Store owners handling on case of KBS...

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by RayOhioFelton, Feb 24, 2013.


What is the best way to handle limited quantities of rare releases?

  1. Lottery

  2. First come/first serve

  3. Waiting list

  4. Who ever spends the most gets priority

  5. Other

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  1. Onizilla

    Onizilla Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    As a store manager who usually manages a few cases of KBS I do what any decent person would do; I drink the entire case behind the counter while laughing drunkenly and refusing to sell any of it to anyone.

    (first come first serve; 4 packs only. That particular delivery never shows up before 6pm on a Thursday Night. Fair enough time!)
    HipsterBrewfus likes this.
  2. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Defender (624) May 11, 2012 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    One of my local places did an interesting approach for Cherry Rye. Beginning with the day of arrival, they would put out 1 bottle a day, at a randomly determined time until they were all out. I feel like this was fair to the regulars and non regulars alike, and good for the store to bring in new prospective customers. I'd guess that 95% of the customers who didn't score a CR still picked something up. I personally didn't get any but I was fine with that, I felt like I still got a decent shot
  3. seakayak

    seakayak Disciple (352) May 20, 2007 Massachusetts

    This thread made me realize that many here have a much more intimate relationship with their beer/liquor store than I can imagine. My store has at least a dozen employees on different shifts in addition to the owner and manager, and there's always 8-10 or more customers at any one time (it's near the local shopping center). I've gone weekly for 15 years, and I know most of the staff to say hello or ask about a new item on the shelves. But, I just can't imagine what it would take to have them consider me as a special customer to the point where anything the manager might do would personally benefit me (as in setting aside a rare bottle). There must be hundreds of regulars and thousands of occasional customers, and this is just a relatively small suburban town. Maybe I should just hang around more.

    So what type of interactions can you have that results in a manager thinking of you as a special customer?
    rlcoffey, zach60614 and YogiBeer like this.
  4. imbibehour

    imbibehour Poo-Bah (6,278) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader


    1) visit often, virtualy every day
    2) talk shoot the breeze. Chat about beer stuff of course, but also small stuff
    3) spend a bunch of money
    seakayak likes this.
  5. Pecan

    Pecan Devotee (421) Dec 20, 2012 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Going to echo sentiment on the combination method.

    I think good customers should be rewarded with some amount of the product. Basically, an allowed waiting list for loyal, high-spending customers. This kind of forms a first-come waiting list for the regulars. Should probably keep this hushed, as it WOULD piss off other people.

    The other split should be a clearly stated release time with first-come for anyone.

    For BOTH batches though, there needs to be a bottle limit. As a consumer, my ideal is a 3 bottle limit when I get to purchase, but have to concede that a 1 or 2 bottle limit is probably most beneficial to the release scheme.
  6. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Agreed completely. I would like to add though, that it would also be nice if customers could get it through their head that if they do get a shot at the beer, they don't need to buy a bomber to drink, a bomber to cellar and a bomber to trade.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  7. Pecan

    Pecan Devotee (421) Dec 20, 2012 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    If the store allows it and I get the option, my optimal number is 3 and I will continue to buy that many. One to drink now and two to cellar and open with beer friends that missed out on the release. Unless I know you, it's up to the store to take care of you, not me.
  8. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    That's seems to be the common mind set and I don't knock you for having it. It makes sense, given how all this craft beer stuff shakes out. It's just not how I operate (hence my "it would be nice" type of phrasing). If there's, for example, three bombers of something special left on the shelf and it was recently released (say within the last month). I am only going to take one. I am doing this for no other reason but the fact that if I were coming in really hoping for a specific beer, I'd be stoked to see that someone didn't clear them out. It's easy to say, "well if they wanted the beer that bad, they would have gotten their earlier" or "well then why not just buy any, since you want everyone to get a chance" , etc., etc. But life is complicated and sometimes things come up, maor things. So I have no problem passing on my interest to trade/cellar a beer so that a stranger gets a shot at it. However, I won't completely pass on it and buy nothing, as I'd like to try it myself. Again, not knocking you are anyone else that does it differently, just trying to show where I am coming from.

    SammyJaxxxx, YogiBeer and Pecan like this.
  9. BigTomZ

    BigTomZ Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Virginia

    If I owned a store a there were a few people that literally spend hundreds or more every week, I would definitely hold some bottles for them. That being said I wouldn't give them every bottle. I would give them the same allocation as everyone else but I would go out of my way to set aside bottles for them.

    The rest would go to regulars. I would not do phone reservations. You'd have to be in the shop in person and be someone I recognize as a regular. So I guess first come first serve out of the in person regulars.

