In this business you must do your homework first to understand the intricacies involved in importing wine—from wine sourcing, to cost analysis, to shipping and warehousing, to marketing and selling. Therefore, there are 6 factors to follow:
- Budgeting: Make sure you have sufficient working capital available so you don’t get caught in a bind wondering, “Where did my money go?”
- Pricing: Importers expect 35 percent to 40 percent markup, wholesalers add another 35 percent to 40 percent markup and retailers add another 40 percent to 50 percent markup.
- Logistics: Make sure packaging is strong and protective.
- Distribution: Make sure to understand what a good distributor needs before you enter into any agreement, set expectations at the outset, communicate often and support them.
- Licenses: Consult with the Alcohol Beverage Control Board-United States, Canada and Mexico, among others.
- Regulatory Issues: Importing wine is a gray area for a lot of folks, thus, each wine you import needs a Certificate of Label (COLA) approval indicating the name of the wine, copy of the front and back of label, alcohol content, sulfite declaration and health warning statement, among others.