Need some quality alcohol at discount prices? Don’t want to sign up for a Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s membership? There may be hope for you!
SmartMoney did a little investigation and what they uncovered is downright magical — old state blue laws allow citizens of certain states to buy alcohol from “membership only” wholesale clubs — without a membership.
Here are the details:
Costco: 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.
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.
Sam’s Club: No membership required!
SmartMoney says that you shouldn’t expect employees to actually know about this policy — so print their article and take it with you. Speak to a manager, and you’ll be pouring drinks in no time. Keep in mind that not all locations carry alcohol, so make sure you go to one that does. Also, don’t try to sneak other items through with your purchase— these laws apply to alcohol only.
UPDATE: Reader Tracy says she checked with the Vermont Department of Liquor Control and they claim that there is no such law in Vermont — so the SmartMoney article may be incorrect. However, the article claims to cite each store’s individual policy, not necessarily the laws, so who knows. The article also says that the government officials they contacted had no idea that the laws even existed, and there’s a quote from BJ’s spokesperson confirming that the policy is real.
According to our Chief of Education, Licensing and Enforcement, Bill Goggins, there is no such law in Vermont. Liquor laws are very different from state to state; so, it very well could be that there are laws against requiring a membership to purchase alcohol in other states, but it appears that Vermont is not one of them.
Marketing/Customer Service Supervisor
Vermont Department of Liquor Control