Sunday, April 14, 2024

How To Sell Wine At Auction

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One: Appraise Your Wine

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By appraising the wine you plan to sell, youll get a better sense of what your wine is worth and you can reject any auction platforms that undervalue your collection and start the bid off at a price that is too low.

To get an idea of the value of your bottles, start by researching average prices online through trustworthy sources such as Liv-ex. Once you have a base price, take into account your wines storage conditions. If your wine is in professional storage, it will command a higher price compared to wine that is currently sitting in your cellar or a self-service storage locker.

The best auction services even have experts available to discuss prices with you directly and offer data-driven recommendations.

Another option is to seek out auction services that have experienced wine appraisers on staff. Its in the auction websites best interest to sell your wine for the highest price possible, so these full-service platforms will carefully inspect your bottles for quality and value. The best services even have experts available to discuss prices with you directly and offer data-driven recommendations. If your wine is high in value , then its a good idea to only sell your wine on auction platforms that include these appraisal services.

Selling Wine Bottles On Ebay In The Uk

You can, of course, quite legally sell a bottle of wine on eBayjust not its contents. And unless the said empties are of Bordeaux First Growths such a Mouton Rothschild or Petrus, the value will not make the effort of listing on the online auction worth your while.

Believe it or not, there really is a market for empties of these top wines: rare examples of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild are particularly popular, as each year since the end of the Second World War the Chateau has commissioned different famous artists to create a piece of art for the label, making the bottles exceedingly collectible. Even Prince Charles has had a go, producing a lovely piece for the 2004 vintage!

This trade in empty fine wine bottles does have a darker side attached to it. In recent years, top wine companies have taken to destroying the empties of leading Bordeaux and Burgundy vintages after tasting events, to remove the risk of forgers refilling them with fake wines and selling them on. Top branded empty bottles destined to be fraudulently refilled have reportedly changed hands for as much as £300 a piece.

Aside from eBay, there are other online trading platforms, some of which even specialise in selling wine. Yet they still have to cope with the same issues theyre not designed with the seller in mind. There is no proactivity, they just list the wine and hope

Try finding that on eBay.

Sell Wine At Auction: Auction House Vs Broker

If youre wondering how to sell wine at auction, youre not alone. Fine wine auctions can be difficult to understand. Well take a look below at how to sell wine at auction, what happened when JF Tobias tried to sell wine at auction with Sothebys, and why fine wine brokers are almost always the best option.

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Keep Your Emotions In Check

When bidding, it’s a good idea to set a ceiling for your maximum bid and stick to it. Don’t fall prey to auction fever. Few collectible wines qualify as unique or one-of-a-kind items that justify frenzied bidding. For the most part, the wines you are after will come around again. A tactic favored by many seasoned collectors, to keep their emotions from getting the better of them on the salesroom floor, is to place absentee bids by fax or e-mail in this scenario, decide on the maximum amount you are prepared to pay for a lot. If yours proves to be the winning bid, you will be charged no more than one bid-step above the competing bid, no matter how high your limit. In the case of a tie, the lot goes to the first bid submitted.

Is My Wine Bad

How to Buy and Sell Rare Wine at Auction

Wine that is in bad condition wont sell. It is difficult to tell by looking at the outside of the bottle if the wine could be bad . However, there are some tell-tell signs that would cause a wine auction house not to sell a wine on your behalf:

  • The cork is sticking out of the bottle.

  • The cork is sunken into the bottle.

  • The label is in poor condition.

  • The ullage is low.

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How Do I Get My Wine To The Auction House

Once you have provided a list of wines to the auction house and have agreed on which wines you will sell and the commission the auction house will get, the next step is to prepare your wines for travel to the auction house.

If you are local to the auction house, a representative from the auction house may come to your home to box up the wines. Typically this representative will have some wine boxes like the ones below to pack up your wines.

If you are working with a wine auction house that asks you to ship the wine, they may provide similar boxes. Otherwise, you can purchase these boxes and inserts for shipping.

A Guide To Raising Money For Charity With Wine

There is more than one way to raise money for a charity with wines. You could host a wine tasting fundraiser, hold an online wine auction, or have an all-out wine festival with live music, food, and entertainment. Here are some resources to help you raise money for charity with wine, regardless of which option you choose.

