Author Topic: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.  (Read 8814 times)

Offline tygo

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2012, 05:59:29 PM »
I didn't realize they dropped the flat rate shipping.  That sucks.  Over the past couple of years I've ordered most of my supplies from them, both because they've had a good amount of stuff in stock and because of the 7.99 shipping.

I'm sure I'll still shop there but I'll probably be more inclined to see if I can get what I want from morebeer since they offer the free shipping on most stuff over $59.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2012, 06:34:20 PM »
I imagine they'll lose a lot of customers for dropping flat-rate shipping. It doesn't matter if their prices are better or not, a lot of people will just be mad they can't get the same service for the same price. I bet NB has enough new customers coming in that they'll still do OK.
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Offline gymrat

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2012, 07:23:34 PM »
The only advantage I ever saw in NB over midwest supplies was the flat rate shipping. Now I prefer midwest because they use paypal. I do stock up on my grain through morebeer for the free shipping over $59 though.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2012, 07:36:24 PM »
Back in April I got a full sack of pils from NB because of the flat-rate shipping. I'm pretty sure they lost money on that deal, and I'm not surprised they discontinued the program.
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Offline hoser

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2012, 07:47:36 PM »
Back in April I got a full sack of pils from NB because of the flat-rate shipping. I'm pretty sure they lost money on that deal, and I'm not surprised they discontinued the program.

I am pretty sure it was balanced out by people who may have bought 1 vial of yeast or a couple ounces of hops ;D

Offline tygo

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2012, 08:07:26 PM »
So in a righteous rage I took the order that I've been accumulating for awhile on my Northern Brewer account and filled it out on Morebeer, keeping everything as close to the same as possible. 

I was pretty successful at matching things up one for one and there really weren't any "deal breakers" where one site had something I needed and the other didn't.  Morebeer does have more of a tendency to have things in their inventory be out of stock, but I was able to get what I needed into my shopping cart.

After adjusting for a couple discrepancies (i.e. ordering the 5lb munich malt option from morebeer vs the 3 x 1 lbs I had in my cart for NB) my order total at NB was $118.91 at NB including shipping and $117.99 at morebeer with free shipping.

So that's a wash, and considering I did make a few minor compromises in what I was was getting from NB and what I had to sub at Morebeer, I'll be placing this order with NB. 

P.S:  I also tried pricing through Rebel brewer, and while their pricing was better on some of the items they also did not have some things which I wanted.  And even so, without a picnic tap and 2 X 64 ounce glass "growler"s in my cart (which were included in both my NB and MB orders), my shopping cart total with them, including shipping was $100. 

Based on my evening of research my conclusions are:
1) Even without the flat rate shipping NB is competitive.
2) It all depends on what you're buying and you may be able to shave a couple of bucks here and there by comparison shopping.  No surprises there.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 08:15:27 PM by tygo »
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On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline hoser

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2012, 08:27:34 PM »
Sadly, NB carries a lot of grains no one else carries.  But, it is good to see their prices are competitve even without the flat rate shipping.

Offline tygo

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2012, 08:46:57 PM »
I don't think it's sad that they carry more than others carry.  I'm glad they do.  I've always preferred them because of their selection, and because it's in stock most of the time. 

I set out on my minor price research project because I was pissed off about the discontinuation of the flat rate shipping and fully believed I'd be able to make a post castigating them for their greed and offering a better alternative.

After I looked into it though, it just doesn't appear that is the case.  I mean, I'd love the flat rate shipping to be continued.  But businesses will do what they do to keep themselves profitable.  As long as they can give me what I want at the lowest overall price, I'll go with them.

Edit:  And I realize we've gotten a little off topic from the OP.    I've always selected brewsaver shipping from NB and realized that meant I'd get it when I got it.  Now that it's UPS Standard Ground, we'll see how they do.  I guess I'll still assume that I'll need to give myself a buffer between when I'm ordering and when I need it.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 08:54:10 PM by tygo »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2012, 08:49:53 PM »
I always price out all my internet orders at AHS, Midwest, NB and Rebel, and end up placing my order with the cheapest place that has all the items I want. If everything is within a buck or so, I'll end up going with Austin because I don't have a mill and you can order crushed grain by the ounce.

In general, I find that prices are usually within 5-10 percent of each other once you factor in shipping. I also think that of the four:

Rebel has the best prices on average, but a smaller selection

Midwest tends to have lower prices, but non-flat rate shipping ends up bringing the price back up in line with the others

NB tended to be a little pricier on most orders, but flat rate shipping kept it close. They also seem to have the biggest selection. I find myself buying from them every few months just because they're the only place I can find a particular ingredient. I've also willingly paid a few extra bucks to shop at NB every so often to show my support of BTV.

AHS seems to have the right balance of selection, price and flat rate shipping for me. I'd say I do about 60-70% of my online business through them. Like NB, I find that they have certain ingredients that I haven't found elsewhere.


I tend to buy ingredients for 1 batch at a time, plus one or two random bits of gear, so YMMV if your purchasing habits are different from mine. I've also had excellent customer service from all of the major online retailers, and will not hesitate to shop at any of them.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2012, 09:10:28 PM »
AHS seems to have the right balance of selection, price and flat rate shipping for me. I'd say I do about 60-70% of my online business through them. Like NB, I find that they have certain ingredients that I haven't found elsewhere.

I didn't price out my entire order on Austin since they didn't have the 5526 culture I was looking for or any type of fermometer, which was on my order with the other three.  Looked like a decent site though and I hadn't looked at it before it detail so thanks for the reference. 
Clint
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2012, 01:05:19 AM »
I had no idea that Dawson and Keeler left. That sucks. I really liked those guys, they were the way I found out about NB in the first place.

And based on this status, it looks like the package won't be delivered until Monday. I didn't pay for expedited shipping (I got the 3-day ground), but mainly because the next shipping option up from 3-day was 2-day air, and that was ~50 bucks. WAY too much, thanks.

That's what you get, I suppose, when you're used to ordering everything from Amazon and assume it applies to everyone else.

FYI the kit they were supposedly slammed on was the Pumpkin one. I am super bummed, because now God only knows when they'll get out here.
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Offline euge

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2012, 09:36:48 AM »
So you are staying somewhere in Texas?
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Offline gymrat

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2012, 09:51:16 AM »
Something I hadn't thought about, I wonder if NB has lowered some prices to offset the shipping.

Also NB never gave me the flat rate shipping on 50 pound sacks of grain. Typically my two row has been cheaper through midwest after price and shipping.

I still like that I can use paypal through midwest and I like that morebeer saves my payment information so I don't have to fill it out everytime I order. NB does neither and that makes it a pain to order from my phone.
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Offline thetooth

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2012, 10:35:52 AM »
I'm willing to wait for shipping delays when free or discounted shipping is offered.  If I'm paying for full-price shipping, I expect it to go out in a day or two.  If it will take longer than that, I expect notification and an option to cancel my order to place with someone who can fulfill it.  It sounds to me like you got screwed and they should offer you a refund since they screwed up your order.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2012, 11:22:54 AM »
Back in April I got a full sack of pils from NB because of the flat-rate shipping. I'm pretty sure they lost money on that deal, and I'm not surprised they discontinued the program.

Not that it matters now, I thought bags of grain were excluded from the flat rate shipping.  Probably would have ordered some from them if I had know sacks were included.

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