Auction advice | 10 tips for wine-selling and investment success

With over 160,000 bottles sold on our platform over the course of last year, iDealwine is a true laboratory for wine lovers. Jean-Baptiste Martin, Project Manager in the Sales Department, oversees the performance of your wines on a daily basis. Here are his top ten tips for how to be successful in selling your wine at auction.

1/ Plastic wrap your bottles straight away

A good reflex to develop is covering your bottles in plastic wrap as soon as you place them in your cellar. Unlike the wine inside the bottle, the label will not take well to a humid environment, meaning it will deteriorate over time if left to the open. And the condition of the label does, in fact, have an effect on the eventual performance of the bottle at auction. The plastic wrap will prevent damage and is no issue to remove if you decide to drink the bottle yourself.

2/ Don’t neglect large formats

Magnum, Jeroboam, Nebuchadnezzar…words like this are music to a wine enthusiast’s ears. And this comes with a price since large formats often gain value better than if the wine had been put into separate bottles. Don’t hesitate when it comes to investing in bigger bottles, though you should think beforehand about how you might transport them…

3/ Cases of 6 or 12

With a buying community of keen wine lovers, there are many who like the chance to try a favourite wine several times over or to open a few bottles for a big occasion. It tends to be that people will pay more for this than they would have spent on a series of individual bottles.

4/ Put together a vertical

A 6-bottle case of the same cuvée is undoubtedly a treat, but a vertical is the true ace of assortments. A challenge to put together but sure to be successful! A vertical is a case of the same cuvée in consecutive vintages. Nothing draws attention like a vertical of bottles from a famous domain. To manage this, you have to be patient and persistent. If you’re missing one or two bottles, you can buy them above market price – you’ll be justly rewarded for your investment…

5/ Take a visit to the vineyards

The holy grail for many a wine lover, a domain allocation is easier to get your hands on than you might think. You have to commit by visiting the property, getting to know the domain, spending some time with the wine maker, showing your interest in their wine…find the right moment, and you can ask right out if there’s a little allocation available. I won’t lie, you’re unlikely to get it straight away, but you might be put on the waiting list. Your efforts are likely to pay off eventually.

6/ Keep an eye on up-and-coming domains

Gone are the days of auction hegemony for the biggest Bordeaux and Burgundy names. In just a few years, some really quite modest domains can gain international popularity. This is why we write a Barometer every year – 130 pages with all the information you could need about the properties to look out for, region by region. This document is available in digital format through your iDealwine account!

7/ Keep hold of your wooden cases

Whilst they’re made for practical reasons, original wooden cases have become a real asset for those selling their wines at auction. Some buyers are prepared to pay well above market price for a lot that includes its case. We recommend keeping any you have and looking out for any you might find elsewhere!

8/ Sell without a reserve price

As strange as it might seem, bottles put up for auction with a start price of €1 often attain final selling prices over the initial highest estimate. Whilst this would seem to go against common sense, we’ve noticed that wines initially priced at €1 attract more attention and create a snowball effect.

9/ Go for the mature vintages

As soon as a vintage is given a promising outlook, try to get hold of some bottles from the most coveted domains at all costs. Don’t worry about buying them at above market price, this will pay off when you sell them on. Once bought, preserve these bottles preciously in your cellar, including the plastic wrap. Let time do its work and once the price estimate has increased enough, all that’s left to do is sell!

10/ Ask us any questions

If you’re in the process of selling your wines, or you’re just interested and would like some more information, send an email to our sellers team at vendeur@idealwine.com. They will be happy to help with any queries!

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