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ViperGlock
04-25-2011, 20:41
I know the price most likely is high for bourbon on eBay, but do any of you ever buy your bourbon from there? Is it even legal?

fishnbowljoe
04-25-2011, 20:58
eBay is what it is. Like the unmarked road. Travel at your own risk. Sometimes you can find a deal, most times you pay more. FYI, it's not politically correct to post links to eBay. Joe

aaronbarker
04-25-2011, 21:09
I know the price most likely is high for bourbon on eBay, but do any of you ever buy your bourbon from there? Is it even legal?

I rarely do anything with bourbons on ebay but I've sold 100's of single malts across the last few years. Legal? Yes, as long as you're selling it fore the 'collectability' of the bottle and not the contents. There's a whole paragraph ebay suggests you cut-n-paste as a disclaimer.

I've had the occasional listing ended by ebay because they deemed the bottling to not be collectable (even though it clearly was, they're not knowledgeable on that).

As for buying, you have to compare the price in stores to the ebay price and factor in shipping. I've only ever bought a few bottles - mostly hard to find stuff that's not on any shelf anywhere. I can generally find what I want locally.

If you sell, don't forget to take into account what you really paid and that means your local sales tax if it applies. Also, a successful auction will mean paying ebay and Paypal approx. 15% of your total sale so give yourself at least that much cushion to at least break even.

It's tough, but if you find the right bottles, you can cut a tidy profit.

Good luck,
aaron
'godamongo' on ebay

callmeox
04-25-2011, 23:36
It is illegal to sell alcohol without a license in the US. The eBay "wink wink" collectability clause is meaningless.

silverfish
04-26-2011, 08:14
Note to any prospective sellers: ebay ends booze auctions with
the following notice :

"You listed a collectible container and [U]your listing discussed the alcohol in
some manner (e.g. drinkability of the contents) rather than focusing on the
collectible container only. Because one of our rules for these items is that
the collectible value must be in the container and not the contents, items
that gain value from their contents in addition to their collectible container
aren't allowed on the site. A good way to judge this is if you take your item
and pour the contents out, is it still worth the same amount without the
contents? If it is not, your item shouldn't be listed. As part of this policy
we don't allow members to describe the contents of the bottle, because
they shouldn't be using the alcohol to add value to the container. This
includes mentioning storage, taste, strength, or any other information
regarding the container's contents. eBay wants to ensure its sellers and
buyers comply with all governmental laws and regulations. Since the sale
of certain alcoholic products is prohibited by law,..."

Of course, that "...pour the contents out, is it still worth the same amount..."
line would eliminate the majority of bottles listed but clearly ebay looks the
other way more often than not.

Virus_Of_Life
04-26-2011, 11:12
It is illegal to sell alcohol without a license in the US. The eBay "wink wink" collectability clause is meaningless.

I actually was told by a retailer recently, truth or not I don't know - how he knows I don't know, that the ebay legal team worked that agreement out with "the proper government agencies"... Hard to believe it was with every state's and federal, but who knows.

callmeox
04-26-2011, 12:19
I actually was told by a retailer recently, truth or not I don't know - how he knows I don't know, that the ebay legal team worked that agreement out with "the proper government agencies"... Hard to believe it was with every state's and federal, but who knows.

In light of the recent article from Iowa where the state was looking to crack down on illegal Tempelton Rye resellers, I don't believe that for a minute.

Without getting political, eBay sales cut into potential tax revenue. I don't see states waiving that just to be nice to eBay.

As far as the tax already being paid before the resale, I bet they don't look at it that way. I recently sold a car that I initially leased and then purchased at the end of the lease. Taxes were paid when I signed the lease, when I purchased from the leasing company and again by the recent purchaser. Triple dipping is very profitable.

cowdery
04-26-2011, 17:29
As much as it pains me to suggest that a retailer may not have any idea what he or she is talking about, eBay would have to have 'worked out' its agreement with 50 different government agencies.

It didn't. eBay's legal department has created a fig leaf -- and here is the important part -- for the protection of eBay. They can't police every single auction. They have told posters what the rules are. They're not responsible (they will argue) if the posters disregard the rules.

I'm sure all 50 ABCs are talking about this all the time. Occasionally they issue warnings, as Iowa has done and Kentucky has done with regard to Maker's Mark resellers. Tennessee busted a guy and confiscated his million-dollar collection of Jack Daniel's bottles. None of those bottles were empty.

