Tea Trade said

Group buying for tea - Would you do it?

As part of our evolving set of services we are offering for the online tea community, we are looking at creating a new setup for group deals in tea buying.

Imagine a Groupon or LivingSocial type site devoted entirely to tea and tea-related products.

For this, we would partner with tea companies, both online and brick-and-mortar, though largely online in the beginning, to bring you really awesome deals on special or unique teas and tea products. Generally, you can save anywhere from 40%-60% through group buying.

Generally, group buying allows people interested in a particular product to buy that product together as a group, ensuring that the vendor gets a significant quantity of orders to justify a deep cut in the price. Deals last only a limited time and require a minimum number of buyers for the deal to even happen. This is called “tipping”, once the deal tips, then the price is garaunteed for the customer.

If that sort of thing were available to buy interesting or rare loose tea products, would you, as a tea shopper, be interested? What would you want from a site like that?

For the vendors out there – would you be interested in promoting special deals to your customers this way? A guaranteed lump (if the deal tips) payment with no risk. The best thing about this compared to Groupon, or most of the other group buying sites is that we can offer a better commission rate. Groupon takes 50% of the sales – we don’t have a figure in mind yet, but it will definitely be lower than that.

What do you all think? If there is enough interest in this sort of thing, we would love to build it for you and do the work to bring you some really great deals. Give us some feedback here and let us know if this is something we should pursue.


33 Replies

Sounds like fun. However, I am thinking it should be seperate from the actual Tea Trade site. I just don’t know if it would take away from the community feel of the site. Otherwise I think it is a fine idea.

Tea Trade said

This is something that we are exploring as its own site (but it will be within the network). Because it offers “deals” it serves as a side channel to the existing marketplace and primary site.

Perfect and agreed!

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Daniil said

I personally would love that kind of the website simply because one of the major reasons I feel uneasy about buying tea online is because I can’t see or smell it or talk to a knowledgeable person about it’s character.

The discount would be a huge incentive for trying out new companies and would personally make me more inclined to buy online.

And the great part is that if you get something that you don’t like so much, you can turn around and resell it on teatra.de. :)

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I would love something like that! I actually used a Tea District groupon to discover that company and have been a fan since.

Actually, if there was a way for small-time blenders, like me, to participate I would as well. Offer a sample pack or something… I don’t want to take away from Rachel’s company though. Just thinking about it…

Pete, if you decide to do this, let me know – I’ll feature it on my blog: keenteathyme.blogspot.com

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Get it set up and we would consider being your Huckleberry for this one.

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Yes. I use both Groupon and LivingSocial on a regular basis (at least once a week.) In fact, I have several coupons I still need to redeem… none, unfortunately, are for teas.

I am the same way. I think they have the potential to be a win win situation for both parties.

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Cofftea said

“Imagine a Groupon or LivingSocial type site devoted entirely to tea and tea-related products.” …this would be an AWESOME replacement for Select. To the point where I’d be perfectly fine w/ SS not being a part of Steepster anymore (really I’m not greedy, I just hate features dying on sites I love in general lol). My wallet on the other hand… lol.

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Uniquity said

I think this would be an excellent idea in general, and definitely one I would look into, but as a Canadian I wonder if I would even be able to participate, or what sort of extra charge I would incur to have things shipped here…I often get excited about good deals in American tea stores I would like to try but then am discouraged by shipping costs and hassles to go through.

It seems extra unfair since it is far cheaper for something to be sent from US to Canada than the reverse (our postage costs are ridiculous).

Tea Trade said

The good news for you is that some Canadian tea vendors have already been in touch with us about this project. We intend to cooperate with them to see what we can do to service our northern neighbors!

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This would indeed be incredible. I’m hooked on Groupon and other group-buying sites. They’re largely getting me through an upcoming vacation!

But I also have to agree with Uniquity; it’s pretty crushing to find an amazing deal on something you really want to try only to get partway through the process and realize either you’re not able to participate because you are in Canada or the astronomical shipping costs are just not worth it. This is many but not all American shops, I find, so hopefully some would still be available to us.

Uniquity said

Here’s hoping!

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skybaby said

I am also hooked on the group buying websites, but I am also hooked on tea so this would a wonderful combination!

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I’m in. In a heart beat.

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