GrapePip bids to be the eBay of the wine trade
A fine wine merchant has launched an online auction for fine wines which it says will give customers the thrill of a live auction while offering merchants a neat solution to clear cellar overstocks.
GrapePip.com was set up by Caspar and Victoria Bowes who run fine wine merchant Bowes Wine and aims to become the "eBay of the wine trade".
"In common with many fine wine merchants, Bowes Wine is occasionally left with a few cases of certain wines in pristine condition. We would normally ‘bin end' this stock but in line with the feelings of many merchants we'd rather not repeatedly flag these offers up on our own site so we've sought to bring to light a solution'," said Caspar Bowes.
Merchants must demonstrate their wine's provenance to be allowed to list their wines on GrapePip. Once approved, the wine lots are displayed anonymously to protect the identity of the merchant. GrapePip handles the sale, logistics and delivery of any sold lots.
The site is predominately aimed at fine wine drinkers but Victoria Bowes said it would also appeal to sommeliers. "With auction lots of varying sizes we can appeal to sommeliers who might be seeking a fine wine find for a bespoke dinner or seasonal special. Their acute knowledge of the fine wine sector and direct face to face contact with wine drinkers allows them the freedom to experiment," she said.
Since the soft launch of GrapePip to existing Bowes Wine and Daily Drinker customers earlier this month, lots have sold for 20% below the current market low, which Bowes said showed there were great bargains for customers, especially those intimidated by a traditional wine auction.
GrapePip aims to reach £250,000 turnover in its first year.