noslensj


quality posts: 41 Private Messages noslensj
akbopper wrote:That is more or less how it works in virtually every state, I think. If I order from an online seller with no presence in my state (VA), the seller generally is not required to charge tax for my state. …


That is precisely not how I believe it works in almost every state as regards wine sales.

Virtually every state requires that a third party shipping wine into that state obtain some type of approval to do so. To obtain that approval requires that the shipper obtain either a general business license to operate in that state, or some type of special wine or alcoholic beverage importers license (and sometimes both). Whatever the specific details, the licensing process will requires that the shipper report sales made into the state and to remit sales taxes due for those sales.

It would be the rare state that would ever grant permission to someone to sell and ship wine into a state without also requiring that the shipper collect sales tax (as well as spirits and liquor taxes) on those sales made to residents of the state.

Use Tax (or it's equivalent) will almost always be due for items (such as foodstuffs and electronic goods) that can be shipped into a state without first obtaining state approval to sell and ship those items to state residents. But I seriously doubt that it is ever due on wine shipments because states are not going to ignore an opportunity to collect taxes, nor are states going to place in-state wineries at a competitive disadvantage to out-of-state wineries.

If you know of a state that will grant approval to ship wine into the state without also requiring that the shipper collect sales tax on those shipments (assuming that it is a state that has a sales tax); it would be interesting to know.

mplarkin


quality posts: 12 Private Messages mplarkin

I've known for years that the clock was ticking on this and other online wine sites for Virginians. I've been amazed that other sites still seem to be able to to ship not only wine in general, but wine from overseas as well.

When thinking about this situation, I think that folks need to understand that there are several ways to view permitting online wine purchases, and there are likely special interests at play here (for example, the strong push to grow Virginia's wine industry - which happens to be a favorite interest of the Governor's wife). I have to think that retailers aren't happy about wine shipping either, as I've spent thousands less on wine at stores over the past few years.

Complaints alone won't change this situation - we'll need to find a compelling reason for change that can override the special interests. I don't see that happening for a long time.

mschauber


quality posts: 40 Private Messages mschauber
tommythecat78 wrote:Isn't it already the responsibility of the purchaser to report his/her out of state purchases in order to pay their state sales tax? I know most people don't do this with online purchases, but we are breaking the law by not paying our state sales tax on out-of-state online purchases. Or am I misunderstanding this?



From what I have been told by a handful of vintners/winery owners that sell through WW, the alcohol tax is paid by the winery for WW purchases. This is different than your sales tax. The sales tax you are required to report as part of your annual tax filing. The alcohol tax is paid by the winery directly to the state when you buy through WW.

The sales tax is no different than if you buy some clothes or souvenirs when you travel internationally. If you don't declare your purchases, you are breaking the law b/c technically you are supposed to pay the sales tax for that purchase to your local taxation departments.

These new VA regulations appear to have been required by the courts because VA wasn't enforcing laws they already had on the books regarding this type of alcohol purchase. Still, in this day when everyone should be finding ways to help small businesses, like the wineries we deal with on WW, the politicians, many of whom lost their jobs on Nov 6th (THANKFULLY) still spend too much time trying to convince the world that trickle down economics works.

There's a line from a Big Bang Theory episode where Sheldon and his mother are discussing evolution vs creationism. Sheldon tells his mother evolution is fact and his mother replies saying everyone is entitled to their opinion. Sheldon says something like there's no opinion to be had, it's a fact. His mother replies by saying everyone has the right to their opinion to decide if a fact is true.

This is what politics has become. You have the facts, the math, the proof on one side of the argument and on the other you have people claiming the facts are wrong, essentially because they don't like them.

I applaud those of you that live in VA that are taking it upon themselves to do something about this law. Just keep reminding your elected officials that if they don't do what is right, they will be out of a job!

--
Hey you, out there in the cold; Getting lonely, getting old; Can you feel me? - Pink Floyd/Roger Waters
My CT

noslensj


quality posts: 41 Private Messages noslensj
mschauber wrote:
The sales tax is no different than if you buy some clothes or souvenirs when you travel internationally. If you don't declare your purchases, you are breaking the law b/c technically you are supposed to pay the sales tax for that purchase to your local taxation departments.



I will repeat that the difference with wine sales is that the winery must get permission from the state before they can legally sell wine into the state. There are several states where I have looked up what is required for an out of state entity to sell and ship wine to residents of that state. One state (Washington) I did because that is my state of residence and I wanted to know if I should be paying use tax. A couple of others I looked up out of idle curiosity.

In every case I checked there was clearly an obligation by the out of state entity to report sales and remit both sales tax and alcohol taxes.

