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jacob thompson
(nihilist37) - F
Gear store on 10/21/2005 06:59:20 MDT Print View

It's been on my mind for a while but I thought I might say something and see what others say.

Of late we have seen a surge in the numbers of people willing/ wanting to make their own gear. This is really great and I think this should be encouraged. However I had the thought that maybe BPL could have some kind of MYOG department in the gear store. I know there used to be bits and pieces for sale but it would be nice if BPL had a much more extensive range or UL supplies.

So far I've been spreading my orders over many different stores which is kind of a hassle. Everytime I want something sent to Australia it costs me an arm and a leg just in shipping.

I know this is a huge undertaking on behalf of BMW but I just thought I might voice my thoughts and see what staff and other people think. It would be nice to be able to get the hold of different materials that BMW is using for their gear and also the ability to tie in harder to find materials and put them in the store. we would also be able to buy items from BMW's store in the same order.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: MYOG store on 10/21/2005 07:12:29 MDT Print View

>> It would be nice to be able to get the hold of different materials that BMW is using for their gear and also the ability to tie in harder to find materials and put them in the store.

We have been giving this some thought lately, for sure. We are not really set up to manage fabric orders efficiently at our warehouse unless they are prepackaged, which is what we do now (5 yards/package). I'm wide open to ideas of what specifically folks are looking for, in addition to BMW materials.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: MYOG store on 10/21/2005 10:55:26 MDT Print View

I understand Ryan's hesitation. There are lots of material sources, and retailing the stuff is a thankless job, and it would be hard to keep up with a changing market of specialized materials.

There is another way to go.

Why not have a sourcing department on the website -- a clearinghouse for sources of fabric, hardware, etc. from reader suggestions and adjusted for reader feedback - a'la Amazon or EBay. Divide it into categories: fabric, thread, narrow goods, plastic hardware, metal, general hardware, adhesives, treatments, tools, etc.

archeopteryx .
(archeopteryx2) - F
Group buys on 10/21/2005 17:23:58 MDT Print View

I agree with Vick. There is so much variety in terms of fabric and especially hardware that it's hard to please everyone without keeping a huge inventory. I think sites like thru-hiker manage this somewhat by selling kits. That way someone doesn't buy you out of zippers and leave you with a ton of velcro that no one wants.

There have been some small group buys on this forum before, I think for down and for epic fabric. Generally this is most successful when there is sudden interest in a particular project or material. If Cuben gives bulk discounts, I think there would be significant interest in buying a tarp's worth of material at a discount. If an particular project is suddenly popular this can even be done for an entire kit, but the logistics get a lot more complicated.

I've seen this done very successfully on Head-Fi, a DIY audio forum. Projects were easier to build with printed circuit boards, but the tooling costs to get a board manufactured are very high. As more people signed on to buy a board, the per board cost decreased, and more people signed on, etc.

Edited by archeopteryx2 on 10/21/2005 17:37:49 MDT.

jacob thompson
(nihilist37) - F
MYOG store on 10/21/2005 19:26:50 MDT Print View

I understand that BPL is not really set up for it. Thats why I thought it was just a possibility but so far the responses sound good.

Something like Amazon would also be a really great idea. It also invites smaller companies to give an interest in BPL and try to cater for this crowd. It seems like the UL community is getting bigger quite fast and I think BPL have done an excellent job in growing with the trend.