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Saturday, 13 February 2010

Please check before you act

Since starting in 2000 I now receive a a steady number of enquiries from people who have either bought from a wine investment company about which they now have some doubts or from people who have been approached – often a cold call – and want to know if this is a reputable company and one who will offer them a fair deal.

I much prefer the second type of enquiry – checking before acting like this example:  

 'I wonder if you can help / advise me?  I recently received a cold call from a company called **** **** Ltd  (name altered) about buying vintage wine. It's something I'm interested in, but I'm concerned about paying large sums of money to people who contact me over the phone. I have done some checking myself but your website came up. I read through it with interest, and would like any thoughts you may have.'

In this instance my advice was not to buy from this company. 

On the other hand these are the sort of messages I dread getting as often by this time it is too late: 

'I've just purchased some fine wines from this organisation and I wanted to make sure I’ve not gone into something I would regret. Can you also advise on where best I can assess fine wines prices to make sure that I’ve not overpaid.'


'I normally do a lot of research  before I buy anything but in this case Ive been a complete plank and invested £2500 ( which was left to my children in my mothers will) in a case of wine with a company called Elite Wine Portfolios Ltd  in October 08. No  wine or receipt of ownership has been forthcoming.'
Elite Wine Portfolios Ltd was wound up in public interest in the High Court on 28th January 2010 following a petition laid before the court on 7th October 2009. Fortunately in this case the amount of money was relatively small but I doubt whether they will ever see their £2500 again.
Sometimes I get contacted by people who have spent well over £100,000 on a company they know nothing about. 
Be wise check out the company before buying from them. For some tips see here.     


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