Looks like we can nail the coffin shut on the Gateway Direct deal at $285, for the following reasons:
1) Gateway says they must pre-configure for either HPNA or ethernet, can't provide both even as a user upgrade for later. Also will not sell separately according to Gateway rep.
2) They want $60(!!!) shipping to ship direct to individuals, $30(!!) if they drop ship all to me. Then the additional costs to ship from me to you.
3) They want single payment, so we gain nothing over TradeOut there as far as ease of financial transactions.
4) They will only sell future single units for $499 each (plus $60 s&h), unless we put together another large (60+) group order.
5) As of this morning, I only have 20 units confirmed by the co-op members. And about 6 of those are from new folks, not the current members. No way they'll go $285 on such a small buy, got to be 60+ or better.
So, looks like we move on from here. If we want to get them from TradeOut, we need to meet the $225 asking price or wait until the current listing runs out in 23 days and they hopefully relist at $200. Someone has bought 10 units, so there's still 890 left. They're not flying off the shelves, that's for sure.
I placed another email to the seller requesting confirmation that shipping is included in purchase price, as that's how it is listed. If so, we just pay to insure the shipment, shouldn't be more than a couple of bucks each. According to UPS, I should be able to reship them anywhere in the US via ground service for $20 max, including insurance and tracking. As previously mentioned, I would like to come up with a flat rate to reship to co-op members to eliminate having to calculate charges for each unit. A flat rate also makes it easy for fast payments and deal completion.
We still have our current bid in for 50-75 units at $200, we can increase it to $225 at any time and start to move forward if that's what y'all want to do. Based on the lack of email responses from the seller, we definitely will want to do this transaction through an escrow broker so our funds are protected until we receive the units and verify they're as advertised. Using an escrow broker will add about $4 per unit.
So we can still do this in total for about $250 delivered to the co-op members. We can start to buy at any quantity over 10 pieces, but would be better to do as many as possible at once.
The other potential hassle is the funds transaction to me to pay the seller. PayPal can legally sit on our funds for an extended period, like they did with the WebPlayer co-op. ECount can do the same, and they only accept a maximum of $2000 per month. So neither of these look very expedient. I would like to suggest cashiers checks or money orders be mailed, personal checks only if absolutely no other way. At a predetermined point, say the end of next week, we move forward with the orders we have money in hand for and draft a cashiers check to the escrow company. I would be willing to do this weekly for maybe 3 weeks placing a weekly buy, but would expect most payments to be ready for the first buy.
So we're kinda back to square one, open forum for opinions. This is a co-op, so speak your piece as to where we go from here....
"Gotta go slow to go fast"