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How United Baristas Uses your Personal Information

With General Data Protection Regulation just around the corner, we explain how United Baristas manages your personal information and the principles that guide us

United Baristas was started to better connect coffee businesses and baristas as the specialty coffee industry quickly grew, and then became increasingly fragmented. Our industry experience allows us to understand that there are certain functions that are better conducted at an industry level that no single company or individual can tackle. There’s an element of sweet irony that it is the fragmented and modular nature of digital technologies and the internet itself that has allowed us to build a variety of services that better connects the coffee community.

General Data Protection Regulation
Digital technologies have progressed to the point where its often not necessary to actually build things; rather one assembles components linking together various cloud services and software products to create a bespoke product.

For those of you that are not familiar with how digital technology has progressed it’s important to explain that it’s often not necessary to actually build things in the traditional sense; rather one assembles components linking together various cloud services and software products. If you grew up in the mechanical age, then digital is now at the point where you can often go out and buy a boiler, a PID and a variety of other components and then assemble them to make a bespoke espresso machine. A good example is that it doesn’t make functional, financial or security sense for us to build a login platform to manage users across the various United Baristas services and websites, so we use an off-the-shelf product to perform this function. Auth0 is used by many companies and they have developed a purpose-built product, backed with superior engineering, infrastructure and technical expertise, and their overview of managing logins across the internet gives them additional data and insights which allows them to provide greater security that we ever could.

Continue reading How United Baristas Uses your Personal Information

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Just a Couple of Clicks – Updates to logging in to United Baristas

Today we release an update to United Baristas Profile allowing our community to securely log in with just a couple of clicks, using either a registered email address or their personal Facebook account.

The supported services include:
• unitedbaristas.com, including United Baristas Store
• United Baristas Careers
• United Baristas Workshop

Magic Link

When signing in with email, users are now sent an email with a bespoke link to enable them to securely login to their account.

Continue reading Just a Couple of Clicks – Updates to logging in to United Baristas

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Introducing Escrow Services to United Baristas Marketplace

Making buying and selling even safer as we grow

We always working to improve our services, just like many baristas are always working to lift their coffee quality.

A new escrow service for buyer and seller protection

Today we have introduced a new escrow service for transactions on United Baristas Marketplace.

As the marketplace has grown in size and volume, the degrees of separation between buyer and seller have also increased. There may be six degrees, or less, of separation between you and Kevin Bacon, but that’s not sufficient to build trust and ensure security when you find out he’s wants to buy your item, especially if it is a higher priced item such as an espresso machine.

Continue reading Introducing Escrow Services to United Baristas Marketplace

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Be a Barista of Quality

Delicious coffee starts with well-maintained equipment. Make sure you get everything in working order.

Last week we released our new 20s spot raising awareness of the benefits of scheduled coffee-equipment maintenance. To make delicious coffee you need to keep your coffee equipment in good working order. Take the hassle out of maintenance, and prevent urgent call-outs, by establishing a service regime and placing your equipment in a service contract.

Find out more about servicing options
Find an engineer 

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Find coffee equipment engineers near you with United Baristas Workshop

United Baristas Workshop now helps you find coffee equipment engineers and parts suppliers

It’s been just over a year since we launched United Baristas.

United Baristas

The project started because many coffee businesses we knew had working-condition equipment sitting in the corner of their warehouse or shop. Recognising that the under-utilised equipment was bad for business, the industry and the environment we built a marketplace to allow baristas to buy and sell equipment.

We now have hundreds of members, with dozens of current listings at any given time and items being bought and sold on a regular basis.

One thing leads to the next thing

As soon as we launched we started receiving queries about the buying and selling of items that we not in working condition. These queries commonly took two forms:

  • Q: ‘Is it more or less profitable to repair an item before listing it on United Baristas?’
  • Q: ‘I’m interested in buying an item that might need servicing or maintenance, but how do I do this?’

These questions are symptomatic of the challenges many coffee businesses and enthusiasts have in identifying a suitable service partner. This is because there are many engineers operating in the UK, many ways to source parts, and both service parts can vary greatly in quality and price.

Also, it’s no secret that there have been some issues with coffee equipment servicing, restoration and parts in the sector. However, many of the people that work as engineers are hardworking, honest and make themselves available for both urgent callouts and bookings at ungodly hours. They are a critical part of the success of the coffee industry and their contribution should be more widely celebrated.

To further support our objective of keeping coffee equipment in use for its full working life, today we’ve launched United Baristas Workshop.

Introducing United Baristas Workshop

United Baristas Workshop is a public directory of coffee equipment engineers and parts suppliers.

United Baristas Workshop
Find coffee equipment engineers and parts suppliers near you with United Baristas Workshop.

As the sector is always evolving, we’ve made it possible for:

  • Anyone to list an engineer, technician, parts supplier or workshop for free
  • Anyone to rate an engineer, technician, parts supplier or workshop for free
  • Anyone to search for an engineer, technician, parts supplier or workshop for free
  • Engineers and parts suppliers can opt to pay a small annual fee to add and maintain their full details, such as their service area.

