We’ve had some inquiries lately, altercations even, over the topic of bulk packaging. Or more to the point, bulk discounts. I feel compelled to say a few words on the topic.
The essence of the question we get from retail customers is, “can I buy in bulk and save money?” I promise that we are not insensitive to your need to manage your family’s budget. We know times are tough, and we have our own family budget management program, too. We understand, really we do. But our answer, quite simply, is that we would rather work with you in other ways to save you money. Please allow me to explain.
The primary objection we have to selling bulk quantities to retail customers is that you don’t use that much coffee, that fast. Period. Coffee is a fresh food. I know that you might not have been told that before you met me. But it’s true. Buying bulk coffee is an awful lot like buying bulk lettuce. Great on day one. Not so good a month later. We have a brand to build and protect. What we don’t want is you drinking month-old coffee, forgetting how good it was on day one, and making your repurchase decision based on the taste at day 30. Or serving it to a guest whose only experience with us is the month-old coffee you offer. No, this does neither of us any good.
To be completely candid, operational efficiency is an issue, too. It takes quite a lot of volume to achieve efficiencies that are better than bagging one-pounders – we’re pretty good at that, and the bags themselves aren’t that expensive. Bulk buyers are institutions that use a lot of coffee (think 100+ pounds per month), and order it reliably. They are anchors of any inventory management plan. Retail customers buying 5 pounds of beans three times a year, well…. honestly, not a big motivator. More trouble than it’s worth, actually. We’re not Sam’s Club. That’s one of the reasons our customers love us.
So we’ve established that for a number of reasons, we think it’s not a good idea to sell you bulk beans. That doesn’t mean we can’t get you great, fresh coffee at a price point your budget will love.
The best way to save money is to take advantage of our weekly specials. Every week, we send out a blast email with all kinds of specials. You can sign up for our email list in the box at the top right corner of this blog; we do not share your email with anyone else, and you can opt-out at any time with one click. Sometimes we feature a new arrival. Sometimes it’s something I fancy. There’s always the Roastmaster’s Choice, which is me picking from inventory for you (and I have been known to give you exactly what you want, if you ask, and I have it in inventory). We also run coupon codes at least once or twice a month that you can apply to anything we sell. Or email me, and I’ll make you a deal, I swear. But let’s make it something you love, and in a quantity that you can use in a week or two.
Another possibility is that you get together a few like-minded friends and start your own coffee club. If I knew you were going to buy two five-pounders every month, and split ’em up such that your portion was used up in two weeks, well, now we’re talkin’. Drop me a note and we can make that happen. I can even bill you each separately.
We would love to hear your feedback and suggestions on this topic – please leave a comment!