One Wine, One Deal Brings Group Buying Power to Wine

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Christopher's Wine & Cheese, a wine retailer based in North Carolina, is taking an innovative approach to combining purchasing power to score great deals on wines and pass them along to consumers.  Check out One Wine, One Deal where they offer up a single wine by the case for 24 hours.  If they get interest in 10 cases, everyone gets the deal.  If they don't the deal is off and nobody buys the wine.  Interesting approach.

We've done some things with case clubs here on this site and we previously discussed the Capitol Case Club which similarly aims to bring consumers together.  These are private consumer-originated efforts whereas what One Wine, One Deal is doing is retailer-originated.  The advantage in retailer-based efforts is that they can sniff out smokin' deals from distributors.

There are a few challenges I can see for the retailer.  First, to minimize per-bottle shipping costs as a percentage of the overall cost of the order, more expensive (and hard to find) wines sold by the case work better.  The problem with this is it becomes expensive to buy an entire case and consumers might be hesitant to bite.

Another challenge is the Internet's nature of driving prices down as low as possible.  A consumer considering a deal will immediately compare the deal on a site like Wine-Searcher.com.  If the wine being sold really isn't the cheapest by a significant amount- no deal.

Finally, it's got to be hard keeping the deals fresh.  As a retailer you can't let too much time go by without an offer and invariably the pressure builds and the deals aren't compelling.  The retailer's relationships with distributors (and favorable shipping laws in the state they're shipping from) are important if the retailer is to be a viable conduit of the wines they're offering.

There's a lot of competition in the short-burn wine deal space.  Especially lately.  Woot, Cinderella Wine, Wines Til Sold Out, and CellarThief come to mind amongst a long list of others vying for dollars.

But I like the model One Wine, One Deal brings to the table.  I think it has a lot of potential.  If they can keep shipping costs low, offer unique well-regarded wines, and unbeatable prices I think they've got a shot.  If they offer leading-edge clarity in the wines they're selling, insight into total costs including shipping and a concise listing of states they ship to it would really help consumers make quick decisions on whether they'd like to buy.  And if they can build up a community of trusting consumers who spread the word about their site- I'm convinced they'll have a winning model.

Hop on their E-mail list or follow @ChristopherWine on Twitter to hear about their latest offers.

Direct shipment to Massachusetts consumers from out of state retailers is, sadly, not possible due to stifling Massachusetts wine shipment laws.  More about MA wine shipping laws HERE.

Questions of the Day: What do you think of this business model?  Deal or no deal?

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