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Friday August 08, 2008 - Wine Shopping

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How To Buy Wine Online: Delivery, Returns And Exchanges

Looking to return that classic wine you purchased online recently? Did it arrive damaged or was it the wrong vintage? No need to worry, in our wine consumer education guide, we have addressed this issue.

Buying Wine Online - Wine Couriers and Item Returns

As an informed consumer, always be sure to note the current temperature, season and day of the week when placing an order. Most wines come directly from a temperature-controlled warehouse made explicitly for wine storage and are shipped using a third party. Ground shipping service is usually selected by default. Since these carriers do not normally make deliveries on weekends attempt to make orders early in the week. If an item is ordered and not delivered prior to the weekend, the bottle will sit in a general warehouse not equipped with the facilities to properly ensure the integrity of the bottle.

Be aware that the courier?s trucks are not climate controlled and when at all possible take the time to opt for an express delivery service to ensure your bottle is delivered as quickly as possible. A fine wine is a purchase that deserves care and using a speedy express delivery will make the bottles vulnerability to outside forces a minimum. This is especially important if you live in a temperate climate and during the winter and summer seasons.

Legally, in many states, wine cannot be returned to a retailer unless it is spoiled or the wrong item is shipped. However, for customer retention, many sites will work with customers to ensure their satisfaction.

Avoid opening items you plan to attempt to return or exchange, as most retailers will not accept tampered returns. Also note that most retailers charge a hefty restocking fee between 5-25% for a returned item. Some stores even charge a cancellation fee if an order is cancelled prior to delivery. Vintages may sometimes be sold as is (usually wines 5 years or older), with no return or exchange options. Always check with the retailer prior to ordering.

Almost all retailers include insurance on wine bottles during shipment. Take the time to confirm these important details with the retailer before placing your order. Although most will package their bottles with care in special protective casing (either foam, bubble or airfilled packaging) , you can never be too safe when it comes to a fine bottled wine. This is another reason express shipment is a good option to select.

Who do I pay sales tax to when ordering online? This is another condition to be aware of. As all states are not in compliance on shipping terms, you will be charged different taxes based on where you are ordering from and shipping to. Common store policies are noted with the following:

?All sales delivered within the state of ?retailer?s state? are subject to applicable ?retailer?s state? sales tax. For all deliveries outside ?retailer?s state,? the Customer is solely responsible for all taxes or fees levied by any taxing authority in the State of delivery.? Similar to the shipping terms, this is another method in which online retailers place financial responsibility in the hands of the customer. All retailers are required to charge taxes when shipping within their borders. There are a few states in accordance with each other that require merchants to charge a tax for them. In these cases, you will most often be notified of the charge during checkout.

As always, you can contact your state?s liquor control board with any questions pertaining to shipping policies. For more articles pertaining to online wine shipping and wine shipping laws, visit ClassicWines.com - Your Online Guide to Classic Wines.

About the Author:

Mark Spangler is the producer of http://ClassicWines.com. With extensive experience in ecommerce and direct shipping, Mark is also a contributing editor for wine shipping laws, news and industry features.
He can be reached at http://www.classicwines.com http://www.classicwines.com/wine-liquor-control-board.html

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How To Buy Wine Online: Delivery, Returns And Exchanges

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