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  #1  
Old 04-27-2012, 12:18 AM
Homo litoralis Homo litoralis is offline
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How does Omaha Steaks stay in business? No really, how?

I got a mailer from Omaha Steaks pitching their "The All American Celebration" package of various meats at a 73% discount, and I'm having a hard time convincing myself to buy that crap again.

Their entire business model seems to be centered around peddling individually frozen cuts of meat at ridiculously inflated prices while competing with themselves by offering equally ridiculous discounts.

This "deal worth celebrating" has five-ounce portions of filet mignon and sirloin, four-ounce pork chops and hamburger patties, some stuffed sole and even potatoes au gratin. They call their three-ounce hot dogs "Gourmet Jumbo Franks." They'll even throw in a six-piece cutlery set and cutting board to sweeten the deal. Everything for $79.99.

But wait! There's a $20 coupon right there at the bottom of the glossy full-color solicitation! It will bring the final cost down to $167 and one cent less than the regular price of $227!

Omaha Steaks, I know you "want me back," but are you freakin' kidding me? I fell for this deal once (okay, maybe twice) over the last decade even though I knew I was spending ten bucks a pound for your variety package of utterly average meat, but did you really think I would come back and spend over thirty bucks a pound for more of the same crap? So now you want to pitch me your sucker deal again, like I'm going to come back and spend forty bucks on a pound of frozen T-bone? I'm sure your potatoes are still starch-a-licious, but your bonus knife set sucked! I had to wait until I made a friend who didn't have any kitchen knives at all before I could unload them!

The best thing, though, was playing with the dry ice. I'll admit, that was indeed fun. And I kept the big styrofoam box for years until I couldn't stand living around it anymore. (I've had that deep-discount mailer with the super-valuable coupon for a week now, and every time I consider tossing it in the garbage, I think about the practicality of a big styrofoam box and the joys of dry ice.)

My question stands. Who buys all that outrageously priced crap from Omaha Steaks? Generous relatives? Rich invalids? Hermits on mountaintops? Who?
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  #2  
Old 04-27-2012, 12:40 AM
zoid zoid is offline
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Originally Posted by Homo litoralis View Post
My question stands. Who buys all that outrageously priced crap from Omaha Steaks? Generous relatives? Rich invalids? Hermits on mountaintops? Who?
People who don't know any better and give gift boxes of this junk thinking it will impress would be my guess. I'd be very surprised to find out any significant number of people order from them regularly.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:15 AM
Namkcalb Namkcalb is offline
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Think how dumb the average person is, well, half the population is even stupider.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:52 AM
Rich Mann Rich Mann is offline
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There was a similar service targetted at Japanese people where you could send a very expensive package of frozen steaks to your beef-starved relatives back home. However you could not, at any price, receive one yourself in the US, so you had to trust that it would be edible.

Japanese people are mostly too polite to complain about the quality of a gift, so how would the sender ever know?

None of my Japanese friends had bought it for those reasons.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:02 AM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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My mother used to buy from them. The only thing I ever tried was the hamburger which tasted a lot like hamburger. I'm not even of a beefeater to judge steaks if I had tried the other stuff; is it the consensus that they're just okay? (My mother liked them but thought they were too expensive after the initial couple of orders for which she had coupons.)

Last edited by Sampiro; 04-27-2012 at 02:03 AM..
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:21 AM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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There's certainly nothing wrong with them. I've had them before and they're about as good as what Outback serves. Not fantastic, but at least a bit better than what's sold at most grocery stores.

My limited experience with their customer service has been excellent. I sent them a note about how one of the steaks in the box wasn't sealed properly - there was a little air space and even though I said th meat seemed OK, three days later, I had another box of ribeyes.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:40 AM
wellanuff wellanuff is offline
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The person who invented the gift box industry was brilliant.

The paying customer does not mind paying a high price because that implies the quality of the gift will be excellent and they will appear generous. Plus, the person who is paying will most likely never see the actual delivered product, so they will not have a basis to complain about the quality.

The recipient will be happy to get something for free and is therefore unlikely to complain about the quality (who wants to appear ungrateful?), only about gross defects like the improperly sealed steaks a previous poster mentioned.

