Price Gouging

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by cartoonshop, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. so i get an email from a local store tonight.they got in some cantillon. after dinner i excitedly hurried to the store. i asked the gentlemen behind the counter about the email i got. he said "yes its a very very rare beer, we only got 3 of each bottle. so unfortunately there's a 1 bottle limit of each variety" . he shows me 3 st. lamvinus and 3 classic geueze.i said one of each and he rang them up....

    60.00 for the lamvinus and 40.00 for the geueze. i shat a brick.

    after i stopped laughing i explained to him that this was really overpriced he responded with " yeah well we did some research online and this is what they are going for" . what i heard in my head "ebay prices,son". i explained to him that both bottles plus shipping from belgium would be less than they were asking.walked out with nothing, and i will never be back.
  2. You need to send them an e-mail telling them that or they'll never notice you didn't come back.
  3. DevilsCups

    DevilsCups Savant (340) New York Mar 3, 2010

    If you're talking about prices shipped online, sure, but that's unfair. I would be pretty upset at that markup.
  4. From your avatar, I surmise youre from RI, if you dont mind I'd like to know what shop it is, not cool to charge that much
    deadonhisfeet likes this.
  5. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Savant (400) Virginia Jun 21, 2009

    Shoulda threw that brick you shat through the front window.
  6. Photekut

    Photekut Initiate (0) Tennessee Mar 31, 2006

    Ill do you one better. I bet he is from Riverside.
  7. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (860) Michigan May 8, 2006

    Instead of going into what actually constitutes 'price gouging', I will simply say you cannot 'gouge' the willing. Beer is a luxury items, its nonessential, if the price is too high to can simply not buy it and you will be just fine.
    dennis3951, Zimbo, benart and 17 others like this.
  8. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,245) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    But... but... but.... the trade value of those beers!
  9. ChanChan

    ChanChan Advocate (585) California Dec 12, 2009

    We need to start sacrificing beer on ebay for cheap, this way the prices in stores will go down as well! You can then walk into a store and say, $30.00 for that Parabola? Wow, did you know its going for $5.00 on ebay?
  10. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (635) Texas Nov 27, 2011 Verified

    "we did some research online" are words you never want to hear in a beer store.....
  11. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Champion (795) North Carolina Feb 16, 2011 Verified

    exactly. and I just cant afford that particular luxury.
    azorie likes this.
  12. jdklks

    jdklks Savant (375) Maryland Aug 9, 2007

    The place I buy Cantillon from is overpriced, and I pay 30 for the geueze and 40 for St. Lamvinus (there's actually a bar in town that sells them cheaper than the bottle shop), so yeah those are ridiculous prices and neither of those Cantillon's are actually "rare." I also question the guys running the store having to look online to see what exactly they got. Weird.
    LambicKing likes this.
  13. So we're upset that a grey market beer had a grey market price?
  14. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Champion (795) North Carolina Feb 16, 2011 Verified

    and how in the hell did a store get Cantillon without knowing what it was and what it normally goes for? If stores like this are getting St. Lamvinus, yet very knowledgeable and worthy stores here in the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) cant even smell Cantillon bottles. Sam's Quik Shop here in Durham gets everything, and sells it all so fast, yet all the get is Classic.
  15. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,345) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002 Verified

    I got an email recently from The Party Source in KY saying they had a limited amount Cantillon beers, also a 1 bottle limit..not one of each. Also iirc, they were ~$28 each. I thought that was very reasonable but I'm not that big a fan of Cantillon. Go ahead, call me weird.:rolleyes:
  16. this store has been open maybe 6 months, in a town that has been the only dry town in my state for the past 100 years.when i said "im looking for the cantillion" , he replied, "is that a it is"(reaches behind counter)
  17. I am not sure I follow this. This is a beer that is imported and sold in a store - to me that seems the same as many other beers, unless you are calling all of beer sales a grey market activity.
  18. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Champion (795) North Carolina Feb 16, 2011 Verified

    The greater portion of BA hates you.
  19. xnicknj

    xnicknj Advocate (730) Pennsylvania May 25, 2009

    i believe he's insinuating that the beer wasn't obtained through normal channels.

    this type of stuff seems fairly frequent with cantillon lately...there's a shop in new york that had some insane markups, like $50 for a bottle of iris. any time i see even classic gueuze in philly it's around $30+ for a 750mL.
  20. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Savant (435) New York Dec 20, 2006

    And after you walked out they sold every bottle within a day or two and couldn't give two shits about what you think regarding their prices.

