Newbie Beer Trading guide

Discussion in 'Trade Talk' started by Dan_K, May 19, 2016.

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

    Dan_K Zealot (515) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    This is still a Work in Progress, so I welcome feedback. I mostly wrote this a couple months ago during winter.
    --------------------

    Newbies Guide to Beer Trading, by a Newbie

    What is beer trading?

    Beer trading, at its core, is pretty simple. You have beers you can offer to trade, and you have beers that you can’t easily get otherwise that you’d like to try. You arrange a deal with someone, you ship off your box, and get a box in return. You may also meet them in-person (an IP trade) to make the exchange.

    Why would I want to beer trade?

    Beer trading allows you to get beers that you otherwise would not have access to. All breweries have a “footprint” that they distribute to. Outside of that footprint, it is impossible to purchase these beers at a normal store. An example would be Dry Dock Brewing in Colorado, ONLY distributes its award winning beers within the borders of Colorado. So if you wanted to try Apricot Blonde in Georgia, you’d need to trade for it, or come to Colorado to buy some. Beer lovers love to try new and interesting beers that they normally couldn’t. Another possibility is beers that a very limited may sell out quickly, so you may miss the beer even if you are inside the footprint. And finally, beer trading can be very fun, exciting, and rewarding. Opening a beer trading package can feel like Christmas morning!

    How do I know if beer trading is right for me?

    There are a couple things to consider before you dive head-first into trading beers. First off, it’s going to cost a pretty good amount of money, and if you are stingy, probably not the best thing for you to do. Being a trader usually means being generous with your trading partners. You can regulate the cost by controlling the scope and frequency of the trades you engage in. Second, you have to be able to communicate effectively and efficiently. I like to answer e-mails I get within 12 hours if possible. You need to know what is available, what is desirable, and how you can get it. Lastly, attention to detail is critically important. You need to make sure the beer you are getting is exactly what they want, and that it is fresh, or the correct vintage, etc.

    Sounds good, how do I get started?

    First you need to find a community that supports beer trading. Beer Advocate is such a community. They key to beer trading communities is the ability to meet up with people, communicate with them, and have a feedback system. I use Beer Advocate and it’s worked out quite well.

    Next you need beers. I like to stock up a cellar of sours, stouts, and strong beers that age really well. This gives you a base to draw from. Find something desirable that isn’t easy for people who don’t live nearby to get. This part can be tricky depending on where you live. A lot of people are looking for Brewery-only releases, because they are so limited.

    You can ask other experienced traders in your area, kind of network with them. Or you can read posts in ISO:FT and see what kind of trades people are looking for. You also need to start to get a finger on the pulse of the local breweries and local distribution, to see what's coming out soon that people would be looking for.

    How do I send these beers?

    Mailing beers falls into a legal gray area. While not illegal necessarily, it is against the policy of FedEx and UPS for an individual to mail beer unless they have a liquor license. And it’s illegal to ship via USPS. So use caution- avoid breakage. USPS should be a last resort, and FedEx or UPS used first. Boxes travelling the country take a lot of abuse, and beer in glass bottles is relatively fragile. How do you transport these beers safely?

    I like to get really sturdy boxes of adequate size. Your box needs to be a bit larger than the beers you are sending. If you aren’t sure you have a good box, home depot sells “heavy duty” boxes in 3 sizes (small, medium, large) for $1.50-3.00 each. These double-walled boxes are very strong. As a general rule a box should be rated twice as strong as the finished weight of the package. I also recommend bubble wrap. I get a large roll of small-bubble bubble-wrap at WalMart for $16. Save all the bubble wrap, packing peanuts, air envelopes, and sturdy boxes that you get. I also use electrical tape to put 3 wraps of tape on any “naked” bottle cap. Then I put 2 layers of bubble wrap on each bottle and secure it with tape or rubber bands. I often put padding of some sort on the inside of my boxes, and then carefully pack the bubble-wrapped bottles inside the padded double-wall box. Fill up any extra space with packing peanuts, bubble wrap, crumbled newspaper, or strategic cardboard chunks. You want your bottles to be firmly in place and not shift around during transit. There is no such thing as packing too well.

