|We’re proud to partner with Massdrop for this post, a community-driven platform that lets members organize group buys with retailers, resulting in savings up to 40%. Click here to see how Massdrop is changing the way men shop.|
Everyone understands economies of scale. The more of a thing you make, the less it costs per unit to produce that thing. Big retailers like Wal-Mart build empires on passing those savings on to you.
Your gut reaction to simply seeing the word “Wal-Mart” in a Primer article is proof that there is good and bad to economies of scale, both for the producer and the consumer. The Wal-Mart effect, as we know, is that products get made as cheaply and uniformly as possible. You end up with the product equivalent of the big budget romcom movie: designed to pander with a broad, shallow appeal. A bland product that’s not really amazing, not really terrible, but a generally safe bet for the huge corporation putting it together.
This kind of economies of scale is anathema to those of us with taste. So, you made a pair of jeans that no one in the world is going to get excited about, but it’s cheap enough that most will shrug their shoulders and buy it anyway. At $20 a pair, who can complain?
Fortunately, we don’t need the massive economic and political clout of Wal-Mart to make a difference. As the community-building power of the internet has taught us, all we need is a platform. And Massdrop is that platform.
Massdrop empowers consumers like us to organize and buy directly from manufacturers at steeply discounted prices compared to retail. Massdrop will even work hand-in-hand with small companies to make their product concepts realities. In this way, it’s no longer a giant corporation deciding what gets made and what we buy. It’s us.
How Massdrop Works
When you sign up for Massdrop, you pick the categories that you’re interested in.
Next, you’ll see a list of “drops.” These are the deals that Massdrop has negotiated on our behalf with the manufacturer. The more people who purchase the item, the lower the price gets for everyone.
Most drops get huge 20% to 40% discounts. If for some reason the drop doesn’t meet the threshold for the discounted price, then the drop is canceled and no one is charged a cent.
The way Massdrop decides which deals to go out and pursue is through polls. You can go in and create a poll for a type of product, like a watch or a high end jacket. Then, users nominate products and vote for the ones that they want to see a drop for. Sometimes, Massdrop will even play a role in designing and producing the product using input from the community.
You’d be surprised at how few people it takes to make a drop happen. Whereas the Wal-Marts and Targets won’t get out of bed for anything that sells less than 250,000 units, Massdrop can unlock lower prices with as few as 25 purchases.
Massdrop communities are organized around categories, like the Everyday Carry Community, or the Men’s Style Community or the dedicated Watch Community. These communities have some of the best informed users I’ve seen. I highly recommend checking them out, whether you want to advocate for a drop on a brand you love or if you simply have a question to throw out to the community.
Announcing: Massdrop X Allen Edmonds Unlined Chukka Boot
Sometimes making a drop happen isn’t just about getting a deal. Sometimes it means bringing a product into the world that wouldn’t have even existed if it wasn’t for your interest. The Massdrop X Allen Edmonds Unlined Chukka Boot is one of those products. This boot is being made through a partnership between Massdrop and Allen Edmonds and is being sold exclusively through Massdrop.
Allen Edmonds is a name that you already know if you know about quality men’s shoes and boots. Since 1922, Allen Edmonds has designed and manufactured shoes in the U.S. using the best available materials money can buy and a handcrafted approach.
The suede boot is made from Janus Calf, the premier product from famed suede producer CF Stead. This suede is so buttery soft, and in person its quality is apparent immediately. It’s crafted with Allen Edmonds’ classic 511 boot last. The boot is constructed with a 360° Goodyear welt, a strong leather strip that stitches the shoe’s upper to its insole all the way around the shoe. This process was created in the U.S. in 1871 and is more labor intensive and expensive than the modern technique of cementing the shoe together. But with welted construction, you get a much more durable shoe that conserves the leather’s natural flexibility and allows it to breathe. Welted shoes can be recrafted and resoled, meaning the shoe will easily last a lifetime.
The unlined body of the shoe and oil-soaked sole make for a very comfortable shoe, and it’s round enough to be casual, but shapely enough for dressing up a bit. This is a seriously versatile boot that can class up almost any outfit.
The drop—which is active on Massdrop right now—gets you the discounted price of $240. That’s a really amazing price, since a boot like this from Allen Edmonds would normally retail for $300. The closest thing you can find to this boot at J. Crew is twice the price, plus it has a chunky sole that makes it far less versatile.
Only 500 pairs of the chukka are available!
The concept of Massdrop is simple. It’s a group buying platform that lets you get killer deals on amazing brands. But the Massdrop Effect is something bigger. It encourages and flourishes on a community that’s informed and engaged in how products are made and who makes it. It’s a step away from blind commodification of the clothes and products that we use to express our individuality. Instead, Massdrop lets us vote with our dollars in a direct and meaningful way. From men’s style to tech and photography, Massdrop communities are growing quickly. Don’t miss out on the next chance to be a part of an amazing deal.
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