Shipping cost included in trade worth?

Discussion in 'Beer Trading Talk' started by DJturnstile, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. DJturnstile

    DJturnstile Initiate (48) Sep 2, 2015 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm trying to work out a trade with someone on the opposite coast for a single bottle of Hunaphu. He hasn't specifically said what he wants in return just that he's open to trade for some Alvarado st. cans.

    My question is, since my shipping cost will be higher than his, should I factor that into how many cans I offer him or do you guys just go by the worth/rarity of the beer itself and not factor in shipping costs?

    I was thinking of offering 5 cans (about $25 retail + around $30 S&H) for his Hunaphu. Does that seem fair?
  2. jrnyc

    jrnyc Savant (943) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    You shouldn't factor in shipping, but some people will throw in something to make up for big discrepancies in box size/weight. But the difference in shipping 5 cans and 1 bottle of Huna should be negligible.
  3. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,664) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I'm assuming the reason you're having this problem is because you're trying to gauge what you think the Hunaphu is worth (the worth/rarity).

    When I "trade" with a friend of mine in SEPA, we simply go by whatever our out of pocket expenses are going to be. He frequently sends me ANTEAD variants that I know are worth far more on the grey market than what he paid for them, and it's the same on my end with de Garde stuff I send him. If it costs him $100 for 4 bottles of ANTEAD, then the expectation is that I'll send him $100 worth of local goodies (usually from Upright, HOTD, Fremont or de Garde), based on the actual price I paid for those beers. So that being the case, I of course reimburse him for whatever cost he incurs shipping his trade goods to me, and he does the same for me.

    The short answer is that shipping costs are always part of the deal, and I think should always be factored into the reimbursement cost of the trade. So once you determine whatever it is you happen to think a bottle of Hunaphu is worth, and what it will cost to ship that single bottle, you should make an exchange that roughly equals that cost, which I think should absolutely include whatever shipping costs you have to pay.
    DJturnstile likes this.
  4. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,664) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I would be curious to hear your reasons for saying that, In this particular case, the shipping costs may indeed be negligible, but even so, it seems to me that it's a cost like anything else that should be factored into any trade arrangement.
  5. DJturnstile

    DJturnstile Initiate (48) Sep 2, 2015 California
    Beer Trader

    From my previous trades and just making an educated guess, I would expect my box to cost twice as much as his one bottle. Roughly $15 vs. $30.

    So I think that my initial offering of 5 cans which equal about $25 in retail is worth the cost of his Huna which he estimated at about $30 retail. MINUS his legwork, flight to Florida ect...
  6. jrnyc

    jrnyc Savant (943) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    In my experience on this site, prevailing wisdom of what I have read and experienced in 100+ trades, shipping or any other cost is not factored in. Like I said, in a case where someone is sending a lot more bottles/cans than the other person resulting in a big difference in shipping costs, a good trader will offer to throw something else in, but this is the exception to most trades.

    All things being equal, shipping is probably a wash, even if it is not, it all evens out in the end.

    Logistically not even sure how this would work, because until I put the beer in a box and bring it to store, I don't know what it will cost. Would be impossible to work out a trade deal factoring in shipping without knowing cost ahead of time.
  7. jrnyc

    jrnyc Savant (943) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    5 cans of beer probably weight about 5 lbs, that bottle of Huna is heavy, probably 4 lbs. Depending on how the beer is boxed, shipping costs for both of you could be very well equal.

    Unless there was a huge discrepancy in box size, say 12 cans for 1 or 2 bottles, shipping is not a factor. If I was working a trade with someone and they started splitting hairs on shipping cost, I would never make a trade with that person.
  8. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,612) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    It's a cost for both sides, even if it may sometimes be off in one direction or the other. I can say that in almost 400 trades over nine years, I can only think of shipping costs coming up a handful of times. It never occurs to me.

    My rationale is once you start parsing shipping costs, where does it end? That's when you get people trying to figure out the cost of gas for driving to Hill Farmstead, or the nine hours they spent in line, or even (heaven forbid) the "secondary cost" of the beer. All of these things are costs & one could argue rationally that they should be included (& I know you weren't making this argument).

    Me, I'm a simple guy. Send me the beer I want for the beer you've got & we're both happy. I don't want to make it any more complicated than that.
    Vidblain, mythaeus, Mikexw and 11 others like this.
  9. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,664) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I agree that those are all costs and factors as well, and if I could factor those things into the equation I would. However, in the case of waiting in line, driving to the brewery, etc., in THAT case I do think it evens out in the wash. Or to put it another way, it's too much work and headache to try to figure out what those costs come to in dollars and cents. I still keep it in mind though. If I know my partner had to spend a lot of time in line to get something special (something I/we generally don't have to face in the NW, thankfully), then I try to express my appreciation with a few extra... er, ah, extras.

