What should you do with the bottle of 1982 Salon Le Mesnil that you inherited from your Champagne-loving grandparents? Or the case of 2009 Louis Roederer Cristal that you no longer have room for in your cramped cellar? Selling Champagne online is a great way to make a profit that you can reinvest into your collection. This detailed guide will show you the easiest way to sell Champagne online from the comfort of your home.
How to Sell Champagne Online: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you own a valuable, top-quality Champagne like 1996 Krug Brut Vintage, you could earn a significant profit by selling it. But where should you start? Unfortunately, many auction houses won’t accept single bottles of wine from private collections (they prefer to sell full cases with proven provenance). You also can’t sell Champagne online yourself on retail websites like eBay because this is illegal in the United States without a license.
The process of selling Champagne online through a licensed marketplace involves a few simple steps.
The best option is to sell your Champagne online through a credible company that is licensed to sell alcohol. This enables you to legally list any bottle in your collection for sale without going through the costly and time-consuming licensing process yourself. Many of these web-based platforms also accept single bottles of wine from private collectors, like that bottle of 2002 Moët & Chandon Dom Perignon that you’ve kept in your cellar for the past few years.
The process of selling Champagne online through a licensed marketplace involves a few simple steps:
Following each of these four steps will ensure that you make the highest profit possible from the sale of your Champagne collection.
Step 1: Consider Whether Your Champagne Is Worth Selling
Although Champagne is one of the most elegant and lauded wines in the world, not all Champagne is particularly valuable on the secondary market. For example, non-vintage Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé is a wonderfully fruit-forward wine that is perfect as an aperitif and also pairs well with a variety of foods. However, it’s not as valuable as some of the house’s vintage wines, for example, 2004 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne or 2006 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé. Part of the reason non-vintage Taittinger isn’t as coveted by collectors is that it isn’t age-worthy–it’s meant to be drunk fairly young.
The best way to quickly identify which bottles of Champagne are worth reselling is by looking at the wine’s producer and label.
However, if you have an age-worthy vintage Champagne in your collection, it may be worth selling online. Keep in mind that vintage and aging potential aren’t the only qualities that determine how valuable your wine is. Your Champagne may be valuable to other collectors if it falls into one or more of the following categories:
If the bottles in your collection don’t fall into any of these categories, then they’re likely not valuable enough to be worth reselling. There are two reasons for this. First, collectors rarely seek out mass-produced or inexpensive Champagne on the secondary market. This type of Champagne is usually meant to be drunk young and is easy to find for sale by Champagne houses and reputable distributors. The second reason is that the online vendor usually takes a commission from all sales. Less valuable wines produce less profit for the vendor from the sale, and for this reason some online vendors won’t list wines that are worth less than $100 per bottle, as the cost of storing the wine and shipping it to the buyer may be higher than the commission they receive.
The best way to quickly identify which bottles of Champagne are worth reselling is by looking at the wine’s producer and label. Below is a list of the top Champagne houses and some of their most valuable labels (in parentheses):
- Billecart-Salmon (Cuvée Le Clos Saint Hilaire)
- Bollinger (Vintage Extra Brut or Rosé; La Grande Année; Blanc de Noirs Vieilles Vignes Françaises)
- Charles Heidsieck (Brut Blanc des Millénaires)
- David Léclapart (Vintage L’Apôtre)
- Deutz (Vintage Amour de Deutz)
- Diebolt-Vallois (Brut Fleur de Passion)
- Egly-Ouriet (Brut Millésime Vieilles Vignes)
- Gosset (Vintage Brut Celebris; Vintage Brut Celebris Rosé)
- Henriot (Cuvée 38 La Réserve Perpétuelle Blanc de Blancs)
- Jacques Selosse (Vintage Blanc de Blancs; Brut Rosé; Extra Brut Sous le Mont; Contraste; Sec Exquise; La Cote Faron Blanc de Noirs; Le Bout du Clos Ambonnay; Blanc de Blancs Les Carelles)
- Krug (Brut Vintage; Brut Rosé; Grande Cuvée)
- Lanson (Vintage Blanc de Blancs)
- Louis Roederer (Cristal)
- Moët & Chandon (Dom Pérignon; Dom Pérignon Rosé; Dom Pérignon Oenothèque)
- Perrier-Jouët (Fleur de Champagne Belle Epoque)
- Philipponnat (Brut Clos des Goisses)
- Piper-Heidsieck (Vintage Cuvée Rare)
- Pol Roger (Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill)
- Pommery (Cuvée Louise)
- Ruinart (Vintage Dom Ruinart)
- Salon (the house only makes one wine–Le Mesnil)
- Taittinger (Comtes de Champagne; Comtes de Champagne Rosé)
- Tarlant (Brut Cuvée Louis)
- Veuve Clicquot (La Grande Dame, La Grande Dame Rosé)
Other valuable Champagne labels exist that are not on the list above–this is simply a basic guide to the most well-known labels that collectors seek out. If you own any of these wines or any other potentially valuable bottles and wish to sell, it’s time to move on to the next step: appraising your wine.
