Local Reef Club Group Buy Questions

Discussion in 'Local Reef Club Discussion' started by CastAway, Nov 9, 2015.

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Conflict-of-interest?

Poll closed Nov 16, 2015.
  1. Yes

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  1. CastAway

    CastAway Prone to wander, never lost. R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Because it’s come up lately…
    If there is a group buy within a local reef club, and two or more participants agree to buy the same piece sight unseen, how do you fairly determine who gets which piece once they arrive?
    If one of those two participants is a non-club member, nor a club sponsor, let’s just say they’re friend and business partner of the clubs founder, and they’re buying coral for their respective business or upcoming frag swap, should they determine who gets which piece?
    Let’s say this non-club member, non-sponsoring buddy does determine which frag the other gets, would it justifiable because they spend more money, or feed their family by their business? Would their involvement in the decision be a conflict-of-interest or impropriety?
    Heck, let say it was their own wholesale buy, and it was the reef club who was benefiting by even being allowed to participate. Would that be a conflict-of-interest or impropriety?
    What do you think?
     
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  2. ATB USA

    ATB USA ATB-USA.com

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    Every time our group has done this the vendor marks the bags and it is the luck of the draw.
     
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  3. cdness

    cdness 2006 - Present Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Any time there is a need or want to ask such questions there is already a conflict somewhere and things have already gotten heated... The best bet for it is to have the vendor mark the bags with the name of the buyers of said pieces. Then when they come the decision was made by the seller and not ANY party involved in the buy. If this is not possible, have a neutral party hold sticks and draw the longest... They get to choose. Either that or flip a coin. Its the most fair way to do this and there can be no hard feelings.

    In the end this was done in an attempt to save some money, no matter who you are in the buy. I don't care if you spent $100 or $10, you are still there to save money. You all have equal right with no preferential treatment to any said party.
     
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  4. CastAway

    CastAway Prone to wander, never lost. R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Well, in this instance, I was going to take a chance and buy a single “Fancy Fiji Acro” and then discovered the other participant, a business owner, was going to buy several of the same. When I asked to make first choice so that I didn’t end up with a green one, he declined.

    Realizing this individual was going to choose which piece I received, I was angry. He wasn’t a club member; he wasn’t a club sponsor; I assume he was either using his own wholesale discounts or benefitting from the club founders wholesale discounts, and I was to just take his choice of coral, and at what I can only assume was the wholesale cost? No thanks! Moreover, he was admittedly going to turn around and sell these pieces to profit his own business. Seemed wrong to me.

    I objected and withdrew from the buy. I didn’t think any club member should participate in that buy, on principle alone; but they did and I did not prevent it.

    When the club founder, who set up the club group buys, voiced his support of the other participant I resigned as club Vice President and quit the club altogether.

    It was not just the group-buy impropriety that made me quit. The whole experience amplified my suspicions regarding club origins, self-serving agendas and other conflicts-of-interest. I was just done.

    Since quitting I’ve been villainized, portrayed as the “bad apple” by the founder and others, as power hungry, as causing division, and as bringing up old conflict.

    Since quitting the President has also resigned. Although I am not 100% sure why, I find some satisfaction in that, as we seemed to be very likeminded on club business.

    The whole thing has me very regrettably disenchanted with the hobby, feeling wounded, betrayed – I just can’t shake it.

    Anyway, I wanted to see if anyone here would see the group-buy as I did, as a conflict-of-interest.

    Thanks for your responses.
     
  5. cdness

    cdness 2006 - Present Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Assuming the conversation went down as you described, I would also have some issues with the buy. The problem here is you bought "Fancy Fiji Acro" which is a generic name for pretty much anything with more color than normal from a supplier. This is generic and random on what you would receive. Typically these are also wild caught or direct from the ocean in a farming facility so the colors are bound to change under artificial light.

    The most fair would be to draw straws for choice order on similar items. You cannot say "Let me choose first" as the other party also was paying the same as you for the same items and probably doesn't want to be left to all the greens either. Look at it from both angles and make an agreeable and fair decision on choice order.

    Now the way you described this situation, you basically let him win. By stepping down you left the spot open for someone to fill it who is going to play into the game. While it would have been difficult, sticking it through and trying to change the rules a bit to be more fair would have been the better option. There will always be conflicts, but it is how the club as an organization handles them that tells how healthy the club is.
     
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  6. CastAway

    CastAway Prone to wander, never lost. R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    Agreed on all points. Thanks @cdness.
     
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