Futures / Pre-arrivals

What are futures/pre-arrivals?

Wines classified as futures or pre-arrivals are available for customer purchase now, but are not currently physically in stock at our store ready for shipment. Depending on the item, they may arrive into our inventory within anywhere from a few weeks to 3 years (in the case of Bordeaux futures).


Why pre-arrivals?

One of the things that sets Woodland Hills Wine Co. apart from other wine shops is our ability to directly import top wines from overseas. In doing so, we bypass the oftentimes monopolistic domestic importers and distributors who are free to charge what the market will bear. Accordingly, we are usually able to procure wines for substantially less than those who are dependent on standard distribution channels, and can pass these savings on to the customer. In addition, by going direct we are able to obtain larger quantities of highly allocated wines than would otherwise be possible. So by purchasing wines from us on "pre-arrival" (futures), customers are not only assured of obtaining certain highly sought after wines, but are also able to purchase them at significantly lower prices.

How it works

We buy wines from numerous overseas sources: producers, négociants , wholesalers, brokers, retailers, auction houses, restaurants, private collectors, etc. Once we receive confirmation on a purchase, we generally make these wines available to our customers on a pre-arrival basis. All wines are transported to the U.S. in refrigerated containers. The entire process of us collecting wine from the source, consolidating it, shipping it, clearing customs, etc., typically takes about eight weeks, though there are a number of factors beyond our control (e.g., dock strikes, label compliance) that can sometimes prolong this. Other times, we may actually be purchasing pre-arrivals ourselves, in which case delivery can be substantially longer (up to 3 years). Check with the store for our most current arrival estimates on specific wines.

Pre-arrival order terms

Payment is collected at time of order and the customer is notified when the wine arrives. Due to the administrative effort and low margins involved in managing pre-arrivals, they are subject to minimum purchase amounts, typically 3 bottles per wine. Shipping for pre-arrivals is determined once the wine arrives at our store and we contact you for further instructions, and shipping costs are paid at date of shipment. Given the inherent volatility in wine prices over time (as with any commodity), pre-arrival orders may not be cancelled. Orders containing both "pre-arrivals" and "in stock" items will have the "in stock" items shipped immediately. Any new governmental taxes incurred subsequent to order will also be charged at date of shipment.

Our core business

Customers will notice that a large proportion of wines on our website are offered on a pre-arrival basis. And no wonder! Pre-arrivals are an integral part of our core direct import business model. WHWC has participated in selling wine "futures" since our very beginning in 1978, and since then we have built a venerable reputation as one of the nation's leading retailers participating in this market. You can trust that our years of outstanding customer service in this area, from reliable sourcing to competitive pricing to efficient delivery, will be there for you as we continue to focus our energies on direct imports into the future.