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Private exchange of tobacco and alcohol on message boards?

The Wayfarer

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I'm just curious, what are the legalities of buying/selling/trading tobacco and alcohol on a public forum? I was just thinking the other day that it'd be interesting if there were an online community devoted to trading rare and vintage bottles of wine, scotch, bourbon and so on. Of course, there would need to be a means of age verification, but this is something I'm definitely interested in. I just question the feasibility of it.
 

Fade to Black

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Thanks for bringing this topic up, Wayfarer...i have some smokes/drink that i'm trying to unload as well. I am having trouble finding people in real life who are willing to take my goods..just a few examples of what i'm trying to sell:

- Montecristo Special Series 100s humidor (50 'A', 50 Salomones No. 2)
- Partagas Serie D No. 4 Reserva box completely intact
- Petrus 1989, 1990 (2 bottles each)
- and I think i have a bottle of 1986 lafite rothschild laying around im trying to find a good home for as well..

i have wondered whether it is legal for me to auction these things off on eBay or Yahoo but I am thinking not as i don't see an alcohol/tobacco category. And if i sell them to a vendor i am not sure if i will get the price i am looking for.
 

Augusto86

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On the one hand, I think it definitely breaks some state laws. On the other, I can imagine it would be terribly hard to get caught if it's individual transactions, and you could always pretend it's a gift.
 

Kas

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Besides that, since the seller probably bought the merchandise in a store - taxes have already been paid. Only problem I see is whether the person buying the stuff is of legal age.
 

Renault78law

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There's little doubt in my mind that it is illegal. You need some kind of license to sell tobacco and alcohol, right? I think the more relevant questions would be 1) who would enforce the violation of the licensing requirements, and 2) what is the penalty?
 

fcuknu

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Paypal (and of course ebay) do not allow it. I think it is less about law and more about PR. They dont want a special rights group crying about how their child got their hands on a black/mild and a bottle of colt.
 

Morgan

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IANYL, but I think you can sell booze if it's considered a collector's item, and the value of the bottle as a collector's item exceeds the value of the alcohol inside the bottle. I think this is a popular method of skirting liquor import/sale laws to acquire stuff like scotch or bourbon bottled for foreign markets, or available for sale only in duty free.

Here's some typical language from an ebay listing of a Signatory bottling of Glen Elgin:

THE COLLECTIBLE BOTTLE AND BOX SET IS WHAT YOU ARE BIDDING ON ONLY, THE CONTENTS INSIDE ARE INCIDENTAL AND NOT SOLD NOR PROMOTED FOR CONSUMPTION.YOU MUST BE 21 YEARS OF AGE IN ORDER TO BID ON THIS AUCTION, BY BIDDING ON THIS AUCTION YOU ARE DECLARING THAT YOU OF 21 YEARS OF AGE. A PAYPAL VERIFIED ADDRESS IS NEEDED, WE ACCEPT PAYPAL ONLY AND ALL AUCTIONS MUST BE PAID WITHIN 24 HOURS OF COMPLETION.
 

xchen

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I am pretty sure the main part of the law breaking occurs when selling these goods across state lines. These goods are banned on eBay, and woot will only sell wine to certain states. That said, I have heard of people trafficking drugs through Fed Ex, and my friend who is a manager, told me that none of the employees, even upper level management, cares what is in your packages. He also said, though, that they had a bust a while back in which a driver was involved in trafficking large amounts of marijuana and several employees were in on the transfer of the goods, all of which are in jail now.

It's simply got to be illegal, because they have the ATF which specializes in these types of cases.
 

Ludeykrus

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Originally Posted by xchen
I am pretty sure the main part of the law breaking occurs when selling these goods across state lines.

Botta bing. The government pitches a fit when you sell 'vices' across state lines, hence why you generally have a difficult/impossible time buying booze/tobacco/guns online or from other states. IIRC, they mainly focus on the Interstate Commerce clause to regulate such sales. Everybody is up in arms, though, when such 'loopholes' exist that allow face to face sales in-state. Go figure.

That said, I've traded baccy and other wares with folks online before; package it right, lie at the counter about what's inside, and noone will care what you're shipping.
 

kwilkinson

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A friend from another messageboard who lives in Australia sent me a large package containing cuban cigars. In the "detailed description of contents" section ont he shipping form, he wrote "art supplies." LOL I always get a kick out of that one.
 

Nouveau Pauvre

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Originally Posted by Ludeykrus
I wonder if I could convince my Jamaican honey to send me some 'art supplies'


hhahah. vacuum seal it. And then vacuum seal that bag. and then you should be solid. I understand this is not super uncommon.
 

PARTY

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The international mailing system is a joke. This is done quite frequently, from what I understand.
 

lithium180

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Originally Posted by Magician
hhahah. vacuum seal it. And then vacuum seal that bag. and then you should be solid. I understand this is not super uncommon.

Someone once tried to argue to me that FedEx was the biggest drug-running operation in America. A gross exaggeration no doubt but probably still one with some truth buried in it.
 

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