Seems there are LOTS of people interested in doing a group buy together so we might have a massive shipment. (It's the final delivery that might be a logistical hassle for whoever is willing to do it, so my suggestion is to split the work by separating into 2-3 groups with one kind soul willing to be the "leader" for each.
I would also like to suggest we stick with mail postage when items arrive - it is going to be hard for coordinators to try and meet everyone.
Unless they prefer it.
If anyone has done this before and knows a nice simple way to manage this please share and we can all try and agree on things like payment terms etc.
Whoever are the coordinators in the end, (might not be me) - I feel everyone should be willing to pay upfront (to prevent ordering and then suddenly backing out). Otherwise the poor coordinator/s not only has to do a lot of work but also bears all the risk.
To protect buyers the coordinators should probably be willing to provide some contact info (working hp) and full name etc. What are you guys comfy with? I mean - we give everyone the benefit of the doubt but it's good to have some safeguards in place as well...
If there is some easy peasy system to manage all this do let me know! LOL. I might be completely overthinking it.
Next question is exchange rates. We know they fluctuate. I personally feel it's fair to pay SLIGHTLY more than whatever the current rate is on Xe.com.
Maybe like a tiny percent of your overall order.
If the SGD falls they are covered. If there is some extra, well it's a bit of tip to coordinators for the hard work. After all, everyone is already saving on shipping fees.
If we pay 1/2 on order confirmation 1/2 before delivery that's safe but also a huge pain for the coordinators to manage.
Everyone nds to keep a copy of transfers/transactions in case of disputes.
Coordinators need to keep everyone updated on order status, and the shipment tracking number, plus photos to verify items were sent out.
Omg it's turning out to not be that simple huh? I feel like we need a an online Excel sheet to manage this.
These are just ideas. Feel free to share below and we can refine this.
(Img source: houstonpettalk.com)
Maybe we can begin with seeing if there are 2-3 people willing and able to help coordinate? Everything kinda depends on this.
The buyer/coordinator will need to be willing and able to make the final payment to BPAL and coordinate delivery/pickups. I can help to assign people to each coordinator randomly if preferred.
And I'm willing to help coordinate of course but I can only handle 1 group LOL.
I'll start an email group to
1. Share your mobile and shipping details
2. Coordinator should share mobile and bank transfer details with everyone
3. Decide on an order submission deadline
4. Submit your orders
5. Coordinator should message group to update when order is placed, when it ships, and tracking number for transparency
Worse comes to worst, if any coordinator is out to cheat people, there is the bank account info to go to the police with!
But I assume not - come on - so much hassle and risk of a police case and criminal record for a few measly hundred?
I just have to be careful on behalf of everyone though.
Everyone be fair to the coordinators too. We're all busy and may not be able to rush or respond immediately all the time and everyone is sacrificing their personal time to coordinate.
If you volunteer I hope you enjoy project managing and don't get annoyed or impatient! And huge thank you in advance.
While we wait, I'll share a few tips on choosing scents.
1. The reviews on the site itself are one indication but everyone's taste differs. Out of the hundreds or thousands who have purchased a scent in the last 10yrs, maybe 1-5 posted a review on the site.
I find BPAL.org a much better review source as the community is very active and u can get a quick idea of the nature of a fragrance you are considering.
The forum is not optimized for mobile viewing. Scroll all the way down and hit Full Version.
While in general I find oils to last a lot longer than sprays there are still variances among them. Also skin chemistry can affect fragrance lasting power and which notes are stronger on you.
Again, check the review boards for mentions of staying power. I find the fruits n florals to generally not last as long as the resiny ambery honey ones. But the worst ones do still last at least 4-5 hrs on me vs 1-2 hrs for similar sprays.
This scent btw is beautiful. It refers to Sleeping Beauty.
It's very ethereal and delicate plumeria and tuberose with white pear. BPAL describes it as "gentle" and that's probably the best word.
It feels soft but it's very present - like a sheer veil draped over you - every few mins I will catch whiff of it floating up. I was eating an apple and wondering WHY the darned apple smelt/tasted like flowers. And then realized it was my perfume.
Another thing to note is there will always be hits and misses. I have ordered stuff I was SURE I would love and ended up not being able to stand it. That's internet shopping. At least it's cheaper than a MAC lipstick here and not a $300 perfume ya know?
