For true oenophiles and wine collectors who want access to the widest range of wine at their fingertips, there’s no better place to start than online auctions. Here are some tips to selling and buying wine at auction.
Barnebys, the world’s top auction search service, aggregates thousands of online auctions at any given time. With a quick search, you can find quality wine and start buying wine at auction for a fraction of its retail cost from vineyards all over the globe: France, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and more.
Consider yourself a wine collector and want to make space for new bottles? Find out what your collection is worth with ValueMyStuff, the world’s leading appraisal service powered by Barnebys. You will receive a valuation of your collection within 24-48 hours, and if you’re interested in selling at auction, ValueMyStuff can put you in touch with the right auction house.
Here are some helpful tips to know about buying and selling wine at auction:
Diversify your palate
If you go to a specific vineyard for a tasting, you’re limited to that vineyard’s range and produce. However, buying at auction provides access to all kinds of varietals from all over the world. Auctions are the perfect chance to discover a rare bottle that you may not have access to at your local wine shop. Plus, you can get exclusive wines for much cheaper than at a retail store. Mix up your usual order with something daring – it may just end up being the perfect centerpiece of your next dinner party.
Do your research
Particularly if it’s a vintage wine, make sure you ask about provenance and condition. Auctions are the best place to source hard-to-find or niche vintages, and you shouldn’t shy away from older wines, but be sure to understand the condition of the bottles. Other things to consider are not only the age of the wine, but also the label, the cap, the capsule, the origin, how’s it’s been stored, and how much it’s selling for elsewhere.
Expect to pay a buyer’s premium
Remember, the price you bid on at auction – the amount that goes down with the hammer – isn’t the final price as it doesn’t include all costs. You need to factor in the auction house’s buyer’s premium (it’s typically around 20%, but this is at the house’s discretion so be sure to ask beforehand). There may also be charges such as duty or VAT, and, if the auction house isn’t near your home, you’ll need to factor in extra costs such as shipping and transportation.
How to bid when buying wine at auction
Bidding for wine at auction is exactly like bidding on art, jewelry or antiques, but, as always, it’s best to ask questions as each auction house is unique. You’ll need to register for the auction, place your (maximum) bid, and, if you’re successful, pay any extra costs before collecting your bottles or arranging transport. Buying at auction may seem intimidating, but it needn’t be: it’s just like online shopping, except you’re purchasing against a few other people and you’re vying for the best price. It’s all about timing: bid early and stake your claim, or wait it out and swoop in at the last minute.
And all this is made easy with Barnebys, where you can search all wines available at auction houses across the world. Filter by price, location or auction date – and start bidding and adding to your collection today!