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Old 01-08-2012, 10:24 PM   #1
OlatheSurferDude
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Default LHBS or On Line Retailer

I got into a bit of a debate a few weeks back about where to get supplies. When I got my starter kit from Christmas a year ago it came from Midwest Supplies. Because of that I started purchasing other items from them. I do have a LHBS store in the area (actually 2). They are nothing on the size of a Midwest or Austins, but they are local.

I asked my friend if he wanted to place an order sometime through Midwest. His basic response was he would rather support the Mom and Pop down the street. I get that and in fact I have made several purchase the last few weeks including equipment and ingredients at my LBHS. I tend to like to support the locals as well.

My issue is when I look at pricing and how much less expensive it is to get the same item on line and that includes shipping. If I'm smart about what I'm ordering and making sure maximize my what I'm ordering, it helps out even more on the shipping.

My LHBS seems to have a good supply of ingredients and they package their own extract kits which I have used. So they have available most of the basics. But as I said earlier no where near the inventory of someone like Midwest.

I guess my what I'm looking for is how people would look at this? Try to buy, at a higher expense, from the local store to help business and support them and the local brew market, buy from the good on-line retailers, or a combination of both?

Maybe I'm just over thinking this but have to think about something brew wise as my fermenters are full and won't be brewing another batch for a week or to. I guess I should feel lucky to have a store that is available where I live for those short notice type items...

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Old 01-08-2012, 10:27 PM   #2
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I tend to buy equipment online for the price, but things I need in small amounts like specialty grains, from the LHBS since I only have to pay for the small amount I wnat and not a whole pound. Also small cheap supplies I get from the LHBS and skip the shipping fee.

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Old 01-08-2012, 10:30 PM   #3
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The LHBS may adjust prices if he knows he's gonna lose a sale. after all some profit beats no profit.
Print your next order and ask LHBS to price match. After all what is he gonna say - yes or no. He may even thank you for the opportunity to get your biz

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Old 01-08-2012, 10:37 PM   #4
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It really depends on what works for you. I have a LHBS that is about 15 minutes away, but I almost always order my ingredients or equipment through an online vendor. I can't say enough good things about Brewmaster's Warehouse. I'll go to the LHBS to have my CO2 tank filled and to pick up miscellaneous supplies. I honestly get better customer service through the online vendors than the local store.

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Old 01-08-2012, 10:42 PM   #5
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I have a GREAT LHBS a few blocks from where I work. I've been very happy with them, recommend them to everyone, and frequent them whenever I can.

BUT, as I always say, my money belongs in my daughter's belly, not the owner's of my LHBS. Therefore, when the value works in my favor, I place orders online. This week I'm picking up some small mixed stuff, so I'm going to them, but whenever I need a lot of stuff I order from AustinHomebrew.

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Old 01-08-2012, 10:49 PM   #6
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I actually know exactly what you're talking about being in the KC area. I often struggle with this issue as well. Since they are so much more expensive I end up going there for only yeast and impromptu brew sessions. I really would prefer to support them more, but my brewing budget isn't that big. Personally I think they're drastically over priced.

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Old 01-08-2012, 10:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airborneguy
I have a GREAT LHBS a few blocks from where I work. I've been very happy with them, recommend them to everyone, and frequent them whenever I can.

BUT, as I always say, my money belongs in my daughter's belly, not the owner's of my LHBS. Therefore, when the value works in my favor, I place orders online. This week I'm picking up some small mixed stuff, so I'm going to them, but whenever I need a lot of stuff I order from AustinHomebrew.
My LHBS owner is pleasant and has good 50# sack prices on 2-row. That said, his selection is limited and other prices almost double online prices. I agree w/ airborneguy--my money is for my living, not LHBS profits.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:08 PM   #8
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I actually just started brewing so I just bought all my gear. The cheapest way it worked out was to buy almost everything from LHBS. Even if his stuff was a buck or two more per item, it more than balanced out the shipping costs of ordering online. Agree that I should look out for my concerns before a local businessman, but don't assume you save money ordering online.

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Old 01-08-2012, 11:08 PM   #9
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I only order on line when I know that my LHBS (Brew Brothers) doesn't have the item. I tried for a few months last year locally to buy Simcoe, when they came back to me and said it was no go I ordered it from MoreBeer. I've occasionally used Williams Brewing but my last order pissed me off a bit with the responses I got from them so no more Williams for me. Locally almost all the prices are less than or equal to on line and frankly if I asked them to compete with someone else's price I have no doubt they would match it.

If you order stuff away from where you live without giving them a shot to satisfy your needs then you are ultimately shooting your own interests in the foot and those of your community.

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Old 01-08-2012, 11:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzycist
I actually just started brewing so I just bought all my gear. The cheapest way it worked out was to buy almost everything from LHBS. Even if his stuff was a buck or two more per item, it more than balanced out the shipping costs of ordering online. Agree that I should look out for my concerns before a local businessman, but don't assume you save money ordering online.
Really? My LHBS sells a 1 keg kit for damn near $300 including a 5 pound co2 tank and a picnic tap and a cheap regulator. They don't offer co2 refills nor was he helpful in recommending a place to get it filled (one is about 2 miles from the store ....either he don't know or didn't care).

His pound sacks of grain are always $3.50 and up. Yeast starts at 4.29 for dry packets and he has crap for malt selection.

He basically deals with first timers and brewers best kits. I wish I could just tell people to stay away or drive the hour to Athens to get better service ( so sad I have moved).

All in all i and the other homebrewers I know stick to northern brewer, key connection or the other guys who will ship.

I ONLY go to my LHBS if I break a hydrometer or god forbid if I ever ran out of starsan.
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