wine auction buying advice please

I have not ever bought wine from one of the on-line auctions. I just get wine from mailing list offerings. However, I’m looking to get a couple premium bottles to put an X in my “gotta try before I die” box, and it looks as if auctions are the only option. But seeing how these bottles will most likely cost me $500 or more, per bottle, I’m a bit hesitant to push that button…As a general financial/budgetary rule, I do not spend more than $250 per 750 bottle, so I’m stepping outside my comfort zone a bit… I’m actually looking for a couple/few first growths (ready to drink now), and also a couple of D’yquems so I can put an X in a bucket list line item. Any tips and/or advice would be most appreciated.

Maybe post here in commerce corner what you are looking for, some folks have wine they will sell

If you’re going to drop serious coin, it might help to sign up for the Pro version of Wine Searcher if you’re not already subscribing.

In addition to auction, I would sign up for K&L’s Insider’s Advantage, as well as JJ Buckley, Flickinger, Zachy’s, Morrell, & Benchmark email lists in addition to your other favorite retailers. There’s a lot of wine out there and deals can be had at both retail and auction.

Wine Searcher Pro for sure. Auctions are very competitive now, many wines selling at or above retail (you can search multiple threads on this, people stuck at home with time/$$ to burn). If the specific wines you’re looking at are available at retail, you might just find it’s the best price you can get, and better provenance.

If you’re looking to score a “deal” on a high end wine, and you’re not picky, the best advice I can give is to be disciplined about your max price, and to be patient.

If you are looking for a unicorn wine only found at auction, be prepared to swallow hard and spend the $$$. Good hunting!

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Looking at Wine Bid recently on a few items but at 17% buyers premium and shipping I quickly calculated that it is not a very good deal.

Agree with John. Its all about knowing your prices. Auctions are probably good for rare and one off bottles. Retailers usually have better deals.

I have not heard of Wine-Searcher Pro, so I’ll look into that for sure. It would certainly be easier to buy from a retailer’ I just haven’t seen what I’m looking for at any, at least not yet. K&L did, but they are auction too, which I found a bit odd.

This is not generally true but has been felt more in recent months (though recently there are more lots than usual going over retail, it is not the absolute norm across the board)

What is mostly misunderstood about pricing is 1) not everyone has access to the same markets 2) market participants are always transacting at different prices so while 1 person may be offering 1 bottle below what you fill at it might be a good average price for 6 bottles and 3) menu prices (retail prices) always move slower than the bids and asks - right now we are seeing bids above the menu prices which aren’t moving but when they do and the market turns you will see the reverse trend.

The best advice is know the market and be disciplined.

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