If you bring wine into your state from out of state, technically taxes are due. That's the same as if I pop down to Oregon (where there is no sales tax) to buy a big screen TV to install in my house in Washington. I'm supposed to pay WA use tax on that purchase.

But wine shipped to me in Washington - no use tax is due because the winery has to have a Washington business license to be able to do that.

mschauber


quality posts: 40 Private Messages mschauber
noslensj wrote:I will repeat that the difference with wine sales is that the winery must get permission from the state before they can legally sell wine into the state. There are several states where I have looked up what is required for an out of state entity to sell and ship wine to residents of that state. One state (Washington) I did because that is my state of residence and I wanted to know if I should be paying use tax. A couple of others I looked up out of idle curiosity.

In every case I checked there was clearly an obligation by the out of state entity to report sales and remit both sales tax and alcohol taxes.

If you bring wine into your state from out of state, technically taxes are due. That's the same as if I pop down to Oregon (where there is no sales tax) to buy a big screen TV to install in my house in Washington. I'm supposed to pay WA use tax on that purchase.

But wine shipped to me in Washington - no use tax is due because the winery has to have a Washington business license to be able to do that.



From everything I have read and have been told by some winery owners themselves, what you have written is correct and doesn't contradict what I wrote. But you make some good points that may help some understand the stupidity of this all. I have a resale license in New York State and while I don't deal with alcohol, I read through all the materials when I was applying for my license and it's not an easy process, yet form what I have been told, NY is one of the easier states to get registered in for out of state wineries.

--
Hey you, out there in the cold; Getting lonely, getting old; Can you feel me? - Pink Floyd/Roger Waters
My CT

chukon99


quality posts: 4 Private Messages chukon99

There may be some state-to-state variance, but the general rule seems to be that wineries are responsible for collecting and remitting the sales tax. I asked an acquaintance in the MI dept of treasury about how sales/use tax works. He said that it's up to the winery to collect it, but individuals must be able to establish that sales tax was properly paid in the event of an audit. In the (very very highly) unlikely case that the state goes after me for use tax, I need to be able to provide receipts indicating that sales tax was collected. If it's not listed on the receipt/invoice, then it doesn't exist in the eyes of the state. His unofficial recommendation was "don't worry about it because it's not worth it to try and recoup a hundred bucks or so. Still, if you want to make sure that you're on the right side of the law, then declare any wine purchases that don't have sales tax listed on the invoice and pay the use tax."

noslensj


quality posts: 41 Private Messages noslensj
chukon99 wrote:He said that it's up to the winery to collect it, but individuals must be able to establish that sales tax was properly paid in the event of an audit.



I think that is a very conservative, perhaps overreaching, statement. I don't think that a consumer doing business with someone who has a business license in a state has any obligation to verify that the business entity is complying with the law. If the winery is selling into the state and failing to remit taxes, that is the winery's problem, not the consumer's problem. The winery is the entity that needs to be able to withstand an audit, because that is the entity that bears the legal obligation, not the consumer.

mstein609


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mstein609
noslensj wrote:I don't think that a consumer doing business with someone who has a business license in a state has any obligation to verify that the business entity is complying with the law. If the winery is selling into the state and failing to remit taxes, that is the winery's problem, not the consumer's problem. The winery is the entity that needs to be able to withstand an audit, because that is the entity that bears the legal obligation, not the consumer.



ObDisclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and I don't even play one on TV. That being said:

I don't think that's true. I can't see the consumer being at risk for criminal tax evasion if the seller shirks a responsibility that the consumer reasonably expected the seller to meet; it would be really hard to prove criminal intent. IOW, I agree that there is no responsibility to verify.

But as a civil matter, there is still a responsibility to pay. The state can - and if the amount is large enough, probably will - take the position that your mistaken belief that the tax was paid despite not being collected from you does not remove your responsibility to pay use tax if it was in fact neither collected nor paid by the seller. (I suspect but am not certain that if a seller collects the tax from you, but fails to remit it, you can't be required to pay the tax a second time. The seller, however, is in Big Trouble.)

Nonetheless, unless you're spending thousands of dollars in untaxed purchases, I doubt the state is going to chase after you for a measly five bucks in use taxes. Indeed, while each state is different, the VA state income tax instructions explicitly say that you're required to declare and pay use tax if your out-of-state purchases exceed $100.

kylemittskus


quality posts: 224 Private Messages kylemittskus

I just read through this thread because I'm bored at work. Sorry if this is too political, but, yay free market?

I'm guessing here, but I would say the distributors are to blame for the sole reason that they are so large and so powerful and have so much money and have have gingerbread man bag lobbiest that can use all of the above.

Small, independent wineries (David) vs. distributors and their billions (Goliath). And I have to tell ya folks, sometimes Goliath beats the s*** out of David.

