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Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Mgm54, Jan 25, 2013.
I couldn't agree more
Nobody is saying don't be nice. At least I'm not saying that. Everyone should be treated nicely and with courtesy, that goes without saying. Nobody wins by losing customers.
So let's play your scenario out. Guy walks in and asks what you have in the back. You say nothing. No Hopslam. You lied to him.
Then he hears from a buddy that he bought some Hopslam from you AFTER you told him you didn't have any. You and your store are now on his shit list. You just lost a customer because you lied to him about what was in the back. Now he will never walk into your store, and will tell others about what you did to him, causing more people to stop visiting your store.
"The back" is bad for stores. Put your stuff on the shelf, put a limit, and whoever gets it gets it.
I have worked in retail a long time. There is a general idea that the customer is always right. Of course customers should be treated with respect. But customers also often do not show any personal responsibility with regards to how they act towards a business. The number one way to ensuring you get treated better as a customer: don't have a sense of entitlement. These are people running these businesses and you must understand how hard it is to give great customer service all the time when you deal with the occasional awful customer.
However, I do agree that if a store is doing a list that they should adhere to said list. But I wonder if there is more to the OP's story.
That's Ok. Wanna keep it a secret? Then say that 'everything is on the sales floor', or something other than giving the prospective customer an attitude. It's even Ok if you'd rather not do business with that particular person, but the clerk did some '9 bucks an hour' condescending....and admits it! I live and die by how much revenue that I produce, and it's from that perspective that I speak. How in the world is that customer a 'douche' ? That is simply insane!
ok man, here's my beef. I get the gig, i get there are rare "in the back" beers, etc. And i even get why a guy coming in and asking to buy "anything rare" probably rubs you the wrong way...but why lie?! if i walk into a store I've never been into/bought much from, and ask for "anything rare", and get the reply of "a couple things, but we usually hold them for our most loyal customers first"... I'm not going to be upset. in fact, i'm probably coming back to try and become one of those/get to know you better.
If i'm hunting for a rare beer (especially not at my "regular" haunts), i'm expecting to be disappointed, if the shit wasn't hard to get i wouldn't be hunting for it. but I do expect the common decency to not be lied to. Much like one of my former favorite shops in town (and what sounds like would be similar to your shop), i ask for something and say "sold out/didn't get any" and my buddy tells me he bought some later that night, i'm pretty much done. i walk in and and you say "didn't get much, saving it for biggest customers/most loyal etc." I'm going to understand, that's what i would do.
Sell how you want, treat people how you want, whatever, it's your store. But it's pretty rude in any case to just lie to someone.
Is it really a lie if all the Hopslam (or other rarity) is spoken for or being saved for the 'good' customers? Not to me; by saying that they're out, the store can save time and avoid difficuliy. For me, it's more of HOW they say it....but I've drifted away from the OP, i believe.
I sort of disagree.
I think he should have said "everything available is on the floor," once it became clear the customer wasn't looking for anything specific, as opposed to the response he gave, which alluded to the fact that there was indeed stuf in the back and that this customer was for damn sure not going to get any of it. That's where the clerk went wrong. I totally, TOTALLY understand that this customer is likely a jagoff, but there are much better ways to diffuse a situation without being elitist/condescending about it.
In any culture/scene there is undoubtedly an element of exclusivity. VIPs exist. But once you start treating people outside of that circle poorly, you're just as big of a douche as the customer hunting whales.
It does not cost anything to be educated either.
"What do you have in the back?" What are you looking for?
"Whatever good things you have in the back?"
No, moron, tell me what you want, and I'll tell you if I have it. This isn't charity.
On a similar note, the day my store opened, we had 5 cases of Mad Elf (end of the 2nd round of it). We opened at 9am; at 10:30 I was down to about 4 six packs of it (doing one per). Two young kids came in and asked me for it, since they knew "it had lots of alcohol and wanted to get F'ed up by noon"
You're okay with me giving them each one? I only had 20 total to give to 20 people. By some logic in this thread, I was supposed to be nice, waste a 6 pack on each of them, and then cuddle them until the cake I made for them was ready.
Spoiler alert: they did not get any.
Yeah cause I bet none of your VIPs have an alcohol problem. One beer a night for them. Yep.
