Before you commit to any payment, make sure you are dealing with an honest, reputable business with a successful track record in the trade. When buying wine before it is bottled and released to the market- referred to as en primeur - it is especially important to deal with a reputable business. Given en primeur wine is usually delivered 2-3 years after the vintage, it can be particularly open to exploitation by fraudsters.
- Trading history and expertise.Find out if the business is profitable, well-established, who the directors are and what experience they have in fine wines. Established UK businesses will be registered with Companies House, where you can also obtain details of their balance sheet.
- Contact details. Ensure that the business has valid head office and trading addresses. Consider using Google street view to check its location. Be wary of PO Box addresses and mobile contact numbers only.
- Unsolicited offers. Honest as well as fraudulent businesses can use cold calling or direct mail-outs to reach new customers. Take particular care to check the credentials of companies which approach you with unsolicited offers.
The following links will help you check some of the credentials of the companies you are considering dealing with:
- Know what you are buying
- Look after your investment
- Understand the small print
- Don’t fall for hard sales tactics
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