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Suggestions: Buying Beer Online

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by psnydez86, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Savant (445) Pennsylvania Jan 4, 2012 Verified

    I live in pa and was looking online for good places to buy craft beers not available here in pa (pliny the elder, lagunitas, heddy topper, to name a few) but most were on the west coast and shipping is ridiculous. Even getting good pa crafts are difficult to come by where I live (troegs, weyerbacher, victory, etc...) which leaves me with not much for trading on Ba. Anybody know of any good online retailers that wont charge me an arm and a leg shipping costs?
    19etz55 and 1beergeek like this.
  2. DrAwkward82

    DrAwkward82 Savant (315) California Apr 16, 2005

    There are a few good retailers but you're pretty much going to pay through the nose for shipping everywhere. A few are more reasonable than others, but it usually comes down to pocket change. And unfortunately, I'm pretty sure you won't find Pliny for sale anywhere online.
  3. How's about free shipping with 6 bottles? http://www.letspour.com/deals?deal_type=beer

    Love this site. Free shipping, chance to win discounts (pretty sure you get $10 off first order with a new account), and the customer service is amazing. They're new to the beer game, so selection is small compared to other sites, but they are steady adding new inventory every couple days. I've always gotten super fresh IPAs, most likely to the very fast turnover time of inventory. I don't think they have anything you listed, but being located in the Pac NW, most of what they have should be new to you since you're close to the East Coast, so you can still find some great things to try.

  4. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    You pretty much pay a ton for shipping anywhere. Bottles of beer are heavy and breakable.

    Side question - Why do most people posting this question feel the need to justify wanting to buy online instead of trade?
  5. jamvt

    jamvt Advocate (590) Massachusetts Aug 5, 2005 Verified

    france44.com is decent. always carry surly, bell's, alaskan, etc. beer prices are solid, shipping is UPS. the more you buy, the better shipping rate you'll get.
    minnesotaryan and SammyJaxxxx like this.
  6. shand

    shand Advocate (705) Florida Jul 13, 2010 Verified

    I've got my first order from them coming in Monday, and if everything is order I can easily see making monthly orders from them. I'm pleased with the price I paid.
  7. I just got an email today saying that my second order will be shipping this week...less than two weeks since my last (which went swimmingly!), but I was able to catch Russian River Sanctification last week, so I couldn't pass it up!

    It's easy to say monthly, but it's so affordable, and the possibility for some cool things to show up just makes it too easy to order more often lol
  8. kalvarez

    kalvarez Aficionado (240) Wisconsin Jul 22, 2010 Verified

    EricClayton likes this.
  9. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (965) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    I've been giving feedback to the main guy at letspour after he IM'd me, they saw such a big spike when they offered Sanctification up there he wanted to know what other cult following type breweries there were besides Russian River, I gave him some off the top of my head, but they are absolutely looking at expanding the beer section. So I expect good things.

    Outside of them, I'd say www.holidaywinecellar.com they had PtE but have sold out, they do have some other RR stuff.
    HopsHopenstein likes this.
  10. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Savant (445) Pennsylvania Jan 4, 2012 Verified

    Id love to trade but craft beers are hard to come by in my neck of the woods unless I travel 2 hours
    harperman69 likes this.
  11. dsal89

    dsal89 Advocate (505) Indiana Jul 6, 2008

    THey had Sanctification on LetsPour? Holy hell
  12. DrAwkward82

    DrAwkward82 Savant (315) California Apr 16, 2005

    Huh, I stand corrected! I didn't know Vendome shipped - although considering I live just down the street from them I suppose it's not something I would have noted. . .
  13. Yep, and sold out within a few hours from what I can tell. They also added a Lost Abbey and Port beer recently.
  14. dsal89

    dsal89 Advocate (505) Indiana Jul 6, 2008

    Well shit...nice!

  15. Yea, the coolest thing is that he is serious about taking criticism and suggestions about anything any everything to make the site, selection, and experience the best possible. The whole operation is a breath of fresh air.
    Aexoonge likes this.
  16. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,110) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Verified

    As others have said, shipping is expensive regardless. Beer is heavy.
    Shipping is equally expensive if you trade.
    The question you have to answer is, do you want to exchange beer for other beer or beer for money?
    There is no correct answer to this question.
  17. shand

    shand Advocate (705) Florida Jul 13, 2010 Verified

    I guess that's what happens when you're coming into a business with an already sizable amount of money, and thus are operating it as a passion rather than a sole source of income. At least, that's what the site's "About Us" seems to be insinuating.
  18. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,110) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Verified

    Looks like a great site, but knowing what the prices of these beers are locally, shipping isn't exactly free. Looks like it's just rolled into the price of the beer.

    Also, they'd do well to add HotD beers to their lineup. This is easily the most common request I get for prospective trades.
  19. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (965) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    Some are a little high per bottle, but still is a deal for me, since I am all the way on the east coast.

    Sanctification was $9 a bottle with 6 or more shipping free, is it less than $9 on the shelf?
  20. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,110) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Verified

    No, you got a deal on Sanctification, I think I picked up a bottle last week for around $10 or $11.
    I wasn't insinuating that people are getting reamed or anything, just that the prices are generally 20% or 30% more than what I see on the shelves. But you gotta do what you gotta do.
  21. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (965) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    Oh yeah, I freely admit they are making back some money by charging above market price, and I think it would be a not so great deal for you west coasters.

