First group-buy closed

edited February 2015 in Everything else
Hi all,

I've started this thread to provide a way for us to coordinate payment and shipping for the recent group buy.

My personal preference over PayPal would be a direct wire transfer using the SWIFT system and your financial institutions electronic or paper-based transfer system. This method does have it's downsides, and I'll point them out. The main reasons I'm suggesting we make use of this instead of PayPal are:
  1. PayPal sucks. No, really.
  2. Faster transfers. If you live in the UK I can send and recieve most electronic payments instantly at no cost to either party.
  3. Everyone can send money by wire transfer. You might have to go down to a branch to do it.
  4. Fewer intermediaries if something goes wrong (not that it will, but I'd prefer to deal with my bank than PayPal.)
  5. PayPal won't take a cut of the money when I transfer it out of my (newly created because I already gave up on them once) PP account.
  6. I don't have to sign a Direct Debit agreement with PayPal, which might take a little while to get sorted out.
  • Your bank may charge you a fee to send funds internationally. For me it costs £9 to send payments to other countries. Payments to UK institutions are free. Recieving payments is free.
  • International transfers can take between 1-4 days to process.
In order to send money to other people nationally with HSBC I need to provide:
  • Recipient's name
  • Account Number
  • Sort Code
  • Payment amount
  • Payment time (now or at some specified date)
For information regarding international payments, you can review HSBC's documentation. It should not change very much between banks, but if you are unclear you should ask your bank or check their website.

If the vast majority would rather pay via PayPal I can do so, but I am concerned that the large number of national and international transfers may trigger some kind of fraud detection mechanism and lock the account. As I'm sure many of you are aware, PayPal are notorious for their lack of support and "taking the money and runnning". It may also take longer for me to pay for the magnets as I'll need to link my bank account with PayPal first.

Here's what I'm suggesting as the process we go through:

We decide on a payment method, either PP or SWIFT.

If PayPal is the group's decision, each of you sends me cost of the number of magnets you want minus shipping.
  1. Once I have the money in my PP account (not my bank account) I'll divide up the magnets, checking them for obvious defects first.
  2. I'll go down to the post office and arrange to have them sent in appropriate packages via tracked mail.
  3. I will provide photographs of my reciepts and tracking numbers to each of you, which you will be able to use on to track your delivery.
  4. I will send you your packages.
  5. Each of you sends me the extra costs associated with delivery of your items.
  6. I withdraw the funds into my bank account, minus PP's cut.
If we're using international transfers:
  1. I'll order and pay for the magnets myself, divide up the magnets and check them for obvious defects.
  2. I'll go down to the post office and arrange to have them sent in appropriate packages via tracked mail.
  3. I will provide photographs of my reciepts and tracking numbers to each of you, which you will be able to use on to track your delivery.
  4. I will send you your packages.
  5. Each of you sends me the costs of your magnets and delivery of your items.

EDIT: Once again, just to bring this to everyone's attention - if you live in the UK you will be able to send me money using JUST my Account Number and Sort Code. This is much more straightforward and is simple to do online or in your local branch. You should not need to pay a fee to do this and the transfer will occur within 24 hours, possibly instantanously.

If we're using SWIFT transfers, payments should be sent after I've had the magnets shipped so that international buyers only have to send one payment.

A V&P representative quoted me $79.84 USD for 200 magnets = ~0.40 USD per magnet.

I can calculate shipping costs online for you with reasonable certainty given a shipping address. I will provide screenshots and photographic proof of shipping costs for you.

Just to get this out of the way, because it has to be said, and as fair warning:

Your cost of shipping and international payment may end up being a large amount of money. I will do my best to give you a reasonable estimate of the total cost to you prior to packaging and shipping your items. If you are not happy with the cost of shipping your item via recorded, insured, trackable mail I am happy to use a cheaper and less comprehensive service or send you less magnets.

You are free to back out of the transaction until I pay for your postage. Once I have paid for your postage and sent your item
I will provide you with a tracking number. Once you recieve your tracking number, I would very much appreciate it if you would pay me. When you recieve your package, you are free to do with it as you wish. You agree that I am not responsible for your use or misuse of the magnets once they are in your posession.

Discuss :-)



  • I would rather use paypal, only because I have an account and never heard of SWIFT. But honestly I'll use whatever works.

    So since I wanted 10 magnets, that's $4?
  • @Dillinger1983: Yep, plus shipping. I'll need a name and address to ship to at some point as well.

    SWIFT is what all international transfer is built on, all banks use it as the underlying structure of their electronic fund transfer system. if you've ever sent money to a friend or family using a BAN and Sort Code, you've used SWIFT.
  • I agree, paypal's a load of crap and i never want to have to deal with them again.  I've never heard of SWIFT either (and I've never done a wire transfer before either), so that'll be nice.

