Group Buy Horror Stories

What is the longest group buy you have participated in? How long did it take?

Was it ultimately fulfilled or are you still waiting?

If it was fulfilled, how did you feel after the whole process? Did you like the product enough to make it worth it, or had you moved on in the hobby by then?

7 Likes

KAM Wraith was supposed to be delivered by the end of June 2020. Zfrontier got there in early January, _nk last week but candykeys haven’t got a word…
Maybe not a horror but haven’t felt good with the constant “it will come next month”

4 Likes

I feel the same. I’m happy to wait but there’s been so little communication compared to other GBs I’ve been part of I feel like the actual delivery is a second thought.

2 Likes

Longest by a mile would have to be MT3 Susuwatari at two full years. This was the first run of ABS MT3, so most of that extra time was tool development.

Even though some subsequent productions of ABS MT3 have come across as rushed with injection problems, the first run of Susu was essentially flawless. While the colors didn’t match the renders (how often do they?) the colors all work well together and tend towards neutral so it goes with just about anything.

In this case, I’m going to say yes, totally worth the wait - especially since many other colorways are available thanks to this one. If Drop gets their QC under control (as they’ve already shown they are capable of doing), I think ABS MT3 will be a staple right alongside GMK. They aren’t there yet, though.

While I fully recommend these keys, I also advise buyers to be totally prepared to go through a few rounds of exchanges before they end up with a satisfactory set.

6 Likes

Noxary 280 ran in may of 2018 and was super duper promised to be on time and ship within the year. Either the person running it has no idea what they’re doing which wasn’t apparent because theyve run other group buys and theyre running other group buys while still trying to ship this one, kinda looks like a pyramid scheme from the outside where this one didn’t have enough money and is getting saved by those. It does seem like I’ll see it some day though so like :woman_shrugging:

Modern m0110 was kinda scary until the regular updates started

1 Like

Ugh! This feels were I am at with the BOCC groupbuy. BOCC money seemed to have “founded” the vendor, and now they are focused on other GBs and projects before they fulfill their first one.

At this point it has been ~18 months, I still want the board but I pretty conflicted about it. In the amount of time that has passed, a mounting structure that seemed unique is now novel, and other aspects of my tastes have changed too. Sure I can get a refund, but I waited this long… I also don’t really like the idea of giving some one a interest free loan for two years…

2 Likes

For some additional stories: Longest GB? Best GB? Worst GB?

2 Likes

This is an article I wrote about a bad GB experience back on Nov 22nd 2015. This was posted on Reddit (Original Link below) and has since been added to the /r/mk wiki and archived. The information below is probably something new for the newer members in our community.


Preface: While I did my best to research this topic, I might not be fully correct with my facts and information. I also may be missing some relevant information. With the information I have gathered, this is as full of a story I can present. If you know more about this event, please post relevant information in the comments and I will do my best to incorporate that information into this article as well as correct any misinformation.

Wall of text ahead!

 

I wanted to type up something different than my usual posts because it’s better than facing reality. Do you guys wonder why Ripster55 always posts the same message on group buy posts? He will almost always post:

 

“Obligatory Group Buy PSA - BUYER BEWARE!”

 

He posts this message for good reason. It might seem obvious that there is always an inherent risk in group buys, but many who are newer here don’t really know what could happen in a worse case scenario. This is one of those scenarios.

Team Redline was comprised of 3 key members: DrugER, Lifezone(LifeZ), and girldc. They ran group buys out of the Team Redline name, group buys from their own name, and promised “Korean products with USA distribution.” They were known in the community, got along, and had a positive reputation. They ran BSP group buys, GMK group buys, and a few others. This isn’t a story about their specific group buys and products. This is the story of the failure of Team Redline, and the truth of what can happen to anyone in this hobby.

Team Redline was once a vendor on GeekHack(GH) and had their own subforum. There are certain rules and requirements to be an approved vendor on GH as well as having you own subforum. This story starts a few months after the mysterious absence of DrugER after a few groupbuys.

DrugER had simply vanished. No presence on Geekhack. No customer support on the Team Redline subforum. Hundreds of outstanding orders. Due to these reasons, on May 5th 2014, the moderation team at GH determined that it was time to review Team Redline’s eligibility to keep their vendor subforum and vendor privileges. From this date, all three members of Team Redline had a week to respond to the allegations.

