Man, these are some pretty cheap beans! I've ordered from these guys and these are high quality beans at a price you cannot even approach at grocery or specialty stores. Vanilla beans are preferable to extract for all vanilla uses, but especially for custards and ice creams. And you can make your own extract by simply putting chopped whole bean into some neutral spirits, like vodka. These beans last since they are fresh and supple, unlike bottled ones you see in supermarkets. Plus if you have a FoodSaver you can simply seal the package back up again.