Wine-lovers and winemakers alike will rejoice at the launch of a new service from online retailers Naked Wines. They’ve just launched the Naked MarketPlace, offering quality vino at reduced prices through an online auction platform reminiscent of both eBay and Groupon.
Cutting out multiple middle-men in favour of just the Naked Wines team, winesellers offer their wares more-or-less directly to buyers. Like the group-buying service Groupon, winesellers set a discounted price for their bottles, with the sale going ahead only when a certain volume of orders has been reached. Naked MarketPlace sets itself apart however by offering customers the option of suggesting their own price. Should the wineseller agree to the lower price, and the customers then agree on the new volume needed for the sale to go through, all parties walk away happy.
Built around an ever-swelling 150,000 member userbase, even those with little experience buying wine beyond the cost of the bottle will be able to pick a great tipple thanks to the vocal and well-informed community the site has gathered. With each purchase offering the opportunity to rate the wine bought, amateurs and enthusiasts alike will be able to decide whether a future deal suits their tastes or not.
It’s not just a bargain for consumers either; with Naked Wines only taking a fixed 10% commission on sales prices, struggling winemakers retain a greater percentage of profits. The system also allows winemakers to start selling their wares almost immediately, compared to the normal 9 to 12 month cycle regular wine trading avenues require.
“The world’s wine market has been stunted by snobbery, protectionist laws and dubious marketing, where customers pay too much and talented winemakers can’t survive”, said Naked Wines founder Rowan Gormley.
“With Naked MarketPlace we aim to create a meritocracy where rewards go to the winemakers with the most talent. For the first time, winemakers can get what their wine is worth, not what is left over after everyone else has taken their cut.
“Naked Wines is not here to sell wines to the customers. We are here to get the wines the customers want, at prices they cannot get themselves. And save the independent winemaker in the process!”.
Naked Wines are also in the process of developing an iPhone app too. Called Winescout, it’s based on the Foursquare platform, and encourages users to build up a geo-tagged directory of the tastiest wines and most welcoming restaurants in their local areas, ready to be tapped into by travelling tastebuds.
We’ll have more details on the app once it leaves the beta stage, but for now click here to head on over to the Naked MarketPlace.