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Group Buying Power

George Simmons

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From reading these forums the past few months, I know there are many others besides me who are dismayed about the price of LED lights. With the LOR community and these forums growing daily, maybe its time we all banded together and started exercising some group buying power.

I know there's a website or two that members have mentioned favorably, but what I see (and please correct me if I'm missing something) is that even those sites - with their various discounts included - have prices WAY higher than any traditional store. I respect any business's right to make a fair profit and I'm casting aspersions on no one, but aren't prices supposed to be lower online, or at least as low, as a brick and mortar store?

I don't know at what point a group like ours (which for the purpose of this agrument should probably include ALL serious decorators - not just LOR) achieves the critical mass needed to get a shrewd reseller's serious attention. But I've gotta believe that with all the heavy-duty customers I've seen floating around these forums, including the growing number of my newbie classmates who've been heavy-duty static up until now, there's a growing market waiting to be served better. Economically speaking, I believe we have a significant supply and demand opportunity for someone who just wants to make a profit and not necessarily a fortune. (Although when word gets out, it sure could turn into one.)

I'd like to know what others think. What can we do? How do we organize? Whom do we pressure for the prices we deserve? Would some kind of co-op work? Can we talk LOR into finding us a connection? Do you think that if we promised to tell everyone we know, especially non-LOR customers, about his very, very, very low prices on lights... do you think LightORamaDan could be persuaded that his exposure for selling lights cheap might result in selling a whole lot more controllers?

George Simmons

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Your comments are thought provoking.

However, unlike incadescent mini lights, all LED lights are NOT created equal. In my experience, most of the the retail store LEDs are only halfwave rectified and many also suffer from major quality control issues (ie: unequal bulb spacing, unsealed housings leading to corrision issues, etc.

A QUALITY LED light, like from Creative Displays, is well worth the money. Fullwae rectified, sealed bulbs, etc. Paul does offer a group buy every year, and he goes to the plant to monitor and check the production. If I remember right, the group buy came to two containers of lights this year, and a very nice discount off of the regular retail for a light of very high quality.

Add in the market factors of the increasing price of copper, and the falling value of the dollar compared to the yen, so yes QUALITY LED light prices have not fallen as measured in dollars .

In my opinion, some retail stores may sell LED Christmas lights as a loss leader, but having purchased some of these, IMHO they are "junk" and ended up in the garbage.

I am pleased with the quality and price of the LED lights from Creative Displays (just one of several good vendors) and order hundreds of strings from him every year, and plan to continue. Over half of my display budget each year goes into buying more high quality LED lights. Will not buy anymore "retail store junk" no matter how cheap.

These are just my opinions, based on my own experience. I am sure others have their own opinions, based on their budget and experiences.

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