How to Sell Champagne Online

Crguk-Wine

Though many of us would love to have an extra supply of Champagne and other favourite fine wines at home, there are plenty of people who are looking for the complete opposite with selling in mind over popping corks! There are countless reasons why you might wish to sell your Champagne / fine wine collection and the good news is that there are an abundance of places we can do this both online and offline.

People decide to sell Champagne and wine for many reasons, including:

They have been inherited. Many people will inherit fine wines and sometimes these collections hold decent value, where it is preferred to convert such inheritance in to money. Some people are simply not comfortable opening a bottle of wine that might hold several hundred or even thousand pounds of value on the market! Where one person might collect wines of their preferred style, the person who in future years inherits them might not be such a fan, though it is hard to imagine anyone not liking Champagne!

Collectors / wine enthusiasts either selling off or slimming down their portfolio. Many wine collectors will from time to time look to sell off part of their collection for extra space or of course to release some cash preferring the £’s over the equity of wine. There are plenty of collectors who when purchasing larger amounts of wine will collate many labels not in their line of collecting, so these will usually be sold off, or they may have obtained better examples of existing labels in their portfolio.

Healthier lifestyle / medical reasons. Some people get to a point where maybe they wish to call it a day when it comes to drinking wine, be it for a healthier lifestyle or maybe health / medical reasons call for them to avoid alcohol.

Stock liquidation such as from restaurants / bars / hotels. Business closures in the hospitality sector are unfortunately very high and this will mean sometimes the stock left will be sold off.

In my few short years of collecting Champagne I have purchased from a variety of sources to include via eBay and Facebook Marketplace, local household auctions, local house clearance firms and even from friends. People I know, within both my social and business networks, are aware that I collect Champagne so I am usually the first person they contact should there be bubbly for sale.Christopher Walkey

For larger sales, such as private collections or liquidation sales of larger restaurants, then the selling process will be handled by a professional agency charging a set fee and taking the hassle out of the likes of trying to sell individual bottles, cataloguing and transporting to a purchaser(s) etc. Some larger collections are better to be split in order to gain a better price and attract more bespoke buyers, frequently a wine expert will be called in to offer research, descriptions / testing quality, professional inventory, dividing up labels into sections and more. For many people, hundreds of bottles of wine suddenly being left upon them can be quite intimidating and certainly a feeling of ‘where on earth do I start?‘ will take hold.

Where to start if you are thinking about selling Champagne

Well, the first thing we need to know is if we have something that is of any value. Just because we see Champagne on the bottle does not necessarily mean that we are in the money. It would pay you to do a bit of research online such as by putting in the name of the labels you have into Google, for example ‘Champagne Veuve Clicquot Grande Dame 1990 price’ to see what the results are and especially the prices – Sometimes these will be estimated and other times you will see the bottle up for sale and the current listing price. Remember, most times the prices stated are that of the value via a retailer (top price) who will offer a guarantee of quality and authenticity. It is highly unlikely that you will realise the top price for your wines unless you plan to sell each individually directly to the end consumer / collectors and offer a guarantee / postal service etc!

Next we need to consider the history of the Champagne we have in relation to how it was previously stored. Most collectors will place great importance on the history of the wine / wine collections they are purchasing and this can have a great effect on the final value. Were they stored for years in the cellars and have you evidence? Maybe the wines were stored at home in a spare room, in the garage, under the bed, or worse!

When selling Champagne the qualities your labels need ideally are:

A Top Champagne House – Dom Perignon / Louis Roederer / Krug / Salon.

A Vintage / Special Release.

Senior Vintage, the older sometimes the better.

Multiple bottles, ideally a case (six bottles).

Quality reviews / high point scores from professional wine critics.

Wine Inventory Lists on CSV File

Wine Inventory Lists on CSV File

 

If at this point you believe you have a substantial collection worthy of selling then you can initiate the process of selling. You would ideally be the owner of a full inventory at this point of all the wines you are looking to sell:

List them yourself online / local advertising. For smaller collections and especially those with many individual labels / styles. It could pay you well to list each wine individually with a full description and decent photography.

Place them in your local specialist auction. If you have a collection you simply want to get rid of and you are not overly worried about spending too much time of researching then a local auction might be a good idea – Ideally choose one which handle antiques and collectables so that their database is more accustomed to purchasing wines at auction. Do not forget that many auctions today offer not only telephone bidding, but also via the internet so your audience can be quite vast!

At a recent local auction to me there were several vintage wines for sale and the bidding war I had for one of the lots was ‘me vs the internet bidder’! During the auction, the auctioneer was able to say from where the internet bids were coming from and these included Canada and Germany – How the local auction houses have opened up their client base in todays internet world!Christopher Walkey

Contact an online ‘licensed to sell alcohol’ reseller and send through your inventory. A simple search on Google for ‘sell my Champagne’ will bring up a long list of companies very happy to hear from you with easy to use websites including some where you can upload the list of wines you have for an estimate offer price. Depending on the size of your collection, it might be down to you to package and send your wines to the company you have received an offer from, though larger collections and for more expensive wines you can usually expect a visit from a team member. Most of the communications are likely to take place by email including an offer for your wines and your acceptance plus how to get your wines to them and how you wish to be paid upon receipt.

Contact a specialist agency to manage your sale. For the larger and finer wine collections you will be better advised to involve the specialists. Though their price will be expensive, it is highly likely that their expertise will increase the end price far more than you could do yourself or with less professional advice / services. A specialist agency will hold the appropriate contacts and importantly the expertise in managing the sales, maybe certain wines will be sold via specialist auctions (Case of wine sells for £30,000 at Tennants Auction) or they advise you to keep hold of some of the collection as it is likely to increase in value.

Added Champagne selling tips:

Check to see if there are any local wine experts to you or connect with your local independent wine merchant. A local wine professional would be able to give you advice and be able to see the wines in order to judge quality / value. You might need to pay for this service, though from experience wine professionals are wine lovers and many would love the opportunity to view a larger fine Champagne / wine collection.

When putting together an inventory, make sure to make it digital over paper as this will allow you to send your list easier online. Many older wine collections will have had a paper inventory which could be quite thorough in content from where and who from the wine was purchased, when and how much for – It would pay you to keep this history for the wine collection, but to convert it on to digital also. Use the likes of CSV file format.

Contact several potential purchasers and get a spread of estimates. Many buyers will be happy to meet any other genuine offer.

Use social media. Though guidelines from many social media platforms will state no selling of alcohol, you will still see countless posts advertising more desirable and collectable wines and especially vintage Champagnes. You can either post some photos / details via the likes of Facebook and Instagram remembering to adequately list in full any winery name / label name and where and when you can, tagging in and using hashtags for instance ‘Here are five #Champagne @DomPerignon 1996 bottles in my collection – Anyone interested?’. Also, via social media, there are many groups for wine such as Champagne Collectors on Facebook where you can join then ask for advice or even state that you have a collection for sale and see if you get any replies / direct messages – You usually will!