These companies can stay in business because the cost of gift boxes, the fake easter basket grass they use for packing material, and the sheets of decorative tissue that they use to wrap a couple of apples in a box of twelve hardly makes a dent in the several hundred percent premium that they charge for average quality food items.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:20 AM
Athena Athena is online now
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If anyone does want to spend a whole bunch of money on really good steaks, I can heartily recommend www.lobels.com or Niman Ranch. Lobel's is probably slightly higher quality, but Niman Ranch offers sustainable, humane meat from happy cows and pigs.

I've had both, and can say it's well worth the rather hefty price.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:24 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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I don't know how they do it, but I pass two Omaha Steak stores on my way into work every day. They must be doing something right.


My one uncle sent us two gift boxes from there, and another sent us a box as well. Maybe they stay in business by selling Gift Boxes to everyone's uncle. They don't have to know what size Chateaubriand you take.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:28 AM
Enderw24 Enderw24 is offline
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My sister said she wanted to buy us a "of the month club" for a gift. We chose breakfast.
So far we've gotten three of them, one included shelf stable bacon, which looked really weird but cooked up ok. We've had biscuits, beignet mix, various jellies, chocolate fudge, pancakes and syrup. Overall, the quality of the products has been above average.

My wife offhandedly asked if we should continue this service after it runs out and I laughed. "Hell no," I said. "There's no way we're paying $25 for a 12 ounce jar of jelly and a pound of flour."
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2012, 08:38 AM
pseudotriton ruber ruber pseudotriton ruber ruber is offline
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I'm sick of all the Obama bashing!! If the guy wants to sell some meat to supplement his pay as President of the U.S., why don't you right-wing creeps just get off his back and let him go about his business?? Jesus Christ on a cracker!!
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2012, 08:45 AM
gwendee gwendee is offline
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
I don't know how they do it, but I pass two Omaha Steak stores on my way into work every day. They must be doing something right.


My one uncle sent us two gift boxes from there, and another sent us a box as well. Maybe they stay in business by selling Gift Boxes to everyone's uncle. They don't have to know what size Chateaubriand you take.

My only experience with them is that a friend of mine, when she gets a gift box from her oldest brother who doesn't really know her all that well she gives me the hot dogs that invariably are included. They're good hot dogs.

But yeah, there's a location near me and I don't know anyone who goes in there except to have an anniversary gift shipped to their parents or some such. No one I know uses it like a regular butcher or even grocery store.

Same with Harry and David.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:48 AM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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I'm sick of all the Obama bashing!! If the guy wants to sell some meat to supplement his pay as President of the U.S., why don't you right-wing creeps just get off his back and let him go about his business?? Jesus Christ on a cracker!!
Nitpick: Following the miracle of the Transubstantiation, Jesus Christ is the cracker. There is no point at which He could be said to be on the cracker.
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  #14  
Old 04-27-2012, 08:52 AM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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... or you can buy half, or half of a half, of a happy grass-fed dairy steer from a local farmer and have it processed and packaged, and end up with a year's worth of frozen meat for about $4 a pound. But then, it's not gift-boxed.

I knew people who ordered from them regularly, for themselves. They were credulous money-wasters who thought it was impressive. They also had ionic air purifiers in every room and the wife wore a mink coat. In Indiana.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:58 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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My girlfriend will occasionally avail herself of Omooha Steaks for gift boxes for her relatives. The selling point is, she doesn't have to shop (they have big families), it's a reliable system, and she usually gets a free pack of hot dogs or a couple of free steaks out of it.

Yeah, they're mediocre, but free mediocre is still free.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:05 AM
SmellMyWort SmellMyWort is offline
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I think it's a good gift for people who have everything and are impossible to buy for.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:20 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
Not fantastic, but at least a bit better than what's sold at most grocery stores.
Ouch. You need better meat departments in your grocery stores!

We've got people that keep sending us Omaha steaks. They're pretty ordinary at best, and not nearly so good as what we can find in the grocers, even at our local Pig (Shop the Pig!!)

They're not bad when used in stews and chowders or stroganoff, though.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:34 AM
Hal Briston Hal Briston is offline
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...Jesus Christ is the cracker.
Racist bastard.
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  #19  
Old 04-27-2012, 09:42 AM
Homo litoralis Homo litoralis is offline
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The Omaha Steaks website is truly a wonderland of shameless price-gouging.

Just to push the swindle further into the stratosphere, they have this section called "Private Reserve" where the cuts offered "can only be described as perfect." Filet mignon is "on sale" now for $65 a pound.

There's even such a thing as "Private Reserve" potatoes that cost over six bucks per "absolutely amazing" pound. For a potato!

