If you don't trade beer......why not?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Hanzo, Mar 26, 2013.


Why don't you trade?

  1. Shipping is just too damn expensive

    193 vote(s)
  2. The beer I have access to locally is just fine, don't need anything else

    101 vote(s)
  3. Don't want the hassle of shipping, potential for lost/damaged/confiscated packages

    173 vote(s)
  4. I just don't think people will be interested in the beers I have to offer

    109 vote(s)
  5. I'm just afraid I'll be taken advantage of in the trade, too intimidating

    31 vote(s)
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  1. msubulldog25

    msubulldog25 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2005 Oregon

    I shipped/traded beer many, many times from late 2006 - early 2012, along the way 'meeting' dozens of quality traders and developing some lasting friendships. I was able to taste/share/cellar hundreds of beers I would not have been able to otherwise, ones from all over the US and, occasionally, the world. It almost never had to be 'rare' for me, just local or obscure or something otherwise inaccessible in my area (PacNW).

    But I've stopped...

    I clicked on the 'shipping is too damn expensive' option above, but it's really multiple reasons why I quit trading. Yes, shipping is costly - $20-40+ a pop to UPS or FedEx adds up quickly! But also, I live in Oregon and have plenty of excellent beer options at hand - so why hunt for 'walez' (I hate that concept, actually) when there's so much quality stuff here? Furthermore, I really am a hoarder/saver more than a drinker - and so the 'cellar' was getting out of hand - shelves upon boxes upon boxes on shelves! My wife noticed it, I noticed it... we finally just both agreed "why???? drink what you have!". This last point was/is/will be toughest: by nature: I still want to collect ('tick'?) and frequently have to remind myself to 'STOP' (coupled,again, with the fact that we live in Portland)... :slight_smile:

    Trading is a blast, no doubt. I've loved the thrill of sending off boxes of good local stuff (with 'surprise' extras, of course)... and receiving is like Christmas morning every time.

    For those considering starting to trade, my advice is ship first, pack well and give generously - and have the extra money to afford to do all of the above. For those in the midst of trading, keep having fun - drink and share liberally. And for everyone - always communicate (contact info, shipping dates and tracking numbers, delivery delays, etc). Always .

    cw577enfield, jgluck, Kreko7 and 4 others like this.
  2. KhakCane

    KhakCane Initiate (190) Apr 15, 2010 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I have a somewhat related question, which hopefully does not veer too far off topic. If I post an "ISO/FT", and I get a BM from someone who has a private account (i.e., that person limits who can see his/her profile page), should I be concerned? Is the fact that he or she limits who can view his or her page a red flag?
  3. SadMachine

    SadMachine Meyvn (1,405) Mar 14, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I have completed one trade, and would like to do more. However the biggest thing that seems to get in the way for me is not having quite enough access to those "rare" beers that people are wanting to trade for. Don't get me wrong, I have access to plenty of great stuff, but much of it is the same great stuff that seemingly everyone else has access to! Also because I live in such a highly populated area with a very active craft beer community it is hard to get multiples when something rare like Cantillon/BCBCR/CBS/FW Anniversary beers hit the shops. It sucks because it's become almost a chore having to hit 5-6 shops to get maybe 2-4 bottles of some of this stuff, and because I can get so little of it I'm reluctant to trade it since I usually like to at least drink one and age one (depending on style/abv)... I'm hoping that soon some of the good local(ish) breweries (Kane, Carton, Weyerbacher, Tired Hands) will start getting some recognition and become desired in trades from the mid-west and west coast, but as of now it just seems hard for me to produce enough clout to get anything I'm interested in trading for (unless I drive all the way up to Vermont, which is what landed me my first trade)!
  4. OldStormalong

    OldStormalong Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2009 Massachusetts

    As far as being intimidated by the trade forums, I wonder how much has to do with the over-use of acronyms. It seems like if a beer or brewery is traded more than twice, it gets an acronym. I pay pretty close attention to these things, and half the time even I have no idea what beers are being referred to in the posts. It's like learning a whole new language. When did we become so averse to typing? Personally, I blame texting, I mean "txting." Get off my lawn with your text machines.
    Overuse of Acronyms = OOA
  5. OldStormalong

