Oddbins is offering holidaymakers the chance to earn thousands of pounds by recommending their favourite wines from their travels under a new scheme called The Listing.
Its tasting team will choose the best recommendations, Oddbins will list them on its website and holidaymakers can earn up to a 10% commission on sales.
If the wines prove popular they will be sold in the chain’s 34 stores across the UK.
Oddbins launched The Listing with a message to consumers: “We have a confession to make. We’re a little embarrassed about it, but we think that we owe you a sincere apology. Almost every day in our shops someone asks us if we have a wine they tried and fell in love with on holiday.
“Nine times out of ten we say no and are then asked if we can source the wine. And for years we, like most in the wine industry, have repeatedly ignored those requests.”
It added that its reason for dismissing those appeals in the past was that “what tastes great on holiday doesn’t always conjure up the same magic when opened at home”.
But after e-commerce manager Olivia Hoggard returned from Brazil with a bottle of Aurora Sparkling Moscato that the team loved, it decided to give holidaymaker the opportunity to “be the buyer”.
Managing director Ayo Akintola said: “Almost every day someone walks into a wine shop to see whether they can buy a wine they enjoyed on holiday. Almost always the answer is a ‘sorry, no but we have this instead…’
“So we are doing something about it and what’s more, if we do list the wine, we are going to be paying our customers for every bottle sold.”
Oddbins said there is no limit to the amount of wines it lists but that within 18 months, 14% of the wines listed on its site will come from consumer recommendations.
But The Listing comes with several caveats:
“Judging by the number of requests we’ve received in the past and with the summer holidays now upon us, we are fully expecting to be inundated with wines from you guys. So at this point we have to make a small caveat. We cannot promise we will be able to list every wine you send us. Each wine will undergo rigorous testing to determine whether:
- It is a genuine customer request (This is all about you the consumer. Participation in this activity is not extended to wine producers and suppliers, or anybody working in, or working on behalf of anybody else working in the wine trade). This is all about you the consumer
- It is delicious enough (our Buying Team will decide if it passes the taste test);
- It is economically viable (please be aware that because of shipping costs and the UK’s taxes on wine, any wine we bring in is likely to cost a little more than you paid for it on holiday and some wines may be made on such a small scale it may not be possible for us to get hold of samples);
- If we can actually find it (we will need enough details to be able to find it, “the one with the blue label from Spain” isn’t going to cut it).
If your wine passes all these tests, we will make a parcel available to buy through our website. If it sells well, we may decide to stock it in our shops. If you find us more than one wine, who knows, maybe this could be the beginning of a change of career.”