root I went in on a couple of LSOL rounds on a previous forum that shall remain nameless and really enjoyed what I received. Does anyone know of similar clubs? Any interest in doing something similar on this forum?
Just to be clear I am not talking about any specific scheme here, or making comments about any other scheme in operation elsewhere…These are just my views on the considerations any such buying scheme needs to consider on this forum. I am sure the other mods @Rob666 and @Systemic will also post their views/thoughts as well.
I don’t have a problem with any group doing something to get fantastic coffees cheaper. Obviously our forum is free software hosted for free by a non-profit…so we need to be very careful any such venture does not run as a business and is there primarily for the benefit of the members, if the roaster benefits by the extra sales and a little positive exposure amongst members of how good they are no problem…but there are some things that are worth thinking about should anyone want to do something.
- Members should know exactly what they are buying, as described on the roasters website. Buying something sight unseen is something I personally believe is wrong (see link below).
- If the person knows what they are buying, then a clear expectation of the product is set and if it doesn’t meet expectations, the rights of the purchaser still apply…much more difficult when you don’t know what you are buying.
- There should be a price on the roasters website, allowing members to work out the true benefits of the “deal” before committing.
- A special buy with a non-verifiable “normal” price, may not be a “special buy”
- If the coffee is not a deal on price, perhaps it’s just a difficult to obtain bean…so again the first point applies, accurate information.
- Artificially boosting discussion about such a “deal”, or guessing games to purely promote the roaster and get them hits on the website, needs to be carefully considered. Otherwise, we run the moral risk of using a free service to benefit not only ourselves, but also disproportionally the roaster by becoming an internet billboard.
The issue of a potentially large group of participating members with self-interest, who don’t want to comment negatively on any roasters offering. Plus members who don’t participate, less willing to be honest about any roaster, in case the coffee buying group approach that roaster at some point. it is the reason we removed the commercial directory (see announcements)
I am personally happy to see something which can benefit members and for that single purchase to be of such a size that the roaster is happy to offer a bigger than normal discount…..based on the specific order size itself. Any side benefit being that people tell others how great the coffee was and perhaps other people on the forum decide to give them a try. It’s worth thinking about, whether sufficient members will want a specific coffee to make a discount worthwhile to the roaster and whether such a discount is beneficial compared to members choosing specific coffees they know they will like, when they like, from roasters they like?
After he has done that he produces a sealed package and explains to the audience that he wants to find one among them who is sporting enough to make a bid for this sealed package without knowing what is inside it. He promises that whoever finally gets the sealed package will not be disappointed; if he is not satisfied he will not be allowed to take it out of the shop. He puts the sealed package up for auction and knocks it down for 10s. He then produces eleven more sealed packages, exactly similar to the first, and explains that there are exactly the same contents inside; and he then asks for eleven more people from the audience to pay 10s. each for one of these sealed packages. Then he says that only those people who show enough confidence in him, the auctioneer, to pay 10s. for a sealed package without knowing what is inside will be allowed to take part in the rest of the sale and buy such things as cigarette lighters, alarum clocks, and cameras.