Wine Retailer: Buying wine for your own collection?

Howdy all -

I never post in this section and rarely read it, so forgive me if this question has been asked before. If one owns a small wine retail business, is it acceptable to buy wines for your own personal collection? Obviously I understand that selling wine and taking care of customers is the primary objective, but I always wondered if owners could keep a few cherries bought at wholesale.


That’s a big reason many wine nuts open stores as a second career. At least the ones I’ve talked to. The number of highly allocated wines that end up in owners’ cellars is very high.

Thanks Andrew. I assumed that might be the case for some. Seems quite compelling for those in the right financial situation.

Yes, retail owners do this as do restaurateurs.

May or may not be the main reason I got an abc license

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Hell yes. I wouldn’t be able to afford to drink Burgundy if I couldn’t.

Not only acceptable but compulsory I’d say.

Although it doesn’t matter to the distributor, I don’t think buying for collecting is fair. If you take a bottle home here and there and account for the inventory I think that’s okay. I work as a wine store manager and I still purchase the wine through the store even though hypothetically I could do something similar to what you’re suggesting.

The reasoning behind my thinking is because of access. Right now we’re seeing issues with champagne being out of stock. Of course as business, you could order in excess and hold inventory… but in my mind it feels wrong to allocate availability to yourself over the customers. I know you’re suggesting that also it’s just a cost thing where you’re buying in at whole sale, but to me it’s a similar issue. I also believe it could be illegal depending on where you live? I know for certain things as a retailer I’ve seen things in contracts that state that goods are provided on the idea that they’ll be sold at retail price. If you sell yourself at cost then that posses a problem.

FYI - it’s WB practice (might even be a rule, I’m not sure) to put in your signature line if you are ITB (in the business).

Ah I’ll do that.

Are you paying the sales tax :thinking: