AMAZON GETS INTO WINE
Amazon is getting back into the wine business in time for this year's holidays, according to Washington State sources close to the mega-online retailer who spoke to Wine Industry Insight on condition of anonymity.
Indeed, Napa and Sonoma County vintners who attended meetings this week are non-communicative because of non-disclosure agreements they had to agree to in order to be part of the new Amazon Marketplace for wine.
Similar to the existing third-party marketplace for other products (sold and shipped by some 2 million independent vendors) Seattle-area sources tell WII that Amazon wants to have the system for Napa and Sonoma up and running in the next four weeks.
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Amazon is requiring a $39.99 monthly fee to be part of the program plus a 15% commission.
"Amazon is using its muscle with UPS and other delivery companies to provide low fixed rates to the vendors," said one source close to the program. "I think those will be lower than any single vintner could get on their own."
Amazon has promised special online promotions of wine through Christmas as well as its other product search and rating systems.
There are promotional incentives as well that will be offered to participating vendors such as rebates or discounts on credit card fees.
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WII's Seattle source said that the new program was prompted by the California ABC's 2011 ruling that allows unlicensed, third-party vendors to promote wine sales just so long as they are not selling them directly themselves.
AMAZON SCHEDULE OF FEES FOR WINE MARKETPLACE AVAILABLE Amazon's fee schedule for their Wine Marketplace is available to Wine Executive News subscribers who can click here to view the fee schedule.
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