Ethical Dilemma

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BenW
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Ethical Dilemma

#1 Post by BenW » October 31st, 2017, 7:53 am

I was searching around for a particular wine and Wine-Searcher delivered a result that was priced more than 50% below all others ($30 vs $70). This is a widely distributed wine. Upon further research I found that this retailer has just six bottles left in stock of this vintage. This is a reputable retailer in another State, willing to ship to me.

So, either this is mislabeled/mispriced (first wine marked at second wine prices; 750ml marked at 375ml prices etc.) or they are just trying to get rid of the end of this vintage.

My question is... What would you do? Contact the retailer and ask (alerting them to a possible wrong price)? Buy the wine and hope (including the hassle of maybe having to send it back)? Buy the wine and then contact the retailer to confirm it's the right product before they ship?
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scott c
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#2 Post by scott c » October 31st, 2017, 8:01 am

Buy the wine and hope, and return if not the wine you expect. Note: before doing so you should be sure that the description of the wine on the website is not subject to more than one interpretation, lest the retailer insist that they sent you what you ordered.
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Ethical Dilemma

#3 Post by Art R » October 31st, 2017, 8:03 am

If this is really an "ethical" dilemma, talk to the retailer.
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#4 Post by cjsavino » October 31st, 2017, 8:04 am

As in most other stories like this the store mislabeled it or is a 375.
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Jay Miller
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#5 Post by Jay Miller » October 31st, 2017, 8:09 am

Yes, my guess is that it's a mislabeled 375. I'd check beforehand to be safe.
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Sherri S h a p i r o
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#6 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » October 31st, 2017, 9:29 am

I would contact the retailer and ask. Why not?

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#7 Post by Eric S n y d e r » October 31st, 2017, 9:55 am

Buy all six and hope for 750’s. If they’re actually 375’s, you still come out ahead using the numbers in the OP.

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Robert Dentice
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#8 Post by Robert Dentice » October 31st, 2017, 10:00 am

I was traveling with a couple of work colleagues and saw a 93 Nikolaihof Vinotek Grüner on a winelist for a very reasonable price. I ordered it and my colleagues loved it. They searched for it online and found it for $49 or something like that (it retailed for around $175). Being the wine expert that I am I assured them that it was either an incorrect price or a different wine. They ordered a case! And then sure enough it was the correct wine.

Then I came across this article detailing how the wine buyer bought the wine, no one bought it and ultimately they had to mark it down to $50!

http://nancyonwine.blogspot.com/2009/01 ... ke-it.html

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BenW
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Ethical Dilemma

#9 Post by BenW » October 31st, 2017, 10:11 am

I bought all six but still waiting to see if the order is filled.

The description is very clear about what I "should" be buying. The vintage, size and producer can not be mistaken. They even have a photo of the label next to the description (which I took a screenshot of, just to cover my bases).
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GregT
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#10 Post by GregT » October 31st, 2017, 10:15 am

I bought all six but still waiting to see if the order is filled.
That's what I would have done. There's no ethical question at all - they offered a product at a price and you accepted the offer.

But don't be surprised if they say they don't have it in stock. It happens a lot - I don't think WS is updated in real time so there are often ghost wines that you think you're going to score until you actually try to.
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#11 Post by AndrewH » October 31st, 2017, 11:23 am

GregT wrote:
I bought all six but still waiting to see if the order is filled.
That's what I would have done. There's no ethical question at all - they offered a product at a price and you accepted the offer.

But don't be surprised if they say they don't have it in stock. It happens a lot - I don't think WS is updated in real time so there are often ghost wines that you think you're going to score until you actually try to.
I agree this isn't an ethical question. Stores offer discounts all the time. Who's to say all the other stores haven't overpriced the wine and in a few weeks will be selling theirs for less? This store seems about to make a sale - the others not so much.

This isn't finding a Picasso that some grandmother thought was her uncle's doodlings and put out at a yard sale.
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#12 Post by Blake Brown » October 31st, 2017, 11:55 am

Contact the retailer to confirm it's the right product and then buy the wine seems the safest.
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#13 Post by Ian Sutton » October 31st, 2017, 12:20 pm

Art R wrote:If this is really an "ethical" dilemma, talk to the retailer.
It wouldn't trouble everyone, but as it troubles you enough to post here, this seems the best advice because:
a) If it's a genuine clearance, happy days as you're first in the queue, and yet you'll still make a positive impression in asking if it's a mistake before pouncing.
b) If it is a mistake, you'll be doing them a favour and they might just offer you it at a good (not silly) discount, or you'll make a friend out of a wine merchant. You'll also avoid potential unpleasantness if the wine isn't what it was listed as .
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J Wei
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#14 Post by J Wei » October 31st, 2017, 12:35 pm

I would just call the retailer and ask them if they have the bottles in stock and what size the bottles are. If they confirm its 750ml at the price, go ahead and make the purchase.
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#15 Post by Kris Patten » October 31st, 2017, 6:38 pm

