Buying wine: Getting the most out of sales, discounts, and coupons

First, a disclaimer. Liquor laws vary by state so your wine buying experience may be very different if you are, for example, buying wine in the supermarket.
Who doesn’t love a deal? Here are ten tips for navigating sales, coupons and discounts from someone who has stood on both sides of the check-out counter.
1. Get on the mailing or emailing list of the liquor and wine stores that you frequent. Stores typically send coupons, discount information for special days (for example, 10% on Tues.), and scheduled tastings.
2. Use winesearcher.com or other comparison shopping web tools to compare prices for a particular wine.
3. Take advantage of advertised tastings. They provide a great opportunity to taste a product before buying and often promote a sale item.
4. Read coupons carefully and keep in mind that the large print giveth and the small print taketh away. For example, you have a coupon for 20% off one wine (large print) but it doesn’t apply to non-sale items (small print).
5. You’re browsing the store and you notice that the majority of wines are marked on sale. These bottles are not usually available for further discount, but they may count towards a “mixed case” (see #9).
6. It’s great if you can find what you like on sale, but you would still like to use your “20% off one wine” coupon. Select a non-sale wine in the higher end of your budget to make the most of the coupon.
7. If you are a frequent shopper to a particular shop, you may notice that some of your preferred wines are never on sale. Save your discount coupons for restocking those favorites.
8. Ask the store manager about discounts for cases of wine. You can typically get a percentage off wine that is not already on sale if you buy a case.
9. You will feel as if you hit the jackpot if you can score a discount on a mixed case of wine. Pick any twelve bottles and the discount generally applies to all of the bottles that are not already on sale.
10. Supermarkets and other retailers typically use a loss leader strategy. Some goods are priced below cost to entice customers into the store on the assumption that they will purchase full price items as well. Depending on state laws, liquor stores may not be allowed to sell any items below cost. It’s helpful for customers to understand, and not take it personally, when the store owner/manager can’t provide further discounts or match the price of competitors.
6 Left Aisle

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