"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine." -Rainer Maria Rilke

"Champagne is a very kind and friendly thing on a rainy night." -Isak Dinesen

thatgrrl


quality posts: 9 Private Messages thatgrrl

Awesome. I've always been a defender of folks who live for Thursday Wine Woot offerings, since they're located in states on the "no wine shipments" list. Now I'm one of those people. Guess I'll just take this opportunity to thank Wine Woot for remaining relevant for the rest of us through their fine gourmet items and wine-related paraphernalia. I'll just watch enviously the other 6 days of the week as the rest of you purchase the items I could happily purchase in Virginia until The Man crushed our dreams.

Tally324


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Tally324

Wow, this really crushes my day. It's hard to believe legislatures would be taking steps backwards on alcohol legislation in the 21st century. Special interests at work. Unfortunately, living in the Hampton Roads area, wootlegging from D.C. isn't a viable option.

jackiecanev2


quality posts: 6 Private Messages jackiecanev2
Tally324 wrote:Wow, this really crushes my day. It's hard to believe legislatures would be taking steps backwards on alcohol legislation in the 21st century. Special interests at work. Unfortunately, living in the Hampton Roads area, wootlegging from D.C. isn't a viable option.



But wootlegging to NC is.

vaaccess


quality posts: 17 Private Messages vaaccess
jackiecanev2 wrote:But wootlegging to NC is.



+1 Where there is a consumer, there is a way.

Wine Cooler (Image) currently at 47% of Capacity

My Current Inventory on CellarTracker

vaaccess


quality posts: 17 Private Messages vaaccess

For what it is worth...This is what I sent to my local house and senate members:


Hello.

I'm a new Hanover resident (moved from the West-End of Henrico...LOVING HANOVER!)

Anyway, I need your help. I don't understand why Virginia changed it's wine shipment laws. Can you tell me what benefit these new laws have for me as a resident of Virginia and Hanover county?

Here's the deal...I love wine, I freely admit that. Inter-mixed with my other local purchases, I had wine shipped (primarily from California) at times. Apparently now it's no longer legal to do that. Can you tell me what caused this change to occur? This change appears to be something that would benefit the distributors and provides no real value to protecting local wineries and is certainly no value to me. Moreover, while I do have wine shipped in...I regularly try and buy local Virginia wines as well and am happy to see their wines improving dramatically over the years. I think it's incredibly important to help the local Virginia wineries...And honestly I am hoping to start producing my own wine as well. (One of the reasons I moved to Hanover, honestly.)

So, if you could help me understand the logic I would appreciate it. As it is, I feel like the distributing companies are the only clear winners (and perhaps the sole reason the law was changed)...the local wineries should be neutral...and I as a consumer and tax payer are the real loser.

I look forward to your response.

Happy holidays.
Mike

Wine Cooler (Image) currently at 47% of Capacity

My Current Inventory on CellarTracker

Tally324


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Tally324
jackiecanev2 wrote:But wootlegging to NC is.



Hey, cool! For some reason, I thought North Carolina was a no direct shipping state. Now I just have to find a wine Wooter in Moyock, N.C. and my Wooting can continue unabated. Or partially abated.

angryprez


quality posts: 0 Private Messages angryprez

anybody from Woot able to chime in on the status of efforts to change this?

kylemittskus


quality posts: 224 Private Messages kylemittskus
angryprez wrote:anybody from Woot able to chime in on the status of efforts to change this?



Did you email your people? Call them? Show up at their house with pitch forks and torches?

"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine." -Rainer Maria Rilke

"Champagne is a very kind and friendly thing on a rainy night." -Isak Dinesen

easleyml


quality posts: 0 Private Messages easleyml
tripgrad wrote:Since this site (and Lot18) no longer allowed, from which sites can Virginians still get wine?


I am able to receive shipments from Invino. I messaged them as soon as I learned of the change to the Virginia rules and they assured me they were not affected.My shipments have continued.

mstein609


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mstein609
easleyml wrote:I am able to receive shipments from Invino. I messaged them as soon as I learned of the change to the Virginia rules and they assured me they were not affected.My shipments have continued.



WineAccess is also still selling in VA. Cinderellawine, WTSO, Last Call, Wine Heist, and Lastbottle should also be OK. I don't think there are that many that operate on the Woot/Lot 18 model, where they don't legally own the wine they're selling.

Fortunately, since I live in Arlington, I have friends in DC who can Wootleg - although I'm currently going slow on the wine purchases until I drink down some of my cellar.

It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

slm9951


quality posts: 14 Private Messages slm9951
mstein609 wrote:WineAccess is also still selling in VA. Cinderellawine, WTSO, Last Call, Wine Heist, and Lastbottle should also be OK. I don't think there are that many that operate on the Woot/Lot 18 model, where they don't legally own the wine they're selling.

