Determining fair current value for a wine

Planning some cellar reorg and will have some good choices to offer in the commerce corner.

What is the best tool right now for determining fair value ?

Wine-searcher seems to be what everyone goes by. Though when listing at commerce corner, haven’t really seen anyone pricing anything higher than what’s listed online.

Wine Searcher is the obvious one to establish retail pricing. If they’re auctionable wines, you can also look at WMJ. Keep in mind hammer prices + premium are what the buyer actually pays but hammer price MINUS sellers premium* is what the seller actually gets. That should give you an idea how to “win win price” the wines.

*If you have a huge consignment - 6 figures or more, at least - with average bottle values at least several hundred bucks, you can probably avoid a seller’s premium. If you’re small potatoes and would consign at KL/Winebid/etc, you’re not getting out of it.

I think its reasonable to show three datapoints, (i) WS Low , (ii) CT Recent Auction price and (iii) your price. CT has some deal with Wine Auction Journal where you can see the recent auction prices (if any) - I find it to be one of more useful aspects of CT for me. For (iii) your price, I would price at a reasonable discount to WS Low and Auction (whatever you think is reasonable, but I think 10% is the minimum… unless the wines are just so hard to find/you tihnk people will pay full freight).

On commerce corner, in my opinion, I see wine searcher pro minus 5%. It feels like a brothership thing more than anything

I think the auction data in CT or elsewhere is a much better indicator than wine-searcher low.

I think of a fair bit of things on W-S as the price at which a bottle doesn’t sell at… where the auction data is showing you actual transactions.

good point

I am no seeing where auction prices are hidden in CT. Where is this info?

I assume that’s for situations where the auction price is lower. For thinly traded wines, auction data isn’t necessary a great data point either - two people bidding against each other in one auction don’t necessarily set a market clearing price.

The CT auction price is also not strictly an auction price. Eric can elaborate more, but the auction number provided to CT includes some retailer numbers (which is why you cannot back out the number from the raw data on WMJ)

I have routinely used US WS pro non auction low minus 15% to sell to friends and contacts. Nets me pretty much what auction would and is an attractive deal to the buyer with known provenance. Should note that , for mysterious reasons, in the pandemic Ive sold things at auction for more than retail. Go figure.

Why is this mysterious? This happens a fair bit (though more post pandemic — Menu prices are a real thing)

That’s a fair point, but I suppose it’s worth adding that no one approach would work for all wines. I understand that someone selling wine wants to net the most possible, but also have observed large gaps between W-S prices and recent auctions in both directions. I guess I’m hopeful that folks are using commerce corner for ease of transaction, and community benefit more than trying to eek the last few dollars out of a deal. I realize there’s some pollyanna going on with my hope there…

There was an interesting discussion there a while back about how much commerce corner should be discounted relative to retail sales. I think you are probably right about the 5 percent but for me that doesn’t come close to covering the shipping risk and even legal aspects associated with personal wine shipments, and doing business in cash with an individual vs credit card with an established licensed business.

That said, WS low is often misleading e.g. prearrivals from some random unknown entity, seller with known storage or condition issues, etc. So that needs to be taken into account when setting a baseline.

If it’s a new release or readily available I’ll use WS-Pro. For back vintages, I use WMJ.

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You can also use K&L’s auction history link.


I think a good way to think of it is “legit, in stock and able to be shipped to all or most states WS-Pro low” as the benchmark. The seller is right to knock out the one-off low price that isn’t something you could actually go order right then.

I buy semi-regularly on Commerce Corner, and I think “a little below legit WS-Pro” is usually where people start.

Oh, I entirely agree that it’s always going to be a case by case basis.

I would agree. -5% seems like a gift to the seller for something that might not even make it through the shipping channel. I was thinking, in good ol’ boy fashion, that wine commerce gave discounts of up 30% off retail since we are all friends here [diablo.gif]

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