the perils of sharing allocations

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markjchambers
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the perils of sharing allocations

#1 Post by markjchambers » August 2nd, 2019, 2:30 pm

As all of the mailers drop, I'm thinking about how I can keep my place on several lists and not go broke. For many years I have shared my allocations with friends who are
local to the Dayton area. That has allowed me to move up on many lists (SQN, Cayuse, Saxum, Alban). Now most of my friends are bailing on me - cutting back on their buying. If I can't find anyone to share with, I will eventually have to take less than my full allocation and we know where that usually goes.

I have shared a few bottles with people on the WA board back in the day, but not lately. I see people willing to share allocations in several threads here, but if there is no one
local, the prospect of shipping wine is pretty scary. If someone shares my SQN or the like, I could easily be shipping >$1000 of wine. I guess it's illegal to sell it, even at cost,
and certainly illegal to ship. I've done it many times and not been burned, but if something did go wrong it could be a total loss.

Maybe my concerns are overblown, or maybe there is a better to way to share. I'd be interested in other people's experience.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#2 Post by ybarselah » August 2nd, 2019, 2:52 pm

perhaps a dumb question, but why not just buy the quantity you want from those wineries?
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#3 Post by R. Frankel » August 2nd, 2019, 2:54 pm

I have done a bit of list sharing with friends here in California. But like you the risks/costs/hassles of shipping make me nervous.

Instead, I’ve been thinking about (and cutting back on) my list purchases. I don’t like the feeling of being held hostage to a list. On every one I’ve bought from, dialing back purchases hasn’t limited my buying in subsequent years. But I’m not on SQN. I also might feel differently if I was just buying several cases a year in total and wanted to continue that.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#4 Post by Russ Williams » August 2nd, 2019, 3:31 pm

You probably will not like this response, but I was where you are not long ago and on way too many mailing list. I spent decades building up my cellar and a lot of mailing list played a big part in this effort as well as got me hooked on my love of all things wine. However, I finally realized I was becoming a slave to my list and it simply was no longer something I needed to do to continue my love of wine. I buy from a handful of mailing list now and even skip an offering here and there. I mainly purchase from 3 importers who easily scratch my itch for anything I might have a hankering for. I am in a much better place as a result. Who wants to worry about wine?
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#5 Post by Michael Martin » August 2nd, 2019, 3:40 pm

I buy what I want. If my allocation goes down, there is always another good wine to buy. In fact it helps me to reach out and try new things.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#6 Post by Brian Gilp » August 2nd, 2019, 3:53 pm

Can retailers in Ohio sell wines that they didn’t procure via a wholesaler? The state minimum pricing and odd laws there make me wonder. But if they can, then I would maybe that’s an option to share allocations without the concerns you note.

I know that I have bought a few things in When in Dayton that make me wonder exactly how the laws work or maybe how vendors work around them.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#7 Post by T. Williams » August 2nd, 2019, 3:59 pm

I’ve slowly been ratcheting back my reliance on mailing lists and boy is it a relief! My suggestion is to just buy what you want and if your allocation is cut, so be it. I’ve found that except for a few lists, I end up with cases of wine that doesn’t excite me just to get the ones that do. When you do the math, secondary market is sometimes actually cheaper to get what you want.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#8 Post by alan weinberg » August 2nd, 2019, 4:06 pm

gee, you might have to step aside and let someone who wants the wine buy it.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#9 Post by Ron Slye » August 2nd, 2019, 4:10 pm

Yes, like many here I have cut back on some lists recently. I used to get 60 plus bottles of Cayuse a year. Now I have scaled back a lot - not because I dont like their wines, but I was realizing that my cellar was getting close to 1/3 Cayuse. I love lots of other types of wines -- French, Italian, German, South African. So now I spread my budget around a bit more -- plus I have lots of Cayuse aging for future drinking, and still buy some of my favorites from them each year, Like you I have shared locally -- that is easier than dealing with the risk of shipping. My sense is there is strong hesitation to scale back, but as many attest here, if you do, things work out pretty well!

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#10 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » August 2nd, 2019, 4:37 pm

alan weinberg wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 4:06 pm
gee, you might have to step aside and let someone who wants the wine buy it.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#11 Post by Ian S » August 2nd, 2019, 5:48 pm

Have I mentioned I love threads like this? People whingeing about First World Problems on the interwebs really makes my day!
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#12 Post by GregT » August 2nd, 2019, 6:05 pm

If I can't find anyone to share with, I will eventually have to take less than my full allocation and we know where that usually goes.
You could post something in CC offering to share locally. Or organize an event with people in nearby states. You're like two to four hours away from Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, etc. Why not expand your sharing search to a few of those places and meet somewhere between for dinner, wine, and exchanging?

