What are private imports?

Originally, private imports were intended for restaurants, bars, and a clientele of collectors. Today, private import has become more democratic and reaches many consumers looking for discoveries and niche products.

A private import product cannot be purchased at an SAQ store. It is directly ordered through wine, spirits, and beer agencies. Additionally, these products are sold "by the case", not by the unit. The number of bottles can vary depending on one product to the next: each case usually contains 3, 6, or 12 bottles.

How to order private imports

A3 Quebec member agencies represent more than 50% of private import sales in Quebec. Direct links to the online stores of private import agencies can be found below. Clicking on them will give you access to their product lists and in some instance, will also allow you to order online.

Once your products have been selected, you need to choose in which of the SAQ store from the list of designated stores you would like to receive your private import order. Delivery service is also offered by a few agencies. The delivery time is approximately 7 to 10 working days. Once your order is available, you will receive a phone call or an email from your SAQ to come pick it up and pay for it. If no one reaches out to you by phone or email after the following 10 business days, you can contact your SAQ store or your agent directly.
Service charge
In some instance, agency service fees are not included in the SAQ price and may be invoiced separately by the agency. The agency service fee covers the research and selection of products, customer service and financial risks taken by the agent. These may be predetermined flat fees or a percentage of the price of the case. These costs are paid directly to the agent while the bottles are paid for at the SAQ.
The SAQ offers a one-year warranty against any defect on products sold through private import agencies. However, a defective product can only be refunded upon presentation of your invoice. You must address your request to customer service by calling 514-254-6000 and you will receive a return authorization. You can then drop off your products at your SAQ store with your authorization number.