Determining fair current value for a wine

In the past I attended wine auctions to potentially purchase for my shop. Not surprisingly, the blue chips regularly went for a premium though there were plenty of oddball lots of ‘three cases mixed California Cabernet Sauvignon’ that could be had for under $20 a bottle. Small lots typically go at a discount to a solid case. If you don’t anticipate a fast sale and have the time to wait for the buyer, then great. Time = Money.

One thing to bear in mind with Wine Searcher is that these are ASKING prices. There are lots of high-end wines that sit on retailer shelves for a long time. So the asking price is not the same as the market-clearing price.

Exactly. I see expensive, high-scoring wines sitting on shelves that ultimately get discounted and pushed out the door. Some sellers are stuck on retail price values which have little relation to peer-to-peer exchange platforms which is essentially a hobby.

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Lots of great feedback since I asked the question.

I have a small number of 1er Cru Burgs from lesser-known producers.

Is there a reasonable appreciation for Red Burgs since purchase, or is original purchase price the only play to set a fair price. For wines with no auction data?

red burgs always go up.

throw the list up on commerce corner and ask for reasonable offers. i think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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Thank you. Posted my small list just now.

There’s a difference between fair market value (essentially, an appraisal for insurance or whatnot) vs. what you should list things on Commerce Corner for.

Fair Market Value is determined through auction value. That’s a confirmed transaction. Wine-Searcher is a listing, therefor not generally valid.

In the event the value of the wine is hard to determine based on auction, you can look at similar vintages.

Another source would be Liv-Ex, but that’s super pricey.

Hear hear to this. Judging by the prices I see on CC, many people do not understand this. If a wine is otherwise readily available - or if similar vintages are readily available - then I need to see a discount off W-S low by ~20% before I even think about it. Hobbyists need to understand they cannot command what a retail store can command and the discount to assume the risk of purchasing from a private seller needs to be a lot more than 5% to account for this. (Obviously, if the wine is a back vintage or otherwise unavailable at retail, that’s a different story.)

I tried a one day WMJ trial to see if was helpful. They limited me to 10 searches and frankly they counted failed searches against the 10. So I was able to check just a couple of wines for auction values.

Based on my experience with their one day trial, I am loathe to ever become a professional WMJ member. The trial experience was so poor I was flabbergasted.

it’s a great website. Gives you lots of data.

Unfortunately failed searches (as in no results) are still searches.

If you’re a paying Cellartracker user, they give you basic WMJ auction data like recent prices realized. Doesn’t give you details like auction house and lot info, but it’s good enough to give me a rough sense of where something is trading at.

These last few comments got my attention, so I had a look at your offer over in CC. While the vintages (especially 2005) are interesting, these are pretty obscure producers (except for Lamarche and Chevillon). In terms of name recognition/market demand they are what I think of as Tier 3 producers - very low volume of discussion or market activity for them. I looked them up in Cellar Tracker, and there are a few notes, and Burghound reviews, so they are not impossibly obscure. But definitely on the edge.

BTW - the Lamarche/Chevillon, despite being good names, are from 2004. This is easily the least sought vintage of the last 25 years, so these bottles might languish unless you offer them at cut rate prices.

Given the wines you are interested in selling, I’m not surprised you are having extreme difficulty assessing value. No surprise at all that WMJ has very little data - they just aggregate wines actually sold at auction sites. While auctions have been going deeper into Burgundy the last few years, it’s mostly the top 30 or 40 names that are sold. None of the wines you listed are in that select group.

IMHO, given these limitations, in the market of 5+ years ago I would have expected these wines to have sold (if at all) at a pretty significant discount to their original price. Maybe you would have gotten $30 or $40 a bottle for them. But things have changed. Certainly Burgundy is crazy hot and wildly unpredictable. I’d expect that, if you are patient, you might find a Berserker interested in trying some bottles with age, despite the obscurity of the producers. The 2005s would go first. I’ll bet that the first few offers you get are going to feel very low, but that’s what I think these will generate. Or if you are patient you might get a bit more - but you could be confronted by the hassle of shipping a few bottles at a time to folks.

My advice is - if you actually want to generate the highest possible return/lowest effort outcome, send them to Winebid. They will sell there.

Yes, I was thinking about this too. And if the CT link produces nothing, then that tells you WMJ hasn’t ever seen an auction for this particular wine.

10 searches a month limit. oh wow. including ones that return nothing. I am not in their target market.

That’s just the one day trial for you to test out the system. The regular $50 a year one gives you 100 searches a month. More than plenty.

If you set up an online account with Acker they have easily searched auction archives.