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Thread: Coffee bean (brown) subscription services

  1. #1
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    Coffee bean (brown) subscription services

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi CSers

    Just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the various 'coffee subscriptions' that are available. That is, you pay a monthly fee and you get fresh beans delivered to your door once or twice a month.

    I've now looked at perhaps 6 or more of these that are available in Australia and in all of those cases the costs of the subscription seemed to be unexpectedly higher than the cost of the beans (even being a little conservative about shipping costs, and going on the 250gm bag cost which is typically the highest per gram). I would have expected it to be the opposite since, as a product line, you are making people pay up front, and even if you aren't making them pay up front and they pay monthly, surely you are giving yourself a slightly more guaranteed income than what you get from someone purchasing a single 250gm bag of beans and disappearing in the wilderness..

    I'm reluctant to give any examples since that gives the roasteries in question a free plug :S I'm sure you've seen these around though!

    I rang one of these guys up and was told that most of the cost is a) the premium grade of the beans, and b) the cost of shipping, but I don't see it. I can go on their website and buy a single bag of whatever prem'o single origin they have available and pay shipping each fortnight and still save money.

    Am I alone in thinking the price structure is wrong? Shouldn't a subscription benefit the customer in some way apart from convenience? Or have I found 6x of these companies that are actually all outliers, and this is not normal? :S Or am I missing something completely here?


    Thoughts? If you work at/operate a roastery and offer this sort of service I'd be particularly interested in your view on this.

    -ham

  2. #2
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Why not simply buy direct from Coffee Snobs hamm?

    CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - Roasted Coffee

    Freshly roasted, excellent variety, and cheaper than the subscription cons.
    Andy likes this.

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    Thanks Yelta

    Basically, too expensive for me after shipping. I normally don't want to spend more than $25 for 500g.

    Back OT though, I'm specifically talking about subscriptions vs single bag purchases from the same place, and why is one so much dearer than the other..

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Why not simply buy direct from Coffee Snobs hamm?

    CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - Roasted Coffee

    Freshly roasted, excellent variety, and cheaper than the subscription cons.
    Agreed. Andy roasts really good stuff!

    We offer subscriptions and progressively subsidise post until it's free with a 12 month x 1kg subscription. Last month, it was Yemen Matari and Yuletide blend...

    As for the 250g guys, I reckon most of them are taking the p!$$

  5. #5
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by hamm View Post
    Basically, too expensive for me after shipping. I normally don't want to spend more than $25 for 500g.
    Freight is expensive and getting more expensive all the time, made worse that you are on the West Coast and the have the longest haul for everything. You just can't do anything about the freight price except purchase smarter.

    If you get a few friends, family and workmates together to share an order you can buy in bulk amounts and save on beans and freight.

    Calculated using your criteria of "less than $25 per 500g including freight to your door", we sell:

    3kg of most coffees for $90, Express Post freight is $13.20 (inc GST) = $17.20 per 500g
    2kg of most coffees for $67, Express Post freight is $13.20 (inc GST) = $20.05 per 500g
    1kg of most coffees for $35, Express Post freight is $13.20 (inc GST) = $24.10 per 500g
    500g of most coffees for $20, Express Post freight is $9.35 (inc GST) = $29.35 per 500g

    Those prices are for speedy delivery anywhere in the country. Some areas and capital cities have other freight options in BeanBay that are cheaper still. The coffee prices are the same as they were 6 years ago (freight has risen 40% in that time though).

    Of course if dollars and not quality are your main criteria and you are okay with your satchel taking at least a week to get to the West then we can happily sell you 500g of a low grade coffee with free freight for $25 (but it won't have our name on it!)

    As for subscriptions... we offered them about 8 or 9 years ago and it was a total pain in the backside. Either the customer had too many beans when the next one arrived or they had run out early, add to that "I'm on holidays / in hospital / on a diet" and we were totally burdened by the overheads and the added hassle. Which is why I assume others charge a premium for the service.

    We made the decision that it was far better for people order what they want, when they want it and get it fresh roasted to order and shipped on roast day.



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