Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

How often do you leave a store without buying anything?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by donno005, Dec 21, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. donno005

    donno005 Dec 2, 2012 Minnesota

    I've recently gotten more serious about my taste in beer and quickly realized that my regular store doesn't always have what i want. In venturing off the beaten path ive now realized that one store may be charging 2 or 3 dollars more for a bomber. Well, last night I walked into a new store, saw only one beer on my list and it was more expensive than somewhere else, when prodded by the cashier on my way out I offered a beer they didn't have and he suggested Killian's as a suitable replacement. He seemed particularly put off when I said, "No thanks."d left anyway. Is it really that rare for someone to leave a store without making a purchase?
    yemenmocha likes this.
  2. gshak

    gshak Feb 20, 2011 Texas

  3. MCImes

    MCImes Dec 31, 2010 Connecticut

    I do it all the time. I have my 3 or 4 usual stores that I know they have what I want. But I like stopping in crappy looking liquor stores because 90% of the time they have nothing worth a damn, but that 1 in 10 has some gems just sitting on the shelf.

    Ive found Founders imperial stout in june, BCBS in april, and some rare sours at random crappy liquor stores.

    when Im walking out I often get a "can I help you find anything"? and just tell them I was just checking out their selection of craft brews. Rarely do I get any attitude.
  4. udubdawg

    udubdawg Dec 11, 2006 Kansas

    if I go looking for something specific, and they don't have it, sure. I have several times more beer than I can drink already in the house; no need to add more if they don't have what I'm looking for.

  5. CommanderOfAwesome

    CommanderOfAwesome Aug 30, 2012 California

  6. Jschmelz

    Jschmelz Feb 4, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    There is a store that I used to go to a lot because they normally had a lot of different beers stocked which kept it interesting. There was one time when the store had everything I've seen before and I was just wasting some time during a lunch hour so I started to walk out empty handed. On my way out I got a bit of a hazing for not buying anything which surprised me a bit but I did have a 'guilt' feeling about not buying anyway.

    Craft beer is on the rise so it may be the case that one would go in a store, pick up some Old Style, and then be on their way whereas now we are searching for more of the special goods.
  7. Preluderl

    Preluderl Sep 27, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I don't do it often enough.
    Docrock, yemenmocha, slinkie and 14 others like this.
  8. kawilliams81

    kawilliams81 Feb 27, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I probably leave a liquor/beer store without buying anything almost half of the time. Most of these times I am looking for 1, maybe 2, particular beers and if they don't have it I don't buy anything.
  9. ezperkins2

    ezperkins2 Jan 3, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I always stop at random liquor stores when I am away from home hoping to find a random gem and more times than not I walk out without purchasing anything. I have been questioned or even hassled by the shop keeper many times. A few months ago I stopped into a store a few towns over to check out what they had and after realizing that his entire store was filled with macro and had nothing to offer I turned and headed to the door. He stopped me and asked if his beer was not good enough for me. Being caught completely off guard by his comment I replied “excuse me?” He repeated his statement and I kindly responded that I was looking for something particular and he did not have it. He then went into a 30 second rant about how rude it is for me to walk into his store and to not purchase anything. I turned and headed to the door and responded by telling him he should carry better quality beer and I have never returned to his store. Obviously this is an extreme example but a small price to pay for some of the gems I have found at dumpy liquor stores in random places.
  10. stupac2

    stupac2 Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    One of the nice things about having a kegerator is you don't need to buy beer for drinking during football games, on a random evening with dinner, etc. So I leave stores without beer all the time now.
    RobertColianni and abecall98 like this.
  11. Hanzo

    Hanzo Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    If it is a mom and pop store I will buy at least one bottle of something before I leave. But a place like Total Wine? If they don't have what I want I'm out of there.
  12. MarcM

    MarcM Aug 19, 2011 California

    Walked out of Bevmo the other night. Didn't want to buy a sixer and was just looking for a bomber for the evening. Would have bought the Port Mongo if it wasn't over 5 months old.
  13. bleakies

    bleakies Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I rarely leave a packy without having purchased something.

    I don't go to the packy for any other reason.
  14. JuniperJesus

    JuniperJesus Feb 26, 2011 Illinois

    Half the time I leave without buying anything, but that doesn't mean I leave with nothing.
    JohnB87 likes this.
  15. CMUbrew

    CMUbrew Jan 27, 2012 Michigan

    I do it fairly often, although it is hard to leave completely empty-handed when your store puts so many good singles from Bell's and Short's on the shelves.
  16. michaeljstraub

    michaeljstraub Oct 6, 2012 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    Depends on the store.

    I've got a cooking supply store near me that has a nice upscale wine selection and a few craft brews. I always buy something from there because I have a feeling they think my non-formal attire means I'm a shoplifter
    AnotherImperial likes this.
  17. kmello69

    kmello69 Nov 27, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    About 50% of the time. (and thank goodness, or I'd be broke). Sometimes I just like to browse
    Blueribbon666 and Dools9 like this.
  18. RobertColianni

    RobertColianni Nov 4, 2008 Pennsylvania

    The majority of the time I just go in to find things I'm thinking about. I leave empty handed almost all of the time. Whatever. I like drinking on tap.
    What the F' is a packy?
    ggfunk, Mgm54 and ant880 like this.
  19. Wolfpack2005

    Wolfpack2005 Oct 15, 2010 North Carolina

    Completely agree
  20. njhopspop

    njhopspop Oct 17, 2010 New Jersey

    only if I forget my wallet.:)
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  21. LMT

    LMT Oct 15, 2009 Virginia

    If I'm at Wegmans grocery shopping I'll always browse (Wegmans in VA has a great beer selection). I often don't buy because my kids get annoyed...telling me I'm taking too long (probably true!).

