Report: #335118

Complaint Review: The Traveling Vineyard

  • Submitted: Wed, May 28, 2008
  • Updated: Sat, July 16, 2011
  • Reported By: Texas City Texas
  • The Traveling Vineyard
    980 Turkpike St.
    Canton, Massachusetts

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

My husband, who is a stay-at-home dad to our two kids, tried to earn some extra money as a sales consultant with the Traveling Vineyard. He loves wine, so he figured it would be a great match for him.

He met with a local sales director, who talked about how it was so much different from other network marketing gigs because wine sells itself; she glazed over some of what we later realized were big loopholes in the plan. When my husband pressed her for information on how he was supposed to be reimbursed for the $75 wine tasting kits he had to buy for each party, she blew it off, assuring him that "it all comes out in the wash." She also gave him some leads that turned out to be useless. As another reviewer mentioned, the plan is filled with loopholes; like a casino, the "house" always wins -- and the "house" is the Traveling Vineyard.

For starters, you have to buy the wine tasting kits for $70-$75 apiece for each party; they "expire" after a several weeks. (So if you buy the kit and the party cancels, you're stuck with it and get to eat the money you spent on it.) You have to sell at least $200 worth of wine and accessories in order to even get reimbursed for the kit. If the party guests don't buy $200 worth or more, you eat the $75 you spent. You get 20% of the amount of the sales, but if you paid $75 for a kit and only sold $100 worth of wine, you would get back $20 but lose the $75 you spent, meaning it would COST YOU $55 FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF MAKING $175 FOR THE TRAVELING VINEYARD!! Even if you make over $200, you still don't get fully reimbursed for the wine. My husband sold $680 at one party but only got back $65 out of the $75 he spent on the kit; essentially, he had to buy his guests a free bottle of wine.

Then, they push the web site on you. It costs you $10 a month to run the web site (after the initial free month) and you only get 10% of the sales from it. Thus, you have to sell $100 worth of wine and accessories off your web site each month in order to break even; you have to sell a lot more than that in order to make the thing even worth your time.

Don't be fooled by the "wine sells itself" ploy. The Traveling Vineyard is no different from any other network marketing plan. If you want to get anyone to have parties, you have to hound them and harass them. You have to become that pushy person that everyone tries to stay away from -- the person who will pester you about tupperware, dildoes, jewelry, Southern Living, Mary Kay, or whatever nonsense they've been duped into selling at "parties." And the only way to make any real money is -- you guessed it -- by recruiting others to work underneath you. Traveling Vineyard is just like any other quasi-legal pyramid scam: you make pennies on the dollar as a distributor; the only way to make worthwhile money is through recruitment.

The Traveling Vineyard is just like any other MLM scam. The biggest difference with TTV is that they have loopholes in place that allow for the distributor to make no money at all -- and even end up having to pay the company for the privilege of making money for them!!!!

This company should be taken to the cleaners for the fraud they have perpetuated. We would be more than glad to testify in a class action case.

Texas City, Texas
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/28/2008 10:44 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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Updates & Rebuttals


#1 General Comment

Tasting Sets

AUTHOR: TV is a cult - (USA)

The purpose of Wine Guides is to sell wine and accessories.  Tasting sets can become useless to a Wine Guide if the wines are no longer available for sale.

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#2 UPDATE Employee

TTV Independent Consultants

AUTHOR: CaliforniaAmy - ()

Independent Wine Consultants are not 'sellers' of wine.  We are Wine Educators and we market the wines to Free In Home Wine Tasting Parties.

Our wine tasting sets NEVER expire - the only thing that could come close to 'expiring' is inventory running low.  Which is why we check the current inventory before each party.

Maybe you need to do better and more informed research on The Traveling Vineyard.

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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Travelling Vinyard is quite the scam

AUTHOR: St - (U.S.A.)