If someone sent me a six-dollar potato, I would not be absolutely amazed. I would think they were an idiot.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:49 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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I knew people who ordered from them regularly, for themselves. They were credulous money-wasters who thought it was impressive. They also had ionic air purifiers in every room and the wife wore a mink coat. In Indiana.
[hijack] Why wouldn't one wear a mink coat in Indiana (assuming, that is, that one doesn't have any ethical objections to animal-fur garments)? Indiana can get pretty damn cold.
[/hijack]
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  #21  
Old 04-27-2012, 10:50 AM
Athena Athena is online now
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Ouch. You need better meat departments in your grocery stores!

We've got people that keep sending us Omaha steaks. They're pretty ordinary at best, and not nearly so good as what we can find in the grocers, even at our local Pig (Shop the Pig!!)

They're not bad when used in stews and chowders or stroganoff, though.
Cook's Illustrated did a taste test of mail-order steaks back in 2003, and they agree with you.

They tried Strip Steaks, and here's the list:

Highly Recommended
Lobel's Wagyu Boneless Strip Steak
Niman Ranch New York Steak
Coleman Natural Boneless Strip Steak
Peter Luger Strip Steak

Recommended
Lobel's Boneless Strip Steak
Allen Brothers Dry-Agend Boneless Sirloin Strip Steak
Generic Supermarket Choice Boneless Strip Steak

Not Recommended
Omaha Boneless Strip Steak
Omaha Private Reserve Strip Steak
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  #22  
Old 04-27-2012, 11:40 AM
Lightray Lightray is offline
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Originally Posted by gwendee View Post
Same with Harry and David.
I get Harry & David gifts for my parents. My dad loves their specialty jellies and jams, which you'd have to go to a specialty store to find anyway -- blackberry, boysenberry, other oddballs. And their fresh fruit, while quite overpriced, is also fabulous.

(although my 3yo niece was not impressed that Uncle Lightray got grandma fruit for her birthday: "Fruit! I mean, what the heck! Birthday fruit, what the heck!")
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:54 AM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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[hijack] Why wouldn't one wear a mink coat in Indiana (assuming, that is, that one doesn't have any ethical objections to animal-fur garments)? Indiana can get pretty damn cold.
[/hijack]
Because it looks pretentious and offputtingly out-of-place there; absolutely nobody has them. It doesn't even impress people there, it just looks weird. Yes it gets cold. You wear a down parka.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:01 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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Vermont Country Store sells ridiculously priced food items, too. They do have a couple of jellies that are hard to find, like beach plum, but any good sized grocery store has shelves full of all kinds of jellies and preserves, store brand to goor-may, that are a lot cheaper. But it's the gift thing, again - 'we have to send them SOMETHING - how about a selection of jams from this catalog?'

I have received a box of Harry & David pears at Christmas from my brother. I got the impression he was buying 'gift towers' for business people gifts and just tacked on a box of pears for me. 'Cool, that takes care of my sister, now for Al Jones at Acme, Inc., how about ..'.

And I have a good friend, she and husband retired, who LOVE Omaha steaks and order boxes and boxes. I don't know where they get the money, maybe they buy them with a credit card. She shops shops shops SHOPS every day, it's not like she doesn't have time to drive to a meat market and buy stuff there.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:04 PM
kath94 kath94 is offline
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My husband's company sent him an Omaha Steaks gift box last Christmas. It consisted of 4 steaks & a cheesecake. I'm sure the company paid far too much for it, but it was an easy gift for them. Just order up a bunch of gift boxes, provide addresses, and they're off. Easy for the company, appreciated by the staff.

