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eBay Begins Removing Alcohol Listings After '20/20' Report on Teen Buyer

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Jason, Sep 25, 2012.

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  1. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,300) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    I wonder why this day took so long to come ... eBay should be fined for all sales since they started, they knew what was going on and turned a blind eye to it. The worst of it is selling to underage buyers but nothing about sending beer across state lines without a license, that is a bigger can of worms I guess ... underage buyer is the low hanging fruit.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/kids-buy-alcohol-ebay/story?id=17280467#.UGEGSELelS_
    SocieteDouglas and BreakingBad like this.
  2. InebriatedJoker

    InebriatedJoker Champion (800) Ohio Sep 16, 2010

    Ebay is just the tip of the iceberg , There are so many other online sites out there to buy it from ..
    Won't be long till some sort of legislation gets passed to restrict any and all online sales ..
  3. RyanMM

    RyanMM Aficionado (210) Michigan Mar 12, 2009

    Utterly ridiculous, sensationalist nonsense. There were easier ways to get liquor as a teen than trying to order it through eBay.
    ptykozoon, solo103, DANABF2 and 22 others like this.
  4. I saw this article popping around literaly 10 minutes after I bought some BCBS, very odd. There are still listings up for many different beers as well.
  5. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Minnesota Apr 1, 2011

    It's about time they exposed all of those 13 year old kids buying cases of Grey Goose on the internet.
  6. LambicKing

    LambicKing Advocate (650) Florida Apr 13, 2011

    While selling to underage buyers needed to be squashed, do we really want the natural progression to be pursued, i.e. sending beer across state lines sans licenses? In other words, if the powers that be chase that rabbit down the hole, we'll undoubtedly see the end of beer trading. Does anybody here wish for that? I, for one, don't. Maybe I'm incorrectly reading between Jason's lines.
    solo103, Mavajo and BedetheVenerable like this.
  7. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,300) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Trading is a huge gray area, not part of this conversation ... selling beer to someone in another state without a license means they are by-passing taxes and proper distribution channels. Not saying I am for or against the laws that are in place ... but they are the current laws so no one should be above them when selling online.
  8. davey101

    davey101 Initiate (0) Connecticut Apr 14, 2009

    Aye. One of my friends in middle school used to order philly blunts and swisher sweets online...biggest issue was intercepting the package from the parents :rolleyes:
    fortsambo and BedetheVenerable like this.
  9. Shagtastic

    Shagtastic Initiate (0) Indiana Jul 30, 2011

    God forbid you enjoy your locals
    jbertsch, ehammond1, joeebbs and 5 others like this.
  10. Damn kids are hoarding all the Pappy Van Winkle 23.
  11. lurchingbeast

    lurchingbeast Initiate (0) Illinois Feb 19, 2009

    Good. I got sick of getting outbid for those Cantillon one offs by those damn 16 year olds.
    B2E2RUN, dman127, RyanMM and 10 others like this.
  12. LambicKing

    LambicKing Advocate (650) Florida Apr 13, 2011

    Both horses are dead and bloated at this point, but what's wrong with having the option to trade for something that will never see distro in your area?
    GRG1313, YogiBeer, SteelersX and 5 others like this.
  13. InebriatedJoker

    InebriatedJoker Champion (800) Ohio Sep 16, 2010


    I had talked with a fellow BA about this almost a year ago but I said it would be Chris Hansen with Dateline doing the E-Bay buying with an underage person ...It doesn't surprise me at all ..
    If someone wants something bad enough they can find it online ...
    Lantern and davey101 like this.
  14. I'm not an expert, but I don't think there is a distinction in the law between payment in kind and payment with currency.
  15. In pretty much every state in the union, I imagine ABC could easily be guilty of (as either a principal or accomplice):

    Delinquency of a minor
    Conspiracy to commit delinquency of a minor
    Fraud
    Conspiracy to commit fraud
    Conspiracy - minor in possession of alcohol
    Minor in possession of alcohol
    Credit Card Fraud
    Conspiracy to commit credit card fraud

    Heck in a state like Nevada, where all it takes to be convicted of felony child abuse is to put a child in a situation where "they may suffer physical or emotional harm" . . . (I've always feared an overprotective jury and DA making a name for himself prosecuting/convicting some guy who chose a beer festival over going to his kid's soccer game, "oh the horror, little Jimmy suffered emotionally when his father chose beer over his son!)

