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Old 11-25-2012, 01:28 PM   #21
BobbiLynn
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The problem with a reward card is that anyone who doesn't have it feels left out, you could be alienating more people than you are drawing in. I would think coupons sent to past customers... a 50% off any one item coupon would make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside... kinda like a high ABV beer would....



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Old 11-25-2012, 02:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewmax25 View Post
Being friendly and welcoming.
+1. Make it your mantra. "I will be friendly and welcoming. I will be friendly and ... Om ... Om"

There are two LBS in my area. One has been there forever, very knowledgeable, very well stocked. Unfortunately, the owner is very intimidating to this newbie, like, someone should buy the guy a smile. Maybe he is tired of being there on Saturdays, but that is the only day I can shop. I avoid the place.

The second shop almost, not quite, lost my business for arrogance. This newbie was excited that I scored some local whole-flower hops. The first co-owner said "I would not use local hops. There are no quality hops around here." He just called me an idiot and embarrased me. I went to his other location and met the seond co-owner who was friendly, happy to meet a newbie, and very helpful. Changed my mind totally. So I shop there regularly instead of the long-established LBS.


KEEP IT CLEAN!
The following is what I observed at several shops. I won't give names, but if it sounds like you, clean up your act.

Some shops look like an old time general store that forgot how to use a broom. You are dealing with food, dammit! It does not have to look like a chrome-plated supermarket, but I do NOT want to see
- extract bottles stored in the bathroom. Full bottles waiting to be labled. Gross.
- And clean the bathroom if you have one
- grain scoops on the floor
- greasy, filthy grain buckets. Buy a new $2 lid.
- grain scattered all over the place
- scraps of packaging all over the place
- don't tell me your primary fermenter is in the bathroom because the temp is steady. Move it.

The local hospitals have a campaign to wash hands. It is the main way to reduce infections. Has been forever. Rule: wash hands for at least 15 seconds with soap and warm water. Do it.


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Old 11-25-2012, 03:11 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ust311
Beyond a premium staff that knows there stuff and takes care of the customer....would everyone like a reward card program? Something like Spend $400(doesn't take long!) and get a $20 gift certificate? Or just coupons sent to you often? What would you like to see in a reward card?
I HATE reward cards, it requires me to carry some piece of junk with me. I have a wallet not a purse, if I leave it on my desk I'll forget it when I need it. I do like reward programs, just not if it requires me to carry a card. A local chain used to use a punch card to get free coffee, went there all the time. They changed to a reward card system, to get a card you have to give up your email and drivers license number. I get enough spam in my email now and giving them my DL number is ridiculous. I don't go there anymore... Rant over.

One of the LHBS nearby uses a reward system they track at the register, when you get enough points you get a discount on a purchase of your choice. All I had to give up was name, planning a Blichman burner purchase soon to use my discount.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:39 PM   #24
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Offer good friendly advice, but ultimately allow people to make their own choices and don't call them a fool. People brew many different ways.

My local shop is actually a pretty nice one, with classes and some community involvement. But, I don't go in there any more because they love to try to talk me into changing my recipes. If I want a certain grain and you have it, just sell it to me. Don't suggest alternates unless I ask for input. It's super annoying. The other reason I stopped going is the yeast. I'm a liquid yeast guy and I want a decent selection. I know some brewers always use dry, or only ever use cal ale. But there are many of us who like to play with different strains. If we can't get them at your shop, we will get them online instead. I even offered to buy their old (expired) vials at a discount so they would reorder fresh, and they wouldn't give me a discount.

Don't be that shop!

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Old 11-25-2012, 03:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ust311

Lol...Well...I have a beard(for movember) and I'm a Twins fan!
A Twins fan? Does that mean you live in the Twin Cities area? Curious to know what Brew Shop you are starting at, as I live in Bloomington.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:11 PM   #26
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I went to a homebrew store that had a binder full of recipes. When someone brewed one, if they thought it was a winner they would put a star sticker on the page. Obviously more stars= good recipe. I thought it was a neat idea to give beginners good ideas for good recipes that will most likely make good beer.