Also, why do you need to take a full allocation? So you cut down. No big deal. There's a lot of wine in the world. Some of us manage to get by without ever having been on a single list. Ever.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#13 Post by Robert M yers » August 2nd, 2019, 9:30 pm

Of the lists you mention, Alban is the only one who is a hostage mailer. You don’t really need to be on Alban to buy their wines at around release (unless one gets a big 100, but post Parker that’s even questionable). The other lists will let you buy what you want without punishment.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#14 Post by dsimmons » August 3rd, 2019, 1:07 pm

I do share allocations with local friends and they share with me. The obvious benefit is to make bottlings available from producers with long waiting lists. A secondary benefit and an important one when living in Alaska is the economy of full case shipments.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#15 Post by Michael Martin » August 3rd, 2019, 2:43 pm

Ian S wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 5:48 pm
Have I mentioned I love threads like this? People whingeing about First World Problems on the interwebs really makes my day!
You have to try harder to be the new black hat. It has to come from an even deeper, darker, better spelling, more cynical, immature part of your being that can’t wait to offend another human and your Id laughs with joy when you finally have laid a pile of excrement upon an unsuspecting fellow board member. I mean more than you already have.

Now give it another go.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#16 Post by John Z. » August 3rd, 2019, 5:43 pm

Hi Mark,

I live in Mason, about 30 minutes south of Dayton and would be interested in sharing. PM if you like.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#17 Post by Ian S » August 3rd, 2019, 7:32 pm

Michael Martin wrote:
August 3rd, 2019, 2:43 pm
Ian S wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 5:48 pm
Have I mentioned I love threads like this? People whingeing about First World Problems on the interwebs really makes my day!
You have to try harder to be the new black hat. It has to come from an even deeper, darker, better spelling, more cynical, immature part of your being that can’t wait to offend another human and your Id laughs with joy when you finally have laid a pile of excrement upon an unsuspecting fellow board member. I mean more than you already have.

Now give it another go.
Would "Stop crying you little b*t@h!" have been suitable? I have no intentions of volunteering for black hat duty, but if drafted I'll give it a go.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#18 Post by Peter Valiquette » August 3rd, 2019, 7:34 pm

SQN and Cayuse are both available on the shelf locally so I think the list pressure varies depending on where you live.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#19 Post by John Davis » August 3rd, 2019, 7:35 pm

I bought a guy’s allocation of a wine for years. He sent me the offer, I picked it out and paid for it and shipped it to my wine locker. His kids were in school and he didn’t want to spend the money but wanted to keep his place in line, keep his allocation. We did this with the stipulation that when he wanted to buy the wine the deal was off. Worked out for both of us and I think we were both happy for the arrangement. No big deal.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#20 Post by Michael Martin » August 3rd, 2019, 7:43 pm

Ian S wrote:
August 3rd, 2019, 7:32 pm
Michael Martin wrote:
August 3rd, 2019, 2:43 pm
Ian S wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 5:48 pm
Have I mentioned I love threads like this? People whingeing about First World Problems on the interwebs really makes my day!
You have to try harder to be the new black hat. It has to come from an even deeper, darker, better spelling, more cynical, immature part of your being that can’t wait to offend another human and your Id laughs with joy when you finally have laid a pile of excrement upon an unsuspecting fellow board member. I mean more than you already have.

Now give it another go.
Would "Stop crying you little b*t@h!" have been suitable? I have no intentions of volunteering for black hat duty, but if drafted I'll give it a go.
You’re getting there. Practice. f*ck with people’s minds. Only then will you reach the zen of being a dick.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#21 Post by Ron Slye » August 4th, 2019, 12:03 am

Peter Valiquette wrote:
August 3rd, 2019, 7:34 pm
SQN and Cayuse are both available on the shelf locally so I think the list pressure varies depending on where you live.
I am assuming there is a bit of a mark up on both. Part of the list issue is getting the wine direct from the winery (i.e. provenance) and then the price. There are some wineries where secondary price is the same -- and sometimes even less than -- release price. My sense is that is not the case with either Cayuse or SQN.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#22 Post by Charlie Carnes » August 4th, 2019, 5:37 am

Mark, you're in Dayton, maybe you could Bob Pollard and the boys to share some with you.

