Saturday, April 16, 2011

Beer Buyers and Beer Customers

A recent discussion on BeerAdvocate centers on rare beer at liquor stores and how some customers miss out on purchasing said beer. I just wanted to post a little blurp about this.

First, rare beers are just that; rare. There's simply just not enough to go around. Some people will get these, most will not. Still others will have no idea about the beers' existence.

Second, if you spend a lot of money at a store, you will get extra attention. If you have a nice personality and attitude along with this spending, the extra attention will be completely positive. No matter how much you spend, if you're sporting a bad attitude, you won't be looked at favorably.

Third, liquor store people are people. They have lives outside the store, and they have emotions within the store. They have bad days, bad customers, and make mistakes. They are also not rich and do not get perks as most people do at their jobs. The only perk is *maybe* having first dibs on rare beer when/if it comes in.

Fourth, being a good customer (see: #2) will gain you trust. With this trust, the store will more willingly order special products for you. When it comes to rare beer, that order will be at the whim of the supplier.

Fifth, NO customer is entitled to one product over another customer (unless it's a special order).

Sixth, the "customer is always right" routine does NOT work if it is used to threaten an employee or manipulate a store's policy. Another tactic that doesn't work is chatting up the beer buyer with the sole purpose of trying to win his/her favor to secure a certain product.

Lastly, if you love beer, then the last thing you want to do is piss off the beer buyer at a store. Chances are (very good) that this one buyer is friends with others in the same city. Pretty soon, the one you pissed off will be in other stores. Your beer supply can dwindle. Don't piss and moan about a RARE beer you didn't get. And certainly don't blame the beer buyer at your local store.