    In terms of shipping costs, I agree that probably evens out in the wash as well. However, as it's an easy enough cost to factor into the trade agreement, I always include it when calculating what I owe for a given trade. I'm probably overly anal about this, but it's important to me that I not charge my trading partner anything more than what I actually had to pay for the beer I obtained for him.
    DJturnstile likes this.
  10. South2NW

    South2NW Defender (676) Nov 25, 2013 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    $30 to ship 5 cans?!?!

    I regularly ship from OR to a buddy in FL, that includes 40lb 12 shippers of de garde. It has never cost me more than $45 via FedEx.

    $18.75 should be the max cost to ship a box via priority flat rate (usps or FedEx) across the country.

    Regardless, I don't factor shipping costs into a trade unless I'm asking for expedited shipping, or I'm shipping a case for 1-2 bottles.
    Jaycase and jrnyc like this.
  11. Fubez311

    Fubez311 Initiate (140) Jan 11, 2016 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    Usually, for me, this is where the extras come in to play. You make your deal for the rare stuff and then you both throw in extras (fill out a box) to make shipping worth it. Just my opinion though.
    DJturnstile likes this.
  12. montman

    montman Disciple (391) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    This summarizes it for me and any members of this site and other sites I've traded with for years. Never had anyone mention shipping except very large item discrepancy and even then it was volunteered, not assumed/negotiated.

    Not directed at anyone in this thread in particular, but if we are nitpicking a few shipping dollars in every trade, then maybe trading isn't for you? It isn't a cost accounting friendly hobby. :wink:
    cducap, lateralusbeer and jrnyc like this.
  13. DJturnstile

    DJturnstile Initiate (48) Sep 2, 2015 California
    Beer Trader

    Yeah maybe i'm getting ripped off or something but I've shipped both from NYC to Oregon and Oakland to NYC and for about 6-8 cans, with maybe a bottle in there it always runs me about $25-$30 UPS ground
  14. DJturnstile

    DJturnstile Initiate (48) Sep 2, 2015 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm mostly worried that i'm not sweetening the pot enough to get that Huna. I don't care that much about the money but I also don't want to be a sucker and over offer him cans on my end when my shipping will be double or more based on my past experience.

    I also don't want to UNDER offer and scare him away/insult him from a potential trade.
  15. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,664) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I'm also not directing this at anyone in particular in this thread, but my feeling is that there really isn't a right or wrong answer to the OP's question/concern. What I would suggest however, is that the OP discuss the issue and not take anything for granted. If both parties are comfortable accepting shipping costs as simply part of the price of engaging in trades, then that seems perfectly fine to me (if anyone cares about my opinion). On the other hand, if both parties agree that they're going to pay for any out of pocket expenses involved in getting a box from point A to point B (shipping materials, UPS costs, etc.), I don't see why anyone would (or should) have a problem with that.

    As someone who participates in many of the Bad Trader threads, most of the problems I see are the result of a lack of communication, or they occur because one or both of the two parties made certain assumptions not shared by the other party. To the extent those problems can be eliminated, I think there's a much greater likelihood that things will go smoothly, and that no will come away with hurt feelings or unfulfilled expectations.
    #15 John_M, Mar 21, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
    Janeinma likes this.
  16. South2NW

    South2NW Defender (676) Nov 25, 2013 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Ouch! I do use a FedEx account, so I save a few bucks. Haven't used UPS enough to gauge their prices accurately. The couple times I have they seemed to be at least $5 more
  17. Sturgeon83

    Sturgeon83 Disciple (332) Mar 11, 2015 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    Not once have I ever had shipping come up in trading communication. As others have mentioned, if it's one bottle going for a large quantity in return, I'll make an effort to even out the box with extras. But IMO a trader agrees to take on whatever the burden of shipping may be when they agree to the trade.
  18. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (1,807) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    If you are shipping cans, I suggest using USPS flat rate boxes.
    A Medium box holds 8 16 oz cans and is $13.60.
    A large flat rate box can old 12 16 oz cans and 4 12 oz cans and is $18.85.
    Doesn't matter if it is going across town, across the country or to Hawaii.
    mythaeus and Jaycase like this.
  19. DJturnstile

    DJturnstile Initiate (48) Sep 2, 2015 California
    Beer Trader

    Yeah someone just shipped me beer USPS and I was shocked that it arrived because last I heard that was illegal, right? A few years ago someone tried to mail me a bottle cross country and it was opened and returned to the sender because it was alcohol.

    I would do it if I could, but I also don't trust USPS anymore! Half of the things that leave CA pass through this notorious black hole of a post office in LA that steals from people on a regular basis.

