How to sell wine online safely, legally and for the best price

You’re having a spring clean, and you can’t believe the amount of stuff you owned. What are you going to do with all the books, trinkets and long-forgotten holiday souvenirs? Trudge to a car boot sale – or stick them on eBay and see what happens?

Auction sites like eBay are fantastic for selling curios, knickknacks and the like – but as a platform to sell wine online in the UK, especially bottles with some real value, you’re just not looking in the right place. There are practical and legal reasons for this but more importantly, you’ll find it tricky to realise the true value of your wine.

What you need to consider before selling your wine

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 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 you’ll 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 doesn’t 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.

Can you sell wine bottles on eBay in the UK

You can, of course, quite legally sell a bottle of wine on eBay, just 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.

Online platforms won’t proactively seek out the best offers for your wine from around the world: nor do they make you a straight forward Net Figure offer to buy your wines.

Aside from the legal issues, there are also practical reasons to avoid online trading platforms for selling wine, which can seriously affect your bottom line when selling. We all love to find a deal, and online platforms are undoubtedly great for putting products in front of a lot of possible buyers – but it doesn’t do much for realising the potential value of your cherished bottles. There are other online trading platforms, some of which even specialise in selling wine. Yet they still have to cope with the same issues – they’re not designed with the seller in mind. There is no proactivity, they just list the wine and hope…

As a seller of fine wine, you want to convey all the positive attributes of the wine you’re offering, from the condition of the bottle and its contents to the history of its provenance and how it’s been stored over the years.

That’s what The London Wine Cellar does best. Based on examining all those factors, we can explore the market and achieve the best possible price for you. Online platforms won’t proactively seek out the best offers for your wine from around the world: nor do they make you a straight forward Net Figure offer to buy your wines. We’ll do all of those things for you as part of the service, offering a uniquely hassle-free way of selling wine.

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