Poll

Which attribute is most important when choosing equipment and ingredient providers?

Customer Service
5 (23.8%)
Product Quality
9 (42.9%)
Competitive Prices
6 (28.6%)
Fast Shipping (Online orders)
0 (0%)
Other (Please comment)
1 (4.8%)

Total Members Voted: 21

Voting closed: January 04, 2015, 06:10:14 PM

Author Topic: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers  (Read 900 times)

Offline HomeBrewAnswers

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What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« on: November 05, 2014, 06:10:14 PM »
Thanks for your answers and input. As a supplier, understanding your wants and needs can help us to better serve the home-brewing community!   

Offline erockrph

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2014, 06:30:56 PM »
For me, it's usually product selection. I want to be able to choose which maltster's version of a specific malt I want, a full selection of both White Labs and Wyeast (and maybe some of the newer labs as well), plus some mead/wine/cheesemaking supplies as well. Basically I want to get all the ingredients I'm looking for from one supplier in one order.

Speed of shipping is occasionally the most important factor if I'm ordering something on short notice for a specific brew day. I find myself using More Beer much more often now that they have a warehouse on the East Coast.
Eric B.

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Offline stpug

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 06:31:07 PM »
All of the above ;)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2014, 08:10:27 PM »
Everything erockrph said plus located in Klickitat

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 09:31:21 PM »
For me, it's usually product selection. I want to be able to choose which maltster's version of a specific malt I want, a full selection of both White Labs and Wyeast (and maybe some of the newer labs as well), plus some mead/wine/cheesemaking supplies as well. Basically I want to get all the ingredients I'm looking for from one supplier in one order.

I selected Prices, but after seeing this comment about selection, this is the real clincher for me.  This is the reason I don't often shop at my LHBS, because they only have about 75% of the ingredients I need, so rather than trek there and find that they don't have everything I need, I often/usually just order everything online from the lowest bidder.  Online homebrew supply stores are EXTREMELY competitive, so the best way for a specific company to win over a lot of business is to offer the lowest prices and great creative perks like free shipping, frequent sales, etc.  Service and fast shipping are pretty consistent among most all stores, so for me it really comes down to two things: selection and bottom line price.
Dave

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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2014, 09:37:45 PM »
It's really a combination of "all of the above". 

Product quality is #1 though.  I don't care how cheap it is if the quality is bad.  I'm blessed with an excellent LHBS now so I don't do nearly as much online.  They have even started stocking full bags of MO which I used to have to pick up in Minneapolis.  No more explaining to the high school marching band director that I was a little late because Northern Brewer was busy.   ;D

I'm willing to support local and pay a little more if they can supply most of my needs.  I'll order online for obscure or less common things I need.

Paul
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Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2014, 09:51:07 PM »
Selection, Prices, and prompt shipping. In that order!
Frank C.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2014, 09:55:56 PM »
For me, it's usually product selection. I want to be able to choose which maltster's version of a specific malt I want, a full selection of both White Labs and Wyeast (and maybe some of the newer labs as well), plus some mead/wine/cheesemaking supplies as well. Basically I want to get all the ingredients I'm looking for from one supplier in one order.

Speed of shipping is occasionally the most important factor if I'm ordering something on short notice for a specific brew day. I find myself using More Beer much more often now that they have a warehouse on the East Coast.

After rereading, I realized I made the assumption that this thread was specific to online suppliers. As far as LHBS's are concerned, my main issue is hours. The LHBS's around me are open odd hours (a few weeknights, some weekend hours which vary depending on whether it's football season, etc). With my work and family schedule, that just doesn't work for me. I'd definitely use a LHBS more often if I had one near me open typical retail hours so I could actually go there.
Eric B.

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Offline duboman

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 10:01:29 PM »
I selected Quality but service for me is also important. I am fortunate that I do not need to deal online as I have several LHBS to choose from where I live that aren't too far.

I look for the large selection and variety of high quality product and if I have to pay a bit more I'm fine with it. I value the customer service and knowledge of the staff as well and the ease of ordering or requesting something if they don't happen to have it.
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Offline ibru

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2014, 10:59:35 PM »
We used to have a sign in our office that was lost in our remodel that said, "Quality, Service, Price- Pick any two". We are the best, in my opinion, in quality and service. We are not the cheapest however we are the best value. I apply the same principles to my brewing suppliers even if he is sometimes a little more expensive.

Bruce   

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2014, 03:40:11 PM »
I selected prices but selection is a very close second. I am not so picky about selection that I need access to every maltster and every product they make but I do need some selection so I can get something that matches my need. I am not overly concerned whether I get Crisp or Baird but when I need an English page malt I need access to one of them.

I have a local shop with some of the lowest prices around but there is one pilsner, one two row, etc. and I don't even know what it is. It's just whatever they buy and dump in a bin. It's probably all Briess. I don't shop there although the prices are low and it's reasonably close to my office because the selection is questionable and I always feel like the grain has terrible turnover.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2014, 03:53:17 PM »
I selected Customer service, but would also likely have chosen selection if it was a choice. I made a purchase yesterday at an LHBS i don't use heavily. I was told the grain I was looking for was not commercially available, but I found it later last night across town. I have also gotten yeast at that first one that was not nearly as fresh as I would like. I know why I don't/won't shop there often in the future: better selection and fresher product elsewhere
Frank L.
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Offline mchrispen

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2014, 03:59:38 PM »
I selected product quality... but in my opinion, the good selection, quality of product, etc are really tied to customer service. I am sure the OP was specifically talking about phone support, returns, etc. but having a solid selection of products, high quality, reasonable shipping rates and turn around really fall into Customer Service to me.


We have a new LHBS here and I have swapped to it because I can walk in - be treated well, and if they don't have something in stock, it goes right onto a list of new orders. I even get an email or text if it has arrived. Great folk, and they don't EXPECT me to pay a premium in their shop, and work hard to earn my loyalty.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2014, 11:22:39 PM »
I usually know what I need well in advance of actually needing it. So I email the list to my lhbs and they get it within a few days. Then its just a quick stop to will call, but I usually BS with him and try samples for an hour or two.

Offline Stevie

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Re: What Home-Brewers Want From Their Suppliers
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2014, 11:42:48 PM »
I buy all of my hops online once or twice a year. Does anybody else feel shameful when they guy at the LHBS asks if you need hops with your grains?