I was going to try to do Travelling Vinyard in the state of Texas.  I consulted an attorney to see about getting set up with a DBA and other legalites of a business when he pointed out one huge loophole in the plan, according to at least Texas state law, as an contractor for TTV, you must get several Alcohol Permits.  First is the non resident sellers permit for your business which is $676 per year, then for your work facilitating parties there is the Promotions Permit at $976 per year, plus you need to have the servers education card at $25 every 2 years, then at your option you might want to get liability insurance to cover yourself if anyone has say an allergic reaction to the wine or has a bit too much to drink and gets charged with dui or wrecks. 

TTV won't tell you any of this, but one stop at any attorney will set you straight.  TTV is banking on the majority of thier people not seeing an attorney.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Traveling Vineyard: Like any other business

AUTHOR: Brians - (U.S.A.)

To say that TTV is a ripoff is a bit overstated. It is a legit business opportunity that requires WORK. If anyone is hoping to just sign up and hope that money will fall into their pockets they are dead wrong.

My wife recently signed up and she has had great success. She has a full time job as well. It appears to me that it is a matter of networking. My wife simple told people what she does without any pushing and the tasting sign-ups just started to flow in. Considering she signed up about 3 weeks ago and is booked solid through August I'd say she has done well without really trying. In fact, we were talk about the ease of it all the other night. She sold Mary Kay a few years back just to fund a vacation. She sold for about 3-4 months, paid for the vacation, and quit. Her Mary Kay venture had a specific purpose and when she had reached the goal she wated she stopped.

The thing with TTV and other MLM businesses is, you need to expose your business to people just like you would with any other business. If people don't know what you do they will never buy and you will be bitter. I will say this about the difference between TTV and some others, many people seem to like wine. They like hosting little social get-togethers at their home. My wife has never sold a single bottle of wine nor asked anyone to buy wine......she presents and they buy. So in essence she is selling herself and her personality.

For now we like TTV. Maybe something down the road will change our minds but for now were having a great time.
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#5 Consumer Comment

TTV is not a scam/it's called working a business!

AUTHOR: Laura - (U.S.A.)

While apparently, you feel ripped off, as someone who has been a consultant with TTV for 5 years you have a very distorted view and also some incorrect information. You have incorrectly stated the reimbursement for the wines sets, so I'm guessing you didn't read your policies and procedures manual to see how you are paid. Which leads me to believe that you didn't do a lot of research before starting this business. Not only do you get an event bonus of $65 you also get 20% on the cost of the sample set as well. So,if he spent $75 and got an event bonus of $65, he also got 20% of the cost of the SS which is an extra $15you made more money than you SS cost you! That is $80 on a $75 set plus commission on the $680. The kits don't expire after several weeks it's 4 months, obviously he wasn't doing much if he had a sample set that expired. But you can always attach it to a party and then it lasts forever! And nothing sells it self. People sell things, which is why some people are good at it and some aren't. TTV is a business and you must work your business. If you think that the world should be handed to you, things should sell themselves and you shouldn't have to work hard, this business is not for you. Yes, it's wine, its a fun business but, it's called a business and a business has expenses related to it. We have a website not only for ordering but for having a presence online, a place for hosts to go, potential consultants, a place for you to advertise yourself! Drum up your own leads, your own business. Don't rely on someone else to hand you leads. If you did this without TTV covering some of the cost, it would cost you way more than 9.98 a month plus with a webstore, your more like $100/month, plus you had to pay someone to design it etc.
We have to buy the sample sets or scammers would just keep and drink the wine! Which used to happen, so they can't just give us wine for parties. We don't carry inventory which a lot of other companies do, so you don't have your money tied up there waiting to sell your product. There is always going to be someone out there that wants something for nothing, doesn't want to work and think they should be making a TON of money for it. Nothing is free, nothing comes without work. The other option is to have the hosts pay for the wine like another company does, how many parties do you think you are going to get that way? I'm not going to focus on those who were obviously too lazy to even read how they are being paid and didn't have a party in 4 months so there sample set expired, I chose to focus on those who are making it happen. That is the kind of person I would want to listen to. Reading this I just wasted 10 minutes of my life (LOL!) when I could have been working on my business!
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