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How To Sell Wine At Auction

If you’re looking to sell wine at an auction, you should research if a similar wine or collection has sold recently. This will give you insight into the current wine bottle price of your wine, and if there’s enough interest. If you can’t find a price history for your wine, you may still be able to sell it. Ultimately, that decision rests on the auction house.

Next, approach multiple respected auction houses to find the best value for your wine. They will provide you with an estimate based on your collection, vintage, and condition. Once you’ve chosen the auction house, they will take over from there. You can expect to pay a seller’s fee of up to 18% when the sale is finalized.

What You Need To Consider Before Selling Your Wine

Heritage Auctions ( — Selling Your Vintage Collectibles at Auction

Firstly, there are legal hurdles to overcome: primarily that you will find it very hard to sell wine without an alcohol licence. You also have an obligation to go through all sorts of other legal hoops to ensure that the person receiving the delivered bottle is aged over 18.

If you sell a bottle or a case of wine online, you also need to think of how you would get it to the purchaser. You could just sell to people who live locally, who can actually come and pick it up in person, but this severely limits the potential purchasers you can reach.

Offer it to everyone, regardless of distance, and youll have to pack it up and send it via courier to its destination. Every courier has different rules about carrying alcohol and liquids, but you can expect to pay a premium to guarantee safe delivery of delicate glass bottles, as well as having to pack it really well to avoid breakage.

There is also the risk of your purchaser not being happy with what they receive. What if there is a breakage? or the wine turns out to be corked? Maybe the purchaser decides he or she doesnt like what they bought? These are all complications you could happily do without. The London Wine cellar removes all of these niggling hurdles, making selling wine effortless from the free nationwide collection to speedy payment.

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Come Up With A Gameplan

Draw up a list of potential purchases and devise a buying strategy before entering the salesroom. The pace is usually too quicksometimes as many as three lots a minuteto make decisions on the fly. Listen carefully to the auctioneer, as he or she may drop hints about the interest level in an item, or when the order book is depleted. By attending a sale in person, advanced collectors maximize the possibility of snaring something special that might not have initially caught their eye.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Whats the best way to buy a private wine collection?

The best way to buy a private wine collection is through a wine auction . The beauty of buying wines from someone elses cellar is that they have a few years under their belt and are either in their drinking plane or approaching it.

The Wine Auction Room can value / appraise your collection this is how it worksWine appraisal for auction purposes is at no charge at The Wine Auction Room. We appraise your wines and accompany them with tasting notes and critics scores to help promote your wines and give buyers all the information possible to make informed decisions on your wines.

We also offer wine valuations for insurance purposes or if you just want to know what your wine cellar is worth. At The Wine Auction Room there is a fee for this service, and if you wish, we are happy to accompany this wine appraisal with critics scores, tasting notes and advise on drinking windows.

The role of the auction house to sell your wineOne of the difficulties in selling your own wines is that if you want to go to the greater market you do need to be licenced to sell your wine. A simple transaction between friends is easy and doesnt require a licence. If you want to access a bigger group of potential buyers to maximise the selling price of your wine, The Wine Auction Room can help. We are licensed, have deep knowledge and wine experience and our database reaches purchase all over the world.

Do you sell NZ Red wine collections?

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Contact The Auction House

There are several fine wine auction houses, the best-known being Sothebys, Christies, and Bonhams. Several online wine auction sites, remain a good option for lesser value loose bottles.

Contact your chosen auction houses with the list of wines you wish to sell at auction. For this purpose, JF Tobias created a typical investment grade portfolio, including Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Margaux. We contacted Christies and Sothebys, and as Sothebys were the quickest to reply, we decided to sell with them.

Do You Need An Auction House

Benefit auction item ideas

Collectors of Exceptionally Rare Wines Should Use Auction Houses

Collectors who find the most benefit in auction houses are those who only invest in the rarest, most legendary bottles in the wine world. While nearly all bottles of Yquem or Lafite are highly sought-after on the market, they are not necessarily legendary wines in this sense. Legendary bottles are those that are impossible to find in online wine stores, such as authentic Thomas Jefferson bottles or bottles that were discovered in a shipwreck. If youre a collector who only buys vintages that have fewer than 100 bottles left in the world, an in-person or online wine auction is the perfect way to buy exceptionally rare wines, in addition to legendary wines. What makes auctions the best choice for these collections? Well, the auction fees for legendary or exceptionally rare wines are typically low or nonexistent. Auctions want to be synonymous with near-priceless historically-significant wines. In addition, these wines are almost never found in online wine stores youll only find them in major wine auctions.