    The bottom line is it's their store, it's their beer, and they can set the price however they see fit. If you don't like the price, you don't have to buy, nor does anyone else. The fact is that Cantillon beers are in decreasing supply and increasing demand, and if you can't understand why the prices are increasing then perhaps you skipped economics class in highschool.

    People seem to want high end craft beers to be rare, easily obtainable, and cheap all at the same time. Good luck with that one.
    victory4me, Danielbt, benart and 14 others like this.
  21. MoparGrease

    MoparGrease Initiate (0) California Jul 26, 2012

    i would have bought the bottle then slaped him with it. worth the price
    beenitty likes this.
  22. I chuckled because I know the store you speak of and saw the Facebook post for the Cantillon. I grew up in Barrington but I haven't been to that store yet. I planned to go the next time I head back to visit my parents. Does that place otherwise seem worth a trip?
  23. Sure anyone can just "not buy." And they will remain unseen and unheard and nothing will change.
    Let me introduce you to the power of email. If you are polite and professional you can influence people/businesses to do all sorts of awesome stuff. It really is a cool thing to witness first hand.
    bryanole27 likes this.
  24. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (650) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    There's no "price gouging" for beer... it's a luxury item. Simply take your business elsewhere.

    You might even go so far as to email/call the distributor about how much they are marking up the product so perhaps another store gets their allocation the next time around.
  25. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (965) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    Just as it is the stores right to price beer any way they see fit, it is the OPs right to tell his experience to all that will listen. Pricing like that directly reflects the character of the shop. I paid $18.99 for the Cantillon that recently hit my area, could they have charged more and still sold out? Sure.

    Do they respect their customers enough to not do that? Yes. And by charging a reasonable price they are keeping customers which in the long run outweighs making a few hundred extra bucks on a limited release, because repeat customers is what make you successful in retail business. And that is economics 101.
  26. This! Well said.
    bryanole27 and BEERchitect like this.
  27. i fully agree that the store can charge what they want, and perhaps price gouging was the wrong term.overcharging,high mark up, what ever you want to call it.... there is fuckery afoot.

    however,hanzo hit it on the head. make an extra 250$ on these six bottles vs. building a loyal cuystomer base?no brainer
    szmnnl99 likes this.
  28. Rempo

    Rempo Initiate (0) Indiana Jan 18, 2010

    I'm disinterested about you literally shitting a brick in regards to the bait-and-switch price gouging on two bottles of Cantillon or less.

  29. On the one hand, those are ridiculous prices. As people have noted, it's not technically price "gouging", but it is clearly pricing that should send any reasonable, rational customer packing. And unless it was the ONLY option in the area, pricing crap like that would send me to another store permanently.

    On the other hand...
    ...THAT's entirely true and amusing.

    Probably a pretty good chance the OP, or anyone on this site who's heavily involved in trading, would have grabbed a few bottles of those Cantillions at any price and turned right around and ransomed them on the trade forum.

    Wasn't that long ago at all that Cantillions priced reasonably would sit on shelves for weeks if not months.
    azorie likes this.
  30. nc41

    nc41 Champion (770) North Carolina Sep 25, 2008 Verified

    Any shop can charge what they want obviously, but it's short sighted retailing. You have a few bottles that you mark up beyond reason to make a few extra bucks and you then perhaps lose a customer who comes in and buys every week. I'm in Bestway 2X a week at least, if they were IMO over pricing for rarer or hard to get brews there's other options around. But Roger is in it for the long haul, and he's smart, customer first, and he makes his mark ups accordingly and fairly. CBS was something like 18 bucks, KBS like 18-19 a 4 pk, 5 bucks a bottle. I know of one bottle shop selling FBS for 10 bucks, and KBS for 17, he's not helping himself one bit even if he has a case of it sitting around, that short term gain has to hurt some in the long run.

