Why the US Postal Service should ship beer and wine

It’s no secret that the US Postal Service is in dismal financial shape. Last week the Senate passed a bill to take steps to right the sinking ship. One of the unusual steps in the bill is good news: allowing the USPS to ship beer and wine.

This is a great idea for several reasons. First, as more bills and checks get sent electronically, you still can’t download wine and beer through your computer (despite some attempts) so it is a defensible category for the USPS. Second, it will provide more competition to UPS and FedEx, which may bring prices down. Although wine is unavoidably heavy, the USPS is already working on 2-, 4- and 6-bottle flat rate shippers. Third, it gets the discussion of wine shipments in the news so that more people can realize how silly it is that retailers can only ship to 14 states legally. Fourth, if the USPS revenue stream gets hooked on booze, then the liberalization of wine shipments will have gained a powerful ally in Washington–and in every state. Fifth, it would demonstrate what a red herring the underage issue is. Sixth, wine in the mail–how fun is that?

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8 Responses to “Why the US Postal Service should ship beer and wine”

  1. I would also like it if, upon ordering, you could check a box certifying that no one at your home is under the age of 21, so the wine could be left at your home if you so choose without you having to be there.

  2. Ditto what Christina said, and if it’s less expensive it would definitely fly.

  3. I understand the inconvenience you experience when ordering wine online and you have to be home to sign for it. This is not likely to change. Even if you can certify that no one under the age of 21 lives in your household, no carrier, being UPS, USPS or FedEx, will leave a “restricted” product, like wine or alcohol, on a doorstep. A neighborhood kid could easily grab the package and you would be liable. I’ve found it’s easier to receive these types of packages in my office, where I know I will be during delivery hours, and someone who is of legal age is always present to sign for it.

  4. I don’t expect it’s likely to happen. I just wish it would. I happen to have a closed-in porch where packages are routinely left and out of view, which is one reason why I think about it. I end up schlepping over to the UPS Center to pick up packages, because it got to be such a subject of discussion in my office.

  5. This is good new but as Christina mentioned above it would be better if I didn’t have to sign for it. I understand that it can’t be changed but it’s still really inconvenient as I’m very rarely home but I’d love to mail order wine to my house.

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