Chelsea Wine Vault… Are You Joking?

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More and more I’m finding liquor stores really pissing me off.  I’m actually fine with stores selling stuff for close to secondary markets.  I’m not one of those guys who thinks they need to sell it for MSRP.  I’ve given up on that… but I do find it beyond obnoxious to be selling bottles for 2x or more secondary values.  It just is a huge tease when I see it on the shelf and waste my time getting excited.  I prefer and show most of my business to those stores who stick to closer to MSRP, and when I find a store selling for prices like this… I’m going to let all my readers know about it.

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Weller 107 for $84.99!!!!  Weller 12 for $299.99, oh wait, it’s on sale for $279.99.  EHT Barrell Proof for $199.99!!  Weller Antique is a $29.99 bourbon at most… Weller 12 secondary is $100, some idiots charge $125 (and bigger idiots buy), but it should be $75… and EHTBP secondary is between $100-$125, but most places you can still get it for under $100.  Stores like this are a complete joke and people should go out of their way to avoid them.

Now… for the real kicker.  And I was so upset when I was there I didn’t even take a photo, but they have an entire wall of BTAC behind a locked cage.  The prices aren’t listed on the shelf, you need to lift up the bottles to see them.  Thomas H Handy is marked at $899.99.  That’s a bottle that goes between $225-$375, but generally can be had for $300 or lower secondary.  You wouldn’t even believe the price of the Sazerac 18…  The manager said that they sourced the bottles from collectors, but I’m pretty sure in New York State, selling liquor that you didn’t acquire from a distributor is illegal.  What do I know though?

All I know is that even though rent in Chelsea Market is quite high, attempting to gauge your clients by charging 2-3x secondary prices and 10-15x wholesale prices is not a way to run a successful business.  I would wish the owners at Chelsea Wine Vault luck, but I don’t mean it.  I hope they are reading this so they can fix their mistakes or move along so someone else can move in and be fair to customers.

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