Proposal+5—Themrpublicdisplayname

The Buy-One-Get-One Dilemma

For my research I want to look into the business practices of the buy-one-give-one company of Toms to see if their “buy-one-give-one” model of conducting business is really helping those who it it claims to help. My research will look into the model of buy-one-give-one in detail and look at few companies models, however Toms will be the prime subject. In addition to the business end, I will also look into how the donations of Toms (the shoes in particular as that was how the company started out) affects the communities that the donations arrive at. This idea is fueled by the large amount of skepticism at the business model of “buy-one-give-one”.

Sources

“Do Toms Shoes Really Help People?”

This article is a good introduction to the model of buy-one-give-one of Toms, as well as other companies. This article also describes the skepticism behind Toms and will be used to introduce the topic.

“The One-for-one Business Model: Avoiding Unintended Consequences”

This article discusses the skepticism of the one-for-one model in terms of its effects on the receiving country. The main focus of course being Toms. This article will be used mostly to set the stage for the skepticism behind Toms, and also to shed light on what happens when goods are given to a community.

“Beyond Buy-One-Give-One Retail”

This article provides both sides of the argument on buy-one-give-one and will be used to provide cases for the arguments that will be researched.

“The Cobbler’s Conundrum”

This article provides an in depth look at the Toms Company and will be used to learn about the company.

“Do in-kind transfers damage local markets? The case if Toms shoe donations in El Salvador”

This article, and articles like it, will be used to form conclusions as the articles of this type are actual experiments.

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3 Responses to Proposal+5—Themrpublicdisplayname

  1. Feedback was requested.

    Feedback provided.
    –DSH

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  2. Sample Openings

    1. In the case of Toms shoes, does free shoes through the buy-one-give-one business model really help? Many purchase these shoes feeling as though they are making a difference as for every pair of shoes bought, another is donated to a child in a developing country. Are these feelings justified or just shallow? Many sources claim that Toms simply adds to the poverty issue of these countries by providing the end product; a product which someone in that country is producing. This takes business out of the country, hurting the country more then it helps. A few firms, such as Two Degree Foods, take a different approach to buy-one-give-one that actually stimulates the economy of the target country by producing the “give-one” good in that country. Sadly, Toms is not one of these businesses, outsourcing the creation of these shoes elsewhere. Does this model of buy-one-give-one actually help?

    2. There are many criticisms to the company of Toms and their shoes. Many claim that this firm does not “aid in the ending of poverty” as some other firms, such as Two Degree Foods, does. However, Toms does not claim to do such, all they claim is that they are a buy-one-give-one company (they are actually the pioneer of this model) that simply “gives-one” for every “one” bought. These shoes do help as they are free goods that aids by making it possible for a country that would normally have to make these goods, not make these goods, saving these resources for other endeavors. (This argument was made for the sake of the “How to Open Exercise)

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  3. davidbdale says:

    Questions are not claims. Eliminate all of them and replace them with the answers you will prove. Save questions for the rare cases when you haven’t decided the answers, which should be almost never.

    In the case of Toms shoes, does free shoes through the buy-one-give-one business model really help?
    –They help the poor kids who don’t have shoes. You’ll sound quite foolish denying that. Often shoes are required for school, so free shoes means education for recipients. That sounds helpful. You must mean something else by your question, which is the OTHER problem with questions. They leave unclear what your objections might be.

    Many purchase these shoes feeling as though they are making a difference as for every pair of shoes bought, another is donated to a child in a developing country. Are these feelings justified or just shallow?
    –If buying shoes here means a child gets shoes there, you’d better believe I’m making a difference. UNLESS . . . something. If you have an unless in mind, the appropriate technique here would be to spell it out.

    Many sources claim that Toms simply adds to the poverty issue of these countries by providing the end product; a product which someone in that country is producing. This takes business out of the country, hurting the country more then it helps.
    –I see. So what you mean is that the Toms effort produces a real but temporary solution to a problem, and might actually defeat efforts to provide long-term solutions by making the recipient cultures dependent on aid. If that’s what you meant, you could have said so in your claims above in instead of asking questions you could have answered.

    A few firms, such as Two Degree Foods, take a different approach to buy-one-give-one that actually stimulates the economy of the target country by producing the “give-one” good in that country.
    –See? You had all your answers all along. Please believe me that readers feel yanked around by being asked questions you’re going to answer anyway.

    Have you ever been asked a riddle and taken the time to actually figure out an appropriate answer, only to be told that the “right” answer is something stupid or obvious, nowhere near as clever as your response? There’s no joy in that transaction. If you ask me whether Toms is doing any good or not, and I respond as I did above: Of course, Toms is putting kids into classrooms who would have been denied an education, you should want to reward me for that answer, instead of defeating me with: well, they’re not doing the kind of good I had in mind! I feel cheated.

    Sadly, Toms is not one of these businesses, outsourcing the creation of these shoes elsewhere. Does this model of buy-one-give-one actually help?
    –Again? How many wrong answers do you want from me?

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