    OldStormalong Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2009 Massachusetts

    Couldn't agree more with this thought.
  6. highdesertdrinker

    highdesertdrinker Disciple (378) Nov 5, 2012 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    I will trade, I guess, at some time in the future but I know I will have to have something good that will pique someones interest or why bother. It will also be someone I have a good rapport with on the forum and I know for sure it's not an "underaged girl' I'm not opposed to just sending out a few bottles free from my Fed ex account here at work to get a beer friend through a rough patch if I have access to some fresh beer that one of my beer amigos is looking for. Our Total Wines and bottle shops in Tucson don't always turn the product over as fast as you would like so that becomes a problem as well. Example; I was in the Total Wne in Phoenix recently and they were prominently featuring Double Jack up front at no discount and the bottle date was December so I passed and went straight to the Sucks.
  7. SadMachine

    SadMachine Meyvn (1,405) Mar 14, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Put stuff in your "gots" so people can actually see what you have! I saw your post, and was like "oooohhh maybe there's someone I can get a trade done with", and went to see what you had, only to find a blank page...
    Hanzo likes this.
  8. Siggy125

    Siggy125 Devotee (460) Nov 10, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    I don't trade often, but when I do, reason A is the biggest concern.

    Stay thirsty my friends...
    DocJitsu and Hanzo like this.
  9. MikeTen

    MikeTen Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2009 California

    It's a huge waste of money to trade. It turns a $10 bottle into a $15 bottle just for shipping, and that's assuming your time in packing up a box is worth $0.

    My local beer is great, so adding a premium to it and drinking lesser quality beer is a poor decision.

    Plus, trade values are ridiculous sometimes. I travel for work so I can pick up a lot of beers around the country without much hassle. I found it a lot easier to buy Cherry Rye and BCBS than to trade for it.

    I still trade occasionally, but the itch is less and less frequent.
  10. DHS1029

    DHS1029 Aspirant (252) Feb 14, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    You are exactly the kind of person I enjoy trading with. So far the few people I have traded with, I had met in this manner. A few weeks ago I bought some fresh Zombie Dust and picked up a little extra just in case. I saw someone in a thread who had never had it before and wanted it. It just so happens this person had just taken a trip to The Alchemist and had lots of Heady. It turned into a situation where both of us were mutually benefitting from the trade. The trade went well and I will continue to trade with this person in the future because they are trustworthy. I usually stay away from the FT:ISO forums
    creepinjeeper, Hanzo and fishtremble like this.
  11. fishtremble

    fishtremble Initiate (185) Jan 18, 2010 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Can see the appeal but just can't get over the feeling that a vast majority is not looking for a "fair" trade but rather just how much they can reap on a beer that is local to them but highly sought out by others (yes I know there are fair traders as well but talking on a overall scale). I just can't bring myself to trade away half my cellar for a beer that somebody might have stood in line for a few hours at most to purchase. Hell I just had weeks of access to Kuhnhenn Eisbock and probably could have scored amazing beers at the cost of others but it's just not who I am so I don't play the game. Besides I live in Michigan and if I can't find something worthy on the shelves here then I am definitely doing something wrong.

    Sorry if this sounds crude and judgemental, especially from someone who has never traded, and I know I have seen seen some great trades and acts of kindness but these become rarer over time. It's just that the more I read these forums the more I am aware that there is a new generation of us coming with this boom that I just can't see me blindly putting my trust into with my hard earned money and efforts. There's also the fact that I know if I developed a great trade partner and knowing my own weakness I would end up giving away my whole damn cellar to them as "extras" just because I always want my friends to try everything I have just because they don't have access to it. I'm the guy who will spend damn near every dime in my wallet at a local pub with my son in law just because I know he can't afford it but loves every beer on the boards as much I do and he gets the same thrill as me trying something new. In return, when he can, he will always bring me over half his six pack of something new so I guess he qualifies as my trade partner.
    StoutHunter, creepinjeeper and JxExM like this.
  12. skinsfan

