Virgin styles itself as the eBay of wines

01 June, 2007

More than 21,000 people have placed bids on Virgin Wines' new e Bay-style online auctions.

The site experienced its highest level of traffic ever when it was swamped by

some 100,000

users during the week the auctions were launched.

Rowan Gormley, founder of Virgin Wines, said: "We aim to do what e Bay has done for everything else in the UK - let customers decide what they want to pay." Currently eBay is

prevented from selling alcohol due to UK licensing laws.

Virgin Wines auctioned a £3,000 case of Château Latour 2000, which had a start price of 99p and no reserve. The case finally went for £3,600. A "name your price" auction featuring 100 cases of Laurent Perrier Champagne was also launched, with bidders paying as little as £11.

Shoppers also got as much as 25 per cent

off the retail price in an auction that sold 60 cases of wine in 60 seconds every hour - with the price dropping by £1 a second. "Because the site was slow, people were bidding £55 for a case of Pinot Grigio or Rioja

and were getting them for £35 by the time the bid was processed," Gormley said.

Virgin Wines plans to run a series of online auctions every day, provided demand stays high, Gormley added.




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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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