Archive for the News Category

Registering to bid

Posted in News, Site improvements and modifications on April 20, 2015 by Bid for Wine

We have today launched a feature much requested by both buyers and sellers. From today all new bidders will be asked to register a credit or debit card with us before bidding – this will not only allow us to process payments faster (if you request that we take payment from the card) but will, we hope, help prevent the rare but irritating cases where bids are exuberantly placed after several glasses of vino and then forgotten about..! We have also amended the following sections of our terms and conditions of business to reflect this change (in bold) as below:

Terms and Conditions of Use

9. By bidding on an item you agree to be bound by the conditions of sale included in the item’s description so long as those conditions of sale are not in violation of this Agreement or unlawful. As a bidder, if you have the highest bid at the end of the auction, at or above the minimum bid price (or in the case of reserve auctions, at or above the reserve price), and your bid is accepted by the seller, you are obliged to complete the transaction. Further, you are obliged to complete the transaction with the seller if you purchase an item through one of our fixed price formats. Bids are not retractable except in exceptional circumstances such as the seller materially changing the description of the item after your bid or clear typographical errors, or when you can not authenticate the identity of the seller. We may request that you register a credit/debit card with us prior to bidding. This may be used to collect payment for lots bought via the site where these have been consigned to Bid for Wine. Payment for ‘direct’ listings will not be collected from registered cards[…]

Contract between Bid for Wine and the buyer

5.    Payment for wines sold on consignment with Bid for Wine should be received as cleared funds within 7 days of the date of invoice. Where payment has not been received we may debit any credit/debit card you hold on file with us.


Bid for Wine’s 5th Birthday Celebrations including a 0% commission offer.

Posted in News on September 25, 2013 by AB

This October marks Bid for Wine’s 5th Birthday – an exciting milestone – and we’ve decided to celebrate by offering a 0% commission deal for all sales via the site’s marketplace style ‘direct listings’ during October. This will give you effectively free access to over 9000 buyers around the world!

We started Bid for Wine in 2008 to give people an easy and low cost way to sell excess bottles, wines one will never drink because tastes have changed or cases bought for investment. When we launched Lehman Brothers had just collapsed and the world seemed to be in meltdown so it was an inauspicious start. Since then and over 25,000 lots later we’ve established a successful operation in Singapore and now offer a market leading calendar of sales for clients who want a fully managed service. Additionally our partnership with Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions gives you access to a broad range of complementary auction services across fields ranging from books to fine jewellery.

We want to use our birthday to remind people of Bid for Wine’s core offering though. The site is the UK’s only genuine peer-to-peer venue for wine sales by auction or, alternatively, if you’ve an entire cellar to clear then we can manage the whole process – we’re always very pleased to provide no-obligation valuations for potential consignors (just send us an email).

We’re often asked about the security and provenance issues which might arise from direct sales. Before anyone is allowed to sell with us they’re automatically vetted and if further investigations are needed then we do them. As anyone who uses the site will know feedback is incredibly important too – no-one likes getting a bad reputation. There’s also a real sense of community on the site – lots of our customers in the city will sell to one another and then meet up over lunch to swap their bottles – which means that people know one another and do call us if they see anything potentially untoward. Finally Chris and I are also in regular contact with a range of industry experts including several MWs who we use to advise on older wines and some other queries.

We’ll also be marking the anniversary with some other offers plus a feature auction including a vertical of Jaboulet’s Hermitage La Chapelle from 1971 onwards plus lots of vintage Champagne (Dom Perignon 1995, Pol Roger 1979 and others). Do check here on the blog or join our mailing list for further details.

Full T&Cs for the 0% offer can be found here.

Changes to Bid for Wine’s Terms and Conditions

Posted in News, Site improvements and modifications on January 3, 2013 by AB

Due to the increased volumes of wine we’re handling, it was necessary for Bid for Wine to take additional warehouse staff at the end of 2012 and we are now altering our storage offering to reflect this. Where storage of lots is required (or if delivery instructions have not been received within a week of a sale), wines will be transferred to a dedicated client account to enhance accountability and to allow us to store your wines in your name.