But seriously, just buy less, if you get kicked, as others have said, more opportunities will arise.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#23 Post by Brian Tuite » August 4th, 2019, 6:56 am

ybarselah wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 2:52 pm
perhaps a dumb question, but why not just buy the quantity you want from those wineries?
^^ This ^^

alan weinberg wrote: gee, you might have to step aside and let someone who wants the wine buy it.
^^ This too ^^
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#24 Post by Chris T. » August 4th, 2019, 7:09 am

Thoughts and prayers for the Dayton folks this morning.

I would do partial allocation, but if for some reason you don’t want to do that than do local pickup sharing. Worst case scenario sell on winebid to recoup the overpurchase
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#25 Post by B Thorne » August 4th, 2019, 7:30 am

Anyone who has allocations they’d like to share / pass on I’d be interested in taking/splitting it with you. Just let me know what you've got [cheers.gif]
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#26 Post by Ian S » August 4th, 2019, 8:32 am

3 pack minimums seem to be the norm now. If you only want a bottle or two, you have to divvy up with somebody else. Most of the desirable wines cost well above winery release prices, so it would be counterproductive to buy a single bottle aftermarket. If the winery catches you flipping just so you can afford to drink that product, then you get booted. Strange game, this allocated bottle thing is.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#27 Post by PaulMills » August 4th, 2019, 8:38 am

I too have dropped a lot of lists I used to buy from because I felt I was held hostage. Now I buy what I want and if there is a three pack (of one wine) minimum I skip it. My allocations have not been hurt on the lists I stayed on.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#28 Post by markjchambers » August 4th, 2019, 3:57 pm

Thanks for all of the responses. I will likely do what most people suggest and just buy less. For the "black hat" posters, I am being selfish because I did put in my time. In most cases I waited many years to get on these lists and the idea of just letting them go is not appealing. But the idea of getting old isn't appealing either. Thanks to the local posters, also. I could do a better job of networking locally - maybe using resources like the local AMWS chapter.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#29 Post by PaulMills » August 4th, 2019, 4:50 pm

Lookong back at this post, I should have thought it was about losing your allocation for sharing it with the great unwashed. I do not see much of a peril in your case.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#30 Post by Peter Valiquette » August 4th, 2019, 7:51 pm

Ron Slye wrote:
August 4th, 2019, 12:03 am
Peter Valiquette wrote:
August 3rd, 2019, 7:34 pm
SQN and Cayuse are both available on the shelf locally so I think the list pressure varies depending on where you live.
I am assuming there is a bit of a mark up on both. Part of the list issue is getting the wine direct from the winery (i.e. provenance) and then the price. There are some wineries where secondary price is the same -- and sometimes even less than -- release price. My sense is that is not the case with either Cayuse or SQN.
I'm sure there is, but I don't know how much since i'm not on either list. Retail Cayuse was around $130 and SQN was around $215.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#31 Post by markjchambers » August 5th, 2019, 5:54 am

Actually I think I was asking about the perils of shipping wine privately, but that was part of a larger question. I have no fear of sharing an allocation if I can do it locally. I don't believe it is ethical to resell at a profit.Strictly speaking even sharing at my cost is probably illegal, but I don't think anyone cares if people do it on a small scale.

If I shared with a friend, say in Vermont, I would worry about shipping. I don't think I could tell a winery to ship half my order to Dayton and half to Burlington, so I would be the one sending the wine on to Vermont. There was a time when wineries I bought from wouldn't ship to Ohio. There are several that I would like to buy from that still can't or don't, like K Vintners. I used to circumvent this by shipping the order to a friend in a wine friendly state, like Colorado, and asking my friend to ship it on to Ohio. He did it for a while, but then he got cold feet. He said he didn't want to break the law and said I was taking a big risk. My shipment could be lost,
damaged or even confiscated and I would have no recourse.

So I guess I was wondering what other people do. Am I worried over nothing or am I being reckless.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#32 Post by John Z. » August 5th, 2019, 11:30 am

I’d agree with you Mark. I had considered trading/selling some of my bourbon but, wouldn’t feel comfortable shipping it out for the exact reasons you stated above. Keeping it local to the Cincy/Dayton area is about all I’d be up for. I guess it could be different if you have a very good relationship with the person your shipping out to.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#33 Post by AndrewH » August 5th, 2019, 11:39 am

