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Group orders and free gifts...

Oct 30, 2008

    1. I don't know if this is a sticky wicket or not, but this has been buzzing around in the back of my head for a bit.

      I've run several group orders for Minimees. Back in May, one order was a little late and Denny said that they had accidently produced an extra head, and as an apology, he was going to include it in the box at no extra charge. When the shipment came, there was no extra head. I was both disappointed and relieved. I had wanted the extra head, but I had no idea what to do with it. Part of me thought I should hold a lottery for it, or sell it off and give all the group order participants a share of their money back. A part of me wanted to hord it. So, when no head arrived, I breathed a sigh of relief because I didn't have to make that choice.

      Now, I've also participated in a lot of group orders for other companies. Dollmore, Luts, Leeke, and dollzone to name a few. Now, I know that sometimes these companies throw in little extras like candies, chips, cards, or even eyes. There is nothing is writing, no record of said items, and I honestly have no proof that they come in any of the orders I've ever participated in.

      I was wondering, if the general idea is that the people running the group order has an intrinsic right to these goodies? Now, I *think* they do. They went through all the trouble to put the order together. But I'm dying of couriosity as to what a dollmore caramel sucker tastes like!

      Do you think that these fun little extras belong to the group order runner?
       
    2. I’m inclined to say that it depends on the value of the gift. If it’s a sticker or some candy, then yes, I feel it’s okay for the person running the GO to keep it (although if you were in a GO and desperately wanted to try the Dollmore caramel lollipops, it would seem appropriate to me to drop the person running it a PM saying “do you mind throwing that in my package, if it comes?”). On the other hand, sometimes somewhat valuable items come as free gifts. My first doll came with a pair of shoes! In that case, I would feel more like the item should be raffled off (is it a raffle if you don’t pay for your ticket?) to members of the GO who want to claim it (including the person running, of course!). Or in one GO I participated in, free event heads were sold on the marketplace after arrival to cover shipping costs. So I guess I feel if the benefit is significant, it should in some way be shared with the group.
       

    3. Hehe, the Lolly is just a point of couriosity! I know the person who's orders I join would totally give me one if I asked.

      What do you think is the cut off for the value of a gift to be kept vs. needing to be shared?
       
    4. hmm....I'm a fan of GOs mostly because it saves on shipping. I think something like a pair of eyes or the candies should be given to the runner. They set it up, contact the people, order, separate the order to who gets what, run to the PO to mail it out. Free eyes or shoes would be a good thank you to them for it. A free head......I dunno. I think reselling it to cover some costs is a good idea really. Or maybe offering it to the group and see if anyone is willing to put in a bit for it? Raffle it to those interested even. Or just keep it. Its up to the runner in the end. They didn't have to set up the order and invite others. Maybe the point of running it then was they wanted the free head.

      I did an order with a friend from Dollmore recently so I could hit the mark for the free Special eyes. I really wanted the butterfly eyes and shipping is the same even adding her stuff. Well with shipping we made the mark for the regular eyes too and I didn't even realize until they got here. I gave them to her since she paid for half. So maybe if possible find a way to include freebies to the other participants.

      Free gifts are fun. They shouldn't be a point of contention. And really....if a person so concerned about wanting the free stuff, they can run an order ^__^;; If you don't think its fair that the runner keeps the free stuff you can PM them or just not join the GO. In the end it may cost less, but its more hassle for them to have to deal with other people's stuff. I'm just in it for convenience, not free stuff.
       
    5. Yeah, I got that it was an example...if I ran a DollsTown group order, I would similarly totally give people the stickers they often send as well. ;)

      I think my personal cutoff would be a conceptual one: could you sell it, with relative ease, on the marketplace? There's a pretty good market for shoes, eyes, and clothing, all of which I've heard of coming free. I find it a little hard to imagine pretzels selling on the MP, even if the mods would allow it. So I would let that be my guide.
       
    6. Well I have run group orders and normally I keep the free candies. I have been sent free shoes, socks and eyes and would have done is taken them to meets with me and given them out to people there (for free). This has helped someone go from having a doll in just a sock dress- to her atleast having some cool socks and vans :)

      If I was to be sent a head, personally I think a raffle would be in order for the particpants as that is a big deal! If someone in my GO pm'd me and asked specifically if they could have any free eyes/candies or whatever that came with the order then I would happily let them have them :D
       
    7. I think people who run a GO deserves to keep the gift anyway for their jod and time spent for the GO.
      About the amount of the gift? but the gift it a "surprise" and so the value... and sometimes there no gift! and the GO still run anyway.

      If there is really a great gift as an event head, it is not really a "surprise" gift (and not really a gift as the value of the event is included somewhere in a way in the price of the item: I am not dreaming about "big gift"). So people who participate to the GO can discuss about what to do with the event head.
       
    8. I think it's up to the GO organiser. I mean, what's a box of Pocky between friends?! I have seen GO's where only certain members were given free gifts, but there didn't seem to be much of a correlation between who got the gifts and who didn't, it wasn't as if they were the ones who spent the most or joined the order first...maybe it just boils down to who you know?

