Secondary pricing used to be the high-water mark on what bottles would fetch out on the market, but the days of lower pricing in retail stores are nearly gone. Let’s not forget, retail establishments can set their own price, as the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) is after all, just a suggestion. I overheard one store owner talking to a shopper this past week (who was clearly a tater) but on the subject of rising prices, the store owner stated, “why would I charge less, when someone will just take this bottle and flip it on the secondary?” For store owners, certainly the proposition of charging more is rooted in capturing a piece of the value chain, especially for smaller stores. For many larger box chains, you’re still likely to be paying closer to the MSRP but your chances of seeing those more sought-after bottles on a shelf is highly unlikely as many are pushing more and more bottles towards lotteries for their most loyal customers. I for one, appreciate this type of loyalty schema…but much like Super Bowl squares, my luck seems to never pan out!
In a world of higher prices where retail and secondary pricing are converging, it’s more important than ever to rely on data to inform purchasing decisions, especially if you are in fact wanting to shell out your hard-earned money on bottles that are rare or sought after that command well north of a bottle of Old Grand Dad bourbon. If you’re one of the thousands of folks who follow Bourboneur, you’re hopefully aware of the Bourbon Blue Book™ which provides weekly tracking on the ebbs and flows of secondary pricing drawing from tens of thousands of online whiskey sales covering nearly 2,000 bottles of coveted brownwater. The Bourbon Blue Book™ ensures users never overpay for a bottle again – and – helps ensure bottle trades are equitably negotiated. It certainly pays to be “in the know.” In the past year the Bourbon Blue Book™ has had nearly 200,000 visits. If you imagine that on average a person saved even two and a half dollars by using this resource, we’ve effectively put nearly half a million dollars back into people's pockets, whether that be on the buying or selling side of the equation.
Let’s peel back some of the data to highlight how important being "in the know" is. Below you’ll see four different bottles that are all fairly difficult to obtain. We’ve plotted ten of the most recent secondary sales for each against the average monthly pricing, red is above average, and green is below average. On just these four bottles, out of 40 sales, 17 were “above average” equating to nearly four hundred bucks of overspending. On the opposite side of the coin, there were a handful of folks who came out with a much better deal.
The secondary bourbon market certainly is controversial, but the winds of capitalism blow strong and so long as there are items people want that are in short supply with limited access, there will always be a market and demand. Instead of stewing about someone paying two hundred some odd bucks for a Weller 12 you once found for fifty on a shelf somewhere, be glad you had that opportunity to buy it on the cheap and know that the next time you see it, it probably will be a bit spendier...these are the times we live in. What you can control however is knowing what is and isn't too much given what the market is commanding with our weekly updates we meticulously draw from national secondary sites, manually....
We've heard you all loud and clear, that Bourboneur should have an app, and we're excited to announce that not only will our website be undergoing a complete revamp this week, but we will also be launching an app in early December so you can add us to your home screen and quickly be able to fetch the latest pricing on coveted bottles of brownwater! That's not it though, we're not a one trick pony, so we are stepping it up a notch and will be offering you all some cool new tools including a revolutionary new feature that scientifically dissects the flavor intensities of nearly 500 different bourbons to help you find a pour you'll love, which we'll add to each month with new releases and as we continue to expand our analyses. Want to keep up with Bourboneur? Join our community of thousands - find us on Instagram, Facebook, and yes, even TikTok. Show us some love and give us a like on your favorite platform, or all of them and keep up with all the Bourboneur happenings.