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Jun 26, 2009 10:33 AM

Moving a (small) collection out of state - help!

I'm desperate for advice, so I'd appreciate any and all. I'm moving from NYC to Kansas (not sure what city yet) in a few months and I have no idea what to do with my wine collection (<100 bottles). All of the info I've found online seems to apply to wholesale or retail shipping, and I'm not certain what applies to shipping to oneself. For better or worse, :D I can't drink it all before I leave, and I can't put it in the moving van since it will be boiled. What I want to do since cost is an important concern is pack the collection in those wine-specific hard styrofoam cases and ship it via UPS in October (or whenever the weather is cool enough). My concern is the legality of such a shipment (and it being returned for that reason), and that should any bottles break I wouldn't be able to collect on the insurance once the insurer found out what the item was (if it is illegal). I don't have the option of taking the collection in my car. I'm really confused about what to do. Please give me any and all advice you can!!!

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  1. I'm pretty sure you should be okay shipping wine to yourself. I've done it. I've purchased wine in states that don't ship to my home state, bought styro shippers, and then mailed them from Mail Boxes, Etc, or Postnet, or some similar place.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Brad Ballinger

      Thanks for your vote of confidence! I ended up talking to someone in the alcohol commission over there and they were really helpful. Apparently I can bring in my collection no problem(!), with just a small form to file and a (quite reasonable) tax payment.

      1. re: akalish

        The bigger potential problem, though, is that USPS won't (knowingly) accept alcohol for shipment at all and I don't think UPS or the other shippers will either, at least not from individuals. So at a minimum, no insurance, etc. nor, I think, can you count on it being returned if they find it, though I have no idea what the shippers' official policies are.

    2. Using UPS or FedEx is fine because it's your personal property. Much different if you're receiving a shipment from a winery where state laws may apply.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cstr

        If shipping it UPS, it's still safer to label it "Glassware."

        1. re: ChefJune

          I would ask UPS what their policy is (I'd get it in writing), but I've heard they don't want to mess with it. I would definitely ask before shipping it with them.

          The above link does not seem to specifically mention shipments where the "to" and "from" are the same consumer. It mentions the word "licensed" a lot though.

          You said you'd asked Kansas, but they're not the only people you're dealing with. You're also dealing with NY, the "from" state, and any state it travels through before it gets to KS too. Maybe the states in between don't matter if you use UPS, but if you don't, they might.

          Just because it doesn't make sense doesn't mean the government won't do it.

      2. I would get wine shipping boxes and pack them and move them with the rest of your belongings. Unless you are moving in very hot weather, they should travel just fine. That's what I did when I moved from Massachusetts to New Jersey. and I didn't tell anyone what I was moving. I paid plenty of tax on it when I purchased it!

        2 Replies
        1. re: ChefJune

          No! I'm about to do a cross-state lines move and the shipping company told me that it is absolutely scorching in the van. For example, they said that I shouldn't consider shipping any wax candles because they might melt. Sheesh! Imagine what that would do to a nice bottle you've been holding onto.

          1. re: Aaron

            oops! My move was in early March.

        2. I ship lots of wine from Oregon to Arizona when it cools down. I use UPS and have never had a problem, I don't tell them what it is and they just ship it. You can always say it is olive oil. In my case I have a UPS shipper number and ship directly from my office, the drivers see lots of wine coming and going and don't give a hoot.

          1. Anything shipped by van or UPS or freight will suffer the same heat risk if shipped at the same time of year. The legal worries are minimal, and there is no restriction imposed by a transit state.

            What you really need is cool weather, so that means finding a way to delay shipment until cooler weather. You need a friend. A friend with room for 8 or nine packed, sealed, and labeled styrofoam shipping cartons, and willing to UPS them in the fall. Maybe a neighbor, a cousin, the building super (well, you'll tip him so that's not actually a friend, but you understand).

            Lacking a friend, you need an agent, say a place that stores wine for people, or even a local wine merchant you deal with. Store packed and sealed shipping containers and have them sent in the fall. Your mover may offer storage services and find a way to do this for you, too.

            You don't mention driving a car cross country, and, if you were, you would be taking the wine with you and not posting the question in the first place, but there might be a car rental place that needs a repositioning run and you could be your own mover.