What strategies do buyers use at iDealwine auctions?

A gold mine for finding a good deal or mature vintages, online auctions are what iDealwine is known for. If we haven’t already reminded you enough, we are the leading French wine auction house and a European leader when it comes to online wine auctions. But how does that help you to never miss any of the bottles you hope to obtain at auction? There is the theory (read our article How do auctions work? | A beginner’s guide to online auctions and practice. So, it’s time we take a look at the practice with a few tips from our top buyers.

Paul, a keep your cards close to your chest kind of person

Paul is one of our very best customers. He works in the world of wine himself and receives our auction barometer which guides his purchasing decisions every year. His tactic? Locate the lots you’d like to buy but don’t reveal your true intentions until the end.

Paul will go through nearly every iDealwine auction using two different methods. Using the available filters on the left-hand side of the page, he browses every page of the auction sorting by region (he has a soft spot for Savoie, Jura, Alsace, Champagne and non-French wines) and by price (to respect the budget that he has set).

So what is he searching for?

  • Good deals
  • Wines that haven’t already gained a lot of speculation
  •  Producers that he would like to discover or rediscover

There are a few exceptions to this; to the list he adds some rare wines (which he can count on one hand) that he really likes and can buy without breaking the bank. Once the scouting has been completed, he notes the days and times of the lots he’s interested in.

While the auction is online, he will go and check on the lots in question, opening several tabs on his computer, so that he can follow their evolution. On the day the wines go under the hammer, Paul logs on 15-20 minutes before the auction closes on the lots (he can do this as he works for himself and so he can connect to his account when required). A few minutes before the end, he sets a maxim bid just above the limit he set for himself when he first saw the lot. Imagine that there were a lot with a bid of €40 a few moments before the end, Paul who had set his budget as €60 would then set the maximum bid on the website as €65 in the hope that no other buyer would go past this bid and that the final price would not be as high as the maximum bid he set. A last-minute tactic that pays off if you have the time. Paul assures you that “There are plenty of brilliant deals to be had on iDealwine.com!

Marine, a rising star collector

Marine is a great wine enthusiast, always on the hunt of new discoveries. To know who to look out for, she regularly reads our monthly auction reports that are published on our website. She also often goes through the iDealwine catalogues to find highly esteemed wines that she doesn’t already know and checks that they aren’t being tracked by too many people so she can follow them herself. Thanks to this option, she receives an email 45 minutes before the auction closes so that she can decide at that moment if she would like to bid on them on not. A little tip: “Wines with labels that are a little spoiled can sometimes be less expensive than the same ones with pristine labels. But that doesn’t change the taste of the wine!”

Jérôme, a maximum bid specialist  

Jérôme has a defined idea in his head about the wines he is looking for. He therefore regularly logs on to iDealwine and clicks on the names of the producers he likes (he also uses the “Alert” function for the rarest wines). He often uses the “lots without bids” and “lots without reserve prices” filters which allow him to find future good deals while also referencing our price estimation page to decide he budget.

Once lots have been earmarked, Jérôme places a maximum bid on each of them in order not to be outdone by a potential competitor. He returns often to our site as the auctions close to see if any good deals remain.

What is he looking for? Mature wines which save him time. “Who today has the space and patience to keep wine for many years?Not me, that’s for sure!” he tells us. He also looks for vintages that he can give to his family and friends as presents, all while collecting wines from his own birth year.

He also has another tip for you. “I’ve noticed that there are certain times of the year when bids above the top estimated price occur less. This was case in August 2023. Sometimes, sellers want to sell their bottles quickly and set the starting price lower. That’s something to watch out for.”

And now we’ll leave you to place your bids.

Read our article: How do auctions work? | A beginner’s guide to online auctions

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