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Thread: Ethics of "hijacking" group buys

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default Ethics of \"hijacking\" group buys

    Not passing judgement here, just requesting opinions.

    I have posted interest in several grop buys recently, and as a result I have received several PMs directing me to someone elses similar item. My question is how the forum as a whole feels about this practice. Is it simply an accepted method of advertising to an obviously interested party? or a shady, somewhat underhanded method of attempting to steal someone elses customer, potentially killing a group buy from ever happening.

    O.K., I guess it's easy to tell from my tone how I tend to feel. How about you? No names or specifics please...

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Ethics of \"hijacking\" group buys

    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Something sells for $15. Someone (else?) suggests a group buy of the same item for say $10, and you post an interest. Then you get a PM saying the item is available somewhere else for - what? $15? $10? something in between? And then you perhaps decide to buy directly instead of support the group buy?

    I guess if the item is available for around the group buy price, then isn't someone doing you a favor buy pointing out a direct source, even if it's himself? If it's at the original $15, then it shouldn't matter because that's the price you were trying to beat. If it's in between, then you decide.

    Unless somone normally selling an item for $15 offers you a "private" price of $10 just to undercut the competition of a group buy, I guess I don't understand your complaint. Even then, he must be forced to offer all interested parties the lower price, which helps at least some (i.e. all interested in the group buy) out.

    Or were you the one trying to set up the group buy?

  3. #3
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Ethics of \"hijacking\" group buys

    Sorry, I guess I was unclear about several things [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/oops.gif[/img]
    First, please do not read this as a complaint! I have not been wronged in any way, and am not even saying that the practice is wrong. But two points of view present themselves to me, and I was simply curious how the group as a whole sees it.
    Say George is setting up a group buy for SuperLights, but needs 100 to make it fly. I post my interest for 2. Shortly thereafter, I receive a PM from Fred stating that he has SuperLight clones available at fredswebsite.com for a couple of dollars less. As an interested party I may well decide that Superlight clones will be just fine & get them, no harm no foul. Unfortunately, it is entirely possible that enough people are diverted from the group buy to kill it for the ones who want genuine Superlights.

    Just ramblings from a bored mind. This is the only forum I read that does group buys, I find it an interesting concept.

    Kevin
    with apologies to anyone here named George of Fred. If there is a "Superlight" I am unaware of it & apologize for that as well. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Beamhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics of \"hijacking\" group buys

    If "Fred" offered you a better deal and stated that it was strictly on the down low, I may see a small problem with that.

    Although I believe private sales and or arrangements are not subject to community "ethical" standards.
    Rather the ethics of the parties involved.

    It also depends on the timing, if “George” has already done lots of leg work and put up his/others money to order the “Superlight”, then “Fred” contacts member/s of the group buy at this point about the cheaper “Superlight clone”,….well then IMHO “Fred” is a “bottom feeder”.
    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/twakfl.gif[/img]<<<<<< Fred

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Ethics of \"hijacking\" group buys

    I guess I can't get too excited about the practice. The people who bought the cheaper clones made a free choice and are presumably happy. If enough people want the genuine light, then the group buy will proceed. Otherwise...

    However, I do agree that if I someone were sending out a LOT of PMs tring to sell some product based on analysis (either human or automated) of what people posted, that would be spam and very, very annoying.

  6. #6
    * The Arctic Moderator * Sigman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics of \"hijacking\" group buys

    I find it personally "offensive and low" if someone is "scarfing" the names of interested parties from posts of the group buy threads. I'll have to go with that "bottom feeder" label!

    Some people will do anything! Hey, I like a deal as well as the next guy and I like to be an informed consumer...but "using the time & effort" of the member who's trying to benefit the rest of the members isn't acceptable to me.

    Now if someone has a source and/or a better price than is being offered, then perhaps that person needs to contact the one who is organizing the group buy so they could coordinate a better price for the participants...

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics of \"hijacking\" group buys &/or BST

    What about warning fellow CPF'ers of significantly lower prices on a regular BST item?

    Say Joe [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] is selling some lights for $50. Mike stumbles upon the BST thread and he knows you can get those for $10 at eBay (or superdupercheaplights.com for that matter). Mike knows it's against the rules to advertise the lower price on the BST thread started by Joe. Would it be OK for Mike to PM people who've expressed interest in Mike's (overpriced?) light and point them to a cheaper source?

    Same disclaimer about names and commercial sites, etc. that mckevin mentioned. Just curious as to what people do/think.

    I did in fact stumble upon a situation like this a very long time ago. I was looking for a black Arc AAA, and was willing to pay more than the normal price. A forum member PM'ed me rolling their eyes at my desperation and kindly offered the same item at "standard" price. I thought it was a very kind gesture and bought the item for less. The original sale went on normally and IIRC, all the lights originally for sale were taken by someone (at the higher price). This was all done via PM, BTW.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* greenlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics of \"hijacking\" group buys &/or BST

    What I don't get is, if there is enough interest for a product to necessitate a GB, and someone has the same product for less, then why don't they just offer it for sale here in BST? That would make the GB unnecessary, and reduce the hassle/work for the poor guy who is trying to organize it.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* BIGIRON's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics of \"hijacking\" group buys &/or BST

    Good thread.

    In the real estate business there is a concept of "procurement". Say I work with a potential buyer,do the legwork and show them a house and then they call Cousin Joe, a real estate agent, to write the offer. Legally, I have procured the buyer. Joe really doesn't have a claim to any fees, etc. The same concept might apply to this thread somehow.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Ethics of \"hijacking\" group buys &/or BST

    I shake my head at threads where the price is really nothing to cheer about on the product offered while there are actual CPFers praising the product itself as a great thing which misleads potential buyers into thinking since the product is great and nobody is making negative comments the price also must be inline with it.
    I am guessing a few people get a not so great deal because someone didn't PM them in time to tell them where to get a better deal at.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Ethics of \"hijacking\" group buys &/or BST

    I always tell my staff that "People earn their reputations by their actions."..."Don't stick your nose where it don't belong." and the same applies here.

    I've seen posts by others that have had me shaking my head at their manners...or lack thereof.

    If someone's BST item is overpriced...you have 2 choices...
    1 - Do nothing and move on.
    2 - Send the seller a PM gently letting them know about the price being out of line.
    But DONT publicly post how ridiculous their price is.

    I DO think that it is alright to contact someone who missed out on purchasing item X or missed joining a GB and offer to sell them item X...but that's only AFTER the sale or signup is closed. If a sale or GB is in progress, then it's bad manners to horn in.

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