Category: alcohol

Who Returns Alcohol?

If you have never tried it, try it anyway.

A liquor store near Niagara Falls, Ontario. The liquor store locations are usually the places to be the day before a holiday (Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, among others).

A liquor store near Niagara Falls, Ontario. The liquor store locations are usually the places to be the day before a holiday (Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, among others).

BY: Jeff Schneberk
@Game7overtime

One of the strongest industries out there during the crossover between the Christmas holidays and into New Year’s is the alcohol industry.

That’s if you can even call it an industry.

Sometimes the longest lineups you will ever come across during the Christmas holiday season are the ones at the various retail establishments that sell alcohol of any type, which is also good reason to see my point in writing this.

Which is this, why would you want to return alcohol?

On two separate occasions through the middle of December, I have had people wonder out loud why people bother returning alcohol, actually one person today said directly to me ‘I don’t think I have ever returned alcohol’.

Neither have I. In fact it made me wonder why anyone would want to ever risk standing in some long-as-hell lineup waiting to get a refund or exchange on something they probably don’t even know if they like. Especially at this time of year when everyone has places to go and people to see, no one wants to waste time in a long lineup in a store, even if it is a beer or liquor store.

Would you want to be stuck in the middle of this just to get a refund on a $10 Christmas or birthday present?!?

Would you want to be stuck in the middle of this just to get a refund on a $10 Christmas or birthday present?!?

or this...?

or this…?

I would say why not crack the bottle open yourself and try the scotch, vodka, brandy or win, before you convince yourself that you won’t like it? Even if you abstain from alcohol as a part of your lifestyle, or your personal beliefs, there is almost nothing better you could do with wine, spirits or beer that you know you will never ever use, than give it to someone else.

I have gotten into the habit of giving wine as a Christmas gift over the past several years, and it seems like something that you just cannot go wrong with. I even give to some people I hardly even know, and everything seems to go over just nicely.

I have never heard anyone bitch or complain that they received one too many bottles of wine (expensive or cheap) at Christmas time. I have never heard anyone say they would rather white instead or red or red instead of white, or imported French stuff rather than the grocery store brand. In fact, from what I have seen, you can really get someone’s attention fixated on the label when you hand them the bottle or watch as they remove it from the bag you put it in.
I find it incredible the number of internet stories talking about people who return alcohol to their local store.

A typical selection of wines at the liquor store.

A typical selection of wines at the liquor store.

Two people have said something to me this Christmas season about how returning the gift of alcohol is the last thing they would ever do.

Even if it’s a drink that you wouldn’t touch yourself, how can you possibly go wrong with giving someone you know even a $10 bottle of wine?
Personally I couldn’t care less if it’s $10 or $50, wine is wine and you learn to like it at some point, at least for one day or night.

California law has, since 1995, allowed the return of alcoholic beverages by a DISSATISFIED customer to the retailer. The law does not REQUIRE the retailer to take it back. At least in the wine business, wholesalers (at least in my experience) will always exchange a ‘bad’ bottle returned by a customer, and they don’t usually check to make sure it’s really bad. I suppose it eventually gets looked at on a percentage basis for abuse, but the idea is to keep the customer happy. Wine CAN be bad, as well as not to someone’s taste.

I used to sell a wonderful unfiltered California Chardonnay from Sonoma County and once took back a couple of bottles from a customer who insisted it should be crystal clear or there was something wrong with it. The wholesaler took back the open bottle and I re-sold the unopened one. The customer admitted not even tasting it.

@Game7overtime