Friday, December 24, 2010

Last Week's Friday Fun Poll Results And Commentary: Purchasing Hosiery As A Group

For a bit of background, feel free to read my earlier blog entry, Creating A Group Discount Site.

Last week, I asked about us purchasing hosiery as a group, and 6 of us responded. Read the remainder of the blog entry for the results and details on the plan I have.

Where are you from?

Massachusetts [2 of you were from here]
North Carolina

I kind of regret asking what city you are from, because it did not make a big difference either way, and I prefer to not ask for information unless I need it, or unless I am curious.

Would you consider buying 10 - 24 pairs of hosiery that you really wanted, if you could only buy them once every 1 or 2 years?

Definitely not!0.0%0
I don't know.33.3%2

Would you buy hosiery in bulk, if it would save you money?

Definitely not!0.0%0
I don't know.16.7%1

Would you let the company ship the order in 6 - 8 weeks, as opposed to 24 - 48 hours, if it would save you money?

Definitely not! The company must ship the order in 24 - 48 hours, or they lose me as a customer.0.0%0
No. The company must ship the order in 24 - 48 hours, or they need to answer for it. If they do not have a satisfactory answer, then they lose me as a customer.16.7%1
I don't know.0.0%0
Yes. I would expect the savings to be very good, though.67.7%4
Definitely! Saving any money at all is a big priority important to me.16.7%1

I did not want to have too many options, so that it does not take too long to fill in the survey. In hindsight, I should have added, "Yes, no problem.", and a negative equivalent.

Did you enjoy this?

I don't know.33.3%2

Would you like me to make more of these surveys?


1 of you said this, "Not a question, but a comment. I may be interested in such a website, if it carried the type of hosiery I like to wear the most, which is usually Comfilon.". I approached Comfilon, and a bunch of others. So far, Comfilon is the only company that has responded. They seem open and positive to the idea. We need to discuss it more, in the New Year.

It is worth pointing out that probably only the small companies would look at this opportunity as worth while. Bigger companies probably cannot see much benefit in it, all. Also, community driven companies would find more interest in this. In other words, if they typically keep in touch with a significant amount of loyal customers, then this type of opportunity would not be a big stretch, at all. In fact, it would be the next logical step.

At least 1 of you insists on the companies sending out your order right away. That could take a while, since the company probably will not have the hosiery in stock. If there are a lot of customers for that hosier, then it will probably take a while for the company to fill your order. In most circumstances, this should not be a problem, because the company is probably going to send out several pairs to only a few customers. Also, maybe there is an option which allows us to pay for priority service. Perhaps people who want quicker service can pay for it. Perhaps $5?

I think that we would want to do this informally with a survey, where you can modify your answers. We would just gather non-confidential information first. The only things that we would discuss would be how many pairs, what style, what colour, and what size. As soon as we get enough to make a bulk group order, then we could each send private orders to the company.

The advantages of discussing it among ourselves at first are that we will not disturb the various companies, especially since we may never have enough to make a full order, and that we will keep the costs down.

The disadvantage of doing it that way is that this method tends to be exclusive, and as a result it might be harder to attract people to participate.

Eventually, I want to move to a business model, where users can come to the site, and select from a list of items.

Some information will be kept public. For example, each of us will need to mention the very least amount that we want, the least that we are willing to buy just to make the deal work, and the most that we are willing to buy to make the deal work. The web site would display this information, so that we can see what our options are. Those 3 things seem to be very similar, but I am trying to figure out how flexible we can be. For example, 6 people could buy 24 pairs each, but I think that we would rather wait for another 6 - 12 people to join in. On the other hand, what if 144 people joined in? We could perhaps place several group orders, but we need to know the group's interest in order to see what our options are.

Some information will be kept private. We will need to share with the web site our personal measurements, and credit card information. This information is typically kept private with other web sites, and that is how we will do it, too.

1 thing is for sure. We would not be required to buy anything until the last minute. So, we could easily sign up for 100 different styles and colours of hosiery, but we probably would only buy into the first few that were ready for purchase.

As more and more people join, this will hopefully get easier and easier.

If you have any other suggestions, then feel free to comment below, in a survey, or wherever. Do not be shy, because we really need to make this work.

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