DIY Audio Parts Purchasing Co-op?
Who here would be interested in setting up a DIY audio parts purchasing co-operative? I know I'd love to have a single source for all the hard-to-find bits and pieces needed to build all this wonderful stuff...
A co-operative could import parts more easily than an individual, and could benefit from large-order discounts as well as offering parts to hobbyists at near cost. I have no idea what would be involved in setting up something like this, but I'm sure someone out there has some experience at this sort of thing...
My other idea is to set up some sort of DIY audio club here in the Bay Area (maybe something like this already exists?). I'm sure there are other hobbyists who don't have the space for a proper workshop at home (esp those loudspeaker builders out there...), or who can't afford expensive professional tools and software for one or two projects. I'd be willing to pay a pretty decent annual fee in order to have access to a nice workshop...
in theory its a great idea, but the vast distances between members and the lack of members we have, to do something on any sort of scale alot more people would have to be involved. I live in Melbourne, alot of others here live in Aus, any co-op in the US would be useless to us due to the shipping costs, and i dont think we have enough people here in Aus to achieve any great discounts on parts etc.
It would have to be a region by region thing.
The DIY audio club is also a very good idea, here are some suggestions on where to go from here if the response is adequate.
1) get a list of all people in your area, ph #, email etc.
2) find a common ground, area
3) see what is acceptable as a fee.
4) make a proposal, outlining costs to run, ie electricity, rent, costs to commence, parts, tools.
as i think of things i will post
I need 1% Multicaps RTX (.01, .033, .0027) , anyone want to come together make me to make the minimum order? (10 ea.) No?! What a surprise..
Graet. Lets go for it.
Griff's right. It would have to be a regional thing, but I don't think the overheads need be particularly significant.
Ultimately it could run from the DIY Audio site, with people simply logging their requirements and being able to view as they place their order just how close the group is to meeting a manufacturer or distributors minimum order quantity.
Oh, and ignore the naysayers, (like arnach) there will be no shortage of them while we struggle to get this thing off the ground (for everyone's benefit). The paradox is, having thrown scorn upon us while we battled to get the thing off the ground, they will be the first to jump in and get whatever they can out of the reduced MOQ's we've been able to negotiate, etc.
Go for it.
Naysayer? Don't be so quick..
I would be in full support of the deal.
I am an OEM and can get OEM pricing for anyone on this list that wants it.
However, such places that do not offer OEM pricing without a minimum order like Reliable Capacitor .. it's just too expensive, and the values are too broad. I'd doubt anyone else needs .0027 and especially since I need 2. You understand?
But yes on the standard values I can get OEM pricing and on Auricaps, etc, etc.
Hey.. I am in the Bay Area.. and am interested. Although I haven't building anything yet.. but planning something out. Still a poor gradute right now.. hahaa
I would be interested in the idea of a co-op, but it would have to be regional.
A good idea might to have a seperate section on the board for group buys and such. They could even be arranged on the Trading post section, and could work of people were notified of this. I am sure that anyone in the US could correlate together on a group buy, but I am not sure how shipping and such works in other places in the world. I would assume that shipping cost would be too great to work together totally.
On a side note, I am in the process of building an Aleph 2 amplifier, and I am going to order 100 of the IRFP240 transistors. If all goes well, I will have a couple extra sets of matched transistors. Would anyone here be interested on going in on this? I am planning on using the expensive HP curver tracer here at Georgia Tech, to accurately match them.
Cool. I'm glad to see some enthusiasm! Keep the good ideas rolling folks... Here's a few of mine:
I was envisioning something a little more sophisticated than what anarach seems to be imagining... something a little more commercial in terms of it's operation - like a non-profit business.
A small fee, say $10 or $20, gets you the catalog a one year membership, and then all the parts you buy would have a small markup. This small "profit" would feed back into the co-op in order to allow expansion of the inventory. It will of course take some time initially, but the co-op will gradually build inventory starting with the most commonly sought after parts, and will keep order pools for infrequently requested parts or expensive minimum-order parts. Also, parts which are difficult to source or import can be special ordered. If it gets large enough, there might even be a big enough budget to hire a small staff, or start having things custom-made (eg amplifier chassis', speaker cabinet kits and so forth) but that's a long way off yet...
I'm also not in agreement on the regionality aspect. I think people would much rather pay for a single shipment of the parts they need, rather than paying for shipping from multiple different sources for the same pile of parts. Even if the price for some parts can't be brought down all that much from retail, I think people would enjoy the benefits of one-stop-shopping. This of course means that the co-op would have to be in a position to supply a broad enough selection of parts to make this a reality.
I think success depends on getting enough initial momentum to carry the co-op through to the point where it can offer more attractive prices and selection. Perhaps the way to accomplish this is to make the co-op an extension of the diy audio club, such that the club members can fund the initial set-up, and receive a reimbursement once the co-op is generating enough returns to run itself. Founding contributors could be given the right to purchase parts at a lower markup. We could additionally offer a discount / rebate or similar incentive for volunteering to help run the parts co-op. Plus, i think it might be nice to have an inventory of parts available at the club workshop too... Who knows, I'm just tossing up ideas here, but the more i think about it, the more it makes sense to put the two together...
Perhaps there are some businesses or corporations who would be willing to help sponsor the formation of the co-op?
there is a chance for business's to get involved in parts, skills investment, dont PASS up on this opportunity!
on the subject of us Aussies getting involved, the shipping as i said before is too much of a cost hurdle, not to mention the $AUD at the moment. if there was say 20 of us wanting the same driver, 2 per person, 40 drivers, then we may be able to get a discount, ive found that 100 is the golden number so to speak.
who would lead this operation, lets be honest, its a full time job by the sounds of things, does anyone have the time, committment etc? id be willing to pitch in my 2 cents, or $1000, what ever it takes.
investment sounds like the way to go, maybe floating on the Xchange a little later on ;)
having custom made cabinets, chassis etc?? sounds like an emerging contender in the hi-fi market.
the next person to say "it would have to be a regional thing" is gonna get a beating, we know we know!!!
lets look at the feasability here, for the DIY club, u need a residence, $200 a week lets say, tools for initial startup $1-2000 for the basic setup, electricity $xxx (lets say $100, audio will eat power!), initial parts purchase $2-3000 if you really wanna kick start, maybe more if the interest is there. So you would need at least 70 members, paying $10-$20 a month, thats the ensure parts stay cheap. 70 members would be crowded in any workspace, so time share or number limitations may be in order. Perhaps even a roster for timings of when you can have time, say 5-10 people at a time.
id love to be involved, as long as the idea hasnt already been patented, might even think of heading something down in Melbourne, anyone interested please email me AT firstname.lastname@example.org
PCBs, WE CAN also make them cost less and more available.
When make 20 pcbs(same kind), each cost a fifth or less than just make 1 or 2. think the SMD parts, we can't use bread boards with them.
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