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Old 10-26-2012, 03:01 AM   #41
Radegast
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I knew my LHBS was an asset, but I'm just now starting to realize how good I've got it. I've never comparison shopped the grain, but after the great deal I got on my 10g round FB MLT, it's hard for me to be critical. Not to mention all the great advice, or the fact that he just started a local homebrew club.

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Old 10-26-2012, 05:17 AM   #42
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I'm lucky to have 2 good LHBSs that are pretty close to me. I've chosen the closer as they have helped me with everything that I have ever needed help with. Gave me a free packet of yeast when I thought my first lager wasn't starting fermentation. Never have they tried to push anything on me that I did or didn't need. Just very helpful.

The further shop is nice as well with good people. A bit smaller, but still have helped me out. They also carry some craft beers that I like to pick up from time to time to taste.

I haven't bought much of anything off the internet. Aside from CL picking up a used temp controller or mass home brew extras. I actually just met up with a guy getting out of HB and got an unused mill, cornies, stir plate and box of misc. As I have been slowly trying to get kegging stuff I couldn't pass it up. I think he's on here as well. If so, THANKS AGAIN!

In closing. I'm a big supporter for keeping the "little guy" in business. One of my other hobbies is racing RC cars. Almost everything that I purchase is through where I race. If he goes under, we have to go and race elsewhere.

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Old 10-26-2012, 04:06 PM   #43
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I've found that the LHBS has better prices on certain things (corney kegs for like 30 and no shipping). Oh and grain is cheaper when you don't have to factor in shipping. Some times they'll have sales on yeast about to expire so you can get it for like 4 bucks a vial. But their equipment is just astronomically priced...

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Old 10-26-2012, 05:04 PM   #44
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My LHBS was very helpful and informative in helping me get started in this hobby. I've found I could buy much of my bigger equipment online for less money, but I still purchase some items from my LHBS. He's a little more expensive than online, but then I don't have to pay shipping, so it pretty much evens out. I'm happy to support them whenever I can. They've always been friendly, and willing to spend time answering questions, and making recommendations. Plus, in a pinch if I forgot something, I can just run out and get it, rather than wait days for an online purchase.

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Old 10-26-2012, 05:18 PM   #45
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I'm pretty glad I don't feel too much loyalty to my LHBS. I was shopping online for a new primary fermentation bucket. Midwest has 6.5gal buckets with grommeted lids for $15. The same item at my LHBS was $26. This is just an example but most items there run 20-30% more expensive than I can buy online. Of course it helps succor my guilt that my LHBS isn't a real LHBS, it's a health food store with a small corner devoted to homebrewing and home wine making.

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Old 10-26-2012, 11:35 PM   #46
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I have a wonderfu lLHBS less than two miles from me. They are attached to a wonderful brewery. The people are great and knowledgable at both. The difference is the beer is worth the money and LHBS isn't.

I went into the LHBS to buy 1/2" silicone tubing the other day. $3.60 a linear foot. I don't care if that guy has a family to support, his mark up is rediculous and I refuse to be fleeced! In case you haven't shopped for 1/2" silicone tubing before, that's $1.10 a linear foot difference than I find at bargainfittings.com. I occasionally buy grain there and dry yeast once in a while but at their prices I wouldn't be able to brew nearly as much beer.

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Old 10-27-2012, 01:06 AM   #47
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I have a good LHBS nearby. Think about it this way, when you are brewing on a Saturday and need an ingredient fast, you need someone local you can count on to have the ingredients. If you have that, you are very luck. Support them.

That being said, there are certain things my LHBS doesn't carry, that I will buy online. Generally when I do that, I go ahead and get all of my supplies at the same time, since it doesn't cost more in shipping.

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Old 10-27-2012, 01:24 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mytommygundont View Post
I have a wonderfu lLHBS less than two miles from me. They are attached to a wonderful brewery. The people are great and knowledgable at both. The difference is the beer is worth the money and LHBS isn't.

I went into the LHBS to buy 1/2" silicone tubing the other day. $3.60 a linear foot. I don't care if that guy has a family to support, his mark up is rediculous and I refuse to be fleeced! In case you haven't shopped for 1/2" silicone tubing before, that's $1.10 a linear foot difference than I find at bargainfittings.com. I occasionally buy grain there and dry yeast once in a while but at their prices I wouldn't be able to brew nearly as much beer.
First, I will concede that I know nothing about the LHBS you speak of. It may be lousy for other reasons, however; let's focus on the example you gave: Let's say you needed 10 ft of tubing. That's a difference of $11, right? Looks like your online resource has flat rate shipping of $5 to CO, so you've actually only saved $6, and you'll have to wait 2-3 business days for it.
Your LHBS has already rolled his cost of shipping into his price. He can't possibly compete with the discounted shipping costs of an online retailer,and he's not moving the same volume either. If he sold them at the same price as the online retailers, he would very quickly go out of business. If he's smart though, he can provide added value that the online guys can't. You get someone to actually talk to. Ask questions. Compare notes, contribute to the local hobbyist community, etc...

I'm sorry, but I just don't see your example of "ridiculous markup" having much merit. This is normal markup for an LHBS, he's not getting rich off of his silicone tubing, that much is for certain. You say in one breath that they are wonderful and knowledgable, but then you accuse them of trying to "Fleece" their very small market of savvy customers with this pricing plan on tubing. I don't get it.

No one will dispute that you can find lower prices from an online retailer. Price and value are two very different things though. I'm not saying that online retailers are bad and that you shouldn't use them, but I do think your example is oversensationalized. I'm not just picking on you either...this is widespread consumer mentality. Most people these days unfortunately would make the same choice. I don't envy the guy that's trying to make it as an LHBS...not in this day and age.
My argument is that when lowest cost purchasing is done as a reflex, you may be missing out, and you're certainly contributing to the ultimate demise of Main st. Ma and Pa businesses.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:07 AM   #49
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We have a great LHBS here on O`ahu. Mike stocks something like
48 different grains,
24 different hops (pellets)
8 different dry yeasts
37 different wet yeasts
And so much more.

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