Dear Mr Budd,
I write with reference to your recent blog. Firstly, I would like to state that there is no correlation or business relationship with The Premier Wine Company and the following companies:
Fine Wine Solutions
Yes, we do appreciate that there are fraudulent or misleading companies out there, but we most certainly are not. Yes we do charge a small premium for our portfolio management services, which has proven to earn our clients money. Many companies listed in your ‘companies you might buy from’ charge an exit commission.
What is more?- 10% on entry of say £10,000 or 10% on £20,000 on exit. Clients buy in, but they could be trapped and don’t know how to get out or it may cost them a fortune to exit. Last year I personally purchased Lafite Rothschild 2008 from a company for £7,100 each- they are now trading anywhere between £15,000 and £17,500 from companies that you recommend....I recently went back to the very same company that sold it to me to trade out of my wine and they offered me under £11,000- disgraceful! If I was unable to trade out using our own client base what would the exit strategy be??
Yes we are relatively new compared to some companies that have had the market for themselves for so long, but it is nonsense and anti fair trade not to allow competition into the market, which is quite clearly a benefit to the whole commercial wine trade.
I would love to drink my Lafite. We all like to dream that people want to buy wine for drinking, just like we buy homes to live in, but reality is that the majority want to make a profit. Look at Andrew Lloyd-Webber...surely he did not purchase his large wine collection for his own indulgence yet he sold at auction for a huge profit!? You have to accept that many people are viewing the fine wine market as an investment when more traditional means have been destroyed by the current financial climate.
The Premier Wine Company
1st Floor, No1 West Street,
Bromley, Kent, BR1 1RE
Tel: +44 (0) 560 368 1174
Of course brokers and fine wine merchants charge a commission when selling wine. I have never suggested they do not. As wine investment is generally a medium to long term investment it makes sense to pay commission when you want to sell. Otherwise it is perfectly possible that paying commission on purchase will also mean paying a commission at the time of sale as the company the wine was purchased from could have ceased trading when the client wants to sell.
'it is nonsense and anti fair trade not to allow competition into the market'. I'm not sure who Leigh Cramer has in mind here. I'm certainly not against new, reputable companies setting up. Indeed some of today's leading wine broking companies have a relatively short history: Bordeaux Index Ltd, for instance, was incorporated in 1996. It is, however, entirely fair to expect a company to establish a track record before being considered as a possible recommendation as a company from whom to buy en primeur.
'unauthorised usage of our intellectual copyright'
Looking at The Premier Wine Company's website I suggest there are several quick ways of distinguishing this site from other companies that Leigh Cramer alleges have used used their text without permission:
• Amend the tax advice. 'Our compliance dept keep a close...' Not all fine wine is considered a 'wasting asset' by Customs & Revenue and may be subject to capital gains. Fine wine may also be subject to inheritance tax.
• Undertake not to use cold calls.