Fortunately, since I live in Arlington, I have friends in DC who can Wootleg - although I'm currently going slow on the wine purchases until I drink down some of my cellar.

It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.



Geez, you are lucky to have someone to wootleg for you!! Take advantage and think of me who can't! Happy drinking!

Chargerrt500


quality posts: 5 Private Messages Chargerrt500

I spoke with the chief law enforcement officer for VA ABC. He lives in my neighborhood. I explained to him that Woot could once ship to Virginia, and now can or will not.

My email to him was this;

"This is the site I was talking to you about that now can't ship to Virginia;

http://wine.woot.com/

The following is the reason that they say why that can't ship now;

http://shipcompliantblog.com/blog/2012/11/02/virginia-and-third-parties-what-you-need-to-know-before-november-4/

This is the person that is the contact for Wine.Woot;
Dave Studdert

He is with;
http://www.winecountryconnect.com/

Dave provides fulfillment logistics support and acts as a liaison between Wine.Woot and the winery."

This is his response.

"This doesn't make sense. As of Nov. all they have to do is register with us as a fulfillment warehouse, and they can ship for a bunch of wineries. It's the winery that has to do the monthly paperwork. They may have gotten into some kind of trouble with us but even if they did, we really don't have the muscle to go after an out of state warehouse. They may have just chosen not to ship to Virginia a part of their business plan and want to blame the ABC."

So that sounds to me like as long as Woot and the wineries do what they are supposed to do, they can begin shipping again to Virginia.

kylemittskus


quality posts: 224 Private Messages kylemittskus
Chargerrt500 wrote:I spoke with the chief law enforcement officer for VA ABC. He lives in my neighborhood. I explained to him that Woot could once ship to Virginia, and now can or will not.

My email to him was this;

"This is the site I was talking to you about that now can't ship to Virginia;

http://wine.woot.com/

The following is the reason that they say why that can't ship now;

http://shipcompliantblog.com/blog/2012/11/02/virginia-and-third-parties-what-you-need-to-know-before-november-4/

This is the person that is the contact for Wine.Woot;
Dave Studdert

He is with;
http://www.winecountryconnect.com/

Dave provides fulfillment logistics support and acts as a liaison between Wine.Woot and the winery."

This is his response.

"This doesn't make sense. As of Nov. all they have to do is register with us as a fulfillment warehouse, and they can ship for a bunch of wineries. It's the winery that has to do the monthly paperwork. They may have gotten into some kind of trouble with us but even if they did, we really don't have the muscle to go after an out of state warehouse. They may have just chosen not to ship to Virginia a part of their business plan and want to blame the ABC."

So that sounds to me like as long as Woot and the wineries do what they are supposed to do, they can begin shipping again to Virginia.



Knowing bureaucracy, it's not that simple.

"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine." -Rainer Maria Rilke

"Champagne is a very kind and friendly thing on a rainy night." -Isak Dinesen

slm9951


quality posts: 14 Private Messages slm9951
Chargerrt500 wrote:I spoke with the chief law enforcement officer for VA ABC. He lives in my neighborhood. I explained to him that Woot could once ship to Virginia, and now can or will not.

My email to him was this;

"This is the site I was talking to you about that now can't ship to Virginia;

http://wine.woot.com/

The following is the reason that they say why that can't ship now;

http://shipcompliantblog.com/blog/2012/11/02/virginia-and-third-parties-what-you-need-to-know-before-november-4/

This is the person that is the contact for Wine.Woot;
Dave Studdert

He is with;
http://www.winecountryconnect.com/

Dave provides fulfillment logistics support and acts as a liaison between Wine.Woot and the winery."

This is his response.

"This doesn't make sense. As of Nov. all they have to do is register with us as a fulfillment warehouse, and they can ship for a bunch of wineries. It's the winery that has to do the monthly paperwork. They may have gotten into some kind of trouble with us but even if they did, we really don't have the muscle to go after an out of state warehouse. They may have just chosen not to ship to Virginia a part of their business plan and want to blame the ABC."

So that sounds to me like as long as Woot and the wineries do what they are supposed to do, they can begin shipping again to Virginia.