BUT! I do have to say you should aways give the duds a few days/weeks and try again. One thing people always mention about BPALs is they "age" in a good way. It's a bit like rum. The flavors always deepen and smoothen out after a few weeks.
The other thing is we are used to synthetic scents in fragrances and a lot of things we THINK we know (e.g. Patchouli) are often just chemical compounds perfumers come up with to capture ONE facet of patchouli. That's why when you smell real grapefruit or myrrh or geranium essential oils they are often so different from what you think. A lot more complex and probably with some pungent or "strange" notes you don't expect.
Especially if you open the bottle and sniff. You should test on skin.
With the exception of Signior Dildo (yes the pic is worth a giggle - hope there are no kids looking) I have quickly grown to like most of the scents that initially gave my nose a shock.
BPAL uses a lot of "timeless" notes that may not be "in fashion" right now. Things like frankincense and laudanum aren't common in today's mainstream scents, so you may need a bit of time to adjust.
Signior Dildo is supposed to be milky sweet violets. My bottle smells like rubber and musk. ☹
Hey you might like that but I don't want to smell like a soapy dildo! I want to smell like violets and cream!
Anyway - I should have started with the newest review posts on bpal.org. I saw a few recent posts where people mentioned it smells weird so my guess is one of the ingredients in the formula was blended wrong in the recent batch.
Here's another thing: BPAL doesn't leave a lot of stock lying around. They hand-blend in smaller batches so scents are pretty fresh when they reach us.
I can tell you that is the only one that smelt "off" of all the many I've tried.
The other suggestion I have is maybe within the group you can try to arrange swaps if there are particular scents that just don't suit you. Chances are there are others who have a similar situation and would like to try something different as well.
Now on to Free Imps. Or FRIMPS.
They come with every order and BPA tends to be generous.
Technically the people who paid a larger proportion of the order should get more of the free imps that come with the group order. In orders of about $300-400 there are usually 20 FRIMPS.
We can TRY and split according to proportion of the order (eg if you ordered $100 of a $400 order, you get 1/4 of the imps). BUT it's not always easy to divide exactly so let's all agree to be gracious about it. I think if someone orders a $4 imp (I hope not) you shouldn't expect a frimp.
But hopefully everyone who orders gets at least 1-2 freebies. That's another reason it's a good idea to split into groups. The smaller group with a $300 order gets 20 imps to share and the bigger one with $400+ also only gets 20.
BPAL is a family run business and they get quite a lot of orders so the site does state it can take 14-21 business days to process your order.
BUT this isn't the peak period (halloween to year end) and the longest I've ever waited before they ship was about maybe 8 or 9 days? Fastest was in 2 days. And once the package gets to DHL it's here in 2-3 business days.
(I hate waiting 2-3 weeks for USPS I tell ya. And things can disappear off the tracking system for weeks.)
The site is overwhelming for beginners yes. So start with the Beloveds first.
And even if you love a particular note like Orange Blossom , maybe try a few Imps of orange blossom based scents instead of ordering multiple orange blossom fragrances in full size. The thing is you need to find out if you really like Bpal's orange blossom note.
Don't get stuck with 4 bottles of a note u can't stand. Unless you don't mind that risk of course.
Now storage. BPAL doesn't go rancid but fragrant molecules and essential oils can still break down from prolonged exposed to heat and light.
If you want your scents to stay fresh as long as possible store them in a cool dry dark place. NOT the fridge because the constant temperature fluctuation when you take them into room temperature can also affect some compounds. Drawer or box is good.
That said, there are people who don't like a scent cos some notes are harsh or sharp.
They leave it out (not under direct heat or sunlight) but somewhere nearer the window for a few weeks.
Often this speeds up the mellowing and "smoothing out" of a scent. I can't say it always happens - I think it depends on the notes. But worth a shot.
A couple of other things you can do with them:
1. Add into jojoba oil for a scented body oil. Some people add it to lotions but I feel many lotions distort scents.
2. Rub 1-2 drops between your palms and press into the ends of your hair as hair perfume
Oils are tinted and can stain clothes so never apply directly to cloth. BPAL's sister site blackphoenixtradingpost.com sells scent lockets. You can add a couple drops to tissue or a bit of cloth, pop it in, and carry fragrance around with you.
Which is great if you love a scent that hates your skin chemistry and goes weird when applied.
Unfortunately they aren't cheap and they are always out of stock.
Thursday, 5 May 2016
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