 

girldc was the first to respond on may 10th:

Hello
Is me girldc
First of all, I can not English
This can be created using the translation of Google.
I confirmed the message of skype of Sifo yesterday.
sifo gave me over the link of Eagle me.
I was surprised.
What is going on this!
I in team redline
List is up.
And I with them, I have promoted the work of the individual.
I have not participated in or interfere about them.
They are not involved in the key cap that I created.
I received the help that does not know how to use my gb before.
However, I want to direct proceeds from this period.
I’m seeing the text slowly now.
Problem seems serious.
The English can not, do not know the exact content.
I want to know the exact contents
So,
I am attempting to contact with people and other drugER.
Waiting after sending a message that does not get communication.
I have in progress now
I am busy, marine is, was a bit late
(Even overlap with the other jobs. So, to them, I will include a gift separately)
Send an email to them.
It will be members of the application gb me it is shipping soon (expected in about 10 days) is not
worried.
And, panda marine who ask for the individual is also shipped as at that time.
I have to cherish the trust
Please do not misunderstand my
Thank you.
Add
Now, what’s happened to him
And attempting to phone
A lot of people, but would be concerned
There is nothing I also us to not know anything about it.

 

The next to respond was LifeZ also on may 10th:

Hello.
My english is not good.
This is translation of appz
I’m the same as the team . very very sorry
We are a team , but the individual activities.
I am currently in progress to lz-fe gb trying to finish .
Individually be processed by the currently .
I contact is difficult him .
There seems to be a personal matter .
GB , but believes it can finish .
It is natural that you are worried .
I have to cherish the trust .
The thing that I think can be resolved soon .
South Korea also has participants .Will not be a serious problem .
Thanks.
add-
He says that
Dsa products arrive in Korea to be distributed .
The delivery soon .

 

At this point, they both realize that there is a problem, and people start asking questions on the Korean keyboard communities kbdlab and kbdmania. From the translations provided, these things happened. DrugER changed his phone number and was unable to be contacted by girldc and LifeZ. A member of KBDlab visited the house of DrugER (His handle is Jackass on KBDlab) and found that DrugER had disappeared. No one could establish contact with DrugER whether it be SMS, Phone, or email. After a few additional days, KBDlab regarded all of his group buys as fraud. Both Lifezone (LifeZ) and girldc said that DrugER acted on his own, and they could not take responsibility for what happened. KBDlab said they would launch a civil case against DrugER for damages.

 

DrugER was running group buys for DSA Dolch, CMYW, and GMK two-tone beige. I don’t know the exact number, but the scam’s estimate on the high end was valued at ~$100,000. I’ve seen a number around $70,000 as well, but I am not sure on the exact number. What happened to individuals? Many lost $90 here and there, some lost a few hundred from these group buys. It is believed the vendor Feng lost a few thousand dollars from DrugERs scam. Another user said he lost hundreds personally from the groupbuys and over $1000 from a secondary groupbuy he was running to supply keycaps not originally in DrugERs groupbuys. It wasn’t just money that was lost. LifeZ and girldc’s reputation was slightly tarnished due to their partnership with DrugER in Team Redline. Some people even wanted LifeZ and girldc banned from GH because they were on both involved with DrugER in Team Redline. Many believed that this event caused strain between the Korean and English speaking keyboard communities for a short while. Hundreds of individuals from various keyboard communities all over the world lost money and hope.

 

Due to the revelations found on KBD, the moderation team of GH made their decision on May 9th as follows:

Folks,

Due to recent revelations, we have finished our deliberations and decided that the following actions need to be taken, effective immediately.

DrugER is permanently banned from Geekhack.org,

LifeZ and girldc are no longer allowed to conduct commercial business on Geekhack.org until further notice.

we will archive this vendor subforum in 48 hours. this thread will be moved to announcements. the remainder of the subforum will be archived.

 

Note that this was a day before girldc and LifeZ’s response on GH.

This was the nail in the coffin for Team Redline. For those of you wondering what happened to DrugER, here is what might’ve happened to him although there is no confirmation.

 

On January 31st 2015, girldc posted on GH that DrugER had turned himself into the police. He posted that he will do so on kbdlab. The message is in korean and was reposted on GH with a poor google translation. The general gist is that he will turn himself in (wrote the post before he supposedly turned himself in), he has been homeless and at one point even tried to commit suicide, and he promises to pay back compensation little by little however possible. The reason he said he would turn himself in was that he visited his sick mother who was near her end and she said to him to never hurt others, and to pay for his wrongdoings. He apologizes for causing anguish to his guiltless friends and peers, and victims.