For Other Types of Wine, Consider Retail

Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the worlds best wine.

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Selling Your Wine Online: The Wrap

If you want to sell all or part of your wine collection, selling it through a licensed auction house is your best bet.

Start by making a catalog of your wines , and then locate at least three reputable fine wine auction houses to ask for estimates.

Once youve settled on a wine auction house, arrange for your wine to be picked up or shipped, and then sit back and watch the auction happen .

Happy auctioning!


Shipping Via Personal Sales

Furthermore, its important to note that it is illegal in all states for a consumer to personally ship wine to someone else. If you were hoping to sell wine on eBay, you should know that its illegal except for pre-approved sellers. And listing alcohol on Craigslist is forbidden, with no exceptions.

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Double Check Buyers Premium

When selling wine at auction, always double check the buyers premium. This is the commission a buyer will have to pay, as a percentage on top of the winning bid. And whilst the buyer must pay this, it directly affects the total amount you will receive.

Once you know what the commissions are, you can work out from the estimates how much you are likely to receive. After questioning Sothebys, the buyers premium was revealed to be 21% + VAT. Sothebys also confirmed that the estimates do not include buyers premium, or sellers commission.

Read more about both commissions and how buyers premium directly affects what you will receive, here.

How To Sell Wine Online: Wine Ecommerce Tips

Wine auction | Going once, going twice, sold

Wine eCommerce is experiencing robust year-over-year growth and isnât expected to slow down any time soon. The United Statesâ market is over $3 billion with an expected online wine industry growth rate of 15-16%.

Wine is also a great direct to consumer market to be in, similarly to selling coffee online. Millions of people buy wine for parties, graduations, engagements, and gifts, not to mention regular dining. Wine pairs well with dozens of foods and presents good cross selling opportunities, especially if youâre also learning how to sell food online.

If you love wine and are considering starting an eCommerce business around it, weâve got all the strategies you need. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of selling wine online.

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How To Auction Wine Online

Wine collectors should learn how to auction wine online because this process is fast, simple, and may offer the best return on investment.


A decade ago, I owned two bottles of 2000 Pavie, which I decided to sell. To do so, I resolved to learn how to auction wine online. At the time, I hadnt sold any wine online before I didnt know which websites were the most trustworthy. After some research and recommendations from my tasting group, I found an online marketplace that not only helped me sell off my Pavie, but also took care of other details like photos and shipping. Today, I sell all of my wine online because its more convenient than selling through traditional auction houses.

However, finding the right auction website for your wine can be a challenge. There are dozens of online auction marketplaces to choose from, and not all of them are completely reliable or easy to use. To auction your wine online successfully, you need to:

  • Appraise the value of your bottles.
  • Research the auction platforms scope and audience.
  • Negotiate a fair sellers fee.
  • Ship the wine safely to the companys warehouse.
  • Keep track of your sales.

If its your first online auction experience, paying attention to each of these steps should make the process feel more manageable once youve sold a bottle or two at auction, youll have a feel for how it should go.

Understand How Much You Can Expect To Receive

If we look at the estimates given by Sothebys, and compare these to the market price for the wines, we see a logic as to their calculation.

The high estimate has been worked out as 6% above market price. If you take this estimate and deduct sellers commission, you land back at market price. This looks a fantastic deal if you are not aware that a buyers premium will also be charged.

The low estimate has been worked out as 20% below market price. In other words, the market price minus buyers premium. In actual fact, it would be slightly less than this, as buyers premium is 21% + VAT, rather than 20%.

The low estimate is then the price that you need to check when selling wine at auction, as this is the price someone will reasonably pay, just to achieve the same price they could if they bought the wines on the open market. The reality is that the final selling price will almost always be lower than this.

The low estimate will also need deducting sellers premium at 6%. When including the total commission charges, they come to nearly 30%, leveraged across both buyer and seller.

  • = Winning Bid 10% Sellers Commision = Total Amount to Seller

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Wine Forums Sell Locally

Are you connected with other wine aficionados via forums or a club? If you are, this is another viable avenue to sell your wine. With websites like, you can ask if anyones interested in the wines in your collection, keeping your sale private.

But remember that shipping is still illegal without the proper licenses and permits. So you need to make sure your transactions are local and the buyers can pick up the wine. The problem with this option is that you may have to deal with people who want to haggle or who refuse to pay.

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