This is awesome that you "know a guy" in the business. The response I got from my representative was not very promising- just " I hope the federal govt doesn't start to get involved." He totally evaded addressing the problem.

angryprez


quality posts: 0 Private Messages angryprez

That is not the only requirement though - they must also certify that they are an agricultural cooperative

What’s Changing for Direct Shippers Using Marketing Portals
Virginia is one of the first states to restrict use of Third Party Marketers by out-of-state Direct Shippers. Beginning November 4, Third Party Marketers must follow these guidelines to become approved in the state:

The Marketing Portal must be properly organized as an “agricultural cooperative” in its home-state and provide a copy of its license to the Virginia ABC
Establish and submit to the state a written contract between the Marketing Portal and the Direct Shipper

The most commonly thought of Third Party Marketers (aka Third Party Providers, TPPs, flash sites, email marketers) may find it impossible to satisfy the new requirements as most are not licensed as “agricultural cooperatives”. Beginning November 4, Direct Shippers will no longer be able to accept Virginia orders made through a Third Party Marketer that is not an “agricultural cooperative”.

mstein609


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mstein609
Chargerrt500 wrote:I spoke with the chief law enforcement officer for VA ABC. He lives in my neighborhood. I explained to him that Woot could once ship to Virginia, and now can or will not.

[...]

This is his response.

"This doesn't make sense. As of Nov. all they have to do is register with us as a fulfillment warehouse, and they can ship for a bunch of wineries. It's the winery that has to do the monthly paperwork. They may have gotten into some kind of trouble with us but even if they did, we really don't have the muscle to go after an out of state warehouse. They may have just chosen not to ship to Virginia a part of their business plan and want to blame the ABC."

So that sounds to me like as long as Woot and the wineries do what they are supposed to do, they can begin shipping again to Virginia.



It appears to me that the enforcement officer fundamentally misunderstood the issue. The problem isn't whether WineCountryConnect can still be a fulfillment warehouse. The problem is that WineWoot is neither the owner of the wines being sold nor an agricultural cooperative, and therefore can no longer take orders over the web for WCC to fulfill for VA residents.

I would think that a possible way for Woot to solve the issue is simply to get CA, OR, and WA alcoholic beverage retail licenses, plus licenses in any other state from which Woot gets enough wine offers to make the licensing hurdles worth jumping. They would then make arrangements with the wineries to buy the wines for Woot's own inventory, with the right to return unsold wine. (It could be on credit - wink, wink, nudge, nudge - so that the cash flow situation would be unchanged.) If Woot is the legal owner of the wines being sold, the new VA regulations don't come into play.

Since I don't know how expensive and troublesome it is to get a retail license in those states, I don't know if Woot would consider it worth their while to do it to get the additional VA sales, especially since Woot would then become responsible for filing the shipping reports, not the wineries. (It would also limit VA residents to two cases per month per address across all Woot offers, not that this is an onerous limitation for most buyers.)

bigbreeze


quality posts: 0 Private Messages bigbreeze

Translation: someone with state legislator influence owns Virginia vineyards and doesn't want more competition.

tzarfoss wrote:I just received a response from an email I sent to Enforcement@abc.virginia.gov

My Email:

To Whom It May Concern,

For years now I have been buying wine from wine.woot.com. It's a terrific way to discover wineries in the United States that normally you can't find on sale in your "neck of the woods" for a great deal.

I've become aware of a change in the way Virginia allows wine to be shipped from out of state wineries and I'm concerned.

This is what I've found:

"Virginia is one of the first states to restrict use of Third Party Marketers by out-of-state Direct Shippers. Beginning November 4, Third Party Marketers must follow these guidelines to become approved in the state:
The Marketing Portal must be properly organized as an “agricultural cooperative” in its home-state and provide a copy of its license to the Virginia ABC
Establish and submit to the state a written contract between the Marketing Portal and the Direct Shipper
The most commonly thought of Third Party Marketers (aka Third Party Providers, TPPs, flash sites, email marketers) may find it impossible to satisfy the new requirements as most are not licensed as “agricultural cooperatives”. Beginning November 4, Direct Shippers will no longer be able to accept Virginia orders made through a Third Party Marketer that is not an “agricultural cooperative”."


I would like to know the state's reason for making such a change, who makes the decision to change something like that, with how much input from Virginians, and how it can be reversed?

I've long touted Virginia's handling of such matters as common-sensical, only to find that at this juncture we're taking a HUGE step backwards by restricting Virginian's ability to buy something in a manner they've been using for years with seemingly no problem.
Thank you for your time and response,




Response Email:

"The short answer is that the sale of any alcoholic beverage by a third party has always illegal in the Commonwealth As a result of a federal court case the VA. General Assembly created a wine and beer shippers license which allows out of state wineries, breweries and retailers that obtain such licenses to ship wine and beer directly to consumers in Virginia. The creation of the fulfillment or marketing portal licenses was to benefit wineries and breweries that hold shippers licenses both within and outside of the Commonwealth by allowing them to use a third party to market and ship their wine and beer.

