Trade Etiquette Question

Discussion in 'Trade Talk' started by Limazulu, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. Limazulu

    Limazulu Aspirant (225) Jan 4, 2020 Idaho

    I posted a $4$ thread and received lots of views but no takers. Over the following days, I see a regular BA in one of the beer talk forums post pics of his beer haul that includes my ISO target beer. My question: would it be bad form for me to initiate a PM to that BA and try to strike up a trade with him? Would those of you consider such an unsolicited outreach to be annoying? According to the BA's profile page, he is an active trader.
  2. Quinnimical

    Quinnimical Initiate (118) Jul 13, 2018 Washington

    Personally, I think that would be fine. The worst that happens is the person isn't willing to trade. Either way, I think we're all here because of a shared passion and striking up a conversation is a great way to make a new friend.
  3. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Defender (629) Apr 8, 2017 Ohio

    I'll add to this, partially by modifying and offering a note of common sense caution:

    If the beer you are ISO is extremely rare, it's not bad form per se to send a message inquiring about a trade, but common sense should tell you they probably aren't looking to trade it. This might seem obvious, especially with a $4$ trade item, but people post even some very hard to obtain beers in the $4$ trade forum. Also, look and see if they have a Trader tag. If not, you can check all you want, but there's an extremely low probability that they will help you out. If so, look and see when their last trade was. If it's been 2 years, you're probably not going to have good luck. If it was last month? Probably better luck.

    Lastly, don't offer to have them mule for you, if the beer is local to them. That is, don't say, "Hey man, even if you don't want to trade, if you could do me a solid, buy the beer and ship it to me, I'd pay you back and send you a thank you box." While some are OK with these type of transactions, they are (historically) in the gray area of what is both allowed and accepted as being allowed on BA. If they offer, however, which people often will if they don't want to trade or don't like what you have, but do want to help you - that's up to you if you accept it. If you do, send them a label, and then send them a box of thank you beers. Inquire what type of beers they like, and choose a nice box. Don't send 3 month old IPAs or use this as an opportunity to otherwise clear out your beer fridge of any old/unwanted beer.

    If the beer(s) you are looking for is not obscure, you may have more luck finding out who typically trades these beers by perusing the trade forums. Then, reaching out to them individually.

    Note that there's a large number of people that post in the Haul thread that don't really ever trade.
    Slack and Thirst_trappist like this.
  4. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,095) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
    Society Trader

    It's an interesting thought. I do occasionally post in the haul thread, and more often than not, it's beer that I actually just obtained in a trade. Now, me personally, I almost never trade beer that I traded for. If I'm trading for something, it's because I want it. Is the beer they posted local to them, or way outside their distro? Secondly, I've had people message me saying, "hey, saw you post XYZ in the haul thread. Any chance you'll trade for it?", while I know this is harmless, I generally don't appreciate it, because I usually note that I just got it in a trade. That's me though, and I'm always very polite about declining the offer. Others are very different, and it's impossible to know just how one will react. I think @Beer_Economicus highlights an excellent point - many people don't trade, or even really know anything about trading, and in that scenario, a random message from a stranger about mailing them beer for their beer could potentially be a bit jarring.

    Bad etiquette? Perhaps not, and highly subjective. I did also have someone message me last year with an unsolicited trade, saying, "hey, i see you post trades for XYZ all the time, and I'm sorry if this is rude or unwanted, but any chance you'd consider a trade?", and he turned out to be a very nice guy, who I was happy to help out with a trade. I suppose it's worth a shot, but I'd tread lightly, and be prepared for the possibility of the individual becoming offended by the unsolicited trade.

    May I ask what the beer-in-question is?
    12ArmedGoon and Beer_Economicus like this.
  5. putonyourwalkingshoes

    putonyourwalkingshoes Devotee (475) Jul 31, 2013 California

    I agree completely with Beereconomics here and not offering something super attainable for a rare whale but otherwise......

