Selling Wine In Bond

Your guide to selling wine in bond.

Wines that are ‘in bond’ are those which have not had VAT or Duty paid on them. Due to this they cannot be delivered to somebody for consumption, they must stay within designated warehouses.

Tips on Buying and Selling Wine in Bond

A popular way of buying and storing wine is to purchase it while it’s “in bond”. This simply means that your wine is stored in a HM Customs & Excise-approved “bonded” warehouse. Wine purchased and stored in this way is not Duty or VAT payable until it is taken out, or delivered to your home – at this point the VAT is payable on the original purchase value.

The advantage of using a bonded warehouse is that for a fee, of around £15 a year, the warehouse will ensure your wine is kept safe in cellar conditions and at a regular temperature to guarantee its provenance. This said wine doesn’t always arrive in good condition. Many bottles suffer problems associated with ageing outside of these stable environments. “In bond” wines can suffer “ullage” (a lowering of the level within the bottle); seepage or label damage, so we would recommend that you request a photo of your purchase before agreeing to buy it. One problem we encounter with less reliable wine companies is that many sell damaged cases for the price of pristine ones, and depressingly often, this is at an inflated price too. Often when the buyer comes to realise the ruse, it is too late and the company has vanished into liquidation.

Things to be Cautious Of

Knowing the condition of your wine and its transit history can be difficult to fathom when wine is in bond. It’s a danger associated with never actually clapping eyes on your cases before buying them. It’s possible that you have been sold a case of wine that has already been around the world (America and China are the most common markets). If your wine has travelled to and from the US, it is likely that your bottles will have export labels stuck to them. As a rule of thumb, attaching these will reduce the value of your wine by 20 per cent.

Avoid the ugly surprise and don’t buy wines without having seen a photo of the stock (some merchants will provide a photo for free but we think our £7 fee is a small price to pay to know you’re buying quality stock).

Storing Wine In Bond

At The London Wine Cellar we store our holdings in the warehouses of our trusted trading partner, London City Bond. The majority of our stock is held within the Vinothèque warehouse in Staffordshire. For clients who already have wine stored here, we offer upfront payment, as it is a simple matter of transferring ownership. Needless to say, we’ll need to see the photographs first.

For clients with wine stored in bond elsewhere, we make the payment in full after the stock has been checked and received. London City Bond carries out an independent and thorough check on our behalf before payment. When the wine has the “all clear” we’ll happily complete full payment.

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