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Old 07-17-2012, 04:50 AM   #1
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Default Should I feel guilty buying online and not local?

I have this internal struggle. I want to support my local home brew store but they just can't or don't compete with the price I can find online for most things. If I could justify it by "getting knowledge and training" I would spend the extra 20%. The fact is that with the internet any training I need is at my finger tips. Does anyone have considerations why I should buy locally? Thanks!

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Old 07-17-2012, 04:55 AM   #2
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Nope. If the prices put the LHBS to shame then I don't give it a second thought.

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Old 07-17-2012, 05:00 AM   #3
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20% seems steep. Go in and talk to the owner, worth a shot at least. I am fortunate to have a great local shop that other then always being out of malted wheat has everything I ever need at great prices, no waiting for ups, no shipping charges, and most important no wondering if the liquid yeast is still good after transportation.

Worst thing that could happen is they say no, then you can buy online without a second thought

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Old 07-17-2012, 05:12 AM   #4
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I buy all my hops online in bulk because it's way cheaper, but I buy grain and yeast locally because shipping almost always makes buying online at least a few dollars more. I don't buy grain in bulk yet because I don't have a mill, so I haven't really priced full sacks, but my LHBS offers a discount card to buy a sack of 2 row for a discount, but only pick up as much as you need every time you go in.

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Old 07-17-2012, 05:16 AM   #5
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I buy hops online in bulk for the savings, and I'd buy sacks of grain online but nobody offers free shipping, so I might as well pick that up from the LHBS.

Beyond that, I buy most of my specialty grain & yeast from the LHBS. If I know I'm going to have a big enough order to stock up a bunch of stuff from morebeer, I'll do that, because the savings are worth it, but if it's merely for specialty grain & yeast, it's usually not expensive enough to worry about the savings online.

That said, I like the idea of supporting my local, because you never know when you'll have that emergency ***oh crap my yeast isn't viable!*** moment and realize you don't have a backup plan. The freedom to run out to the store within 24 hrs and get what you need is valuable. But that doesn't stop my from buying online when the situation is right to do so.

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Old 07-17-2012, 05:16 AM   #6
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Check and see if the LHBS supports a local club. Mine gives a 10% discount to members of the local brew club. I buy some stuff on line but milled grain is usually cheaper there.

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Old 07-17-2012, 06:09 AM   #7
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I shop locally when I need to but I do buy mostly online. I usually only buy one or two bulk orders per year and spend around $100-150 per year in ingredients (I just don't have time to brew or drink that much). On a $60 order online, even with the cost of shipping, I still get a better deal. The most local shop is now fairly close to online prices so any smaller volume needs are bought online. Sometimes I go in the shop and there's 3-4 people on the clock but just sitting at the counter talking. That's probably some overhead that could be cut.

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Old 07-17-2012, 07:45 AM   #8
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I appreciate the response. I guess it depends on convenience and cost mixed with a touch of loyalty. I really don't know enough about brewing to compare all the different variables. I compared a simple one like the plastic carboy. Morebeer was less then 30.00 while this place was about 37.00. I just guessed that was going to be the trend in general. It is true shipping adds to the cost but at certain levels that become irrelevant if you spend enough. Anyway thanks! Still looking for more input.

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Old 07-17-2012, 12:45 PM   #9
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Buy locally because when your LHBS goes out of business, the owner might go on a local crime spree!

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Old 07-17-2012, 01:10 PM   #10
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My local was 20 miles away. I had a bad buying session from him once, so my lhbs turned into 40 miles away. 20 mile closed his doors, and while 40 mile is super competitive on pricing and really nice, I can't justify the price in gas vs flat rate shipping. Their also hasn't been once where I'll go in with my recipe and not come out with a substitution. Online has offered me a larger in-stock selection.

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