    Beers need to be protected from internal and external impacts. Internal impacts are caused by contents quickly shifting during shipping. Reduce this by separating bottles with padding or cardboard, and packing your box full with no void space. External impacts are best mitigated with a "buffer zone" around the outside of your box, and by padding your beers adequately.

    Lots of people also use "box in a box" packing, where the beers are packed tightly inside an inner box, and then bubble wrap, newspaper, or air envelopes are used to cushion and buffer these inner boxes from the outer box, providing more protection from bumps.

    For tape I like Gorilla shipping tape, it’s thicker and wider than normal tape, but expensive. 3M heavy duty “shipping tape” is great. The Duck brand shipping tape from Walmart comes in at least 2 varieties, the heavy duty is fine but the regular it too thin and not sticky enough. I get my tape at Walmart or Lowes.

    There is also breakage/leakage mitigation. If a bottle breaks and leaks into the box that is bad; your shipment could be returned or even destroyed. You can either put cans or bottles in gallon zip-lock bags, or you can use trash bags to encompass the bottles in an attempt to mitigate the damage if a bottle were to break or leak. I recommend you do this. I actually had a bottle break finally after 15 good packages, but because it was in a kitchen-sized trash bag it didn’t leak. I like the white 13-gallon trash bags, wrap up the beers and tie off/seal the bag so liquid can’t leak out easily.

    If you pick up your packed box, and shake it or roll it, the contents should not shift. I tend to go overboard with tape as well. Tape every seam with a full length of tape, and then rub the seam to ensure proper bondage. Extra tape is fine, make sure it won’t pop open or split. Normal packing tape is 1.88” wide, but consider wider tape for larger boxes.

    Extra careful people will make multiple shipping labels for the destination. Put one inside the box, put another outside the box. That way if the label somehow falls off, you are still covered.

    Shipping with FedEx or UPS
    You can save money by creating an account online. You can weigh, measure, and print your postage at home (or work), and affix this to your boxes. This saves you time and hassle at the FedEx/UPS drop-off location. Creating an account is free.

    I have never had UPS or FedEx ask me what was inside, but if they do, answer “olive oil, BBQ sauce, marinades” or something along those lines. Olive oil may be getting used too much by beer traders, so get creative. Rehearse your answer ahead of time.

    It's possible your shipment could be damaged, returned, or confiscated. This is fortunately somewhat rare if you package well and ship carefully. If this occurs, the responsibility lies with the sender to either replace the damaged/missing beers or work out some other sort of deal with the other trader.

    What are “extras” ?

    Extras are extra beers that are sent along with the package. It’s kind of an unwritten rule to include them unless the trade is explicitly for “no extras”. Extras can be anything from local beers, fresh IPAs, or bombers of beers that are similar to what you are trading out. Sometimes you’ll find yourself buying 6-packs or 4-packs of a good local beer and throwing a can or bottle into trades you are working on. Other times you might be able to get a good mix from a mix-six area or singles cooler (but watch those dates!). In general, the bigger the trade, the more extras you will include. I have included as many as 8 "extra" beers.

    A word about fresh beer

    All beer has a shelf life. Really hoppy beers tend to have a shorter shelf life for optimum consumption. As we already know, storage conditions are important as well. An IPA will hold up longer under constant refrigeration. That same IPA on a warm shelf for a couple months is probably not great anymore.

    The beers I hold in my cellar are stored better than a store shelf- they are not handled as much and the temperature is lower.

    There is no hard and fast rule, but I would generally not include any IPA that is older than 2 months. And obviously aside from big stouts, sours, or Belgians, don’t include any beers that are expired. High acidity or high alcohol tend to indicate a beer ages well.

