Rep. Rant

I’ve had several phone calls & e-mails today from Reps that want to come by to taste me on some wines I haven’t cared for in the past or I’m not interested in . I tell them I am booked for the next couple weeks but they say “Oh, can I just come by and say hello … Is there anything you’re interested in or looking for”… “NO”… How bout XYZ wine? “NO” what part of no don’t you understand.
It’s always toward the end of the month that they all come out of the woodwork and I tell them the same thing “I’M NOT ORDERING WINE THAT I DON’T HAVE SPECIFIC REQUESTS FOR RIGHT NOW” especially something that is in a discount house in floor stacks down the street ! GRRRRRRR !

How bout your dealings with Reps ???

I am working both sides of the fence, so to speak. Am not a buyer, but am working for a retailer and then I also work for a couple of distributors. I try to be cognizant of shops & restaurants that say they are not buying now with help of my spreadsheet and notes. It’s a tough time for everyone right now…distributors and restaurants and retailers. I can understand your frustration. It’s a fine line between being attentive and someone trying to wear you down.

E-mail from the sales manager of a company we have not bought ANYTHING from in 8 years:

“Here are some amazing wines to grab while they last!! Please let me know if there is anything that sparks your interests!! Here are several items sitting in inventory that were allocated, that can now be released and sold.”

My reply:

Umm, a simple look at an Econ 101 textbook tells me that these were overpriced to begin with or they would be gone by now. How much are the discounts?


I haven’t heard back…yet.

I like the e-mails
“Get 'em while they’re hot” hurry these wines are highly rated normally very allocated. Yeah right !
Of course many of the wines I’ve seen listed at at less on WS by retailers.

Wine reps these days are akin to flies on (you fill in the blank).
Closeout lists are abundant as are “special buy-in” offers.

Peter, I just missed you today! I bought some of your “close-outs”!!! See ya next time

Peter, I tell guys every day “20% on your ‘close out items’? Pa-leeeeeeze! 20% off is a DISCOUNT…40% off is a close out!”

Go for 50%. I do with remarkable success.
We have 3 racks dedicated to 50% closeouts; each rack with a capacity for over 100 facings.
No further details, I don’t want to push the limits of “pimping” here despite the friendly reception thus far. [drinks.gif]

Wait, wait, since you’re making a delivery anyway . . .

Any Giacosa in those racks?

Don’t worry, 40% is just the ENTRY level for my definition. This is how it really goes down (from our April 2008 newsletter):

We got Game (and your back): The ol’ Rope-a-dope del Vino…
One of the great ironies of the wine biz is that, in the mad rush to fill quotas set by the marketing departments of industrial scale producers, some of the most interesting wines in the portfolios of large wholesalers often get completely overlooked by the sales force. The wines then age for years in state of the art temperature and humidity controlled warehouses and eventually are liquidated by the financial people to retrieve capital and free up storage space. The crack WINE EXPO Hostage Rescue Team then moves into action, rescuing wonderful wines from obscurity and often bringing them to you at well below frontline wholesale pricing. Fans of “Law and Order” would delight in seeing Roberto and Ali as Curtis and Briscoe doing a Good Cop / Bad Cop flim flam on hapless liquor lizards: Ali, “Well, I know it wholesales for $120 a case but since you’ve already agreed to sell it at $90 you’ve got to admit that once you’ve decided to cut your losses the actual amount is academic, don’t you think?” Roberto, “And besides, who else is going to buy a pallet (56 cases) of Ghemme?” Ali, “You know the idiot who bought this for you works for the competition now don’t you?” Roberto, “You’ll be a hero if you move it all at $55. Forget how much you are losing on paper, you’re putting over $3000 in the bank!” Eco la! Instant Wine of the Week, a win-win situation:

Sounds very familiar haha [berserker.gif]
Sorry Ken, no Giacosa for 50% off today. Maybe tomorrow when I get to the shop. >:)
Join my shop’s Facebook group to keep abreast of the blow-out sales: Marty’s Fine Wine. I really dislike pimping on the boards, but I’m bedecked in full-on pimp gear on FB hahaha :wink:

Wait, am I going to get beaned for mentioning my store by name like the ~other~ board? [foilhat.gif]

Yeah, um, PM me with that news also, k?

Todd will make you stand in the corner for five minutes without any play time the rest of the day !

As a supplier, my rant is coming into the market and having the wrong vintage pulled (happened twice this week!) and also the reps not having two sample bottles of each, just in case one is off. Also, reps who don’t open bottles before a day is started, yet wait until their first account to find out a bottle is bad.

You can really separate the good and prepared reps from bad ones just on these two issues.

Know the current vintage, know the inventory of that vintage, and make sure you have fresh bottles before the day starts with a supplier. It’s not that difficult.

Terrance, I totally agree with all of what you said.
I have a few reps that are really good at knowing the wines have to be opened to show well and not pop & pour but I also know that there are restaurants that wanted it opened in front of them to see how it will show table-side. I’m sure it makes it hard on them too have it both ways.

I just had a rep e-mail me to tell me about a wine we have carried for several years. Now all of a sudden he says “I NEED TO SHOW YOU SOME OTHER GREAT WINES FROM “XYZ” IN ORDER TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR “ABC” GRENACHE NEEDS”.
I told him " I do not do and will not do business that way and will pass if that’s the case" … Mind you this is a $10 bottle of wine. He comes back with " Given your history of how much you sell of the “ABC” wine I can only get you so much. So I am trying to get you more by showing you some other wines that will help you get more “ABC” and they are good".

I sell about 25+ cs of this wine each vintage, it’s a very low profit wine but I do pretty good with it and now they want to piggyback it with other stuff. I don’t think so. I could scream !

“Piggyback” is a euphemism for swine flu or just being swine?

Most distributors are happy to get ~any~ order these days. If they’re nice, I do my best to help them with wines they need to move. Act like a clown and you get to jump through hoops for your next order.

Shocked that is occurring right now. I would think those who hold the cash hold all the cards at the moment, not those who hold the wine.

95% of the business I do with my salesmen (women) is over email. I try to have about 6 appts per week and I deal with about 30 salespeople, so I see each supplier about once every month or two.

Works well for me.

New suppliers are crawling out of the woodwork right now.

That is most annoying.

I guess you never heard of Southern Wines and Spirits. There is a reason their Chairman’s name is “DICK” [1928_middle_finger.gif]