I think part of the allure IS the exhorbitant price. It gives the illusion of quality, and brand snobs can feel superior when gifting them.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:18 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Because it looks pretentious and offputtingly out-of-place there; absolutely nobody has them. It doesn't even impress people there, it just looks weird. Yes it gets cold. You wear a down parka.
'Kay, I guess it must have something to do with where she is in Indiana. Because there are several fur stores in Indianapolis and other Indiana cities, and I presume the reason they stay in business is because some Indianans do buy, and presumably wear, fur coats.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:19 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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I will say this for them: a friend gave me and my then-wife a gift pack back in grad school, and that cooler was amazing. It lived for over a decade.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:24 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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I will say this for them: a friend gave me and my then-wife a gift pack back in grad school, and that cooler was amazing. It lived for over a decade.
We still have all of ours. We use them to transport perishables to picnics and the like.
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  #29  
Old 04-27-2012, 12:25 PM
Mrs. Cake Mrs. Cake is offline
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When we've gotten them they were corporate gifts, usually from my husband's bosses. I did buy a gift pack once as an additional Xmas gift for my sister and her husband. They had both been laid off and money for basics was tight, and I did not know him very well beyond knowing he liked to barbeque. She says he was very happy with it and so were the dogs.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:29 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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There's certainly nothing wrong with them. I've had them before and they're about as good as what Outback serves. Not fantastic, but at least a bit better than what's sold at most grocery stores.
They are utterly average. If your local grocery doesn't have a good beef selection (and I agree, many don't), Costco always has good beef at reasonable prices. Plus, you can often find prime cuts, which most supermarkets (besides Whole Foods) usually don't. Your better supermarkets will also have dry aged beef--I don't seem to recall Costco having dry aged, but I may be mistaken.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:29 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is offline
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Yep, we still have the cooler, too. Their potatoes au gratin are great - I once stopped by the store just to get those, like a damn vegetarian or something.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:40 PM
zoid zoid is offline
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If the thing about a meat company that sticks in your mind is the potatoes I think that says all there is to say.
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  #33  
Old 04-27-2012, 01:02 PM
rhythmonly rhythmonly is offline
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I tried Omaha Steaks once.

Once.

Completely average taste; the hush puppies (whatever those tennis ball looking things were) were inedible.

Still have the cooler. Works great.
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  #34  
Old 04-27-2012, 01:45 PM
Shark Sandwich Shark Sandwich is offline
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I had a friend who used to buy from them. They guy came to the house and sold them all of this food, but darn it, they didn't have the freezer space to store it all. Oh, and you're not going to cook those high-quality steaks on THAT grill are you? You need a much better, nicer grill to do these babies justice.

So they signed up for the payment plan for the grill and the stand-up freezer. At about a 200% mark up from what he could've bought at Home Depot or Sears.
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  #35  
Old 04-27-2012, 01:53 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan
Ouch. You need better meat departments in your grocery stores!
No argument there. I'm not even sure if the local grocery store has a butcher, or if meat is delivered pre-cut and the "butcher" is just packaging it.

I pine for the days when I was able to go to the store and get two inch-thick ribeyes or whatever cut to order, but this place seems to be a culinary black hole.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:59 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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Vermont Country Store sells ridiculously priced food items, too. They do have a couple of jellies that are hard to find, like beach plum, but any good sized grocery store has shelves full of all kinds of jellies and preserves, store brand to goor-may, that are a lot cheaper. But it's the gift thing, again - 'we have to send them SOMETHING - how about a selection of jams from this catalog?'

I have received a box of Harry & David pears at Christmas from my brother. I got the impression he was buying 'gift towers' for business people gifts and just tacked on a box of pears for me. 'Cool, that takes care of my sister, now for Al Jones at Acme, Inc., how about ..'.

And I have a good friend, she and husband retired, who LOVE Omaha steaks and order boxes and boxes. I don't know where they get the money, maybe they buy them with a credit card. She shops shops shops SHOPS every day, it's not like she doesn't have time to drive to a meat market and buy stuff there.
Interesting comment regarding beach plum jelly. I live on Cape Cod, and the beaches here are covered with beach plum bushes. It is just a wild plum-small, and tasteless-cultivated plums are much better.
Tourists seem to go gaga over the stuff-why, I have no idea.
To me, they are almost tasteless.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:18 PM
Nawth Chucka Nawth Chucka is offline
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We send them as gifts a half dozen times a year as a way to say, "Wish we lived near enough to you to have dinner together for ___ occasion." We buy them in a way w/ discount codes and the like that we wind up paying a fraction of the listed price and about what you'd spend in a store. Plus, free sturdy-enough-to-be-a-stool cooler and hours of fun w/ the dry ice! Win win!
They are also quick to fix any issue as was noted in a previous post. A bag of au gratin had a hole in it and a new box was shipped out that day.

Last edited by Nawth Chucka; 04-27-2012 at 02:18 PM..
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  #38  
Old 04-27-2012, 02:21 PM
Push You Down Push You Down is online now
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.........I buy my parents a box for Christmas every year. They are on ebates as well, so when I order using some discount, I also get a little cash back.

I do it because my dad likes steak and likes to grill, but they don't really buy steak for themselves anymore. It's a nice treat for them.

