Spirit Auctions

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Have any of our UK members got any experience with selling bottles of spirits at auction.


I've been given a bottle of Martel Cordon Argent Cognac to sell by my dad, it retails for about £850, me and my kids are going to split the profits so although I 'm not expecting retail price for it I'd like to make it worth my while not drinking it!


Has anyone used any online auctions, either as a seller or buyer? Any recommendations or advice would be most appreciated.






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I buy a lot of wine at auction.  Is there an auction house near you that sells spirits?  You'll pay about 20% hammer commission to them.  I say near to you as you have to give them the bottle and want to save shipping if possible.  Pretty straightforward; they take a picture of the bottle and list it in the auction.  You get about 80% that hammer price.

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4 hours ago, throberto said:


I think Whisky Hammer and Tennants are a couple of the main specialists in the UK. 

With emotive items like this.  If you want full value for the item, make sure you flatly ignore the auction house,  they will want you to put the reserve quite low to spark interest etc   Stick to your guns,  if it doesn't sell, then don't worry, spirts like this are only going up in value.   If you put in a reserve at fair market value then is most likely will sell 


Other than that, have a search on the UK for Cognac enthusiast groups, you might find you can sell to someone on a forum who will really appreciate it, and as a plus point you will not have to pay 20% auction fees

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I have used Scotch Whisky Auctions for both buying and selling.  I have had nothing but positive experiences with them and find their sellers fee's quite reasonable.  They are obviously more whisky focused but I have seen all sorts of spirits listed there.  https://www.scotchwhiskyauctions.com/

What fees do you charge?

We have clear and fair fees for both our buyers and sellers. The sellers fees are:

  • £5 per bottle including miniatures
  • £10 reserve per lot (if required)

All fees will attract VAT where applicable.


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8 hours ago, 99call said:

I think Whisky Hammer and Tennants are a couple of the main specialists in the UK. 

I have no experience with WH but from your link it seems just a couple of bottles go up each auction on average, so not sure how specialist they are regarding cognac. 

I have bought from Whisky Auctioneer, Bonhams, Sotheby's, Christies, and I have noticed a few Cognacs within each Spirit auction (also maybe ~5 bottles/auction), so nothing more "specialist" than WH either.

Of those mentioned, I would recommend Bonhams and Sotheby's to check out. It "feels" to me that they have the best prices / clients but I have no evidence to back this claim. Note that the bigger houses may take more of a premium as well.

I would search the auction history of the available auction houses for similar bottles to yours, and check the hammer prices and sale date. 



You can talk to some of them and maybe get a valuation before you send the bottle to them



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