Which comes out cheaper for wine by the case - online shipping or local 8.25 % tax?
I need to buy a couple of cases of inexpensive, but hopefully decent wine for an event. I'm in Los Angeles and have access to Trader Joe's, Costco, Cost Plus, etc., but I'm wondering if I could do better online. It's shipping costs, versus Los Angeles's 8.25 percent sales tax.
Another consideration is what your options are when you pull out that first cork and the wine has gone off.
If you bought it at Costco, you take the bottle back and get your money back or a credit. if you bought it from a mail order outlet 2,000 miles away, at the least you have to pay for return shipping.
I hate having to pay a $5 charge for the privilege of having bought an unsatisfactory product.
Let's pretend: Sales tax = 8.25%
Let's pretend: Shipping = $20/case.
Simple math would tell you that sales tax on a $24/case purchase ($25.98 with tax) is LESS than shipping costs ($44.00 with shipping).
Simple math would tell you that shipping on a $1200/case purchase ($1220.00 with shipping) is LESS than paying sales tax ($1299.00).
So . . . which is cheaper??? Yes!
Not to be obnoxious, but doesn't it depend upon which wine you want and what prices you can get? No one here is going to have an encyclopedic knowledge of every online vendor's wines and shipping prices to LA. My suspicion is that if you are not super picky, you are best served at Costco, and perhaps Cost Plus...
You want inexpensive wines. Probably best for you to shop in LA from a good retailer with whom you can have an ongoing dialogue.
Your cost per bottle after case discount.
You are ordering from out of state.
The online retailer does not have a brick-and-mortar facility in your state. If they did, they must charge you Califonia sales tax.
If the online retailer is a winery, they are allowed to ship to California.
Cost of shipping averages around $45 for both shipping and styro shipper case.
45 is kind of the magic number.
45 dollars per bottle after case discount.
45 dollars in tax on the total case price if bought within state of California.
45 dollars to ship (shipping plus styro shipper).
If each bottle costs less $45, better to buy at a store near you.
You mentioned Trader Joe's and Cost Plus, whose wines are inexpensive. Costco has both low and higher priced bottles. My rec would be to search this board for the great LA stores -- they're often mentioned -- and head to them. Find a person at those store who understands your tastes in wine and can recommend things. Get a relationship going where you can tell this person if a wine you bought hit the mark or not, and why.
If your wine costs more than $45 per bottle, then it *may* be better to buy from an out-of-state retailer/winery.
Of course, all this doesn't speak to a specific wine's availability and shipping charges that are exhorbitant.
re: maria lorraine
Thanks! Now I get it. I'm so busy that I tend to order almost everything over the Internet, but I see in this case, I'm actually going to have to get into my car like a true Angeleno and do it the old-fashioned way and enrich the state tax coffers rather than than FedEx's coffers.