    If someone is trading you for an IPA (or you are trading for one), freshness is a huge consideration. For example, if you wanted to trade Pliny the Elder, your best bet would be acquire the bottles, put them in your fridge, and immediately post up that you have Pliny for trade. You could ship these bottles out the following Monday and they would be about 1 month old when your target receives them. I try and time my trades so that I can ship them when I have fresh IPAs.

    Shipping in Winter

    To reduce chances of freezing, you should always ship on a Monday or Tuesday. Check the weather along the route and at your destination. Any temperatures below 20 degrees are dangerous, although your package may survive temps as low as 15 degrees without freezing. Freezing leads to breaking which leads to leaking. Leaking packages could be repackaged, returned, or destroyed. Bad things happen when packages leak, so you want to avoid this at all costs. Bagging the beers is recommended for all seasons.

    Final Note
    Communication is important. Communicate your expectations with your trading partner. Package well, ship promptly, and keep your trade partner informed. Not holding up your end of the trade is stealing- so don't enter into a trade agreement if you can't complete it. If a trade is resolved to your liking, leave positive feedback. Retaliatory feedback is grounds for being banned from the community. Develop relationships with other traders, and have fun.

    Commonly Used Abbreviations:
    ISO: In search of (beers they want)
    FT: For Trade (beers they have)
    L4L: Locals for locals (trade of local beers)
    IP: In-person trade
    FFF: 3 Floyds
    3F: Drei Fonteinen (from Belgium)
    CC: Cigar City
    SP: Side Project
    OB: Oskar Blues
    BCBS: Bourbon County Brand Stout, from Goose Island (also many variations of this)
     
    #1 Dan_K, May 19, 2016
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  2. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (515) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    Because of the editing rules I can't go back and add to or change the OP, but is there any important topic that I missed in my newbies guide to beer trading? Any parts that should be clarified or amended?
     
  3. macrosmatic

    macrosmatic Poo-Bah (2,950) Mar 9, 2006 Florida
    Society Trader

    I think it's well-written and I don't see any glaring deficiencies. I don't usually tape caps when shipping, but that seems to be a personal preference.
    My only suggestion...it's been my understanding that in general CCB = Cigar City Brewing; while CC = Creature Comforts in GA.

    Cheers!
     
    The_FishermanJay likes this.
  4. thatoneguymike

    thatoneguymike Meyvn (1,162) Sep 18, 2012 Georgia

    One thing that I like to do (or receive) in extras is regionally-specific foodstuffs/memorabilia/glassware too! Nothing cooler than opening a package where someone also kicked in a small-batch hot sauce (thanks for that, Dan!), some stickers, or stemware from the region too.

    I've also gotten copies of W magazine, or People, presumably for the fairer-sex spouse, and one time a paperback of The Three Billy Goats Gruff as extras. Filling out the coffee table nicely.

    Very well written, Dan!
     
    jhavs, The_FishermanJay and Dan_K like this.
  5. FleetwoodMatt

    FleetwoodMatt Initiate (170) Dec 5, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    In the extras section it might be helpful to list websites like seekabrew and beermenus for help in choosing extras that the other person wouldn't be able to get in her or her area.

    I'd also suggest listing the $4$ abbreviation since I've seen more than one new trader ask about it.

    Nice work on the summary!
     
    jhavs, mythaeus and thatoneguymike like this.
  6. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (515) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    Yeah. Seekabrew is about 2 years behind in our state. I e-mailed them about making changes and they never replied or updated the website. At this point it's barely useful anymore.
     
    TonyLema1 and FleetwoodMatt like this.
  7. BumpkinBrewer

    BumpkinBrewer Disciple (321) Jan 6, 2010 Massachusetts

    The obligatory "this should be a sticky" post.
     
    Dan_K likes this.
  8. FleetwoodMatt

    FleetwoodMatt Initiate (170) Dec 5, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Yeah it's not perfect but I typically start with seekabrew and then use beermenus along with the other trader's zip code to get a better idea.
     
  9. F2brewers

    F2brewers Champion (820) Mar 12, 2005 Massachusetts
    Fest Crew Society Trader

    You can always ask one of the mods to update it. I do it in other threads/forums.

