the forum

19 September, 2008

To respond to the unanswered questions below, or to ask a reader's advice, simply e mail:


Q I'm struggling to keep my website up to date with all my latest wines - and

don't get around to deleting what's sold out. Any tips?

A Do what D Byrne does: don't bother. If your range is constantly changing, you could waste an awful lot of time updating the site when all you really want to do is sell.

Gary, Melksham

A Your website doesn't need to carry a

list of every

wine on your shelves. Why not use the home page to keep customers updated about a small number of interesting wines and special offers? You could top this up with email alerts.

JY, Lancashire

A If you want to achieve online sales you have to

show customers

what 's on offer.

Think about employing a computer-literate member of staff who can look after the web site.

Sam, Cambridge

Q I'm considering running a wine festival at a local hall and selling tickets - I'm planning tutored tastings , nibbles and a decent range of wines. Do such events make money or is the best I can hope for to break even and generate some


A We tend to break even, or possibly make a small loss, which we

certainly recoup in the form of a higher public profile and increased customer numbers . There's no exact way of measuring the benefit, but

it exists.

Peter, Cornwall

A You might be better off working in tandem with a local restaurant - put together a menu which matches food with various


and agree a fixed price per head

. If you don't sell enough tickets, cancel the event and refund the money - and nobody loses.

Gerry, West Yorkshire

Q Should I start running three-for-£10 deals like the supermarkets?

And if I do, will the increased volumes compensate for reduced margins?

Jay, Kent

Q Where can I get sample-size disposable plastic tumblers for in-store tastings?

Jamal, Middlesex

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