Wait, I'm confused. What part of the exchange he related was condescending or attitude-laced? Someone came in with a vague request, he asked questions to refine said request to something more specific, more tailored to his needs/wants. Granted, the underlying motivation was to move said customer away from "VIP beers" in the back, but that wasn't made explicit in the exchange. All I saw was what I consider good customer service, the same tactic I always used when I was still in the business myself. Basically, someone comes in with a "What's new?" or "What's good?" and I ask them questions to figure out what kind of thing they're looking for. If posed the same question here ("Whatcha got that's rare?"/"What's in the back?"), I would also seek some sort of specificity, especially given the variable nature of rarity and the different reasons things were in the back/behind the counter/not on the shelf. I will say the after-the-fact attitude of the story came across as prickly, to say the least, though...
Customers should always be respected as, even if they have an attitude, they have chosen your store over your competitors store. That can be frustrating, especially when you work hard to do well in your store and they are being entitled. Nevertheless, when someone has copious amounts of options for a similar product and they walk into your store, then some expectations are understandable. Receiving a phone call from someone who says they are going to give you a phone call is one of those understandable expectations.
Hopslam>Girlfriend. That's where you went wrong.
I even passed up having Hopslam at a bar last night to spend time with my Girlfriend instead.
Classic mistake right there, and I'm the romantic type.
I don't really care how often you call, I am just saying you don't need to call every day (like you mentioned in your previous post) as you should be able to get a general idea of when your area is getting stuff in (via these forums, FB and/or Twitter). When/if I call, shops usually tell me what day that distributor typically delivers and/or they tell me when I should call back.
Like I said, 'if you have time', I understand it's not always convenient to stop by a bottle shop.
Holding out on "what's in the back" reminds me of that scene from High Fidelity where Jack Black refuses to sell a record to someone.
I'm not judging... just think it's funny (about :39 into the clip)
Businesses should strive to please their customers as much as possible, and most usually will... but there are far too many people these days who will take the whole "customer is always right" angle as a chance to act like an arrogant prick that thinks they should be treated like a king just for shopping at said establishment. The amount of entitlement and lack of self-accountability in society today is appalling.
I agree in spirit, but it really has gotten out of hand lately. I got Nugget Nectar this year from a pretty under the radar place and they said that they had a list of more than 50 people on it. Mind you, this is for a beer that's everywhere in the Philly area when it comes out. You can walk into almost any store and find it. I think it is a better practice to walk into a place and talk to someone unless the store is way out of your way, in which case you're cherry picking them anyway and that's a whole separate discussion.
Yes, if they knew they were getting two cases, it would probably make the most sense to make a list and tell people it's all reserved when you hit the limit. What if you had 100 people call about a beer you're getting just two cases of? If you tell 90% of callers and people who come in "no, sorry it's all spoken for" they may get butthurt about that and not buy anything or never come back. Maybe they have too many day-to-day activities to have someone spend their time calling people to tell them they're not getting any of a beer, which may also cause customer anger. I don't know what the answer is, but I do not it is impossible to make everyone happy. I can't imagine how annoyed I would be as an owner or employee that had to constantly field calls for every limited beer. I think it does make sense for some places just to tell people they will have no lists; when things come in they will go on the shelves or on tap (with or without limits), first come, first serve.
A local bar even said on FB that people will not tell you over the phone when certain beers are going on tap because the person who answers the phone literally will not know when things are happening and to follow them on twitter to find out when they go on. I'm sure they have been inundated with calls for NN, HopSlam et al...at some point, it's not worth the time to deal with it all. Opportunity cost and what not.
I guess that's not really even lying, that everything available to that guy was kind of on the shelf? i don't know haha.
i mean any guy just asking for anything "rare" is pretty dumb (especially when DogfishHead was the example haha!), i would just rather be let down, or even take a minor insult to my value to the store, than be lied to. at least then i could try and correct the issue!
To be fair, i would never just ask a guy for "anything in the back", i usually am there for a specific, newly released beer. Maybe if i'm out of town i might be a little more vague as i would be a little less knowledgeable about recent releases, but i still know about what i'm looking for and could answer the clerks question of "like what"...
I think it does make sense for some places just to tell people they will have no lists; when things come in they will go on the shelves or on tap (with or without limits), first come, first serve.