    And sadly I did not order and Santification, as my weekly beer budget was already exhausted when it went up for sale.
  22. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) California Jan 27, 2012

    Port Brewing Mongo Double IPA (22oz)

    Shipping is not free - it's included in the price.
    albertq17 likes this.
  23. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,110) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Verified

    "Beer budget" you say? What is this you speak of?
    Sharky and sliverX like this.
  24. drtth

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

    Before you purchase beer online from out of state you should read this:


    So that you are able to make an informed decision as to whether you want to knowingly break PA laws when you purchase from those stores or clubs that will ship into PA.
  25. WesM63

    WesM63 Advocate (685) Ohio Nov 6, 2011

    I've ordered a few times from morewines.com, when they had stuff in stock it shipped pretty quickly and yes it was expensive. (both per bottle and shipping) They are also nice guys, they emailed me when they were out of mirror pond and asked if i wanted to substitute it for Hope Henge before shipping the order. The site itself left much to be desired.

    However, it's one of the few ways to get RR/Deschutes (and many others) out here in Ohio.

    The biggest problem I've noticed is the lack of stock any of these places have. Even "Off the Shelf" stuff, it's a major hit or miss.
  26. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Savant (445) Pennsylvania Jan 4, 2012 Verified

    So I can recieve beer in pa if its thru ups or fed ex?

  27. There's definitely going to be a mark-up, and while some may be considerable, others aren't quite so much. Also, for any given beer, you're bound to find that the price varies between markets. For example, the Pike XXXXXStout is available locally to me, and it's priced between $6-7 depending on the store. So, at I think $7.50 on LetsPour, that's not much of a mark up. Also, while I know some markets may offer Yeti for $7-8, a lot of online retailers have it for more without free shipping, and I'm pretty sure I paid $10 for a bottle in a Florida shop, which for less than a $1 more with free shipping, it's not that bad of a deal. If shipping wasn't free, shipping would be $15-25 depending on shipping distance for 6 big bottles, so to pay an average of +$2 per bottle is still a better deal.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that locals will probably see some of those bottles for much cheaper, but for others, it's a good deal, especially to get things you want that you can't get.
    Schmittymack likes this.

  28. Some sites say it's legal for them to ship to PA, others say they can't. I really don't know what to believe because some of those sites that ship to PA (such as LetsPour), do have some states that they say they can't legally to. Confusing to be certain.
  29. drtth

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

    It appears that those who ship to PA either don't know the laws in PA or they figure that any prosecution will be targeting the recipent of the alcohol and not the shipper.
  30. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,110) Washington Sep 18, 2010 Verified

    I could easily be wrong about this, but I'd think legally the onus would be on the shipper, not the recipient. If someone mails a kilo of pure cocaine to my house, is that my fault? Then again, if I ordered the cocaine on a website (letssniff.com), maybe the onus is on me...

    Any attorneys or ATF/DEA agents out there who want to comment?
  31. deadbody

    deadbody Savant (375) Minnesota May 10, 2010 Verified

    The onus would be on the company shipping, but the beer would be seizeable under tax law as contraband.
  32. drtth

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

    Neither an attorney nor an agent here but PA law and alcohol law enforcement people are quite plain about this. The recipeint is legally responsible for having in his/her possession alcoholic beverages on which state taxes have not been paid.
    mycorasta likes this.
  33. Scotchboy

    Scotchboy Advocate (510) Idaho Dec 7, 2010

    I bought Pliny from Quality Liquor online last week.
    dman127 likes this.
  34. WesM63

    WesM63 Advocate (685) Ohio Nov 6, 2011

    Just to add to this, i bought Pliny and Damnation from morewines.com. (They have Sanctification, but at $17/bottle it seems a tad bit steep)
  35. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (965) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    Isn't that pretty much the same as all states? I know mine (VA) requires sellers to have a special license to ship booze into my state, but none of the sites that ship here have it.
  36. totoropanda

    totoropanda Savant (310) New Jersey Apr 12, 2012 Verified

    I order some of the pliny last week from here stupidwinedeals.com also got some port brewing..
  37. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Well I guess I'm just wondering why that needs to be mentioned when asking about online retailers. Not just with you, but it seems like a common qualifier people add when asking about buying beer online. It's like there's some need to apologize for it.
  38. drtth

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

    Couldn't say about other states. I only checked it out for PA when I was looking into whether I wanted to join a beer club or buy stuff online. At least two PA bloggers about beer have discussed their findings as well (Lou Bryson and Don Russell, aka Joe Sixpack). Maybe if you check among VA bloggers you can find someone who has threaded their way though the alcohol laws there... Good luck though.
  39. I was mistaken, LetsPour does NOT ship to PA. I tried figuring out which states were omitted from his ship list in my head and apparently didn't catch PA when I looked it over. Makes sense, since the owner says that he openly abides by individual state laws for shipping alcohol.
  40. GameFreac

    GameFreac Savant (455) Georgia Apr 8, 2011

    Do they ship to Georgia?