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Amazin’ Amazon to Sell Wine Online

Posted: Monday, 01 October 2012 16:45

Amazin’ Amazon to Sell Wine Online

October 01: Amazon, the biggest online sales portal in the world has announced its plans to start selling wine through its online e-commerce website, after the initial attempts initiated four years ago did not fructify due to several reasons, including the inability of its partner to deliver and possibly because of the recession and the strict US laws emanating from the Prohibition era.

‘ to sell wine online - While India and its many states ponder over the political fall out of allowing wine sales through supermarkets,, perhaps the world's biggest portal for online shopping may soon start selling wine online.’

These are not the Breaking News lines but the bye-lines of an Article published by delWine in September 2008 when there were talks of the Portal starting the wine online sales as an added business. Terry Hall, communications director of the non-profit Napa Valley Vintners had then said that the Seattle based Company would start selling wine at the end of September or the beginning of October in about 26 states. Napa Valley Vintners, which had 315 members even held workshops for its members in conjunction with Amazon to learn about selling wines through the portal, according to Terry Hall. Reuters had also reported the Amazon plans.

Bogged not as much by the recession, as the labyrinth of complicated US state laws about wine sales, had subsequently announced to shelve the plans to sell wine in the US, almost a year after reports about its proposed scheme of direct wine sales surfaced in the media, and it was duly reported in delWine in October 2009. is again planning an online marketplace for wine sales directly to consumers, said executives for several California wineries, marking the Seattle Web giant's second foray into the business in four years. Amazon hosted a workshop last Monday at a Napa resort where the members of the Napa Valley Vintners association were invited. According to Terry Hall, about 100 wineries attended the event where Amazon reportedly announced that the Portal would be ready with online sales in the coming weeks.

As the tongue in cheek remark made in the blog on c/net, ‘Amazon will assist you in your online shopping comfort by offering you wine shipments to go with the books, movies, and the 55-gallon tubs of personal lubricants it currently offers’.

The portal is in fact offering real estate only and will charge a monthly rent of $40 to put the wineries on its website plus 15% commission on all the sales made through it. The wineries are expected to handle the shipments directly.

The company has not been forthcoming with more information according to the media reports from the USA. One reason could be that the wineries involved were reportedly made to sign some form of a non-disclosure agreement. The new plan might work well for wineries; working with a giant like Amazon has its advantages including lower shipping costs of products even though they are responsible for logistics.

One reason of its failure the first time it planned the online sales model 4 years ago was the recession that hit its logistics partner. New Vine Logistics, Amazon’s then shipping partner, stopped its operations in 2009. Therefore, it is now putting responsibilities of shipping on the shoulders of the wineries.

Regulatory issues will still need to be resolved as different states in the USA, just like in India, have their own individual rules regarding selling and delivering wines. The online retailer is still negotiating reportedly with shipping and compliance companies at this time and no shipping rates have been stipulated yet.

Selling wine online is a tricky business because of the complex rules in various States to sell alcoholic beverages. Shippers also need to ensure that recipients signing the packages should be 21-years old, the legal age.


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