My Name is Keith and I’m a Beer Trading Addict. Part 2
This is part 2 of 3 from our series on Beer Trading.
So you’re ready to start beer trading? Welcome to your new addiction!
I am not sure there is a better source for the basics of beer trading than this AleWatcher blog post, it’s Beer Trading 101. I still reference this blog when needed. I would like to reiterate and add the following:
Become A Member: Sign up with beeradvocate.com and/or ratebeer.com. I prefer BeerAdvocate, but both are great sites to research, talk and trade beer. Before you post an ISO (In Search Of) trade spend a good bit of time lurking/posting in all of the forums. Know what you want, and what you have to offer. It is also important to know what beers are available where, you can use Seekabrew.com to easily cross reference beer distribution.
Start Small: Do not try to do to many trades at once, keep it to a couple at a time. Nothing will tarnish your reputation faster than not completing trades as promised. Keep a spreadsheet of your trades to reference. Also keep in mind that this is an expensive hobby. Besides the actual trade you need to consider cost of shipping, packaging and extras.
Find A Veteran Trader: I lucked into finding my first trading partner through a friend. Assuming you’re not so lucky start by trading some local/seasonal beers with an veteran trader. A good experienced trader will gladly show you the ropes. Expect to ship first until you build up a few trades.
Always Check References: Most traders out there are nice guys and gals who love beer and want to trade. Unfortunately there are trolls out there as well looking to steal your beer as well. No trader should be offended if you ask them for some references. If they balk at providing references nix the deal.
Be Generous: As a new trader be willing to go a little over the dollar amount on your early trades. Be generous with your extras as well. This will lead to good references and regular trading partners.
Build Your Cellar: Don’t forget to pick up extra bottles when beer shopping (another hidden expense). When possible I always grab an extra bottle to age (depending on the style) and one to trade (depending on the demand). This is why knowing what beers are rare and/or sought after is so important. Of course, there is a fine line between beer hoarding and beer trading. I think it’s bad form to buy the only case of a rare beer in your area to trade, thus leaving the rest of your local beer community without.
Never forget: BEER KARMA IS REAL. Then again if you keep seeing the same beer available on subsequent visits, grab a couple more. Just don’t be greedy.
Take A Break: After an active month of trading I am taking a few weeks off. I am not even looking at the ISO: FT forum right now. This is an exciting hobby, but don’t forget to live your life. You’re not going to be much fun if you are constantly checking your phone to see if foundersfan424 is going to trade that Dark Lord or not. Besides you will need some time to actually enjoy all the great beers showing up at your doorstep!