Buying and Selling
How the keyboard market works.
Things to know before joining your first group buy
Before you hop into a group buy expecting it to be just like buying a random product from a webstore, read this to avoid disappointment.
1. How group buys work
A group buy works in that orders are collected first, then the product is produced.
This differs from a regular product purchase where the product is already produced and in-stock.
2. Things to know before joining one
Some basics of what to expect from a GB.
It'll be some time before it arrives
Group buys first collect orders, then produce the product depending on how many orders are placed.
This means that the time spent manufacturing will be a long waiting time.
ETAs are often wrong
Most group buys post an ETA (estimated time arrival) for when the product will ship.
Although this may be a nice rough estimate, it is not guaranteed.
The following could change when the product ships:
- The product gets far more orders than expected, requiring more production
- The factory messes up and needs to reproduce
- The factory blows up and a new factory needs to be found
There's the chance of failure
There's always the chance that a group buy can fail post-payment.
- Minimum order quantity (MOQ) is not met and the factory refuses to produce
- The product ends up being wildly different from what was promised
- The factory steals the money and ditches
Each vendor has their own policies regarding what happens when troubles occur.
Only join a group buy if you are willing to take the risk, and to bite the loss in case of failure.
3. Things you shouldn't do
To make sure you never get banned from future sales.
Flipping, or purchasing for the sole purpose of reselling afterwards for a higher price, is often looked down upon by vendors and community members.
Make sure to read the guidelines of the GB and to ask the vendor beforehand if you plan to do so. Most vendors do not permit this, and you may end up blacklisted from all future purchases from that vendor if you are found doing so.
Forcing a refund or chargeback due to factors caused by the nature of GBs (often delayed, unpredictable delivery time) is often not allowed, since most GBs only allow purchases from those who agree to the conditions of the GB outlined beforehand.
Order edits post-purchase
Asking for a color or option change post-purchase is often a burden for vendors, for they must produce quantities relative to the number of ordered placed.
It is usually impossible once production begins, since the orders have already been placed in quantities relative to what was ordered.
You may have opened mechmarket or some similar keyboard marketplace, and looked at the prices in surprise.
The aftermarket for keyboards is defined by a few factors.
1. Limited run products
Most products sold through a group buy either are never sold again, or space out multiple runs over a long period of time.
This makes these products very difficult to obtain if you missed the original buy.
These products tend to reach higher prices than what they retailed for originally.
If you wish to purchase a product in such a situation, you have a few choices:
- Bite the price and purchase aftermarket
- Await another run of the product if it is likely to happen
- Give up on the purchase altogether
2. Vintage products
Vintage can refer to the following things:
- Vintage keyboards such as Cherry-branded boards from the 1980s and 90s. These hold value both as a collectors' item and as a source for vintage parts; thus their prices tend to skyrocket.
- Vintage custom keyboards such as OTD brand from the late 2000s; these are sought after for their collectible value and prices tend to skyrocket.