Bright Cellars was founded in 2013 and quickly grew to become one of the top online wine sellers in the United States. The website quizzes users to pair them with wines they might like and offers only sommelier-approved wines, so you know that you’re getting a quality product.
So does Bright Cellars ship to Canada?
Unfortunately, Bright Cellars does NOT ship to Canada or any other international country, for that matter.
Getting wine shipped internationally can be a bit of a headache, but there is a way. Below, I’ll show you how to find a package forwarding company that’s licensed to ship alcohol so you can get your package delivered to your home in Canada.
Bright Cellars started as a simple, small online store with the goal of providing custom-matched wines to consumers in the US. When the company first started in 2013, it experienced some hiccups, as some states in the US don’t allow wine to be shipped in the mail from out-of-state retailers.
Despite Bright Cellars’ meteoric growth, though, the company still doesn’t provide direct shipping to Canada. Currently, Bright Cellars’ policy does not allow for any type of international shipping.
If you’re set on getting a bottle from Bright Cellars, then you can use a package forwarding service to ship your order to a virtual address in the United States before forwarding it to your Canadian address. Below, I’ll show you how to do just that.
- Disclaimer: Package forwarding alcoholic beverages from the United States to Canada can be rather expensive and usually takes a minimum of two to three weeks to arrive.
If you’re willing to pay the extra money and wait a few weeks longer for your box of wine to arrive in Canada, then package forwarding is probably your best option to get Bright Cellars delivered across the border.
Here’s a quick step-by-step overview of how the process works:
- Sign up with a package forwarder that ships alcohol
- Get your virtual address from the forwarding company
- Shop for your favourite wines on Bright Cellars’ website
- Ship your order to the package forwarding warehouse
- Forward the wine to your address in Canada
Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these steps, so you can follow the process yourself.
If you’ve kept up with recent blog posts, then you may have read my post on how to get Brandy Melville shipped from the US to Canada. Package forwarding clothing and shoes is a lot simpler than shipping alcoholic beverages across the border.
Since alcohol is a controlled substance, it’s subject to certain rules and regulations regarding how it must be shipped, packaged, and labelled. This is especially true when shipping packages across international borders.
The majority of package forwarding companies are not licensed to ship alcohol, which means that you may not be able to use a forwarding company that you’ve previously worked with.
Based on my research, Planet Express is the best package forwarding company to use for shipping wine from the US to Canada.
Planet Express is one of the few package forwarders that’s been issued an alcoholic beverage transportation permit.
At this time, only Planet Express’ Gardena warehouse location is permitted to handle alcoholic beverage orders, so you’ll need to ship your wine order here for repackaging.
Once you sign up for Planet Express, you’ll need to select the Gardena location as your primary shipping facility. Once you complete your user registration, you’ll be given a virtual address that you can use to ship your Bright Cellars order to.
With the set-up process out of the way, it’s time to do some shopping. First, create an account with Bright Cellars. If you’re so inclined, you may also want to take the site’s wine pairing quiz, which will allow you to receive customized wine recommendations that best fit your unique taste.
Once your cart is full, and you’re ready to order, checkout as you would on any other online store. The only difference here is that you’ll use your virtual address in the US as the shipping address instead of your Canadian address. If you try to use your Canadian address, your order will be put on hold and cancelled.
Once the package arrives at the forwarding warehouse, you’ll be notified of your package’s condition and will be able to select its next destination.
First, though, you’ll need to notify Planet Express (or your chosen package forwarder) that the package contains alcoholic beverages.
By law, the forwarding company is required to remove the alcoholic beverages from the original box and repackage them to comply with DHL’s international shipping standards. Otherwise, the package could be seized by Canadian customs.
At this point, you’ll also be able to select the timeframe in which you’d like your package delivered within. Keep in mind that even the fastest shipping time will take at least two weeks.
Standard shipping typically takes a minimum of three to four weeks, while the cheapest option can take up to two months to arrive.
In less than a decade, Bright Cellars evolved from a small online retailer to one of the biggest online wine stores in the United States. With success like this, you’d expect the brand to open its doors to Canadians, right?
Although the company may want to, the process of expanding a business internationally is not as easy as it sounds. The legal and logistical headaches can be insurmountable, which is why smaller businesses don’t bother with it.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the main reasons why Bright Cellars doesn’t ship to Canada.
One of the key selling features of Bright Cellars is that it offers fast shipping on all orders (because who wants to wait on their wine?).
As the company stands today, this wouldn’t be possible. Without a major distribution centre in Canada, Bright Cellars would have to ship all of its orders across the border, entailing long wait times in customs processing.
Of course, Bright Cellars doesn’t mind if you use a package forwarding service to get your wine. As far as they’re concerned, they’ve fulfilled their obligation for fast shipping within the US.
If you want to use a third-party package forwarder and wait several weeks longer to receive your order, that’s your prerogative as a consumer.
Bright Cellars had already experienced enough issues as it was trying to grow within the United States. To this day, 11 US states still don’t allow online wine companies like Bright Cellars to mail wine to consumers.
This is due to local regulations designed to protect local beer, wine, and liquor sales and prevent alcohol from falling into the wrong hands (i.e., minors ordering alcohol online with their parents’ cards).
Canada isn’t much different, and even local Canadian online wine retailers are subject to strict regulations. From a legal standpoint, it would be unnecessarily difficult for Bright Cellars to start shipping wine from the US to Canada.
It is illegal for consumers to ship alcohol across the border from the United States to Canada. However, licensed alcoholic beverage distributors and shippers (such as Bright Cellars and Planet Express) are allowed to ship alcohol from the US to Canada, providing rules are followed.
Since the package forwarder has to follow extra rules, the cost of shipping alcohol internationally can be significantly more expensive than the cost of shipping other goods across the border.
As you can see, ordering from Bright Cellars as a Canadian consumer can be both challenging and costly. Thankfully, there are several other online wine stores located within Canada that you can use to get high-quality wine mailed to your front door.
Some of the best alternatives to Bright Cellars in Canada include:
Although Bright Cellars doesn’t ship directly to Canada, you can use a package forwarding service that’s licensed to ship alcoholic beverages to get your order delivered to Canada.
That being said, this process can be rather tedious and can require weeks of waiting. In my opinion, you’re far better off purchasing from a local Canadian online wine store.
Looking for a creative way to earn some extra money that you can spend on fine wines?
Keep on reading to see my list of the best cashback apps in Canada next!