Reconsidering the Group Buy Ideology

   10.29.18

Reconsidering the Group Buy Ideology

To start off, let’s define “Group Buy.”  A group buy is when a number of people come together and buy a certain product in bulk.  Each member of the group contributes a certain amount of money to make the purchase.

In the prepping community an example could be that of buying Mountain House freeze dried food in bulk.  Rather than buying individual #10 cans, members may purchase a six month or one year supply, which comes with a discount over the individual cans.

The shipment would arrive at a certain location, then members of the buy would meet to divide up their portions.  Sometimes portions are mailed to members who do not live locally.

One of the problems with the group buy is that they are typically limited to a certain product, such as the Mountain House, for example.  This means on average the group obtains a single product each month, or every couple of months.

The last group buy I was part of, one was Wolf 9mm ammunition, and another was Glock 17 magazines.

What if I told the reader there may be a better way to obtain gear than a group buy?

Rather than the group making a single purchase, what if members of the group agreed to spend a certain amount to make individual purchases, then divide those purchases up?

Here is an example my son and I have going.  My son subscribes to a certain monthly subscription service where he receives a box of gear every month.  He sorts through the box, picks out what he wants, then gives me a few items.

In return, I order fishing lures in bulk off Ebay, specifically crappie artificial lures and tubes.  These range anywhere from 25 to 100 per package.  A few days ago I ordered around 300 assorted lures.  When the lures arrive, my son will get a bunch of them.  Over the past few months when I order 100 crappie lures, they typically get divided in half between my son and I.

Instead of doing a group buy and getting a single product, why not agree each member will target a certain niche?  Set a price limit of around $50 per member, per month.

One member could order bulk lures.

Another member order compasses, or fire starters.

Yet another member order canteens.

Depending on the size of the group and how many agree to make the purchases, members could get a range of new gear every month.

Some of the crappie tubes I order are around 100 tubes for $9.99, with free shipping.  If we had five members in the group, each member would get 20 crappie tubes for just $9.99.  If we put a limit of $50 per month, then each member would get 100 tubes as I would have spent $50 on crappie tubes.

We can apply the examples to:

  • Fishing line
  • 550 cord
  • Mountain house meals
  • Ammunition
  • Magazines
  • Propane bottles
  • Single burner camp stoves

Members of the group could agree to focus on a certain field each month, such a hiking, camping, fishing, hunting… etc.

For something quick and easy, get members of the group magazine subscriptions.  From time to time Amazon will run sales on various magazine subscriptions.  Magazine subscriptions are a gift that gives all year long.

Then again, this all depends on members of the group agreeing to an arrangement, and then following through with that agreement.

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