    There's nothing wrong with this at all and I've done it before. I feel like my most enjoyed trades with fairer traders have been done this way where no one is chasing a super whale and both parties just end up trading decent beers having a good experience instead of second guessing secondaries and trying to win trades.
    RexFerrin, Slack, traction and 3 others like this.
  6. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Defender (629) Apr 8, 2017 Ohio

    Just to add to this, if what you are chasing is not a whale, you can definitely put out feelers in $4$ or locals (or both!) and you’ll find someone to help you, even if it is much like a “proxy” trade now adays. I’ve offered to help many people over the years with regional beers. In every case someone had already taken care of them, so i can’t be the only person willing to do this.
  7. traction

    traction Defender (634) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia
    Society Trader

    I've done it a couple times never with any whales or rare beers just stuff they could get distro and I can't. I've started a couple good trade relationships by sending a random PM. I wouldn't try it with someone who traded for the beer in question only if it was something they could easily get.
  8. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,773) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    I'm not sure how common it is, but it definitely happens. I've had random members on BA contact me out of the blue about obtaining stuff from Great Notion, HOTD, Pelican (MOAS) and de Garde (for example). I'm always happy to help out if I can, provided it's not too much trouble. I've made it clear that I'm not going to get up early to go stand in some line downtown for hours, but if it's something that I can obtain at the store without too much trouble, I'm happy to do it.

    It can be a bit of a logistical problem, as of course I want to minimize my risk and out of pocket expenses. That means the interested party needs to compensate me in advance for the cost of the beer and shipping expenses. It's not an insurmountable problem, but you'd be surprised by the number of people who haven't given any thought to this when they contact me out of the blue.

    I still recall getting a BM from what I presume was some young guy from Georgia, asking about obtaining some Great Notion beer. Great Notion does a weekly release of 3 or 4 different beers at the brewery, and typically you don't find out about the selection until the day before the release date. The individual from Georgia hadn't done his homework and was completely unaware of this. I told him I would be willing to stop by the brewery to grab something if he saw a particular beer he wanted. At that point he mentioned a particular sour Great Notion releases once in a blue moon, and was there some way I could do whatever was necessary to pick up some cans of it to ship to him. Sigh... I explained to him that that wasn't likely going to be possible, as there was no telling when it would next be released, and that in any event I had no intention of driving down to the brewery early in the morning and standing in line for several hours so I could get a 4 pack for him. LOL! That was the last I heard from him.
    traction, Slack, sulldaddy and 4 others like this.
  9. bret27

    bret27 Meyvn (1,196) Mar 10, 2009 California

    In the last year I think I’ve had 3 people randomly bm me for trades. What’s funny is they were all first time traders looking for pliny, and they all ended up being positive experiences with some repeated trades. Mostly $4$ local boxes.
  10. jeffdupree2020

    jeffdupree2020 Initiate (16) Sep 18, 2020 Oklahoma

    Back in the days of r/beertrade I'd send DMs to people who posted pictures of beers I wanted and strike up a conversation, at some point adding what breweries were local to me. If they were interested in a trade sometimes we'd set one up. Met a couple great trade partners that way. Got to try some great beers. I didn't care much that I wasn't getting "whales" but it was a good experience anyway.
  11. Slack

    Slack Savant (950) Feb 14, 2012 Virginia

    Ahhh yes, r/beertrade was very non whale oriented and very much about just trading
  12. flat_lander

    flat_lander Crusader (735) May 11, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    OP, I don't see a problem with what you are asking about. As noted, don't offer something offensive or be a tool. Outside of that happening, any other reasonable trader would just politely decline if not interested.

    I wanted to find a FW beer a ways back around when it was released - Los Lenadores I believe. Didnt see anything in the trade forum. Did a search on the website for anyone discussing it. Found a BA talking about loving it and being glad they had a good amount. Sent a DM, quickly set up an easy, no pressure trade. I was super happy.
  13. Thirst_trappist

    Thirst_trappist Disciple (323) Jan 18, 2016 Florida

    Those were the days...
    Slack likes this.