    skinsfan Zealot (583) May 24, 2005 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    I suppose I have been lucky as well in that everyone I have traded with thus far and actually completed trades with have been fantastic. I think that feeling of being burned is there at the beginning, especially when you are dealing with someone for the first time. I will admit though, if I did get burned early on, I am pretty sure I would be completely turned off on the idea of trading, and if I did do it would be really cautious about it.
    JxExM likes this.
  13. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,178) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I used to a lot, I just got sick of the process. I never had a bad trade and got some great stuff, but with increased distribution to Colorado I've grown complacent/lazy.
  14. semaj

    semaj Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2013 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I put D because everybody wants rare Cigar City beers that I cannot get my hands on and nothing else from Florida. I have some good locals, but I understand that people want what they want. I just don't stand in bottle release lines or live near the brewery so I feel there is not much to offer.

    However, I have only traded once and thanks to OUJayHawk1799, it was a great experience. A true BA, he stepped in and helped me out make a great gift and I sent him a few he hadn't had and I got to gift Pliny. I didn't know about extras though, so I will have to make that up in the future.
    beerindaglass likes this.
  15. DHS1029

    DHS1029 Aspirant (252) Feb 14, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    This FTW!
  16. Zhiguli

    Zhiguli Initiate (140) Jul 12, 2012 California

    My answer isn't in the list. I have a mental block I can't get over with regards to shipping things too often.
  17. highdesertdrinker

    highdesertdrinker Disciple (378) Nov 5, 2012 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Thats funny as hell and the first mistake was trying to explain it to the Mrs. but your avatars aren't from around here, are they!?:slight_smile:
  18. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (388) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    My desire to try beers I can't find in Boston doesn't surpass my desire to remain seated.
    BKBassist, mikecharley and audioserf like this.
  19. skinsfan

    skinsfan Zealot (583) May 24, 2005 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    I would like to reiterate the communication aspect. I think with trading (especially when getting started trading) it helps put you at ease to have constant communication with people throughout the whole process. For the most part, at least in my experience, it takes the whole am I going to get screwed piece out of the equation. And not just at the beginning of the process and once the trade is finalized, but the whole way through delivery and hell even asking/telling your trading partner how a beer you received tastes, etc. It helps to create trust, and helps establish potential trading partnerships, because I am positive that anyone of us that trades would love to have a solid group of constant trading partners than having to roll the dice every single time we want to trade in the trading forum.
  20. mecummins

    mecummins Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2012 Illinois

    The cost of shipping is a deal breaker for me. I simply don't have an extra $40-50 bucks to spend on Fed shipping right now. I've noticed recently that I've gotten a few BM from people who want to set up a trade for Chicago beer that I have easy access to. And with each one, I feel awful having to explain that I just don't trade. Maybe some day in the future I'll have the extra funds (yeah right. I suppose that it's still possible that I could still marry a rich guy on his death bed.)
  21. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    I can fix this easy for you, just tell your prospective trade partner you don't want to do extras. I've told people that and been told that so we can keep costs down.
    JxExM, SatlyMalty and skinsfan like this.
  22. mkorpal

    mkorpal Aspirant (214) Oct 28, 2007 Colorado

    Even in Wyoming, I can drink a different beer each day for months. So, there really is no need to go through the hassle of haggling, buying, packing, tracking, waiting, and the potential for lost beer. If there is really a beer I want in another part of the country, I'll just wait until travels eventually take me somewhere I can get it.
  23. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,110) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    While the idea of trading a bottle here and there with a friend is nice in theory, I don’t like what trading has done to the community, mainly due to the following reasons:

