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Christmas Light coop


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I know know if this is off base or not but with all the members here has anyone thought of starting a christmas light buying coop. We could get a group together that would buy in bulk. Just anidea feel free to shoot it down. I'm going to try to open an account with a wholesaler thru my work anyway but thought this may be a workable idea.

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With LED's, it just might make some sense.

People have suggested over the years that we try this with mini's, but since most of us buy them at 50% off or better, and end up paying 25 cents - $1 per string, it's hard to compete with that.

But LED's have a definite price break and are expensive enough per string. Also, at least here there isn't a 'clearance' market for them yet -- everythings been bought out at regular prices.

Problem is, someone would have to pony up the initial investment, have the truckload shipped to them, and divy it up and ship it out. It would be a lot of work, and I wouldn't expect they'd want to do it for free.

So again, they essentially become another middleman, and with shipping, it might not be any cheaper. But then it might. It's worth investigating, if someone wanted to take the risk...

-Tim

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The only way we could do it would be to find the price for a bulk order. Then get money up front before the order was placed. Then when shipment arrived it would have to be shipped to everyone freight collect.

We did it for a couple of ag. items years ago and the bad part is that someone always backs out. And the person who sets it all up is left holding the bag.

But here is the question. Where do we go to get prices? I have heard that some of the LED's are having failure problems and with prices like that would be iffy.

Of course here is the other way.

Call Action Lighting and ask them what they would od for a bulk order of maybe 1000 boxes for PC members. They would set up a page just for us to go into order and when they had the 1000 they could ship freight collect.

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Allen wrote:

Another valid idea. I was thinking of going right to the China supplier (most are made there) figure I have about 5 months to do alittle research to see what I could come up with.

Umm, no you don't have five months. Orders for Christmas 2006 are being placed already! You have about a three to 6 month lag time from your order to delivery from China, if everything goes well.

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I have a feeling you would need to order a container full for them to even consider selling them to you. I would bet that when Walmart is selling the 100 mini's for $2 they are not making more than a few cents on them. On the LED's or higher end mini's you may have an advantage. One other thing that is a big factor now days is the freight. Freight cost's are quite high and since you do not have the buying power of Walmart you wont get the best rate. The best bet may be one of these import trading companies that would handle all the importation and get it to your door without much of a problem. I have looked at other products to buy from an overseas manufactures and they only want to deal with containers full. They will let you mix and match cases, but 1000 or 2000 cubic ft of space is a lot of lights. I don't want to discourage anyone from looking into it but I doubt the markup on lights is anything like fireworks or nails. For what's it worth I have a buddy that works for a freight forwarder that could get me reasonable rate if needed, but I don't know if it is the best rate we could get.

What elseis there to dofor the next three months waiting on the LOR sale.

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jen grissett wrote:

I was able to get a wholesale pricelist from a china company...temin-lighting...they carry the 70 ct strawberry shaped leds in blue for $7.18 and white for $9.31 a box.

Doesn't seem like enough of a price break to make it worth the while, once you add shipping and paying someone to be the "distributor".

-Tim

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Actually WalMart makes more than a few cents on any item. In fact WalMart sets the prices they will pay for anything. Then the next year they come back and ask for more of a break. Then there are the fines. Fines if product is late, fines if UPC lable has problems. They fined a friend of mine $50,000 for a barcode error. He got it reduced to $25,000. I use to make hunting supplies and when they contacted me and told me how much they would pay it was 4% above my cost prior to shipping. Then you have to take back and credit them for any products returned that the customer damaged. Plus damages while the product is on their shelves, etc.

I would not be affraid to say that they pay about $0.89 per box on the 100ct minis, if that much.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well this whole idea is diffently a great one to look into. I like the action lighting idea personally. But that is mostly because of quality control. I know it will be awhile before I ever make that jump into led's. So I am not to sure on how much I could really save. The bennifit to me would be that I can actually get enough of all the colors that I would need. I also think for ease this would need to be done by someone withanotherPCerclose by that can help with recounting, repackaging and shipping. I couldn't even imagine how many pallets of lights it would be if a huge group of us PCers bought in a group. I know how many I bought alone this year which was about 25-30k, now multiply that by all the users that would join in. THAT IS ALOT.

