Common pitfalls of selling wine at auction

Selling wine at auction may seem like a good idea initially but there are several pitfalls, and one major cost that nearly everyone underestimates and undervalues – their own time. Most auctions require time to run, be they online or on a set day of the month, and then you might not be paid for 30 days or more.

The next pitfall is that with an auction there is always the uncertainty that your wine might not sell, or if you haven’t put a reserve price on, won’t sell for what you hope. Fundamentally you can’t bank on who the buyers will be on the day, or whether they’ll show up, even if it’s an online auction over the course of a week or a month.

The other big downfall with selling via Auction Online or Retail, is commission, Sellers’ and Buyers. Sellers can range from 2% all the way up to 10% of the hammer price from some houses. So even though your bottle may have a hammer price of £100, you’re only getting £90.

Buyer’s Premium isn’t often thought about by sellers, but this hugely impacts the price that you get for your bottle. If someone’s bidding, they will factor in the 20-25% Buyers Premium that’s added onto the Hammer Price, and so under pay by that amount. As has been said elsewhere, unless you’re extremely lucky, you’re giving away up to a third of the total attainable value to the Auction House.

And that’s not even including Unexpected Fees. Some Auction houses will collect your wine for free, but the vast majority will charge you, anywhere from £5 up to £50 per lot. Additionally if your wine doesn’t sell initially many will charge a relisting fee, and/or a storage fee until the next auction, or if you chose to have your wine returned a delivery fee.

If you do choose The London Wine Cellar to sell your wine, you will experience none of these headaches. We will give you a cash-backed valuation within 48 hours at most of receiving a list of your wines, there are no hidden fees or commissions. We will arrange a timely collection of your wines free of charge and fully insured, and the price you see on our valuation is the price you receive net into your bank account within 48 hours of safe arrival and condition checks at our warehouse.

So next time, before you consign your wine to an Auction House consider it will be easier and quicker with us, and that you may well net more.