10 things to look for when joining a Mead Club
Let’s face it there are a lot of mead clubs out there. Basically every meadery seems to have one. Before joining you should know what you’re getting yourself into and ensure that you are joining the best club for you.
- How much does it cost? Some clubs won’t even tell you the price before you sign up! Others seem to add their shipping charge into the price of the bottles so that they can offer you “free” shipping. Do the math and see just how much each of those bottles is really going to cost you. It may not be such a good deal after all!
- How much is shipping? Shipping heavy bottles full of mead is expensive. The further away you live the more it costs. If you’re joining a club for a meadery that isn’t local you will have to pay these fees. Is the shipping charge disclosed upfront? Is it paid for by the meadery or partially subsidized? Expensive shipping is one of the leading causes of club membership cancellations. You may think it’s ok at first but it gets old pretty fast.
- What kind of discounts do they offer? This is probably the biggest thing. Some meaderies offer discounts as small as 5% off their regular prices. Do these discounts apply to just club orders, or to all bottles purchased from the meadery? Most discounts tend to fall within the 5-20% range. Contrivance is proud to offer 20% off all bottle purchases for mead club members.
- How many bottles are you buying and how often? Clubs range from 1 bottle every month, to 12 bottles per quarter, and everything in between. Committing to purchasing 12 bottles at once can be a hefty expense for most people, even if it’s only once a year. Some clubs offer different options for the number of bottles to fit different sized budgets. Another question is how much do you drink? We’ve cancelled club memberships in the past simply because the bottles started piling up faster than we could drink them and eventually it felt like a waste of
money. Of course there’s always the option of gifting excess bottles to friends or family.
- Do they let you customize? Most mead clubs don’t seem to offer customization at the time of this writing. That means they will pick out the bottles and you get what they send you. Custom clubs are a fairly new thing and are much more flexible. If their standard bottle selection includes something you already know you don’t want, why would you want them to send it to you? Find a club that lets you pick what you want, and even add extra bottles to your order if desired.
- Do they let you leave the club? Many mead clubs have fine print that says you must commit for a full year before you can cancel, and other similar terms. Nobody joins a club expecting to have problems, but what if you need to leave for financial reasons or you just aren’t happy with it?
- Does it have a membership fee? Most clubs only charge you for the bottles you’re buying. Some however do have a yearly fee just to be in the club! Make sure you know what you’re getting.
- Do you like their products? If a meadery only has 1 flavor you like, it’s unlikely that you’ll be happy in their club at all since they’ll be selling you things you won’t like. This seems obvious, but the bottles that you get as part of your allocation are going to come from things they have on hand or create just for the club. Are most of their meads way too sweet for you? Made from fruits you don’t like? Of course there’s always the option of gifting flavors that aren’t your favorite to friends or family.
- Do they have club-only releases? Many meaderies make products available only to club members. Sometimes they are club exclusive for a certain period of time, or sometimes a batch is small enough that the club will buy all of it without offering it to the general public at all.
- What other benefits do they have?
Check out the Contrivance Mead Club. We feel that we offer the best of all the above mentioned features!