Looks like #SFGiants Tim Lincecum is jumping on the bandwagon I call “another online buying club” (aka cash-grab email-harvesters).
From this article http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/16/tim-lincecum-12society/
“Because the startup is still in stealth mode, the co-founders are remaining tight-lipped about just what they’re cooking up, but this much has become clear: 12Society is a guy-focused lifestyle company built on “the intersection of culture, technology and commerce,” according to CEO Sameer Mehta. The kernel for 12Society came out of a problem that the co-founders identified while at JungleCents, specifically that many brands out there want not only to get the attention of the 18 to 35-year-old male demographic, but they want to get them actively engaging — and shopping.”
I work in marketing and get at least a dozen calls a week from these “but we’re different” online shopping sites. The bottom line is that the website will sell your product at a discount, while charging you a commission to do so. Their cost is basically running a shopping cart site that any 12-year old can start up, plus a pitiful commission to a handful of employees who make the sales calls for them.
Their sales pitch is that they’ll expose your brand to x-number of member-shoppers on their lists (most of whom are spam). Whatever sales they do generate for you, kill your margin on the product sold and don’t generate repeat business for your regularly priced products.
Plus there’s the problem of membership burn-out. Lead by a gazillion sites like WagJag and Groupon, hotel and air-fare discounters plus the 10-20 loyalty cards you schlep around in your wallet, discount shopping takes more effort for the shopper to stay on top of than it’s worth.
If you are retailing a product, one you poured your heart and dreams into developing, creating and marketing, it makes no sense to sell your marquee items this way. Moving your best stuff at a discount and paying to do so hurts your ability to pay rent for your store/restaurant and cover salaries/benefits to your own employees. And it ultimately does not build brand loyalty.
I’m disappointed that someone like Timmeh would lend his name to something this short-sighted, something that has no longevity and provides nothing in the way of giving back to the community by creating jobs or products in a meaningful or sustainable way. His company will be no better than the Amazon spam on Tumblr, you know, “TAKE ACTION/BUY IT NOW”.
Check out the website http://www.12society.com/ with the great big picture of Tim, and zero information other than wanting your email address - which they will sell. How much more creepy and hollow can it be?