Buying and selling Whisky Privately Onlineon Feb 25 in Editorial by dan
The web is reported to be a dangerous place to buy and sell anything privately, but I do think the whisky community ensures you wont go far wrong selling, buying and swapping whisky online away from retailers.
Recently I’ve had an experience of trading some bottles of whisky ‘person to person’ first hand, it was fun and safe, so I’d like to share that story with you.
Once upon a time… I had in my possession a bottle of whisky worth a few hundred pounds, because it was quite rare whisky. Putting my personal feelings about whether whisky if for drinking or ‘hording’ aside, I decided to sell. So, having ‘um’ed’ and ‘ah’ed’ I decided I wanted to sell the whisky to fund another passion of mine (sailing).
Following a little research I found three options to sell my whisky:
- Finding a collector
- Selling to a retailer
Auctioning whisky Online
At first the easiest option seemed to be to just send the bottle off to a whisky Auction, and let them do their thing. Take a small hit on fees and be done with it.
The great thing about this is that its is almost guaranteed to sell, it will probably go to a good home, and you literally post the whisky to them and forget about it.
As with all auctions there is risk. Risk that the bottle will go cheaply and risk of damage as the bottle will have to be posted multiple times. There is of course the fee’s too: though the fees seemed very reasonable to me.
Summary of Whisky Auctions
It seemed like a quick easy way to sell whisky, potentially in bulk. The fee’s are not too bad and even though there is risk there is also a chance your bottle may go for more than its worth too. Look to see what prices people have achieved in past auctions to get an idea of what to expect.
My advice is pick your timing well, dont sell your bottle when everyone else is selling the same thing too. Also once your bottle is up for auction, send the link to everyone you know in the whisky/drinks world to try and get some eyes on that auction.
I very nearly went down this route and I don’t think I would have regretted it one bit If I had. In-fact I may be putting up a bottle for auction later this year… when the timing is right.
Selling Privately Online
This is my preferred option for a number of reasons and is what I done in the end.
The whisky community is huge, and if even just the tip of the iceberg is online, you can still get in touch with hundreds, if not thousands, of private collectors online.
My experience was to talk to a few upstanding members of the community such as @whiskycollector, or @whiskyinvestor and firstly talk to them and ‘make friends’. Following this the conversation invariably moved on to whisky, collecting, buying selling etc; this is where the important process happens! Pay attention because this is key:
These people on twitter/facebook etc can recommend their friends and peers as potential buyers…
Let me tell you why this is important: Selling online can be tricky and dangerous, but it’s important not to be blinded by fear. A recommendation from a upstanding community member of the community tells you that the person you are dealing with is likely to be legit. And further if the collector recommended to isn’t on twitter et al, you can usually get a introduction from the person doing the recombination.
- Best Price
- Get Community Peer approved contacts
- Meet new collectors and make new friends
The same as any private transaction:
- Make sure money clears before sending
- be careful of fakes
Selling to a retailer
This is the option I only very briefly considered. If you have something you want rid of, and you wont get a good price at auction, and you can’t find a private whisky buyer, then maybe you can sell the bottle to a retailer at a cut down price.
Get rid of a bottle quickly.
The retailer has to make a markup on the price they buy from you, so you will not get a good price compered to selling privately. If you can’t sell the bottle, then they may struggle to too, meaning they are not going to pay you top price. The only hope is that they have a wider reach than you to help them sell it, and they need to do that at a profit. So maybe just consider drinking the bottle and enjoying it instead.
Selling whisky Online
I am the kind of guy who refuses to buy a car from a dealer, I will go for a private sale every time. I believe in people, and in the past I’ve been burned. However
This excerpt from an excellent poem describes my feelings with finesse:
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Whisky investor Kindly pointed out the guys at Mulberry Bank Auctions, Mr Kruger @ Whiskyauction.com and Scotch Whisky Auctions for selling. “We have dealt with them all in the past and they are excellent to deal with.”