Unfortunately warehouse administration fees will necessitate the introduction of a small up-front ‘per lot’ charge of £2.00 for transfers to the client account. Storage will be charged at our current cost of 20p per week. We recognise that this will be unwelcome but hope that the very significant economies of scale that stem from shipping lots together will go some way to mitigating the impact.

A further change is the forthcoming introduction of a buyer’s premium of 15%+VAT on all consignment auctions (my dislike of these charges is on record but they are forced by commercial necessity!). Unwelcome as this change is likely to be it will allow us to fund substantial – and long overdue – improvements to the site over the coming year. Expect to see a new bidding interface (including the option to place bids on dozens of lots in a few clicks, rather than having to flick through numerous pages) as well as simplified invoices, listing tools and more. Please note that at present buyer’s premium will not apply to wines sold by ‘direct’ listings (i.e those bought from people listing and shipping their own wines), nor those purchased from ‘fixed price’ offers such as that for our Grand Cru Burgundy beating Torii Mor Oregon Pinot Noir.

The roadmap to an improved Bid for Wine site

The roadmap to an improved Bid for Wine site

As a footnote to this, and as with the majority of auctioneers, where Bid for Wine invoices are paid for by credit card or non-UK issued debit card, the additional processing cost (2.5%+VAT) will be added to invoices. Payment by debit card, BACS or cheque will continue to be free and we will of course carry on offering shipping and storage to set ourselves apart from the competition..! We hope that planned improvements to the user experience and an even greater range of wines on offer in 2013 will offset any disappointment the new charges may cause.

Our terms and conditions of business will shortly be updated to reflect these changes. These new terms will apply to our January Feature Auction.

Minimum Commission Charges on Consigned Lots

Posted in Advice, Auction help and tips, News, Site improvements and modifications on August 6, 2012 by AB

When we founded Bid for Wine in 2008, one of our key objectives was to provide a route to market for small parcels of old, rare or unusual wines which might not otherwise be available. Since then we’ve counted Soviet-era Moldovian wine, 1960s Pouilly Fuisse and 1880s claret amongst the items consigned to us for sale. Whilst our customers appreciate having the opportunity to purchase these wines, we often hear the comment that such lots are too small to make it cost effective to pay for shipping. From an operational point of view they present a challenge too as, once warehouse charges, time and administrative overheads are taken in to account they regularly cost us substantially more to sell than we actually take in commission.

From 1st September 2012 we will be introducing a minimum charge of £12+VAT on all lots consigned for sale to reflect the true costs involved in our offering these wines for sale. We expect that this will either encourage consignors to parcel up wines for sale rather than drip-feeding them in over a period of time or that where sellers are using Bid for Wine to thin their cellar we will see an increase in multiple bottle lots rather than single bottles. From a buyer’s point of view we hope this will give you access to more of the wines you want and in larger quantities.

Finally we should add that this change will not affect lots sold via the ‘direct’ listing route – only lots which are consigned for sale. We would however note that the point regarding the disproportionately high cost of shipping does apply to ‘direct’ listings. As such you are likely to find that your wines fetch a better price when offered in lots larger than just a single bottle.

Exciting News – our first physical auction

Posted in News on May 21, 2012 by AB

We’re very excited to announce that Bid for Wine will be holding our first live sale on 27th June in London. Bid for Wine has grown enormously over the past year and we thought that a physical auction accompanied by drinks and canapes would be a great way to celebrate with our customers.

The sale will be held at Bacchanalia TWS in the heart of the City. A pre-sale tasting will be conducted from 6.30pm with bidding commencing at 7pm. For those unable to attend in person, we will also be offering live online bidding as well as offering you the chance to place commission bids prior to the sale.

We will have some spectacular lots offered for sale including classic Burgundies from the likes of Jayer, Rousseau, Roumier, Dujac and Fourrier, some outstanding older Rhones from Guigal and Jaboulet (to include 1985 La Mouline), a fine selection of First Growths and other notable Cru Classe Bordeaux. Also under the hammer will be Champagnes including Krug, Cristal and Dom Perignon plus a host of interesting and unusual bin ends. Most of these will be available in small lots which makes the sale much more accessible.

