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Questions You Should Ask a Wine Distributor

Wine Distributors is the middlemen between the buyer and the producer. Their job is to procure and transport wines from vineyards to retailers or restaurants. It is their job to secure the wine supply to the outlets where people will buy them. It may be a winery, a vineyard, or a restaurant, but the end user is the goal.

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A good wine distributor knows the subtleties involved in securing a wholesaler’s wine shipment. He can advise a wholesaler as to what price point to charge his retail customers. How can he do that? By understanding the economics of wholesale wine distribution.

The distributors are brokers. They contact manufacturers and brokers and seek to obtain the best prices on wine. They also seek volume discounts and warehousing rates that are lower than those charged by the actual wine manufacturer. That is to say, if a wine manufacturer charges $100 per case of wine, the distributor should offer that retailer two cases for that price Wine Distributor. Otherwise, he loses the opportunity to earn that amount from the sale.

What is a volume discount? Volume discounts are discounts obtained from the wine manufacturer that are given to the distributor. Normally, most manufacturers charge retail distributors’ prices of about 20% less than the retail price paid by the customer. A good wine distributor will negotiate a volume discount that is much less than that. If the distributor can get such a discount, he can pass it along to the wine manufacturer. In essence, he helps make the manufacturer’s profits better.

The quality of the wine distributor’s products depends upon how he markets them. He can build his reputation by selling wines that have been sourced from quality growing regions of the world. He can showcase the unique history of the estate that makes each of the wines. And he can provide educational information about the variety of grapes and their growing seasons that will appeal to the average consumer.

Does he have a web site? Wine distributors should have a web site. This site should contain lots of interesting facts about the business and about the wine of selection. It should give the consumer some background about the wine and about the estate or vineyard where the wine originates. There should be facts about the quality of the wines, the production process, and the various types of wine that can be found on the market.

Does he have a retail shop on the web site? Of course! Retail stores, of course, are a requirement for wine distributors who want to have a brick and mortar business. They need sales to keep coming in. A good distributor should be able to sell the wines right to the customer, in a way that entices them to buy more.

Is he a member of the Wine Business Alliance? Yes, every association has to be certified. Wine Business Alliance is one of those organizations. If he is certified by the WGA, that means that he has paid a lot of attention to his company and its operations. If he is certified by the BBB, that means he has taken the time and money to make sure that the wine distributor he is working with is taking good care of him and that he is not being ripped off by the wine manufacturer or his wholesale broker.

Does he have a facility that can store and ship the wines right to the customer? A good wine distributor should have a state of the art facility that can accommodate hundreds of cases of wine. If he doesn’t, he is not a very good wine distributor because he is not providing the service that he or she is supposed to.

Does he have a good relationship with the wine manufacturer? It is a fact that a good distributor can attract a lot of customers to his store. If he can do that, he is in a better position to negotiate the best price for his customers’ wines. It is also true that the more wine the distributor can sell at a discount, the more bottles of wine he can sell at a profit. So a good relationship with the wine manufacturer can translate into big profits for you.

It is up to you to ask a lot of questions when you are looking for a wine distributor. However, don’t let your intuition do all the work for you. Use these tips so that you can make an informed decision.

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