    Regulars are people who are in there very regularly, at least a couple times a month. Someone who only shows up for limited releases is NOT a regular. Those people who show up out of the woodwork for limited releases would be told we didn't get any.
  10. Kerfluffel

    Kerfluffel Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2013 Washington

    I'd say waiting list with a reasonable bottle limit.
  11. Pecan

    Pecan Devotee (421) Dec 20, 2012 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    I totally get what you're saying and it's definitely respectable. I'd do the same thing if I knew someone like you would be next in line for it, but I guess I'm just pretty cynical of people and wouldn't expect the next person to not buy a full case and try to win trades with it. However, if I grab a couple extra I not only get to help out people that had life get in the way, but get to help people that I know will appreciate the experience of the beer and not just the trade value. Worst case scenario is that I'll have an extra bottle or two in the cellar of beers that I likely enjoy.

    The whole dilemma is fixed though by having the retailer place a bottle limit. My ideal is three, but I'd definitely like to see bottle limits of one or two on limited releases in high demand. At least people would have to put in a little more effort to hoard.
    Providence likes this.
  12. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I don't have a whole lot of folks around me that love craft beer like I do, nor do I go to bottle shares of any kind. If I did, as it sounds like you do, then I could definitely see why it would be just as much advocacy to buy the extras.
    Pecan likes this.
  13. klaybie

    klaybie Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2009 Illinois

    First come. First serve, but it is nice when the owners know who is just looking to horde bottles by going shop to shop. Regulars will likely have the info too but they deserve a little preference (such as ''hey KBS will be here....) then if they don't show up in time it's on them. I get advance notice on beers and am one of their top customers but they won't hold them for me and I like that. Everyone gets treated pretty fairly.
  14. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Aspirant (295) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    No, they just think they do.
    YogiBeer and seakayak like this.
  15. HattedClassic

    HattedClassic Poo-Bah (2,119) Nov 23, 2009 Virginia

    Forget these 21st century notions of the distribution of rare beers. I say distribution through combat! A caged death match against bears on steroids with laser eyes! That way only the people who really want that KBS stout will get it.
    JohnnyMc, YogiBeer and seakayak like this.
  16. DaKur

    DaKur Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2012 Rhode Island

    If thats the case it's messed up for him even telling you he gets some. Either he told you because he plans on hooking you up or he's just a total ass.
  17. sdpaul

    sdpaul Aspirant (224) May 2, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    They selling to certain cusomters is just not should be First Come First ..I mean he will get his money faster that way
  18. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2010 Oklahoma

    As a customer, I really feel bummed to be denied something from the back room or behind the counter, but I understand. If I was a store owner there's no doubt that I would accommodate my best customers first. That's life, kidos.
  19. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (204) May 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Your response really did nothing to address his assertion that an auction is the fairest way to allocate. I can see no argument that can possibly be made that an auction isn't the fairest form of selling an allocated product even though an auction would most likely price me out of buying almost all limited releases. Just because it sucks for me doesn't mean it isn't fair. I believe with this post you kind of illustrated what you said in your very accurate first post "most peoples idea of what is fair is also the option which they are more likely to get the beer they want".

    Also, c'mon man. I'm pretty confident I can assume your political leanings based on your avatar.
  20. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (204) May 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Don't do it man. Don't become one of these beer dorks kissing some beer manager's ass. Your self-respect should be worth far more than any limited release beers.
    OneBeertoRTA and seakayak like this.
  21. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Why is an auction the fairest way to allocate resources? It favors those with more resources at their disposal. There are other options which do not favor one group over another as significantly. To be fair it has to be impartial, favoritism is partial.

    Also, you can make all the assumptions you want but you'd be wrong.
  22. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (204) May 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    It perfectly prices the product where supply meets demand. Basically the definition of economic efficiency. That's why...

    I'd be wrong? Are you a right-wing authoritarian?
  23. beerborn

    beerborn Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2012 Georgia

    How about you get a waiting list going, then if it maxes out (say 50+ people for one case) then hold a lottery for those on that list. If they didn't ask to be on it, they didn't know about it. This makes it fair for regulars and those guys (like the OP) that seem to be on the edge of what is considered a regular.

    I would love to see a place do this
  24. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    But economic principles are not based on what is fair. Economic efficiency may be undeniable but that does not mean it is impartial.