    And we're not even talking about all the mail fraud, crossing state lines type of stuff, identity theft federal stuff.

    Its always interesting to me how breaking the law, like I allege ABC did, is ignored (or even applauded) when its for the children, and yet at the same time, the children are then used to rationalize passing more laws (that will be selectively enforced) and the downward spiral repeats itself. . .

    ABC, a formerly objective news organization, breaking the law for a sensationalized story, is of greater concern than the supposed underlying substantive story.

    All crimes should be required to have a victim. I'll get off my soapbox now, these Stone IPAs don't drink themselves.
    JavaNoire, Errto, GRG1313 and 4 others like this.
  16. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,300) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    True but using paypal or credit cards means there is a "paper trail". A "swap" or trade between "friends" is going to be really hard prosecute assuming both parties are of age. :rolleyes:
    Lantern and GrumpyOldTroll like this.
  17. Pahn

    Pahn Advocate (695) New York Dec 2, 2009

    this seems like it could yield a very good trouble brewing comic. p.s. i forgot the username of the guy who makes these.
  18. I don't see how there's any "grey area" in beer-trading, unless you're tralking about in-person trades. Shipping alcohol without an appropriate license is expressly forbidden by the USPS, UPS and FedEx, as well as state and Federal laws.
    pudgym29, jbertsch and Horbar like this.
  19. nc41

    nc41 Advocate (600) North Carolina Sep 25, 2008


    I don't think so. All OL stores I deal with have to be a state that is legal to ship to, and REQUIRE someone 21 to sign for the box. This disqualifies under age drinkers where 6 buck 12 packs of Genny Cream Ale rule.
  20. psykosis

    psykosis Savant (320) Indiana May 21, 2009

    So with the death of ebay sales, what's next for personal beer sellers? Does this kill the market of second-hand sales, or are bottles going to start popping up elsewhere? It's not like I think anyone is going to be cruising Craigslist for a bottle of Black Tuesday. The people flipping beers must surely be looking for other avenues now, but I cannot fathom what they might be...
  21. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,300) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Gray area meaning there is no real "paper trail" of money for product. Shipping is or could be the killer though without the staffing to check every box sent it would be near impossible to check.
  22. mattarata

    mattarata Aficionado (130) Illinois May 13, 2006

    OMG we have to save the children!!!! They are going to steal their parent's credit cards and buy really expensive beer on eBay and then manage to intercept the package! And then drink that one or two bottles they bought - and the rents will NEVER notice!!! This is a HUGE problem - sooooo many children are getting their alcohol this way!

    No. This is not happening, not in any significant way. This is dumb.

    What IS happening is that my freedom - to buy whatever I want from whoever I want no matter where they live - is being eroded away each and every day. The 21st century was to have ushered in new and better ways to exchange goods and ideas. Instead it's only just made it easier for talking heads to stir up controversy over stupid crap that doesn't matter.

    Fight the power! Drink your beer :)
    JavaNoire, Gentleman, psycle and 17 others like this.
  23. InebriatedJoker

    InebriatedJoker Champion (800) Ohio Sep 16, 2010

    Throw someone 10 bucks to sign for your box and next thing you know some kid has the dry heaves in the bathtub ..I have beer shipped to me from online sales and although I bought it, people I work with sign for it and have never been asked for a their ID via FedEx Or UPS ..Trust me it can and probably is being done .
  24. Let's hope you don't get a (one of my favorite BA's) "subpoena duces tecum" for beermails between BAs getting the address and trade information one day during the zealous prosecution of beer trading.

