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Ethical Choices Abound

Sitting here listening to We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things by Jason Mraz with some interesting stuff to talk about:

So we’re working out some fine details about Uncorked Ventures as we speak, we’ve made some conclusions with some interesting notes that go along with them.

We will keep our original pricing structure where we charge a different price each month for our wine shipment(yes each club will have a limit) while charging each customer individually for shipping.

It almost didn’t go this way for a couple of reasons. More then anything else, it adds a ton of work for the resident **web developer** no that isn’t a title I ever expected to have. Realistically we’d be ready to launch the website if we set a price and stuck by it monthly. Neither Matt nor I felt great about that option because some months we’ll find great bottles for our Special Selections wine club for $30 and other months it is going to be $50. We don’t want to have to refund money and we definitely will not gouge our customers.
Additionally charging everyone for shipping individually stops our closer customers from in effect subsidizing shipping for other customers. Charging individually for shipping based on what it actually costs to ship is the only equitable and fair way to bill for a wine club.

Lastly I’m left with a substantial dilemma. I know for a fact, with proof, that the company I consider to be our main competition is buying links. Yes buying links is, well I can’t say illegal because I don’t know if it technically breaks a law, but I do know for sure that it is against Google’s terms of service. How do I they are buying links? They’ve posted on a message asking for referrals for link purchases and now have links from “interesting” sources showing up on Yahoo Site Explorer. I’m left with some of the following choices:
Do I risk alienating a company exponentially bigger then my own by reporting it to Google?

Do I wait until we’re on the #1 page on Google then report them so we gain the market share?

Do I do nothing and simply beat them?

Matt
and I have decided to simply beat them.

When we decided to start this business we had a number of other options, but wine and the culture that surrounds it is something we’re both passionate about. We’re convinced that by putting ourselves out there that our winery partners and potential customers will be able to get to know us. You’ll see pictures of us with the winemakers whose wine you’re drinking and we’ll hold yearly events for our wine club members. I don’t ever want our customers or partner wineries to think they’re simply being used for their product or monthly payment.

I turn 30 tomorrow and one thing I’ve found lately is that I’m valuing personal relationships more and more. Maybe I’m turning more sentimental but turning the largest possible profit isn’t the number one goal on my list for this wine club. Don’t get me wrong, a profit is essential otherwise I’d be letting my own family down, but I want everyone reading this to feel like they’re going on this journey with us….because you are.

To that end I’ve added a couple of pictures of myself to this post. Please say hello when you stop by.

In Parislast year

In Paris last year

With my wife

With my wife

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