FAQ

Agency Stores

  1. What is an Agency Store?

    Agency stores are authorized by the NSLC to sell beverage alcohol. There are currently 60 Agency Stores in Nova Scotia, and many are operated by retailers in communities that are too small to support regular-sized NSLC retail stores.

Air Miles®

  1. Do I earn Air Miles® on my regular purchases?

    Customers earn 1 Air Miles® reward mile for every $30 spent each month excluding all discounts, all taxes, bottle and container deposits, gift card purchases, event tickets, environmental and other third party fees. Gift card redemptions do qualify for Air Miles®.

  2. What are Bonus Air Miles®?

    These are products with specially marked limited time only Air Miles® offers while supplies last. Look for them in-store or browse our Bonus Air Miles® offers.

  3. How do I register for an Air Miles® card?

    Get your Air Miles® card today by visiting airmiles.ca

  4. How long will it take to see my NSLC Air Miles® in my account?

    Please allow for up to 60 days from final sale purchase date for reward miles to be credited to your AIR MILES® Account.

Animals in Stores

  1. Can I bring my pet into an NSLC store with me?

    Service animals that have been specifically trained to provide support to an individual with a disability are welcome in our stores.

    In all other cases, in order to keep our customers and their pets safe, we ask customers to refrain from bringing pets of any kind into our stores.

Craft Beer

  1. How long is craft beer good for after I buy it?

    The shelf life of craft beer is about six months. It will last a little longer if it is refrigerated.

Custom Orders

  1. Can I order a product that’s not currently available in NSLC stores?

    If you’d like to purchase a product that’s not currently available in our stores, our custom ordering service can help. Keep in mind that depending on where the product is travelling from, custom orders can take time. There will also be minimum purchase requirements and additional charges for shipping and handling.

    For more information, please contact Special Orders at 902-450-5932 or by email at SpecialOrders@mynslc.com  

Customer Service

  1. How can I reach the NSLC’s Customer Service department?

    You can reach our Customer Service help line by calling (902) 450-5874, or toll free at 1-800-567-5874.

  2. If I have a question about product prices, who would I call?

    Please email your pricing inquiries to our Retail Service Center at ContactUs@myNSLC.com. We’ll do our best to respond to your inquiry within two business days.

Doing Business with the NSLC

  1. How can I do business with the NSLC?

    We are a provincial crown corporation and we follow the purchasing guidelines of the province of Nova Scotia.

    For more information about how you can do business with us, visit our Procurement and Tendering Policies page.

Environmental Stewardship

  1. How does the NSLC ensure its operations are environmentally sustainable?

    We use energy efficient fixtures and lighting, heating and fan controls to reduce greenhouse gases, and over the past five years we’ve reduced our emissions by almost 2000 tonnes. We’ve also diverted 95% of all solid waste materials from landfills, thanks to diversion efforts in our Head Office, Distribution Center, and eight stores across HRM.

Gift Cards

  1. My gift card didn’t work when I tried to use it. What can I do?

    If you have purchased or received a gift card and were unable to redeem the balance, there are a couple of things you’ll need to do:

    If the gift card hasn’t been activated, you’ll need to obtain the purchase receipt, and present the card and receipt to the store where you bought it (if it wasn’t an NSLC store), so that they can activate the gift card for you.

    Keep in mind that at some vendors, it can take up to 24 hours from the time it is uploaded for the card to be activated and ready to use.

    Please note the NSLC is not able to activate a gift card if you don’t have a receipt, as we have no proof of actual purchase. Please go back to the store where you bought the gift card to resolve the issue.

    If a gift card has a balance, but the card isn’t working due to damage or some other reason, we may be able to help. Present the card to an NSLC retail employee at one of our stores.

    You can also visit the Gift Card Checker to confirm the balance on your NSLC gift card.

    Please note that Sobeys and Superstore are not able to process gift card returns. For gift card purchases made at those stores, you will need to bring the card into one of our stores.