    If this particular store has decent everyday kinda prices I wouldn't necessarily cut them out depending on who else is around, but I would send them an E MAIL to let them know you think they suck trying to squeeze out a couple hundred bucks. Agree with Hanzo completely here.
  31. drtth

    drtth Poobah (1,050) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    I had a comparable experience with a very different outcome on a recent trip. I had learned the a store near where I was staying had gotten some Cantillon in stock. I asked at the store, yes they had it. I asked the price and was given a similar price and explanation for that pricing. I asked to chat with the beer manager. After explaining why I thought it was a mistake for them to tie their own price to those found online we had a nice chat about pricing and customer relations. In the process I found he was not aware of BA as a resource for quality ratings and shelf talkers, etc. By the end of our chat he'd lowered the price of the Cantillon to a more reasonable mark up, put some on the open shelf, and reserved a few for a couple of his regular customers he thought might want them. I left with the bottle I'd come for and used it the next evening to share out at the party one of my hosts was having. Some folks hated it, some loved it, the host in particular. The next time I'm visiting that town, I'll return to that store.
  32. brewbetter

    brewbetter Savant (410) Nauru Jun 2, 2012

    Sounds fair to me.

    I've literally never seen Cantillon in a store in USA. If they have to price it like that to keep it in stock for a week instead of a day, I support that and would love the opportunity to stroll into a store and pick up a 750 classic for $40. When I get them shipped from Belgium, they're less than half that, but I don't think it's fair to compare shipping from Belgium to available here and now from a store.
  33. claaark13

    claaark13 Advocate (690) Indiana Nov 29, 2007

    In 4 years, someone will walk into that store and say, "2011/12 Cantillon bottles for $60/$40?!?!?!?! Oh man, what a good deal! I wonder how much these will trade for on BA?!?!?! I can't wait to get home and start a "What is the trade value of 2012 Cantillon?" thread to see how much I can up-trade!"
    Vav and beerindex like this.
  34. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Savant (475) Missouri Sep 14, 2011

    Retailers should not be pricing based on "on-line research". They should be solving to a margin markup over their wholesale cost. Obviously they can do whatever they want, but the $20 incremental margin they make on 6 bottles is not worth the put-off they are risking on presumably some of their best actual or potential customers.
    Eriktheipaman and andrewinski1 like this.
  35. I want high end craft beer to be ubiquitous, easily obtainable, and affordable. Usually when the supply/demand curve is out of whack like this, consumers get tired of paying, and producers find a way to increase supply. Nothing cures high prices like high prices. There is an increasing number of American brewers doing sour beers (and even some spontaneously fermented stuff) right now, but demand is still growing faster than production. Let's get production up, people! And while we're at it, let's reward the ones who are doing it more affordably than others.
    benart and codasnap52 like this.
  36. loki993

    loki993 Savant (250) Michigan Apr 16, 2009

    I've seen the same thing, not with the beer in question, and I just dont understand how people don't realize that obvious profiteering hurts them in the long run.
  37. brewbetter

    brewbetter Savant (410) Nauru Jun 2, 2012

    How so? It seems like simple market dynamics to me.
  38. loki993

    loki993 Savant (250) Michigan Apr 16, 2009

    People like us see the prices, shake their heads and take their business elsewhere. It makes them really look like they don't have the customers interest in mind and are just interested in how much money they can make.

    Maybe it doesn't hurt them, but Id at least imagine the informed loyal customer would be replaced by the uninformed casual one.

    but who knows maybe Im the only one that has a problem with a place charging double or triple the fair market value on a product
  39. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Savant (435) New York Dec 20, 2006

    Because what you call "profiteering" may in fact, not hurt them in the long run. I've seen beer stores do very well with this sort of pricing scheme, typical low prices on BMC products, reasonable prices on every day craft beer, and higher than usual (yet more in line with market value) prices on rare/high end craft beers. Yeah, the occasional beer geek may walk in looking for a $20 Cantillon, scoff at the price, and walk out in a huff, but there's always someone else with more spare pocket change who will walk in and appreciate the fact that they're the only store in town who actually has Cantillon available.

    Some people would rather pay $40+ for a Cantillon that they can get than $20 for an imaginary Cantillon that was gone off the shelf in 10 min.

    Don't get me wrong, I like cheap beer as much as the next guy, but that's just not the way the market works for hard to find, sought after luxury items. You can push to keep prices artificially low as many have, but the driving force is for prices to increase as supply decreases and demand increase.
    victory4me, Danielbt, benart and 4 others like this.
  40. You're a hero.
    vkv822 and BedetheVenerable like this.