What Art said....if there is an ethics question in your mind, call the retailer, confirm size, quantity and price and order them live with them. It's 6 bottles of wine, is your integrity really worth $240 savings on wine?
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#16 Post by P Intag » November 1st, 2017, 9:31 am

Kris Patten wrote:What Art said....if there is an ethics question in your mind, call the retailer, confirm size, quantity and price and order them live with them. It's 6 bottles of wine, is your integrity really worth $240 savings on wine?
+1. I was thinking exactly the same thing.
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#17 Post by Ian Dorin » November 1st, 2017, 10:39 am

BenW wrote:I was searching around for a particular wine and Wine-Searcher delivered a result that was priced more than 50% below all others ($30 vs $70). This is a widely distributed wine. Upon further research I found that this retailer has just six bottles left in stock of this vintage. This is a reputable retailer in another State, willing to ship to me.

So, either this is mislabeled/mispriced (first wine marked at second wine prices; 750ml marked at 375ml prices etc.) or they are just trying to get rid of the end of this vintage.

My question is... What would you do? Contact the retailer and ask (alerting them to a possible wrong price)? Buy the wine and hope (including the hassle of maybe having to send it back)? Buy the wine and then contact the retailer to confirm it's the right product before they ship?
Why not throw your next handful of other purchases there way? If you are truly torn, try to do some regular biz with them, and not just this one off.
ITB

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John Morris
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#18 Post by John Morris » November 1st, 2017, 11:35 am

Kris Patten wrote:It's 6 bottles of wine, is your integrity really worth $240 savings on wine?
I'd grab the wine. No issues of integrity here.

Many years ago I happily snapped up a half case of 1979 Guigal Cote Rotie that was mismarked at the Cotes du Rhone price at a large chain retailer. I headed for the cashier who looked least likely to know anything about wine and she rang it up. My only regret later was not buying a whole case.

I confess I might have felt differently if it was a small, quality retailer. But I doubt the mistake would have been made in a place like that. One time Astor Wines mispriced some single-vineyard Copain syrah at the Tous Ensemble price. I knew people there, so I pointed out the mistake to someone on the floor who they insisted the price was right. Clearly that had entered the wrong code for their price sticker, but at that point, I happily bought it.
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BenW
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Ethical Dilemma

#19 Post by BenW » November 1st, 2017, 11:49 am

I agree I'd have no issue at a big corporate chain but it's the fact that it appears to be a smaller family business that gave me pause. (I say appears since I can only go by their website, I've never set foot in their store)

As I said earlier, I went ahead and purchased all six online and then replied to the automated email double-checking that it was the right product and effectively giving them an out if it was mispriced. I won't be upset if they pull the sale but so far they haven't replied. That was 24 hours ago now.

As an aside, I did once see a great deal at Total Wine (not on this level but a good deal especially with some coupons). I bought a case and waited until the order was processed and ready for pick up. When I got to the store they had 2(!) of the 12 bottles. The sales assistant couldn't understand why I was so annoyed when they could give me 10 of the more recent vintage to make up the case [head-bang.gif]
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#20 Post by Greg Harrington » November 1st, 2017, 2:56 pm

This happens in restaurants all the time. The sommelier or retailer forgets that the wine comes in a six pack and divides the case price by 12, then its marked up. So it ends up 50% off on the wine list or at retail. Since they only have 6 bottles, I bet that is what happened.

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#21 Post by Scott Everson » November 1st, 2017, 7:26 pm

Was that Gramercy Greg?

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#22 Post by Jeffrey Neal » November 1st, 2017, 7:44 pm

I guess I’m with the OP. Any time I think someone has mispriced something, I ask. It is what I would want someone to do for me if I had a product to sell.

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#23 Post by BenW » November 2nd, 2017, 1:05 pm

In the end the store contacted me about the order and sheepishly explained that it was an error (price was for a different wine by the same producer; the description and picture online was wrong). They very generously offered me a discount on this or any other order. No harm, no foul and I'll happily do some business with them in the future.
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#24 Post by scott davis » November 6th, 2017, 6:59 pm

I am very surprised by some of these responses.

You knew this was an "ethical dilemma" when you brought it up. But I am glad it is resolved to your satisfaction.
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#25 Post by hamiltoncd » November 6th, 2017, 7:09 pm

BenW wrote:I agree I'd have no issue at a big corporate chain but it's the fact that it appears to be a smaller family business that gave me pause. (I say appears since I can only go by their website, I've never set foot in their store)

As I said earlier, I went ahead and purchased all six online and then replied to the automated email double-checking that it was the right product and effectively giving them an out if it was mispriced. I won't be upset if they pull the sale but so far they haven't replied. That was 24 hours ago now.

As an aside, I did once see a great deal at Total Wine (not on this level but a good deal especially with some coupons). I bought a case and waited until the order was processed and ready for pick up. When I got to the store they had 2(!) of the 12 bottles. The sales assistant couldn't understand why I was so annoyed when they could give me 10 of the more recent vintage to make up the case [head-bang.gif]

This might be the bigger ethical dilemma--that it's ok to put it to the big guys, but not a family business.
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