How To Buy Whisky At Auction

Top 10 tips for buying spirits at auction.

How To Buy Whisky At Auction

Buying spirits at auction is a great way to land a bargain in a quick sale and avoid conventional pitfalls of buying old and rare spirits. Many spirits make good investments but it’s equally true that buying from a whisky auctioneer is an exciting way to find your favourite tipple.

It can be intimidating bidding against experienced investors however it is surprisingly simple to bid for spirits at Whisky.Auction.

This handy guide will ensure you get the best results from every bid.


Choose a strategy

Decide when to bid but don’t feel you have to wait to make your bid on Whisky.Auction until the very last minute. You can use a proxy bid. So if someone bids after you, our system will instantly raise your invisible bid above theirs. Then you win!


Spread the love

At the end of every auction you will see bottles that sold for less than you would have paid. Pick up a bargain by leaving a low bid on several similar items in the hope that you will be successful at least once.


Beat the snipers

… or become one! Snipers bid on items as late as possible in order to grasp the lot from under the nose of the existing bidders. Whisky.Auction already helps you beat the snipers by extending the auction time by three minutes for any lot that receives a bid within three minutes of the end of the auction. If you want be a sniper yourself, aim to place your highest proxy bid at least three minutes before the auction ends.


Bid early

You’d be surprised by how many bargains are secured by taking a chance with an early bid. When the heat is on in the final hours, bidders often forget to look beyond their own watch list.


Watch the preview

Start your watch list early and plan your auction. The preview catalogue comes online soon after the end of the previous month’s auction and more items are added each day before the auction goes live.

Step 6

Take a chance (even if there’s no chance)

Some lots have reserve prices but inexperienced sellers tend to set the reserve price too high. If you aren’t outbid at the end of the auction make an offer to the seller. You might strike a deal.



This is where you gradually place bids on an item to stay as the highest bidder. When bids appear high early on in the auction it can put off less committed bidders and increase your chances of winning the item. This is a high maintenance strategy but it is surprisingly successful.


Take note

Use the My Notes section on individual lots to remind yourself how you plan to bid. Your notes are only visible to you and no one else can see what you’ve written here so it’s a really handy reminder.



Examine the condition, fill level and images of the lot as early as possible. This will give you time to ask us any questions and for us to check and reply.


Do your research

It doesn’t take much time to look up prices on past auctions or do a quick retail comparison. Different categories end at different times so make sure you know when your items finish. You can then simply check your delivery charges and get bidding!