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How to Collect Money for Beer Kegs at Your Party

Updated on June 19, 2012

When I was in college at Chico State, which was at that time the #1 party school in America, my house had an unbelievable skill for getting people to cough up cash for the sake of beer. There were only 4 of us living in a small apartment, this was no frat house, and yet the beer flowed more than water. We had an average of '11 kegs in 3 days' more times than I can count (even on weekdays!). Having 5-6 kegs in one night was not uncommon. We sure as heck weren't rich, and neither were any of our guests, so I attribute our massive parties to what I dub "keg collection skills," which you are about to learn in detail:

1) If you plan on being a big "party house" my first suggestion will make your life a heck of a lot easier- Buy a second fridge. You can easily find an average looking fridge on Craigslist for less than $100, and it will turn your house into a Party Palace. You might think I am suggesting turning it into a kegerator, but don't. If you want a kegerator, do that separately. This 2nd fridge is used solely to hide/store the "backup keg." If the keg runs out, the party usually crashes- As soon as the last drop is gone you are bound to start losing people. By having a backup keg (that you don't tell anyone about), you prevent this problem.

Friends are much more willing to donate money, especially when they are New friends, because people generally like to make a good impression. So, after they have been there for a little while, had a couple drinks, are enjoying themselves, and don't want to leave, then you can hit them up for a little bit of cash to "keep the party going." By this time, they won't be worrying about getting suckered, will know that your house is a great place to stay and hang out, and won't want to leave. You can imagine how much easier it is to get money from someone who genuinely wants your party to keep going.

2) Never, ever ever ever ever Demand money from people. It is exponentially harder to drag people into cooperating than it is earn their cooperation by being nice and becoming their friend. When you notice someone showing up, don't immediately run over and tell them they have to give you $5 for beer- Your party would suffer because people wouldn't feel welcome. What you want to do instead is let people show up, introduce your self, welcome them, tell them to get a beer, and let them know they are allowed to invite whoever they want. Your goal is to make them your friend! I know, hard to believe right? Who would ever want to make friends with people at a party...

Friends are much more willing to donate money, especially when they are New friends, because people generally like to make a good impression. So, after they have been there for a little while, had a couple drinks, are enjoying themselves, and don't want to leave, then you can hit them up for a little bit of cash to "keep the party going." By this time, they won't be worrying about getting suckered, will know that your house is a great place to stay and hang out, and won't want to leave. You can imagine how much easier it is to get money from someone who genuinely wants your party to keep going.

3) Do NOT set an exact dollar figure that people should give you. I have never asked for $10 from someone and had them give me more than $3. But I have asked for 25 cents from hundreds of people and had them give me $20. People want to be generous, they want to be liked and appreciated, but they hate to help people who are demanding. I typically said something along the lines of, "hey man, we are so close to getting another keg, could you spare anything to help out? Anything would be a huge help and we can keep this party going, even if you have just 25 or 50 cents to spare." Or, I had fun with it, "We are so close to getting a new keg! Can you help us out with anything? 25 cents, twenty dollars, a thousand dollars, anything and everything helps!"

4) Learn to be a salesman: People want to help those who they like. Put on the charm, be interested in them and show them that all you really want is to keep the party going; Keeping the party going means keeping them there and happy. So make sure they know that even if they can't give money they are still totally welcome to stay and you are happy to have them. Take this as an opportunity to level up your people skills and you will only get better over time.

5) Switch collectors: No matter who you are, some people will like you more than others. Once you have collected for a while, judge your results and give other "charming" people a try. Those who weren't willing to give money to you might connect with one of your friends better and be happy to give them money instead. This is especially useful with flirtatious girls- As the night gets later and you have made your rounds several times, find a couple charming girl you know to start doing some collecting. Make sure there are at least 2 (don't send them to the wolves alone), because the guys they talk to are more likely to find at least one they are attracted to and we all know guys are willing to give cute girls anything they want. Especially if the girls are playing the "we want the party to keep going so we can spend more time getting to know you" card.

6) And finally, while collecting you will often be asked, "how much more do you need?" This isn't a question people are asking because they want to give you all the rest of the money, they are asking because they don't want to donate to a keg that never shows up. If they think the party can't support getting a new keg, they won't give you anything. You basically always want to be "about $20 short." People may ask to see the money, you can just tell them that you don't have all of it because other people are collecting too. As the person living there you should frequently offer keg guarantees (unless the night really is almost over), stating that you personally will throw in the rest of the money for that keg if the collecting comes up short. That way people always know that something is going to show up, and the party will keep rocking.

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