But I seriously get something in the mail from them once a week...and sometimes phone calls.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:22 PM
kelly5078 kelly5078 is offline
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I imagine they're an impulse purchase people make on the way home from the Thomas Kinkade gallery.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:42 PM
psiekier psiekier is offline
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Originally Posted by Homo litoralis View Post
Just to push the swindle further into the stratosphere, they have this section called "Private Reserve" where the cuts offered "can only be described as perfect." Filet mignon is "on sale" now for $65 a pound.

There's even such a thing as "Private Reserve" potatoes that cost over six bucks per "absolutely amazing" pound. For a potato!

If someone sent me a six-dollar potato, I would not be absolutely amazed. I would think they were an idiot.
Try to imagine this being read aloud by Leonard Nimoy:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Publilius Syrus
"Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it."
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:57 PM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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...They also had ionic air purifiers in every room and the wife wore a mink coat. In Indiana.
I gotta get myself to the eye doctor. I swear for a moment I thought your friends had ironic air purifiers.


mmm
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:14 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Originally Posted by Lightray View Post
I get Harry & David gifts for my parents. My dad loves their specialty jellies and jams, which you'd have to go to a specialty store to find anyway -- blackberry, boysenberry, other oddballs.
I get the oddball jams and jellies at Vermont Country Store - worlds cheaper.
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Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
I will say this for them: a friend gave me and my then-wife a gift pack back in grad school, and that cooler was amazing. It lived for over a decade.
GermanDeli.com also ships in the styrofoam coolers, I have a bunch of different sizes from past orders.

I used to have an account with American Frozen Foods, we already had a good upright freezer and our saleshuman didn't push anything on us. Reasonable quality food, at the time the local Agway was selling bulk frozen fruits and veggies [this was more or less pre BJ's wholesale clubs back in the early 90s] They had excellent customer service - I wasn't happy with the red snapper, it was a bit fishier than I expected and they traded it for something else with no problem . They also had prepared entrees, but I prefer getting the IQF meats and veggies and making my own.

What I like about this type of service [and I have heard people discussing it with the Omaha's] is that it is portion controlled. I like very rare, hubby likes burnt to shoe leather, this way we don't have to subdivide a steak, we each get our own.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:44 PM
Bill Door Bill Door is offline
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How should I phrase this? For some people, you want a consumable gift. It can be awkward if the gift outlasts the recipient. Having to go to someone's house and box up a bunch of stuff for disposal is no fun. I kind of do an actuarial calculation in my head and say, "Twelve filets, be gone in two months, maybe three, That'll do it."
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:40 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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Interesting comment regarding beach plum jelly. I live on Cape Cod, and the beaches here are covered with beach plum bushes. It is just a wild plum-small, and tasteless-cultivated plums are much better.
Tourists seem to go gaga over the stuff-why, I have no idea.
To me, they are almost tasteless.
It's not the taste, it's the name, and the visions it conjures up. Walking along the white sandy beach, big green waves rolling in, clambakes and lobster, and maybe picking some of those little plums...for people who want to, but will never get to go on vacation to Cape Cod, at least they have a jar of jelly made from the plums that grow there.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:21 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
How should I phrase this? For some people, you want a consumable gift. It can be awkward if the gift outlasts the recipient. Having to go to someone's house and box up a bunch of stuff for disposal is no fun. I kind of do an actuarial calculation in my head and say, "Twelve filets, be gone in two months, maybe three, That'll do it."
Might I interest you in the Billfish Nursing Home Bananna Gift Program? Twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, three fresh ripe banannas will be delivered to a friend, relative, or other beloved one at their nursing home residence. Through the use of our state of the art obituaryscantronic software we guarantee that no more than three unused banannas will be delivered. If you sign up for our golden provider program we will not charge for any unused banannas.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:53 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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There used to be (maybe still is) a business that advertised as a meat delivery service in the NY area. You'd order meats and those frozen vegetables, but you had to buy a lot in a minimum order. They'd deliver right to your house. But since the order was big, you needed a freezer, which you could buy from them. Turns out selling freezers was their primary business. You didn't have to buy a freezer from them to buy the meat, but they were selling commercial quality freezers at a price substantially above the price of a typical home freezer. They had a variety of long term financing options and service contracts. The meat was a break even business for them.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:16 PM
DoctorJ DoctorJ is online now
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Every year at Christmas I always get gifts from a lot of the specialists in town, sort of a "thanks for referring to us" thing. While they're rarely personal, some are very nice. (I especially like the ones who send bottles of wine, because none of my colleagues drink.)