As for input by citizens as with all laws enacted by the General Assembly, citizens always are encouraged to contact their representatives to express their opinion and all legislation proposed can be viewed online at the Virginia Legislative Information System.

The statement that “Virginia is one of the first states to restrict the use of third party marketers” is somewhat misleading as out of state wineries, breweries and retailers who have shippers licenses issued by this agency now have a legal alternative to ship their products to consumers in the Commonwealth without having to do it themselves.

I hope this clarifies this issue for you."



slm9951


quality posts: 14 Private Messages slm9951

WD,
Is it safe to say that there is nothing that can be done for VA to be included in WIne Woot delivery anymore? Or is there a chance that you all are working on something?

tzarfoss


quality posts: 0 Private Messages tzarfoss
slm9951 wrote:WD,
Is it safe to say that there is nothing that can be done for VA to be included in WIne Woot delivery anymore? Or is there a chance that you all are working on something?





The lack of communication on this matter from wine.woot has been pretty sad

mplarkin


quality posts: 12 Private Messages mplarkin
tzarfoss wrote:The lack of communication on this matter from wine.woot has been pretty sad



What exactly are they supposed to do beyond what they have already done? They can't ship to Virginia due to how the business is organized. They are not going to create a new business organization in order to ship to Virginia. And they are not going to change the laws in Virginia, nor would it make any sense for them to put any effort toward doing so.

End of story.

tzarfoss


quality posts: 0 Private Messages tzarfoss
mplarkin wrote:What exactly are they supposed to do beyond what they have already done? They can't ship to Virginia due to how the business is organized. They are not going to create a new business organization in order to ship to Virginia. And they are not going to change the laws in Virginia, nor would it make any sense for them to put any effort toward doing so.

End of story.



I said "The lack of communication"

not, change anything about their business.

From what I can tell there was never any communication from them before or after the law came into effect, besides a comment here or there when someone complained they couldn't get wine shipped to them

It took this thread for there to even be a "home base" for what the hell is going on.

chill out... I'm not insulting you personally.


...though now I'd like to

mplarkin


quality posts: 12 Private Messages mplarkin
tzarfoss wrote:I said "The lack of communication"

not, change anything about their business.

From what I can tell there was never any communication from them before or after the law came into effect, besides a comment here or there when someone complained they couldn't get wine shipped to them

It took this thread for there to even be a "home base" for what the hell is going on.

chill out... I'm not insulting you personally.


...though now I'd like to



"The wineries featured on Wine.Woot will no longer be shipping to Virginia due to state alcohol regulations. We have no idea if or when Virginia customers will be able to resume purchasing these wines – it's out of our hands. But if you want to take it into your hands, visit freethegrapes.org."

I was assuming (maybe incorrectly) that we wouldn't get regular updates after the above was posted by Woot! staff, but I interpreted it as, "Best of luck, Virginia! Let us know if you make any progress."

Although you may have misinterpreted my post as being a bit short and insulting, I really meant it to be simply honest and blunt. I'm of the impression that this isn't something that Woot! finds high on its list of priorities, and that's fine. If they want Virginia customers, then they'll work to resume shipping here. I'm thinking that they just don't see that they can change this all that easily (again, from the above referenced post).

And if for some reason Woot! resumes shipping to Virginia, I'm certain they'll contact all Virginia customers. Until then, I'm chillin' like Bob Dylan and using the multitude of other outlets that still ship to Virginia to buy my wine.

kylemittskus


quality posts: 224 Private Messages kylemittskus
tzarfoss wrote:I said "The lack of communication"

not, change anything about their business.

From what I can tell there was never any communication from them before or after the law came into effect, besides a comment here or there when someone complained they couldn't get wine shipped to them

It took this thread for there to even be a "home base" for what the hell is going on.

chill out... I'm not insulting you personally.


...though now I'd like to



You know whose fault it isn't? WD's, woot's, or mplarkin's. Get mad; just get mad at the right people.

"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine." -Rainer Maria Rilke

"Champagne is a very kind and friendly thing on a rainy night." -Isak Dinesen

noslensj


quality posts: 41 Private Messages noslensj
tzarfoss wrote:The lack of communication on this matter from wine.woot has been pretty sad


In your mind only.

I think the rest of us understand that state rules about selling wine are in the hands of the state government. Woot informed us that due to actions by VA state government they would not be able to ship wine to Virgina using their current business model. They also provided a contact option for those VA residents who might want to intercede to try to change the situation. I really don't think there's much more to expect of Woot than that.

SomethingGeneric


quality posts: 1 Private Messages SomethingGeneric

Just received a response from Delegate Rust:

Dear Mr. [redacted]:

Thank you for your email regarding third party marketing portals for wine.
I contacted the VA Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (VA-ABC)
(without using your name) and their response is as follows:

"If Delegate Rust’s constituent was able to purchase wine from a third-party
marketing portal prior to November, 2012, it was illegal. Such sales have
never been legal under Virginia law. We have from time to time become aware
of illegal shipments, and I think that third-party marketers believed that
if a winery had a Virginia direct shipping permit, it was okay for the
marketing portal to sell the wine for them and forward the order for
shipment. That was not the case.

In 2010, the General Assembly considered legislation to make third-party
marketing portals legal, and the resulting laws, Chapters 317 and 561 of the
2010 Acts of Assembly, made the use of marketing portals by Virginia
shippers legal, but only marketing portals operated by agricultural
cooperatives and approved by ABC. The intention was to allow groups of
wineries to band together and set up marketing portals, but not allow
unlicensed web companies to sell wine to Virginia consumers. To date, no
marketing portal has applied for approval, nor has anyone applied for a
Virginia marketing portal license.

I expect the change by the marketing portal used by the constituent was due
to some publicity of the Virginia law in California wine circles last year.
Suddenly, they realized that they had been selling to Virginia consumers
illegally, and stopped."

I hope you find this information helpful. Should you have further
questions, I would be happy to investigate on your behalf.

Best regards,

Thomas Davis Rust
Virginia House of Delegates, 86th District

So apparently it isn't a new law; wine.woot was just shipping to us illegally
I haven't had the chance to do the research yet, but I don't see why the act couldn't be amended to allow third party marketing portals which aren't run by agricultural cooperatives to sell wine. I'm guessing they could just strike the "agricultural cooperative" part and leave the rest intact. We can at least ask our delegates to do so.

My original message:

Dear Sir,

I am a resident of the 86th District, and on the weekends my friends and I often
visit the wineries of Loudoun County. Virginia makes some wonderful wines;
our Commonwealth's Viogniers, Chardonnays, and Sauvignon Blancs are second
to none.
However, there are many wines which are not produced in Virginia - or
which, when produced, are inferior to those produced elsewhere in the United
States. Prior to 4 November 2012 this wasn't an issue: a quick search on
the internet yielded a number of websites which were happy to ship wine from
Oregon, California, and anywhere else in the country directly to my home
here in Sterling.
Unfortunately, I am no longer able to use third party marketing portals on
the internet to purchase and ship wine to my home. In a number of cases,
the winery from which I wish to purchase the wine has a license to ship wine
to the Commonwealth, but as the marketing portal is not licensed as an
"agricultural cooperative", it is unable to relay my order to the winery,
and I am thus unable to purchase the wine. Contacting the winery is often
fruitless; in many cases, these are small, family owned operations which
contracted with a third party marketer because they are unable to ship the
wines themselves - they lack the personnel or the logistical capacity to do
so.
Sir, while I am uncertain as to whether there was a change in the ABC
regulations or simply a shift in enforcement, I urge a return to the way
things were prior to 4 November 2012. I would like to be able to purchase
legal products where and how I choose; I have made several dozen such
purchases in the past three years without issue. Virginia's wine industry
does not need protectionist intervention from the legislature; Virginia's
wineries make a fine product, and have been very successful over the past
several years in the absence of such protections.
Thank you for your time.

TL;DR - it's been the law since at least 2010, but I don't see why we can't ask to have it changed.

slm9951


quality posts: 14 Private Messages slm9951
SomethingGeneric wrote:Just received a response from Delegate Rust:

Dear Mr. [redacted]:

Thank you for your email regarding third party marketing portals for wine.
I contacted the VA Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (VA-ABC)
(without using your name) and their response is as follows:

"If Delegate Rust’s constituent was able to purchase wine from a third-party
marketing portal prior to November, 2012, it was illegal. Such sales have
never been legal under Virginia law. We have from time to time become aware
of illegal shipments, and I think that third-party marketers believed that
if a winery had a Virginia direct shipping permit, it was okay for the
marketing portal to sell the wine for them and forward the order for
shipment. That was not the case.

In 2010, the General Assembly considered legislation to make third-party
marketing portals legal, and the resulting laws, Chapters 317 and 561 of the
2010 Acts of Assembly, made the use of marketing portals by Virginia
shippers legal, but only marketing portals operated by agricultural
cooperatives and approved by ABC. The intention was to allow groups of
wineries to band together and set up marketing portals, but not allow
unlicensed web companies to sell wine to Virginia consumers. To date, no
marketing portal has applied for approval, nor has anyone applied for a
Virginia marketing portal license.

I expect the change by the marketing portal used by the constituent was due
to some publicity of the Virginia law in California wine circles last year.
Suddenly, they realized that they had been selling to Virginia consumers
illegally, and stopped."