For those who are looking for more regular drinking fare we’ll also be putting some excellent mature Australian lots under the hammer alongside some wines from Spain and the US. The provenance of all of these wines has been carefully researched and will be clearly listed in the catalogue. Despite the inherent costs in putting on this sale we have maintained our low seller’s commission and will be
charging a small buyer’s premium of just 5%.

A small selection of lots can be seen in the slideshow below. If you are interested in selling in this sale or future sales please feel to email us via

UPDATE 31st May: We now have a detailed list of wines to be featured in the auction which can be seen here. We will be releasing the catalogue in the next week. If you’d like to receive it, please join our mailing list, follow us on Twitter or subscribe via the form to the right of this post.

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Some changes to our listings wizard

Posted in News, Site improvements and modifications on May 11, 2012 by AB

We will shortly be releasing a couple of small changes to our listings wizard for consigned lots to enhance the experience of using Bid for Wine both for buyers and sellers.

  1. It will no longer be possible to add your own photographs to consignment auctions – instead Bid for Wine will arrange photography on your behalf. This allows us to ensure that auction images are of a high standard and useful to buyers.

  2. Quite frequently it’s necessary for us to alter selling formats and pricing on consignment listings so as to ensure that wines will sell well or to permit their inclusion in one of our regular ‘Feature Auctions’. In such cases we contact sellers to discuss this prior to acting. Although this has been standard practice since 2008 we have now added a note to explicitly state that:

    ‘For consigned lots Bid for Wine may edit pricing and selling formats prior to your listing going live. You will be contacted if this is to be done.’

    Changed listing tool

    We hope you’ll agree that these are useful amendments to the site.

News and Updates: Our Christmas sale plus new features on Bid for Wine

Posted in News, Site improvements and modifications on December 1, 2011 by AB

We’re pleased to be able to offer our final (and biggest) feature auction of the year – over 275 lots of wonderful wines from 1870-2008 Clarets through to gems from the Northern Rhone, Australia and Burgundy. If you are looking for some high class Christmas drinking then do not miss out on the 67 ‘No Reserve’ listings of mixed cases and interesting bottles.

Bids can be placed online via the site and if you’d like to download a printable auction catalogue there’s one available here.

Auctions close from 10AM on Tuesday 6th December.

New Features on Bid for Wine

Earlier this week we released a couple of new features which we hope will make Bid for Wine even better for all our users and I wanted to explain them.

Navigational Changes

A minor annoyance for the BfW team (and – it seems – everyone else) was the number of clicks it took to get to certain parts of the site. For example if you were wanting to view your invoices, you have to visit the ‘My Bid for Wine Summary Page’ [1 click] and then to select the ‘Invoices’ link from the menu [1 click]. Ideally no page should be more than a click away – and you should be able to access all other main site pages from the page you’re already on.

It’s with this in mind that we’ve changed our menus over to dropdowns – so you can instantly see (and click through to) all the choices on any given menu without having to go to an intermediate page. Changes to the way that a site works can be controversial so if you’ve any feedback or suggestions, please do pass them on to us!

‘Offer to highest bidder’ tool

Quite often sellers set reserves on their lots which aren’t quite met
but, ultimately, they would still be happy to sell at the price the bidding reached. In response we’ve now introduced an ‘offer to highest bidder’ option.

This works as follows:

  1. If your auction ends and the reserve hasn’t been met you’ll be notified by email. This email will also include a link to your listing – click thorugh and you’ll get the option to offer the lot to the highest bidder at the value of their last bid (please note – there’s no option to offer the wine at any other value).
  2. The highest bidder will then receive an email from us notifying them of the offer – they get 2 days to accept or reject the offer.
  3. If your offer is accepted then the normal sale completion process occurs.
  4. There’s a small charge of £0.75 to use the function but we’re sure you’ll agree that this is much better than having to go through the process of relisting the wine a second time around.