 

Whether he actually turned himself into the police is unknown. He probably won’t ever pay back the estimated $100,000. At the end of the day, people lost to one man’s greed. So, as ripster55 reminds us,

 

“Obligatory Group Buy PSA - BUYER BEWARE!”

 

Sources and relevant information about the event and individuals involved:

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=57897.0

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=57897.msg1323711#msg1323711

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=57897.msg1322527#msg1322527

http://kbdlab.co.kr/index.php?mid=board_cUlO13&document_srl=275365

http://kbdlab.co.kr/index.php?mid=board_cUlO13&document_srl=275293

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=68286.0

http://keypuller.com/dsa-dolch-replica/

ORIGINAL REDDIT LINK: https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/3ttsa2/community_history_team_redline_and_a_lesson_to_be/

6 Likes

Here’s another one I wrote a while back on IvanIvanovich back on March 15th 2016. Also quite dated compared to how things are today, but I hope you enjoy the quick read.


Hello everyone, I hope you’re doin’ well.

Some time ago, I wrote an article Community History: Team Redline which documented perhaps one of the most well known failed GBs/scams in MK history (thousands of dollars). Today, there seems to be some hubbub about a few GBs on GH run by IvanIvanovich. Here’s a quick summary of what I have so far.

On Tuesday July 14th 2015, Geekhack Moderator IvanIvanovich started a groupbuy for the RS84 v3 keyboard. It’s a wonderful 75% keyboard with a nice RGB underglow and an acrylic case. For the wonderful price of $140, you would receive an acrylic case, a PCB, and an RGB controller. For an additional $22 you could add a plate, and for another additional $22, you you can get feet on the bottom of your case. A total of $194 before shipping & PP fees. Not bad.

Orders closed on August 10th, and for about 2 months there was no updates.

A few users asked for updates citing the last time they were updated was 2 months, and at one point, the last time IvanIvanovich went online was 2 weeks.

A user went to his defense saying that Ivan only updates with hard updates (meaning there were no hard updates in the last 2 months since the GB), and that he is busy running multiple groupbuys. Another user cited that Ivan had broken his arm a little while ago (in respect to this GB) and all of his buys might be slightly delayed because of that. Many users stating that they believe Ivan is quite a trustworthy member.

As of October 17th 2015, Ivan had not been logged into his account for a month (since Sept. 14th). This concerns some as in this time, not only has there been no updates on this RS84v3 GB, but none on his other GBs as well. Some members have moved and haven’t received confirmation that Ivan has recorded their address change for shipping.

Another user depends Ivan by telling people to “just chill, because it is not uncommon to have no update for a month” Today with the advent of MassDrop, this is mostly unheard of in my opinion.

One user said that a week after the RS84v3 was supposedly closed, they noticed the GB form was still open. They submitted an order through that form and received an invoice after a couple of days. The form was closed a few days later when they went to check again. This user did say that Ivan addressed this though.

On October 21st, one user said that at any rate, Ivan is at least checking his email/paypal because this user was instantly refunded their purchase even though they only asked for an address change.

On November 13th, a user asks how long is an appropriate time to wait for this? It’s been a few months without updates or activity. 3 days later, another user posted that they were able to reach out to Ivan who said the order began production a couple of weeks ago and is still in production. He declined to state a timeline, but did mention that there were a few more months for production and transit time.

From December through February there were people both selling their spots in the GB, as well as asking for future updates. No updates or information came through.

Until yesterday.

GH User 悬壶济世 (designer of RS keyboards), said that he did not received Ivan’s production numbers or payment. He tried to contact Ivan but did not get a reply.

This isn’t the only run Ivan is running. In the GMK Miami night GB, GMK responded to a user inquiry about the project. GMK stated that they did not receive any payment from the organizer, so the project was cancelled. This information was just found out today.

Another GB that was mentioned was the PBT Dark Second Wave, which people have been waiting 1 year for. While there are some GBs that have gone on longer, they also are suffering from the lack of updates and communication.

There have been no ‘hard’ updates from Ivan. There have been no real updates of any kind. Both 悬壶济世 and GMK have not received payment or production numbers from Ivan when we claimed to users via email that they were in production. So what happened?