It continues to be against the law in all 50 states to sell alcohol without a license, no exceptions, period, amen, end-of-story.

T Comp
04-26-2011, 18:43
And I would expect most states could go after you at least two years after the fact with not a whole lot of investigation thanks to everything right there in front of them on the Internet. Note the Illinois Liquor Control Commission's bold red warning here about needing a licence http://www.state.il.us/lcc/docs/retailer.pdf .

White Dog
04-26-2011, 19:28
As much as it pains me to suggest that a retailer may not have any idea what he or she is talking about, eBay would have to have 'worked out' its agreement with 50 different government agencies.

It didn't. eBay's legal department has created a fig leaf -- and here is the important part -- for the protection of eBay. They can't police every single auction. They have told posters what the rules are. They're not responsible (they will argue) if the posters disregard the rules.

I'm sure all 50 ABCs are talking about this all the time. Occasionally they issue warnings, as Iowa has done and Kentucky has done with regard to Maker's Mark resellers. Tennessee busted a guy and confiscated his million-dollar collection of Jack Daniel's bottles. None of those bottles were empty.

It continues to be against the law in all 50 states to sell alcohol without a license, no exceptions, period, amen, end-of-story.

I mostly agree, but the real issue here is the level of each states "activity." I've dealt with Wisconsin's Dept. of Treasury, which is the division that handles this. My dealings have involved compliance for wineries to sell in Wisconsin. My interactions have shown me a few things, and mind you, this is only in Wisconsin, but I'm sure this would be true for most states.

The state workers are few, often undertrained, and PASSIVE. That's the key. They only seem to respond to any issue when pressed. If not, they'll let things keep rolling along. I actually don't think that they talk about this issue much, outside of Kentucky, Tenn., and maybe Iowa due to the high-profile of Templeton.

For any crackdown on E-bay to occur, it would mean all these individual state departments would have to actively start policing their goings on. For most states, this ain't gonna happen. It's one thing to post lots of official warnings, it's another to actively investigate and pursue violations.

Let me also state that I have never sold nor purchased anything via E-bay, although sometimes I'm tempted.

RyanL
04-26-2011, 23:12
My guess, based on no information other than just thinking logically about it is that if you sell a few bottles here and there you will probably be fine. If you are running a business selling lots of various alcohol you run some risk. If you own a liquor store and are selling your HTF bottles for a markup on ebay I would guess you could get in a ton of trouble. That's just my opinion though and I wouldn't suggest anyone actually take this as advice for selling on Ebay.

cowdery
04-27-2011, 10:12
Without question there has been little or no enforcement. But saying you can probably get away with it is not the same as saying it's legal. It's not legal but it's up to each individual how much risk they're willing to take.

If an ABC decides it's a problem and figures out a way to enforce it, the test case could be you.

ThomasH
04-27-2011, 10:22
My friend's parents own the local liquor store and his father asked the ODLC about this very issue. Their response was, as long as he bought the bottle from a legitimate state agency store first, they didn't care what was done with it afterwords. They had already collected their taxes!

Thomas

callmeox
04-27-2011, 10:51
I think your friend is a storyteller.

With this logic I could run an unlicensed liquor store as long as I purchased my stock from a state outlet.

Not possible.


My friend's parents own the local liquor store and his father asked the ODLC about this very issue. Their response was, as long as he bought the bottle from a legitimate state agency store first, they didn't care what was done with it afterwords. They had already collected their taxes!

Thomas

cowdery
04-27-2011, 11:14
There is a term for the mental gymnastics people will perform in order to believe what they want to believe despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It's called cognitive dissonance.

Or put in a more Kentucky way.

"Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig."

pepcycle
04-27-2011, 12:46
I don't believe in cognitive dissonance.

Only psychologists and lawyers believe that stuff.

PappyVW23
04-27-2011, 13:55
biggest problem for me is shipping it. md won't let you ship alcohol. Can't ship it through USPS at all. Thank god it was "electronic parts" anyway. :grin:

ThomasH
04-27-2011, 15:26
My friend is not a story teller and to set the story completely straight, his dad does not sell on ebay either. The problem starts when people bring bottles into the state, not purchase them here and send them out. The state is primarily in the business of collecting taxes!

Thomas