This is a first for me. This morning I placed an order with a US online retailer in New Jersey: shopperswines.com. I had no issue submitting payment, and the system verified that they could ship to NY state (as some NJ retailers won't ship to NY thanks to NY's Attorney General). A few hours later I got an email status update: "Your order has been cancelled." No other explanation.
I called and they told me that it is illegal in the US to accept online payment for alcohol from non-US residents.
I said I've ordered from dozens of US wine retailers over the past 6 years and have never had this problem. He said "well, they're all breaking the law".
I asked if I could walk into his store and buy wine in person using my Canadian credit card. He said yes because they process those payments with their in-store payment system. The problem, he said, is that their online CC processing company says they cannot process foreign payments for alcohol. So I said I'd give him my CC info over the phone and he could process it on their in-store system. He refused, saying that if the wine was going to be shipped, the order MUST be placed via their website.
I think they need to find a new e-commerce payment processing company. But I'm curious if anyone knows if this is, in fact, the law in the US.
(As an aside, he said that it's also illegal for them to ship to NY state but they've found a workaround by using a third-party freight company out of NY. So just a little bit hypocritical.)
(And another aside: it just occurred to me that their URL is fitting. Shopper Swines.)