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And the moral of the story is...

Discussion in 'Beer Trading Talk' started by RWNewhouse, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. RWNewhouse

    RWNewhouse Initiate (118) Feb 14, 2011 Montana

    Just ran across this article on Food & Wine called, "Trading Up: How I Turned a $43 Box of Wine Into a $600 Burgandy." I know it's about wine, but it's also about trading, so I thought it would be worth a read (and a laugh) here.

    If you read the whole article, you'll see (perhaps) that the moral of the story, IMO, is after all he went through (he doesn't even factor in shipping costs! ;)) he ends up sitting alone in his apartment drinking his precious thinking about how he screwed over his friends, and that doesn't matter to him it seems.

    [Not implying anything here. Just a funny article that takes itself too seriously, I think.]
    pschul4, Etan, ant880 and 4 others like this.
  2. blvdlvr

    blvdlvr Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2012

    Wine Walez?
  3. Ohsaycanyoubeer

    Ohsaycanyoubeer Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2012 Colorado

    I really enjoyed the article.
  4. stxSS07

    stxSS07 Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2010 Illinois

    I've been using "dickbag" quite a bit lately.

    This guy is one of 'em.
  5. kscaldef

    kscaldef Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I'm pretty sure they beat us there by a large margin.

    As far as I can tell, they were all IP trades
    Eriktheipaman likes this.
  6. RWNewhouse

    RWNewhouse Initiate (118) Feb 14, 2011 Montana

    Fair enough. ;)
  7. Ohsaycanyoubeer

    Ohsaycanyoubeer Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2012 Colorado

    I feel like this is easier on the wine front than the beer front. Beer distribution is so much more about geography than Wine is.
  8. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (11,887) Mar 18, 2010 California

    After reading that, I realized I know nothing about wine.
  9. ChefBergo

    ChefBergo Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2011 Illinois

    Wow, this guy sounds like a complete jackass. Really like at the end how he just drinks it to himself...
  10. ChefBergo

    ChefBergo Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2011 Illinois

    Do you disagree that he is a jackass or that maybe he should have shared that 600$ bottle of wine with a few of the people he traded with?
  11. youradhere

    youradhere Devotee (482) Feb 29, 2008 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Lol, I found the article to accurately portray the BA milieu. I think the majority of people who found this guy to be a "douche" or "jackass" just looked into the mirror that this article held up, and they didn't like what they saw, if they truly saw it at all. Quite a good article. Replace all French vineyard names with names such as the Deschutes, Three Floyd's, Cantillon, the Bruery and any other boutique brewery of the day and you have the craft beer scene. It sucks that the man in the article didn't have such a handy resource such as BA to facilitate his trades online, and actually had to deal with people face to face that he possibly knew on se sort of acquaintance basis.... Tsk, so 1990s, get with the times winos.
  12. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    I think he meant "Expensive on the palate..."
  13. notjustgc

    notjustgc Initiate (154) Nov 15, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    The end result of his endeavors is that everyone involved ended up happier than they started off. True, it seems a bit odd not to share such an exquisite bottle at the end of the experiment... I'd never open a Dave/Rare/CC/etc. alone in my apartment, when I know two dozen friends who'd bring their best bottles at a moment's notice and we'd all get to drink lots of great bottles. But that's the guy's choice.
    yojimbo1 likes this.
  14. Bad_Trader

    Bad_Trader Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2012 Namibia

    This guy should just keep quiet, and not ruin it for the rest of us.
  15. JohnfromPurdue

    JohnfromPurdue Initiate (90) Apr 27, 2009 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    This quote sums up my issue with it - "Who could I convince that a box of wine had value? Someone easygoing and trusting..." Whether, in the end, people ended up happy is a moot point. He went into every transaction with the intent to deceive and take advantage of their trust. And these people weren't strangers, they were friends.
    VonZipper, COBeerBuff and MarkIntihar like this.
  16. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    Happens a lot, if you have the time and patience anything can get done, this is more impressive though.
    Lantern and pschul4 like this.
  17. InebriatedJoker

