Pennsylvania Online Alcohol Sales: How It Works And Why It Doesn’t Always Work For You


Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is on the second day of online liquor sales.

With state-owned liquor stores closed since March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is an attempt to safely restore pleasurable creature comfort for many adult Pennsylvanians during this auto era -deprivation. Or, from your perspective, this is another source of growing frustration in a world where they never seem to end.

However, interest in the new system is high. In fact, the agency said nearly 278,000 people tried to place orders on the website on Wednesday, the first day of digital sales. You have questions. PennLive therefore sought answers on the program. Here are the answers provided by Elizabeth Brassell, spokesperson for the PLCB.

Q: You say that you open the online sales portal at random times during the day to avoid overloading the system. Can you explain how “randomization” works? Is it programmed by computer? Or a staff member who decides when to open the portal? And in this context, can you say at certain times of the day that the system is permanently closed?

A: In the interest of maintaining the integrity of the protections that we put around the site to avoid overloading the site with high traffic, avoiding order abuse and prolonging access throughout the day, we will not provide technical explanations or additional details.

Q: Is there anything buyers can do to increase their chances of entering?

A: No. We are simply asking customers to be patient and to understand that the PLCB does its best in extraordinary circumstances to balance consumer demand and public health.

Q: Is there a place where consumers can find the limited inventory list you offer?

A: Site visitors authorized to purchase the site will see the products available for purchase at that time. These are the 1,000 best-selling wines and spirits, but we are monitoring product purchases and availability to determine what changes in product selection may be warranted in the future.

(To this, we add, you will find partial lists of the best-selling products of the PLCB in this annual report. See pages 32-37.)

Q: Is this list more geared towards spirits at this time, since wine sales are still going on in grocery stores?

A: At this point, it’s a 60/40 split between spirits and wine.

Q: Does the online service accept gift cards? And is it a different credit or debit card only? Is there a way to pay by cash or check?

A: Credit and debit cards are the only payment methods accepted for online orders.

Q: How does delivery work? Does anyone have to be there to accept in person? And if so, do they have a warning when the delivery will arrive?

A: All orders must be shipped to or from stores, and a person 21 years of age or older must be present for delivery. Each order confirmation is accompanied by a UPS tracking number that can be used to track delivery progress.

Important note, customers are limited to purchasing up to six bottles per transaction. and only one order per address will be executed per day.

Q: Who makes the deliveries?


Q: Can you tell how many orders you take per day? Our sources said he thought it was 600 Wednesday, rising to 1,000 Thursday, and then increasing from there. I wonder if you can fill in this detail and explain it a bit? I guess you are trying to increase this level to a level that you have never experienced before, is it?

A: We assess fulfillment daily to optimize the number of orders we can accept each day, and the number of orders accepted each day will vary until we can better understand demand and fulfillment capacity. Today, we are fulfilling hundreds of online orders placed yesterday (Wednesday) for a total of approximately $ 59,000 in sales.

(It should be noted here that the PLCB e-commerce site accounted for $ 4.98 million in sales in fiscal year 2018-2019, or about 0.2% of total system sales. In June 2019, the single processing center in East Greenville, Montgomery County, averaged 134 orders per daily and daily sales of $ 18,134, which is clearly being increased on the fly.)

Q: Where are orders processed, and is this done by PLCB employees or with third party contractors?

A: We are fulfilling orders for several facilities (three at this point, one in Pittsburgh, Montgomery County and Wilkes-Barre), using a combination of PLCB employees and contractors.

The PLCB added that it implements best public health practices such as cleaning up facilities, social distancing and limiting the number of employees working in any facility at the same time in order to protect its employees.

  • MORE: With their own state stores closed, many Pennsylvanians looking for a drink cross state borders.


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