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Buy Alcohol from Warehouse Stores without Memberships

Posted By Jim On 07/03/2006 @ 3:37 pm In Frugal Living,Personal Finance,Shopping | 6 Comments

Did you know that you can go to Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club to buy alcohol without a membership? I didn’t know until I read this Deal of the Day column on Smart Money but according to them, if the warehouse store can legally sell (it’s a state law thing) then you usually can go in without a membership if you’re just buying alcohol.

BJ’s Wholesale Club: Membership is not required for purchases of alcohol in the following states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Texas and Vermont. Selection varies by store. (Some carry liquor, beer and wine, while others have only beer and wine. Some carry no alcohol at all.)

Costco Wholesale: Membership is not required for purchases of alcohol in the following states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Texas and Vermont Selection varies by store. (Some carry liquor, beer and wine, while others have only beer and wine. Yet others carry no alcohol at all.) Costco.com carries wine and champagne. Due to shipping restrictions, orders can only be delivered to California, Idaho, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon and West Virginia.

Sam’s Club: Membership is not required for purchases of alcohol.

As for the laws that permit this, here’s what Smart Money says:

Thanks to some little-known state laws, nonmembers can purchase alcohol without paying a membership fee. These laws date back to the 1930s, when Prohibition was repealed. Massachusetts’ law, for example, provides that applicants for a license to sell alcohol must “serve the public need and protect the common good.”

Jackpot!

via Smart Money [3].


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[3] Smart Money: http://www.smartmoney.com/dealoftheday/index.cfm?story=20060616

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