Jump to content
ADI Forums
Allan

Ship Spirits to California

Recommended Posts

Hi all, 

Virginia DSP here, just soft-opened last month so limited product and market exposure. Working on my local market for now, but I have several family members in California who want a case. 

Can anyone advise how I need to go about getting it to them? 

I understand from the California ABC website that I can get a shipping permit for about $65, but can only ship to a licensed importer. All importers that I've seen in CA on google appear to be distributors, which sounds a lot like "I need to find a California Distributor". And from what I've learned about distributor relationships, you don't want to just jump into one unless you've been game planning and researching and fully prepared - which I'm not at this stage, for obvious reasons. 

So. Is there such a thing as a boutique shop that has an importer license in California, which I could just call up and get them to agree to buy a case of spirits (maybe they want to see the PO first? i don't know)...get myself a California shipping permit, and send it on over at wholesale? Or is that a pipe dream?

Thanks in advance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Alcohollery, thanks for the tip!

 

Do you have any experience/idea of how difficult it is to get a retailer on-board with the platform to place an order? I've got a call scheduled with them today to understand the process (what it takes) for a retailer to get started + place an order (I've gotten myself all squared away in their system as a maker), but I'm curious to see if anyone has had any first-hand experience with reaching out to a retailer on behalf of a customer to introduce them to the process, convince them to give it a try, and ultimately get the product sold + into the consumers hands. 

I could see this being a great idea, but difficult to make happen, so just wondering if it's easier than I think? I imagine that I'd target my family's preferred local shop, introduce myself over the phone + what we're trying to do, and see if they'd be willing to sign up for libdib + make the transaction happen....and I'm imagining a bit of "...ummm...yeah...we'll look into it..." kind of kickback.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as with all distribution, its a value proposition for the retailer. Are you going to sell, what efforts will you put forth to sell, do you fulfill a need or are your products a duplication? a duplication is not a no but it is a hurdle you will have to answer. Without a person in the street, IMO, your saturation will be limited.  CA is one of the most difficult markets in the distribution business, as there are not a lot of rules, IE deep pockets win. 

Good luck and good hunting

JH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allen,  if you are intending to get a foothold in Cali try out libdib.  It's an interesting and innovative (which means it's not all glitters and gold) but a good entry platform.  They are much more flexible than any other distributor but their flexibility may be their limiting factors... i.e. you can hit a few locations but I doubt they'd ever go statewide.  If you're only planning to ship a few cases, understand that it'll be expensive.  You can probably get a flight and pack it in your luggage for the price of a few cases in shipping.  (Hawaii to mainland can often cost ^$75/case).  

Have your family go to their local store and request it be brought in, then call the retailer with a "hey, I've got some inquiries from Cali, can you fill them?  Here's the local rep.."

Happy hunting

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If its just for your family and your not hoping to distribute just ship it to them.  Not like your family is going to run to California ABC and turn you in.  

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

×