Coops traditionally are business interests owned and controlled by the people who use it. The main reason for its existence is to provide goods and or services to its members for their mutual benefit.
In the crafting world Coops exist so that members can buy goods in bulk, thereby reducing cost. Numerous email users lists allow members to post many different kinds of Coops. In addition, many businesses post Coops of their own. Goods bought may range from herbs to pedicure kits and even printing services. Typically, the person or organization in charge of the Coop will post the details to a website or a email list along with the fine details, which includes minimums, cost, legal disclaimers and the deadline to order the goods. Oftentimes a Coop may run anywhere from a few days to several weeks or months until minimums are met.
Some people charge a packaging and handling fee to cover expenses such as boxes to ship the product in and packaging tape used. Some email lists that host Coops have their own rules governing posting a coop.
Coops enable many new businesses and individuals to buy supplies and services that they would not have been able to afford without the buying power of many members. In addition, many companies that supply goods and services recognize the buying power of Coops and the process of waiting for minimums to be met, and will hold goods for customers who are managing a Coop.
One of the great things about Coops is that members usually are able to buy as much or as little of an item that they need. This is essential especially if one wants to try out a new product before integrating it into your product inventory. Not only do you save, but also Coops are fun and allow you to try products that can be for business or personal use.
Example of some items posted on Coops:
Soap supplies and fragrances
Luxury cosmetic ingredients
Packaging and labels
Herbal teas and herbal potpourri
Facial mask kits
In addition, for the home crafter, coops are a fun and great way to buy products and supplies for gift giving. For a list of Coops, check out user groups on the major email providers or search engine email user lists.
To list your Coop in our new Coops links section, contact me at the link below with the details of your Coop along with ordering information.