The fall auction season is upon us, and even at this early stage, I am looking at a stack nearly 8” tall on my desk of auction catalogs, with more coming almost every day. It’s an embarrassment of riches and overwhelming at the same time. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. We know that auctions are imperfect with so many variables impacting what sells and for how much, but simply put, they are often the best and sometimes only way to find wines you are looking for. This is especially true for back vintages. At the same time, the older a wine is the more careful we must be about researching its condition and provenance before deciding what to pay or placing a bid.
Some of our clients have relied on us to help both ongoing and periodically for our entire history. We realize far more of you would like to participate in auctions but are held back by many reasonable concerns. The most common of which are below.
1. How do we tell good bottles from bad and avoid common mistakes and pitfalls?
2. Who has time to review photos or inspect lots before bidding?
3. How do we decide what market price really is, when catalog estimates can vary so much from house to house or sale to sale?
4. There are too many sales on the same day or close together. How do we deploy bids and capital in a conservative and rational manner?
5. Dealing with payment and shipment is a hassle, each house has different procedures
6. Reconciling what is received and verifying conditions asap is time-consuming and daunting
7. What if there is a problem at delivery? Who can handle discrepancies and condition issues for me?
The good news is that we are here to help. For a very modest cost, we can develop a bidding strategy, provide objective pricing data based on thorough review of historical results, offer insight when we know the back story on a collector, consignment or particular bottle and make sure your winnings are safely inbound to your storage or home cellar. We attend many auctions in person and even more online or by phone. Most importantly, since we are spending your money, we never get auction fever and never exceed bid limits. Even if you enjoy attending auctions, let us do the preparation before and cleanup work after. All you need to do is enjoy the show!
To learn more or join us at an upcoming sale, please contact us and let us know. It’s that easy.
Have any questions or comments about the auction process? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you.