Selling Wine

I’m going to be selling quite a bit of wine and have gotten several estimates. has come in with the highest estimate. Anyone here ever use them before?

Thanks in advance,


I didn’t know bought wine…

Winebid, Spectrum, Heritage, Zachys, all options people have used here

Flickinger is very easy to deal with for wine sales

Here’s a good recent thread on the same topic:
Suggestions for Thinning Collection?

Where are you located?

Is a consignment estimate or a direct sale? sells for the most so being highest seems right for fixed price sale.

Has anyone ever sold to Walker Strangis?

Also Benchmark and K&L. Im in the bay area so K&L is the easiest for me

I suspect all of the wines they sell that are not within 2 years of the release date are aftermarket purchases for resale.

I didn’t know bought collections either- but I checked it out and sure enough, they do. If you go the wine.come home page and scroll down to the very bottom, on the far right is a list of links including “Sell Us Your Wine”.

The real kicker is the very last sentence on that link (emphasis added by me), “Your appraisal will provide you transparency to our selling price and the price we will pay you upon completed transactions.”

In other words, like many other brokers in the current marketplace who can’t or won’t properly fund their brokerage business- is going to take your wines on commission to sell at retail.

I STRONGLY recommend against ever doing this because here is how this usually works out,

Scenario A - You send in your entire collection, it gets appraised, and then for a guaranteed period of time (set in the contract) the broker will offer your wines at a set price, giving you a % of sales. The appraisal looks amazing because everything is at full retail less a set commission- but are all of your wines going to sell at that retail price? How often do you go into a wine store and see things that have sat for months versus wines that seem to fly out the door?

Inevitably, your best and most desired wines will sell first, leaving you with a large pile of wine that will sell slowly or not at all. And then at the end of the deal, you either pay to have your wine shipped back, or you agree to sell it for even less than the original contract (sometimes the contracts provide for automatic price reductions after a period of time.)

Then you have the least marketable portion of your cellar back in your hands. And when you go to other brokers to sell it, your offers will be very low because all the cherries that would have made for a quick sale at a high markup are gone. Oftentimes, brokers will turn down such collections and not even make an offer. It is easier than you think to tell when a collection has been cherrypicked. Brokers don’t like that.

Scenario B - yes this actually happens. All of the above holds true, except the broker tells you to keep your wine and then they list it for sale and only have you ship bottles as they are sold. So now you are paying all kinds of crazy shipping costs to mail a few bottles here and a few bottles there, plus you are missing out on a lot of customers who are aware of the fact that this particular broker doesn’t even inspect wines before sale, and refuses to take those kinds of risks.

As a general rule- you should only ever sell a collection of anything on consignment when you really have no other choice. And these days, wine is a highly liquid and reasonably predictable market in the short term. As long as you have valuable bottles with good provenance, there is no reason to do consignment to retail.

At auction, you take a chance- but you get all the upside of the market responding better than expected to your collection, plus in the current environment your seller’s commission- ie the spread- is smaller than what a broker is going to take.

In a direct sale you get your money right now, or within 30 days, and everything is sold at once. All done, nothing to worry about.

If someone gets you hooked into a consignment for retail arrangement- you lose all of the major advantages of either a direct sale or going to auction.

And in a marketplace that is heavily populated with proper brokers and auction houses, any broker who does not make cash offers paid within a set period of time is someone who is either unable or unwilling to properly fund their business to handle your goods in the standard manner. Not the kind of place I would give a valuable asset to sell on my behalf.


Why not check out Commerce Corner?? newhere

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Great post Tom - I didn’t know that about consignment sales (never did that myself). I hope the OP and every other seller reads this! The devil is truly in the (contractual) details.