Hop Hoarding and Profiteering

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BrewFrick

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Well, you may think this thread is a complaint about others but you would be mistaken. Since the hop shortage started to rear its ugly head I have a story and question about what to do given a certain very lucky opportunity that has popped up. There is a homebrew shop locally that only sells brewing related equipment and ingredients. They, like all dedicated homebrew stores have been rationing hops and have a hard time getting any right now. There is another local shop that carries homebrewing items as a side business, they are mainly a high-end kitchenware and gourmet food/coffee store. This shop didn't seem to get the memo about the hop shortage. I had a safety reward payout from work and I had my supervisor buy the gift certificate at this store and then used it all before the new year. We had a perfect safety year so it was a hefty check and I spent it all on brew ingredients. Well this place still sells 1 oz vacuum sealed LD Carlson
US hops at $1 and European for $1.50, no upcharge for leaf hops either. He had one pound bags of several varieties for only $10. When I got there all the Cascades were wiped out but he had at least 20 more varieties on hand. So now I find myself with 7-8 lbs of 20 different hop varieties, after another trip today, and I could probably stretch these out for like 3 years or more with as much as I brew. I don't prefer the really hoppy beers so I just use maybe 3 oz total when making a batch. My question is, do you guys think it is my right to use these as I see fit, I mean selling them to other brewers at profit either locally or online? The other question is should I go back and buy-out the store of all that he has at those prices? I don't think the guy that owns the store knows how close he is to running smooth out since I did go back and buy about 2 more pounds today when I knew he wouldn't be there and the ladies running the register don't know the difference. He still has most of a pound bag of Kent Goldings leaf left and lots of pellet Cluster, Sterling, Perle, and others in the smaller bags. I feel kinda bad about doing this but know that I have a rare opportunity here to keep ahead of the curve on hops and make some profit. ;)
 

Evan!

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I say buy all you can at that price. Figure out what you'll need for next couple of years (assuming you have a foodsaver and you keep them vacuum-packed and in the freezer), and sell the rest of it for a profit. It's not "profiteering", it's smart business practice. Buy low, sell high. There's nothing unethical about that. The government, in all its socialist wisdom, has fostered this idea that selling "too low" is undercutting; selling "too high" is profiteering; selling at the same price as everyone else is "collusion". Free market economics, on the other hand, teaches us that if you own something, you can and should sell it for whatever people are willing to pay for it. To me, that's about as ethical as it gets. I mean, we're not talking about trying to sell bread to a starving man, here...we're talking about hops. Not exactly essential for survival. So, IMHO, buy him out and sell as much as you can for as much as people are willing to pay.

Oh, and I expect you to give me a discount, natch. :D
 
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BrewFrick

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Ah, sweet sweet validation. Capitalist Swine of the world rejoice!:rockin:
 

Jonnio

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If it makes you feel better you can send me a few 1lb bags of the varieties I will need most at 25% above cost, or some pelletized ones at the same deal :)
 

Ooompa Loompa

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Heck yes, sell, sell, sell. And send me a PM when you start because I'm sure I'll be interested in buying some off you.
 
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BrewFrick

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Ok, I put a pound of Tettnang up on eBay, seller ID Frickenstein.
 

paranode

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Sell whatever you don't need. By next year I think the shortage will have passed.
 

wildwest450

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BrewFrick said:
I feel kinda bad about doing this but know that I have a rare opportunity here to keep ahead of the curve on hops and make some profit. ;)
Mabey you should feel bad, why is it always about making a profit and hording? Why not buy what you need for the year, and leave the rest for other's? I guess it's the "American" way, but I think it suck's. If you think im an asshat for thinking this, i've got two words for you, Jim Koch.
 
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