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BottleSpot - shut down

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BottledInBond

Many on this site don’t follow other sites that are for buying/selling/trading whiskey. That stuff happens through a variety of places like FB groups, Reddit, and sites like BottleSpot. I thought it was interesting that it appears BottleSpot has been shut down. We know that various FB groups have been shut down over the years as well as places like EBay shut down liquor sales. I don’t know if those things have been internal to those companies and then trying to avoid regulatory or law enforcement pressure? When an entire site like BottleSpot goes down, it seems like it must be a direct law enforcement issue. I wonder what agency or jurisdiction drove that? Federal? The Feds don’t seem to even worry about how well they apply label and distribution laws so I sort of doubt they care a ton about peer to peer transactions of liquor between 21+ adults. Clearly I know it is still illegal and many members here probably applaud such action. I just wonder if we will ever hear what happened in a situation like this?  It would be interesting to know if there is more to come from some agency and if this and further action could curb the secondary prices at some point. Hard to say of course. You’d think someone in the whiskey community must know something about the situation though?

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Old Dusty

There is now a concerted effort by State Attorneys General to root out the secondary and unlicensed sales of alcohol. It’s multiple states and they are coordinating some of these efforts. Minnick has some blog/ vlog entries about it but with few details. It’s going so far that at least one state attorney (Louisiana IIRC) is even tracking empty bottle sales on eBay. That is the home state for Sazerac who has taken the lead among distillers to attack the secondary so probably not a coincidence. 

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BigRich

This makes me smile.

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Double C's

I believe Preston VanWinkle is the driving force behind this movement to try and kill off the secondary market. Hence why he would have the backing of Sazerac as an influencer when talking to the larger entities that can take action on this.

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BourbonTexan

A guy was scammed for $1900 on bottle-spot. Reported to Joel (owner of bottle-spot). They started taking action against the scammer. Scammer called authorities and reported bottle-spot and from what I read the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming authorities have shut down bottle-spot.

 

Thread on BRM Facebook group detailing this situation 

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fishnbowljoe

eBay changed its policy on the sales of alcohol a number of years ago partly because of lobbying by the Van Winkles/BT. I’ve also heard that other reasons were people sending complaints to eBay about receiving some items not quite as advertised. Read into this what you want. I’d venture a guess that this includes fakes, broken seals, and wrong bottles among other things. 
 

While I’m not on Facebook, I do have access if I want, and know a thing or two. (Don’t ask.) Sites have been shut down before. Others pop up and take their place. Just sayin’.

 

Biba! Joe

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AndyD
53 minutes ago, Double C's said:

I believe Preston VanWinkle is the driving force behind this movement to try and kill off the secondary market. Hence why he would have the backing of Sazerac as an influencer when talking to the larger entities that can take action on this.


Yep, and he’s said as such several times.

 

the problem is that he believes he can control what people are willing to pay for products with his name on it (or even without).  It is such a willful display of ignorance, quite amazing to see.

 

 

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AndyD
3 hours ago, BottledInBond said:

Many on this site don’t follow other sites that are for buying/selling/trading whiskey. That stuff happens through a variety of places like FB groups, Reddit, and sites like BottleSpot. I thought it was interesting that it appears BottleSpot has been shut down. We know that various FB groups have been shut down over the years as well as places like EBay shut down liquor sales. I don’t know if those things have been internal to those companies and then trying to avoid regulatory or law enforcement pressure? When an entire site like BottleSpot goes down, it seems like it must be a direct law enforcement issue. I wonder what agency or jurisdiction drove that? Federal? The Feds don’t seem to even worry about how well they apply label and distribution laws so I sort of doubt they care a ton about peer to peer transactions of liquor between 21+ adults. Clearly I know it is still illegal and many members here probably applaud such action. I just wonder if we will ever hear what happened in a situation like this?  It would be interesting to know if there is more to come from some agency and if this and further action could curb the secondary prices at some point. Hard to say of course. You’d think someone in the whiskey community must know something about the situation though?


All good questions and concerns.
 

nothing can curb prices in a high-demand sector, except for more supply.  .gov could certainly step in and cut off specific avenues , and the prices would simply skyrocket (see:  illegal narcotics)

 

my thought is that while local agencies may take action and maybe even small efforts by fed agencies, they simply won’t commit too many resources towards it.  Too much to spend on too little of a problem.

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Richnimrod
1 hour ago, AndyD said:

Yep, and he’s said as such several times.

the problem is that he believes he can control what people are willing to pay for products with his name on it (or even without).  It is such a willful display of ignorance, quite amazing to see.

