= W h i t e L E D B u l k - B u y # 2 =greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Here's what you've been waiting for...
The white LED bulk-buy!
Yes, it's that time again. Time to acquire white LEDs in unholy quantities. I have a few white-LED products that I'm going to start selling soon (you'll need to contact me directly for details if you want something you don't have to make entirely from component parts yourself, as the forum rules discourage advertising of your own goods/services...) and I need the LEDs for this. But I'm not going to be able to order them in high enough quantities by myself.
Since other folks are also interested, the coordinated, group bulk-buy idea was born in March of this year.
It was a strictly honor system. I didn't mark the parts up, I charged nothing in addition save shipping, and everyone sent their $ in advance. (Can you say "honor system"?) All I ended up receiving from the endeavor was my LEDs for less $ each and whatever overage people sent as a thank-you for my efforts. (Thanks for the extra $, all you who slipped me extra!) In fact, I'd not be surprised if a few of the participants join the thread by describing how their part went. I'd also like to hear what they did with their LEDs.
And it WORKED. I believe we ended up with 25 people and over 1,800 LEDs. I handled about three thousand dollars, mostly of other peoples' money, as the purchasing agent in the project. Then I turned around and shipped out all but 75 of the LEDs, which were my part of the lot. Everyone that reported back stated that they had zero bad parts. It was almost perfect. ("Almost" in the sense that almost everyone that expressed interest got their payment in soon enough to get their order included. Turned out that we had two that didn't make it in time. Maybe this time they'll get to make up for it. [chuckle])
This time, I need to order several hundred of them myself. And this time, there are more people that have expressed interest.
Here's how it works. I place the announcements in the TB2K forums stating that I'm taking order info for the LEDs. (This message is that announcement.) You (assuming you want some) tell me via E-mail who you are, how to contact you via E-mail, and how many you want (PLEASE do not tell me you want any LEDs unless you're serious about following through and ordering them! I don't have the time to chase up on fake orders, etc. This wasn't a problem last time but I don't want it to become one!) and I make note of this. Once a certain opt-in period expires, I tell, again via E-mail, you how much your part totals and where to send the $ (as money order or other fast-cashable form so that it doesn't hold the order up, as my bank is anal-retentive and takes forever to clear checks). When I receive the $, I photocopy the payment and deposit it in my bank, tracking its value carefully. Your listing in my order tracking info gets updated, as well as the total LED count orderable as of right then. Once the send-$ period expires, I convert the total $ sent in into cashier's check and send it on to Nichia. They ship me the LEDs. I then repackage them (anti-static handling precautions are exercised!) and ship yours to you.
As part of the terms of the bulk-buy, you are agreeing to let me have any extra $ you send as my only profit from the bulk-buy, although I didn't and won't inflate any prices. So, if you're appreciative enough to slip me a "tip" with your payment, consider yourself thanked muchly in advance. :-)
I'll order as many LEDs as I have payment for when the deadline for sending in order payments elapses. If you didn't send payment in time, sorry, you missed it. I will, however, hold off in sending the order if AND ONLY IF you tell me you've sent the payment by or before the deadline so I can know it's coming. The order will take probably about a week to two to get to Nichia, get processed, and get shipped to me. Then, expect another three days or so to get your little box of LEDs in the mail. All along the way I'll fire out E-mails indicating the progress of the bulk-buy so that everyone involved stays informed.
As of the last pricing info I have (I already sent Nichia's sales staff E-mail asking about the pricing structure and will post changes if any), if the LED order totals 1,000 or more each LED will cost $1.60. So plan accordingly. If we somehow top 5,000 the per-LED price drops to $1.20. 1,000 will be somewhat easy to top I expect, esp. if I order half of that in one shot myself. ;-) I'm not imposing a minimum quantity but am asking that we all stick with the same model number for simplicity's sake. The target model is the brightest one they sell, their NSPW500BS. It's a T-1 3/4 case (5mm or about 3/16" wide) LED with a 20-degree beam angle, 4 candela (typical) output, and likes 3.6-4.0 volts @ about 30 mA. (Six of them make for easy reading in darkness, three will do in a pinch. I have a 36-LED array and driver I plan to sell that puts out a LOT of light. The more you aim at one spot the brighter the spot is.)
This time around, you'll need to include $4.20 additional for shipping: $3.20 for the USPS Priority Mail to ship them from me to you (NOTE: add $ .32 if you want tracking, I'll E-mail you the tracking # when it ships), and an extra buck to help cover charges to ship them from Nichia to me and to help cover the box of anti-static shipping bags I just ordered for this. If you want extra things such as insurance, or are outside the US, please replace the $3.20 with whatever is appropriate to cover your charges. )
All this said, here's the gameplan. I'd like to have all order info in by Sunday, August 15th. On the 16th I'll start sending out info on how much each participant's part of the order will cost as well as where to send payment to. The deadline to submit payment will be Sunday, August 29th. The order will be placed with Nichia immediately upon the clearance of all payments so that I can cut them a cashier's check. If you send your payment and it arrives after the order is placed, I will send your payment back to you unprocessed, UNLESS you tell me it's coming and might be late. (The others participating might get annoyed at you for being late, though. ;-D) When it arrives, the box o' LEDs will be counted out, repackaged in little anti-static bags if need be and sent to each participant along with a spec sheet from Nichia if I can get them to include another batch of them.
So that's it. If you have any questions, please let me know and I'll try to answer them intelligently (wow!) and speedily. If anyone that participated in the last bulk-buy has any information of relevance, please add to the thread accordingly. For other information and a few LED product suppliers, check out my site: OddOne's White LED Information
We now resume our normal broadcast...
-- OddOne (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 26, 1999
Just a quick note to anyone who may be considering this, but may be wondering about sending your $$ up front to someone you don't know named OddOne...
I participated in the first "white LED buy" several months ago, and can tell you that it went extremely well. OddOne did everything he promised, and more -- putting a considerable amount of time into email updates, ordering, packing, bookkeeping, etc. If he had marked them up some to help make up for all he did, it would have been perfectly reasonable.
It was delightful to see a group of people form around a common interest, trust a guy named OddOne who volunteered to do all the work just so that he could get the same good deal he created for the rest of us, and have it turn out so well.
I've played with the LEDs enough to see how much light they make, and see if there were any "duds" in the batch. (All of the several dozen I checked were perfect.) I've been too busy with other things lately to assemble the LEDs into arrays, but I'm glad to have all the parts I'll need when the time comes.
Highly Recommended! (Sounds like ebay feedback -- heh, heh!)
-- Randy Jones (email@example.com), August 01, 1999.