Will Ivan be the next DrugER? Is this the next ‘Team Redline’ style scam? I really hope not. The truth is, this will greatly hurt the community. Not financially, but in trust. I want to think that GH runs good groupbuys. I want to think they provide an alternative to Massdrop that actually sticks to the spirit of GBs and to save us money. It’s hard when these things happen, because it creates the fear that it could happen to me. It could happen to you, it could happen to any of us. That fear should always be there though. That’s the nature of group buys. You never know when ‘life’ can happen to a GB organizer and things more important get in their way. You never know if it was malicious or not. You will only know some sadness and anger in a failed groupbuy. One of the worse parts is that this was suppose to be a person we could trust. Ivan is a Moderator on GH and has run successful GBs before.

 

Please remember the obligatory group buy PSA

 

PS: If you have any additional information, please feel free to comment with sources to I can add it to this article for accuracy.

 

Source: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=73572.0

Source2: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=71507.1000

Reddit: Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/4aiyxr/more_geekhack_gbs_going_down_in_flames_featuring/

ORIGINAL ARTICLE LINK: https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/4akbng/more_keyboard_drama_id_better_write_an_article/

4 Likes

I really enjoyed reading these.

Very interesting to see some of the things that were going on when I was still trying to decide between “blue switch” and “brown switch” on my babby’s first mechanical from Amazon.

Mostly

I’ve certainly never seen them do anything like I just read about - and they’ve made some specific, welcome improvements since I’ve started using the site - but they do seem to have a talent for light communication.

Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by some very passionate smaller vendors that go above and beyond - an extra thanks to all those lovely folks.

2 Likes

2015 was a different time lol

4 Likes

dude, got this in my e-mail this morning. check it:

image

It’s real!

now, the $300 keypad that matches it is still a few months out most likely. By the way, I never use a keypad. :crazy_face:

3 Likes

ripster55, may he rest in peace :laughing:

2 Likes

It annoys the f out of me when the vendors don’t communicate to their customers. They have this attitude that you should just do what they say because we now have your money. It’s not hard to send out a monthly update.

4 Likes

This reminds me of how the GMK Night Runner GB was six months late and I kept asking (politely) TKC to email the participants to let us know what’s up but they were like “no at least we are better than drop” and so it just infuriated me to the point where I sold the set as soon as it finally got here.

Poor Ave buyers.

From 3 months ago:
" The Ave group buy has officially gone past the 1 year mark and Ave buyers are once again left wondering what is going on. Throughout the whole experience there has been a complete and total lack of communication. Regularly going several months without updates and then communicating with little clarity and lots of missed deadlines.

In July we were told early birds would start shipping in 3-6 weeks and when that deadline came and went no explanation was ever given.

Then October 13th u/the_Royal made a very well done video to announce that shipping was happening “next week” - this deadline also came and went with no explanation.

On November 11th we were told that he was estimating shipping by 12/18 because he didn’t want the GB to go past a year. And here we are another date that has come and gone with no communication. Several different people in the community and part of the GB have reached out and unfortunately u/the_Royal has become a ghost yet again with no idea why still not one single board has shipped."

5 Likes

I’ve used this example elsewhere on the site, but I’m still waiting on my Xeno to ship. Currently, it’s 2 years past the intial delivery date, 26 months since the end of the GB, and 2.5 months since the last official update. If patience is a virtue, I’m ready for sainthood.

What really sucks, as mentioned above, is that so much has changed in keyboard design since the GB ran, and the nearly five-hundo sunk into the Xeno could buy me a modern flexy beast of a board. The customer support team over at ZealPc was nice enough to throw a production note in for my request to swap the full plate that I ordered to a half plate, if available, at the time of shipping – if possible, that could help. Well, back to waiting.

3 Likes

that’s absolutely wild that Zeal can still sell switches and other stuff while also defaulting on another GB for multiple years. I think anyone else would be driven out of the community.

1 Like

This is where I am at with my BOCC GB. I splurged on this board and now it was been over 18 months and counting. I still want the board rather than a refund, but a layout that I was once super interested, I have now moved on from. A mounting structure that once felt unique, is antiquated.

I am still holding out hope, but tastes change to much in a year and half (or more).

1 Like

I find that remarkable as well and it earned them a place on my vendor shitlist.