ROASTe goes under... sort of.

Postby Jasonian on Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:36 am

As a vendor on Roaste, I got an email this morning letting us know that they are no longer taking orders to financials, and that they were not able to send out checks. (what this means for you is that you cannot order through Roaste.. what this means for us, is that we have lost money with no hope as of yet of recouping)

If you go to the main site, you'll get a pop up saying roughly the same thing in far fewer words.
Owner - AJ Coffee Company
HB Rocks!
User avatar
Jasonian
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Jan 19, 2006
Location: Dallas, TX

Postby jbviau on Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:43 am

Ouch! Sorry to hear it. As a customer, I noticed the pop-up yesterday (quoted below).

We are currently unable to process any orders.
The ROASTe team is working hard to resolve this and we hope to have good news in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned and brew on!

Yours,
ROASTe.com


I stand to lose a chunk of eBeans (like reward points) if they do permanently go under, but that's not really a big deal since I've earned and redeemed more than my share over the past year. I even thought there was a decent chance the site would make a comeback given the borderline optimistic tone of the pop-up. However, if ROASTe have now burned bridges with roasters/vendors by failing to honor payments, that worries me. Would you give them a second chance even if they did manage to settle up with you?
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias
User avatar
jbviau
 
Posts: 1051
Joined: Jul 02, 2010
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL

Postby Jasonian on Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:18 am

I think I'd have to take a look at their marketing approach before deciding. I am under the impression that having a category list consisting of "Dark Roasted, Whole Bean, Organic, Decaf, Flavored, Espresso Based" is not likely the best approach.

It says "we're trying to appeal to the mass market", but they don't know how. It is also not effective in selling to folks like we have here at HB.

The marketing is confusing, to be honest. If they narrow their marketing approach, I'll likely continue to be a Roaste vendor IF they do stay in business. We'll see what happens.
Owner - AJ Coffee Company
HB Rocks!
User avatar
Jasonian
 
Posts: 288
Joined: Jan 19, 2006
Location: Dallas, TX

Postby Boldjava on Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:13 pm

The marketing is confusing, to be honest. If they narrow their marketing approach, I'll likely continue to be a Roaste vendor IF they do stay in business. We'll see what happens.


I, for one, never understood their business plan. Couldn't figure out how there were that many pieces of pie in just one pie.
User avatar
Boldjava
 
Posts: 1035
Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Location: St Paul, MN

Postby Intrepid510 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:14 pm

Well I took advantage of their generous reward system for writing comments on their site shamelessly and therefore was on there quite a bit.

I also am not too surprised by this happening to them, and am sorry to hear that you have probably lost some money/time Jason. I hope it doesn't amount to a whole lot.

As far as Roaste's plan or lack there of, I just believe they offered too many Groupon deals and Resturant.com gift certificates. They really should've followed something a lot more similar to gocoffeego, offering moderate discounts/free shipping and targeting the people that are going to order coffee online, not the groupon set that are going to go on the site and order flavored coffee or illy.

There simply is too much coffee on Roaste that is garbage, whether it's old stale prepackaged or roasters that are using inferior beans/lack of talent. To me it makes sense to have a few well established roasters giving them a higher premium, and then screening for some other smaller high quality ones, like AJ's. It seems like the business model can work, well it appears it is for gocoffeego.
Intrepid510
 
Posts: 704
Joined: Apr 07, 2011
Location: California

Postby jbviau on Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:51 pm

GoCoffeeGo provides a nice buying experience, and their customer service is very responsive. I'm not wild about how reviews are handled there, though. Customers are welcome to review the coffees they buy, but the reviews are curated, essentially, with staff picking one every month or so to be published as a "member's pick." The rest are read but go unpublished. In comparison, ROASTe did more to encourage reviews, comments, and blog posts, allowing for some cool interaction between coffee lovers and even a few chatty roasters. And, of course, ROASTe offered gear in addition to coffee. Seemed as if their goal *was*, indeed, broad, i.e. to be people's one-stop shop for all things coffee.

For someone who loves variety, like I do, a middle man such as GoCoffeeGo or ROASTe is often helpful. You can save $$ on shipping, for example, compared to ordering from individual roasters. And if a family member wants to buy you a coffee-related gift but doesn't know which coffee you'd prefer, it's easy for them to pick up a gift certificate that's sure to please.
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias
User avatar
jbviau
 
Posts: 1051
Joined: Jul 02, 2010
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL

Postby PacMan on Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:42 pm

Ouch. I feel bad for the roasters too.

I actually had just started posting over there. I tried out a few of their coffees but not enough to make any conclusions about the majority of the coffees. Curious to see if they get back online.
User avatar
PacMan
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Apr 30, 2011
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
www.veniacoffee.com: purveyors of specialty coffee and exceptional equipment
www.veniacoffee.com: purveyors of specialty coffee and exceptional equipment

Postby EricBNC on Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:38 pm

This is sad news to read of their problems. I feel bad for the community, the vendors, and the principles. I am not sure where I would be on my coffee journey without them.

My tastes have expanded so much in the last couple years thanks to the exposure to great roasters and nice gear too.
LMWDP #378
Author of "The Bell Curve: Instructions for Proper Herd Mentality"
User avatar
EricBNC
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Nov 25, 2010
Location: Winston Salem, NC

Postby HB on Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:34 pm

The last couple replies have been first-time posters from ROASTe vendors along these lines:

Former ROASTe vendor wrote:As a vendor we've been working with Roaste and had great success. The staff was friendly and even contacted us for opinions and suggestions regarding promotions and even packaging for their own boxes. The "going under" is unfortunate, as we allowed for their bills to run over, thinking and believing that because they were receiving direct payment from the customer and we fulfilled the order that we would in return receive payment from Roaste. Unfortunately this went on for a few months and we are now in the hole with them. I can only hope that they turn this around, however, it doesn't look promising. I'm just finally glad that they've notified the public on their website, rather than us simply being a coffee company with a status that says: Temporarily Out of Stock. ~~~ As a coffee roaster, we're not out of stock but simply weren't getting compensation from Roaste!

Anywho- if you found a coffee that you loved, don't hesitate to contact them directly. There may be a number of vendors who are going through similar issues but still love to share their coffees with customers from Roaste!

Note: Name of the vendor and links to their site removed.

The above is good advice; pursuant to the site's Public complaints about customer service in the Guidelines for productive online discussion, I ask that former ROASTe vendors resist the urge to post to this thread. If HB members with a post history wish to provide updates on ROASTe, they're free to do so, but posts from former vendors and new posters will be carefully scrutinized by moderators per the site guidelines. Thanks.
Dan Kehn
User avatar
HB
 
Posts: 14558
Joined: Apr 29, 2005
Location: Cary, NC

Postby jbviau on Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:25 am

Well, it's been about a month now. Any developments? My cookies expired on all devices, so I'm no longer signed in to my account on ROASTe, and I can't log in due to the site freeze.
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias
User avatar
jbviau
 
Posts: 1051
Joined: Jul 02, 2010
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL