We have been covering all manner of topics here at Octavian this month, from the virtues of premier wine cellarage to finding the latest trading information. In this instalment we discuss how to spot and avoid wine investment scams.

If you are conned by one of these wine brokers or end up with some wine that is not of sufficient quality, then it can be extremely difficult, or even impossible to get your money back. So, read our tips on how to avoid being scammed when buying wine for investment on board.

Wine Investment Scams

It is a sad fact of life that in an industry where large amounts of money are exchanged there are fraudsters and cowboys we all need to be wary of. These can come in the form of dodgy wine brokers or simply dishonest individuals looking to pass off sub-standard product for large amounts of cash.

Thankfully, these groups are few and far between and if you have a good nose for them (as well as their low-grade wine), you should remain unscathed. However, there are a few things to bear in mind in order to ensure that you never fall foul of wine investment fraud. Although there isn’t a great deal of these wine brokers, they have been known to hit their victims for six-figure sums, so how can you avoid being victimised?

How Can One Identify A Dodgy Wine Broker?

There are a few things to watch out for to avoid these less than reputable wine dealers. The advice is fairly straightforward, but bear in mind that these wine brokers are trained con artists so things may not always be as they seem. However, with a few simple checks you can ensure that your money and investment is safe.

First and foremost, look for “Wine Investment Association” membership. This is indicated by a distinctive kite mark on any of their literature – and remember that you are more than within your rights to ask for this so any honest seller will be glad to show you the logo.

To be a member of this association, companies have to go through a rigorous checklist and a large part of this requires security checks which ensure they are who they say they are.

It is very difficult for companies to get credit card or debit card access if they are fraudsters, so if you are looking for an added failsafe to guarantee you are dealing with a proper investor, simply insist that they pay by credit card and check that this is affiliated with a reputable company. You can always check their details on the Company House website to see just how established they are and if they have any debts that could be of concern – it really comes down to good old fashioned due diligence.

Remember that credit card service providers will only provide facilities to credit worthy companies, so any excuse as to why they want to pay via an alternative method or even delay payment should definitely be ringing some alarm bells.

Price & Quality

Our final piece of advice when looking to avoid wine investment scams and dodgy wine brokers is to note the price and quality of the wine. In the majority of fine wine scams, investors have been quoted substantial sums of money for bottles of wine that are valued at merely hundreds in the open market.

This is yet another instance where Liv-Ex really comes through as the holy grail of the wine investment industry. Just go online and check the price of the bottle on Liv-Ex, the industry’s stock exchange and you will quickly be able to see if you are being sold some duds or a genuine investment opportunity. Of course, you will still need to use your business acumen and nose for fine wine to make the final call, but when looking to stay clear of a dodgy wine broker, the site can be the difference between being stung or not.

By following these steps, our team here at Octavian are sure that you should avoid all of the pitfalls associated with dodgy wine brokers and scammers. As we have mentioned it all comes down to being vigilant, and if you are in any doubt about the credibility of the individual, or the group you are doing business with then pull out of the deal.

If you need any more advice on wine investment, how to utilise our bespoke wine cellars, or cellarage services, then don’t hesitate in getting in touch right here via our website.