We hope that:

  • Good businesses will be identified and rewarded with new business
  • Poor-performing businesses to be encouraged, and even forced, to improve
  • Disreputable operators will be more readily and publicly tracked in their various guises

Browse United Baristas Workshop

Our community has already entered the basic details of over one hundred relevant businesses from across the UK.

Find coffee equipment engineers and technicians near you on United Baristas Workshop
Find coffee equipment engineers and technicians near you on United Baristas Workshop

With so many listings, we have made it easy to search. For example, want a La Marzocco technician in London? Just search “La Marzocco London” and you’ll get a list of businesses that service London, as well as are based in London. Please note the service area is defined by county and will improve as engineers claim and manage their own listings. Go on, try it.

It is important to note that a listing is not an endorsement. In fact, we want both good and bad business to be listed so that the coffee community can monitor if good businesses go bad, bad businesses cease trading, and if they start up again in a new guise… Your active ratings and comments are welcome and an important part of establishing the quality and reputation of those that work in the sector.

Managing your listing

If you are an engineer or parts supplier you’ll want to update your listing so that prospective customers can understand your full range of services, see you service area and more readily find and contact you.

Once you start managing your listing you’ll be able to:

  • define your service area
  • be promoted as a verified listing
  • add additional business and service information
  • add full contact details
  • list any industry accreditations
  • add an image/logo
  • be notified of when your business receives a new rating

Once you have completed these steps your listing will be searchable by service area (rather than just your business location) and by manufacturer accreditation as well as by name and location.

Because managed listings are more accurate and comprehensive, they appear above basic listings in search results.

Claim or set up your business listing now

Feedback

We hope that the launch of United Baristas Workshop will further facilitate the buying and selling of coffee equipment. We believe this to be fundamentally good both for the coffee industry as well as the environment.

If you have any thoughts or feedback you’d like to share with us, please contact us.

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Accurately Communicating Prices on United Baristas Marketplace

Best practice for communicating Value Added Tax on listings

We’ve fielded and observed a number of queries about VAT on listings.

United Baristas has both trade and retail businesses as well as individuals as members, so we are taking this opportunity to highlight the best practice when communicating the listing price to avoid potential confusion.

Always list the item’s price inclusive of VAT

As has always been the case, list prices including VAT.

United Baristas does not offer an option to list items excluding VAT.

The listed price is the advertised price, inclusive of VAT, if any.

VAT registered

We are now providing more specific advice to avoid confusion where one or both of the parties are VAT registered.

In is important to note that a significant proportion of United Baristas members are unlikely to be VAT registered.

When selling

If you are VAT registered, we recommend that you communicate this in the listing’s description as it is relevant for prospective VAT registered buyers.

When buying

If you are purchasing an item and are VAT registered do not assume that the seller is also VAT registered. If you are uncertain, contact the seller for clarification.

Find out more about listing items on United Baristas

Full listing guidance is available at: https://marketplace.unitedbaristas.com/en/infos/how_to_use

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Looking for a specific item? Let the coffee community know

You can now place requests for items on United Baristas Marketplace

Today we’ve introduced another tool to facilitate the sale and purchase of used coffee equipment within the coffee community. You can now place a ‘request’ for a specific item on United Baristas Marketplace.

Making a request creates a product listing which can be searched and browsed in the same way as other listings on United Baristas. Other members of the coffee community can then contact you with their relevant products.

How to place a request

Placing a request is as simple as listing an item — and it is free.

1. Click the ‘Post a new listing’ button


The ‘Post a new listing’ button is top right on the United Baristas website

 2. Select the relevant product category

These are the product categories you can currently request an item in

You’ll then be asked to select the relevant sub-category.

3. Select ‘Requesting Items’

 

4. Fill out the request details, including:

  • the product
  • specific details
  •  brand
  • condition
  •  location

Fulfilling a Request

Got a product to sell that fits the request specification? Just click on the ‘Contact’ button and follow the steps.

Keeping products in use is better for everyone

A key objective of United Baristas Marketplace is to enable the coffee community to keep coffee equipment in productive use for its full working life. This is better for baristas, businesses, the industry and the environment.

We hope this new feature will be useful for baristas looking for specific items.

If you require coffee equipment to help take your project or business to the next stage, request it from the coffee community on United Baristas Marketplace.


Use United Baristas Marketpalce

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Introducing United Baristas

There’s too much under-utilised coffee equipment in the coffee community. Here’s what we can do about it.

We’ve started a marketplace for baristas to buy and sell used coffee equipment — it’s called United Baristas.

We’d been looking for a solution to enable commercial and specialist coffee equipment to be easily sold and bought within the coffee community. Just about every roaster and coffee shop has at least one piece of equipment sitting in the corner gathering dust.

The idea is that under-utilised equipment could be sold so that it is more productive with a new owner. This is better for the buyer, the seller, the coffee community — and the environment.