Import/Export Regulations

  1. Can I import beverage alcohol into Nova Scotia?

    Nova Scotians can import beverage alcohol into the province from other countries using an import license. You can get more details and the license application by contacting Kathy Pritchard at 902-450-5992 or email Kathy.Pritchard@myNSLC.com.

    Visit our Permits page for more information and specific requirements related to the private importation of beverage alcohol into Nova Scotia.

Jobs at NSLC

  1. How can I apply for a job at the NSLC?

    All available jobs at the NSLC are posted on our website. Application instructions are included in each job listing.

    If you’re having trouble accessing our Careers page or printing job information, there may be an issue with your browser. Our site is compatible with Internet Explorer versions 8 or higher, as well as Google Chrome or Firefox.

    Please note that we only accept resumes for posted positions.

    Applications submitted for positions in our retail stores are kept on file in the store for a period of six months.

Liquor Licenses

  1. How do I apply for a liquor license?

    In Nova Scotia if you plan to serve, sell, or produce beverage alcohol, or use it as an ingredient in a product for sale or public use, you’ll need to obtain a liquor license.

    If you would like to obtain a liquor license for a special event such as a wedding, fundraiser or other community event, those licenses are issued by Alcohol, Gaming, Fuel and Tobacco. You can reach their licensing office at (902) 424-6160. There’s also more information on their website.

    The application forms and detailed requirements for all other liquor licenses are available on our Permits page.

    Permit applications are also available at the permit office, located at the NSLC Head Office at 93 Chain Lake Drive, Bayers Lake Industrial Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia, or by calling Carol Andrews at (902) 450-5914 during business hours; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

NSLC Special Events

  1. How can I get tickets to the Celebrate Whisky Show?

    To purchase tickets for the Celebrate Whisky Show, contact Agenda Managers at 902-422-1886 or visit the Events section of our website.

  2. How can I get tickets for the Port of Wines Festival?

    Tickets for the Port of Wines Festival can be purchased through these channels:

    Grand Tastings: Select NSLC Stores (2016 list TBD)

    Ticket Atlantic online: www.ticketatlantic.com
    Atlantic Superstore Ticket Outlets
    Ticket Atlantic via phone: Local - 902- 451-1221
    Toll free in Canada - 1- 877- 451-1221
    Outside Canada - 1-902- 451-1221

    The remainder of the events, and ticketing info is at http://reg.agendamanagers.ca/Registrant/Register/2013692

    Tickets for the Celebrate Whisky Show are available for purchase at the door if the event has not sold out. To check the status of the event, visit our Events page

    For the Port of Wines Festival, tickets are available for purchase at the door if the event has not sold out. To check the status of the event, visit myNSLC.com and click on “events”.

    We regret that we cannot replace lost or stolen tickets.

    For more information about our events and in-store tastings, please visit www.myNSLC.com. We also have a web app that is populated with event information about a month before the event. The app allows you to access the product list for the event and rate your favourites. You can access the app from the app store.

Occasions Magazine

  1. Does the NSLC produce Occasions Magazine?

    Occasions Magazine is produced for the NSLC by the Chronicle Herald. The magazine’s content is a joint effort between our Customer Strategy team and Herald staff reporters.

    If you have a question or concern about something you’ve read in Occasions, call or write us at jenna.leblanc@mynslc.com, (902) 450-5901.

Online Shopping

  1. How do I shop online?

    We’ve got lots of interesting wines, beers and spirits lining our shelves at The Port by the NSLC in downtown Halifax, but it’s important to us that no matter where you live, you have access to those exclusive products too.  That’s why we’ve also made many of these exclusive products available to buy online! Click HERE  to begin your shopping experience. When you find products you’d like to buy, select the quantity and click Add to Cart. When you’re finished shopping, click the Shopping Cart link in the top right of the page to review your cart. Click the checkout button to begin the checkout process.

