Just wondering what all you retailers do to keep compliant? Do you use Ship Compliant or eCompli? Do you do it on your own. If you use the software companies, what do you think of them?
Ship Compliant hooked into RMS P-O-S. Worked great from my end (shipping). I didn’t do the admin so I don’t know how much work that took. But it kept me “honest” and even has temp maps to help you decide if you really want to ship that case to Texas this week.
We had it hooked right into the front-end (at the register) so right when someone was trying to input a shipment it would tell you if it was legal–rather than waiting for the shipping clerk to discover that the next day. The interfacing to RMS was done by the P-O-S company.
Their customer support was great, also.
We use the FedEx wine shipping guide. For the limited amount of shipping we do, it seems to be fine, even though it seems to devote as much space to disclaimers about its own reliability as it does with actual information. The biggest problem is with shipments that fail: If we ship out a case, and a bottle breaks, they send back the remaining 11 bottles, and remind us they don’t pay damages on alcohol shipments. It is a policy that seems meant to discourage shipping wine, and in our case, it is working. I want to be legal, obviously, but I’d rather not deal with a shipper that accepts no responsibility for performance. Are there other options?
My commentary regards direct shipping as a winery, but there is some overlap.
We used to use ShipCompliant but really it was just a monthly fee charged to fill out tax forms for us, but we still had to print / sign / pay taxes, maintain licenses, file label registrations, etc. We moved to a compliance service for a very modest price difference that cut the workload down for us dramatically (even if that has it’s share of issues). I understand that ShipCompliant is becoming more full service but it was perhaps a little late for us when they did.
UPS is essentially the same. That said, we do not buy insurance. They lose / destroy about one shipment per year out of many thousands. Just absorbing the loss is much cheaper than insuring every box, especially when they will likely fight the insurance claim with allegations of improper packaging or other things that we did or didn’t do to comply with the insurance policy.
We use UPS and in 9 years, they have denied one claim and a couple times argued for a while but paid up. Our rates are lower than Fedex and the more you ship with UPS, the lower your rates.
Sorry for the thread drift.