Not all direct-to-consumer wine shipments are created equal. Across the country, state regulatory agencies treat on-site and off-site orders differently. So what is the difference between an onsite order and off-site order?
Any order placed without the consumer being physically present is considered an off-site order.
On-site orders meet the following criteria:
- The order was made while the consumer was physically present at the winery
- The consumer chose to have their wine shipped home to themselves instead of carrying it out with them from the tasting room
- The order is not a gift
The following states allow on-site orders without a license but require a license to make off-site shipments:
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota is currently a “federal on-site” state but will change to a permit state on January 1, 2016.
When making on-site shipments to any state, we recommend that wineries capture proof that the customer was physically present in the winery when the order was placed in the event of an audit. An example of an on-site sale record is a signed receipt.
There are a few states that differ from the traditional on-site order concept, for example:
Arizona: Allows wineries to make subsequent shipments for the remainder of the calendar year to a customer who has purchased wine in the tasting room.
Indiana: Only allows shipments to a customer who has physically visited the winery.
Arkansas: Issues permits for direct shipping but only allows wineries to ship on-site shipments — off-site shipments are not permitted under any circumstance.
Another common misconception is to assume that club shipments are on-site orders because the consumer signed up for the club in the tasting room. Club shipments should not be considered on-site shipments unless the club member comes into the tasting room and pays for each order on-site before each shipment.
For more state details visit wineinstitute.shipcompliant.com