    I agree. @Todd ?
     
    Mmmkcr and 4truth like this.
  10. Yohann

    Yohann Aspirant (215) Apr 29, 2014 Wisconsin
    Trader

    3F: Drie Fonteinen brewery
    BA: Barrel Aged
    BBA: Bourbon Barrel Aged
    BCBCS: Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
    BIF: Beer-It-Forward
    BT: Black Tuesday
    CW: Central Waters brewery
    DDG: Duck Duck Gooze
    FW: Firestone Walker brewery
    KBBS: Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout (from TG)
    LIF: Lottery-It-Forward
    Loon: Brasserie Cantillon beer
    Prop: Proprietor's Bourbon County Brand Stout
    Rare: Bourbon County Brand Rare Stout
    RR: Russian River brewery
    SARA: Sainte Adairius Rustic Ales brewery
    TG: Toppling Goliath brewery
    VR: Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Rye Stout (2014)
    VSB R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)
    VSP R&D Wild Peach (also WP)

    And I'd definitely suggest putting the acronyms in alphabetical order. (Yeah, that's in part my inner OCD talking, but it will also just make the list easier to use.)
     
    mewcow, jjsissman27 and Dan_K like this.
  11. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,684) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

    For numerous reasons, we only sticky/recommend official BA posts.
     
    jhavs likes this.
  12. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (515) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    That's a very good list of stuff that is relevant to trading. I totally forgot to include BIF...
     
  13. BumpkinBrewer

    BumpkinBrewer Disciple (321) Jan 6, 2010 Massachusetts

    That sounds like a reasonable policy. Maybe @Dan_K should post a link to this thread in the FAQ input sticky for future reference.
     
  14. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (515) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    I already did that yesterday. :wink:
     
    BumpkinBrewer likes this.
  15. mythaeus

    mythaeus Crusader (762) Jul 22, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Then the only sensible solution is to hire @Dan_K for a day then show him the door after that :grinning:

    Seriously, nice work, Dan! I'd add a blurb about asking your trade partner about requiring signature for the delivery. This topic seems to come up often enough with packages being delivered to the wrong address or stolen from the porch. It was most recently discussed here: http://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/tracking-shows-delivered-but-box-not-there.417069/

    Also, add DO NOT use FedEx for shipments to VT, especially shipments that will go through Williston hub. FedEx is notorious for opening, inspecting, and returning packages to sender as well as sending out warning letters. I believe some areas of NJ have the same issues, but less frequent or less reported.
     
    Dan_K likes this.
  16. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (515) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    If they want to use part or all of my guide, or ask me to improve on it or whatever, that's fine with me. I just know there was some demand for this, and being a new trader myself (who has now shipped some 20 odd packages) I figured I have enough experience. If one of the moderators wants to modify this and sticky it or whatever, doesn't matter.

    Maybe the solution is for there to be one stickied post, with a link to this thread and other relevant threads, inside it?
     
  17. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Poo-Bah (1,918) Apr 21, 2014 Canada (ON)
    Society Trader

    Great post!

    A couple comments/suggestions.

    1. I realize that the vast majority of users on this site are based in the USA. Nevertheless, as constructed, I would suggest if the intention is to provide guidance only to new US traders, that be added to the title. If the intention is to provide general guidance for all users, a few things should be added. My reasoning is that the "Shipping with FedEx or UPS" section could lead new traders in other places (Canada for instance) to make bad shipping decisions. For example, in Canada, it is best and safest to use Canada Post for all internal trading. It is much cheaper than the private carriers, and carries far less chance of confiscation than using the private shippers. Also, with international shipping, depending on destination, other shippers (DHL for example) may be preferred based on the collective experience. If the intention is to make this of value to all users interested in trading, I think a couple additions along these lines is necessary, and can likely be sourced from a variety of international users. If not, then of course, this can be ignored.

