By John ~ March 7th, 2008.
If you know what you want and know a great deal on price when you see it, buying online or at a big volume local merchant makes terrific sense. In fact, most wine merchants try to move their excess stock twice a year, many in January and August, so those are usually very good times to buy.
Almost all significant wine merchants now have a website. Our experience with online buying has been generally very positive. We’ve ordered many, many cases from numerous online vendors without incident. We’ve also found great stores with terrible websites and vice versa. Over time, we’ve found a number of online vendors that we believe stand above the others in terms of ease of use, selection, price, and reliability:
We have ordered wine from each of these vendors—in most cases, multiple times. Of course, we cannot promise that your experience with these vendors will be as favorable as ours. We’re sure that we have also omitted some other great online vendors.
This week, an article in the Financial Times stated that Amazon.com is planning to start selling wine online. Certainly, Amazon entering the fray is indicative of wine buying online going mainstream.
If you are considering buying wine online, be sure to keep the following tips in mind:
• Be sure that the online vendor delivers to your state.
• Be sure that you are ordering wine bottles in the size that you want (ex. A standard bottle=750ml).
• Be sure that you get the vintage (year) that you ordered.
• Be sure that you read and understand the returns policy.
• Be sure that you check for case discounts.
• Be sure that you check out the minimum purchase for delivery.
• Be sure you find out the shipping costs before you order.
• Be sure that your wine is not delivered during extremely hot or extremely cold weather periods.
• Be sure that you have your delivery made to a business rather than a residential address as that will greatly simplify the process by facilitating an adult signature and eliminating wait time on your part.
• Be sure that you understand whether you will be charged for insurance on your order.
If you follow the above advice, the probabilities are high that your online wine buying experience will be as favorable as ours has been. We’d love to hear what your online wine buying experiences have been.
Filed under: General Wine Information