Author Topic: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?  (Read 3538 times)

Offline Laminarman

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Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« on: April 07, 2017, 01:31:10 AM »
I will admit, I'm an addicted online shopper (Cabelas, BH Photo, Amazon..etc.) for my MHD (multiple hobby disorder).  I DO support my local shop and buy almost all my stuff there.  Have ordered some stuff online.  But recently, after purchases, I found he's MUCH cheaper on some hardware items than online (I will not mention which) but I find it a pleasant surprise that, for example, the Barley Crusher I bought there today was $136 and two online places for the same model was $177 and $179, plus shipping.  Grains a bit more expensive locally, and I pay tax, but no shipping.  Just wish he had a larger selection.

Offline GS

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 01:33:41 AM »
I don't buy online unless my local doesn't carry it. And where i am, grain is considered a food product, so there is no tax on it.

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Offline Laminarman

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 02:11:02 AM »
I don't buy online unless my local doesn't carry it. And where i am, grain is considered a food product, so there is no tax on it.

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Offline 69franx

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 02:41:53 AM »
I buy 90% of my supplies from my LHBS. I do buy hops in bulk elsewhere, usually someone like YCH hops or Ted's ebay shop(cant remember the name, I have too many hops right now, and for the last year to be honest.) I always look at the daily postings from Homebrewfinds.com, but rarely do I need something from there that I dont already have. I trust and want to support my LHBS as often as possible. The fact that they run an awesome local brewery(or two separate breweries with same equipment) as well makes it easy to stop in there, chat, and shop. Big thanks go out to Dan Listermann, an old school homebrewing legend, just stay away from the locust pale ale( or so I have been told)
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Offline juggabrew303

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 03:28:09 AM »
Big purchases like kettles I've bought online and look for best price and free shipping. All other brewing related stuff like ingredients, hoses, misc. buy from LHBS.  Nice thing about my LHBS' are they offer a 15% discount monthly.  WTBS, I have bought small stuff off Amazon but seems like nowadays brick and mortar stores are starting to sell at the same price.  I'm always hunting though


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Offline jimmykx250

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 09:23:14 AM »
Hate to say it but LHBS is normally more expensive on most items. But I like the gal that runs it so im always throwing business her way. Her bags of 2 row are close to what i get delivered to my door but she sells rahr and I like GWM. I want her to stay around so im alsways stopping in and buying yeast and ods and ends from her.
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Offline mainebrewer

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2017, 10:30:40 AM »
One store is 25 miles away and the other almost 50.
The selection is OK.
The prices are about the same, sometimes higher.
I buy almost all my equipment/supplies online since the selection is more predictable, price is the same or lower and the shipping is free (with a min $ order amount).
Driving one or two hours round trip is a deal breaker for me.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2017, 01:50:54 PM »
I buy 90% of my supplies from my LHBS. I do buy hops in bulk elsewhere, usually someone like YCH hops or Ted's ebay shop(cant remember the name, I have too many hops right now, and for the last year to be honest.) I always look at the daily postings from Homebrewfinds.com, but rarely do I need something from there that I dont already have. I trust and want to support my LHBS as often as possible. The fact that they run an awesome local brewery(or two separate breweries with same equipment) as well makes it easy to stop in there, chat, and shop.



Same here, Frank. My LHBS is top notch, so I buy from them when I can. The killer nano next door is a big plus, too. I do buy hops in bulk from online retailers, though. Mostly YVH and Hop Heaven. 
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Offline Bob357

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2017, 02:07:37 PM »
Even though my LHBS is an hour away I buy almost all of my supplies and equipment from them. They have fresh products and are only slightly more expensive than buying from the online retailer I used previously. I do buy some of my hops in bulk elsewhere at times but generally only when the prices are ridiculously low. There's nothing like dealing with people face to face.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2017, 02:12:41 PM »
My LHBS provides a 10% discount to homebrew club members, and will match online prices and pony up the dollars for shipping if you want something he doesn't have in stock, but of course then you do have to run to the store to pick it up, not direct-ship to your house.  So it's definitely cheaper with the LHBS given there's no shipping plus the discount.  He doesn't have to do all that, but it's just the kind of guy he is.  You can also order online from him like any of the other big boys, with competitive pricing, but then of course I'd assume you have to pay your own shipping to your house.  http://www.grapegrainandbean.com/

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Offline 69franx

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2017, 02:26:45 PM »
I buy 90% of my supplies from my LHBS. I do buy hops in bulk elsewhere, usually someone like YCH hops or Ted's ebay shop(cant remember the name, I have too many hops right now, and for the last year to be honest.) I always look at the daily postings from Homebrewfinds.com, but rarely do I need something from there that I dont already have. I trust and want to support my LHBS as often as possible. The fact that they run an awesome local brewery(or two separate breweries with same equipment) as well makes it easy to stop in there, chat, and shop.



Same here, Frank. My LHBS is top notch, so I buy from them when I can. The killer nano next door is a big plus, too. I do buy hops in bulk from online retailers, though. Mostly YVH and Hop Heaven.
I forgot that he also offers a $10% discount as well for brew club members.  His prices are usually a little higher than online, but the discount usually takes care of that

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Offline Stevie

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2017, 02:28:03 PM »
Yeast, speciality grains, and odds and ends from the LHBS. I'm sure I'll buy more base grain when my current sacks are done.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2017, 02:33:26 PM »
IME, it all depends on the specific item.  Some stuff is cheaper, some wildly more expensive (usually the smaller hardware pieces).  I try to buy local, and the convenience of walking in and picking up whatever you need the day before brew day can't be beat, but often for big orders I'll price it out on-line and locally and see where it comes out.

We've got >10% sales tax over by here, which can get pricey quickly.  At least for equipment.  I'm not sure what taxes apply to grains, etc. but I'm sure they get well taxed.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2017, 03:25:03 PM »
Locally base malt is cheaper than online, especially with shipping, but pretty much everything else is more expensive.
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Offline WattsOnTap

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Re: Is your local HBS less or more expensive than online?
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2017, 03:44:00 PM »
Definitely an "it depends" question.

Depends on which store I go to as my LHBS.  I have to in the area that are about the same distance.  One has massive stocks, a large staff, offers 10% discount to AHA/military, runs some specials (including 20% off).  My go-to for grain, yeast, and hops.  I will shop around and compare prices with online retailers for hardware and bottles.  Sometimes the 10% off, even with 6% tax added back in, is enough to beat the online guys - and also depends on my "need it by when?" factor.

The other store, is smaller, usually a little costlier, doesn't offer fixed discounts but does have "loyalty program" to earn points worth $ off at a later date. They prefer to select and mill grain for customers, so I don't like not having that "hands on" experience in the grain room.  On the plus side they are open a couple of hours earlier on the weekends, have some different stock choices and availability than my usual LHBS, and often have better stuff on tap in their kegerator.  It's about 5 minutes closer, and I usually spend less time looking around when I go, so it's my "oh crap, the dog got into my flaked oats" brew day emergency store.  On those days, I just have to bypass the kegerator...

Not everything is a one-for-one, and time 'till brew is a factor in my purchasing decisions.  I like both my LBHS staffs, so I'm not too bothered by spending a few dollars more with them than by going online.  I'd really, really hate to lose either as a resource.