Should I Buy Coffee Online or at the Store?

When I was kid, people would have thought I was crazy for asking such a thing.  I can imagine the response being something like: "The internet's for email, not buying food.  You crazy kid!"  But times have changed.  Sure, there's some things I won't buy online such, such as milk and eggs.  But less perishable items like hard-to-find candies, alcohol, tea, and coffee... why not?  I already buy everything else online.  It's convenient, I don't have to go anywhere, and a few days later it shows up on my doorstep.  What better way to knock out a to-do [to-buy] list than online?  Think about it... if someone offered to go find a specialty store that offered the specific brand of coffee you wanted, then drop it off on your doorstep or in your mailbox, would you pay $5-10 for that?  Heck, I would. Gas and my time cost more than that.

So way back when I was in sales, you know, the annoying kind of sales, I was taught the Franklin Close.  It goes something like this:  "When Benjamin Franklin was faced with a difficult decision, you know what he would do?  He would draw a line down the center of a sheet of paper.  On one side he would write the pros (or good) of that decision, and on the other he would write the cons (the bad).  So why don't we do that to see just how good of a decision this is?"

Why don't we do that?


Pros Cons
Guaranteed fresh, roasted-to-order Left empty on purpose... I did the work for Pros, it's your turn :)
Find many local choices in one place
Learn about different local roasters before buying
Don't have to drive anywhere to find local coffee
Coffee is nearly always weeks and even months fresher than store bought
When you consider time and gas, it may be cheaper than going to a store
Don't have to guess which coffee is good and which is bad
Support local businesses by purchasing from local roasters
In some states, avoid having to pay sales tax
Read other's opinions and share your own before and after trying a coffee
I might add more when I think of them in the future...
November 27, 2013 by Mark Evans
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