Le Blog: Ross Classic: Wine Tasters Please Call Someone Else

sketch of classic talbot lago

Wine Tasters Please Call Someone Else

We first placed an advert in Classic & Sports Car nearly thirty years ago. There was no such thing as the internet, and picking up the phone was the main way of contacting someone. So the above caption was included in our advert. Which didn’t stop the phone ringing at 3AM, from Americans who didn’t realize that they were nine time zones behind us. “Can you send me some photos of the car urgently?” Sure. The next morning I’m at the photo shop, paying through the nose for a set of ‘one hour’ photos to be printed, then, calling FedEx to come and pick them up to overnight them to San Francisco. Total cost about 100 euros. But people felt it was their right to ask for such a service, and mostly, that was the last we heard of them.

Then came the era of internet. It took a while. The first photo that I received online took half an hour to download. We called some neighbors while this was happening, and by the time it downloaded we had a room full of people looking with dropped jaws. The new age was upon us.

The new era brought new problems. Eventually we got ourselves a website, and yes, it’s still the same one today! And with that came a whole new problem. Every morning we would wake up with tens of requests for photos and information. It would take at least a couple of hours to reply each day. But we didn’t sell more cars. We eventually figured out that all these ‘clients’ were ‘wine tasters’ (time wasters). For all we know they could be ten year old kids.

So we stopped replying, and asked potential clients to telephone us in the first instance. If someone can afford to spend hundreds of thousands on a car, they can afford the telephone call. And strangely, we don’t get any time wasters. It seems that today, if someone can be bothered to dial a number, they’re serious. The internet does make our life easier, but only if used intelligently. So thank you to those customers who took the trouble to call. Almost all of you have finished by buying or selling a car with us.


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