Mechanical keyboards, keycaps and other accessories come in all different shapes, sizes, colours, materials etc. Most of these unique and exciting products are usually designed by individual community members who are trying to bring something new to the rest of the mechanical keyboard community. Unfortunately many of these products have minimum order quantities (MOQs) as it is not cost efficient, or too expensive, for a manufacturer to produce only one unit of a particular product which means that the designer must pitch their idea to the community and organise a group buy for it in order for it to get produced.
Group buys are where a group of people collectively order a product with the hope that it will reach MOQ. In most cases, this is the only way that custom products are manufactured. Group buys are usually held between two dates, known as the start and end date. If a particular group buy does not reach the required MOQ on or before the end date, then all of the orders will be cancelled and each customer will be refunded. If the group buy meets or exceeds the MOQ, then the order will be submitted to the manufacturer. Customers will receive their order once the products have been manufactured. The MOQs and group buy lead times vary between each group buy, but this information is usually listed on the group buy page.
Not all group buys are for custom, unique products. Sometimes group buys can be held for existing products, where a large and existing keyboard manufacturer will cut the price of their product for the community if a certain MOQ is met.