Not sure anyone can truly say for sure what some other person "believes"; but I imagine The Van Winkles and BT/Saz would love to at least put a stone or two in the shoes of those running the black market exchanges.

Not sure about a 'willful display of ignorance' either.   ...Maybe a 'hopeful attempt at mitigation'?    I don't blame him or them for this.   Just doing what's appropriate for his/their business, IMHO.

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The Black Tot
2 hours ago, AndyD said:

nothing can curb prices in a high-demand sector, except for more supply.  .gov could certainly step in and cut off specific avenues , and the prices would simply skyrocket (see:  illegal narcotics)

 

Illegal narcotics are a lot cheaper than limited bourbon these days. Even at MSRP.

Edited by The Black Tot
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The Black Tot
2 hours ago, fishnbowljoe said:

eBay changed its policy on the sales of alcohol a number of years ago partly because of lobbying by the Van Winkles/BT. I’ve also heard that other reasons were people sending complaints to eBay about receiving some items not quite as advertised. Read into this what you want. I’d venture a guess that this includes fakes, broken seals, and wrong bottles among other things. 

 

I had heard back at that time that it was mostly a problem of underage kids ordering booze with fake or other people's accounts that got ebay to take action.

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uncork_it_already

I have never sold a bottle anywhere, but I would make trades on there occasionally.

 

The problem with shutting down the secondary is that the vast majority of store owners have already jumped onto the bandwagon. I can't tell you how many shit stores that got a bottle of something decent mark it up 50% MORE THAN SECONDARY. There's no reason a store who gets one bottle of GTS needs to charge $599 for it. I went into a store who had maybe 50 bottles total of whiskey, and the owner wanted $1200 for an ORVW. A week later, I wound up trading for one that cost me about $165 out-of-pocket.

 

These stores know so little about whiskey (especially bourbon), so they get something with an "allocated" tag, so they go to wine-searcher and use that price. I've had multiple owners tell me they go to WS, and take the lowest price on there. So, they are trying to be the best of the worst.

 

I think it would take many years for owners to fall back with the ridiculous pricing. I know quite a few places with several years of BTAC releases on hand because their prices are just too high. Most stores will hold out for the home run (5-10x retail) instead of just taking something modest like 2-3x retail.

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Richnimrod
On 1/11/2020 at 9:17 PM, uncork_it_already said:

I think it would take many years for owners to fall back with the ridiculous pricing. I know quite a few places with several years of BTAC releases on hand because their prices are just too high. Most stores will hold out for the home run (5-10x retail) instead of just taking something modest like 2-3x retail.

Reminds me of the story of the little boy with the lemonade stand, and a sign asking for $10.00 a glass.   

When asked by a passerby how many he's sold, he replied; "None.   But, I'll make almost $9 with the first sale, and then it's all high cotton from there on!"

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Bbstout
On ‎1‎/‎11‎/‎2020 at 8:35 AM, BigRich said:

This makes me smile.

The secondary gets a lot of unwanted hate. Sure the majority is because of  idiots who could care less about the hobby and buy bourbon just to sell for a profit. But what about the enthusiasts that want to trade or buy a bottle of National Distillers Old Grand Dad or a Dusty Turkey? Many people trade samples of things they never would be able to ever try. What if you live in North Dakota? The Three Tier system is corrupt. Isn't this America...the land of the free? The Government is losing tax money. Sure there is a concern for a kid getting his hands on booze but do you really think a 18 year old is going to pay $200 for a Weller 12 on secondary when he can get drunk off of a handle of WT for $30?

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Bbstout
On ‎1‎/‎11‎/‎2020 at 7:59 AM, BottledInBond said:

Many on this site don’t follow other sites that are for buying/selling/trading whiskey. That stuff happens through a variety of places like FB groups, Reddit, and sites like BottleSpot. I thought it was interesting that it appears BottleSpot has been shut down. We know that various FB groups have been shut down over the years as well as places like EBay shut down liquor sales. I don’t know if those things have been internal to those companies and then trying to avoid regulatory or law enforcement pressure? When an entire site like BottleSpot goes down, it seems like it must be a direct law enforcement issue. I wonder what agency or jurisdiction drove that? Federal? The Feds don’t seem to even worry about how well they apply label and distribution laws so I sort of doubt they care a ton about peer to peer transactions of liquor between 21+ adults. Clearly I know it is still illegal and many members here probably applaud such action. I just wonder if we will ever hear what happened in a situation like this?  It would be interesting to know if there is more to come from some agency and if this and further action could curb the secondary prices at some point. Hard to say of course. You’d think someone in the whiskey community must know something about the situation though?

