Anyone using LibDib or Merchant 23 or ? for small scale distribution?

Discussions and questions (vintages, winemaking, etc) for those ITB. All are welcome to post.
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Andrew Morris
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Anyone using LibDib or Merchant 23 or ? for small scale distribution?

#1 Post by Andrew Morris » January 16th, 2019, 3:06 pm

Hi People of the Biz,

My question is in the subject.

Also, do any of you have suggestions for small scale distributors in specific states?

This thread is in Wine Pimps as well.... viewtopic.php?t=147876

I guess that they are looking at it as buyers rather than as sellers.
Andrew Morris

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Chris Buchanan
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Re: Anyone using LibDib or Merchant 23 or ? for small scale distribution?

#2 Post by Chris Buchanan » January 17th, 2019, 8:19 am

Hey Andrew,

Cheers from the Emerald triangle!

I have signed up for both and reviewed the sites. What I found is that LibDib seems to have a more sleek site, while merchant23 had some odd fields and a little rougher feel. My understanding is that LibDib has their own distributor registered while merchant23 just has a network of clearing distributors in each state, though I could be wrong.

I also have found that if you have a specific state in mind it's pretty easy to find a smaller or clearing distributor who will 'clear' the wine for a reduced fee (10%-20%+ taxes). Basically just go on the alcohol beverage site for the state of interest and pull a list of all licensees of the type (wine distributor) in that state and look through the list and pick out the smaller looking ones then reach out. Alternatively if you have a buyer, ask them if they know any smaller distributors who might be willing to work with you. One caveat is beware the Franchise states as you can get locked in to a distributor forever. Shipping is of course a cost consideration, but once you add the fees of these platforms it seemed like a wash vs. UPS to me.

In short if I were to use one of the two I'd probably go with LibDib based on ease of use and site design. I'd probably investigate if I could do it on my own (which I did recently) and if it wasn't significantly much more than an extra 30 minutes I'd just make a contact with a small distributor or two and find one to receive and clear the shipment.

There is also some questionable stuff about the CEO for Merchant 23, unverified by me. A quick google search for his name will turn up press democrat articles etc. regarding an interesting mortgage scheme.

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Andrew Morris
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Re: Anyone using LibDib or Merchant 23 or ? for small scale distribution?

#3 Post by Andrew Morris » January 17th, 2019, 11:20 am

Chris Buchanan wrote:
January 17th, 2019, 8:19 am
Hey Andrew,

Cheers from the Emerald triangle!

I have signed up for both and reviewed the sites. What I found is that LibDib seems to have a more sleek site, while merchant23 had some odd fields and a little rougher feel. My understanding is that LibDib has their own distributor registered while merchant23 just has a network of clearing distributors in each state, though I could be wrong.

I also have found that if you have a specific state in mind it's pretty easy to find a smaller or clearing distributor who will 'clear' the wine for a reduced fee (10%-20%+ taxes). Basically just go on the alcohol beverage site for the state of interest and pull a list of all licensees of the type (wine distributor) in that state and look through the list and pick out the smaller looking ones then reach out. Alternatively if you have a buyer, ask them if they know any smaller distributors who might be willing to work with you. One caveat is beware the Franchise states as you can get locked in to a distributor forever. Shipping is of course a cost consideration, but once you add the fees of these platforms it seemed like a wash vs. UPS to me.

In short if I were to use one of the two I'd probably go with LibDib based on ease of use and site design. I'd probably investigate if I could do it on my own (which I did recently) and if it wasn't significantly much more than an extra 30 minutes I'd just make a contact with a small distributor or two and find one to receive and clear the shipment.

There is also some questionable stuff about the CEO for Merchant 23, unverified by me. A quick google search for his name will turn up press democrat articles etc. regarding an interesting mortgage scheme.
Hi Chris,

Nice to see you here and thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Have you sold any through either of them?

Through a dist as clearing?

Anything else to look out for?
Andrew Morris

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Chris Buchanan
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Re: Anyone using LibDib or Merchant 23 or ? for small scale distribution?

#4 Post by Chris Buchanan » January 17th, 2019, 6:57 pm

I did not use either. I just found a small distributor (Iowa) and worked directly via fedex ground.

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