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02-18-10, 02:50 PM
I have some questions about what motivates people to choose to opt into one group buy over others that are offered on some internet sites and forums. Here are some things I came up with, but you may have others.
1.Reputation/Familiarity with the brand
2.Paint and finish
4.Parts/ group customization
I donít think that the prices between several of the recent group buys varies by much so I would think it would be lower on the list. Warranty is another area where I donít think you can really compare unless you have some firsthand knowledge of how the company will respond when you make a claim. Long warranties are only useful if they are honored.
Iím of course looking for the things that will help us grow our brand in the future.
02-18-10, 11:38 PM
Might as well throw in my $0.02
One of the biggest issues for me when facing a group buy is the question, "Am I being scammed?" Group buys usually fall into the category of "too good to be true" for the casual observer. That is why I personally only participate in group buys on Bike Forums. Even then, there are certain constraints that I use when selecting a group buy. Reputability is huge, especially if the purchase is several hundred dollars. If person A opens up a group buy, has been around BF for a while, and has good feedback from previous customers, that tells me that they are legitimate and I can put some faith in their product. If person B opens up a group buy, but has only just joined BF, and there is no real feedback on previous products, that leaves me rather hesitant.
The next item is price. A low cost is what can attract a lot of attention. In my opinion, holding a group buy is a wonderful business strategy. This allows a larger quantity than normal of a product to go out to the public at a reduced cost. At the same time it's a beautiful advertising tool. Buyers that are happy with the product are likely to recommend it to other potential buyers because of the low cost/good quality of the product. Free positive publicity is a beautiful thing. Past trends have also shown that potential buyers become much more hesitant when the cost of a group buy product starts to nudge over $1000.
Warranty for me isn't as big of a factor. I wouldn't say that I don't expect the product to last as long as the name brand competitors, it's just that the sting of a broken product isn't as great if less than half the price of a rival brand name product was paid.
Parts and group customization is an all or nothing deal for me. Savvy customers will already be lurking around for good deals on parts. Offering a minimal amount of customization doesn't really appeal all that well. Having a slew of different custom options, however, does look appealing. Being able to purchase a full bike from one vendor usually carries a couple of benefits along with it, but I'll only purchase a full bike if I can get my specific specs in the order though. Offering one or two groupsets with a frameset group buy doesn't sound as good as offering five or six groupsets, different bars and stems, and then maybe a few wheelset options along with it. When I dealt with Patrick in the past, he had quite the array of different options to buy at a good price with his frameset, which quite impressed me.
Paint and finish is sort of a toss up. Beggars can't be choosers, but the buyers do like to have some sort of say on the product they will be purchasing. Sean's group buy that just ended was a good example of this. Yes, the group buy did take a while to get under way, but he got valuable feedback from his potential customers about what they wanted. If my memory serves me right, Patrick has done this in past group buys as well.
02-19-10, 09:56 AM
Roy500x2 – Thanks for your feedback. From your post I think we need to work on getting the custom build page of our site finished up. We are offering many parts choices, but I don’t think that is very clear from our site. We were hoping that there would be feedback on some of the “standard” build kits to help us determine a good build for sending out to potential dealers.
I know that choosing a new brand is difficult. We had hoped that the group buy pricing would help ease this fear. We set out prices to be very close to what others have called great deals in other buys. Do you think that changing our deposit requirements would help?
I also agree that BF is one of the best places to find group buy deals. I understand the notion of reputation on the board and my low post count. It was by looking for reviews and suggestions that I found BF and then the Group Buy forum. Before deciding to follow the “dream” and start our own company several of us were even temped to jump on some of the other group buys.
I would also like to hear from anyone with ideas about frame paint schemes. I personally like the monochromatic or maybe two tone layouts, some of my partners like the wild paint jobs you see on some of the newer big name race rigs. This is why the first run is being offered in CF weave, it was a no decision at this time decision.
One thing many notice about BF is the elitist attitude of some of the members. Perhaps this is just some people reading a post wrong. I think there is opportunity for those new to the sport or wanting to know more about some aspect of it that they don’t really understand to gain a great deal of knowledge here. I have done my best to participate in the threads I feel I can give some knowledge to. I tend to stay away from threads with lots of replies that say similar things and those with two or so “negative” comments. I see no point in commenting on every thread just to raise my post count. I hope over time my input will be seen as helpful to the community. This is more opinion that might get me some scorn from other members, but it is my feeling.
Thanks again for your feedback.