Why we don't discount

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When I lived in South Carolina, I ran a very, VERY large independent wine/beer/liquor store. Our prices were more than competitive with our competition. Now, this is common in the South Carolina wine scene where the best price is always sought out, forcing the price down to its lowest, reasonable price. Then I moved back to Virginia...

I still get sticker shock when I see other wine stores charge obscene prices for their wine. However, what is most insulting is that they say that if you buy an arbitrary amount of wine, you will get a discount. I'll put it better in an example:

"Chateau Pickpocket: $25.00/bottle

If you buy 6 bottles of Chateau Pickpocket: $22.50/bottle

If you buy 12 bottles of Chateau Pickpocket: $21.25/bottle

If you buy 24 bottles of Chateau Pickpocket: $18.75/bottle"

Why don’t they simply sell the wine for $18.75 the whole time?

I never really understood the quantity discount where you want to force people to buy more product. Where else do you see this? Unless it is something like a "10 for $10 promotion, you don't see it in food pricing... You don't see it much in retail (I know I'm probably forgetting something...). I mean, if I get 10 steaks at a restaurant, do I have to pay for the fat or is that discounted off?

Wine, for some reason has become a business based in quantity deals, when I buy and when you buy. If I buy 3 cases of wine from "Distributor A," I will be able to pay much less than if I only bought a few bottles (called "frontline" prices). What's more is that my markup is insanely low, so low that I come dangerously close to losing money if I were to offer a discount, so you should look at it this way: you get a discount from bottle one. Now, I don't want to make accusations to any store, but I want to pose this question: if they can afford to give you a "25%" off discount, how much are they marking it up to begin with?

It doesn't sound like a discount. It sounds like a ransom.

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  • Josh Mason