I buy a lot of wine, both locally, and online. I buy locally to help out small merchants who are struggling to make it in the wine business, and I buy online for the same reason everyone else buys anything online - to find the best deal, and maybe save tax and get some free shipping.
So last night I see this on twitter from @toptenwines:
Just got off the phone with my distributor: I can offer 2006 Caymus Special Selection for $150/btl +tax +$12 per case shipping
This is a great wine.
So I look online and see that it's basically the same price as all the other online retailers.
I'd like him to do well on twitter, so I respond with what I normally pay for that wine:
c'mon $135 free shipping.
He considers a free shipping offer and then responds:
Caymus won't let me sell for under $150 or they won't sell to me. As for shipping it's $1/btl by the case.
OK, that's fair. Most standard shipping is about $35 a case, so $12 a case is a decent deal.
But as information, I send him a link to show that his price is in line, not cheaper than anyone else on the net, and in fact one of the merchants is significantly cheaper.
Along with the link, so not to appear as if I'm touting him as expensive, I say:
"but $150 is a good price from a good place like yours."
Then I get ready to send out a link to his Caymus and try and help this brick and mortar wine shop in their attempt to find success on the net. I'm going to buy some and tell my friends.
But it turns, quickly:
He plays cop:
thanks for the link...I sent it to Caymus. Caymus won't sell to them again
This reminds me of the advertising lawyers who instead of working on their own practice, file Bar Complaints against other successful advertising lawyers in order to gain an advantage.
Then this barrage of desperation and anger:
If you find someone willing to cut you that many deals, then you're looking at a merchant who cuts too many corners.
Read: Be afraid of everyone online who has a cheaper price than me - their wine is baaaaad.
Well if you're willing to pay lowest price for improperly stored product that someone's trying to dump on the market go for it.
Read: fine, go use someone else and buy their crappy wine. My wine is the best, because everyone who offers lower prices sucks.
I don't know why you're trying to prove a point here; I'm offering one of the best prices on the internet anyway.
No, you're not. You're offering a similar price to many merchants. Rule #1 of the net: be honest, today would be a good day to begin using that philosophy.
I mean your argument is that paying a couple bucks more than lowest price isn't worth an investment in the wine's provenance.
Investment in the "wine's provenance?"
Not interested in a discussion of the business, he ends with this send off:
In any case if you're not interested in buying my wine, don't waste my time"
OK, I'm not interested in buying your wine.
After I call him a jerk, he says:
I don't know why you can't be polite.
This exchange is like many I've heard over the years between bad lawyers and potential clients.
There are lawyers who peddle their services through talent and confidence in their work, and there are those who lie to clients, and bad mouth other lawyers just to get the case.
Every good lawyer will say "I don't bad mouth other lawyers." The bad, desperate, talentless lawyers will make the potential client believe they are making a big mistake if they don't hire Mr. Bad mouthing make me feel stupid lawyer.
There's nothing wrong with engaging in a debate over fees and business philosophies. Just yesterday a potential client asked why he should pay me more than the other lawyers he spoke with. If I am charging more, I should be able to justify why. I should not make the potential client feel bad for asking, nor get arrogant or make him feel that his case will be poorly handled by another lawyer.
Clients often tell me they didn't hire a lawyer because he bad-mouthed other lawyers. Clients and customers aren't stupid, they can tell when a lawyer and business owner is trying to make the sale through condescending comments, and statements of fear.
So no "top ten wines," the other merchants I buy from like Wine Library, Liquid Discount, Wine.com, Wine Chateau and Wines 'til Sold Out don't "cut corners," and I don't get "improperly stored wine" simply because it's less than your prices.
You are a shop trying to make it on the internet with storefront prices and arrogance. It won't work, ever. Sorry to try and help, especially in this economy.
Oh, yeah, and you're invited to respond to this, although I understand you'd rather just push your wine and not engage in a discussion about it.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com