    • It encourages people to become too focused on chasing whales or hyped beers rather than enjoying great shelf beers. They end up chasing that next fix of a hyped beer. I see so many people fall down the slippery slope and get so wrapped up in constantly trading for some high profile brew to tick.
    • Beer is treated like currency, and no longer a delicious beverage you drink. Instead of trading from your own personal stash, trading influences people to buy ridiculous amounts of a desirable brew that they’d never come close to drinking themselves….only to hold it ransom to benefit themselves on the trading circuit. For example, people buying 6 cases of Heady Topper. (As a side…why the Alchemist allows a 6 case limit despite what they say in the media is beyond my comprehension).
    The idea of trading is nice (i.e. locals for locals, etc.), but I feel it’s abused way too often and ends up encouraging behavior that screams “ME, ME, ME!” I’m not surprised by this, it’s what humans do. It just puts a sour taste in my mouth so I have no desire to start trading (I also don’t want to deal with the hassle, shipping costs, etc.). I am fortunate to live in a state full of terrific beer, and I travel enough where I can have fun searching for local beer that I can’t get at home. Just my 2 cents.
  24. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I traded with the best of them. 135+ at this point.


    like, seriously.

    outside of a few favorites- Alpine, Deschutes Red Chair, or the like, I'll never be trading again. (I will send boxes to friends on occasion)

    I like the beer I can buy locally. Figure in shipping and I can trade for a six pack or buy damn near a case of something comparable.

    It's just not worth it.
    mikecharley, willbm3 and udubdawg like this.
  25. mattdbh

    mattdbh Aspirant (207) Feb 21, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    I voted B but E might be a big part of why I don't. There are a lot of beers I would love to try but living in the Bay Area, I have great beer available to me just down the street. I am a little nervous buying a lot of beer and not getting anything back. I'll take the plunge soon though.
  26. stayclean

    stayclean Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Wisconsin

    Money and time, or a lack of I guess I should say, are the biggest limiters right now. Also, though I know there are generous traders on here, the ISO:FT section just seems like a weird clusterfuck.
    beerindaglass likes this.
  27. DaftCaskBC

    DaftCaskBC Meyvn (1,125) May 7, 2011 British Columbia (Canada)

    I beer traded when I first came on beer advocate so that I could try the top 100 beers that interested me the most. Now I have tried half of them, and most are in the top 50, and I'm content with that.

    It started to get to the point where top rated beers I was trying were similar to others I had already had that were either better, or were local.

    Now I have started homebrewing all-grain beers locally. Its more of a challenge, I actually save money on my day-to-day beers, and it has given me a greater appreciation as well.

    Not to mention my knowledge of great beers from trading has given me a good foundation for beer recipes. I take elements of the best beers I have had in a particular style and combine them to make something brand new. I have even started to use experimental hops in my brewing to make flavours that aren't available yet.
    maxcoinage, KhakCane and skinsfan like this.
  28. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (181) Jan 14, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    God knows I've tried to trade on here but nobody is interested in international swaps unless it's rare Cantillon. I even get this from my real life State-side buddies!

    Shame because we have plenty of amazing UK stuff. We just need to start over-hyping the ratings like everyone else does.
  29. skinsfan

    skinsfan Zealot (583) May 24, 2005 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    100% agree with Hanzo on this. Its very easy to do, and I think it goes back to the communication aspect that was talked about earlier. Be open and upfront, say you only want to do $4$ on a trade and no extras. Never been an issue for me. If someone is not cool with that, then I wouldn't trade with them flat out. And vice versa, when arranging a trade, finalize what is being traded and then agree to throw in an extra or two. That will help alleviate the stress of the "extra" factor. And even after you agree to a trade plus one or 2 extras, and the package you receive has 5 extras in it, just smile, enjoy the beers that were sent and thank the hell out of the BA that hooked you up. At least you know you held up your end of the bargain, and you were on the receiving end of a BA who way above and beyond. Any and all trades have to be fair and agreed upon for both, otherwise someone is going to get screwed or letdown.

