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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Radcru.com Responds

I posted how underwhelmed I was at Radcru's launch of their wine here. Paul Mabray, the CEO of Inertia Beverage Group, the people who are the engine behind Radcru, responded in comments. It's important enough to post here (since no one reads anyones comments except their own or responses to their own):

Thanks for mentioning RadCru - we are their partner, Inertia Beverage Group. I understand what you are saying about the pricepoint of the wine. Trust me, the wines will vary in price but the one thing we will try to help them maintain is a selections of hard to find wines from artisan producers or hard to get wines from the larger wineries. And sometimes they will be able to pull a major discounting deal from a quality boutique producer. I think that the offerings will not appeal based on price but the desire to explore new great wineries from around the world. It is for the explorer wine consumer who is willing to take a risk. Also remember that these wineries often are sold out of their wines and they never discount so RadCru being able to negotiate reduced shipping is incredible for an allocated wine.

I look forward to the continued review of the wines they display - we have seen a huge response from the Titus and hope to see it continue to grow so that other consumers can find unique and artisan brands to try.

Inertia - Powering the Wine Revolution

---Paul Mabray - CEO


I was under the impression that any wine commerce site wants to sell as much wine as possible. Though catering to a wine explorer is great, it's very easy to explore wine without a lot of effort. Wine shops abound and I don't have to pay for shipping. Even if the lot is only 190 cases (Like the current offering of the Acier Chardonnay 2004), it doesn't mean much to anyone if they don't all sell. Okay, you gave me $3 off per bottle, big deal.

I did a comparison with Winesource.com on purchasing 3 bottles of the Acier. Through Winesource, paying full price ($19/bottle) it was still cheaper to purchase through Winesource than Radcru thanks to shipping, by $8.16. That discount didn't do much for me.

The wine market is a bitch right now and it's only going to get worse as the grape glut from Australia really hits home and even more states come online with shipping their grapes. Radcru's going to have to get a lot better if they want to show significant growth.

Oh, and this is for any wine site, not being able to calculate shipping until *after* I enter my credit card number is a pain in the ass. Stop.

Radcru.com - [radcru.com]

3 Comments:

Paul Mabray said...

Rick,
Boy, you are out to get the discount and are trying to beat up RadCru for their first offering. Let me ask you a question, do you demand a discount for a hard to get rare item? Like perhaps a limited edition lithograph . . . Some wines are like this and having access to them is extremely helpful.

However, to satiate your desire for a good deal - the next radcru deal is very fair created by Kenneth Rochford of Medlock Ames and might fit your desire better.

As to shipping after the credit card is entered - there are multiple reasons for this but if you really want to be vocal, blame Amazon for setting the standard.

As to Acier - that is a wine that RadCru has not offered - the deal may be different to the Titus offering so comparing it to Winesource is not "apples to apples." What is correct is that Winesource.com does not sell the Titus despite having a large selection going back to the reason RadCru is a benefit to wine consumers - it looks for and finds unique, artisan wineries (some with a discount, some just VERY hard to get) on behalf of consumers.

Inertia - Powering the Wine Revolution

---Paul Mabray - CEO

Rick Dobbs said...

Okay, no war of words. Time will tell if you'll be successful or not.

It seems to me that when you launch a product, you come out with your best stuff, take the hit so that everyone's talking about it and *then* show your diversity. It's a philosophy that's worked for me so I've run with it. But it remains a philosophy, like many others. Yours may show you the growth you desire as well.

I'm not trying to beat up RadCru, but I will say what I think is wrong when I see it.

I will not blame Amazon on your business model. I always know how much my Wine.Woot is going to be for shipping. Granted, the wines you offer and what they offer ARE apples and oranges, but I know my shipping charges. You guys made the choice, not Amazon. I know the other reasons too, I've done e-commerce sites that have moved a million dollars a month. Still a choice.

I look forward to your next offerings and will do another review in six months and after a few purchases.

Paul Mabray said...

Great- we look forward to your review and actually appreciate your comments. We all want to get better. FYI, we don't own RadCru - we just work with them as a partner and find wines from our winery partners that fit their match. I do appreciate your request for a flat shipping fee and will try to accomodate it with RadCru and the wineries in future offerings.

Inertia - Powering the Wine Revolution

---Paul Mabray - CEO