    2. In the section "How Do I Send These Beers," there should be a subsection on the use of styrofoam wine shippers. I have completed at least 30-40 trades both through BA and elsewhere and only once have ever received my beer in something other than a styrofoam wine shipper. In so far as they are designed and engineered to ship bottles safely, they are an excellent choice. Some manufacturers make a variety of shipper sizes (1-2-3-4-6-12 bottle) and ones with different slot opening circumferences (750ml wine, wider base champagne) which can accommodate a wide variety of cans, bottles and even smaller grumblers without any alterations. Using styrofoam shippers does not mean one can avoid the use of other packing materials. Paper, bubble wrap, bags, elastics and tape may be necessary to ensure bottles are secure in their slots.

    Of course, using styrofoam shippers does limit the number of extras that can be added. Therefore, i think it is wise to indicate that a styrofoam shipper is being used when setting up a trade so as not disappoint the recipient that extras will be limited to the number of slots available.

    Links to sellers of of these shippers might be added as well:

    Uline:

    http://www.uline.com/BL_5450/Wine-Shippers

    U-Haul

    https://www.uhaul.com/MovingSupplies/Boxes/Kitchen-moving-boxes/Wine-Shipping-Kits?mid=169 (I can't seem to access the US site, but I know there is one).

    Those living near wine regions may also be able to source them from local wineries.


    3. The recommendation of bagging bottles and cans and taping non-waxed caps is a good one. I would suggest that rather than electrical tape, self adhering silicone tape is better. It leaves no glue residue on the bottle or cap, and produces a better seal than electrical tape. The one I use is a Canadian product, but I am sure the same thing is available in the US and elsewhere:

    https://www.homehardware.ca/en/rec/...elf-Fusing-Silicone-Tape/_/N-ntk0r/R-I3680004


    Again, excellent post and hope these thoughts might help as it grows.

    Cheers!
     
    bearbeerboss80, mythaeus and Dan_K like this.
  18. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (515) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    I think I will write up some changes and then see if I can't modify the OP to reflect these changes. Planned changes include:
    International shipping methods
    Wine shippers
    More trading-relevant terminology

    I usually use electrical tape on the caps, however the last roll I bought had an awful smell to it, so I decided not to use it. Don't want to put nasty chemicals on the beer bottles.
     
    Coronaeus and 4truth like this.
  19. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Poo-Bah (1,918) Apr 21, 2014 Canada (ON)
    Society Trader

    I know a lot of people say not to bother with tape. I figure it can't hurt, even if it does little to help prevent leaking on the rare occasions it occurs. i know I have I only ever received a leaking bottle once, and there was no tape around the cap.

    Some brands of self sealing silicone tape have a bad odour too.

    A further couple thoughts:

    1. I have little experience mailing growlers because few breweries in my neck of the woods use them, especially the swing top ones. Perhaps a section either in the "Freshness" section or elsewhere on the specific issues surrounding sending growlers would be a good idea (freshness, specific packing recommendations, precautions one might take to ensure the beer in the growler is what it is supposed to be, etc.)

    2. In terms of communication, perhaps a word about how it is always good to obtain not just a shipping address, but also a cellular number and an outside e-mail address to allow for multiple avenues for communication should things go off the rails in one way or another. Legitimate trading partners will not balk at offering this information.

    Cheers!
     
  20. Yohann

    Yohann Aspirant (215) Apr 29, 2014 Wisconsin
    Trader

    I use 3M rubber splicing tape – no odor, no residue, seals extremely well, and only two bucks a roll.

    A few additional common trading acronyms:
    A&T - Armand & Tommy Oude Geuze
    ANTEAD - A Night to End All Dawns
    BASS - Bourbon Barrel Aged Speedway Stout
    CBS - Canadian Breakfast Stout
    CFH - Churchill's Finest Hour
    DBH - Double Barrel Hunahpu's
    DL - Dark Lord
    HF - Hill Farmstead brewery
    LPG/LPF/LPK - Lou Pepe Gueuze/Framboise/Kriek
    MBCP - Maple Bacon Coffee Porter
    NEBCO - New England Brewing Company brewery
    PtE - Pliny the Elder
    SoS - Sip of Sunshine​

    Also: Styrofoam shippers are great, but I would recommend molded pulp shippers, both as more environmentally friendly and more practical (lighter and take up less storage space). I've used the ones from Gorilla Shipper for years.
     
