Our auctions for February

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18, 2014 by AB

After a discrete start to the year Bid for Wine’s feature auctions have stepped up a gear with not one but three great sales this month!

From tomorrow (19th Feb) onwards auctions will be closing in our ‘Valentine’s Day’ sale. Lots on offer range from single bottles of mature Claret through to 2006 Anjou Rouge from Domaine De Salvert and some top-notch Austrian wines.

Additionally we’re pleased to offer part 1 of Fine Wines from a Doctor’s Cellar (see full details here) – lots of mixed cases to lovely Burgundy, Rhone and Claret – and a live sale with Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions on 20th Feb at Donnington Priory, Berkshire and online via live.bidforwine.com.

Happy bidding!


A Happy Christmas and New Year to all our customers

Posted in Uncategorized on December 24, 2013 by AB

This year has been a good one for Bid for Wine. We passed the 9000 registered users mark and have now had over 28,000 listings on the site. 8400 consignment sales have passed through the warehouse in the last five years (most of those in the last year and a half) and the rest of those sales have been down to you, our industrious and much loved buyers and sellers through our unique peer to peer system.

This year as you know we have also been running the wine sales for Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions and have sold over £800,000 worth of wines and spirits through the dedicated sales at Donnington Priory.

Many of you have left commission bids and used the BFW live sale site during these auctions – thank you for your bids and your patience! We all hope that you have enjoyed using the site this year and you’ll see some improvements and changes over the next few weeks which we hope will make your experience even better for 2014.

A happy Christmas and New Year to you all.

Lionel, Chris, Jan and the rest of the BfW team.

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.

Bidding on Bid for Wine

Posted in Uncategorized on July 12, 2013 by AB

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve and streamline Bid for Wine we’ve recently been looking at our bidding process.

In a standard auction bidding goes up in increments – £100, £110, £120 etc – and ‘split bids’ falling outside of these increments (e.g £101) won’t usually be accepted for reasons of fairness to other buyers and speed of bidding. In contrast we’ve always run a ‘hybrid’ system which uses bid increments to define how much more the next bid needs to be than the last but we have also accepted ‘split’ bids so long as they’re above the minimum bid.

For example if a lot is currently selling to bidder A at £100:

-The next bid must be £110 or more.
-We would accept a maximum bid of £121.50 from bidder B. If the auction ended immediately they would win at £110 (one increment above the next highest bid i.e. £100).
-However if a further bid of £120 was then placed by bidder A, the site would place an automatic bid of £121.50 for Bidder B.
-If bidder A still wants the lot they would have to bid £131.50 or more – i.e. at least one increment above the current price.

We will therefore shortly be modifying the system to work in the same way as our ‘Live Auction’ platform. This will mean that bids will only be accepted at increments.

So to use the example above:

-Bidder A is winning at £100.
-Bidder B must bid at least £110. We will also accept any bid so long as it’s at an increment (£110, £120, £130 etc).
-If Bidder B bids £120 (rather than the £121.50) in the example above, Bidder A will need to bid £130 (rather than £131.50) to win. If bidder A has already enter a maximum bid of £130 or above, the site will automatically place a bid for them.

As a step towards the introduction of this system we will be standardising our bid increments too. These will be as follows:

Band Increment
£1 – £10 £1 – £1, £2, £3…
£10 – £50 £2 – £10, £12, £14…
£50 – £150 £5 – £50, £55, £60…
£150 – £300 £10 – £150, £160, £170…
£300 – £400 £20 – £320, £340, £360…
£400-£600 £420, £450, £480, £500…
£600-£1000 £50 – £600, £650, £700…
£1000 – £2000 £100 – £1100, £1200, £1300…
£2000 – £3000 £200 – £2200, £2400, £2600…
£3000 – £5000 £3200, £3500, £3800…

£500 – £5500, £6000, £6500…

It’s now easier to see what’s in a lot on Bid for Wine

Posted in Site improvements and modifications on May 22, 2013 by AB

We’ve just made a small tweak to make it much easier to see what’s contained in lots in Bid for Wine’s monthly feature auctions. If you hover your mouse over the title (e.g. ‘Assorted Red Bordeaux including 1970 Pomerol’ then the description will pop up. See the screenshot below for an example.

We hope this makes bidding a little bit easier for you.

2013-05-22_12-20_Bid for Wine - Auction

Wine as an investment

Posted in Uncategorized on February 25, 2013 by AB

Reading yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph I came across this article on wine as an investment. If you’re thinking about it I’d seriously urge you to have a read.

Despite being in the trade, I’d be extremely wary about putting much money in to wine solely for investment – it’s just too unpredictable. And unless you can afford to drink £50-100+ bottles of wine on a very regular basis, the idea of opening bottles if your investment goes south doesn’t really hold water.

One rarely sees the ‘dark side’ of wine investment but do beware – I’ve recently dealt with clients who’ve bought ‘portfolios’ for multiple hundreds of thousands of pounds – only to find they’re almost impossible to resell, even at 20% of their original purchase price. Add in storage charges of £12 a case per year and the results are even more painful.

So if you’re thinking of dabbling then pull a cork, pour a glass and ask yourself who’s going to buy your wine in the future and whether you really have an appetite for huge potential losses. It’s easy to see wine as an abstract concept but when you see a warehouse full of Chateau Latour 2010 one realises that in the end, someone’s got to want pay to drink it..!

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.