Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What is all this "group buy" stuff, anyhow?

Well, well, well, well, well....................lookee what we got goin' on here.

At my fave forum: the $12k Group Buy fiasco of 2008. Brilliant, eh?

"So, what is this all about, and why does it have you so stirred up?"

I'm not really stirred up over it. I just find it hard to believe the incredible chain of events. How anyone who portrays himself as being in the electronics parts business could receive, repackage hundreds, maybe thousands of transistors, and not notice that the leads in the back row are cut off (at an angle, and different lengths), the ones in the front rows have solder blobs on them, send them out (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) to guys all over the world, and act befuddled when reports start coming in that not only are they not new (as promised), but are not even the part(s) promised!!!!!!

Can you believe that? I can't. Even as blind as I am, I would have noticed the first ones that I picked up. Yet, that is what they want us to believe. Somehow, a lot of us can't and won't.

So, as a "service to the community" (that is what the Mods over there like to call these Group Buy ventures) here is my suggestion to all the parties involved, so that it doesn't happen again.

To the Mods:

I know, you want to maintain your innocence in this. Nope, can't happen. You guys encourage this kind of activity, as a "service to the community". Well, you encouraged it, you have to assume a small amount of the blame. And that would imply not telling your irate members to lay off the purveyor of bogus parts. (Yes, I will say that if they don't, that he will pull up stakes and ride off into the sunset. Just what the hell is there to stop him now?????????) Neither should you encourage his delaying tactics. No, you need to tell him that he gave his word on these parts, and he has to stand by that. Now.

Besides.......he has never sold fake or used parts! Ever. (Guess there is always a first time.)

To the guys who fell victim to this:

Ever hear of the saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true"? Guess what: it wasn't true. Oh, don't say that you weren't warned, because you were. Yes, I know that you will counter that the warning wasn't strong enough. Well, then blame the folks who run that place. We all know that if The Devil had made his feelings known any more strongly, that they would have silenced him. (Don't pretend that you wouldn't: we know you will. You do it to him all the time. Schmucks.)

But went ahead and forked out good money. I don't suppose that you never stopped to think that a guy who promised to get as many as you wanted, and specific bias group, just say how many.........of a part that has been out of production for several years.........that didn't send off any alarm bells? Well, you share some of the blame for being greedy and gullible. Shelling out that kind of money on something as risky as this.

Now don't get me wrong: I am on your side. What happened is a crime, and someone has to pay. I just think as a punishment that you should not be refunded your PayPal or shipping fees. Maybe next time you won't be so damn stupid.

To the jerk who was responsible for this mess:

I have a real hard time believing that you are an innocent victim in all of this. How you could receive that quantity of parts and not notice something was, I am not buying it.

But, let's say that you were duped.

How could you be so damn stupid to not notice that the parts weren't new. You didn't look at one? You didn't measure one to see if it was good? You did not get samples or written assurance that the parts were as promised??? Give me a break.

If you are that stupid, then you deserve to get burned.

If you are that crooked, you deserve to get burned and thrown in jail.

And what is with this crap that you need to send them all back, so that you can show your supplier, so that they can evaluate if all of the parts are bad??? You have to be kidding. You have more than enough to demonstrate that the parts are neither new or the part that was ordered. If you let them screw you around like that, then you deserve to be burned for being a wimp.

If it is just a delaying tactic, then you should get burned. In any case, you want guys to throw more money away on this fiasco? What, so that someone can sell them again? Nope. You have enough to establish you were sold crap. No, they should all be trashed. If you don't get your money back, well, tough. You gave your word.

Ok, so what the hell do all of you do to prevent this in the future?

Well, I have been thinking about that.

My suggestions:

No surprise that I am not a fan of "group buys" in the first place. Most of what goes under the guise of Group Buy is more of a 3-ring circus. Mainly, the PCB "Group Buy". You know.......a bunch of hobbyists get together, design a PCB (with too many chiefs and not enough Indians), and what happens is this:

"Mine doesn't work."

"Mine either. I want my money back."

"Well, mine does. You had to do something wrong."

"No, I didn't. It sucks."

"Screw you, hippies!"


I know.........suggesting that you eliminate these is never going to happen. Yes, I can do the math: 1 PCB, $$$$$; a whole bunch more $$$$$$. So, makes sense to get as many done as you can. Saves everyone money, but somehow, there are always a few goobers who kvetch about theirs.

Since these are never going to go away, I suggest that you appoint an official PCB Group Buy ombudsman. Someone who will oversee these affairs, and has the ability to resolve disputes. It is best that a senior member of the forum do this, and one who is not a Mod. (No, I am not volunteering. Besides, you banned me, remember? I am soooooo dangerous!)

Next, we have the legit Group Buys. You know........"I am going to order a bunch of parts from XYZ Connectors. Here are the prices, at various break points." I would allow them to proceed, but only when there is a clear notification of exact prices, and assurance of the legitimacy of the parts.

Then we have the worst kind: "I have only a few GHI Chip Co. ICs. Tell me how many that you want."

What is wrong with this picture?

Two things.

1.) No specific mention of exact quantity. Only a vague "just a few".

2.) No mention at all of price.

Group Buys should only be permitted when exact prices and quantities are spelled out. In the first post. Because we all know what happens here:

"Do you have any more left? I need 2."

"Yes, I also need 1. Am I too late."

I have noticed that these guys never get an answer in public. Who knows what answer they get, if any. Does the price go up, the more desperate that they sound?

All Group Buy transactions should be done in public, where everyone knows everything. That is why it is called Group Buy, and not a Private Sale.

In fact, I would not even allow members to do Private Sales, where there is no public disclosure of quantities available and prices.

And guess who I have noticed does private sales in just the manner that I would not permit. Anyone care to guess????? Hmmmmmmm...............?

It couldn't be the guy.....who checking................would it?

NO! Of course not!

Yet some of you are surprised when you receive fake parts in the mail, having paid $$$$$$ for them, in advance. The evidence was right there in front of you.

FS: PMD100 (HDCD) just a few!

"Dogs..........Pigs.........and Sheep. 'Animals', by Pink Floyd. The evidence is all around you."

Update: 10/31/2008

Well, it seems that the powers that be over there are "disappointed" that the guy "seems to have lost interest" in making any more refunds.

Gee, and why are they surprised by all of this? They could have asked me how this would have played out before the first shekel changed hand, but................

Remember, they don't want me around there. (I'm "dangerous".) And I am glad to oblige them. Clueless gits. They all are getting what they deserve. And they deserve each other.

Copyright © 2008

No comments:

Post a Comment