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  1. #1
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    Splitting a bag of green coffee

    For a while now I've been contemplating starting a split a bag program for small business roasters and home roasters. It would be similar to the Green Coffee Co-op that I started back in 2004 with a few exceptions.


    • The co-op doesn't allow coffee purchased through the co-op to be used for commercial purposes. The split bag program will have no such restrictions.
    • You are limited to 25 pounds of coffee per purchase through the co-op. The split bag program will have no such restrictions.
    • The co-op doesn't have coffee available all of the time. The split bag program will always have coffee available.
    • There will be no fees to pay at any time through the split bag program.


    The program was designed to help small business roasters who want to offer their customers more variety without having to purchase full bags which can get pretty expensive. The only other company splitting bags that I am aware of is Coffee Shrub. Their prices are fairly high because they source and purchase directly from the farmer. This is a good thing, don't get me wrong. Our prices will be lower because most of the coffee will be spot purchases of in stock coffee from various importers. If you happen to live on the east coast shipping will be cheaper also.

    So why am I doing this? Well, thinking back to when I started my roasting business, I would've loved to have something like this available to me. The group-buy model is perfect for green coffee because you can order any quantity you want and still get wholesale prices. Right now I'm already getting 4-6 bags of coffee a month shipped to me so a few additional bags on the pallet really doesn't add much more to the freight cost.

    Does something like this interest anybody?

  2. #2
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    That's very generous of you, Buzz, to donate your time and energy with no return other than the satisfaction of helping someone out.

    Edit; took out information that may detract from Buzz' idea.
    Last edited by peterjschmidt; 10-23-2013 at 11:35 PM.

  3. #3
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    Hi-jacking the thread is not a good idea in my opinion.
    If you would like for us to look and register to the site, I think you should start your own thread.

  4. #4
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    Thanks Peter, in fact I am a registered member of the club. I receive offers from the group all of the time by email. This may not be true of your offerings but some of your distributors do put limits on amount purchased. I'd be happy to show you which ones if you are interested.

    I'm not saying my idea is any better than the club, I'm just offering options. I don't use Paypal and then charge the fees back to the customer. I don't need 2 paragraphs of every email I send out to explain my fee structure. Mainly because I don't have one.

  5. #5
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    BR,

    So tell me little more about your plan on starting this club.
    I am in Michigan, I am very interested in purchasing some coffee together. I tried starting a buying group here awhile ago but it really didn't get far with it.(it wasn't coffee buying group)

    I normally buy about one or two bags at a time. I try to buy 2 a month since I roast for my friends and family. Most of the time, I get Ethiopian (sidamo, yargascheff) or Asian (Sumatra, Papua New guinea) Or typical Colombian and Brazilian.
    Right now, I have about 100 pound of coffee left and I am looking to purchase more. I am completely out of Sidamo and Papua New guinea.

    My question would be.
    How are we going to handle the shipping.
    Who decides what to buy.
    How do we pay.
    Who is going to be in charge of handling the work and their compensation cost.

    Please let me know. I am very much interested in saving few bucks and get good quality coffee.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2012
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    We could take suggestions on purchases then set up a voting system for the most popular. All of this is still pretty much undecided at the moment that's why the feedback is much appreciated.

    I would be more than happy to handle the packing and shipping. I'm doing that anyway as part of my weekly routine. I'm already setup with boxes and bags which I buy in bulk and get a really good price. The cost of packaging for me is pretty minimal. If anybody wanted to step up and volunteer to distribute coffee they are more than welcome to do so. If you happen to live near an importer and can pick up coffee directly from the port that would be a big cost saver for everybody.

    Now to be fully transparent with my intentions here I will be marking up coffee roughly $0.15 to $0.20 per pound to cover the extra freight cost to me. Which, if you do the math is roughly $20-$25 per bag profit which pretty much covers any of my additional costs in this venture. I am not making any money on this deal and you are still getting a great deal on your coffee.

    I will be setting up a website for the venture if there is enough interest that will handle secure payment with a CC. I already have a merchant account for my business to accept CC's. The price per pound will be posted on the website and actual shipping charges will be calculated
    real time.

    With the Co-op everyone posted how many pounds they wanted until we reached a full bag. They didn't actually pay until the coffee was ready to ship. This worked out pretty well. Some backed out when it was time to pay but it wasn't really a big deal because in every case the coffee sold eventually anyway. I think this will be the way to go.

    If anybody has any further comments or questions please share.

  7. #7
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    I don't think 15-20cents profit might not be enough for you to work on this. i think maybe at 30-35 cents range still be very fair price for us to pay.
    Please sign me up and I will buy from the club. I will still save.

  8. #8
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    I appreciate the generosity. I'm just looking to cover my costs. Packing and shipping is all part of my normal workflow anyway. I would be willing to put up a donation button and anybody that wants to make a donation can do so at their discretion.

    By the way, any volunteers that would like to offer their recommendations for roasting and cupping reviews I'd be happy to send them the free samples so they could share them with the group.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeJunky View Post
    Hi-jacking the thread is not a good idea in my opinion.
    If you would like for us to look and register to the site, I think you should start your own thread.
    Sorry. It wasn't meant as a hi-jack or to draw attention away from Buzz's excellent idea, only to offer it as an option had he not been aware of it.

  10. #10
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    That's what PM's are for Peter.

 

 
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