Deals site Massdrop announces upcoming photography community

by Gannon Burgett

posted Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at 3:24 PM EDT

Deals websites aren’t scarce by any stretch of the imagination. But one deal site in particular takes an interesting approach to cutting costs. The site is called Massdrop and this week, they announced it would soon be opening up a brand new category for photographers.

Before diving into what the upcoming Photography section will consist of, it’s important to note how Massdrop works. Unlike other deal sites, such as Amazon-owned Woot!, that are often a means for dumping extra inventory, Massdrop takes a much more community-based approach.

How Massdrop Works

To access the content of Massdrop, you must first create an account. Once your account is created, you’re officially part of the Massdrop community. As a member of Massdrop, you can access the discussions and polls that determine what products make it as a deal.

Individual deals usually start as a poll within a certain category. Take for example a current poll titled ‘Professional Studio Video Camera’. Once the poll is created, members of the community can either add a product they’d like to see a deal on or vote on a product someone else has currently already posted.

As the screenshot below shows, Massdrop community members have voted the Red Weapon Dragon over the Blackmagic URSA Mini and Blackmagic URSA cameras. Other cameras currently in the competition include the Canon EOS C300 II and Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

Once a poll has reached its target amount of votes (this particular one has a minimum of 200), Massdrop then reaches out to the manufacturer of the winning product. Throughout the process of reaching out to the manufacturer, members of the Massdrop team keep Massdrop users up to date in the discussion board of each poll. Within a short while, it’ll be determined whether or not the manufacturer has agreed to offer up the product at a discounted price.

Once Massdrop has finally organized the offer with a given manufacturer, an official post is made of the winning product (which sometimes include variations or add-ons).

How Massdrop’s discounts work are that the more people who agree to purchase a product, the lower the price becomes. A current example can be seen with a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 II or III deal currently going on.

If three people commit to joining ‘the drop’, the price of the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 II will be $489.99. If six people join the drop by the time it’s over (two days as of writing this), the price will be further reduced to $479.99, an impressive 34% off MSRP and $20 less than what Amazon is selling it for.

At checkout, you can also upgrade to the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 III for an additional $190, bringing the total to $699.99, a full $100 less than what Amazon is offering it for, a steal considering both cameras carry a full manufacturers warranty directly through Sony.

Once the drop is complete, Massdrop handles the rest, sorting out the order and delivery, all while keeping purchasers up to date via the drop’s discussion.

Obviously, this method of going about ordering is a bit convoluted and can sometimes lead to a month of waiting to receive your product, but considering the savings are often substantial, it can be extremely beneficial to go this route over other routes of purchasing.

Photography Community

Up until now, Massdrop never had a dedicated photography community. Sure, they offered up a camera or lens every so often, but only recently has Massdrop really started to get photography gear on its site in a consistent manner.

By creating a dedicated photography community within Massdrop, it gives photographers yet another resource to obtain good gear at a great price. Massdrop says cameras, lenses, tripod, bags, lights and more will be available when the photography community gets going.

To find out more and sign up to be notified when the Massdrop photography community goes live, head on over to Massdrop’s microsite.

Considering I’ve been a Massdrop user for a while now, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below.