I guess not exactly, but as you said it does depend on how they said it. why not just say "it's sold out, we pre-sold them" or "they were extremely allocated, we didn't get enough to sell to the public".
I'm not trying to gripe to hard on the guy for not catering to the seemingly clueless (or at least tactless) guy asking for "anything rare" with no examples, ideas, or even styles to try and help out. that's pretty bad. but for most of us looking for a specific couple of beers/breweries, i really think honesty is the best way, i'm sure the OP would agree!
i'd be checking with more than 1 bottle shop if you really want it....i've got like 3 i check with if its something i really want....this hasnt been the case for some time though....im over chasing shit..happy hunting.
I see what you're doing Chewie and I like it.
This thread makes me happy that my beer guy is not a power-mad douche, and that he actually knows how to use technology and send out new releases via email so I dont have to bother calling or being on some stupid list.
Also, to reiterate what others have said. In this day and age when all anyone cares about is rare beers, you really need to have a few stores that you frequent. Most people in NYC don't have cars, but you do have the best public transportation of any city I've ever been to.
I do dislike the whole "list" idea but I still think if you say you are going to call then a call should be made. If there are 100 people and the store still said, "we'll call,' well they should call. If they're willing to open that box up, they must answer to it. Bottom line is like you said, we have it, it's all going on the shelf, 1st come, 1st served (with or w/o limits) is how it should be done (or Facebook/Twitter).
i'm actually expecting a call from Whole Foods, went in this past Sunday looking for Lagunitas Sucks. I was told it will not be in till Wednesday (today). The employee said would you like to leave your name & number and I'll call when it arrives? So I did. If he calls, great, if not I won't be pissed because i'm going to call anway before I leave work. I'm still going to shop there if they don't call (i'm not a big believer in boycotting a place for personal reasons or their views on anything) because their prices are somewhat better (from what I've seen) and I like their selection.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH, Sammy!
....and that post has some 'likes'.....
it would be an illegal find, I know the blind tiger would never do that
I have tried to hold my tongue, but everytime you post you sound like a bigger and bigger douche.
It isn't charity, it is retail. They are not asking for a handout. They are willing to pay their hard earned money. They being customers. If you don't dealing them, get out of retail.
And yes, I think you should have sold them Mad Elf. Is their reason for wanting the beer any less valid than someone else's? Spoiler alert-No it isn't.
You are like the guy in the record store (dating myself) who is too cool to sell me a journey cassette without some unwanted commentary. Get over yourself. your job is to sell the beer and not judge who is worthy enough to buy it.
Today I saw a four-pack of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout housed in a Goose Island BCBS holder. Presumably, someone put the BCBS in the BCS holder and got the four-pack for $8. Douche move.
Weren't you there when I bought 2 cases from Status for the staff?
Sweet story brah. Sounds like you've gotten the shaft many a time and are still bitter over it. Maybe next time
Does it make you feel all big and tough not letting some people buy a particular beer then gloat about it and call other customers idiots? What a sad, sad person you are. Yeah I know when beer comes out and when deliveries are made... Thats when i show up. I don't call to reserve or get mine held for me... That's so weak. You sound like the distributor who store owners complain about not getting them a new release.
Please tell me where your store can be found so i never go there
I'm sure glad the bottle shops I go to have nice people working there. I guess it helps that I don't treat them like shit and I don't always ask for rare stuff.
Seems like both sides in these situations could learn to be a bit more courteous.
The WF I go to puts limited beer behind the counter in plain sight. All you need to do is ask and they sell it to you if you are there when its available. I have seen many tougher bottles there. Sometimes I win. Sometimes lose. It's only beer and I do not feel entitled. I do expect good service. If you can't do that then get a job outside of retail.
how long was "said list"?? If the store only got 2 cases, they probably ran out before they got to you on the list, lol.. Anyway, I do feel bad for you because I have seen mountains of cases of Hopslam here in Cbus. We almost get it overstocked here. It's all over the place.. If you can't find it, it's out there for trade.
A beer store in my are gets a fair share of rare beer. They put the hey rare stuff on a shelf behind the counter stop you can see it but they will only sell one bottle a week or month depending on what it is.
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