Question about shipping beer via Fedex?

Discussion in 'Trade Talk' started by ChicagoJohn, Jul 18, 2012.

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  1. ChicagoJohn

    ChicagoJohn Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2012 Illinois

    I've shipped over 30 boxes of beer via Fedex and now I have had an issue with my local Fedex office center that says that no type of liquor can be sent via Fedex unless I have some sort of pre-approved label. I'm a little bit confused as this is the first time this has happened to me before and I have 3 boxes weighing about 20 lbs each that are being 'held' up by the Fedex.

    Anyone else have to fill out the pre-approved label and what exactly is it?

    Anyone know what I need to do to get these beers shipped?

    I have been using a Fedex account and the last shipment before this I had beer that got cracked by the driver so I am wondering if they are 'investigating' all the boxes that I send out to them.

  2. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey

    I thought you were shipping snow globes and olive oil?
    NRo, ChanChan and KingforaDay like this.
  3. ChicagoJohn

    ChicagoJohn Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2012 Illinois

    They called me up today and told me that they opened and inspected all of my boxes..
  4. Mavajo

    Mavajo Initiate (0) Feb 10, 2007 Georgia

    You need to have some sort of license to ship alcohol via FedEx. I believe this license is only for businesses -- individuals can't or don't get it.

    I'd like a little more information on your situation. Did you tell them it was beer in the box? Did they ask? Or did they somehow discover it on their own?

    Beer trading is a clandestine affair. If you tell FedEx/UPS that you're shipping alcohol, they won't ship your package. If they discover it en route, you run the risk of having your box confiscated. So if an employee asks what we're shipping when we drop the box off, most of us lie.

    That said, if you pre-pack your box and print your own label, the employees generally don't hassle you when you drop your box off. And if you've taken reasonable measures when packing your box, you generally don't run any risk in having your beer confiscated. They're not generally in the business of opening your box unless there's some cause for alarm (a broken glass sound, excessive sloshing noise, leaking bottle, etc.).

    I'd say less than 1% of beer trades ever run into problems with the courier.
    DaGio and ellswrth like this.
  5. Mavajo

    Mavajo Initiate (0) Feb 10, 2007 Georgia

    Did they say why? Had you told them there were beer inside?
  6. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2011 North Carolina

    Go to a different Fed Ex location. I rotate between like 3 locations and UPS just to keep people guessing.
  7. ChicagoJohn

    ChicagoJohn Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2012 Illinois

    I dropped off the packages pre-labeled and pre-paid to my Fedex office. It was sitting in the office all day so I think they just got nosy and decided to open them up.

    No one asked me what I was shipping and this is the first time that my boxes have been 'seized' by the Fedex office and inspected. They are heavier boxes though that weigh about 20lbs a piece..
  8. KingforaDay

    KingforaDay Crusader (744) Aug 5, 2010 New Jersey

    Take it to another fedex office. The chances of 2 offices questioning you are slim.
  9. Rempo

    Rempo Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2010 Indiana

    The dreaded rogue employee (who is technically doing their job).
  10. ChanChan

    ChanChan Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2009 California

    You sent 30 boxes at one time? 0_o If so, they could have thought it was fishy!
  11. kmello69

    kmello69 Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2011 Texas

    "I have 3 boxes weighing about 20 lbs each that are being 'held' up by the Fedex."
  12. ChicagoJohn

    ChicagoJohn Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2012 Illinois

    No. I've shipped 30 boxes this past year but I shipped 3 boxes this shipment..
  13. FishPondManager

    FishPondManager Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2012 Colorado

    Probably was a hall monitor in middle school too.

    This doesn't sound good. I've had a bottle break when being shipped to me, but never had any on my account have exceptions. I'd just get my boxes back and ship them via UPS for a while, or start a new account. I'm sure some more experienced BA's have some other suggestions.

