two head scratchers from issue 186

So, there were a few wines I was interested in checking out from WA Issue 186

The first was Snowden. Good review on a $40 cab, I’ psyched. Go to their website to order a few. Shipping down to me in the Bay Area from Napa for one bottle = $20. I abandon the shopping cart and move on.

Next, Robert Craig. They have their '06s available, not the '07s, but I’m still interested. Price on the site for their Mt Veeder and Howell Mountain is $70. Out of curiosity, I check K&L Wines to see if they have any (see shipping issue above) Price on K&L for both is 56.99 and 59.99 respectively. I’d rather support the winery direct, but why would I in this case.

In the scheme of things, not a big deal. But each stopped me in my tracks from buying.

The Snowden Ranch is still pretty available on WS for $36ish per.
High is about $70

As I’ve said in the past, it blows me away that wineries seemingly throw good business away by having high shipping costs . . . I know this has been discussed in the past, but why in the heck do they do it???

I understand that wineries, including my own, use third party shippers that add value - and cost - into the equation. I also understand that there are ‘economies of scale’ and that it’s usually the same price to order 3 bottles of wine as it is to order 1 . . .

I’m just sayin . . .


Better than scratching the “other” end.

Something’s got to happen with shipping. I just hate seeing it as an add-on.

It is so interesting that more California wineries don’t use Golden State Overnight for California shipping.

It’s not ‘interesting’, it’s insane.

Some do ( [berserker.gif] ) . . . but that’s not necessarily the issue . . .

If you use a third party shipper, they will charge the winery for their services . . .and some charge more than others.

In some cases. like mine, I do not pass these charges along to you - I eat them. To me, this is simply good business - and as I’ve said numerous times here and elsewhere, it would simply be idiotic for shipping to me the only reason someone does not purchase a wine . . .

But everyone needs to determine their own business strategies towards this issue, right?!?!??!?


Great insight, Larry!

My company sells trade books through our website as well as through bookstores,, et. al. After months of debate, we finally agreed to move to ensure that our website has a low price policy – in other words, unless it is a closeout, we will not charge higher prices than you can get on the open market. I understand how hard it can be to keep up with pricing in the retail channels, but you cannot make your best and most loyal customers (often the ones who buy direct) feel like fools.

I can understand that one needs to match typical retail prices so as to maintain the wholesale/retail business, but high shipping costs have the net effect of overcharging your best customers while allowing the casual buyer to get a better deal… BAD IDEA.

My 2 cents…


FYI, Affinity 2006 is awesome!

Another head scratcher- How kind Parker was with numbers that have scathing notes attached. Be honest, if the wine sucks, use the scale.

Some retailers as well! [berserker.gif]

A 6pk of Snowden shipped to Maryland only cost $40. I would contact them directly to inquire. Maybe they’re just not used to doing that much online business. You have to keep in mind that they must purchase the shippers as well. Cost of a single shipper is likely $3-5. For them, I’m sure there’s more savings and less headaches when shipping 6+ bottles. Just a thought.

partly to make sure you can still buy them if they suddenlybecome hard to buy due to the scores. Honestly nothing to do with choosing winery direct over retail. In this case, retailer has the winery beat by a mile.

It’s sort of an old school thing for wineries to charge full suggested retail. That may be required by their distributor, and sure, retailers don’t want the competition from the winery itself. Maybe that discrepancy in price (which I see a lot less often these days) should be a thing of the past. But I see wineries getting around this sort of agreement with futures offers and case discounts, so they could at least eat some of the shipping cost.

On the other hand, one winery owner said that with all the associated costs of processing individual orders themselves, they don’t end up making any more money per bottle than selling through distribution. So maybe they just don’t care to be more competitive, at least as long as you’re still a buyer, one way or another.

I’m not buying the order processing consumes all of the margin of direct vs distributor.

A winery that has taken the time to think through things…Kapcsandy. I just ordered from them because they made it easy. Slightly better pricing for being on the mailing list and ground shipping included in the price [winner.gif]

Interesting that you brought up Kapscandy. I am also on their list and have bought from them the last several years. I got a personal phone call about a month ago offering me a fantastic deal for “good” customers only (probably bullshit). But it was a significant discount on a case of 6 or 12, so I ended up buying more as they also threw in the free shipping.

It is the ONLY winery that actually proactively called me to sell me wine. In this day and age with the overstock of wine flowing through the rafters, you would figure more wineries would do more of this type of marketing? Calling your list and offering them a promotion to buy is low hanging fruit for many of these wineries… at least you would think?

Personally, I was very happy to receive the call from Kapscandy and wish some of the other wineries that I buy from yearly would call me with specials.


Any winery that tells you that order processing eats up the difference between retail and wholesale is just whacked . . . no way that happens, unless they are being taken for a ride by a third party shipper . . .

And even if they are, they still have a choice as to whether to pass this on or eat it themselves . . .

My shipping costs are greater than what I charge my customers, ie I eat some of these. To me, it’s just good business . . .

And I will include freight charges on case orders (-:


Got a similar call from Lokoya a few days ago.

I kinda find that hard to believe.