  2. How do I access my Shopping Cart?

    To access your shopping cart at any time, click the shopping cart icon at the top right corner of the page.

  3. How do I cancel an order or change it after it’s been placed?

    Once your order has been completed you can call our customer service line to make changes or to cancel your order. Please call 1-800-567-5874.

  4. Who do I contact if I’m having technical difficulties when ordering?

    For assistance or to report any technical difficulties, please contact our customer service line at 1-800-567-5874.

  5. How often will new products be made available?

    We frequently review our product assortment to ensure a diverse offering. Check the online store regularly to look for new products.

  6. Why are there limited quantities of certain products?

    In some cases, we can only access certain quantities of products from our supplier. This is why some products may only be available while supplies last.

  7. If I order a product that has limited quantities and complete the checkout process, am I guaranteed to get the item I ordered?

    Due to limited quantities, we are not able to guarantee the inventory of a purchased product. In the case where we do not have enough inventory to fulfill your order, we will reach out to you directly to let you know and suggest a different product you may like.

  8. How do you decide what products to include?

    We strive to offer a line-up of products that appeals to our wide range of customers. A number of factors are considered including potential appeal, quality and price. Our philosophy is to offer you products online that may not be available in your store.

  9. Can I make suggestions for products?

    We welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please send your suggestions to ContactUs@mynslc.com

  10. Why do I have to provide personal details such as address and phone number?

    We require personal details to ensure the security of your credit card purchase. Your phone number is required so we can notify you when your order is ready for pickup.

  11. Do you store my email address for future communication?

    No - your email address is only used for the order you placed online, and then it is deleted. We will only use the address you provide to let you know that your order was received, and if there are any issues with your order.

  12. Are there any delivery charges when I order online?

    Shipping is free for orders over $75. Orders of less than $75 will be subject to a $20 (plus tax) shipping charge.

  13. What are container deposit fees?

    Container deposit fees are applied to all wine, beer and spirit containers. Fifty percent of the deposits will be refunded when you return containers through the ENVIRO-DEPOT™ network.

  14. What type of payment is required to place an order?

    Payment can be made using a credit card. VISA, MasterCard and American Express are accepted. Complete payment information, including credit card account number, security code, and expiry date must be provided at time of ordering.

  15. Once I provide my credit card, is my order confirmed?

    Once you have completed the checkout process you will receive an order confirmation notification on screen and an electronic order confirmation will be sent to the email address you provide in the checkout process.

  16. What is your Return Policy?

    Returns will be accepted within 30 days of purchase, and credited to the original method of payment. Please keep your receipt for proof of purchase. Photo ID will be required.

  17. How secure is using my credit card online?

    Our credit card processing software is among the best available today for secure online commerce transactions. It encrypts all your personal information, including credit card number, name and address, so it cannot be read as it travels over the Internet.

  18. How do you prevent minors from using this service?

    Government issued photo identification is required to pick up all online orders. The name on the ID must match the name of the person placing the order or, in the case of a gift, the name of the gift recipient. Store staff will check identification to ensure the customer is nineteen years of age or older.

  19. What are my shipping options?

    Online purchases are delivered to the NSLC store of your choice.

  20. How long will my order take?

    Your order will be delivered to the store of your choice in 3 business days.

  21. How will I know when my order is ready to be picked up?

    The NSLC store receiving your order will call you at the phone number you provided when your order arrives at the store.

  22. Will I be mailed a final receipt?

    A final receipt will be included with your order when you pick it up at your selected NSLC location. You will also receive an email receipt when you place your order.

  23. What do I need when I pick up my order?

    Government issued photo identification is required to pick up your order. The name on the identification must match the name of the customer placing and picking up the order, or the name of the gift recipient, if applicable.

  24. What do I do if receive the wrong or damaged items?

    We make every effort to ensure orders are correct and delivered in good condition. Should you find an error or damaged item, please bring the items and your receipt to any NSLC store to arrange for a replacement.

