My Adventure Running A Co-Op

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The other day I decided to upgrade the switch of my Chi You, the switch is currently using a spring and I want it to use magnets instead. So i pull out my caliper and took some measurements, then found a website that sells the ring magnet that I need, but after adding the two very small magnets that cost 95 cents each they wanted $6.60 for shipping. So i thought there is a lot of people who would also like to do this, I was figuring I would get five other people to join in and save some cash. Well it got out of hand very quick, with in a hour I had fifteen people wanting in, so I thought “Why not it will save us more the more we have.” So the biggest thing I want to tell you guys is if your are in a Co-Op, THANK the person running it, it is very difficult. Secondly they get the same question a lot so cut them some slack if they don’t answer right away.

Because this was going to be a small quick co-op I only had it open for about ten hours, and in that short time I now have 26 people in it ordering a total of 284 magnets. So if you are interested in doing one I would like to share some tips on how to set it up and keep it organized.

1. Google Docs This is a great way to have people add them self’s, how many they want and there shipping location(I only did US and Canada)

2. Excel Keep a document up to date with all of the members names, and  address(email and physical). keeping on your computer keeps there info offline and safer.

1.5/2.5. Excel and G Docs have formulas that you can use to easily change information like if they want 8 more you only need to change a 4 to a 12 and the formula will change all of the prices including shipping, PayPal fees and  total price. If you don’t know how to do this(I didn’t) learn it is a very helpful tool.

3. Detailed info Show your work so now one can say you are making a penny off them, people can be crazy when it comes to this. I had one guy ask why I was asking 50 cents for shipping when a stamp only costs 46 cents, I had to inform him that I would still need to put it on cardboard cover it with tape and then put it in a envelope.

4. Info gathering is a pain I know there is some programs that have the users input their info in them self’s and not a chain of emails between the two of you when all you are trying to do is get their address so you know how much to charge them in shipping.

5. Simple directions and what you are buying    People DO NOT read and will not look at the comments at the top, so make sure that you have all the info on the first line.

6. Keep Calm and Vape   Makes so much sense when you are dealing with this, just try not to blow a fuse.

 

So I hope you learn something from this or at least understand what the person running your Co-Op has to deal with and cut them some slack.

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26 Comments

  1. morrinb says

    Great info! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Mike says

    I was wondering how they went. LOL Now I need to find one that I want the item.

  3. tiffjamesnjj says

    don’t think i will be running a co-op.. one ofthese days i might get in on one of them. Thanks for the insight!

  4. bybees3 says

    Sounds like that snowballed quickly.

  5. Nev NYC says

    tip number 6? Always!! thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Aaron says

    Sounds like a pain in the ass. But you did it! Good post.

  7. MrsB3 says

    Hope everyone doesn’t drive you crazy when they are waiting on their stuff.

  8. Flux83 says

    Yeah so that didn’t go according to plan after finally collecting all of the money I contacted the seller to place the order, and…they only had 159, then it went down to 143 and even after I placed my order for 140 it went down to 132. I am guessing other people who viewed my post and were not able to or didn’t want to purchased them strait from the seller. but because I didn’t have enough for everyone i used a random number generator to pick the ones that would have to wait for the second co-op, well that was the idea until a few of the members started whining like little kids and about a min later the post was deleted by the mods. So yeah I am not going to run a co-op this small again was not worth my time to begin with and not Its costing me about the same amount if i would have done it alone.

  9. Michelle says

    Great info! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Tyler says

    great story thx for sharing

  11. RCO67 says

    Running a Co-Op seems like it would be a freakin’ nightmare. If I had someone complain about something as small as your example I think I would have to either refund them on the spot or make note to ban them from future Co-Ops I was running.
    Either way congrats to you for running a Co-Op. It is a great service to the vaping community.

  12. bybees3 says

    I’m yet to even be a part of a co-op. Wish I had gotten in on the King ePipe a couple of weeks ago. I’m ready to vape like a sir.

  13. slap_maxwell says

    Never thought about running a co-op, but I did get fleeced by one once. haven’t had the nerve to try again. 🙁

  14. dinkydinks says

    where do you find these co-ops? I am new to this and I have never seen anything like what you speak of on any of the websites I’ve been to.

  15. bybees3 says

    You can find them on facebook

  16. Tony says

    thanks for sharing

  17. ManuDawg says

    Sounds like a PITA. I haven’t been a part of or run a co-op to date but I am thankful to the Vapers who do. Thanks Flux!

  18. VapersWin says

    I also ran a couple CoOps. At first it was really fun but then the PayPal issue came up and I lost interest. Its to bad because I liked doing them and I have awesome contacts in China. So how I was able to get better prices than most. I guess its cause I call my contacts my friends. You get to know people after chatting for hours at a time on a daily basis. I was even getting samples during the holiday before anyone else could. Pretty cool I guess.

  19. Mike Z(WindLvr) says

    I have been in a lot of coops now, and all but one have been ran perfectly. However, there was one bad experience, and it was all the coop runners fault. He sat on the merchandise way too long before shipping out. I know for a fact I do NOT have the patience it takes to run one of these coops that some people make look effortless lol. Kudos to you for helping other people save a buck!!!

  20. mrscasey says

    I haven’t ran or been a part of a co-op. It would have to be someone I was very comfortable with for me to send my money to them.

  21. Karla Lyle (MsV8PR) says

    That is really funny. The same thing happened to me and I am now running a co-op too. I was getting a part for my GUS and Stalker and it turns out a bunch of others wanted them too. I was hoping it would be like 5 or so of us but has turned into a full co-op too. LOL I just hope I don’t screw it up. We need to do some co-ops here at ECA.

  22. FloridaVaping says

    Great info. I have been thinking about starting a local co-op since stores here are far and few in=between. Also being basically a whole other world people are getting ripped off at the local shops. I can understand they need to make a profit but jacking up a standard Ego kit over 200% is ridiculous..

  23. Flux83 says

    A local Co-Op is a great idea, I would love to get my local vaper group in a co-op as well so we could all save some money.

  24. kelli perkins says

    I think thats the problem with co-ops. The only one i got in on I had to pay in advance so the buyer had the money in hand at the time of purchase. But don’t blame you for that.

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