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ECT News Community   »   Open Discussion   »   Death of Group Buying? Or just bad timing

Death of Group Buying? Or just bad timing
Posted by: Mictv 2001-03-09 19:26:00
I am doing a feasibility study on online group buying (aka demand
aggregation). When mobshop and mercata launched in 1999, some
thought it was the next best emodel since eBay. Then both closed
their B2C marketplace this year (after a collective burn of about
$100+ million). There are few small sites, but under the radar.
In essence the model asks buyers to wait a set (e.g. few days to
few weeks) period of time in order to aggregate buyers in order
to achieve volume prices.

I am wondering if the model is victim of bad timeing or if it is
flawed in some way.

Your 2 cents are welcome. ;-)

Feasibility study on online group buying
Posted by: rory_davies 2010-07-07 11:19:06 In reply to: Mictv

Back in 2001 you went on this forum asking for 2 cents on online group buying - all it needed was Web 2.0 :-)

I'd love to read your study from 2001 though to see the evolution of the sites into today's ones like Groupon,

Group buyign are not dead
Posted by: pudgin 2009-05-28 06:43:42 In reply to: Mictv
We have put on line last year our innovative marketplace which combines group buying and reverse auction.
We currently have more than 10 000 members so the group buying concept is not dead...;)

Re: Death of Group Buying? Or just bad timing
Posted by: oozie 2004-06-20 05:28:51 In reply to: Mictv
I know this is kind of old, but just wondering, how far did you get on this study. And would it be possible to see the findings of your study?
I'm working on a paper on group buying for the 3rd world. Therefore I thought that your info may be of use to me.

Oozie - this thread was from 2001 - you called it old in 2004
Posted by: rory_davies 2010-07-07 11:10:09 In reply to: oozie
Did you ever get any info on the group buying power - I'd love to see how it evolved in to Groupon and their clones.

Re: Death of Group Buying? Or just bad timing
Posted by: PeteW 2001-03-09 19:34:16 In reply to: Mictv
I think it is a timing issue.
As with almost everything on the net, the concept is head of it's
time, the general consumer population hasn't really had time to
catch up yet.

You and i know it makes sense and probaly most people who read
this message. But we are not a significant % of the potential on
line market.

There are fundamental issues that need to be addressed before the
internet can fulfill it's ecommerce potential. The internet
wasn't designed for ecommerce, ecommerce saw the potential and
tried to exploit it.

ecommerce will drive the solution by addressing security,
bandwidth and access issues. Confidence will grow and ecommerce
will thrive as a result of technological efficiency.

The question is how long will it take? I think G3 and tcommerce
will go a long way to resolving the issues for existing users.

Re: Re: Death of Group Buying? Or just bad timing
Posted by: Mictv 2001-03-09 19:35:30 In reply to: PeteW
Waiting for G3 and tcommerce is like waiting for paint to dry.
After the speed rush of last few years, it's painfully slow.
I guess, some of us will need to go back to our day jobs.

Still, I am wondering if the dynamic group buying model is just
to exotic for most consumers, whether on the web or on iTV.

Re: Death of Group Buying? Or just bad timing
Posted by: PeterK 2001-03-09 19:29:38 In reply to: Mictv
Hi Mictv,
I have participated in group buying co-op for organic vegetables
for about 3 years with 10 people. It achieves great prices but
the management of it is quite often painful. Nothing to do with
the web. We as human being beings like our freedom.

This simple example explains why online group buying systems
won't work for some time yet. Most people have different taste,
may distrust the operator that they are not really getting a good
deal, don't like being organised by somebody else, want to often
change their minds and have some form of control and the list
goes on . This is especially the case with B2C.

I could see a better chance of it working with B2B as business
buyers tend to be bottom line focused about buying decisions. Its
interesting to note that on the flip side of group buying, B2B
Marketplace participants have also bucked from having their
prices always bid down. As we all know in the business world, the
lowest price is not always the best way to go. Successful
businesses give "value for money", whatever the price.

Peter Kearney

Re: Re: Death of Group Buying? Or just bad timing
Posted by: Mictv 2001-03-09 19:30:55 In reply to: PeterK
Hi, thanks to all for your comments.
I think in B2B, there is a form of group buying going on already,
i.e. a single buyer buys a mixed lot of goods and gets quantity
pricing. And I agree, price is not the only determinate factor. I
guess that this and the many other supply chain issues overshadow
the possible benefits of this model. Or it just may be too much
of a niche model.

The type of group buying I am refering to is where multiple
buyers aggregate themselves into a "bulk purchaser" for for one
product and on the flip side the seller sell in bulk at one time
(albeit shipped individually to each buyer).

The buyers trade their time (waiting for the group to form and
the cycle to close) for lower prices from the seller. This model
in theory seems an ideal blending of retail and wholesale - the
best way for buyers to pay less and sellers to obtain greater
quantities and especially an ideal model for online - the
automated transaction and aggregation process helps to remove the
friction and "the pain", gathering buyers from all over, etc.

I guess we have to wait and see how it developes. I think the
model may need a major portal like yahoo, amazon or aol to try
it. they may have better chance, as they have a big enough audience.

Posted by: gruuby 2008-07-09 11:10:19 In reply to: Mictv
I am currently testing the water to see if group buying works on the web. My goal is to trying to make a group buying community where everyone can help each other save more money and fight with the bad economic and also the increasing consumer products.
Posted by: letsgroop 2009-05-03 10:03:53 In reply to: gruuby
We are launching a new "pull & push" buying group concept on mid-june 2009:

Group buying
Posted by: pudgin 2009-05-28 06:39:50 In reply to: letsgroop
We are proposing the group buying concept since 2007 with our marketplace
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