    I wanted 20, so that's about $8 (technically, $7.98, but I can round up), plus shipping

  • I've never had a problem with paypal, but I'm fine with SWIFT. Especially if I only have to make 1 payment.
  • i'm fine with both.
  • Fine with both, even with the oversea transfer
  • I'm fine with this.
  • Suits me. I've already tried an internet-banking SWIFT transfer, which broke down due to the stupid amount of personal info it required me to know about the receiver.
    I'll send you a PM with what I'd need from you; if you're not comfortable providing it, we'll sort out another method.
  • edited January 2011
    Since @Xion and @Shiprat still need magnets, how would you guys feel about me asking for three packs instead of two? The price/magnet and your individual costs would still be the same. Time may be of the essence here as I have no idea whether or not they produce on-demand or not, nor whether they start preparing a shipment before or after payment has taken place.
  • @Ben, @Nooby and @nibot: You all posted in the original group buy thread but have not voiced your opinion here. Please let me know if you still wish to participate ASAP. Cheers :)
  • @MrWizrd I have no problem with that so long as we make this timely. There were a lot of people who expressed interest in the first thread and it may suit everyone better to simply do a second buy.

    It's up to you.
  • edited January 2011
    Right. Well I'll wait and see whether or not I get a response from V&P with a shipping price (there seem to have been some transient issues with my University e-mail's Exchange server.) Depending on whether or not @Ben, @Nooby and @nibot get back to us, it may be possible to accommodate @Shiprat and @Xion without ordering any more. As I mentioned in their group buy thread, there are plenty of people registered here who haven't expressed interest in purchasing any yet, so it may well be possible for that group to sort out their own buy order.

    I'll do my best to get these out as soon as i can.
  • I'm fine with SWIFT too, time doesn't matter that much to me.
  • I'm fine with it, too ...
  • Great stuff. Now it's just @Ben and @Nooby left.
  • I still wish to participate and I'm fine with SWIFT payment.
  • BenBen
    edited January 2011
    Fine with both as well, would slightly prefer paypal, but whatever you guys prefer.
    (sry, had an exam today (26.)...)

    Oh, and thanks a lot :)

    Edit: forgot: I'm in for a number between 10 and 20, whatever suits the distributor.

    Just wondering, what happens with the obviously defect magnets? It shouldn't only be one of us covering for them. Are you going to distribute them fair amongst us or do you plan on sending them back?
  • I'm fine with swift, and I could definitely do with 10 if that would make me easier to accommodate
  • edited January 2011
    I have sent a revised order to V&P requesting 300 magnets in order to cover the few people who missed the first group buy, since it looks like there might not be enough interest to fill another for some time.

    This is not a problem for the original buyers as my first response to the V&P staff scientist who contacted me didn't go through.

    While we are waiting for V&P to get back to us I would like each of you to do the following:
    • Send me your preferred shipping addresses. Feel free to take whatever measures you feel necessary to protect your personal information. You can contact me via PM here or on IRC, via plain old unencrypted e-mail, or by using my PGP key.
    • Those of you who don't live in the UK, tell me what information your bank needs about me in order for you to send me payment. Just go into your bank and say "I need to send some money to a friend in the UK, what information do I need?" or something. @Unqualified might only need my account number and sort code (but please still check). The reason I'm asking you to do this now is so that when I send you your tracking numbers everything can go smoothly.
    Once I've recieved your shipping addresses I'll provide you with a rough estimate of your shipping costs since I don't know how much your individual parcels are going to weigh. As soon as I actually recieve the shipment I'll be able to give you a 99% accurate final figure, and we'll go from there.
  • edited March 2011
    Update (1st Feb 2011): I now have everyone's addresses and shipping quantities. There will unfortunately be a short wait until I have enough money to pay for the order as the final bill is $240.60 and I have £600 (~$970) of rent and bills to pay in a few days - I'm looking for weekend work and starting a new university semester too, so time is a little tight. Rest assured however that I am doing the best I can and I will let everyone know as soon as the magnets are on their way to me.

    Thank you all for your continued cooperation and patience.

    -- MrWizrd

  • If you have any extra available or if anyone defaults I'd be willing to purchase them.
  • @Rhiesa: By current figures I should have about 80 or so spare. I'll probably ship them out as people come forward, so if you'd like some, we can sort something out :)
  • edited January 2011
    I've added a list of the people I still need information from to this post. I'll update it as I recieve the information. I have now recieved an invoice from V&P. The sum total is $240.67. I'll post the invoice once I've sent it to V&P so that there is no chance of anyone else sending it on my behalf (not that any of you would.)

    Once I have everyone's addresses I can give you all approximate per-person totals.

    Unfortunately I have just been told that I will have substantial sums of money coming out of my account within the next week and need to pay for those first so that I have somewhere to live. My sincere apologies for the slight delay this could cause, but I'll get everything back on track as soon as I can. The maximum delay I am expecting is a week or two.

    It might not even be an issue if everyone needs to procure surgical supplies - unless everyone already has them you won't get it done much earlier than you otherwise would.

    Potentially if a large portion of you are willing to pay in advance I could proceed straight away, but I am not going to ask anyone to do that as it requires quite a large amount of trust on your parts - it is up to you to decide for yourselves if you are willing to accept the chance of delay.

    Thanks for your understanding.
  • 10 magnets for me
  • Thanks for confirming :)
  • edited January 2011
    20 for me please.

    Name:              Daniel Sandvik
    Adress:            Storängsvägen 9a
    City/town:        Åkersberga
    Postal Code:    18431
    Country:            Sweden
  • Thanks @Shiprat, still need your shipping address though :)
  • @MrWizrd:  I'll PM you my shipping address.  Though, we might want to make sure I can wire the money properly before we do that.
This discussion has been closed.