Everyone knows there’s a huge markup in the retail supply chain. The manufacturer makes a product and sells it with markup to a wholesaler, the wholesaler buys in bulk, marks up the price, and distributes to retailers, and retailers markup the price to sell to the final consumer. Over the course of a product’s supply chain lifetime, it’s common for a consumer (that is, you) to pay a whopping 75%(!!!) markup. Check out this table for a visual:
Don’t get me wrong, the manufacturer, the wholesaler, the retailer – they’re not doing anything wrong. They’re not ripping you off. It’s simply what it costs to do business and earn a marginal profit. Each step in the chain represents a company full of employees who need paid and overhead that has to be accounted for. But there’s never been a way for a regular consumer to cut out any of those markup steps, without acting like a mini-wholesaler – buying in bulk and hoping to offload the majority to friends, family or as a mini-business venture.
That is until now.
The advent of the internet has changed almost every aspect of the way we live our lives. From communicating with other people, getting from point A to point B, managing our finances and paying all our bills, to finding a partner that we eventually marry. No one could have predicted 25 years ago the true extent to the web’s infusion into the very core of our lives. (Even Back to the Future II completely missed that prediction.)
But of all of the things that the internet allows us to do, perhaps the most important and the most ‘human’ is its ability to provide and build communities. No matter who you are, what your background is, or what you’re interested in, with a few word Google search any person can find massive communities that allow them to connect, share, love, educate, and learn about all of the most important things they care about. Whether it’s people who drive Chevy Cavaliers, dudes who love My Little Ponies, or Primer’s community of gentlemen who want to better themselves and be the best they can be, there’s a corner of the internet where everyone can have a say.
And as evidenced by any political movement since the beginning of time, when a community has numbers it has power.
It is this power that makes Massdrop a completely new step in the supply chain – empowering regular consumers to organize and buy directly from the manufacturer at incredibly discounted prices off of the normal retail price.
Imagine, for example, you’re in the market for a new leather belt. Some research shows that most belts available at typical retailers like Target, JCPenney, and Gap are often not even real leather, and the ones that are, are only just technically leather, but mostly synthetic. Through reading sites like Primer, you stumble upon an American company named Orion that makes beautiful, hand-made, full-grain leather belts right here in the States. Problem is, they retail for $62 – again, just the cost of hand-making a belt of quality materials in the US.
So, you signup at Massdrop, start a new poll in the men’s style section featuring several of Orion’s belts, and other like-minded members of the community begin to vote on which one they’d like to buy. Once one of the belts receives 200 votes, the savvy buyers of Massdrop reach out to Orion and negotiate a steep deal for the Massdrop community. Massdrop places a single order with the vendor, who freight ships everything to Massdrop HQ. When Massdrop receives the crate, they repackage everything and ship out everyone’s orders.
The cool thing is the more people who sign on to a drop, the cheaper it is for everyone. Members can cancel anytime before the drop ends; and if there aren’t enough people who join the drop, nothing happens, no one is charged.
Massdrop isn’t a deal site. It’s not a flash sale site. It’s not Groupon. It’s not even an online retailer. It’s simply an intermediary between the community and the vendors. It’s a new type of experience only possible with the internet that empowers individuals as collective buyers.
There are drops for tons of stuff guys love: Everyday carry, men’s style, affordable home decor, audio gear, board and card games, drones, and more.
And now, teaming up with Primer, the fine folks at Massdrop are giving away a pair of American-made, handmade, raw selvedge denim jeans from Red Cotton Denim. A $150 value!
If you’re a reader of Primer then you’re no stranger to raw and selvedge denim. Raw referring to denim that hasn’t been processed and pre-shrunk through Sanforization, and selvedge referring to denim weaved on traditional Shuttle looms, which creates a sturdier, finer, and higher-quality product than regular jeans. Raw, selvedge denim just looks better, it drapes better, it lasts longer. But it’s also much more expensive.
The other cool thing about Massdrop is how it empowers small businesses in a similar way Kickstarter does: Red Cotton Denim is literally just one guy named Camillo Love. When you order, it will be Camillo hand-making your denim. Without Massdrop, Camillo might not be able to produce enough inventory to be able to offer his denim at the same price being offered on Massdrop. But since he’s getting several hundred guaranteed orders it makes the deal possible. If 30 or more people commit to the drop, everyone saves 28%. How cool is that?
Here are the details for these beautiful jeans
- Red Cotton Denim
- 12.5 oz green cast raw denim from White Oak Cone Mills
- Slim fit
- Selvedge seams
- Green weft
- Straight stitch hem
- YKK zipper fly
- Nickel rivets
- Organic twill pocketing
- Customizable leather back patch with iron branded logo
- Handmade in the USA
Entering is simple! Just use the widget and leave a comment below telling us what product you would submit for a drop to benefit from the collective buying power. (And, if you actually submit a poll on the site, include the link so we can all join in!)