Most people start buying and collecting wine because they love it. Some of those buyers, eventually purchases more wine than they could ever drink. Or they age out of their cellar. Perhaps some wines that you bought in their youth have appreciated so much in price, they are beyond the price you feel OK about opening. Maybe, there are wines you once were quite fond of, but they are no longer the style of wine you like to drink. There are also some wine collectors that just need the money for any number of reasons.
If you’re thinking of selling some, or all of your wines, there are several different ways to go about it. What you want is of course, to get the highest price possible when selling your wine This article is going to help you get the maximum amount of money for your wine.
How to Sell your Wine is going to depend on a few things. Most importantly, the type of wine you have collected, the amount of wine you have for sale, the provenance of your wine, the value of your wine cellar and how quickly you need to sell.
When is the Best Time to Sell your Wine? The simple answer is, when you need to money. Or if you have run out of room, or when you’re motivated to do so for any number of reasons. Wine is, no pun intended, a fairly liquid market and while outside circumstances might effect the market, generally speaking, due to the large number of auctions and other sales taking place all the time, prices are usually fairly stable. There are times however, when it is worse to sell your wine.
When is the worse time to sell your wine? If there is turmoil in the stock market, there will be similar issues taking place in the wine market. If you can wait it out, you will receive more money for your wine. Due to the high temperatures in the summer months, prices could be lower. The reasons is, it’s too hot to ship the wines. Most buyers want their wines sooner than later, so if they have to wait to ship, they might want to pay less for the inconvenience. There are also trends that might make selling your wine a little more difficult at times, but as I said previously, things are usually relatively consistent.
Who Should I sell my Wine to? Part of the answer depends on two things, the total value of the wines you have for sale, and how fast do you need or just want the money?
The larger the wine collection, or should I say the money a wine cellar is valued at is going to help determine the best place to sell your wine. For collections worth under $10,000, your options are limited. That does not mean you cannot obtain a fair price for your wine, but it does limit where you are able to sell your wine. If you want a rough guide for the value of your wines, look at Wine-Searcher.com. For a reasonably accurate, idea on the price you might receive, take some of the lower prices being asked for wines from a few different merchants and reduce it by 25%. That is a fair guess as to what your collection might be worth. That’s of course going to vary, depending on the wine, and its demand. For smaller collections, your best bet is contact a local store and see if they want to purchase the wine from you either directly or sell it for you on consignment. Some online merchants are also well suited for this type of purchase. You might want to try either K&L wines, or winebid.com.
For larger collections, there are various auction houses you can contact. Each auction house has advantages and disadvantages. Some charge a seller premium, others do not. All costs are borne by the buyers. There are auction houses that prefer each lot of wine to average at least $2,500 or more. You will need to do your research. Today, the best choices in no particular order are: Zachys, Hart, Davis Hart, Sothebys, Christies and Acker Merral to name a few. You need to be aware of the policy for each auction house as far as fees and commissions as they can vary widely from auction house to auction house. Some of the houses specialize in live auctions, while others hold on-line auctions and a few houses actually do both live auction and on-line auctions.
The size and value of your collection will help determine where you are going to get the best deal and make the most money. If your wine cellar is worth enough money, and how much depends on the auctioneer, you can often discuss the reduction in fees. Something that can be negotiated is the cost of shipping your wines to the auction house. That can become very expensive. Some companies share in that expense, or pay for it entirely, depending on the value of the wines. They can also just deduct it from your earnings. As if you did not have enough to think about already, the fees for selling as we mentioned can vary quite a bit. But fees alone do not tell the entire story. You also need to know which auction house sells the types of wine you’re selling for the most money. Ask them how much they have sold some of wines have sold for? It does you no good to pay less as a sales commission, if they sell your wines for less as well. As a seller, your main concern is how much money you will probably realize from the sales of your wines.
If you have full cases in the wood, called OWC of collectible Bordeaux, those are going to sell for a premium over loose bottles. 12 bottle cases in the OWC, original wood case are in serious demand today. Burgundy, and Cult California Cabernet Sauvignon wines, especially from Napa are some of the hottest collectible types of wine in the marketplace today. Bottles with great provenance, meaning, full 12 bottle cases of wine in the original wood case, (If it came with one) with prefect provenance, meaning the seller kept receipts of the original purchase and is able to show the wines were perfectly stored could possibly get a premium price, over the established value, due to the storage and provenance. Guide to Cellaring, Storing and Aging Wine
Rare wines sell for more money and higher premiums than more common wines. Older wines sell for better prices, proportionate to their worth, than younger bottlings. The reason is, younger wines are available quite easily and in order to sell, must be sold for under the average wholesale price. Something else to consider, the resale market for wines under $40 is incredibly small. An average of $100 per bottle is going to fetch a higher price, relative to the wholesale value. And as the value of the wines rise in price, the possibility for better profits are going to increase in tandem. Here is another tip for you. If you purchased a 12 bottle case, don’t open it, drink a bottle and try selling 11 bottles. Quite often, potential buyers will think the first bottle was defective, which is why you want to sell the remaining bottles. It’s better for you to sell it in two lots of 6 bottles and 5 bottles.
If you belong to virtual wine community, better known as a website with a bulletin board for the public, many allow users to post wines they have or sale. The risk you run is that the buyer does not pay, which happens, but not all that often and there is also a risk involved with direct shipping. It is illegal for a private person to ship alcoholic beverages. You will be shipping at your own risk. If you shipment is lost, damaged or confiscated, you will be responsible.
If you are selling wine, and it’s a large collection, we might be interested. But this is for large collections, not a few bottles. For large collections you can feel free to reach out by using our Contact Form. For smaller collections, or if you have any other question on how to sell wine, please post your questions in the Wine Talk Forums