The difficulty of finding the right
Wine's Market Price
|Trump 25% additional duties on wines |
from France, Germany, Spain and the UK
by ©LeDomduVin 2019
(Trump photoshopped credit to u/qda on reddit)
And despite advance technology, even with AI helping, it is still the case nowadays. Sites like Wine-Searcher can only gather what has been given to them, meaning that the prices are not generated by computers. AI can anticipate and eventually predict on its own and even generate its own data to be fed on, yet most data like prices are still decided and generated by humans. Meaning that compared to computers, the human mind is influenced and twisted by many factors and strategic thoughts making most price listings on prices search engines like Wine-Searcher and Liv-Ex somewhat unreliable, more especially their Average Market Prices.
|wine-searcher logo courtesy of wine-searcher.com|
|Liv-Ex logo courtesy of liv-ex.com|
Personally, I use the offspring of Liv-Ex, called "Cellar Watch"
|Wine Market Journal logo courtesy of winemarketjournal.com|
|wine.com logo courtesy of wine.com|
Visually attractive and user-friendly, wine.com was created to revolutionize the way people discover, buy and enjoy wine. As per Wikipedia: "Wine.com is a San Francisco based online wine retailer that offers the largest selection of wines in the world. Wine.com sells over 2 million bottles per year, with a stock of more than 17,000 different bottles of wine, shipping throughout the United States."
As said above, prices are still generated by humans. And fortunately, you will tell me, and I would agree; but these human factors (errors and twisted minds) are what makes it so difficult to find the right websites with the most accurate market prices.
And although I have been heavily using the four websites sited above over the last 16 years for wine search and price tracking, and highly recommend them for many reasons, their average market prices are far from being accurate for the most part due to these factors. Let me try to explain my point of view, as it may open your eyes on certain things about wine market prices on websites you’ve always trusted blindly.
In my opinion, the Average Market Prices of all wine search engines online are not correct nor reliable, mainly because of the difference between the fishy lowest prices and the highest prices (sometimes astronomically high):
The Lowest Prices are usually for bottles that are (most likely):
- In bad conditions (low level, damaged label/capsule, badly stored, etc...)
- From unreliable provenance (god knows where it comes from and in which conditions it was stored previously)
- Potential counterfeits (the wine world is flooded with fakes and counterfeits at all level)
- The sole and unique bottle available in that store (potentially presenting all the above)
- Inexistent (i.e. despite the merchant or store promoting it, when you try to order online call or physically go there to check, the bottle is either not available or has been sold... such coincidence...
- Surely a lure to attract more people to their website or store
- and have the most novice wine buyers fall into the trap
- Or, on last resort (and only if you are really lucky), the bottle(s) really exists, and the price is so low because:
- The price was never changed according to the market trends, and in that case, you might get a real bargain reflecting the trends of a few years ago
- The merchant/store wants to get rid of that particular bottle (even sometimes at loss compared to its original cost, eventually for the reasons cited above)
The Highest Prices are usually for bottles that are (in general):
- Super rare or even unavailable on the market (old vintages, big formats, limited production)
- From top producers with limited production/allocations (e.g. DRC)
- Received top scores from wine critics (100 points, best of the vintage, etc...)
- Still too young and deserve a few more years (i.e. raising the prices very high dissuades buyers, prices might be readjusted according to market trend (or not) a few years later when the store/merchant is finally ready to sell them)
- Or, like for the lowest prices,
- a lure to attract more people to their website or store by promoting such a bottle at such price
- a good marketing stunt as even if people criticise such practice, they still talk about the store/merchant...
Let’s take some visual examples.
(*) If interested in the list of products subject to the additional duties, you go to this website and read or even download it here. And if you really want to read more details about "Section 301 - Large Civil Aircraft", you can go to the official website of the "Office of the United States Trade Representative" here.
(**) Which wineries and retailers will sell and ship wine directly to consumers varies from state to state, winery to winery and retailer to retailer. (Note that it is illegal for consumers to sell or ship wine without the assistance of a licensed third party.) In most states, consumers may have wine shipped to them directly from a winery, though most states prohibit consumers from ordering wine from an out-of-state retailer. Today it is illegal for a state to permit consumers to buy wine directly from an in-state winery but not from an out-of-state winery, but a state's right to regulate retailer shipping is less clear, and most states will allow consumers to have wine delivered from a local retailer, but not from one beyond the state's borders.
(source wine-spectator.com, read the full article here)