    CBeer touts home pick up a lot, which I have started using. It isn't much extra, and it seems to mitigate some noziness. I am also lucky because I live at the beginning of my drivers route so my beer doesn't sit on the porch all day. I've only met my driver once (I'm usually at work when pickup/delivery is made), but I've started to leave a thank you card with every 3rd or 4th box that is picked up or delivered. I've thrown a $10 gift card to Best Buy and a local restaurant in a couple of them. Otherwise, I just write a nice note. Half of it is because I appreciate the service and he's a cool guy, and the other half is to "grease the wheels" if you get my drift.
    Mavajo and pschul4 like this.
  14. ChanChan

    ChanChan Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2009 California

    That sucks!! I guess its Fed-ex that is being douchie about shipping brew. Try USPS next time. May the shipping gods be with your current "held-up" contraband!
  15. Auror

    Auror Defender (623) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts

    Pretty smart.
  16. FishPondManager

    FishPondManager Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2012 Colorado

    Thanks. There was a thread a while back where some vets were talking about their relationships with thier drivers and it sounded like a good thing to do. I'm a thank you card guy in general. It's about the only reason I ever purchase stamps.
  17. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (456) Jan 7, 2011 California

    i don't believe that is legal. at least not the way they've gone about it based on what you provided thus far.

    based on the broken bottle you mentioned possibly tripping an alarm, could it be your driver or someone in cahoots is a craft beer head that's hoping to beat you out of some bottles you won't claim?
  18. ChicagoJohn

    ChicagoJohn Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2012 Illinois

    It's not the driver but someone doing her job and being overzealous from the store that I dropped it off at.
  19. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (456) Jan 7, 2011 California

    i seriously doubt *opening & inspecting* boxes is "her" job.

    let me ask you this, did you get your beer back?
  20. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Initiate (0) Jan 2, 2010 California

    My Fedex has this terrible witch that only let's me use new boxes. If there is so much a tiny crease, she says they won't ship. I tape my boxes up pretty good so they don't attempt to open. There is a fedex in a sketchier part of town I often go to when I see that witch at my local store.
  21. ChicagoJohn

    ChicagoJohn Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2012 Illinois

    Should I go through the hassle of relabeling and buying new labels or just drop it off at a nearby Fedex? I'm just curious if anyone has done this, but I don't know if they may put a 'ship ban' on my tracking number or if the system goes weird upon it being 'checked in' at two locations..

    Anyone have input from past experience?

    They are allowing me to pick up the package as long as I do it by 6PM today.
  22. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (961) Mar 17, 2009 Washington

    Sounds like you have been blacklisted. Time to use UPS.
  23. hmph

    hmph Initiate (0) Jun 9, 2011 Virginia

    Pick them up, and take them to another fedex location if possible. Also, and preferred use the driver pickup option. Drivers take the package to the distribution centers and not to the 'fedex stores' , much less a chance of people handling them that would care unless it is leaking or broken (even then it might not matter). Also , it is unlikely but possible that they have any mark or note on your account and you would likely only be 'questioned' if you go into the same fedex again.

    Best of luck!

    At least you get your brew back to send!
  24. RochesterAaron

    RochesterAaron Initiate (0) May 24, 2007 New York

    One of the local fedex/kinkos locations pulled this crap with me. Told me they only take new boxes, told me they won't ship anything with fragile stickers, told me I couldn't ship glass (I told her it had bbq sauce in it when she asked). There are directions for shipping glass on FedEx's website. I've started using a different location but its a 30 minute drive instead of a 5 minute drive.
  25. itshanney

    itshanney Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2012 Washington

    Alcohol laws are different in each state but it is generally accepted that individuals cannot ship alcohol. Speaking from experience in Washington state, you have to be registered with the Liquor Control Board to ship alcohol in state or out of state. This is probably universal across other states. If you live in a state that has notoriously horrendous alcohol laws, it's a good guess it's not legal.
  26. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,096) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    What alcohol regulations do you think would impact the home delivery of beer?
  27. itshanney

    itshanney Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2012 Washington

    I think in short, the answer is: "all of them". Straight from the horse's mouth:

    "Only licensed entities may ship alcohol of any type with Fedex... Consumers may not ship alcohol." You have to be a licensed business to ship alcohol. Especially anything that crosses state lines has federal implications.
  28. Hanzo

    Hanzo Savant (975) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    FedEx/UPS is a private company, once you hand the package over to them (thus consenting to their TOS) they can open it if they want.
  29. Damian74

    Damian74 Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2012 South Carolina

    If UPS opens your box, can they keep the beer? I was just told my 17lb box was destroyed but somehow my 25lb box made it to PA.
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