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Selling best practices

Selling best practices


The complete guide to selling your wine

Selling your wine involves more than knowing how much your bottles are worth. You could own an incredibly rare Lafite-Rothschild vintage, but if you don't know the best way to sell it you might miss out on hundreds, perhaps even thousands of dollars in profits. You should consider the best price to charge for your wine, as well as which selling platform will meet your needs. You'll also want to take advantage of cyclical market trends to attract the perfect buyer. Learn more.

How to determine the resale value of your wine

Producers and terroirs that have excellent reputations among collectors will often fetch a premium price. A producer's overall ranking will usually get you within $100 of the actual market value of the wine, but if you want to find out exactly how much your wine is worth you'll need to read critic scores for the vintage. Factors like market timing, storage history, provenance, and terroir also impact how much your wine is worth on the secondary market. Consider all of these aspects before you sell your wine. Learn more.

How to maximize profit when selling wine

I can sometimes go months without buying more than a bottle or two of fine wine, but in November and in April, like clockwork, I buy multiple cases within the span of a few weeks. It turns out that I'm not alone; most of the collectors I know tend to binge on fine wine purchases in the late fall and early spring. This is when bottles are safest to ship, and fall purchases also set up collectors for the holiday season. For this reason you may stand to make the greatest profit when you wait to sell your wine during these two seasons. Doing so gives you a deeper pool of buyers than you would have during the “off season,” and those buyers are often willing to spend more on full cases. Learn more.

Understanding auction fees when selling wine

If you have an especially rare collection of wine that an auction house knows will make the news, they may not charge a fee at all to get your business. However, most auction houses charge at least 20 percent of the final sale to auction your wine. Some auctions charge an additional insurance fee of about one percent on top of the sale fee. It's important to read the fine print on your auction contract before you sell your wines at auction. Learn more.

The ethics of selling wine at auction

There are two reasons why you should care about wine auction ethics: it increases your trustworthiness as a seller, and it keeps bad wines off the market. Wine auction ethics should always be based on the golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” You should also err on the side of disclosure; even if a wine is flawed, it's possible to ethically sell that bottle if you inform the auction house or the buyer of everything you know about the wine. Learn more.

How to sell wine on consignment

The best wine consignment services offer collectors a diverse range of options, regardless of whether the collector has prior experience selling wine. Regardless of who you ultimately work with, it is critical to ensure that your partner is in good legal standing, has the ability to accurately assess your bottles, and has an expansive network and resources to ensure you get the best price on your wines. Learn more.

What to do with your wine when you die

Jason Preston, AAA, who is a Certified Member of the Appraisers Association of America and who regularly appears as an appraiser on PBS' Antiques Roadshow, has handled plenty of wine inheritance cases in his career. One of the most memorable, he says, was when he was called in to appraise a wine collection in Bel-Air. The original cellar owner had passed away, leaving his entire wine collection to his family. What his heirs didn't realize was that the cellar's temperature controls had stopped working, leaving the wines exposed to 85-degree temperatures for months. Preston took one look at the condition of the cellar and knew the wine wasn't salvageable. It was one of his shortest appraisal visits ever. Learn more.