Ron Slye wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 4:10 pm
Yes, like many here I have cut back on some lists recently. I used to get 60 plus bottles of Cayuse a year. Now I have scaled back a lot - not because I dont like their wines, but I was realizing that my cellar was getting close to 1/3 Cayuse. I love lots of other types of wines -- French, Italian, German, South African. So now I spread my budget around a bit more -- plus I have lots of Cayuse aging for future drinking, and still buy some of my favorites from them each year, Like you I have shared locally -- that is easier than dealing with the risk of shipping. My sense is there is strong hesitation to scale back, but as many attest here, if you do, things work out pretty well!
Yep - similar issue with me for another winery. I've pared back significantly my list purchases from them, but I still have loads to enjoy from back vintages. I think I'm over the discomfort I felt when I started that strategy . . .
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#34 Post by Scott G r u n e r » August 6th, 2019, 7:52 am

Robert M yers wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 9:30 pm
Of the lists you mention, Alban is the only one who is a hostage mailer.
In a sense you can call SQN eba release a hostage as it is essentially a six bottle bundle, and if you don’t buy you won’t get offered the next year.

Cayuse similar but in 3 packs.

You might contact HDH or similar retailers that do auctions/consignments- they will often arrange legal shipping, but in a consignment/auction setting plus fees there is no guarantee you even break even depending on the market and wine.

Most of the wine shipping I have done has been carefully repackaged to avoid the appearance of wine. Agree it is not a great option for more than a couple of bottles here and there.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#35 Post by Gray G » August 15th, 2019, 10:14 am

Robert M yers wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 9:30 pm
Of the lists you mention, Alban is the only one who is a hostage mailer. You don’t really need to be on Alban to buy their wines at around release (unless one gets a big 100, but post Parker that’s even questionable). The other lists will let you buy what you want without punishment.
Robert

please define "hostage mailer" in regards to lists

being a good client is usually helpful in most business situations

thanks
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#36 Post by Nate Simon » August 15th, 2019, 10:33 am

Easy: don’t buy highly allocated wines.
Thank me later.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#37 Post by Robert M yers » August 15th, 2019, 12:52 pm

Gray G wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 10:14 am
Robert M yers wrote:
August 2nd, 2019, 9:30 pm
Of the lists you mention, Alban is the only one who is a hostage mailer. You don’t really need to be on Alban to buy their wines at around release (unless one gets a big 100, but post Parker that’s even questionable). The other lists will let you buy what you want without punishment.
Robert

please define "hostage mailer" in regards to lists

being a good client is usually helpful in most business situations

thanks
I was thinking that Alban made you buy a package of wines rather than pick or choose just what you want. Thinking it over I'm not sure that was or is true though. It’s been 15 years since I’ve been on the their mailer. Apologies if I had that wrong.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#38 Post by markjchambers » August 15th, 2019, 1:12 pm

To me hostage mailer is "buy everything you are offered or future allocations will be cut." The most severe instance is where they throw you off completely. Rochioli is the only one that ever did that to me. If you truly want less, maybe having your allocation cut is a good thing - if they don't take it to zero. Not a problem if the list is not hugely competitive. I got thrown off Alban 8 years ago and got back on pretty easily two years ago. But, if there is a 10-year wait to get on the list (like SQN) you hate to do anything to jeopardize your position.

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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#39 Post by Victor Hong » August 15th, 2019, 1:28 pm

markjchambers wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 1:12 pm
To me hostage mailer is "buy everything you are offered or future allocations will be cut." The most severe instance is where they throw you off completely. Rochioli is the only one that ever did that to me. If you truly want less, maybe having your allocation cut is a good thing - if they don't take it to zero. Not a problem if the list is not hugely competitive. I got thrown off Alban 8 years ago and got back on pretty easily two years ago. But, if there is a 10-year wait to get on the list (like SQN) you hate to do anything to jeopardize your position.
Denying flexibility to your paying customers seems the height of both insecurity and arrogance.
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Re: the perils of sharing allocations

#40 Post by Gray G » August 15th, 2019, 2:27 pm

markjchambers wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 1:12 pm
To me hostage mailer is "buy everything you are offered or future allocations will be cut." The most severe instance is where they throw you off completely. Rochioli is the only one that ever did that to me. If you truly want less, maybe having your allocation cut is a good thing - if they don't take it to zero. Not a problem if the list is not hugely competitive. I got thrown off Alban 8 years ago and got back on pretty easily two years ago. But, if there is a 10-year wait to get on the list (like SQN) you hate to do anything to jeopardize your position.
I think of a hostage mailer or anything in business as buying the stuff offered while dangling the carrot of the wines you are not getting yet but want.

The ones you want, and may get in the future, or may be offered in the future if you buy the hostage wine, thus paying the ransom.

Paying the ransom is fatiguing to any customer


blah blah blah [bleh.gif] [bleh.gif] [bleh.gif]
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