    You came closer than I thought.
  25. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (204) May 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Economic efficiency is as impartial as it gets. To sell something below fair market value to people who can't afford it at the fair market price is showing favoritism. Not the other way around.
  26. RayOhioFelton

    RayOhioFelton Devotee (416) May 24, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    OK, this thread has gotten out of hand. Store owner was trying to pull a basic bait and switch. Spend a hundred dollars today and I will...ahah, gotcha!

    F it, I am buying a barrel and throwing a few cases of Breakfast Stout in it! I will make the KBS myself!
    JohnnyMc likes this.
  27. bunique686

    bunique686 Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Maybe he will get 3 this year the up the amount they make.
  28. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    I see this working if we are dealing with commodities. Beers such as KBS are not commodities. Commodities are non-specialized and easily replaced, the appeal of beers such as KBS is that they are highly specialized and not easily replaced. This tends to bring more outliers into play. Normal operating circumstances do not apply. There is desperation and compulsion to buy the product which eliminates the prices at auction as fair market.
  29. Steimie

    Steimie Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2012 Michigan

    For all of you clamoring for an auction, how about a Dutch auction? Want to really have KBS go to the person willing to pay the most for it? Do a Dutch auction.

    To be clear--I don't advocate an auction. But if you really, really want it to go to the highest bidder, you should go with a Dutch auction. Start it at $100 a 4pk. No takers? How about $90? No? Who knows...I might be willing to go $80 but no higher. If you want it, you go $90 now. In other words, you'd be the highest bidder.
  30. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (204) May 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    False, commodities are scarce resources and are a very apt comparison.
    The price at auction defines the fair market, you can't just decide that the price at auction isn't the fair market value because of some ridiculous preconceived notions about craft beer drinkers.
    Nothing you just said made any sense whatsoever.
  31. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (204) May 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Oh I don't want an auction at all, I'd probably never get anything.
    I'm just saying it is the most fair.

    I voted for first come first serve, because as kzoo noted on the first page, it's about what will get me the beer. Screw fairness.
  32. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Definition of 'Commodity'

    1. A basic good used in commerce that is interchangeable with other commodities of the same type. Commodities are most often used as inputs in the production of other goods or services. The quality of a given commodity may differ slightly, but it is essentially uniform across producers. When they are traded on an exchange, commodities must also meet specified minimum standards, also known as a basis grade.

    The reason KBS is sought after is because it is not an interchangable beer.

    Definition of FAIR MARKET VALUE

    : a price at which buyers and sellers with a reasonable knowledge of pertinent facts and not acting under any compulsion are willing to do business
    Read this thread and tell me people do not have a compulsion to buy this beer?
  33. jRocco2021

    jRocco2021 Disciple (351) Mar 13, 2010 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I love how BA's treat every special or limited release like Black Friday lol
  34. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (204) May 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    You are misapplying the definition. Beer isn't the commodity, KBS is. Each individual bottle makes up the KBS commodity. My bottle in IL is interchangeable with a bottle in PA. What you are saying is equivalent to saying copper does not equal gold. Well no shit.

    People may have a compulsion because KBS is currently underpriced. You raise to fair market value and many including myself won't even consider buying it. I don't believe BAs are as irrational as you do I guess.
  35. Steimie

    Steimie Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2012 Michigan

    Your definition of commodity is incorrect.
  36. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (204) May 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Very insightful.

    Anyways, maybe stock is a better analogy, still an auction process that most fairly values the product being purchased.

    This is all an analogy you know, obviously KBS isn't a commodity.
  37. Steimie

    Steimie Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2012 Michigan

    I'm confused. KBS was a commodity less than 2 hours ago. Now it isn't. What's your argument, exactly? KBS is a stock? When I buy it, is there some reporting to the SEC I need to do? If I trade it for more valuable beer, is this a capital gain that I have to pay taxes on? If I trade it for less valuable beer, can I take a writeoff? If I cellar it and drink it later and it isn't as good, how do I work that on my taxes?
  38. EJLinneman

    EJLinneman Aspirant (221) Mar 2, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    $1 a ticket lottery with proceeds going to charity and the beer selling at a reasonable price.
    powpig2002 and RMTWM like this.
  39. allouez86

    allouez86 Aspirant (200) Jan 24, 2009 Wisconsin

    The way my regular stop does it is if it's a one case release then he gives it to the "regulars." If it's a more than a one case release than save one case for "regulars" and put one case on the floor. I live in a place where beer geeks aren't all that common so there aren't 50 regulars to account for so it works for me.
  40. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (204) May 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Jesus Christ man, if I have to explain how analogies work then that is just sad. Kzoo brought up the commodities comparison which I believe works well as does any product sold through an auction process. We are merely talking about the purchasing process and how it is valued for sale.
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