    After they got a couple boxes of mine and claimed them "lost" I swore off the USPS
  20. stouts4everyone

    stouts4everyone Initiate (124) Feb 26, 2016 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    If shipping costs are something that's going to make or break you, or you really care how much shipping is going to cost, you shouldn't be trading. Trading is an expensive hobby.

    That said, the only time i would even consider adding anything to a trade due to shipping is if i'm getting a case or more of cans. Otherwise, the "value" of the beer speaks for itself. Either pay up shipping or don't make the trade. Next thing you'll see if people saying well i drove 5 hours one-way and stood in line for 12 hours to get this bottle. Tough shit. No one forced you to, but that doesn't increase the value of your trade.
    johnyb, montman and jrnyc like this.
  21. Janeinma

    Janeinma Devotee (420) May 24, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    actually it does, noone is going to swap $30 of a shelf beer available anywhere for a beer they drove miles for and was a pain to get. $4$ and rarity for rarity. People who offer shelf beer for whales/rarities tend not to close their trades.
  22. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (1,505) Apr 16, 2015 New Hampshire
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    I've moved to the flat rate boxes when I'm sending cans. Haven't had any issue yet, about 30 boxes in since I made the switch from FedEx. So much faster and so much cheaper.
  23. stouts4everyone

    stouts4everyone Initiate (124) Feb 26, 2016 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    The distance and wait time isn't what increases the value of the beer. Its the rarity and demand. So, i stand by my statement.
  24. Ridgewalker_1999

    Ridgewalker_1999 Initiate (134) Nov 3, 2016 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    Can't imagine shipping being so much of a issue. Granted, I'm a new trader, but I think fighting over pennies is a good way to ruin a reputation. Trading should be fun. If you want a deal buy a six pack at Walmart. But if you want awesome beer and someone is willing to hook you up, treat them kindly and don't worry about it being exact dollar for dollar.
    Vidblain, jrnyc, garlicNhops and 6 others like this.
  25. Vivified

    Vivified Initiate (174) Jul 9, 2014 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm sending a package that is costing me $41 to get across the US. Pretty sure it'll cost the other guy about the same to send me a box back. What is the question and why does it matter?
  26. cducap

    cducap Aspirant (299) Mar 27, 2011 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    It simply isn't part of a $4$ trade. It is the cost of doing business. Sometimes you pay more. Sometimes the other person pays more. It likely evens out in the wash at some point. What kind of difference are we even talking about? $10? Not more than $20 right? If the difference is higher than that, it likely means you are trading a high quantity of more common beers for something really big. I still think that is just cost of doing business in that type of trade and is one reason people shy away from those.

    If it really is $10-$20 difference we are talking about, then it makes me question if the person worrying about shipping cost should be trading beers. This is an expensive hobby. The people involved are usually generous and not really concerned about small differences in value one way or the other. If someone is really concerned about $10-$20 shipping, is this someone who would be able to cover costs of replacing a box if they need to? Is this someone who will try to cram a bunch of beers into a cheap USPS box to save a few bucks? Is this someone who will drop a single 7 month old IPA in as an "extra" and gladly drink the several carefully considered extras you sent them?
  27. ukwildcat1995

    ukwildcat1995 Initiate (197) May 24, 2015 Florida
    Beer Trader

    When I ship, I always use a styrofoam shipper. Just makes me feel more comfortable and confident that my box will get to the intended recipient intact. I'm pretty sure I could cram those same bottles into a smaller box and save money, but I'll gladly pay a little more for the security. I've gotten boxes that I would've never packed that way. I know I paid more than the other trader, but I just don't care.
    warrendietrich2001 likes this.
  28. mythaeus

    mythaeus Champion (836) Jul 22, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Unless you're shipping a 12-shipper and getting 1-2 bottles in return, between the use of dimensional weight and base shipping cost, differences in a few pounds are always negligible. You're looking at $2-3 difference in your case (and most typical trades if both partners are using the same method). Do an estimate online, keep the same dimensions of the box and add a range of pounds on top and you'll see that this is the case.

    Short of using USPS Priority flat rate for across the country, as already suggested, using FedEx online and keep the box as small as reasonable (big enough to safely ship without leaving empty space) will significantly reduce your shipping cost. Both UPS and FedEx use dimensional weight so box size matters, A LOT.
  29. Junkforadam

    Junkforadam Aspirant (245) Jan 12, 2015 Oklahoma
    Beer Trader

    I don't believe shipping should be added into a trade. You either want the beer or you don't. The trade should be based on the beer value. I've never traded for super rare beer though. I try to trade close to $4$, and prefer to stick to that, as long as it's fair for both ends.
    jrnyc and garlicNhops like this.
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