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Old 03-29-2011, 03:28 AM   #31
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Heh, for the record, I ordered a TON of stuff from northern brewer once: march pump, three boilermakers, toptier, therminator, fermenting buckets. Basically an entire brewery setup (I was upgrading). Total shipping: $7.99. When they say flat-rate, they mean it. :P

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Old 03-29-2011, 03:31 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Brewmasters Warehouse View Post
I guess I really do not advertise that we do special orders but we certainly do them, especially for customers that order from us a lot. So let me know when your ready what you want and I will see what I can do for you.

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Ed was great when I made an order a while back. I use a lot of gypsum due to my water chemistry and my penchant for IPAs. Ed cut me a deal on 2 lbs of Gypsum to last me a long time, instead of getting 32 1 oz orders or whatever. Very cool.
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:09 AM   #33
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Not sure if anyone has pointed this out but there is a big LHBS shop in Pinellas Park called The Beer and Winmaker's Pantry. And if you don't mind making a trip across the bridge, I highly recommend Southern Homebrew and Winemaking Supply right off of 275 and Busch. Huge selection of specialty malts and the staff are incredible! They're even moving into a giant building not too far down the road.

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Old 03-29-2011, 04:13 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by mateomtb View Post
Of all the hobbies I've been involved with I've found this one to have some pretty darn good e commerce options and I have found the shipping to be more than fair when I factor in the time it saves me.
I completely agree. Rebel Brewer is my LHBS yet I still find myself paying for shipping after factoring in the time and gas savings with a 40 mile round trip. Unless I've got a huge, heavy order, I'll gladly spend 10 bucks shipping to save 45 minutes of my time and 2 gallons of gas.
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:20 AM   #35
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Well, I have asked other retailers online for special orders or help in getting certain products and have been brushed off as a nuisance. So before you make a smart comment and go negative, think of all possible explanations.

I started this thread as a means to express my frustration I have with online retailers and in a way, the lack of a convenient LHBS.

This hobby/addiction we have has a unique supply chain. Its not like you can walk into Wal Mart and pick up your brewing ingredients (though most of my brew gear does come from Home Depot lol). Also, the demand for our needs is limited, so there is not always going to be a LHBS that is convenient. So, we turn to this marvelous invention called the internet. I think we all have utilized an internet retailer at one time or the other. I frequently find myself having to go to all the major online retailers pricing what I need, including shipping to see where I can get the best deal. Shopping around when buying something is important, when making a large one time purchase, however I do not think that you would want to go to every grocery store chain every week to check the price of milk when you need it. You find a store that you like and you stick with it. Creating customer loyalty is a key aspect to a business' success. it is time consuming and at times frustrating when you find a store that has most of what you need or not in stock, but then having to go to a second store for the remainder of the stuff. Often times, I go back to my recipe to see if I can change it to get it one stop shopping. I find myself not having one retailer loyalty, yet.

However, as I write this, my recent purchases from Brewmasters just arrived.
Can you tell us which retailers you're specifically frustrated with? Because it seems like you're just using fly-by-night/less than great online retailers in the first place. Shipping from most retailers isn't that bad. Also you sorta sound like a USPS spokesperson.
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:30 AM   #36
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It could be worse - you could be in China
Is homebrewing even legal over there? When are you guys going to protest and riot like all the Muslim countries and demand democracy?
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:53 AM   #37
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Hey, beerspitnight, Thanks for the new sig.

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Old 03-29-2011, 05:47 AM   #38
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Is homebrewing even legal over there? When are you guys going to protest and riot like all the Muslim countries and demand democracy?
Damned if I know if it is legal or not - they (The Man) tend to leave the foreign devils alone as long as we aren't stoking the fire of discontent.

Mike - You're welcome! The noodles are good here - and you can bring 2 50# pieces of luggage on the plane - that's a lot of hops...
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:02 PM   #39
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Well, I use Northern Brewer, Rebel Brewer (who just got a huge order from me recently), MidWest, Austin, Hearts Homebrew, Brewmasters, Morebeer, Homebrewheaven, etc. Three of these retailers offer flate rate or free shipping.

I will give you an example of an item I am looking for. Pretty basic item, whole vanilla beans. Some homebrew shops carry them. Local grocery stores do not, unless I travel a distance to find a whole foods or specialty store, and then you pay like 10 dollars for them. When I order the ingredients for my next recipe, it would be nice to be able to get everything at one stop. Only one online retailer carries vanilla beans and they dont have flat rate shipping, so when I put together my recipe with shipping is was too expensive.

One other factor that plays in to where to shop is how an itme is sold. I found only a couple retailers offer exact amounts of grain, and rarely anyone sells hops in less than 1 oz increments. This is ok if you want extra that you can use in future recipes, but the item may go stale before then. So, if I need 12 oz black malt, I have to order a pound then weigh it out myself. Thats the nice thing about LHBS, you get exactly what you need.

At least most places will crush your grain (except for a 55lb bag) for free.

I actually picked out an all grain recipe for a RIS, and priced it out, including shipping, at the major online retailers. There was about a 12 dollar difference between the cheapest and most expensive, with Brewmasters warehouse cheapest and Mid-West being the most expensive. The widest selection of grains was found at Rebel Brewer, and they did offer the grains most often used in quantities less than a pound, at a price/ounce. The had the lowest price for the recipe, but ended up in the middle of the range due to shipping.

Food for thought.

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Old 03-29-2011, 07:12 PM   #40
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http://www.beanilla.com ships beans via USPS my last order was $12 including shipping. I got 10 Madagascar Vanilla beans for $8.99 and $3 shipping for a total of $12.32 thats a crapload of beans

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