Without a doubt, wine clubs are a huge global trend right now. You can see all kinds of wine clubs and wine subscription ads when scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. There are also sponsored videos, podcasts on YouTube, and even promotional emails looking for new members to join. They all promise to deliver the ideal wine for you directly to your door for a remarkable price. But even though wine clubs are a great way to explore wine still there are a lot of scams online that you should look out for.
So, in this article, we will discuss the realities, challenges, and possible scams of online wine clubs or wine subscriptions and some tips on how you can avoid them. Once you read this article you will be able to choose the best wine clubs to join. So let’s take a look at the things you need to do.
Table of Contents
Do your research before joining
Joining a wine club can be a fun experience, but only if you pick the right wine club. There are many variables to consider before joining a wine club or giving someone a wine club membership as a gift. So before subscribing to any wine club you should determine your wine style, preferences, budget, and the knowledge you want to gain from the experience. There are different types of wine clubs offering different services so do some research to make sure you are choosing the best one for you and your needs.
Make sure the wine is shipped legally
When you find a wine club you like, first, make sure it is legal for the wine to be shipped to you. The wine shipping laws are extremely complicated from state to state and from one country to another. So, choose a wine club or winery that has paid licensing fees. Also research how much wine can be shipped to one person, and how the wine is going to be delivered. Look for websites that allow you to pick the state or country you want the wine to be shipped to and then choose from the wine clubs that can legally deliver your order.
Beware of subscription traps
Subscription traps are when a retailer treats a consumer’s decision to make a one-off purchase as consent to sign them up for a recurring payment. If the website fails to disclose key information in connection with the ongoing subscription it may be engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct. Therefore make sure that the wine club you subscribe to allows you to cancel your membership at any time and has a written return policy. So if for any reason you are not satisfied with the service, you can unsubscribe without any additional cost. Make sure you understand the terms of your membership and how locked in you are, in terms of types and quantities of your purchases. Otherwise, you may be awash in the wine you don’t want.
Look out for high shipping fees
When it comes to delivering wine, there are a host of issues that might arise during the process. The logistics involved in wine shipping are quite complex and expensive. Therefore it’s important to review the listed costs of any wine club carefully. In most wine clubs you will not only pay for the wine, but you will also have to pay for the wine to be shipped. Typically the price for shipping one bottle of wine can be from $2.59 to $20.00, so if your shipment contains a minimum of 6 bottles of wine the price can add up to $43.00 without tax included. The cost can be even higher if you want express shipping, so make sure to check the shipping fees before making the purchase.
Check if you’re paying too much
Some wine clubs aren’t always the bargains they profess to be. There are wine clubs that make money by marking up products at a higher price than their original value. So make sure you choose wine clubs that offer a lot of information about the products they are selling. Also, do your own research with online apps that can help you find out more about your purchased wine. For example, is the wine overpriced, what do the reviews say about it, has the wine won any wine awards, etc. Avoid wine clubs that ship labelless bottles of wine or wines with labels with no information about the wine on them.
In this article, we covered some of the main warning signs you should look out for when searching for a wine club to join. This does not mean that all wine clubs are not safe, but like any other online purchase, they can have some safety issues. But with good research, you can easily avoid the scams and find a great wine club where you can safely explore the world of wine.