I hope you find this information helpful. Should you have further
questions, I would be happy to investigate on your behalf.

Best regards,

Thomas Davis Rust
Virginia House of Delegates, 86th District

So apparently it isn't a new law; wine.woot was just shipping to us illegally
I haven't had the chance to do the research yet, but I don't see why the act couldn't be amended to allow third party marketing portals which aren't run by agricultural cooperatives to sell wine. I'm guessing they could just strike the "agricultural cooperative" part and leave the rest intact. We can at least ask our delegates to do so.

My original message:

Dear Sir,

I am a resident of the 86th District, and on the weekends my friends and I often
visit the wineries of Loudoun County. Virginia makes some wonderful wines;
our Commonwealth's Viogniers, Chardonnays, and Sauvignon Blancs are second
to none.
However, there are many wines which are not produced in Virginia - or
which, when produced, are inferior to those produced elsewhere in the United
States. Prior to 4 November 2012 this wasn't an issue: a quick search on
the internet yielded a number of websites which were happy to ship wine from
Oregon, California, and anywhere else in the country directly to my home
here in Sterling.
Unfortunately, I am no longer able to use third party marketing portals on
the internet to purchase and ship wine to my home. In a number of cases,
the winery from which I wish to purchase the wine has a license to ship wine
to the Commonwealth, but as the marketing portal is not licensed as an
"agricultural cooperative", it is unable to relay my order to the winery,
and I am thus unable to purchase the wine. Contacting the winery is often
fruitless; in many cases, these are small, family owned operations which
contracted with a third party marketer because they are unable to ship the
wines themselves - they lack the personnel or the logistical capacity to do
so.
Sir, while I am uncertain as to whether there was a change in the ABC
regulations or simply a shift in enforcement, I urge a return to the way
things were prior to 4 November 2012. I would like to be able to purchase
legal products where and how I choose; I have made several dozen such
purchases in the past three years without issue. Virginia's wine industry
does not need protectionist intervention from the legislature; Virginia's
wineries make a fine product, and have been very successful over the past
several years in the absence of such protections.
Thank you for your time.

TL;DR - it's been the law since at least 2010, but I don't see why we can't ask to have it changed.



Geez, after all that, he certainly wasn't very helpful or concerned about our "problem" here in VA. My Rep wrote back to me and said he hoped the federal govt. didn't get involved. No help there!

mplarkin


quality posts: 12 Private Messages mplarkin
SomethingGeneric wrote:DR - it's been the law since at least 2010, but I don't see why we can't ask to have it changed.



You can, but I'd bet my wine cellar that it's not going to change for many, many years. There are too many people (retailers and distributors) making money by maintaining the status quo, and a Virginia wine industry that the government is committed to support to allow this to change. IMO, the constituency who cares about this (meaning Wine Wooters) isn't large enough to merit any lawmaker's attention other than responding with a polite email.

As I said earlier, unless there's a compelling reason (money and/or votes) for a lawmaker to champion a change, it isn't going to happen.

kylemittskus


quality posts: 224 Private Messages kylemittskus
slm9951 wrote:Geez, after all that, he certainly wasn't very helpful or concerned about our "problem" here in VA. My Rep wrote back to me and said he hoped the federal govt. didn't get involved. No help there!



I like the varying responses. It was illegal previously (I don't think it was) is a new one for the thread.

"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine." -Rainer Maria Rilke

"Champagne is a very kind and friendly thing on a rainy night." -Isak Dinesen

mplarkin


quality posts: 12 Private Messages mplarkin
kylemittskus wrote:I like the varying responses. It was illegal previously (I don't think it was) is a new one for the thread.



There was action taken a few years ago on this. The clock has been ticking for quite some time...

http://shipcompliantblog.com/blog/2009/08/07/wine-institute-working-to-clarify-impact-of-va-abc-circular-09-05/

mplarkin


quality posts: 12 Private Messages mplarkin
mplarkin wrote:There was action taken a few years ago on this. The clock has been ticking for quite some time...

http://shipcompliantblog.com/blog/2009/08/07/wine-institute-working-to-clarify-impact-of-va-abc-circular-09-05/



Here's the URL for the original letter:

http://shipcompliantblog.com/blog/2009/08/04/virginia-goes-circular-on-third-party-shippers/

maurakid


quality posts: 7 Private Messages maurakid

Vaacess said:
I doubt others would agree, (or said differently I'm probably in the minority with this) but I would support having my state get a % of all of the purchases I make On-Line, Wine or otherwise. It creates an unfair advantage against local shops and stores and at some point it needs to get resolved (one way or the other).




Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you are ALWAYS allowed to claim those out of state purchases and, thus pay taxes accordingly to your state come tax time (although I don't believe many do)