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Stock levels - should we be made aware of them?

That is very, very odd!
When I got the email advice, I checked and there were 430-50 ish cases available.
So I left purchase for later in this/next week.
Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me, but might this be an instance of a trade smash and grab?? If so, the Society should cancel the invoices and allow bone fide members access to wine that OUR BUYERS BOUGHT FOR US. :+1: :dragon:

oh no! I was planning to grab a few bottles together with the bin series wine this friday!

For something to clear 400+ cases in 24 hours does seem a bit odd.

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May I make a demand of you? I beg you, and other posters, not to identify the quantities we have available for sale, and make running commentaries on the rate of sale. Such information is usually considered a commercial secret. I would like to block the loophole you have discovered, but the current way of doing that is very time consuming. The reason for this is that our competitors would love to know how much we buy and use that against us in negotiations.

Since you have revealed the numbers I will tell you that is not unusual for a successful email to sell such numbers and its not the trade buying our stock. Indeed some sell considerably more.

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No problem, done & dusted!! :+1: :dragon:

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Thank you very much Taffy.

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This is a really interesting point I’d never considered in this debate, but it raises a further question about the new website functionality that perhaps @laura can answer/find out for us:

While it’s interesting from an idle curiosity point of view to know that x wine has x cases in stock, it’s far more useful from a buying perspective to know that stock (whatever it was to begin with) is getting low and therefore it might be worth ordering soon if you don’t want to miss out! It seems this is noted when the wine is low stock to begin with but I don’t see that come up otherwise? Will we get that on the new site? (ideally we’d be able to subscribe to be notified also…)

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Agreed, I’d also be uncomfortable if the Society moved towards a more aggressive sales model of “BUY IT ALL NOW IN CASE YOU MISS OUT” scarcity approach like other merchants.

I feel like I can trust the Society implicitly not to hard sell but would rethink if things like the ability to see how much stock is left were removed.

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Decantalo and Gourmet Hunters both warn when only a few bottles are left.

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This should be made clear on Rhone thread too then, perhaps a message from Laura et al?

I certainly think they way this is communicated matters. But a simple ‘Low stock’ warning on the page would help. I like the way Master of Malt do it:

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Yes, but it depends what TWS classify as low stock. When quantities like indicated above disappear in a matter of hours, at what point does the stock get marked as low? For the last case? Kinda pointless if that is gone in the next 30 seconds.

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It would probably be massive headache to do manually unless the new website is set up to do this automatically. I’d love a function where you get an email if a Wish List wine becomes low stock, but we can only dream…

For what it’s worth, I’d say a wine is low stock if there’s less than 50 bottles.

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Looks like Booking.com when it says “last room available” :smirk:

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I must admit, it’s slightly disappointing to hear that useful parts of the Society website, such as being able to keep track of when wines are getting low on stock, are considered undesirable.

The ability to see how much wine is in stock has been around for years. No doubt any interested competitor is aware of it. Therefore, have you experienced any real world problems as a result of people being able to check the real time stock situation of specific wines?

I’d much prefer Society transparency over the stock availible and would accept any resulting commercial issues that making such information public presents. That’s the great part of the Society - commercial considerations don’t automatically have to take precedence over the considerations of Members.

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I’d say it is low stock when it is less than 30 cases. Particularly if we designing a system that would email people when it hits a certain point.

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I don’t think the commercial problems necessarily arise from knowing how much stock is left. It’s more about when a new wine comes on sale and somebody posts the total amount available, therefore revealing how much TWS buys in total.

Then the buyers from other companies can argue TWS is only buying X cases, and we are buying 5X cases, or 10X, therefore we should get a better price. That sort of thing anyway.

The fact that there are eventually only a few cases left for sale doesn’t seem to me to be commercially particularly sensitive. After all every wine will be out of stock sooner or later!

P.S. Although on reflection the rate of sale is probably quite sensitive information too.

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other companies can go complain they received far less allocation than the Society for instance…? (for wines in short supply)

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But that’s such an easier solve even with the present system. Received 1000 cases? Put 500 for sale and then add the remaining cases at a later date. To Members it would just appear that a new batch of stock had been received and to competitors they wouldn’t know how much had been ordered in total.

The present ‘quirk’ of a system has only arisen since Members have quite legitimately requested a system where they can be notified if a certain wine is getting low of stock and this is currently the next best thing.

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I’ve worked for at least one merchant where ‘only 5 cases available’ usually in truth means ‘I have 25 cases available but I need to shift these and think this will do it’! I know of no merchant who would happily advertise the size of their allocation of a wine where likely stock was not easily replaced.

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