Step 2: Get Your Champagne Appraised
Before you sell Champagne online, it’s important to know exactly how much your bottles are worth. Current market statistics on sites like Wine-Searcher will show the average price for which the bottle is currently selling, giving you a general idea of what price might be appropriate. This is only a ballpark figure; some of these wines may have excellent provenance or other factors that increase their value.
A professional wine appraiser can help you accurately price the wine in your collection
It’s wise to research the market performance of the label and vintage over time as well. Liv-ex has detailed statistics on some of the most valuable Champagnes in the world, including Salon Le Mesnil, Louis Roederer Cristal, and Moët & Chandon Dom Pérignon. If the bottles you own appear to be gaining steadily in value or have been trending on the market for the past few years in a row, it may be wise to keep them in storage a little longer while their value continues to rise. Or, if your wine isn’t gaining much in value, you may want to sell it soon before it plateaus. This sometimes happens if the wine is past its peak or not in high demand among serious collectors. However, fine Champagne is very age-worthy; as long as the bottles are stored properly, they can last for decades and rarely taste over-the-hill. For this reason, fine Champagne won’t often decrease or plateau in value.
A professional wine appraiser can help you accurately price the wine in your collection and offer advice on the best time to put your bottles on the market. The estimated market value that a professional appraiser gives you will be much more accurate than estimating the price yourself because the appraiser will take into account factors like storage history, proof of provenance, and market trends. They can even start the sales process for you by barcoding the bottles, insuring them, and getting them ready for shipment. This is an excellent option for collectors who are short on time or haven’t sold Champagne online before. Putting the process in the hands of a professional will ensure that your bottles sell for the highest price possible and safely arrive at the buyer’s doorstep.
Step 3: Find a Trustworthy Online Vendor
Many online vendors claim to offer the best platform for collectors to sell their wine. How do you choose the most reliable marketplace for your precious bottles? To find the perfect vendor, ask yourself the following questions:
- What commission fee does the vendor charge?
Some vendors charge as much as 20 percent or even 30 percent commission per sale. This significantly eats into your profits. If you are selling a valuable Champagne like 1995 Perrier-Jouët Fleur de Champagne Special Reserve, then a 20 percent commission means you’ll make approximately $400 less on the sale. A reasonable commission rate is 15 percent.
- Are there any other unexpected fees?
The commission is the only fee you should pay. Avoid vendors with hidden fees such as charges for unsold bottles.
- How transparent is the sales process?
You should be able to track your wine and receive a notification the moment one of your bottles is sold. Additionally, the vendor should provide you with a detailed sales performance summary every month and guarantee payment at a specific time.
- Can I control the price and sales pace?
A great vendor will give you full control over your Champagne sales. The vendor won’t require you to sell a minimum number of bottles or limit the amount of time your bottles can stay on the marketplace. You should also have the power to set the price yourself. If you aren’t sure what price is appropriate or you want the vendor to handle this for you, trustworthy, full-service vendors will have teams of experts on staff who can offer you recommendations. The vendor may even buy out your entire collection if you want to liquidate everything quickly.
- Are my bottles safe?
Top-quality online vendors will keep your Champagne stored in a secure warehouse on-site until the sales process is complete and ship the bottles to the buyer. Not only does this protect your investments, but it also puts potential buyers at ease. When collectors purchase Champagne online, they want to know that the bottle will arrive undamaged because they can’t inspect it themselves in advance. A safe shipment guarantee gives buyers confidence and saves you time and effort, as you don’t have to ship the bottles yourself after they’re sold.
Selling your Champagne through a reliable online marketplace prevents you from becoming the victim of a scam or selling your wine for less than it’s worth. Choosing the right vendor is arguably the most important step in the entire sales process.
Step 4: Sell Your Champagne Online
After you find a reliable vendor to work with, the vendor will walk you through every step of the sales process. Usually, the process will involve the following steps:
- You ship your Champagne to the vendor’s storage warehouse (they will often provide detailed shipping instructions).
- You receive a barcode or tracking number for every bottle you ship.
- The vendor inspects your bottles upon arrival for authenticity and signs of damage.
- The vendor packages your Champagne in a secure case and keeps it in perfect storage conditions until it’s ready to be shipped to the buyer.
- The vendor uploads descriptions and photographs of your Champagne to the website.
- The vendor handles the payment from the buyer and ships the wine directly to them.
- You receive payment for the sale before the end of the month.
Reliable vendors make this process as fast and simple as possible for collectors. They take the guesswork out of selling Champagne online to help you make the highest profit.
The Fastest and Easiest Way to Sell Champagne Online
Since no two Champagne collections are the same, it’s best to choose a full-service vendor that offers a range of sales options for every bottle you own. For example, the vendor should accept single bottles of Champagne and should also be able to sell Champagne by the case. Whether you’d like to sell an heirloom bottle that you inherited from a relative or you have a large, diverse Champagne collection to liquidate, a flexible online vendor will help you quickly and easily get your wine on the market and in the hands of other passionate wine enthusiasts.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.