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Shipping wine home to Calif. from Spain -- financially feasible?

Shipping wine home to Calif. from Spain -- financially feasible?

Apr 24th, 2013, 11:24 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Shipping wine home to Calif. from Spain -- financially feasible?

In a perfect world I'd like to have a few cases of wine shipped back to California from Spain.

Has anyone successfully done this? What are the shipping charges like compared to the cost of the wine itself? Is it a single digit multiplier? Double digit? Order of magnitude?

Any tips or suggestions are most welcome.

Thanks!
-Lexie
LexieR is offline  
Apr 25th, 2013, 01:14 AM
  #2  
 
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Quick and to the point answer:
Even factoring in extra bag fees, it is cheaper to bring it back as checked luggage.



Slightly more detailed answer:
Shipping to the U.S. is EXPENSIVE. Ignoring the legalities of shipping alcohol to the U.S. using the USPS, single bottle of wine shipped normal post would be at least 10 Euro. Using normal Spanish post means that the final carrier in the U.S. would be the USPS and it is illegal to ship alcohol via the USPS (even if it was legal, about 50% of my packages I ship tot eh U.S. "disappear" once they clear customs and arrive at hub). Now, shippers like FedEx and UPS allow you to ship alcohol but to say that they are expensive would be an understatement. It's possible that if you buy your wine from the right place, they might have a shipping option that won't break the bank (I know that Whiskies of Scotland in Huntly ships relatively inexpensively to the U.S. but it's still cheaper to bring it back in your checked luggage).

Any inexpensive method you find to ship your wine will take a long time (think slow cargo ship) and expose it to unknown storage environments.

The most cost-effective way to bring your wine back is to bring it back as checked luggage. Just remember to pack it appropriately. You can fit 6-8 appropriately protected bottles comfortably in a suitcase and be under your weight limit. If you can fit all of your normal luggage into a carry on then you can get your cases of wine put into shipping boxes and just check the first two cases of wine for "free" (assuming your ticket allows you two free checked items) and only paying for subsequent cases.



Regardless of how you bring it back, you will be on the hook for import duties when you claim it at customs. The duty is around $1.50 per bottle IIRC.
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 25th, 2013, 06:08 AM
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.. and you will be surprised at the low mark up on Spanish wines the USA. I suggest you write down some popular name/ prices from your local shop before you go to see. Also, local vendors in the states can usually get you anything you want if you find one you are crazy about when in Spain.

Here is a list of prices fro mostly boxes of 6 bottles at the El Corte Inglés supermarket

http://www.elcorteingles.es/tiendas_...PD8882,FF.html
lincasanova is offline  
Apr 25th, 2013, 06:14 AM
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I can see wanting to bring back Spanish wines that don't make it to the U.S. market.
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 25th, 2013, 07:17 AM
  #5  
 
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Once, just once, we shipped a case of wine home from Italy. It was expensive, but it was also a wine we knew we would not find at home. And we get great wines here in CA. I do not think it will be a regular thing for us.
socaltraveler is offline  
Apr 25th, 2013, 08:39 AM
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We paid a little more to ship a case of wine to the US from Italy than the total cost of the case of wine.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Apr 25th, 2013, 08:56 AM
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The average cost of shipping wine from Spain to the States is €10/bottle using UPS. It makes sense only if the wine is not available at home, which a number of excellent wines are not because of the low production numbers.
Robert2533 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2013, 09:51 AM
  #8  
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Thank you so much for the info, every one.

I do like to seek out small production family-run wineries that don't really export. I'll be sure to pack a bunch of Wine Skins!

Really appreciate your assistance!

-Lexie
LexieR is offline  
Apr 25th, 2013, 09:53 AM
  #9  
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Oh, for anyone who is curious, I looked up the info on the Govt websites, CA will let you bring in up to 5 cases for "personal consumption" from a foreign country.
LexieR is offline  
Apr 25th, 2013, 10:39 AM
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I had a wine producer from California stay with here, the airline managed to "misplace" his wine stored in the hold for several weeks. Better late then never!
ribeirasacra is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 07:52 AM
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Lexie, I don't know where in California you live, but if it is close to Berkeley the Spanish Table has a really stellar wine selection. They will also ship wines.

http://www.spanishtable.com/

Maybe that can supplement your Spain purchases
rialtogrl is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 08:10 AM
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If the wine comes with you as luggage, would you have a problem if you go through customs in a state other than California? For example, flight from Madrid to O'Hare, might you have more than Illinois permits, even if the quantity is OK with Cal.? I don't know the answers, just thought it would be worth looking into.
kayd is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 09:20 AM
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IIRC the duty free limit goes by the state you land in first.
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 09:42 AM
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Duty-free refers to US Customs, and whether you pay the import fee to the US if you bring in more than the allowed duty-free amount. My concern was if the Customs officers enforce the local state's prohibition on importing more than a certain amount of wine (a limit less than that in the state the wine is destined for)-- no option to pay a fine to bring in more, just confiscation of the excess.
kayd is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 10:08 AM
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You have three choices:

1. Declare what you bring in and a duty will be levied according to the state's laws.

2. Declare nothing and you aren't picked for a search. Congratulations! You got away without paying a duty.

3. Declare nothing and you are picked for a search. Ooops! You have to pay a fine and possibly lose your goods and maybe even jail time!
sparkchaser is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 10:32 AM
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Oops, I guess I did not explain my point clearly. Duty has nothing to do with state law, as it is a federal tax on goods imported from another country. States have laws about bringing alcohol across state lines, whether from overseas or from the adjacent state, and some of those have an absolute ban on bringing in more than a certain amount. So if someone arrives on a plane from Europe in a state with a low limit, regardless of how much federal duty he is willing to pay for exceeding the federal dutyfree limit, it is possible some of the wine could confiscated because the state law has a definite quantity limit. Possible, but probably not likely I hope.

I don't know why I am worrying about this, because there's no way I would be bringing a case of wine on a plane from anywhere, but the interplay between state and federal law does interest me.
kayd is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 10:35 AM
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I read a number of years ago that it costs the big time wine importers around $0.50 per bottle to ship wine in large loads, such as a full container. Does anyone know if that low number has changed very much over the years?
nukesafe is online now  
Sep 3rd, 2014, 01:29 PM
  #18  
 
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I know this is an old(ish) thread, but I wonder why not? We do it all the time, without special luggage or wine skins. Just use a proper wine shipper, which can be had from almost any winery, tape it up, check it with your luggage. Easy peasy.
NewbE is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2014, 01:54 PM
  #19  
 
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There is always the possibility that wine shipped with your luggage will go through some major temperature changes if not shipped in the proper container.
Robert2533 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2014, 02:15 PM
  #20  
 
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Easy for those who want to bring wine, of course. Budget constraints, difficulty wrangling heavy boxes, availability of lots of good wines at home, a palate not developed enough for the expense and effort to be worth it --all good reasons not to bring a case of wine home.
kayd is offline  

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