    InebriatedJoker Zealot (586) Sep 16, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    So the moral of the story is that Californian's are easygoing and trusting ?
    Etan likes this.
  18. notjustgc

    notjustgc Initiate (154) Nov 15, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I guess I am making a big assumption here... and who knows how happy they ended up when they eventually got to read the article. :confused:
    JohnfromPurdue likes this.
  19. Johnnyramirez

    Johnnyramirez Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2012 California

    Wouldn't it be tougher to pull this with strangers? I mean, I will give my friends (in this case reg trading partners) anything at face value if I have it, but if its a stranger I wouldn't be so quick to trust. I don't think anyone on BA can pull this off without spending ALOT of time on the boards that makes it actually cost more than its worth. However, as I type this I realize that while it may be harder to pull off on a site like BA, what this guy did is an even bigger dick move because he deceived his friends.
  20. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    The moral is that this guy put in way too much work on winning this trade and actually lost. Winning involves maximum screwing and minimum work.
  21. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2009

    Not for me no, but again I lose quite often at trading, so I don't have this let's see what I can turn this into mentality. I know the argument is if both sides are happy then all is good, but it still isn't right (IMO) for someone to take advantage of someone else, period.
  22. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (489) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    In college, box wines had the most value, you could smiply remove the box and carry around the sack and spout like a modern day gladiator.
  23. abecall98

    abecall98 Devotee (442) Aug 11, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    Just convince people to trade down their beer/wine. Solid solid move winnar.
  24. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2010 Michigan

    Slap the bag!
  25. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    more power to 'em, I guess!
  26. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I think a lot of people spend way too much time worrying about the 'others' out there.
    youradhere, Gosox8787 and domtronzero like this.
  27. ChefBergo

    ChefBergo Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2011 Illinois

    I just don't understand why he would take advantage of friends and then not share the bottle with them in the end. Seems selfish, plus he seemed to be "marketing" the wine on his end to get people to trade for it, shouldn't really have to talk anything up...the bottles should speak for themselves.
    RWNewhouse likes this.
  28. deadbody

    deadbody Aspirant (293) May 10, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Really I think the only person he really took advantage of was the first guy (he traded him a box of wine for fucks sake). Everyone after that may have taken a hit in retail value, but they traded quality for quantity or vice versa.
  29. DruRho

    DruRho Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2012 Maryland

    Without reading the article, the idea sounds interesting and perhaps even admirable. However, after reading the article, and based on the author's tone, casualness (and even bragging!) with how he took advantage of a friend, I believe he is a total douchebag. To do this is one thing - it happens all the time. To write/brag about it is another.
    RWNewhouse likes this.
  30. ggfunk

    ggfunk Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2010 Oregon

    How was it? Did it chafe?
  31. yeahnatenelson

    yeahnatenelson Meyvn (1,165) Feb 8, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Oh no, I'm late to the party. And I LOVE these kinds of parties...

    To play devil's advocate: who cares if this guy traded that far up, so long as he didn't screw anybody over? Everybody got what they thought was a fair deal and nobody was deceived, save for the writer's ultimate goal; no false goods, just wine A for wine B. Where is the harm if everybody left with something they were happy with?

    All of you who are criticizing this guy and his tactics are overlooking his initial setup, that people have varying tastes and valuations on goods such as beer and wine. Beer trade parallel: plenty of BA's in Indianapolis who don't like sours would gladly trade Upland lambics for barrel-aged stouts and barleywines that most would argue aren't as rare or valuable.

    Let's be honest: even though the vast majority of us are honest people who put some value in keeping a sense of community re: beer trading, we're all looking for a good deal. This guy is just being more upfront about it than most of us.
  32. RWNewhouse

    RWNewhouse Initiate (118) Feb 14, 2011 Montana

    I think where this type of article goes awry is that its "hook" is based on "see how I turned 'nothing' into 'something'" (speaking $$-wise), but at the same time arguing that taste and value are relative (which I would say they are). That just doesn't seem to jive. If you want to make the point that value is in the eye of the beholder, that's fine, but don't shroud it in a blatant example of, "I won at the expense of others," which I think this writer does.
    JohnfromPurdue likes this.
  33. black13

    black13 Disciple (303) Apr 11, 2010 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    What about this guy, he started with a paperclip and traded up and now has a house rent free for a year!