    Plenty of a digital paper trail. A distinction without difference frankly between prosecuting in either situation if the will is there. But hey, nobody ever becomes involved with law enforcement to make a name for themselves or make a crusade against alcohol right?

    EDIT: I should point out that a subpoena duces tecum is simply an order for the production of documents/information.
    Bluecane likes this.
  25. They already have . . . .
    chippo33 likes this.
  26. psykosis

    psykosis Savant (320) Indiana May 21, 2009

    I can't begin to think of where though. Doesn't matter I guess. I already spend too much without having to pay substantially over retail...
  27. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,300) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    I know what it is. ;) Todd and I discuss this subject (beer trading) on a regular basis ...
  28. Is this actually the case (honest question)? I understood that it's perfectly legal to ship a bottle or two of 'wine' across state lines. Sure, it goes against UPS/FedEx POLICY, but this doesn't make it illegal. In fact, the very nice older clerk at UPS said that if it was only a bottle or two, and I was absolutely sure it was going to someone of age, she'd be glad to do it. I know the USPS is illegal, but are the really laws on the books that say I can't buy a bottle of lambic down here and send it to my dad for his birthday?
  29. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (505) Texas Nov 27, 2011

    Texas doesnt even allow online companies to ship here, so I can tell you for certain you can't legally ship it here. I think that tax issues/licensing issues make is illegal pretty much everywhere
  30. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,300) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Certainly not if it is a money for production transaction unless of course the shipper is licensed in the state they are shipping to. Sending a bottle to a friend is the "gray area".
  31. Assumed you guys did. Had to choose between a) does it look snarky to inform others b) does it look snarky to assume people know latin

    Not that I would ever ask someone to divulge confidential attorney-client information, but I wonder if there's ever been a discussion of the potential legalities of even receiving beer from across state lines for reviews in the mag. . .
  32. lurchingbeast

    lurchingbeast Initiate (0) Illinois Feb 19, 2009

    "As your attorney I would advise you that snitches get stitches." :D

    Honestly, I don't see anyone chasing down that many traders for prosecution.
    Gonzoillini likes this.
  33. hardy008

    hardy008 Champion (760) Minnesota Jan 12, 2008

    There is a huge disagreement among online stores over which states are legal to ship to, and which are not. You would think all the online stores would have the same listings for okay to ship to, and not okay to ship to, but they don't.
  34. "Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life. . . "

    Kids die of alcohol poisoning every weekend. Kids never die from marijuana. Over a million marijuana cases prosecuted and counting. . .

    If we've wasted billions of $$, and thousands of lives, prosecuting lesser threats than beer trading (much less our penchant for prohibiting things outright that consenting adults like) . . . who knows what the future holds, but there's not much I would be surprised at that our government would try its hand at these days.

    But sure, today, not gonna happen. Keep in mind, the US Supreme Court said less than a century ago, that it was illegal for the government to tell people they couldn't take any drug they wanted. Coca Cola was sued for putting, not cocaine, but caffeine in their drink. Big sodas are outlawed in NYC. Things can change.
    pudgym29, YogiBeer, therobot and 3 others like this.
  35. freewill35

    freewill35 Advocate (605) Indiana Oct 27, 2007

    I agree Jason. eBay should have been fined a long time ago.
  36. BeerDocT

    BeerDocT Aficionado (235) Georgia Aug 12, 2011

    Wow, this story is like an old "20/20" from the 80's. Guess that shows the mentality of the old fogies still hanging onto staff positions there. They saved America from the scourge of a fake teen ordering alcohol online! Somewhere, Hugh Downs just ordered an extra Metamucil to celebrate.
  37. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,300) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Agreed ... it is not low hanging fruit unless there is a minor involved. DOH!

    Think Boardwalk Empire should do a spin-off episode with beer traders. LOL.
  38. Well at least now people won't bitch and moan about selling beer on eBay.
  39. it was bound to happen
  40. I, for one, am truly sad.
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