    Dan_K likes this.
  21. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (515) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    Do you have a source that sells them in quantities of less than 25 each? Those are cool, and prices are good, except you have to spend a lot. I've used some pulp shippers and they do indeed work well.
     
  22. Yohann

    Yohann Aspirant (215) Apr 29, 2014 Wisconsin
    Trader

    Mr. Box Online sells them in smaller quantities, but they're more expensive and are pre-printed with "This Package Contains ALCOHOL", so you'll need to be careful to cover that up when shipping.

    My suggestion would be to just find another trader or two in your area, to go in with on an order from Gorilla Shipper.
     
    tacosandbeer likes this.
  23. 4truth

    4truth Aspirant (237) Jan 30, 2015 Illinois
    Trader

    Any idea which areas in NJ? Would be helpful for a project I have going out this week, if you know what I mean :wink:
     
  24. mythaeus

    mythaeus Crusader (762) Jul 22, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    4truth likes this.
  25. nerdboy19

    nerdboy19 Aspirant (253) Sep 20, 2015 Korea (South)
    Trader

    Hi guys, I'm almost a foreigner, and I 'm visiting the States this summer. I really want to hold some trades, but I can't find some info about foreigner using Fedex/UPS. I have a citizenship, but don't have any Zip code or anything. Can I still use them to ship my beers? I'll be really appreciated if you guys can help me, thanks!

    Edit : Also, how much does it usually cost to ship a box with 2~3 bombers across the country? I'm planning to ship Trillium when I get to Boston and want to know the approximate maximum shipping cost.
     
  26. mythaeus

    mythaeus Crusader (762) Jul 22, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Anyone can use any shipping company in person. You can provide any address when you're at the local shipper and shipping cost is calculated based on where the package is shipped from. It still applies that you should not disclose that you are shipping beer. Shipping 2-3 bombers coast to coast would be around $15-20. The more bottles you ship, the better the average, though. Typically, a 25lbs box (~8 bottles) from Philly to San Fran is $30. Trillium bottles are actually 750ml, not 22oz bomber.
     
  27. nerdboy19

    nerdboy19 Aspirant (253) Sep 20, 2015 Korea (South)
    Trader

    Ah forgot about that Trillium was the bigger ones, thanks for the info BTW. That's not that high :slight_smile:
     
  28. Dutchcraftbeergeek

    Dutchcraftbeergeek Savant (936) Nov 21, 2015 Netherlands

    I'm new here to this trade beer stuff.
    I've read the instructions , but i've got a question .
    I've heard from a friend that 3 Fonteinen, or Cantillon, you can trade for almost anything.
    Is that right?
     
  29. Yohann

    Yohann Aspirant (215) Apr 29, 2014 Wisconsin
    Trader

    There are a few specific beers from 3F and Cantillon (e.g. Don Quijote) that you can trade for almost anything, and in general their beers are very highly regarded, though perhaps their value for trading has declined slightly from what it was in years past.
     
    Dan_K likes this.
  30. Dutchcraftbeergeek

    Dutchcraftbeergeek Savant (936) Nov 21, 2015 Netherlands

    Okay thanks, Yohann :slight_smile:
     
  31. Mmmkcr

    Mmmkcr Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2014 Pennsylvania

    I just sent out my first 2 beer trades today. Was wondering about 'tricks of the trade' in keeping packaging reasonable. I'm definitely conscious of the fact that I need to protect the very expensive beer I'm shipping, but not tacking on another 15+ dollars in materials over shipping would be a lesson worth learning. I usually have a box around or know where to get one, was in a rush today and had to buy some... I keep certain materials around from online shopping boxes.... Old newspapers, etc.

