Internet users organize themselves already for years to get offline better deals, even to get their cars through “group purchase”. Sam Flemming reports on his weblog about his colleague making this big ticket purchase with 55 others.
His colleagues describes how potential buyers force the prices down:
The last step is to meet at a predetermined time at the car dealer to pick up the cars. At the dealer, the members of the group finally meet each other face-to-face for the first time.
It may seem that the group car purchase has ended, but in fact though the purchase process is over the after-purchase communication between the members is only just beginning.
Through the group purchase process, group members become familiar with each other, and, as they are all owners of the same kind of car, they tend to interact even more than normal netizens. Many group purchase group members continue to visit their QQ group, sharing their experiences with their new cars. Group members will often organize together again to purchase accessories and upgrades, or meet for offline activities. Once the group purchase is over, the group leader’s leadership position and influence continues on. When group members encounter problems with their cars, they often out of habit seek out the group leader, and future group purchases and offline activities are often organized by the group leader.
A “must know” lesson for anybody who wants to sell in China.