    Extras are great, don't get me wrong. But if its the main reason that any of us are doing it, then we are approaching it the wrong way. If I am not really excited to drink the beer that I am originally trading for, and only hoping I get some cool extras, then the trade should not have happened to begin with. Just my opinion.
  30. udubdawg

    udubdawg Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2006 Kansas

    A: self-explanatory.
    B: both access to my homebrew, and commercial stuff.
    C: got tired of worrying about the weather, breakage, flaky partners. Life is too short; screw that.
    D: live in Kansas...seems most people only wanted the stuff I went to an effort to acquire for myself. To each their own, but I never saw the point in trading to set up another trade. If I trade for it I'm drinking it myself.

    e: nah. People here are pretty damn awesome.

    still do a few in-person trades each year. Homebrewers who want feedback are always welcome to set up a trade. :slight_smile:

  31. alysmith4

    alysmith4 Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2005 District of Columbia

    I've just about completed my first two trades, and have a few questions:

    When people talk about the exorbitant costs of shipping, is this because they trade many times each month? Both my trades cost about $15-20, which doesn't seem like much on a monthly basis. I can see how doing this several times over though would get costly. Also, it seems like the fun/thrill is what you're playing for. Yes, beer is exchanged, but maybe it would help to think of the shipping cost as the "entertainment" cost.

    My other question is why don't (most) breweries ship beer? Given how big of an industry trading is, it would seem that breweries could make a fortune in shipping their stuff to interested buyers (which yes, would virtually eliminate the trading industry). Is it because it's too hard to become a legal alcohol shipper?
    KhakCane likes this.
  32. joeebbs

    joeebbs Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2009 Pennsylvania

    The big takeaway for me in regards to this video is the line about the beer that he trades for "tastes the same" as the beer he buys locally. I don't really see the need to trade for beer other than for two reasons:

    1. To get teh walez
    2. tick off all the beers
    maxcoinage and MattOC like this.
  33. MattOC

    MattOC Aspirant (236) Jan 13, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Here, here. I'd much rather stumble upon a rare beer, if possible, than go all out to get it. For me the satisfaction would be greater that way than acquiring it via trade.
  34. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    It's really repetition where costs add up, I mean if you trade one box a month that carries a $20 shipping bill sure, but then you have to figure that is on top of the money you spend on beer in general.

    And it costs online retailers\breweries money to ship legally, and even then some states don't have licenses for it. If they are successful, like say FFF, what motive to they have when they sell out of everything anyway without shipping anything directly to people?
    alysmith4 likes this.
  35. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (670) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I sent beer in a forward event. It was expensive to ship. The part I did not like was packing the beer. Getting a box, wrapping it bringing it to fedex. The whole idea was fun but getting it all ready was not. The $20 shipping expense was a bit of a turn off too in this money tight world.

  36. bigedct

    bigedct Initiate (0) Jun 23, 2011 Connecticut

  37. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    Interesting. I usually just crack a beer, throw on the TV and take my time packing the box using whatever materials I have left from other boxes that I MacGyver into new packaging....I find it kind of relaxing and enjoyable.
    beerindaglass, Auslander and Revenant like this.
  38. Revenant

    Revenant Aspirant (280) Aug 8, 2012 Minnesota

    Someday I hope to delve into the world of trading. I can see it now, me packing together a nice box of assorted Surly, Indeed, Steel Toe and Olvalde Farms beers seeking other delicious stuff in return like Zombie Dust, Pliny and maybe even a little Heady.
  39. stickboy1125

    stickboy1125 Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2012 Virginia

    I don't trade as I don't really feel the need to pay more than I already do for beer when there is plenty of great beer available to me. That being said, if you are using mules or other methods to get more than your allocation of limited release beers (that dont sit on shelves in your area) for the sole purpose of trading, you're a douchebag.
    Revenant likes this.
  40. willbm3

    willbm3 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    I've done 3 trades that all went smoothly, but I'm done...at least for awhile. My answer, like most of the replies I've read, is a combination of things. The trade forums are too focused on whales and I'm trying to tone it down on that front (and I don't have any whales to give up). Also, it's expensive and there's so much beer I can buy locally that I haven't tried. So I can either trade for a handful of beers or I can buy 4-5 sixers of things I haven't had.
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