  25. Can I purchase/order an item to give as a gift to someone else?

    Yes. To purchase an item as a gift, check the box next to “Is this order a gift” in your shopping cart. Note that all products in an order must be for the same gift recipient. The gift recipient must be at least 19 years of age and present government-issued photo identification to pick up the order.

  26. Will I get AIR MILES® points for my online orders?

    Yes. Base miles are accumulated for each $30 spent excluding all discounts, all taxes, bottle and container deposits, all gift cards, event tickets, environmental and other third party fees. Bonus mile offers on select products are also available online. You must include your AIR MILES® Collector card number in the designated area during the checkout process to receive the AIR MILES®.

  27. Can I place an order for a gift recipient and myself in the same transaction?

    No. Both orders must be placed separately

Pricing

  1. How do you set the prices for the products you sell?

    Beer, wine, spirits and coolers have an established floor price, which is what the NSLC calls a social reference price. These prices are re-assessed every year and are generally kept in line with inflation. Since 2005, annualized Nova Scotia CPE has been 1.8% and the annualized NS alcohol inflation has increased 2.4%.

    Our prices are also affected by changes in supplier pricing, which do happen occasionally throughout the year. In response to those changes, and to keep our prices as stable as possible, we make price adjustments twice a year – in the spring and in the fall.

Private Wine and Specialty Stores

  1. What are Private Wine and Specialty Stores?

    There are currently four Private Wine and Specialty stores in Nova Scotia that offer selections not found in NSLC stores. These stores provide customers with access to a wider variety of wines, and at the same time provide business opportunities for Nova Scotia entrepreneurs.

Product Listings and Availability

  1. How do you decide what products to sell in NSLC stores?

    We offer the products our customers want to buy. We use customer feedback and industry trends to determine what’s popular and what’s not, and then we adjust our listings accordingly on a regular basis. We strive to provide a consistent customer experience, but we can’t carry every listed product in every single store.

    Some products are sold only in stores where we know there’s enough demand to support the listing. Some products are popular only in some communities. Some of our stores are bigger and able to accommodate more inventory than others. And sometimes products aren’t available for other reasons, like supply or production issues.

  2. What are ‘One-Time-Only’ (OTO) listings?

    We strive to give our customers variety and new selections throughout the year. We do that with our One-Time-Only listings. Our OTO products are evaluated based on sales. The products will be kept on our shelves if sales are strong, or they may be delisted if sales are weak. We have a limited amount of listing space, and we need to make sure our product mix is meeting our customers’ preferences. Talk to our retail employees in your local NSLC store to find out more about these product listings.

  3. Can I have products from another store shipped to my local store?

    Yes - if there’s a product you want to purchase that’s in our general listings but not available in your local NSLC store, tell us and we can have the items transferred to your favourite store.

  4. How can I find out if you have a specific product?

    If you are wondering whether we carry a particular product, please visit mynslc.com and use our search function to find exactly what you’re looking for.

    Some of our listings are brought in as ‘one-time-only’ or as Port of Wines core inventory. These categories of products are considered a special assortment and availability will vary. They may be ordered from time to time based on customer interest and availability from our suppliers. It is best to check back on myNSLC.com to see if products in these categories are available.

Product Safety

  1. A product I bought at one of your stores was damaged. What should I do?

    If you discover a safety issue related to a product you have purchased at one of our stores, we want to know about it right away. In order to determine whether it’s an isolated problem, or one that could affect more than one item, please tell us where you bought it, when, and what the safety issue is in as much detail as possible. If possible, we’d like to have the product returned to us right away, so that we can investigate.

    We’ll investigate to see if other product is affected. We’ll also advise the producer. And if there is a problem with a particular product, we’ll immediately remove it from our shelves and alert our customers.

