Being able to sell your wine online is one of the greatest perks of being a modern wine collector. It’s made it possible for first-time investors to make a healthy profit, even if they have no prior experience selling wine. Meanwhile, experienced collectors and those who have a taste for luxury goods also benefit from selling their unwanted wine bottles online, so they can make room for more of the finest new vintages.
Whether you’re looking to turn a profit or you’re a collector who’s wanting to make room in your cellar, there’s one thing you probably want to know: can you make money selling wine? With the right resources and knowledge, you can.
Can You Make Money Selling Wine, and if So, How Much?
The main thing to keep in mind when you sell wine is that wine usually gains slowly in value over time. This means it could take as long as a decade (or more) to see the highest profits from a specific vintage. However, as a luxury good that’s in high demand and can sell for thousands of dollars, it’s often worth the wait.
To give you an idea of how much money you can expect to make selling wine, here are a few examples from some of the top collectible vintages in recent years:
|Price in 2020
|Two-Year Price Gain
|2018 Château Montrose
|2016 Opus One
|2015 Ornellaia Masseto
|2010 Château Lafite Rothschild
|2009 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc
Overall, most investors see an average of a 10 to 11 percent annual growth rate in their wine assets. This is on par with other investments like the S&P 500 (and in some cases, wine performs slightly better).
This also applies to collectors who didn’t necessarily set out to make a profit from their wines, but who want to sell some excess bottles. Making money selling wine is an excellent way to reinvest in newer vintages, especially if you’re short on space in your home cellar.
Sell Your Wine in Six Steps
You should also be aware that you can’t simply sell your bottles yourself–not without a licensed retailer that can sell wine legally. To navigate this process, here are all the steps you should take to make money selling wine:
|Seven Steps To Sell Your Wine
|1. Decide Which Wines Are Worth Selling
|2. Find a Licensed Seller or Auction House
|3. Ship the Wine to the Licensed Seller
|4. Determine the Wine’s Value
|5. Make the Wine Attractive to Buyers
|6. Receive Your Cut of the Profits
- Decide Which Wines Are Worth Selling
If you’re a new investor, this step doesn’t apply, since you likely don’t have any bottles you can sell for a profit yet. For now, focus on buying a diverse range of wine futures and blue chip labels. Then, in five to ten years, revisit your collection to see which wines are worth selling.
If you already have some wines in your collection, here’s how to tell whether it’s time to sell:
- The wine is nearing its peak drinking window. Look at professional critic scores to determine this. The closer a wine is to its peak, the higher return you’re likely to get.
- The wine’s value is on the upswing. You can use apps like VinCellar or websites like Liv-ex to track a vintage’s price performance over time.
- It’s a good season for that particular wine. Champagne, for example, tends to sell well during the winter holidays and shortly thereafter.
- Find a Licensed Seller or Auction House
In many cases, you’ll want to work with an online wine seller rather than a brick-and-mortar auction house, mainly because online sellers can be more flexible. An online seller is more likely to accept smaller lots (even as small as just one bottle), and is willing to sell a wide range of wines, everything from new cult California releases to aged Port. It also takes less time to list the wine online, meaning you can turn a profit faster.
Major auction houses often only accept large lots of wine or exceptionally rare bottles with some historical significance. It can also take longer to sell your wine, as auctions take time to set up.
- Ship the Wine to the Licensed Seller
Once you know where you want to sell your wine, the licensed seller should give you detailed instructions on how to ship it to them. The best licensed-sellers will then inspect all of your bottles for quality and authenticity. This is a benefit to you, as it assures future buyers that your wine is worth the investment.
- Determine the Wine’s Value
Some sellers allow you to set your own price for your wine, and others do this for you.
If you’re a knowledgeable wine collector, you may want to set your own price. To make the most money selling wine, you should look at how the wine is currently performing on the market using resources like VinCellar. Keep in mind that if your wine has been in professional storage from the beginning, and if it has excellent provenance, you can set a higher price.
Or, if you’re looking for a more hands-off solution, utilize the knowledge of the seller and ask them to set the prices for you. Markets are shifting all the time, and the seller can dynamically shift price with the markets as needed
- Make the Wine Attractive to Buyers
Having a photo of the wine bottle can help you sell it for the highest price. Including the latest tasting reviews from professional critics is another great way to prove the vintage’s quality. However, the main thing that buyers look for is trustworthiness. If your wine is featured on a trusted online marketplace, it’s more likely to sell.
- Receive Your Cut of the Profits
In exchange for keeping the bottle in storage, listing it on the marketplace, and shipping the wine to the buyer, the licensed seller will take a small cut of the profits (sometimes as low as 15 percent).
The easiest way to sell your wine is to work with a full-service seller that can help with every step in the process, from online listings to shipping.
How To Sell Your Wine—Now
You can make money selling wine almost immediately when you get in touch with the right professional seller. Look for a seller that has a few different sales options, such as:
- Self-Service: You decide how much to sell your wine for and can keep your listing up on the marketplace for as long as you’d like.
- Consignment: The seller sets a price for you and takes care of all of the logistics. Some retailers even offer to send your listing directly to private clients looking for bottles exactly like yours.
- Full Buyouts: If you inherited a collection recently or want to liquidate all of your wine, some sellers will buy everything from you at once, at a competitive price.
Selling wine can be an incredibly simple process, even for those who know nothing about the industry. When you get your wine listed on one of the top online marketplaces, you’ll be able to make money now and plan ahead for any wines you might want to sell in the future.
Whether you’re wondering if you can make money selling wine or are starting your high-end wine collection, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today for more information and to get access to the world’s finest wine.