Organising your community Group Buy is made easy with these tips!
Last year, I came across a local brand selling artisanal durian gelato at a reasonable price. A pint of no-sugar-added Musang King Durian costs $32. However, there is an additional shipping fee of $15. Free shipping is only available to orders above $200. Not wanting to pay more for the shipping, or to buy more than a pint, I passed.
Coincidentally, last week, my neighbour, who got to know of this particular brand of gelato, decided to pool many orders into one. She managed to get a discounted price of $30 from the brand, plus free shipping if the order hits $150. Naturally, many of us in the community jumped at the chance to try this gelato brand. Our orders (I ordered two pints!) are shipped to her house where we then collect from her.
So in the end, not only did I get to enjoy my pint of no-sugar-added Musang King Durian gelato, but I even bought them at a cheaper price with free shipping!
Community Group Buy
This type of buying is called a community Group Buy. As the community Group Buy organiser, my neighbour had to facilitate the entire buying process such as collating the orders, collecting payments and receiving the delivery. The rest of us simply place our orders with her.
Sounds easy, right?
As it turns out, community Group Buys are common phenomena across Singapore. Group Buys benefit the small business owner because they can sell more items in a single transaction, even though their profit-margin drops. On the other hand, buyers can enjoy cheaper prices and often, no shipping because the order is large enough for a waiver.
If you are looking to start a community Group Buy – and it is your first time – here are 6 helpful tips to ensure a smooth and eventful experience for you and your neighbours!
6 Tips For Organising a Community Group Buy
Tip #1 – Negotiate with Business Provider
Like a product and want to organise a community Group Buy for it? Do not be afraid to work out a deal with the Business Provider. Behind every great Group Buy is a successful negotiator.
Normally, Group Buys are not publicly advertised. They are reserved for loyal customers and those who seek them out directly. Some businesses may also be averse to Group Buys. Therefore, through negotiation, both you and the Business Provider can actually come up with a mutually-beneficial agreement.
To help with the negotiation, especially when the Business Provider is hesitant, you can drop hints like how many people are interested in group Buy. This gives the Business Provider a better sense of the potential sale, thus, more likely to agree to a Group Buy.
As the old saying goes, “If you never try, you’ll never know.” Who knows? Should your community Group Buy proves to be successful, they might even come up with more or better deal selections in the future!
Tip #2 – Enrich your Group Buy with details
Now that the Business Provider has agreed to a community Group Buy with you, remember to iron out all the details. Some of the important information that will pique your neighbours’ interest include price(s), option(s), the Group Buy target, closing date, supporting image(s) and product description(s).
Unless your inner circle of friends and neighbours is enough to make up the numbers, you will have to broadcast the community Group Buy to your residential estate. If not, how do you intend to get more buyers?
The quickest, most effective way is to share the Group Buy deal on platforms you guys often interact on, such as the BTO Facebook Group, WhatsApp Chat Group and Residents’ Network (RC). If you are expecting many orders, consider attaching a spreadsheet to your post as social media alone may be inadequate.
The biggest appeal of spreadsheets is that the programme is free (Google Excel) and intuitive enough for people to use. Data can also be organised and calculated efficiently. Otherwise, you have to be more diligent and careful when collating on social media to avoid making errors.
Tip #4 – Respond to neighbours’ enquiries promptly
Answering questions comes with the job of a community Group Buy organiser. As a responsible community Group Buy organiser, you should invariably respond to neighbours’ enquiries promptly, or within 24 hours. Late replies can deter potential buyers.
If you hope for lesser enquiries, always be upfront with the details – as mentioned earlier as tip #2.
Tip #5 – Make your availability known to neighbours before collection
As the community Group Buy organiser, you get to choose where to ship the items. And for many organisers, that is usually their home address.
Once the items arrive, do a full inventory to make sure nothing is missing. Then, notify all the buyers that their items are ready for pickup. Be clear when they should collect their items by stating your preferred collection time(s). This is to avoid any incident where someone pops by while you are away or busy.
Tip #6 – Prepare to liaise with Business Provider regarding order issues
Finally, after everyone has collected their items, does it mean your job is over? Not quite. Since you facilitated the entire process, be ready to contact the Business Provider should an issue arises. For example, if a buyer tells you that their item is damaged or faulty.
Being a community Group Buy organiser involves some responsibilities. After all, you are the middleman between Business Provider and buyers. As long as you are clear with your role, community Group Buys should be easy to conduct and organise. Here’s to your first successful community Group Buy! 🥂
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Have experience with community Group Buys, and have more tips to share? Leave us a comment below!
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