My wife gets offers from a company called Savemore that offers Groupon-style deals. She saw an offer to buy $24 worth of coffee from Roaste.com, for only $12; would I be interested?
My coffee-buying habit is to order expensive, really great fair trade coffee from some fine artisanal coffee seller, for something in the neighborhood of $40 (including shipping). For that, I get less than two pounds of coffee. I’m always horrified at the high cost (and since the coffee crop is under attack from global weather changes, the prices always go up). In fact, buying coffee by the cup at Starbucks is more expensive, but I always compare the cost to cheap coffee, which costs six to ten dollars the pound.
I make up for my extravagance by buying the next few pounds at the supermarket, and then I’m ready to buy “fancy” coffee again. I looked into Roaste.com to see what they had.
Roaste is a new (to me) kind of online coffee seller. Their website features many fascinating coffee brands from what Amazon would call affiliates. At the Roaste site, you can buy from such well-known brands as Caribou and even Starbucks, but they feature many, many brands with intriguing names; if you’re not careful, your brain will tell you that you have fallen into coffee heaven.
I kept reminding myself that Roaste might not be coffee heaven; what counts is the quality of each affiliate that interests you, and you have to check these brands out for yourself.
I was also concerned about the price of shipping. Ever since coffee has become more expensive, the price of (coffee) shipping has risen even more. You have to wonder whether some of that “shipping” cost is extra profit for the coffee seller. I purchased the Savemore coupon while worrying that the cost of shipping might wipe out the $12 I was saving by buying the coupon. (Actually, I believe I am saving $10, because Savemore charged me two dollars for something.)
So here’s what happened when I went to the Roaste.com website, selected my coffees, entered my order and checked out the shipping cost. Here’s what I saw on the page (numbers approximate):
24.95 The two coffees I selected, types A and B.
49.95 UPS 3-day shipping.
$74.90!! Fifty dollars for shipping! I won’t tell you the thoughts that ran through my head, because this isn’t that kind of blog. Clearly my “pay $12 for $24” value had been completely wiped out by the outrageous shipping cost.
I called Roaste’s customer service and spoke to a helpful person named Tim.
“I see your problem,” he said. “There’s a typo. It says that Coffee A is twelve pounds of coffee, but it’s really twelve ounces.”
Problem fixed, here’s the bottom line: the Savemore coupon covered the cost of shipping, so my order will cost about 2/3 what I would normally have paid. And, I am hoping I’ve found a wonderful new coffee company, one of Roaste’s affiliates. I’ll blog about them if they’re real good.