Being an honest, truthful person I’m frankly amazed at the incredulous claims many retailers are making on their websites to attract customers. Or more to the point I’m amazed that they’re actually ALLOWED to make these claims. We all know about the completely fake ‘half price deals’ from the supermarkets. But now there are many independent retail websites claiming to offer the cheapest prices – but blatantly not doing so!
For example if you go to a website called Bin ends London, they claim: ‘At Bin Ends we pride ourselves on selling not only great wine, but also the cheapest wine that you will find on the web. Yes, you read right, the CHEAPEST wine that you will find on the web’.
Yet they sell Bosan Ripasso 2006 for a horrendous £22.99 when you can clearly buy Bosan Ripasso 2006 from www.goodwineonline.co.uk for £14.10. This isn’t simply because someone’s discounting it in a sale, this is a permanent price. It’s also not a matter of a difference of a few pence which can be overlooked – this wine is a whopping 50% more expensive, a staggering £8.89 per bottle! This is daylight robbery – literally. Then take a look at the difference on Cesari Il Bosco Amarone 2001. It’s not just one wine they’re out on!
But the frustrating thing is there’s virtually nothing we can do about it. The Advertising Standards Agency makes it pretty difficult to lodge a complaint, preferring businesses to sort these things out amicably between themselves – something which is likely to happen just after pigs learn to fly. So the consumer really has no protection from these scamsters. These best price guarantees really aren’t worth the pixels it takes to write them! I strongly advise all consumers to shop around on Google for the best deal.
It’s not just a few dodgy independent retailers either, often it’s brand names we trust. For example the much sought after Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block 2008 is retailing at Oddbins at £21.99 or again at www.goodwineonline.co.uk for a realistic £16.49! Do you want to pay Oddbins an extra £66 per case for exactly the same wine? I recommend ‘voting with your feet’ in these cases.
Just a quick word of caution about price comparison sites too. Most of them charge companies to have their products listed, such as wine-searcher.co.uk or supermarketwine.com. Most companies don’t subscribe to them so they only offer a comparison of a small number of suppliers. The vast majority of times you’re likely to find the wine cheaper yourself just by ‘googling’ it.
So if you want to make sure you’re not being ripped off, do a little research. It only takes a a few seconds to type the wine into Google and hit the ‘shopping’ tab. If you want to check further just search ‘pages from the uk’ and compare a few prices. As we can see from the example above there are plenty of unscrupulous people with flashy websites queing up to fleece the unwary winelover!