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Old 11-25-2012, 04:36 PM   #27
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I am thinking that, if you want to make a million bucks in the LHBS business, start with two million. Like with other businesses, on-line operations can lower the price because they buy in bulk, drop ship from the manufacturer, don't have a storefront and other overhead etc. That said, we buy from the more expensive guy down the street because he, or she, is there and is a person. That is both a blessing and a potential problem.

When I started to brew, I spent one day and hit every LHBS in my area. I drove about 150 miles by the end of the day but it was a great education. I have a deep background in retail so I was looking for some of the things people talked about here, well stocked, clean, user friendly, unintimidating to the rookie, etc. Most of all, it was the people, the people, the people. In a couple of shops, I was made to feel like I was not welcome. Staff were either jerks or ignored me. In another, I got the heavy lecture and the push to the expensive stuff. In each shop, I told them I had a Mr. Beer kit working at home and in all but two, I was looked at as if I was a bug.

I settled on a shop that was close enough to home to get there for the little stuff. Most importantly, I settled on that shop because the owner walked up to be and shook my hand and said "Hi, I'm Eric". He told me about the monthly demos, the shop's brew club, walked me around the shop and showed me where things were and didn't treat me like crap when I thanked him and left empty handed. A week later, I attended a demo at his shop and walked out with a complete kit. I still buy on-line when I see the occasional great deal that I know he can't match but, I try to get in and support his shop and let him know that his success is important to me and my success.

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Old 11-26-2012, 01:32 AM   #28
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Thank you every one!

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Old 11-26-2012, 02:06 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bljustice
I am thinking that, if you want to make a million bucks in the LHBS business, start with two million. Like with other businesses, on-line operations can lower the price because they buy in bulk, drop ship from the manufacturer, don't have a storefront and other overhead etc. That said, we buy from the more expensive guy down the street because he, or she, is there and is a person. That is both a blessing and a potential problem.

When I started to brew, I spent one day and hit every LHBS in my area. I drove about 150 miles by the end of the day but it was a great education. I have a deep background in retail so I was looking for some of the things people talked about here, well stocked, clean, user friendly, unintimidating to the rookie, etc. Most of all, it was the people, the people, the people. In a couple of shops, I was made to feel like I was not welcome. Staff were either jerks or ignored me. In another, I got the heavy lecture and the push to the expensive stuff. In each shop, I told them I had a Mr. Beer kit working at home and in all but two, I was looked at as if I was a bug.

I settled on a shop that was close enough to home to get there for the little stuff. Most importantly, I settled on that shop because the owner walked up to be and shook my hand and said "Hi, I'm Eric". He told me about the monthly demos, the shop's brew club, walked me around the shop and showed me where things were and didn't treat me like crap when I thanked him and left empty handed. A week later, I attended a demo at his shop and walked out with a complete kit. I still buy on-line when I see the occasional great deal that I know he can't match but, I try to get in and support his shop and let him know that his success is important to me and my success.
You just described my LHBS. You wouldn't happen to be referring to Addison Homebrew Provisions in Fullerton, would you?
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:47 AM   #30
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Keep your mill in good condition. There are a few LHBS's around Denver, and there's one further north that probably still hasn't replaced their mill. They had a Corona, but why would someone hand crank at a LHBS? I'd drop $25 for a mill for home if I wanted to do manual labor.

There's a store in lower Aurora (The Brew Hut) that is pricier per pound, but it has two mills that are kept in good shape. I don't have to worry about maintaining efficiency with what I buy from there.

My wife notices the staff friendliness of the staff more than I do. The hut had a guy willing to go through all their kits and resources for wine making, whereas the other store we went to had a staff that mostly ignored their customers.

There is another LHBS that is in south Denver, which I've been to, but they have such a small selection of stock. They also were trying to sell King Kookers at something like a 300% markup. I've only bought yeast from them, since it seems like that place is just ridiculously overpriced.

So, tip 3: try not to jack prices way up. It's stupid to do so. You compete with the Internet, and your equipment rarely will be so needed in an emergency that someone will spring for it. I also wouldn't overcharge for hops or yeast. You can find bargains online that $2/oz on hops will never compete with. Same goes for yeast. $9 for White Labs vials? Really?



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