“My client wants me to include a bottle of champagne in the gift basket. Is that okay?”
I’m asked this question all the time. You’re so happy to finally get the sale that you’ll do anything to please the customer — even break the law.
Adding wines and alcohol to your gift baskets when you don’t have license to do so is considered a crime.
Just when you think it’s okay to add a bottle of bubbly just one time, you could be selling that gift basket to an undercover ATF (alcohol, tobacco and firearms) officer. The hassle isn’t worth the cost.
Suppose you receive an order that requests adding a bottle of red wine. You accept the order, drive to your local liquor store, and purchase the product. When the basket is complete, you drive to the recipient’s home to make the delivery.
You ring the bell, and the recipient’s 8-year-old daughter answers the door.
“My mommy’s not home,” she says. It’s 9:00 p.m., and you don’t feel like making a return trip, plus your client will be disappointed if the gift basket isn’t delivered this evening.
It’s no big deal to leave the basket with the child, right? Wrong.
Children who accept packages can also open the gift and consume the contents. After the mother accompanies her inebriated child to the hospital, she’ll be ready to lash out at the responsible party.
If she doesn’t call the police, the hospital certainly will. The same night you profit from the sale will be a night you also incur a loss. You will be escorted to the police station where you could be held criminally liable for your actions.
How do you make your clients and the ATF happy? You have three choices:
1. Explain that you are not licensed to package wines and alcohol in gift baskets. Anyone who does not understand this and either insists that you comply with her wishes or says that she will never again order from you is a person you don’t need as a client.
2. Suggest a non-alcoholic substitute. Manufacturers make a many beverages that rival wines in packaging, appearance, and taste. Open-minded clients will understand that you cannot include alcohol and will either choose an alternative or decline adding a beverage.
3. Tell the client that you will leave space in the gift basket for its inclusion. You must have the expertise to keep an area within the basket open and uncovered so the bottle can be inserted. If you are not ready to do this, do not offer this option.
When you’re ready to legally offer wine in gift baskets, a solution may be to outsource to designing to a drop shipper, which is explained on the Drop Ship Gift Baskets page at GiftBasketBusiness.com.
Don’t break the law to make a sale. Alternatives exist, and choosing the non-alcoholic option for your gift baskets is a wise decision. Now that’s something to get bubbly about.