Frequently asked questions

What are private imports?

A private import is a product that can be purchased in Quebec but not at an SAQ retail outlet. It is legal for an agency to sell private import wines as long as the agency is a recognized provider by the SAQ and that distribution and selling guidelines are respected, such as selling private imports by the case and not as single bottles.

What is Bambara Selection?

Bambara Selection is a Quebec-based company recognized by the SAQ that has exclusive contracts with producers of wine and other alcoholic beverages to represent and promote their products in Quebec. Most similar agencies focus on selling their products through the SAQ retail channel. Bambara Selection believes wine aficionados should be able to easily purchase outstanding products that can’t be found at the SAQ. We have thus developed this website to make private imports more accessible to customers.

How can I buy private imports?

Thanks to Bambara Selection’s transactional website, it is now easier than ever to access privately imported wines. Simply create a profile and browse our products for wines that are of interest to you. Once you are happy with the content of you basket, you can purchase them and have them delivered to the SAQ store of your choice. You can also contact us by phone to place an order. You will also find many of the wines we represent in restaurants and bars across the province.

Why would I want to buy private imports?

To gain access to hundreds of outstanding wines that Bambara Selection carefully sourced for you that you won’t find at the SAQ.

Can I buy single bottles?

No. The SAQ demands that private imports are purchased in cases of 6 or 12 bottles. Since the SAQ also charges a handling fee on each case, the per-bottle price is cheaper with 12-bottle cases. At Bambara Selection, we take this into consideration and wines below the $30 threshold are sold in cases of 12. Wines over $30 are usually sold in cases of 6 so it is more convenient for our clients.

Does Bambara Selection import the wine directly?

No. Our team is responsible to find the best producers and products, but only the SAQ is authorized to import alcoholic beverages into Quebec. We work with the SAQ to import the products we represent. The SAQ picks up the products at our producers facilities, transports them to Montreal and stores them in its warehouses. From there Bambara Selection can connect customers to the wonderful wines we have carefully selected.

What are the agency fees that I have to pay with my order?

Almost all wines available in Quebec are represented by an agency and all agencies charge a commission on the products they sell. For wines sold at the SAQ, the agency commission is included in the price you pay in store. Prices shown on our website include all fees and taxes just like the prices at the SAQ. When you order online through Bambara Selection, you are charged the agency commission. The remaining balance will be paid to the SAQ when you pick up your wines at your preferred SAQ outlet.

Can I return a private import that I’ve bought?

It is possible to return a wine if you encounter a default bottle in your purchase. Just like any other product purchased at an SAQ retail outlet simply bring it back (the wine has to be minimum ¾ full) for a credit.