Wine Club Shipments: Signature Required During Covid

Wine clubs have long dealt with shipment restrictions brought on by our (rightful) concern about underage people getting ahold of alcohol. First, I used to loathe that signature required line from the common carriers, mostly because they added some extra charge to each shipment, for most of the time I was shipping wine to consumers, it was $5 a package. To put that in perspective, I was paying about $10 to ship two bottles of wine within California, but that extra $5 on top of that, hurt.

So how does signature required work during Covid? This is largely going to change based on your delivery driver and frankly, how experienced they are. The guy who got the job last week? He’s probably going to hand you the wine club package and then the tablet and the pen and make you sign. The guy who has been doing it for years, is going to simply put the package down and knock on your door, waiting for you to open the door. He’ll sign for you as long as you look over the age of 30 or so.

Really, that’s how the signature required is supposed to work. As an industry, direct to consumer wine sales really need a better way to articulate that the signature isn’t really the important thing, the important thing is to make sure that your wine club package is received by someone over the age of 21. During Covid we should be limiting interaction and sharing of materials as much as possible, this seems like an easy thing to cut out when possible. Don’t make someone physically sign if they’re clearly over the age of 30, just like you wouldn’t ask for their ID at a wine store when they’re purchasing a bottle of wine in person.

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