Someone who looks like Dave Driscoll must have taken lunch money from a member or two here as kids. It is the only logical answer to all of the hand wringing that his blog brings.
I honestly don't see anything pompous in the blog entry either.
I didn't find the post pompous, although unnecessary and bit laughable maybe. I also think some of the reaction is a bit misplaced, or maybe I read the post wrong.
It didn't seem to me that he thinks people shouldn't have packaging or that they shouldn't expect it. He even points out that he gives people what they want when he can. I thought his point was that it's a headache when people complain about a paper box being dented or a label having imperfections especially when it's passed through a third party and then assuming they won't have to pay for an additional shipment they are requesting to be shipped to them. So as a result he wishes packaging were less of an issue and thus he's going to do what he can to avoid that in the future, oh and while he's at it he's going to inform as many of you as he can and tell you why.
Maybe he touched a nerve with some of you who take pride in your packaging or if you've ever contacted him to replace a box. I admit when I pay a lot for a bottle I like to get, maybe even expect, high quality packaging like The Family Cask boxes. But for me I've bought my share of expensive bottles sans packaging or with damaged packaging and felt just as good about it, which is to say a little dirty for paying so much but not sour for missing a paper box.
I still see a disconnect though.
Whether he agrees or not with folks buying whisky as a collectors item, he's catering to that market. He's making the revenue from those customers, then complaining about their expectations being out of whack with his. He's pushing "you'll never see this again" posts about cherry barrels they managed to find with the hopes of moving product. He's in sales, so i don't see that as a problem.
When what you're pushing is priced based on rarity and perceived value (not a commodity), the service that goes along with that should match. To be frank if i buy a BMW i'm paying a premium. Great car, sure, but the cost of metal to make the hood on that car is not 200% the cost of a Toyota. So when i walk into the dealership and they bitch, moan and whine that i complained about a scratch on the hood when the car was delivered to me....sure seems not to fit the brand.
If KL wants to ship cool, unique, rare items...would serve them to align their practices with the kinds of customers that draws. I live in a state they don't ship to but i scan their blog and site from time to time to see what's out there. Curse of the internet i guess....even folks who could never legally be your customers can be advocates (or not) for your brand.
Personally I love the boxes/packaging that comes with my whisk(e)y purchases and am somewhat upset if I find I did not get the "extras" that were supposed to come with a bottle. However, I'm also willing to pay the extra cost required to obtain those items IF a site specifically states that when ordering. I've purchased from a number of etailers who said this and, as always, I checked the box or added into the ordering comments that I wanted all original packaging. They have always been willing to oblige and typically don't even charge more, though I'm willing to pay the extra cost if they do. Whats very annoying are sites who don't say anything about that and then you get "naked" bottles in your order. Ok, for something thats $30 I don't really care, but for a $100+ bottle I want everything thats part of that price. Yes, it's silly but I really enjoy seeing it the way the distiller wanted it to be seen. Sure, there is vanity there, but there is something fun about pulling out a cleverly packaged bottle at one of our whiskey tasting gatherings that you just don't get when it's the naked bottle. The actually dram itself is what really matters but the extras are kinda fun.
All that being said, K&L does not even ship to WA, much to my disappointment, so I can't be all that annoyed at them anyway. However, if they are going to state that they will charge more for original packaging on their site then thats fine, it's all out in the open and clear to the consumer. That same consumer, if annoyed at the policy, can take their business elsewhere. Chances are they would pay more anyway to get the same bottle with the packaging from a local store. And if not, why are they shopping on K&L in the first place? ;)
I think the underlying root of the problem is what he addressed in the final paragraph. Just get rid of the additional packaging. It shouldn't even be part of the equation, and it just makes whiskey more expensive at the consumer level. It makes sense to package something in a box if there are glasses or a flask or some other tchotchke included, but otherwise it's just a waste of materials. This sort of thing is rampant in the Scotch whiskey realm, and I really hope it doesn't bleed over into the American market. Wild Turkey is probably the worst offender off the top of my head.
Wow, I'm shocked that people would get so worked up over packaging. Why? What is it you do with the packaging? I guess I've always seen it as so much crap that just crowds my recycling bin. Most of it is just flimsy cardboard or tin anyway, and the ones that are more elaborate seem all the more wasteful.
I have a couple of paperboard tubes to hold my pocket change and to help transport said change to the Coinstar. Other than that, I have no use for the packaging.
Does packaging effect the resell value? Obviously it does w some collectibles. Can't imagine it does in this case but I've honestly no clue.