But others send these horrible candy gift boxes. They're usually about $5 worth of shitty candy in very fancy-looking (but ultimately cheap) packaging. And because I get the same catalogs they get, I know that they're exorbitantly priced.

I always think of what bourbon they could have bought me for the same price. "This cheap aluminum sled full of Ghirardelli chocolate squares cost the same as a bottle of Basil Hayden's." But they persist because all the specialist's office manager has to do is submit a list of names and addresses and a credit card number and Christmas is taken care of.

I'd say OS gets a lot of its business the same way. It's an easy gift to give when you don't really want to put much thought into it.
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  #48  
Old 04-27-2012, 09:43 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
There used to be (maybe still is) a business that advertised as a meat delivery service in the NY area. You'd order meats and those frozen vegetables, but you had to buy a lot in a minimum order. They'd deliver right to your house. But since the order was big, you needed a freezer, which you could buy from them. Turns out selling freezers was their primary business. You didn't have to buy a freezer from them to buy the meat, but they were selling commercial quality freezers at a price substantially above the price of a typical home freezer. They had a variety of long term financing options and service contracts. The meat was a break even business for them.
These were called Food Freezer Plans, and were popular all across the country in the 1950s. A 1954 USDA report said they "offer more convenience than economy ... purchasing frozen food by the plan resulted in little or no saving when compared with retail store prices."

I guess having a "deep freeze" was enough of a novelty at the time that people didn't question the need for a commercial unit. There weren't consumer advocates all over the place, either.
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  #49  
Old 04-27-2012, 10:48 PM
zoid zoid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorJ View Post
But others send these horrible candy gift boxes. They're usually about $5 worth of shitty candy in very fancy-looking (but ultimately cheap) packaging. And because I get the same catalogs they get, I know that they're exorbitantly priced.
Dear Lord - THIS!

If you are ever tempted to send someone a box of "Ribbon Candy" just pick up the phone and tell them you hate them. The end result is the same and you'll save a few bucks (also applies to cheap-ass chocolate you get at Piggly-Wiggly for $10).
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  #50  
Old 04-28-2012, 01:37 AM
mhendo mhendo is online now
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Originally Posted by Athena View Post
Cook's Illustrated did a taste test of mail-order steaks back in 2003, and they agree with you.

They tried Strip Steaks, and here's the list:

Highly Recommended
Lobel's Wagyu Boneless Strip Steak
Niman Ranch New York Steak
Coleman Natural Boneless Strip Steak
Peter Luger Strip Steak

Recommended
Lobel's Boneless Strip Steak
Allen Brothers Dry-Aged Boneless Sirloin Strip Steak
Generic Supermarket Choice Boneless Strip Steak

Not Recommended
Omaha Boneless Strip Steak
Omaha Private Reserve Strip Steak
This whole thread is nothing more than casual interest for me, because i'm a vegetarian, but it seems to me that i could have come up with something close to this list without even tasting the meat.

A 10oz Wagyu boneless strip steak from Lobel's is $63.

A 24-26oz Peter Luger USDA prime dry-aged strip steak is $55.*

An 11oz Omaha Private Reserve strip is normally about $50, and is currently on sale for $37.50.

A 10oz Lobel's Natural Prime boneless strip is $48.

A 12oz Allen Brothers Dry-Aged Boneless sirloin strip is $47.50.

A 12oz Niman Ranch Prime boneless strip is about $38.

A Lobel's 10oz USDA Prime boneless strip is $34.

A 10oz Omaha Boneless Strip Steak is usually $20, and is currently available for $15 (4 for $60) on special.

Basically, the only steaks in the list that don't fit with the price=quality hierarchy are: the Omaha Private Reserve strip, which is close to $50 ($37.50 on special) for an 11oz steak, and is also at the bottom of the list; and the Luger, which is relatively cheap (on a per-pound basis) but is at the top.

As i said, i'm no meat expert, but i'm also not especially shocked that meat costing around $100 a pound is generally in the Highly Recommended list.


* Note the size. Luger seems to specialize is massive cuts, unlike the other retailers listed. I don't know enough to say whether or not there is any tradeoff between size and quality in cases like this.

Last edited by mhendo; 04-28-2012 at 01:39 AM..
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