I just read a post from a contractor who struggled with a faulty wine cooler and poor customer service from the wine cooler manufacturer.
The point of this post isn’t to slam the Vinotemp, but rather to highlight the importance of doing your research when it comes to purchasing expensive products online.
Wine storage, wine racking and wine accessories are sold by all kinds of companies, including small, large and everything in between. Here are five rules before spending money on wine storage products online:
- The lowest price may be lowest for a reason. If you purchase the lowest price item, be prepared – and willing to accept – a certain failure rate.
- Read and understand the retailer’s return policy. Are there restocking fees? Who pays freight? Can anything/everything be returned? For how long?
- Investigate online what other customers have to say about the product and the retailer. Take what you read with a grain of salt – some people have axes to grind – but trust your gut, because it’s not hard to get a pretty good sense for whether you’re about to step into a pile of poop.
- What does the product warranty cover? Ie which parts? what about labor? Are you responsible for any fees? How long does the warranty coverage last?
- Does the online retailer have a phone number and physical address? Can you find names of owners or senior managers in case you need to escalate an issue? Read “About Us” to learn about the owner’s of the company, their values and how they do business.
In the wine accessories business, shopping is fun and bargains abound. Just remember: an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure!