Jun 21 2011
Lot18 Who are they? More info on Lot18 @lot18 and invite link
 

Note/Update: This posting has been updated as of June 21, 2011, added some info and edited. Please share your Lot18 experience.

I’ve been curious about who and what Lot 18 is, more than just a daily deal site for buying wine, but who are the players behind the company.

We know they are based in New York, selling wines from all over the world, a large portion of the wines are from California, Oregon, and Washington.

Lot18 is a membership by invitation website for wine and epicurean products from producers at attractive discounts. Members have access to some of the finest wines and specialty foods, made available in small quantities at discounted prices. note: Anyone can get an invite now, it’s really not that exclusive…

There are some interesting promotions going on at Lot18, if you signup and signup friends and they buy you get $25 of credit.

Lot18 is revolutionizing the way that America buys wine. We have created a direct producer-to-consumer private online sales platform that provides a curated wine experience. Our team of wine experts hand select and personally taste every offer. By connecting you with producers across the globe whose wines may not be easily accessible otherwise, we hope to help you find the wines you love and discover new favorites.

The Lot18 team is comprised of experts in wine, business and technology with over 30 years of combined experience in the technology and wine industry. The founders are Kevin Fortuna, partner at AKF Partners and former President & CEO of Quigo; and Philip James, founder of Snooth.com. Dini Rao is the VP of Procurement with 10 years of industry experience, including sommelier, boutique wine retail, Christie’s auctions and senior wine buyer for AmazonWine. Dini is also a candidate for the Masters of Wine, which only 26 people in the U.S. hold.

Why Lot18? You can read on Philip’s Blog the explanation on what the mission of Lot18 is, link below:
People ask Philip a lot, here’s the email he sent internally explaining:
note: This was posted to the Bojago blog:
“Wine is often produced and auctioned in batches, or Lots, and auctions are sold in Lots. Why 18? Well, 18 is a significant number in many cultures – it’s a homonym for “lucky purchase” in Cantonese and the number represents “life” in Hebrew and other Middle Eastern cultures.

Most importantly, Lot18 is about curation and the excitement of buying something great at a great price. Curation means procuring the best offers and giving them a unique spotlight, and the excitement is reminiscent of shopping at auction”.
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Seems like a pretty good story.
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Some info about the founders:
Philip James, Co-Founder Lot18
Huff Post did an interview with Philip K James:
read it here
Philip K James: Founder of Gramercy Labs: Lot18, Snooth, Popdust, Fameball. Climbed Mt Everest, sailed the Atlantic, run and cycle. Featured in Fast Company, AP, The Guardian

Philip James
Founder
Personal Blog : Bojago

Here’s a slideshow
SES – Plush Search
View more presentations from Philip James

Kevin Fortuna
Founder and CEO of Lot18. Founder of Gramercy Labs, Popdust and Fameball. Partner at AKF Partners.

Sam Ee
Creative Director

Josh Mohrer – Head of Marketing(?)

You can read some blog postings by some of the lot18 team here

Arianna Sharei
Manager, Business Development(?)
arianna@lot18.com

Tiffany Luck
Director of Business Development
tiffany@lot18.com

One thing that I wanted to do was share some credits from my account to another account, and apparently that is “not allowed”. Not sure if that is a regulatory thing or just something that they decided not to allow.
– have not received a good explanation of why this is.

Can a user buy wine and ship it to a different address, apparently yes. So, I guess you could buy the wine with credits and ship it to someone else?

If you want to signup you can use either of these links:

1. Lot 18 Invitation Link
2. Lot18 Invitation Link & $10 Off

Lot18 is located at:
6 East 32nd Street
6th Floor
New York, NY 10016
(347) 269-0518

Update: Lot18 has taken action to terminate their relationship with me on CJ. Apparently I have violated the publisher terms with this posting. What did I write? If someone from Lot18 could please explain.

A posting on YHP, describes Lot18 as a $1million a month, just 6 months after launch.
“With this large growth Kevin expects Lot18 to be profitable by this time next year. With the company adding over 50,000 new users every month and exceeding forecasted growth, profitability could come even quicker.” read more

Disclosure: I am a current member of Lot18, and was also a publisher of Lot18 on CJ. My affiliate status was terminated because I posted “something” that Lot18 felt was inappropriate, in this posting. Hmmm, then I received an email that I was not delivering the “required” 100+ leads per month to be a part of the CJ program, apparently a new requirement???
Lot18 runs their affiliate program on CJ where they pay affiliates/publishers $3 for each user that signs up, no purchase is necessary for the payout. Anyone with access to CJ can see this, it is not private information, and most bloggers should be disclosing that they are getting paid on some level when using affiliate links on their site. I do.
As an added incentive to CJ publishers Lot18 pays $3 for the signup and the person signing up gets $10 of credit.

You can get an extra credit to your account $10 for adding some wines to your cart and then closing without buying, abandoning your shopping cart… something that happens all too often online e-commerce, but Lot18 seems to have a good incentive to get people back to buy. Most likely this only happens once…. the first time you abandon and then come back to buy, you use the credit and then it is gone.

The Lot18 wines are mid to high end wines, ranging in price from $13 all to the $70+, wines from all over the world, but most from West coast.

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