    Saw comments about using trash bags and certain tapes, but I'm not at a comfort level to ship growlers now. Sounds like a horrible idea for summer now too. I lucked out today sending mostly cans. But yeah, any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
     
  32. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,503) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Another tip to provide newbies (I started to realize this after a few trades), is shipping costs are considerably more expensive when trading with a partner further away. Seems like common sense but easily overlooked in decision making. Perhaps some guidance on shipping costs to consider when deciding on whom to trade with and how much quantiy. Oh and cans are less weight that bottles...another consideration for cost cutting measures.
     
    Dan_K likes this.
  33. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (515) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    I use tape on bottle caps. I used garbage bags for everything. I've never shipped a growler before. If you want to save weight (and therefore money) I suggest shipping cans over bottles when applicable, and I use a lot of bubble wrap which is extremely light for the amount of protection it affords. Cardboard and newspaper are relatively heavy methods of packaging. Trust me, I'm pretty stingy when it comes to shipping costs, so I'm always looking to limit weight of packaging. I sent 32 lbs of beer in a 36 lb package one time- nothing broke.

    Why do I use garbage bags or 1 gallon ziplocks for all the beer? Well, if you box gets soaked, there's a chance that they will take your package and throw it in the garbage. I can't afford that.
     
  34. j44thor

    j44thor Initiate (155) Feb 24, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Sorry for the newbie question but I can't figure out how to initiate a trade. I've read all the guides and start the conversation in the trade forum but the only details I can find say "follow next steps" which as far as I can tell do not exist. At no point in the conversation is there an option to initiate a trade. I've had trades initiated to me so I'm trying to figure out what I'm missing.
    I also have no way of listing what I have for trade. I can list gots/wants (though they aren't updating properly) but no way to list what I have FT.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  35. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (2,053) Apr 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    Click on the trading tab on the top of the website. When the page opens, about half way down on the right under your stats you can search for the member you want to trade with. It says "Find Member" in a search box. Do that. Then on the right of the bar that says Recent Trades: near the top of the page there is a box that says "Request Trade"

    Thats how you do it! Good luck.
     
  36. j44thor

    j44thor Initiate (155) Feb 24, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Thanks so much.
    I'd suggest adding that to the FAQ.
     
    NickWebster87 likes this.
  37. dmbforever

    dmbforever Aspirant (284) May 8, 2013 Wisconsin
    Trader

    @j44thor you can also click on the BA's avatar that your in conversation with, then click on their trade stats. Once opened, click on trade request button towards top right. There's more than one way :wink:
     
  38. juliuscaesar2701

    juliuscaesar2701 Initiate (83) Jan 11, 2016 Massachusetts

    I'd just like to throw out the bad experience that I had with a pulp shipper. Not sure how, but a box that was sent to me was packed very well, with lots of filler and beers around a 2 bottle pulp shippers. One of the bottles (a voodoo barrel collection stout) in the 2 bottle pulp shipper got absolutely destroyed, completely shattered and had leaked all over the box. I felt awful for the guy who sent it to me, because it was a really well packed box, and I have absolutely no idea how it broke short of the folks at fedex drop-kicking it, or throwing it off a cliff. It certainly was not his fault. I would just hate for the same thing to happen to other people.
     
  39. Flybysilva

    Flybysilva Initiate (0) Jul 5, 2016 England

    Im looking to start beer trading and this has helped a lot. Good clear guide. I live in England so have access to some great beers, ales etc. im looking to trade for american beers i cant get over here.
     
  40. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (515) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    For international shipping I highly recommend getting your hands on foam shippers if you are able to. From a protection and weight standpoint they are ideal. There is one cautionary thing to look out for. In many foam shippers, the bottles are able to slide up and down a bit inside the cavity. If you can stuff some newspaper or bubble wrap inside and eliminate this motion, that's a big improvement. And I still like to wrap the caps in electrical tape or rubber splicing tape as well.

    I'm glad you found the guide to be of some use, thanks for the feedback!
     
    #40 Dan_K, Aug 26, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
    Flybysilva likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.