Wood's

Internet Sales?

12 posts in this topic

Hi Gang,

I'm a Newb, working on a new distillery project in CO. In reading through the other threads in this section I noticed that no one addressed the largest distribution channel out there...The Internet!

So a few Questions:

Are there TTB regs against this?

Can a Distiller in a "direct to retail" state sell direct to consumers in another state via the Internet?

Having seen a couple of "Scotch" online sales pages; Is the Internet a viable channel for international sales?

Just interested to know the thinking.

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you sell directly on the internet, you are responsible for verifying that every purchaser is over 21; and that you are in compliance with all state and local laws for the ship-to location.

If you ship to a minor, your TTB permits are at risk. On top of that, you may find your insurance company won't permit online sales either, as they don't want to have the increased liability. Our insurance company told us this in advance as a condition of the coverage.

The alternative is to sell to a distributor that does the online sales, as they would assume the liability.

Also, I think that there are a couple threads already that address this topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remains a good question. Just learned that our state does not prohibit us from retail mail order via internet to out of state buyers. So it is an issue of what the buyer's state allows. This does seem to be a bit of a hole in the jurisdiction, however. Has anyone every queried the TTB directly on this issue? By the way, I have bought via internet direct retail from a distillery in New Mexico. I don't know how many other distilleries are currently doing so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Internet alcohol sales with delivery via our postal system is a big and legal business in Australia.

The postmistress in our little country post office can hardly move behind her counter sometimes because of all the boxes of wine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone every queried the TTB directly on this issue?

Yes. As mentioned above, if you sell to a minor, your TTB permits are at risk. The source of this information is my local TTB investigator.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. As mentioned above, if you sell to a minor, your TTB permits are at risk. The source of this information is my local TTB investigator.

Yup. That is why you have to deliver using Fed Ex, who warrant they will deliver only upon adult signature. And you have to get declarations that the purchaser is an adult. Your bigger problem selling to a minor would be with your state retail permit, I would guess. And although my state says we can carry out such sales, I am not sure how we are expected to verify age, since live retail sales require checking photo ID. But I take your point is that you can shift that risk to another retailer if you wholesale to them. Agreed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For each state that you might ship to, it appears that you need a "wine shipper permit" allowing direct shipment to consumers, or the equivalent for spirits. This is different from the permit you'd need to sell to a wholesaler. If you check some of the big online spirits sales sites, you'll see that most of them ship to around 40 states, as some states are apparently too much trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be great (but I can see maybe why not) if any of the distillers who read/post here that have actually set up to do internet sales would comment on what is required.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be great (but I can see maybe why not) if any of the distillers who read/post here that have actually set up to do internet sales would comment on what is required.

BlueStar, when you refer to your state, are you talking IL or MI? Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BlueStar, when you refer to your state, are you talking IL or MI? Thank you!

Illinois

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Folks,

I think it's a good question to ask your distributor. Usually they have a way of dealing with this. In IL Binny's does a large online ship business that they hold all the liability for. I am aware of several other states that also have a vendor like this. Once you are distributed, it's a good question that your distributor should answer.

So to pre-empt that question from Bluestar :P

You guys should be lit up on Binny's.com next month. Brett Has been very busy with the ADI conference and the like. It is something I will bring to him after Denver.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed, especially for products in distribution. But many of the crafts also have limited production items that neither a retailer or a distributor may wish to carry, yet may have a limited, but real, national market. Whether it is worth the trouble to do this yourself or have someone else do it for you is a very good question. As mentioned, many states require a shipper's license, and if your shipments to that state will be limited, the cost of the license may not justify it. Technically, however, for our state, you are not exporting the product. You are providing a shipping service for the retail customer that has effectively "purchased" the item in your retail shop, although remotely. Whether the receiving state will accept that status varies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now