

Setting the amount a dealer profits by?

Nominating one dealer?

Or getting dealers to offer the cheapest deal or 'beg' for the sale in a visable forum?

Dunno if I go for all that exactly...

But keep the ideas flowing..
Old 31st May 2003
  #6
Gear Addict
 
Carlos Boll's Avatar
 



Why not do a poll?

a) to see if people like the idea

b) to see if anyone is lusting for the same gear

Just a thought.
Old 1st June 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

This is an excellent idea... its really just another instance of the internet perpetuating a new way in conducting commerce and breaking down the barriers and economies of scale of traditional commerce... im all for it. It means buyers can operate on a united front as a buying co-op and it is less resource intensive.

Another idea for this as someone mentioned is to create a seperate 'sticky thread' where GS user nominate what they want and then allow dealers/pimps to offer thier best tprices to that particular group of people in a form of reveresley aggregated online auction. This is how a lot of rawmaterials are auctioned off for the mineral and steel industry. I cant see any reason why this wont and cant work for us slutz... we are products of a consumer driven (READ:.... we need more gear!!!heh heh heh ) society and why not turn the tables on the traditional methods of commerce and take advantage of greater ecconomies of scale.

This would need much more investigation/analysis but i think the genesis of the idea has been crystalised and is definately something that should be explored further!

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 1st June 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
cashewcupcake's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Hmmmm,

Would that be conspiring to diddle a dealer out making a living?

Setting the amount a dealer profits by?

Nominating one dealer?

Or getting dealers to offer the cheapest deal or 'beg' for the sale in a visable forum?

Dunno if I go for all that exactly...

But keep the ideas flowing..
Good points Jules. Mebbe the dealers could vollunteer for various manufacturer's products. They'd have to get discounts off their dealer cost from the manufacturers though to maintain their margins.

This might work better for custom product shops that you have to order from directly.

Or perhaps just for custom products like maybe if 20 people on GS wanted a stereo Little Labs IBP unit or something.
Old 1st June 2003
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I'd be pretty skeezed out as a manufacturer or distributor to strike a deal selling straight to end users, sidestepping the dealers who have helped build a line.

I think you'd also be surprised at how little you save. In the age of internet sales, with no inventory drop ship economy, margins in pro-audio are super thin. As a consultant, I get access to pretty much everything at cost, but only on the most expensive items do I really ever get much of a savings. Some pieces are almost always available- the Massive Passive or Summit mic pres- at just above cost.

If you did want to go ahead, the best approach would be to have a membership co-op thing, and to set up a dealership through a small number of distributors who have a lot of lines. Transamerica comes immediately to mind- Manley, GML, API, Brauner, Soundelux. Wave would get you Empirical Labs, Chandler, and Dangerous. Or some companies that have almost no representation at retail- Mytek, Cranesong, Little Labs.

It could definitely done, but you'd have to find a way to not run afoul of dealer price advertising policies. And frankly, you may run into some major resistance. Brad at Transamerica and Gil at Wave have a long history of taking good care of their dealers, because they had to in order to build the lines into what they've become. It takes an incredible amount of community to create new things and to throw over long relationships to sell a few extra pieces (come on- most of us would buy this stuff anyway) isn't wise.
Old 1st June 2003
  #10
Why dont you just shop around..

I have in the past and will continue in future, to reject commercial use of the Gearslutz forum or name for outside agencies or commerce.

Dealers need to make a living too. I have friends who tell me stories how brilliantly they have smacked a dealer to the floor pricewise and while they are all smug about it, I am often left with an image of the dealer closing up shop and going out of business.

What if the the person in charge of distribution of your gear turns out to be a flake?

Who wants to volunteer to be responsible to a group of 10 or more penny pinching eagle eyed bargain hunters? "Hey! guitar center now have it for 2 cents less this whole deal SUKS!"

It's too serious a financial obligation to too many people, with no clear line of responsibility for the Gearslutz name to be used.

Apart from a few t-shirts & mugs to fund it's upkeep Gearslutz is, for the time being, a non commercial 'happy go lucky' entity.

I warn against polls or campaigns to the contrary, as caretaker of the site I have expressed my views clearly and to make it totally clear, to preserve the non commercial vibe here, anyone not respecting those views risks post deletion or if they persist, a ban

stike

However, you CAN use the Gearslutz classified's section as a meeting point to band together, for 'one off' group buy schemes. Anyone using the "New Posts" function will see new notices posted there..

Old 1st June 2003
  #11
Lives for gear
 

I don't know if it's the nature of contemporary idiomatic Queen's English, but Jules, you absolutely rock at telling people to bug off on your site, hats off. You should have been a press secretrary.
Old 1st June 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
covert's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Hmmmm,

Would that be conspiring to diddle a dealer out making a living?
Certainly not. It's not at all unusual for large operations, say a school system, to decide that they want a large number of something and accept bids from suppliers for that number.

Quote:

Setting the amount a dealer profits by?

Nominating one dealer?
As implied above, nobody nominates one dealer, but accept bids. Or nominate one member of a group to negotiate.

Quote:

Or getting dealers to offer the cheapest deal or 'beg' for the sale in a visable forum?
Again, choose one member of a group to accept bids off the forumn.

I think it's a cool idea, but hard to implement. An individual would probably have to accept the large order, and then reship to the various particpiants. Which would be a drag. If one of the dealers that is already here wants to offer a club membership of some sort, that might work better.
Old 1st June 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by covert

As implied above, nobody nominates one dealer, but accept bids. Or nominate one member of a group to negotiate.

Again, choose one member of a group to accept bids off the forumn.

