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  1. #11
    Disciple
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    Re: What is a control state?

    Chuck, I agree with what you say, but I have always been puzzled by the low prices in VA and NH. (For bourbon, at least. Scotch tends to be a little more expensive in VA than DC, but you also don't have to pay DC's 9% alcohol tax in VA.)

    What do you think explains the lower prices? Are they simply a reflection of bulk discounts the state ABCs receive because of the size of the market they command as distibutors for an entire state? For some reason I had thought VA's proximity to KY might have something to do with it (not just lower shipping costs, but also perhaps closer relationships making for better prices or something.) But that wouldn't explain the low prices in NH.
    Last edited by Sijan; 03-14-2008 at 06:15.
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  2. #12
    Virtuoso
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    Feb 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    1,399

    Re: What is a control state?

    Sijan, what I have noticed in NH is that they tend to operate large facilities near highways close to state borders so there are certainly economies of scale working for them and perhaps most of all they are able to attract some very large traffic from the surrounding states like MA, VT, and ME that have much higher taxes on liquor etc... NH is a New England destination for cheap liquor. Their model is high volume with thin margins.
    Whisk(e)y - a bargain at any price !!!

  3. #13
    Taster
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    vermont mountains
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    94

    Re: What is a control state?

    All being said about NH is true, I live near the VT/NH border (and work in NH) so I buy pretty much all my booze in NH, there's one of the better-stocked shops in the state near me as well. When a bourbon goes on sale in NH, it's almost guaranteed to be damn near the lowest price anywhere. Sales vary month to month, sometimes there are some real steals on the shelf. However, selection is somewhat limited with some items. No VanWinkle anywhere, no Weller 107, no OGD 114, and so on... The BTAC is usually stocked though, all bottles were $46.99 when they arrived in december. And no sales tax

  4. #14
    Disciple
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    Re: What is a control state?

    Quote Originally Posted by dcb View Post
    The BTAC is usually stocked though, all bottles were $46.99 when they arrived in december. And no sales tax
    That is just a great bargain on the BTAC. The cheapest price in DC is $65.99 a bottle.
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  5. #15
    Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Northwest of Peoria
    Posts
    4,437

    Re: What is a control state?

    Illinois is a free state but Iowa is a control state. I live close enough to the river that I shop frequently in Davenport IA and sometimes in Burlington IA. Prices and selection pretty much mirror what's available on the IL. side with some exceptions regarding selection.

  6. #16
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
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    12,571

    Re: What is a control state?

    Control states tend to do their pricing based on some kind of formula that may even be statutory. They tend to be oblivious to market pricing so they may be high (relative to nearby license markets) on some things and low on others.

  7. #17
    Guru
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    Dec 2004
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    Northern Kentucky
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    3,424

    Re: What is a control state?

    A "control state" is when the wife says "no more additions to the bunker."

    Where are the Libertarians when we need them?
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  8. #18
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
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    12,571

    Re: What is a control state?

    Quote Originally Posted by jburlowski View Post
    A "control state" is when the wife says "no more additions to the bunker."

    Where are the Libertarians when we need them?
    No, that's a totalitarian state.

  9. #19
    Apprentice
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
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    43

    Re: What is a control state?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sijan View Post
    Scotch tends to be a little more expensive in VA than DC, but you also don't have to pay DC's 9% alcohol tax in VA.
    Yes, but in Virginia, you still have to pay Virginia sales tax on liquor at the ABC stores, which is what now, 5%? Funny thing - used to be at the state stores, they didn't collect sales tax, the shelf price was the price that you walked out the door with, then some state legislator must've figured out that they were forfeiting millions in sales tax, so they stuck it on in the late '80's I believe. I still get a lot of Virginia customers who are impressed by our prices on a lot of high-end liquor, though, especially on 1.75L. Sure, Virginia, like any other sales entity, can have the occasional sale, but we still get a lot of customers from Virginia and Maryland. To me, prices are like football teams - on any given day, anybody can beat anybody else.

    By the way, I realize that our prices in D.C. for things like BTAC might be higher than even bordering-Montgomery County, Maryland, but you know what? We still manage to sell out every single bottle of BTAC, year after year. It's simply market forces at work and convenience for some people. Heck, we may PAY more for it at the wholesale level than some states do. Remember, the entire Washington, D.C. allocation of BTAC is allocated to many top restaurants and hotels and then to at least the 10 top retail stores. Every now and then, another stray bottle of something like Sazerac 18 comes our way, as they get freed up by the distributor from allocations that they don't want to sit on any longer.

  10. #20
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Bristow, VA
    Posts
    340

    Re: What is a control state?

    My experience in the DC area is, if Montgomery County stocks it, their price is almost always the best. Then DC for most things. VA is rarely cheaper in my experience.
    Jake Parrott
    Ledroit Brands, LLC

 

 

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