Like many things, there are numerous ways to run group buys.
- It can be run by the Admin folks - don't recommend it, as it is a LOT of work and they have their hands full just managing a busy forum.
- It can be run by ANYONE who is a member of the forum, with approval of Admin. From personal experience, this is what I'd recommend. It is a lot of work for whoever undertakes the task (BTDT but never got the T-shirt), but if different folks run them, the burden is "spread out".
- It can be run by a Dealer affiliated with the forum. Also a good idea.
It's easy to "pick the group buy". You just throw up a "trial balloon" of "who's interested in _______?" and let it run a week or two. If interest is sufficient, then you post a "for real" thread for "I'm in" and details on payment/pickup/delivery.
- I ran a group buy of radar detectors back when I was at DEC (this was mid-1980s). I think that everyone had to pick them up from me at my office IIRC, or I may have shipped 1 or 2 out.
- I ran a group buy for trigger spring gauges ~1 year ago. I delivered most (it was off a regional forum), but trans-shipped some.
Keep in mind that shipping costs have gotten ridiculously expensive, especially with UPS/FedEx. Since we are a "national forum" here (and perhaps beyond, but State Dept. export rules cause problems with non-US shipments), you need to keep that in mind if any trans-shipment is required. Total cost to the participant may not be a bargain after paying that additional shipping expense. E.g. Ammo group buys aren't likely to save money unless all participants are local to each other (IMNSHO).