Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Soda buying tips

Soda Buying Tips:

Look locally. I'm fortunate, I have a Rocket Fizz locally (Only one now! Hope it stays open). Rocket Fizz sells a number of its own sodas to start. Lester's Fixins', Melba's Fixins', Fluids Soda Co and Martian Soda, and some indivual sodas under no particular brand are all Rocket Fizz products. The local RF I went to has 500 different sodas between their brands and other brands. Long time before I get through 500. Think if I do make it through 500 I get a tshirt.

Look at your grocery store, you just never know. Gourmet grocery stores are even better. Some cities have ethnic grocery stores. Mexican and Oriental stores are ones I have locally. I honestly have not been to either yet, but friends have told me they do have different sodas there. Also, "regular" grocery stores in ethnic neighborhoods may have different things.

Depending upon where you are, the only option may be mail order. I would highly recommend Old 52 (http://www.old52.com/index.html) I have yet to find a soda there priced over $1.99. I have not been through all the sodas they have, so I cannot guarantee that. They offer soda with personalized labels (like for a wedding or something). They also have retro candy, and retro toys. Cannot speak to either of those, as I've never really looked through those sections. They are located in Sabin, MI, and offer a old time soda fountain on site, in addition to hardware not sold on the web. I really enjoy their website.

This would not be complete without including Galco's Soda Pop Shop (http://www.sodapopstop.com/home.cfm) I want to make it clear, I am not being negative about them here, I am just stating facts. Probably the largest selection of soda anywhere. Many one of a kind sodas. Problem is they know that too, and can be pricey. While I will be ordering from them again at some point for some sodas only they seem to have, I'll be looking for someplace cheaper online before I purchase. Also, at Soda Pop Shop, you can search for a specific soda there, get all excited when you find it, only to click to the soda listing page and see its out of stock. You can sign up to be notified if the soda comes back in stock, and they are good to their word. Issue is, I'm on the notify list for at least 20 sodas from there, and only 1 has come back in stock (which Old 52 had in stock)

Try Amazon. What I'm finding about Amazon, is that while most soda there is sold by the case, and not only is that pricier, you potentially end up worth lots of soda you do not like. But what I also do often find there are sampler packs. Instead of paying a higher price for individual soda bottles, the variety packs are cheaper, and there's no worries about the store being out of one flavor of a whole line of products.

Try doing a direct web search of the soda. You just never know what you will find.

In the same vein as ethnic grocery stores, if you know where a particular soda is from, what country, web search for say "Japanese grocery store". The store my have what you want, and be a cheaper price. Also some of these online foreign "stores" have sodas not found elsewhere. Cockta, never seen it at an American online distributor, but you can find it from Eurogrocery store.(http://www.eurogrocerystore.com/). Cockta is from Slovenia. Main ingredient is dog rose hip. I have no idea, but I can promise I will try it someday. This is another buyer beware though. Often you can only get the soda in a 2 liter bottle or 6 pack. So again, could spend a lot to end up with something you don't like. If you really want to get absurd about mail order ethic stores, often the currency is only in Euro's. British pounds or such. You could watch the trends of the US dollar vs that currency, and see what the trends are, and plan to order when the dollar has more value. Yeah, that's a bit extreme. But some of these store do have minimum order amounts, so if you really want a soda, you'll end up with lots of say Brazilian food around.

Reach out through friends and family. Never know who has relatives in some place, or is traveling to someplace. Very good for local, regional releases. You never know until you ask.

Last tidbit: if you find yourself mail order purchasing soda aim for numbers divisible by 12. Usually 12 is the "container" most mail order companies use. Some 6. The main point being, its a 12 pack shipping container, it will be used for orders of say 10. Why not fill them all? Not that much more postage for a couple more bottles.

7/1 Update: I've been told by a friend that Menard's has Sprecher and Jelly Bean Gourmet soda. I have no idea how many states Menard's stores cover. Its a home improvement store. Haven't been there yet, but another source!!

This is what I can think of now, and what I've found up until now. I'll be modifying as needed.

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