      I suppose if I was running GOs and I had some loyal friends who joined my orders, I'd be inclined to send freebies their way just to say thanks for sticking with me. It's not as if GO organisers can give discounts to 'reward' people who order through them, so the free gifts are a good little bonus to share around.

      If it's an event head, it won't really be a surprise, so you can decide in advance what you are going to do with it, either draw names out of a hat to pick who is going to get the head, or sell the head to get back the cost of shipping out the items to each participant.
       
    9. I think people shouldn't expect anything, because it's nice when it does come.

      I understand if it's snacks or lollies, but if it's something big like a head, what are you going to do, honestly?

      If I was the runner, I'd ask everyone what they'd like if I was given a selection of gifts, and first come first served.. or something.

      Sounds fun though, as I'm currently waiting for a GO with Migidoll to come in. :33 I'm not the runner though. xDD
       
    10. I assume that the reason people go to the trouble of running a group order is to benefit from the points earned and the reduced shipping. You could theorhetically run enough group orders through Soom, for example, to earn enough free points to get a significant discount off your next big purchase. Anyway, most free stuff isn't worth agonizing over, but if you wanted to run the order and keep it, rock on.
       
    11. I'm another one of those 'let the GO runner keep it' people. They're the one who co-ordinated the thing, they're the one who placed the order... What the heck, let them keep the gift.
       
    12. I'd assume it was the due of the person organizing/running the group order. After all, they're the one that had to do all the work involved in the group order happening so any freebies/treats/extras should go to them.

      Teddy
      (who would never contemplate running a group order because he isn't organized enough to do it)
       
    13. I'm glad I found this, I'm wondering about splitting the price of a promotion order with someone so I can get the promo doll. The person in my case isn't a part of the doll community and wouldn't be etc.

      My question is how should a situation be handled when you know a member of the GO is knowingly doing it for a promo they want to keep? Assuming that no one else in the group would want it how much of the order should the runner pay for?
       
    14. Honestly I wouldn't mind if the runner kept the gifts. Gos seem like a big hassle for the runner to me. If it was something like a doll or a head though I might feel differently, but probably not. I have not participated in a go yet so my opinion is totally theoretical.
       
    15. Let the leader have the gifts!
      I've never run a GO but It takes time and effort, I know for a fact because I was in one were the company sent me the wrong eyes X_X and the group order leader went through soo much trouble to get me the eyes that I ordered, to me I think the leader should get freebies for being so kind and running it for us.

      Unless if the freebies go with a certain purchase lets say a company says buy a doll and get free eyes for it, well then the person who ordered the doll should get the eyes, otherwise gifts and much needed praise should go to the person willing to put up with everyone ;)
       
    16. Honestly, unless the GO Organizer says they're going to be raffling off the gifts or giving them out to participants, I'm fine with the organizer keeping the free gifts no matter how much those gifts may be worth. It's not like any one individual within the GO would have gotten these free gifts (or reduced shipping!) if they ordered alone.

      And if the GO Organizer is especially straightforward about it -- "I'm doing this GO because I want the event head!" -- then I don't see how anyone can complain. I don't think you can require them to even pay a fee for the free event item, either, since they're already doing so much work. If they want to, that's very sweet, but I don't think you can just demand it of them (you should probably not join that person's GO if you have a problem with how they run it, eh?).
       
    17. Of course it depends on how many to participate but when I've ordered goods togeather with others and received gifts (mainly from DM) the one in need of whatever item(s) it might be may keep it. I believe though that the one in charge of the order do have a right to chose first. ^_^
       
    18. I think the gifts should absolutely go to the organizer(s) of the GO - they did the work, and are also taking the risk, should anything go awry with the order. I've never organized a GO, but I can imagine it's a lot more work than it seems, especially if there are any needy or demanding people involved or the order runs into a technical snag.

      Those GOs I have participated in, I am happy to get the reduced shipping or group discount -that's why I participate instead of just ordering for myself- and thinking I should get anything above and beyond? Would be just plain greedy, imho. It's only fair - the GO organizers are doing the work of a store, and you can bet they charge for their services; I think it's very nice that the gifts would ensure the people who went to the trouble got something back.
       
    19. From what I've heard, it's typically a lot of hassle to set up a group order, and I also think the GO organizer deserves the free gifts. No one is reimbursing them for their time/gas in getting things done for the GO, and sometimes people grumble about the PayPal fees. I certainly would not grudge them any free gifts that might come in.
       
    20. As a person currently running two group orders I do believe that the runner has the right to all freebies that are given. There are so many hassles that go with running orders and it does take up a lot of time. I have yet to get to the shipping point and I'm fearing it since I'm having so many issues with the people I have to communicate my orders to. It doesn't seem a big deal but when you're trying to satisfy a big number of people any little thing can be an issue so in the end getting something nice out of it that you didn't have to pay for makes it feel a little more worth it.

      Though I do plan if I get any freebies to give them out to the people in the order as I'm not expecting to be sent anything I need for any of my boys.