I never bought anything on bottlespot. Prices were too high. At least on FB the sellers real names and where they live is public. Much harder to get scammed that way. I didn't know there was an active secondary on Reddit but it doesn't surprise me.

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BigRich
The secondary gets a lot of unwanted hate. Sure the majority is because of  idiots who could care less about the hobby and buy bourbon just to sell for a profit. But what about the enthusiasts that want to trade or buy a bottle of National Distillers Old Grand Dad or a Dusty Turkey? Many people trade samples of things they never would be able to ever try. What if you live in North Dakota? The Three Tier system is corrupt. Isn't this America...the land of the free? The Government is losing tax money. Sure there is a concern for a kid getting his hands on booze but do you really think a 18 year old is going to pay $200 for a Weller 12 on secondary when he can get drunk off of a handle of WT for $30?

I can’t say that an argument based on FOMO is going to change my opinion. It’s bourbon. As much as we may love it that still doesn’t put it high on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
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GeeTen
36 minutes ago, BigRich said:


I can’t say that an argument based on FOMO is going to change my opinion. It’s bourbon. As much as we may love it that still doesn’t put it high on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Wow, that's truly esoteric - but I beg to differ.  Bourbon is at least on the "Esteem Needs" (2nd) level for me.  That's MY story and I'm stickin' to it!   🤩 

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smokinjoe
58 minutes ago, BigRich said:


I can’t say that an argument based on FOMO is going to change my opinion. It’s bourbon. As much as we may love it that still doesn’t put it high on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

I'm not sure his argument is FOMO, as we understand that to mean in this current bourbon market.  But, rather that the secondary market provides access of certain brands that may not be available to someone, otherwise.  Of course, I’m taking the legality aspect out of this entirely, but it’s not much different than purchasing Scotch, Irish, Japanese whiskies or rums, Armagnacs, or any other spirit from a Euro based retailer who provides (or provided...) shipping services to  a US individual.  

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bobinbuff

i posted a single picture of a prohibition quart bottle on bottle spot and had at least a dozen inquiries. aside from being illegal to sell it,its also illegal to ship in ny state and I don't have the time to deliver single bottles all over the country.thought it was a well run site but not exactly suble about the purpose of the site

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Bbstout
6 hours ago, BigRich said:


I can’t say that an argument based on FOMO is going to change my opinion. It’s bourbon. As much as we may love it that still doesn’t put it high on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Not arguing, just telling you my opinion. This isn't about FOMO. There are enthusiasts like me that would love to drink bourbon from another time when corn was not genetically modified and legendary Distillers crafted American history in a bottle. Don't get me confused with those that think Weller is the best bourbon in the world.

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fishnbowljoe
6 minutes ago, Bbstout said:

Don't get me confused with those that think Weller is the best bourbon in the world.

“Whoa. Hold on there Quick Draw!”  ;)

 

Biba! Joe

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Bbstout
1 minute ago, fishnbowljoe said:

“Whoa. Hold on there Quick Draw!”  ;)

 

Biba! Joe

Not implicating you Joe. I'm talking about newcomers that didn't buy W12 for $17.

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fishnbowljoe
14 minutes ago, Bbstout said:

Not implicating you Joe. I'm talking about newcomers that didn't buy W12 for $17.

Yeah I know Bb. Still, I have to keep up appearances. Know what I mean?  :lol:

 

Biba! Joe

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berto
8 hours ago, Bbstout said:

I never bought anything on bottlespot. Prices were too high. At least on FB the sellers real names and where they live is public. Much harder to get scammed that way. I didn't know there was an active secondary on Reddit but it doesn't surprise me.

There was an active sample trading site on reddit that got purged.  It was a big loss.  No sales were allowed but many people got to try a lot of stuff because of it and many people made local friends and created local groups from meeting on the reddit sample site.   

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BigRich
I'm not sure his argument is FOMO, as we understand that to mean in this current bourbon market.  But, rather that the secondary market provides access of certain brands that may not be available to someone, otherwise.  Of course, I’m taking the legality aspect out of this entirely, but it’s not much different than purchasing Scotch, Irish, Japanese whiskies or rums, Armagnacs, or any other spirit from a Euro based retailer who provides (or provided...) shipping services to  a US individual.  

I’m curious how you guys define fear of missing out? Going to “illegal” lengths for the chance to taste something that you don’t readily have access to feels like FOMO to me.
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