    We will also provide you with a refund or exchange for your purchase. Please bring the item to your nearest NSLC store to receive your refund/exchange.

Product Selection

  1. How many products do you carry?

    In total, we carry about 5000 products from around the world. Marketplace trends and customer demand are the biggest influencers when it comes to our product listings.

  2. How can I locate a particular product?

    You can locate products in a few different ways:

    You can do a product search on our website.

    You can also talk to your local Store Manager. If there’s a product we carry that’s not available at your store, we can have it shipped there free of charge.

    You can also call our Order Entry Desk at 1-800-380-7449 to place an order for a product that we carry, for shipment to your local store.

  3. Can I buy wine and bottle it myself?

    Yes, our customers can take advantage of a feature we call “House Wine” that’s available in select stores. There, you can choose from available varieties, bottle and label your selections in store. Locations that offer this service are: Bayers Lake, Portland Street, Amherst Mall, New Glasgow, Truro, Port Hawkesbury, Sydney River and Yarmouth.

Profits

  1. Where do your profits go?

    All of our profits go back to the province and are used to fund public programs. For more information about the NSLC’s financial performance, take a look at our most recent Annual Report.

Refunds, Exchanges and Damaged Product

  1. What is your policy on product returns?

    Any product purchased at one of our stores or online can be returned at any NSLC store as long as it’s unopened, in its original condition and accompanied by the original sales receipt within thirty (30) days of purchase. If you made the purchase with a credit card, the refund will be made to that card.

    Returns without a receipt are processed as an exchange for a product of equal value, or greater value if you pay the full difference in price.

    You can return defective or broken product to any NSLC store for a full exchange or refund, and you don’t need to provide a receipt. However, you will have to provide your name, address and telephone number to the NSLC store employee. We collect that information so that we can verify for our suppliers that the problem was discovered by one of our customers.

Retail Store Hours

  1. What are your retail store hours of operation?

    Our store hours of operation vary by store. You can find our store hours and the NSLC location nearest you here.

Sponsorship Requests

  1. Do you support local charities or fundraisers?

    We believe in giving back to the communities where we live and work. Through our employees and customers, we’ve donated over $2.5 million to the IWK since 1987, and have supported provincial organizations such as the United Way and Symphony Nova Scotia.

    Our Cash Can program, which collects donations at our retail stores, is available as a fundraising opportunity for charitable organizations. Find out more or apply here.

    We do not provide monetary sponsorship or donation of product towards any event or fundraising initiative. Requests for promotional items suitable for use in charity auctions, must be made in writing a minimum of 6 weeks in advance of the event.

    Please describe your organization, the event, and who will benefit. Your request should also include a contact name and telephone number.

    You can send your requests by email or traditional mail to Beth Martin, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Beth.Martin@mynslc.com, 93 Chain Lake Drive, Halifax, B3S 1A3

We ID Program

  1. Why do your employees ask me for ID every time I shop there?

    It’s our responsibility to enforce the laws of the province of Nova Scotia and ensure that beverage alcohol is not accessed by minors.

    That means if a customer looks to be under 30 years of age, it’s very likely they’ll be asked for ID at our stores.

    Even if a customer is legal drinking age, they won’t be able to purchase beverage alcohol products in our stores without a valid picture ID if they’re asked to provide one.

    And they won’t be able to ask a friend or family member who is with them to make a purchase on their behalf, even if the companion does have the required ID.

    We know this may be inconvenient for some customers, and while we value your business, we won’t compromise when it comes to making sure our products don’t get into the wrong hands.

    Keeping beverage alcohol out of the hands of under-age Nova Scotians is a key part of our overall mandate.

    Our We ID program helps us uphold the law, and promotes the safe and responsible sale of beverage alcohol in our province.

Wine Basket

  1. What is a Wine Basket?

    A Wine Basket is a small format store that offers primarily wine, but also carries a small assortment of other popular products. Wine Baskets are usually located inside a grocery store.