We thought it’d be productive to start this Medium so we can unpack our thinking for those of you that are interested. In this first post, we’re starting at the beginning and explaining a few things about why we’re doing what we’re doing. Your feedback is very welcome, just leave a note or email us at together@unitedbaristas.com.

Why is there unused coffee equipment?

There are a number of reasons why coffee equipment is under-utilised. We’ve taken the view that it’s primarily driven by the introduction of new technologies.

As manufacturers develop improved equipment, we upgrade. Technological improvements have greatly lifted the quality of the coffee — something we wish to see continue — so it seemed necessary to facilitate the sale of used, but still useful, equipment; rather than attempt to stifle the purchasing of new equipment to achieve our environmental objectives.

There are lots of other reasons why equipment is under-utilised. Good places can go bad, and bad places can go out of business resulting in disused equipment; it can be easier (and more cost effective) to replace, rather than repair, equipment; good routine maintenance sometimes isn’t performed leading to more defunct equipment than is necessary; and trends spread quickly through the community resulting in baristas upgrading, often whether they need to or not.

In many cases, this under-utilised equipment can be put into service again with routine maintenance or minor repair.

Selling under-utilised equipment is good for everyone

There are a number of reasons why re-circulating coffee equipment within the coffee community is a good idea.

The Environment

Coffee equipment often has lots of valuable components that use natural resources in their production. Furthermore, a numerous components aren’t easily recycled. Extending the working life of coffee equipment as long as is practically possible is better for the world.

Business Sense

Selling equipment frees up cash. Under-utilised equipment is poor capital allocation, which slows business growth and impacts profitability.

Makes upgrading easier and more affordable

If there is a clear path to selling used equipment, it makes the decision to purchase new equipment more straightforward.

Better quality coffee

The industry and community wins when a larger proportion of available equipment is more productively used. Then everyone has greater access to better equipment which creates the opportunity for rising levels of coffee quality across the community.

Linking buyers and sellers

At any given time there’s a broad selection of equipment available to sell as well as a number of prospective buyers looking for items. At present, equipment is sold primarily through three methods:

Immediate networks

Much specialist equipment changes hands through word-of-mouth. This is great for buyers and sellers who are well connected. The advantages are that there are high levels of trust between the parties; however, more recent entrants into the community can struggle to source used equipment (they’re likely to be the very people that’d most benefit from being able to buy good, used equipment). Also, personal sales make it difficult for market pricing to develop, creating a wide variation in pricing for similar items.

Social media channels

Listing equipment for sale on social media has become commonplace. It benefits from increased reach over one’s personal network, but lacks options for equipment to be categorised or searchable and fails to create timely notifications for prospective buyers.

Generalist marketplaces

There is a significant volume of specialist equipment available for sale on the generalist marketplaces, such as eBay and Gumtree. However, without a clear listing structure and the sheer volume of other listings, it is difficult for potential buyers to become aware of listings that might meet their requirements. Consequently, these marketplaces are not regularly used by the third wave community. On the positive side, these marketplaces have the resources to develop trust between parties through the buyer and seller protection offered through PayPal and community ratings (features we like).

We hope United Baristas can combine the benefits of all these existing methods (and mitigate their weaknesses) to create a marketplace that serves the coffee community.

Facilitating market pricing

What’s your used 2-year old, 2-group espresso machine worth? Or what about that pour over dripper? By better linking buyers and sellers we can facilitate the creation of a more fluid market and, theory goes, that should help establish a market determined price for used equipment. This is better for business owners who can better manage depreciation costs and fairer for everyone who buys or sells equipment.

Including technicians

Maintenance, repair and restoration have to play a key role in recirculating coffee equipment. One of the key reasons equipment is taken out of service is that its repair is cost prohibitive. As every cafe operator knows in situ service is expensive: it includes fuel, parking and congestion charges as well as time and parts. By enabling equipment to be sold that requires service or repair, United Baristas can get equipment into the workshops of technicians who can in turn return it to working condition and on sell it to businesses or consumers who will use it. We hope this will prove more cost effective and provide a path for more equipment to be put back into service.

Through working together we give old equipment a new lease of life, free up capital and enable more baristas to make higher quality coffee. This is better for coffee drinkers, businesses and the environment.

Home baristas are also welcome

One of the interesting facets of speciality coffee is the rise of home coffee making. This presents two interesting needs. Firstly, home baristas are increasingly purchasing commercial equipment for use at home. United Baristas helps businesses easily sell their used equipment to consumers and consumers to more readily access specialist equipment. Secondly, there is more specialist home equipment being developed by manufacturers, which will need to be on sold at some stage during its working life. United Baristas welcomes baristas of all levels.

We hope you’ll join us

Our network is growing quickly. The best thing you can do is sign up to United Baristas. It’s free to sign up and you can opt to get daily or weekly emails highlighting the latest listings.

Sign up to United Baristas Marketplace marketplace.unitedbaristas.com
Sign up to sell your equipment or be informed about the latest listings.

If you’ve got any questions, feedback or ideas, feel free to contact us.