But on the other hand I would say everyone would have to make a down payment before order was place and the person doing all the work got paid say 5¢ or 10¢ (cool trick thanks Tim ¢¢¢) a box of 100 then if a person or two cut out at the last minute then the person doing the work would essentially not be out any money.

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Hay another briliant idea. What if this was done so that the order went to a person close to the next PLUS. That way people can have that option of just picking up there order. This person would have to be someone not helping with PLUS thou that way they don't get to bogged down with things to do. Also this could only happen once every 2 years.

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This sounds like a good idea to me! Starting an LOR display from scratch...wel sort of, so I'm looking for several thousand mini's and since I was out of town for the after Christmas sale.....Well I'm stuck paying retail in October from Wal-Mart or Big Lots. Iv'e been looking for a quantity discount, and to date the LED's are more desirable, but at these quantities, way too expensive for my budget! So I would be interested in pursuing this! I'll keep an eye on this thread!

OCJ

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OC Jerry wrote:

This sounds like a good idea to me! Starting an LOR display from scratch...wel sort of, so I'm looking for several thousand mini's and since I was out of town for the after Christmas sale.....Well I'm stuck paying retail in October from Wal-Mart or Big Lots. Iv'e been looking for a quantity discount, and to date the LED's are more desirable, but at these quantities, way too expensive for my budget! So I would be interested in pursuing this! I'll keep an eye on this thread!

OCJ

One word of advice, be careful of how the LEDs you are considering purchasing are manufactured. There have been a number of reports from PC members reporting LED string failures, elsewhere in this section of the forum.

I purchased 6 cases of 70 (or was it 80) LED strings, C6 types, from Animated Lighting. Those LEDs, which I think Jeff Womack suggested may be made by Forever Bright, are totally sealed in their sockets (essentially the bulb part and socket part seems to be all fused plastic, with no discernible seams), and don't have transformers at the end of their lines.

That suggests to me each LED has internal resistors built into the individual sockets, but I am not sure of that fact, as I have no intention of trying to open them to check it out ,as there is no easy seal to try to pry the LED from its socket.

My point is there is no true 2 piece bulb/socket, nor vent holes that several other manufacturers use,where moisture can get in and ruin them, as has been noted by others on the forum.

I have no ties to AL, other than to say Paul provided me with an excellent product (and great service by the way), so this is not an AL vs someone else plug, but rather a plug for the brand of LEDs they carry.

Wish I could tell you which manufacturers' brands to avoid, but I can not. I think you can gather some of that information however from the other posts I referenced.

I don't mean to discourage any initiative to buy things in bulk, as that certainly helps folks out, but I would really hate to see someone spend several hundred dollars to get a bulk order of LEDs from a given source, and have them start to fail.

That would really discourage folks on purchasing and using what is probably the most exciting technological improvement in lighting to occur in many years!

Just remember caveat emptor!

Greg

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Greg Young wrote:

That suggests to me each LED has internal resistors built into the individual sockets, but I am not sure of that fact, as I have no intention of trying to open them to check it out ,as there is no easy seal to try to pry the LED from its socket.

I'm pretty sure they don't -- they're just wired in a series a-la Mini-lights. Since they run on AC current, this is why you get the slight flicker with these types of LED strings.

-Tim

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dandeshaies wrote:

Tim,

You are correct , there is no resistor connected to the LED. I had to see for myself and opened up a C6 bulb. I also found that you can check these bulbs with a lightkeeper pro or the small light testers. Dan

The LED shown in the picture is not the same as theunits I purchased, and am referring to. Thanks for the photo Dan!

The ones AL sell do not havea separate socket/bulb connector (as is shown in the picture). They are all molded as one piece units, both the "bulb" and the "socket" molded together. You would have to break themto separate the bulb from the socket. You can not replace any LED bulbs in this type of string, as they can't be separated from their socket.

Those with the separate pieces (the led bulb and its socket as shown in the picture) are the ones that have been reported as failing by other PC members, due to moisture issues.

Greg

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tfischer wrote:

Greg Young wrote:

I'm pretty sure they don't -- they're just wired in a series a-la Mini-lights. Since they run on AC current, this is why you get the slight flicker with these types of LED strings.

-Tim

Actually Tim, I can not appreciate any flicker whatsoever on these, even when dimming them with LOR..

I wonder if any of the LEDsyou, or Dan have are from AL, or are they the garden variety sort from Target/Lowe's etc?

Greg

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