Author Topic: An idea that will probably go nowhere -- special offers for FOG members  (Read 1243 times)

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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3596
You know how some websites have special discount codes for members (The Wood Whisperer Guild comes to mind).  Might it be possible to organize something similar for the FOG?  Maybe there's a reason why this won't work that will be glaringly obvious to someone with more knowledge about ECommerce than I (problems of administering it for a free membership site maybe?  or non-compete issues with a site technically managed by a tool company), but from my perspective, I feel like FOG members would be a lucrative market to tap.  Putting aside for the moment the amount of money we spend on Festool, from my own experience the FOG has come to be the center of how I determine my tool and accessory buying.  If I have a question about a non-Festool tool or accessory I'm unfamiliar with, I usually ask about it here.  And the thing I end up getting tends to be one of the items that was suggested by one or more members in the thread.  Like the set of Narex chisels I bought a couple of weeks ago -- knew nothing about Narex before I saw it mentioned on the FOG. 

So the FOG as a platform provides two things that are the foundation for successful marketing outside of the direct channels of advertising: trust and expertise.

By offering privileged discounts, certain companies might be able to leverage the good-will of the FOG community into better exposure and sales figures.  At least that's the theory.  And I get my discount.  [wink]

Now tell me why this idea is wrong.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2524

Interesting idea, Edward.

Bridge City offers an annual $40 membership in return for discounts on their tools.  That's a 'captive' community.  You pay them a fee, you get discounts on tools for a year, and it helps cover their costs of administering a newsletter program.  But the offer and the payment go to one entity.  Wood Whisper Guild is a similar 'membership' with a  fee paid and beyond access to plans and videos, they offer deals with some of their vendors.   Marc makes a nice living with content and a few paid sponsors.  And he gets deals on tools for his shop!  While Festool has been a sponsor with him, there were not discounts to guild members other than an occasional 'giveaway'.

This is a multi-vendor community, hosted and paid for by Festool.  To date they have not yet offered discounts on a sustaining basis other than package deals and occasional opportunities like 15% off on CT Vacs running now.

It becomes a bit more problematic to administer when Festool shoulders the costs but others might reap the benefits.  They could charge a 'slotting fee' to retailers for involvement, cordon off a special section of the FOG for 'deals'  and offer coded 'links' to their websites that would include a discount on a product for a limited or on-going time.  But it's tough to police on an ongoing basis.  And just signing up for a membership with no money changing hands from the FOG member to Festool gets you a discount on third party tools and Festool gets what?
Why would they want to promote the very thing that they as a company don't do?

It appears looking at the posting activity of Festool employees that Festool is challenged with participating in the forum as it is, for whatever reason, or even keeping the main Festool USA website current with product info, so trying to coordinate 'discounted buying' when they don't discount seems a bit counter to their objectives and what appears to be limited resources.

When the VacSys was announced, there were a lot of questions and Festool moderators said 'stay tuned for more videos' but those have not yet come out to my knowledge.  Good content is not cheap.  Videos particularly take time and effort for anyone here that has tried to pull them off.

I'd rather see Festool invest in fostering great content - contests, themed areas, etc -  than coordinating a deal with a third party, since we likely won't see Festool discounting their products.  If they had the extra resource, I'd rather see more roadshow stops, active participation in the forum, dealer mini-training sessions they currently do, etc. 

If I want a deal on a tool, Google and Amazon will tend to serve up what's available and any deal can always be 'undercut' by some other manufacturer or retailer. 

Discounts are the slippery slope in e-commerce.  Festool has a network of dealers they have to support, the don't sell direct, and I think promoting deals is probably not in the cards.




Offline Holzhacker

  • Posts: 898
    • www.aic-chicago.com
This is feasible and it does happen on other sites. I've taken part in a number of 'Group Buys'; mostly on the motorcycle websites I frequent due to ownerships.
A 'Group Buy' essentially works like this: Somebody suggests a product at he/she thinks other members would be interested in, gauges interest quantity, gets some soft committals, gets ahold of the company and says 'heh if we group buy 100 units (or whatever quantity) how much of a discount will you give us. The company says whatever they say and it dies until there is another idea or the group buy moves forward.
It's really about somebody doing the leg work to put it together. The FOG might let us do it but it could be tricky. I'm guessing it might depend on what the group buy products are.
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3596
Got it.  I didn't realize that Festool charged a fee for retailers' participation.  On that basis, I suppose any kind of discounting policy  would have to remain informal, or be based more on the early warning model that is essentially how things work now (like when retailers post about clearing out their stocks of Brilliant and the MFS).




Interesting idea, Edward.

Bridge City offers an annual $40 membership in return for discounts on their tools.  That's a 'captive' community.  You pay them a fee, you get discounts on tools for a year, and it helps cover their costs of administering a newsletter program.  But the offer and the payment go to one entity.  Wood Whisper Guild is a similar 'membership' with a  fee paid and beyond access to plans and videos, they offer deals with some of their vendors.   Marc makes a nice living with content and a few paid sponsors.  And he gets deals on tools for his shop!  While Festool has been a sponsor with him, there were not discounts to guild members other than an occasional 'giveaway'.

This is a multi-vendor community, hosted and paid for by Festool.  To date they have not yet offered discounts on a sustaining basis other than package deals and occasional opportunities like 15% off on CT Vacs running now.

It becomes a bit more problematic to administer when Festool shoulders the costs but others might reap the benefits.  They could charge a 'slotting fee' to retailers for involvement, cordon off a special section of the FOG for 'deals'  and offer coded 'links' to their websites that would include a discount on a product for a limited or on-going time.  But it's tough to police on an ongoing basis.  And just signing up for a membership with no money changing hands from the FOG member to Festool gets you a discount on third party tools and Festool gets what?
Why would they want to promote the very thing that they as a company don't do?

It appears looking at the posting activity of Festool employees that Festool is challenged with participating in the forum as it is, for whatever reason, or even keeping the main Festool USA website current with product info, so trying to coordinate 'discounted buying' when they don't discount seems a bit counter to their objectives and what appears to be limited resources.

When the VacSys was announced, there were a lot of questions and Festool moderators said 'stay tuned for more videos' but those have not yet come out to my knowledge.  Good content is not cheap.  Videos particularly take time and effort for anyone here that has tried to pull them off.

I'd rather see Festool invest in fostering great content - contests, themed areas, etc -  than coordinating a deal with a third party, since we likely won't see Festool discounting their products.  If they had the extra resource, I'd rather see more roadshow stops, active participation in the forum, dealer mini-training sessions they currently do, etc. 

If I want a deal on a tool, Google and Amazon will tend to serve up what's available and any deal can always be 'undercut' by some other manufacturer or retailer. 

Discounts are the slippery slope in e-commerce.  Festool has a network of dealers they have to support, the don't sell direct, and I think promoting deals is probably not in the cards.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2524
To my knowledge, Festool does not charge a fee.  Sorry if you got that impression from my post. 

I was suggesting that to implement your idea, they COULD charge a fee, perhaps, as a means of covering potential costs / staffing / development of a platform for managing registrations, password protected areas, handoff of members to retailer sites, etc.


Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3596
Got it.

To my knowledge, Festool does not charge a fee.  Sorry if you got that impression from my post. 

I was suggesting that to implement your idea, they COULD charge a fee, perhaps, as a means of covering potential costs / staffing / development of a platform for managing registrations, password protected areas, handoff of members to retailer sites, etc.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • ETS 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3