    I agree with Nate, this guy did nothing wrong. Every person in his chain of trades agreed to the trade, and I'm assuming there wasn't a gun to their heads. We all have things that are worth"less" to us but may have value to others. I've got plenty of stouts in my possession that I'd happily trade for sours. Depending on whether you like stouts or sours will determine whether you think the trade is fair or not.
  34. yeahnatenelson

    yeahnatenelson Meyvn (1,165) Feb 8, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    You miss this guy's whole point: it's not just that taste and value are relative, but that people value things in different ways. The people he traded with -- all of them knowledgeable about wine, including dollar values -- chose something they would prefer to drink rather than what was worth more in terms of money.

    How is this any different than somebody on ISO:FT offering a 12-bottle shipper of hot new releases for a Don Quixote or some other white whale? It's very common for traders to offer way more in terms of dollar value because he/she values the experience of trying a highly sought after beer than drinking several different beers that they know to be good.

    No, he didn't get anything at anybody's expense. Everybody this guy dealt with were knowledgeable about wine and understood the deal they were making; they just chose to go with what was more appealing based upon their personal tastes than based upon monetary value.
    DRBiser, Etan and pschul4 like this.
  35. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    I'd like to quote the following for you people looking for hard evidence that large format bottles age better than 12 oz. This isnt' hard evidence, but the wine world feels the same. Taken from the Magnum trading paragragh.
    "large-format bottles age particularly well"
  36. yeahnatenelson

    yeahnatenelson Meyvn (1,165) Feb 8, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Off-topic, but the reason is the ratio of oxygen in the headspace to the volume of fluid held inside, thus less oxidation.
  37. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    I know this...but apparently the 15 people arguing with me 2 weeks ago didn't.
  38. ChefBergo

    ChefBergo Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2011 Illinois

    Same here, I've traded away and received some great beers and they always taste better with friends that appreciate the gesture. That's what it's all about....
  39. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Defender (606) May 11, 2012 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    They Exist
  40. RWNewhouse

    RWNewhouse Initiate (118) Feb 14, 2011 Montana

    No, I don't think I miss it. I'm just reading what he wrote. He wasn't chasing a particular whale; he was chasing any whale -- one he "never tried before" and that "was at least $500." To me, that's not the same as someone offering up more than $$-value for a DQ because that's the one bottle they really want to try (and I bet whoever did land a DQ this way would share it with at least one other person!). This guy's target was based primarily on a dollar figure. From the start, he treated this like a game he wanted to win. And by win I mean hit is target value (over $500) with a wine he never tried before, and it didn't matter which wine.

    If you read the details he presents with each trade, you see that no one ever solicited him for a trade. He basically hunted people down he thought would "trade down," money-wise, to help him achieve his goal. I'm not necessarily saying he duped all of them, but he was treating them, and their wines, as a means to an end. He wasn't trying to be a nice guy and offer them wines they were actively seeking. He had to convince some of them they wanted it, and he says as much in the article.

    One question that is not answered is whether he has already tried any of the wines he traded for in trades 1-5. If not, why not stop there? Because he wanted something based on its dollar value. That is his driving force.

    It's all pretty well summed up in his last paragraph, especially with these quotes:

    "the Chevalier-Montrachet was everything you would expect from such a rare and expensive bottle." - Here his descriptors of the wine he finally opened were "rare" and "expensive"; by saying that, he's basically implying that's what made it taste better. On one hand, he's throwing $-value out the window when he's trading away his wine, playing to his friends' "sensibilities" and preferences, but in the end it's precisely the $-value that contributes to his wine being "everything you would expect from such a rare and expensive bottle." That's what doesn't jive for me.

    "I started to feel a bit guilty about the wines I had pawned off on my friends and colleagues...I reminded myself that everyone was happy with the trades they had made. But, really, how could they be this happy?" - again, it wasn't like he was out to trade great wines to his friends to get great wines in return that he would open and/or share with people. It was a math equation, pure and simple. And he "won" by feeling he was more happy than his friends.

    In the end, and bringing it back to beer, I just don't think someone in the beer trading world would last very long if they did the same thing and wrote (i.e. bragged) about it. At least I don't think they could get away with it more than a handful of times. But I could be wrong.
    cavedave likes this.
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