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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Feeling bad about not using my LHBS
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:37 PM   #11
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Default I do both and they know it.

My LHBS prices on grain are within pennies of what I can buy online, in bulk, and have it shipped to me but I can get exactly what I need and not have to store it. I just ordered some specialty bottles from them because the guy cut me a deal and ordered what I wanted and it cost me $5 less than If I would have ordered them from online (shipping bottles is a #&@$!). I also get my yeast from them and use them for emergency supplies but that is about it.

Nearly everything else they have is WAY overpriced. The advice they give is good for a laugh but they mean well. They are always friendly and recognize me so, I like to go.

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Old 08-27-2010, 04:40 PM   #12
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Screw online shopping for me. My LHBS is a fifty mile round trip from my house. That's 7 bucks in fuel.

Real nice people. prices seam fair. Advice best price in town.

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Old 08-27-2010, 04:41 PM   #13
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I go to my LHBS exclusively for yeast and kegging equipment. Also for some specialty grains and sanitizers, hoses and such.
My hops are online and drive 1/2 hour to get my base malts.
They loose on just those 2 things, everything else I buy there.

So yes, I try to do what I can for my LHBS, would hate to see them close and have to do ALL my shopping online.

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Old 08-27-2010, 04:52 PM   #14
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One point the economist in me has to make: I don't see the need to support an outdated business model simply because the people running it are nice. A brick-and-mortar store has inherent limitations (mainly a higher overhead cost and a smaller customer base which means a smaller selection) that an online shop doesn't. That being said, a brick-and-mortar store can also have advantages over an online store (no shipping time or cost; personal interaction; fresher product, especially when it comes to yeast). It's up to the owner to maximize the advantages that make it worthwhile. If those advantages don't justify the added cost for you, then there's nothing to feel bad about.

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Old 08-27-2010, 04:59 PM   #15
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I pretty much get all my grain, yeast and hops form my LBSH. I send them an e-mail with a recipe and they will have it all ready for me, milled and all. I just walk in, pay, and head out. I can literally decide to brew in the morning and brew that afternoon without pre-ordering anything or waiting on something to arrive by mail. I probably pay a few bucks more but you can't beat the convenience. Plus they are only like 3 miles form my house.

For equipment I typically look on line at various sites.

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Old 08-27-2010, 05:08 PM   #16
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I love my LHBS, but because I travel so much, it is sometimes easier to stop at a shop while on the road to pick up this and that. I do shop there as much as possible, but have to admit I like having some flexibility. I have ordered some things online, but only items my LHBS doesn't carry or have priced out of my comfort zone.

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Old 08-27-2010, 05:17 PM   #17
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I do a fair amount of business with both. The LHBS is about an hour round trip. When I'm in the mood to just brew a kit rather than build a recipe the LHBS doesn't have much of a selection so I get kits online. I get liquid yeast local because it gets north of 100F here in Northern Cal and I can't have it sitting on my porch all afternoon in a UPS box. With a truck that gets 15MPG it's just about a wash between online and LHBS when I factor in the cost of gas. With AHS ability to build a custom grain bill with fractional amounts it takes another benefit away from the LHBS. I guess when it comes down to it the only REAL reason I go to the LHBS is when I want something immediately or for liquid yeast.

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Old 08-27-2010, 05:27 PM   #18
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My LHBS owners are "just off the boat" (like 20 years ago) Germans. Good advice on traditional beers, friendly, don't know what e-mail is, I can get 2 oz of crystal 120 if that is all I need, they cost 30% more than the party mart...........

CRAP.

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Old 08-27-2010, 05:34 PM   #19
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I have no loyalty either way. If someone wants your business they will earn it with prices or service. My LHBS is about $5 in gas for me.

Do I want to support them over some place online? You bet I do.

i will order online though if it saves me a couple of $$$ because they out of my way to get to. I am not the kind of person who just wakes up one week and says "i think i will brew today". I like to plan things out ahead of time.

Bottom line is do whatever makes you more comfortable. When I bought all my gear i ended up geting things from 5 different places. (I have a bit more of a restriction on kettles since I wanted to brew inside and have an induction cook top.) It was a little more work for me but I saved ~$75, conservatively, from doing that. (and thats after shipping costs)

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Old 08-27-2010, 05:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windigstadt View Post
One point the economist in me has to make: I don't see the need to support an outdated business model simply because the people running it are nice. A brick-and-mortar store has inherent limitations (mainly a higher overhead cost and a smaller customer base which means a smaller selection) that an online shop doesn't. That being said, a brick-and-mortar store can also have advantages over an online store (no shipping time or cost; personal interaction; fresher product, especially when it comes to yeast). It's up to the owner to maximize the advantages that make it worthwhile. If those advantages don't justify the added cost for you, then there's nothing to feel bad about.
I agree with Wingdigstadt... A reasonable business model would be not to be either/or but to be both. I would rent a small space to be able to have a presence in the community (this would enable me to sell the non-tangible services like advice, last minute ingredients, hands-on instruction, club meetings, other brand creating services and frankly just to have people to actual talk with) while at the same time the majority of the business would be online and forward focused (coordinating bulk purchases, helping folks find hard to find equipment, assembling custom ingredient kits, etc...).
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