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Realistic expectations for "stock" bottles

Max Action

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So far all the bottle suppliers have been happy to work with us, sending samples and providing info regarding pricing/availability.

Now I'm learning that that some of the lead times I was quoted aren't entirely accurate. Now that we've identified a bottle we like and are ready to order a couple pallets, I'm finding out they're out of stock and not expecting more for "maybe" 4 more months, depending on when they can fit it into their production schedule. This is one of the name-brand bottle suppliers.

That's got me wondering what everyone else is doing right now that uses those same bottles. Are they simply out of luck until they can get more? Maybe I've been a bit naive about the process, but I thought the benefit of stock bottles was to make it easier on the budget and just order them as needed. I would have thought they'd just make more once they realized their existing stock was getting low, to ensure a steady supply.

If I need to order a year's worth of bottles at a time just to ensure I have enough when I need them, I could justity a custom mold and I wouldn't need stock bottles.

I would really appreciate if some of the seasoned veterans could help me readjust my expectations more realistically when it comes to stock bottles. Do you feel some are vendors are more or less reliable than others?

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The experience that you describe regarding stock bottles is very common, especially with bottles from Europe (it seems like everyone there gets the entire summer off work sometimes). There's not much to be done about it other than choose a common bottle style that is produced by many different manufacturers and carried by many different distributors. That way, when one distributor screws you, you can already have an alternate lined up and screw your distributor right back. I wish I had a solid distributor to recommend, but I don't.

Tracking bottles back to the manufacturer is difficult, but well worth the effort. Once you know who the manufacturers are, you will have a true picture of how "common" a bottle actually is.

If I need to order a year's worth of bottles at a time just to ensure I have enough when I need them, I could justity a custom mold and I wouldn't need stock bottles.

If your sales volume is such that you could go through the minimum order of custom bottles in a single year, you might want to seriously consider that option. I wish I could...

Otherwise, just keep in mind that your bottle distributor is full of BS 99% of the time when it comes to lead times, and always keep a healthy buffer inventory of bottles with this in mind. And don't even think about ordering anything from Europe in the summer.


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Couple of things. We did the trailer load thing a couple of times. We found better overall value in partial loads, so maybe don't fret so much. Anyone in your area using the same bottle? They will be having the same issues and should be willing to share even if it costs you an extra nickle to get them on board. Split a shipment with them. Be more concerned with the actual cost to your door. You can think you are doing well saving 8 or 9 cents here or there, but when you get the freight bill it can kill you. Keep your deals clean. Example: "don't worry, commit to the trailer load and we will warehouse for you" You will end up paying storage and penalties on untimely draws along with delivery fees. And speaking of clean, as another distiller has experienced, keep your trucking clean.Especially rural guys who bid their loads on line, You do not want your bottles shipped in a truck which is also carrying something with an odor, good or bad.

Waterloo was good to us at startup. Waterloo, United, Universal do well for us now.

edit: I corrected my spelling, BR

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  • 2 months later...


Why buy a stock bottle when you can have your very own custom bottle? A Typical 750ml bottle cost is about $1.25. For over 30 years, we have successfully developed, engineered and manufactured custom glass bottles. We have the unique ability to produce custom design bottles at affordable prices. We offer glass items manufactured in clear FLINT, SUPER FLINT and white porcelain OPAL. We decorate using Embossing, Spray Painting, Acid Etch Frosting, Silk Screen Printing, and Multi Color Decaling.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...


The glass industry is a very hard one to forecast. When producing product you have a limited amount of tonnage you can pull per day from each furnace. It also cost around 100 million to build a new plant and increase volume. The industry as a whole fluctuates in waves of capacity restraints. Some years companies are really looking for business to fill furnaces and other years lead times go out for 4 to 6 months.

With that said I have been working hard over the past 3 years to increase “Stock” of our bottles in the Central US. We have a warehouse in KY that I can ship single pallets if needed. This inventory is only for spirits companies so my focus is on you guys, not wine or any other package type.

What I suggest for situations like this is simple. Set up a P.O. for 6 months, bring in the glass for that time and bill you for what you take when you take it. As long as I have a commitment for the inventory I can justify holding your need in inventory.

Contact me with any questions.


Josh 414-426-5184 – jph@saverglass.com

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