I recently promoted my wine barrel wine cabinet to the California Deer Association in the following manner. They paid for the shipping, and we split the auction or raffle proceeds. To enhance the profitability for both of us, I recommended they find a winery to donate wine to put in the cabinet. The average winery donates 25% minimum of their wine to either wine tastings or charitable events.
It auctioned off for $750. The pre event estimate for the attendance was 200 people.
Another group I do a lot of business with is the Ruffed Grouse Society and the way they do it is they get the organizing committee member to each donate a bottle of wine and it works out very well for them also.
In the case of the California Deer Association, they put in Gallo wine, which is a pretty cheap wine, so how much the wine enhanced the take is questionable. A wine snob wouldn’t be bidding on the wine barrel for the wine but despite this, they did real well. After the event , one of the members called me up and said that it was a “key” item, they did well, and he was wondering how much he should make out the check to me for. He asked me how much I sold it for normally and suggested this was the amount they were thinking of sending me. I have always said California is the land of Fruits and Nuts and when the conversation took this turn, my Irish was aroused considerably to say the least. Where I come from, Wenatchee, the apple capital of the World, most of the people, when they say they are going to do something, they do it. You can rely on their word.
Not so with these guys I guess. So I sent an e-mail top the turd ball I made the deal with and he replies that I would have to deal with the auction chairman and 10-12 guys on the committee, that they had taken all the risk and effort (see what I mean about nuts?) but that he would lean towards a 50 50 deal which was real generous of him.
My experience with most of the conservation groups has been great and I have made quite a few friends, so this doesn’t sour me on doing this again, just not with these guys. For me a lot of times it is not about the money but the principle of things. I tell people I do what I say I will do, and if I forget what I said I would do , but you tell me that is what I said, if it even remotely possible I could have said that, then I will do it. My reputation is worth a lot to me and over the years, with an involvement in over 20 businesses, people repeat their business with me because they know I will stand behind my products and my word.