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Old 06-20-2010, 05:19 AM   #1
GRHunter
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Default Keg etiquette at the LHBS

My LHBS has cornie kegs on sale for $20. Obviously that is a pretty good price so I wanted to purchase a few of them. They pressurize them with air so at the very least you know that they will hold pressure. I asked to pick through their inventory to select the best ones. That seemed to create a little tension as they preferred to just bring the requested quantity to me. I agreed, then after they brought them out I de-pressurized them and looked inside. One had a huge dent, and another had a bent dip tube. When I asked for a couple of different cornies the clerk made very little effort to hide his frustration with me when he told me that they didn't appreciate customers de-pressurizing kegs and disassembling them. He went on to say that they are used cornies and sold as is.

So my question is about the proper etiquette on purchasing used cornies from your LHBS. Is it bad form to pick through the selection of kegs? Or to look inside them? Or to ask for different kegs if you're not happy? I currently have 12 cornies, 2 of which are bad. I really don't need any more bad cornies for parts.

I understand the LHBS not wanting customers to take the best kegs, because at some point they are going to get stuck with the beat up and broken remnants. But I don't think it's fair to expect customers to just blindly accept what is grabbed out of the pile, especially if there is fairly large disparity in the quality of the available kegs.

So, what is the consensus on this?

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Old 06-20-2010, 06:08 AM   #2
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it is your 20 bucks.. YOU choose what to spend it on UNLESS they specifically say.. take what you get as is... unless there are some of them NOT worth 20 bucks they shouldn't care which ones you take.

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Old 06-20-2010, 06:14 AM   #3
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I'm with you.

With kegs pressurized, "As is" isn't supposed to mean "inoperable"...

I turned down a primary bucket because it was dirty. I asked them for a cleaner one. I told them I wanted to make sure it wasn't a large abrasive gouge.

When buying pounds of grain I'll take the bag that's had the air sucked out over one that is soft and full of air. And no hops if they're not vacuumed sealed.

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Old 06-20-2010, 06:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by GRHunter View Post

I understand the LHBS not wanting customers to take the best kegs, because at some point they are going to get stuck with the beat up and broken remnants.
Dude. They are in the business of selling goods to customers. They should want their customers to have the best products possible and do everything they can to make that happen.

I am a general manager of a $10mil/year+ retail store and the idea that a retailer would want to hoard all the best inventory, or get agitated that a customer would want to browse the selection blows me away!!!! It is absolutely unacceptable in my book. As a retailer you are in business to serve the customer. Period. No customer = No paycheck/business.

Do you buy the first tomato you pick up at the grocery store? Or the first pair of sunglasses you try on or the first car you test drive? Why should you have to buy the first keg you look at if they have more to choose from?

If they treat you as an inconvenience in their day rather than the reason that they are in business and open...then I suggest you shop elsewhere. There are plenty of places to buy brew equipment that go above and beyond for customer service for you to put up with being treated that way.
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:15 AM   #5
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honestly either they are the only lhbs in an area that no site will deliver too or noone thewre has a credit card or pay pal because there is NO WAY i would ever be desperate enough to shop at ANY store that would show that much disrespect to a customer. I have worked in the customer service sector for many years and although i never took crap from customers simply asking for a decent product is no grounds for that kind of rudeness.

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Old 06-20-2010, 08:48 AM   #6
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$20 seems right for an "as is" keg. More Beer has a pile of them in the corner, and I don't think they would be happy if I scattered them about the store trying to sort out the best one.

You get what you pay for, and $20 is cheap for a corny.

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Old 06-20-2010, 08:48 AM   #7
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Next time they bring up the as is BS ask them if they would buy a car as is without being allowed to pop the hood.
You have to buy it as is but you can't see it as it is?
That guy is a jackass and you owe it to him to make sure he understands that.
They have enough money in those kegs to eat the few that are crap.
We sell some used restaurant equipment as is where I work and I always offer to plug it in so they can see it work.

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Old 06-20-2010, 10:22 AM   #8
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My lhbs sells kegs. They've always said, if there is ever a problem bring them back.

I tested that once when I had a bad o-rings on both in and out. This resulted in both leaking beer, and a completely empty co2 tank as well. The store not only gave me two new o-rings they filled my co2 tank up for free.

Of course, I learned that even reconditioned kegs aren't always done well.

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Old 06-20-2010, 11:20 AM   #9
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What store are you talking about GRHunter? Sicillianos? Maybe the guy was having a bad day, usually the people there are helpful. There is one guy there, don't recall his name, that is kind of weird about draft beer systems. He gave me the impression that I had to be a rocket scientist to run a tap, everything had to be absolutely perfect so don't even try to do it.

As for people depressurizing the kegs, that is something I encourage them to do. For the last few months I have been ordering used kegs online and selling them on craigslist to the local homebrewers. They cost me 25 and I sell them for 30. I thought I was giving people a good deal, and its a good way to meet other homebrewers. When they come to check out the kegs, I tell them to open the lids and look inside. If they don't like what they see, thats fine. Even if someone wanted to disassemble the whole thing, I would give them a wrench to do it with.

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Old 06-20-2010, 12:33 PM   #10
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I love this particular LHBSI so I really don't want to name the store, in fact I choose them over another LHBS that is 30 minutes closer to my house. And to be fair, the guy was not a jerk about it. But is was obvious that my request and actions were not making him happy. Being as I am still somewhat new to the whole brewing hobby that was why I asked in here to see if I had violated some unwritten rule about how to buy used cornies. The incident seemed so out of character compared to my other 20 visits to this store. And after sleeping on it I think that if I buy any more used cornies from them I will tell them up front that I would prefer to pick the cornies myself and that I would be willing to pay an extra $5 each for the privilege. At $20 they obviously aren't making much much money on them so I can understand that they probably don't want to put too much extra effort and time into them.

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