    Total Wine...I like to browse there as well, but because it's a special trip, I usually (not always) leave with something.

    Mom & pop...if they have something I haven't seen before, then I'll buy. If I can get the same item cheaper at Wegmans or Total Wine I don't pay more $$$ at the mom & pop. Businesses are businesses--they are in it to make money. As a consumer, I want to pay the least amount possible. Any store needs to offer a product at a price that makes it worth my money. If someone offers the same product at a lower price, then I'm buying it there.

    Yes, I know there are many counter-arguements to this, but price and freshness are my main concerns.
    Hatzilla likes this.
  22. Dools9

    Dools9 Jul 5, 2011 Massachusetts

    New England slang for a 'package store.'
  23. Providence

    Providence Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Much more than I used to that's for sure. In my Rolling Rock days I was going into liquor stores with purpose. Now, I find myself just browsing the selection and bouncing.
    mtalley999 and Dools9 like this.
  24. Dools9

    Dools9 Jul 5, 2011 Massachusetts

    Same here, although it feels kind of shady. I work at a liquor store and whenever someone walks in and walks out silent and empty handed, I'm naturally suspect myself. Sometimes I just feel like browsing and whatnot.
  25. valdieu2

    valdieu2 Feb 23, 2012 Maine

    From an owners perspective: Shoplifters very seldom buy anything, so its a good idea to ask a customer if you can help them. You might not see what you want but the shop might indeed have it. Always ask, it doesn't cost anything and you might discover a great source for the unusual.
    Just my .02.
    AnotherImperial and jlt6116 like this.
  26. Gregfalone

    Gregfalone Sep 5, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I don't think I've ever left a store with nothing, unless it was a store I've never been to and they only had crap beer. Even then Ill usually buy a coke, or a candy bar or something
  27. djaeon

    djaeon Oct 2, 2006 California

    If they don't have anything I want, then yeah, I'd just leave.
    Blueribbon666 likes this.
  28. Gregfalone

    Gregfalone Sep 5, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Ah, so you steal stuff, eh?
  29. Fish

    Fish Dec 19, 2012 Oregon

    From the point of view of the store/clerk... I don't expect you to buy something, but if you come into my home (and we do view it as our home) I at least expect a pleasant attitude.

    Also, if you steal something it comes out of my pocket, so if you look like you are avoiding me I'm going to look at you, and I'm going to talk to you, and I am evaluating you. It's nothing personal.
    valdieu2 likes this.
  30. mrelizabeth

    mrelizabeth Jan 22, 2012 California

    I usually have a go-to bottle in mind, in case I don't find something more interesting. In SD, most places charge the same amount for some of my usual beers, and I can always use another bottle of Green Flash Imperial IPA or BP Sculpin. That being said, if your shop charges $1-3 more per bottle than other shops, don't expect me to buy anything, and don't expect me to come back.
  31. ubenumber2

    ubenumber2 Sep 1, 2012 Arkansas
    Beer Trader

    Happens all the time to me , out of the 3 or 4 liqour stores in driving distance you never know what they are going to have , so sometimes I stop in by one just to see if there is anything new or something back on the shelf they quit selling , if nothing is there for me I leave empty handed
  32. MooseBoose

    MooseBoose Jun 6, 2007 Wisconsin

    Whenever I don't feel like buying something they have on hand, I leave empty handed. It's not really any more complex than that. Sometimes I just want to see if there is anything new. If not, sometimes I don't feel like buying if my fridge is still stocked, but I could have found room for something new and/or interesting. If that's not good enough for the store owner I got other places I can shop.
  33. Blanco

    Blanco Oct 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I almost never leave without buying anything, but will do so at big grocery stores like Wegman's where I'm just looking for the off-chance they have something I want and don't see it.
  34. valdieu2

    valdieu2 Feb 23, 2012 Maine

    Just say hi and ask if there is anything new and exciting. Develop a relationship and maybe you'll have an in on the good stuff. Be nice and people will go out of their way for you.
    Fish likes this.
  35. Fish

    Fish Dec 19, 2012 Oregon

    This ^

    I've gotten grocery stores to order specialty boxes of cookies, Linen shops to order odd (really odd) sized bed sheets, etc... mainly because I asked, was pleasant, and persistant.
  36. MooseBoose

    MooseBoose Jun 6, 2007 Wisconsin

    You say this like I have not done it in the past. I've found in the small shops it works really good. In most of the larger stores, they "put your name on a list", and no one usually calls you back.

    Even at the stores I've got to know some of the retailers pretty well, they don't seem upset if I leave with nothing as they have seen other times I leave with lots of stuff.

    My only point is, I don't let it worry me if the store owner is going to be mad at me, or imply I am a snob as was mentioned above. If they take that tone, I am out for good.

    I am always pleasant regardless if they have what I am looking for and I expect the same or I won't be back.
  37. valdieu2

    valdieu2 Feb 23, 2012 Maine

    I guess I assumed you were talking about stores that you were not a regular at. I would never be mad at a regular customer that couldn't find what they wanted. Not trying to preach. If I sounded preachy, I apologize.
  38. JuniperJesus

    JuniperJesus Feb 26, 2011 Illinois

    That was your immediate impression? Shame on you. I meant sometimes I leave with new knowledge based on the conversation I had with the beer guy, or maybe I hooked up with a divorced MILF in the wine section.
  39. valdieu2

    valdieu2 Feb 23, 2012 Maine

    This is the problem with the written word as opposed to face to face conversation.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!