Private shop Vendors - Trust problematic

Hey guys,

I recently stumbled upon the first 40% board that I would immediately buy, the Whimsy:

Geekhack - Whimsy 40

I was really delighted on all the updates and the design and questions answered so went to the homepage to check out more info. Sadly the Poster will not offer Sale through proper shops.
After the MechFreedom debacle and the scams going on, I really dont want to buy from a private unknown person.

What do you guys think of offers like these?

I see a huge problem with anything from refunds and broken on delivery troubles with a private person.


Good question… And an important one.
Not only in the “mech-bubble”, but in any other highly specialized niche, be it hobby-related or professional.

I personally would not buy in that case.
Why not? Because it’s “just” a hobby-thing, to be honest.

If it were something that I really(!) need, and I had no other choice, then I would risk it.

I personally have rather negative experiences with shops/sellers that are nothing more than a private person selling stuff.
On the other hand, I also had negative experience with a quite big and known shop.

If you run into trouble like scams, you are probably going to burn your money in both cases without any chance of getting it back. No matter if it’s a private person or a shop.

Yes, you might have better customer rights when dealing with a company, at least in theory. But that might not help you either if things go bad with a shop.


Is the seller accepting payments through PayPal goods & services? If so that gives you 180 days to dispute the transaction which is usually a pretty good protection & shows that the seller is not out to rip anyone off. Although even when the seller has the best intentions a GB can go south. Ultimately it is up to you whether you trust the seller enough to buy & no one can guarantee you a smooth GB, even a huge widely known vendor with a proper business setup.

I’ve been in this hobby for around 6 years now & IME almost all GBs are ran with the best intentions & the majority of them do deliver eventually. As long as you avoid GBs from people who are not well known in the community &/or obviously over promising. I’d say a good 90% of the time you’re gonna end up getting what you paid for.


I think the Whimsy is his first product.
Webpage is a bit extra: Whimsy 40
Doesnt say anything about payment policy only that its a groupbuy



:rofl: :rofl:

yea not my proudest moment

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I think this just boils down to personal comfort levels. Just like investments. There are no “proper” shops, just ones that have been around longer. Even well established shops have delays or things go wrong.

While I’m more inclined to buy from a more established shop, I won’t rule out others just because they are new. But that’s my comfort level and it changes from GB to GB as to whether it’s worth it for me.


Yeah I can’t remember where I heard this, but when I just got into the hobby someone told me treat all the money you spend on GB’s like you’re never going to get it back, PayPal Goods and Services is a great way to extend the possibility of retaining your money at least on 6 month or shorter GB’s. If you’re looking for some way to divine if the GB runner is going to screw you, BlackSimon has a really good video about this. but it all comes down to the faith you have in the designer to want people to experience the board they’ve created, rather than maximize profits.


Any “proper” shop started as just 1 person, or a small group.
Amazon was nothing but Bezos couple in their house in the beginning.



Best bet is to go with someone who is active (assuming their new to vendoring), and with the paypal goods & services as the payment option. Once you hit 4/5 months, ask to be refunded and reinvoiced to renew the 6 months of protection.

But ultimately, even all of the biggest vendors in our community started as a person in their living room shipping out boxes like Mike of Novelkeys, and Gurt of Omnitype among others.

Just gotta do your research if possible and you should be okay :+1:, but always keep a positive yet cautious attitude.


Over a year Later.

Yeap maybe I had a feeling.

The whimsy project is dead. The vendor sold a keyset 1930 via his personal shop and is now Pulling Rukia with ghosting the costumers and the dude that tried to get him to send the sets. The sets are with the dude but he just…wont send them out.

Rob said: well he offers Paypal but I dont think you can even get something back so late in.

Seems like with the Hobby growing, so are bad practices.

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I got my Nineteen Thirties keyset, plenty of others did too. Are you sure you’re not confusing this with the Kumamech/Polartype debacle? Because that’s different.

He also never sold the Whimsy, he only put it in IC and then didn’t go through with it. So if anything, he disappointed the folks looking forward to the board.

I wouldn’t say the shady practices are growing with the hobby so much as those who do the bad practices trying to get their last hurrahs in before the hobby becomes completely legit on the GB front.

so aparently not everyone got their things

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Ah, the Whimsy.

This guy is as shady as it gets but after following the Discord for a while it seems as if he’s busy with family matters. Would definitely never buy from him after the 1930 debacle though.

Now, onto a more general problem with the keyboard community. There are lots of folks who seem to think they can run a group buy by themselves but ultimately end up failing and either having to apologize to customers and refunding them, or even ghosting them (Rukia is a good example of that, although Jaxx had done a few GBs before the R2 disaster).

So yeah, the general consensus is never to run a GB if you can’t fulfill it (and on a personal note, if your idea is the same as everything else on the market). When it comes to buyers, look more into who you’re buying from.

Just my 0.02.

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My apologies then, I didn’t realize anyone ordered direct. I got mine through CannonKeys.

Very few folks in this community understands manufacturing or fulfillment from what I’ve seen. Especially on the consumer side thus making the transition from consumer to vendor perilous if you don’t already have a background.


Maybe they should run etsy shops first :grin:

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You know this wouldn’t be the worst of ideas…

No vendor wants to pay more fees (etsy fees)
customers don’t want to pay more for a product due to fees

Especilaly when there aren’t really any protections for users based on Etsy’s legal section (

1. Understanding Etsy’s Limitations as a Venue

Etsy provides a venue for buyers to discover and purchase from sellers around the world. It is important to note that Etsy is not a part of that transaction. By shopping on Etsy, you understand that:

  1. You are not buying directly from Etsy, but from one of the many talented sellers on Etsy;
  2. Etsy does not pre-screen items sold on Etsy and therefore does not guarantee or endorse any items sold on Etsy or any content posted by sellers (such as photographs or language used in listings or shop policies);
  3. Each seller on Etsy has their own processing times, shipping methods, and shop policies; and
  4. You assume responsibility if you provide your own materials for a custom order.

As a member of the community, you have the opportunity to flag an item or a shop that violates any of Etsy’s policies. Flagging is confidential.

Often small vendors are already in a “rush to the bottom” situation and Etsy is simply a market. It’s not hard to market yourself or your products in this community for a small vendor running a GB.

But back to the other main point;

Yeah. People are great at underestimating the difficulties of logistics :joy: So many group buys delayed by boxes, or failed due to “unexpected costs in shipping” or other misc. logistical challenges.

It’s tough. Once you learn about many of the things that plague GB logistics, you’d think, “how’d someone fall for that?” Yet we still see it time and time again.