A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article on Wine Values & Bargains about NakedWines.com and its possibilities as an online wine shop for finding good wine deals. If you missed that article you should go back and read it so you know how NakedWines.com works. NakedWines.com might be something you want to consider joining. I was interested in knowing more about this company, so I arranged a phone interview with NakedWines.com COO Benoit Vialle. For full disclosure purposes, I am signed up with a company called Commission Junction. They set up affiliate programs for bloggers and publishers like myself. One of their affiliate programs is NakedWines.com. That is why you see the ad on the right sidebar of this Website. When a reader joins NakedWines.com, I get a tiny commission.
My interview with Benoit Vialle
Joe: I see that all of the wines you have on NakedWines.com are under $20. How do you keep the prices under $20?
Benoit: If you do things right, a bottle of wine should not cost more than $20 for the consumer. We have control over costs from the grape to the finished bottle, and there is no middleman involved. No bottle of wine, even a good Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, should be priced over $20. Even with our low prices, we are able to make a reasonable profit for the winemaker and our company.
Joe: Does NakedWines.com target Millennials?
Benoit: We like to target everyone, but the Millennials have shifted the demographics of wine buying. They like wines under $20, and they do not want to rely on wine experts and wine journals to figure out what to buy. Our peer-to-peer rating system has a significant bearing on what they are buying online. We also present the opportunity to meet the winemaker online. Where else can wine buyers dialogue with the winemaker? We also have wine advisors online to help with wine suggestions. For example, Joe, you know winemaker and wine blogger Ryan O’Connell. Our wine advisors like Ryan are very informed and helpful to the novice wine buyer.
Joe: Who is your competition?
Benoit: Presently, we do not have any wine company that is conducting business using our model. The Flash wine Websites are totally different. These are one-time wine sales. We offer vintage after vintage from the same winery and winemaker.
Joe: How many Angels (members) do you have presently?
We are growing rapidly and have 225,000 worldwide, including 60,000 in the U.S. We are growing so fast that new Angels may have to wait a few weeks before they can purchase wine from us. We want to make sure that our loyal members have enough choices of wines to buy on NakedWines.com.
Joe: Who in the wine industry is losing sleep over NakedWines.com?
Benoit: I think it is the big wine distributors. Our operation cuts out the middleman, the distributor. We sell direct to the consumer and, as we continue to grow, we are going to make an impact on these companies.
Joe: How do you find winemakers to sell their wines on NakedWines.com?
Benoit: We keep an eye out for great winemakers who have worked for famous wineries but have never been able to make their own wine independently. And our customers can alert us with tools like our Most Wanted list, where they bid on winemakers using money they earn by supporting winemakers in the existing program. Often young winemakers will come to us and pitch a wine to us.
Joe: Why should I join NakedWines.com?
Benoit: You have the Peer-to-Peer rating system, a list of the top wines that folks are buying, new and old winemakers, wines from all over the world, and a whole social network of wine lovers. Plus as you know from your wine tasting, we offer great wines at great prices. We also offer a full refund if you do not like the wine. That fortunately seldom happens.
If you want to know more about NakedWines.com, go to their Website and browse around and see what it is like to be an Angel investor.