I think it's a cool idea, but hard to implement. An individual would probably have to accept the large order, and then reship to the various particpiants. Which would be a drag. If one of the dealers that is already here wants to offer a club membership of some sort, that might work better.
So, essentially, you want one of the members here to become a dealer, have the hassle of shipping and collecting, and then not make any money? Rob is right, there are next to no margins left in pro audio, I do sales on the side and between Sweetwater and GC and the net in general, there is not alot to be saved. One other thing, even if we were to save , say, 50 - 100 on a piece of gear that costs 2500, what will tha 100 do for you the next time you need a "favor" or a dealer to get you out of a pinch? Find a dealer you like, even trust, and make them feel the same way about you, it will pay off in a huge way. after all, Customer service is the only thing left, 90% of places out there are giving the same deals price wise.
Old 2nd June 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 
covert's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Smith
So, essentially, you want one of the members here to become a dealer, have the hassle of shipping and collecting, and then not make any money?
Actually, I don't want anyone to do anything. I thought I was pointing out a possible shortcoming of the concept.

Quote:

Rob is right, there are next to no margins left in pro audio, I do sales on the side and between Sweetwater and GC and the net in general, there is not alot to be saved. One other thing, even if we were to save , say, 50 - 100 on a piece of gear that costs 2500, what will tha 100 do for you the next time you need a "favor" or a dealer to get you out of a pinch?
Things may have changed more than I am aware of, but last I knew the average markup in the gear industry was somewhere in the 50% range. Even among the big discount places it never dipped below 40%.

What never gets mentioned in these things is the time factor. If any dealer normally sells one of unit x every month, and makes $50 on each one, then selling 10 unit x in a given month at $15 dollars profit, is a good thing.(note, numbers chosen at random). This doesn't even begin to address the fact that the people that supply dealers often have a volume discount structure as well.

Quote:

Find a dealer you like, even trust, and make them feel the same way about you, it will pay off in a huge way. after all, Customer service is the only thing left, 90% of places out there are giving the same deals price wise.
I'm generally in agreement on this. I deal mostly with people that do well by me. Part of doing well by me is how things are priced.
Old 2nd June 2003
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Chae Ham's Avatar
 

I've been trying very hard not to reply to this thread but I feel I really should.

Quote:
Originally posted by covert
Things may have changed more than I am aware of, but last I knew the average markup in the gear industry was somewhere in the 50% range. Even among the big discount places it never dipped below 40%.
Margins in this industry are extremely tight(most industries actually). I read a recent poll where the general public guessed at the profit margins of corporate sales(all sales in general). The consensus was about 50%, the actual number is around 30%(this number is not directly related to pro audio, these are just the facts from the general study).

Factor in leasing, expenses, and employees...the only way to survive after that would be to make up for it in volume of sales... But the proaudio market is not a volume market. $3000 units don't go out the door by the dozen a day.

Although Mars Music was more instrument oriented, the music retail industry took a big hit when they went out of business. Equipment manufacturers lost lots of money from unpaid debts, many of them having to raise dealer prices, and become more stringent on business relations.

The big picture is that everyone, including the end consumer, is affected by "lowball practices." This, over time devalues products on the resale market. Meaning, if you want to sell that old Neumann in the future, you may not get the value that it deserves because of the trickle down effect on resell value.

I am a firm believer in fair business practices. Build relationships that last, they'll pay you dividends. Try not to forget that you and I, and joe business owner down the street, are all consumers. We all want the same things. Afterall, If we wanted to get rich, we'd be in a different business right?

Respectfully,
Old 2nd June 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
covert's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Chae Ham
I've been trying very hard not to reply to this thread but I feel I really should.

Margins in this industry are extremely tight(most industries actually). I read a recent poll where the general public guessed at the profit margins of corporate sales(all sales in general). The consensus was about 50%, the actual number is around 30%(this number is not directly related to pro audio, these are just the facts from the general study).
Pleas note that I said markup, not profit. Markup is simply the difference between cost of unit and sale price. It does not take into account such things as rent, salaries etc.

Quote:

Factor in leasing, expenses, and employees...the only way to survive after that would be to make up for it in volume of sales... But the proaudio market is not a volume market. $3000 units don't go out the door by the dozen a day.
Which is why a volume discount isn't an unreasonable request.

The "pro" audio market is also a shifting thing these days. In many ways the only significant dividing line between it and several other markets is the cost of gear. While it's still a niche compared to vcrs, or now dvd players, and even to home computers, it's far less of a niche than it was. In my neighborhood, say 10 blocks, there is one full scale studio, with nice rooms and serious business doing mostly talking books type stuff, there's my basement with pretensions, and an unknown number of guys with computers and dreams. If say, a distressor was a$500 box, I'd have at least one, and probably many of the computer guys would as well. Probably the only item that will always remain completely a niche thing is large mixing boards. I can certainly find guys with bedroom operations with any mic or pre you care to name, the same applies to fx and dynamics processing.

Quote:

The big picture is that everyone, including the end consumer, is affected by "lowball practices." This, over time devalues products on the resale market. Meaning, if you want to sell that old Neumann in the future, you may not get the value that it deserves because of the trickle down effect on resell value.
OR maybe that effect will bring the Neumann down to a more realistic value. The used market is often where the true value of gear is determined. Although fad prone, it tends to have a more level field than new sales.

Quote:

I am a firm believer in fair business practices. Build relationships that last, they'll pay you dividends. Try not to forget that you and I, and joe business owner down the street, are all consumers. We all want the same things. Afterall, If we wanted to get rich, we'd be in a different business right?
You and I might be in some senses in the same business, but the odds are that Joe business owner is not. It is even less likely if Joe is a corporation, at least a public one. Fair business practices work both ways, and attempting to hold down costs is legitimate.
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