Piercing robo-dialogue about sales in the wine trade

A reader just sent this satirical video about how distributors may be selling wine in this slow economy. Caution: it’s wonky, profane, cynical and sometimes hard to understand because of the robotic nature of the voices. But it still has some good laughs and discussion points on a Friday afternoon.

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26 Responses to “Piercing robo-dialogue about sales in the wine trade”


  1. That is awsome. I was on wholesale end for five years before I bought my own store, and that is very true.


  2. Disheartening. Despicable. Callous. Though, I loved the camera angles.


  3. Tyler, for the sake of conversation… after checking your policies page, I noticed that you do not post things that you do not believe. Do you believe this is “truly” representative of all distributors? And how much contact have you had directly with distributors in your line of work as blogger/professor/journalist/writer?


  4. Very, sad but true realization.
    and I laughed my a** off.


  5. Fortunately I work for a small wholesaler that does not act in this way but gets close on some things! No quotas but a lot of stuff that sold when the economy was going but is not selling now!
    Some of the wineries out there need to wake up smell the stinky economy and realize that they have to drop their prices 40%!


  6. I also LMFAO!
    The worst thing is i have to compete with major wholesalers that play this game every day!


  7. I too work for a small vintage-specific wine-only distributor, so thankfully I don’t have to pull that kind of crap, but I know my competitors have to do that all the time. Funny because it’s true, unfortunately…


  8. Yeah I’m with one of the small guys so I rarely hear stuff like this. It’s probably every day I hear my larger competitors either shovel, or endure this crap. I feel sorry for many of them. There are some truly talented people that could be selling on their merits as a salesperson, but instead are beholden to the fickle cycle of distributing madness.

    What makes this conversation sadly irrelevant is that the true part of that clip is that consumers are buying for all the wrong reasons. They are also 100% unaware of the politics of the stuff they buy. While the layperson should never get too involved (it’s about enjoying a drink, right?) they might themselves drinking better wines at better prices if they were aware of the shell game.


  9. A question for the trade folks out there kind enough to comment on this post, do the smaller retailers buy this kind of stuff with the same gusto as larger shops or can they be trusted not to screw their customers? I’m a consumer who has done a significant amount of weeding out of retailers where I live but would appreciate input from the trade folks.


  10. Hi Bill,

    No, I do not believe this is representative of all distributors. I’m glad some people have chimed in here to assure this is not how things operate at their companies.

    What’s your view?

    Cheers,

    Tyler


  11. A


  12. In answer to Boettcher’s question, I do not believe that most small retailers fall for these kinds of pitches on a regular basis. Any retailer worth their salt buy and are not sold. That being said, it does benefit small retailers to do a “favor” now and again. There is always going to be some quid pro quo as long as there is not an unlimited supply of many desirable items. No matter how good your favorite retailer, you as a savvy consumer have to pay attention.

    I also don’t believe that most reputable wholesalers resort to these tactics on a regular basis. When the economy is soft and the wines start to pile up, there is more pressure to sell the stuff. At that point, the good guys get creative rather than put the screws to their customers. That doesn’t preclude going out and asking a favor however.


  13. I think the interesting story here is the reason this video was pulled from Youtube. I suspect it hit too close to home to the real situation it was mocking here in N.CAL. and the creator got scared.


  14. Damn! The video is down. Any ghost sites or other ways to view?


  15. Weird! Does anyone have any insights as to why?


  16. Dr. Vino-
    One of my reps showed me this this afternoon!!! great stuff. Thankfully in my sections of the store this never happens . . . Because no one cares about the strange wines I deal with :), and I make my rather obvious wine politics known quite early in any relationship!
    a strange idea that they would be doing this; just thankful that I don’t need to see it, despite working in a pretty big store.
    Ben


  17. Bummer – the video was removed by user. I guess front page WBM brought on heat.


  18. I even went to the xtranormal website where it was created, can’t find it there anymore either. How hilarious. And believe me, it could just as easily be here in NY that is hits close to home as if it was Cali, or a million other places i suspect.


  19. I also searched long and far for the video but apparently rogue liquor swat teams and private security forces have snuffed out the offenders…

    For those of us who got on this bandwagon way too late, anyone care to distill it? I’m very curious to know what antics were portrayed


  20. Back up, not sure why but glad it’s there

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ3218_SQ-A


  21. Not only is it back up, there’s a sequel.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MmgZWcPskA

    Equally on point.


  22. Thanks, Morton. Funny!

    Do you think it is a sequel, as in from the same person? I see the user name is different so maybe the original inspired a new wave of robotic wine sales videos?


  23. I think your right about the original inspiring others. I even tried my hand at it, but it was too tedious a process to keep my attention for more than a few minutes.

    What is interesting is that there are some subjects that we have laughed about privately, but were never touched on by the print media. Not so anymore with new tools in a new Democracy. I wonder where this will all lead?


  24. [...] have been a couple of videos about the wine business circulating recently. They both have used a site called xtranormal, which [...]


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