Considering Selling Your Wine Collection? 

Are you considering selling a wine collection that you may have spent years creating? Collectors sell their wines for different reasons including:

  • Changing tastes and preferences
  • Downsizing or retiring
  • A full cellar needing room for new wine
  • Changing health conditions 
  • Financial considerations
  • A death in the family

Whatever the reason, selling your wine collection has never been easier or more profitable. Big Hammer Wines has trusted experts to assist you throughout the process. Our unique business model allows us to beat any competitor’s offer at the best price. 

Options for Selling Your Wine Collection

From live auctions to eBay, more options exist than ever for selling your wine. Because you want to maximize your return and ensure your wine is sold to someone who will appreciate it, you need to deal with someone trustworthy. Hiring a trusted wine expert saves time and should result in higher returns.

In the past, auction houses were the primary sellers of fine wines. They sold full collections, individual lots, or single bottles. More options exist today. You can sell:

  • your entire collection to an auction house, a broker or a private individual. 
  • each bottle separately, but this takes time and effort for very uncertain returns. 
  • to a local wine shop. Each shop will have different requirements about the size of the collection or the type of wine. This also takes a lot of time, and effort and you may not get the results you expect.
  • via social media secret groups or local wine clubs. You must build relationships to gain access to buyers, and trust will be a significant issue. 
  • online, but you need to be aware of local liquor laws. You need to be licensed by state and federal governments to sell alcohol.
  • to a reputable and knowledgeable buyer who will give you their full attention, manage the process, and make it quick and easy. 

Some companies may have a minimum required value to take on a collection. More extensive collections tend to be easier to sell. Online sales allow for smaller collections to be sold outright or on consignment.

The Process for Selling Your Wine Collection

The starting point is preparing an inventory list containing as much of the information below as possible:

  • Type of wine: red, white, rosé, sparkling
  • Other indicators such as organic, biodynamic, sustainable, dry-farmed, old vines, etc.
  • Wine name, producer, vintage, country of origin, any other official designations
  • Bottles sizes and amounts
  • Proof of purchase: where, when and at what price
  • Provenance (ownership history)
  • Storage conditions including photos of bottles/labels
  • Scoring information for fine wines that have critical ratings (if available)

Factors contributing to the value of wine in the market include vineyard sites, critical scores, thereputation of producer, classifications, vineyard and winemaking techniques, storage conditions, and the number of owners.

You can get an idea of the value of your collection by checking current pricing from such sites as Reduce the online price by 25% to get a reasonable estimate. 

Once you have your inventory list completed, send it to a company with wine experts who can properly evaluate your collection. 

    • Estimates should be free.
    • All fees, commissions, shipping, insurance, and other costs should be disclosed.
    • Check pickup or delivery options depending on your location.
    • Ask for a final valuation once the wine has been delivered and evaluated.
    • Clarify when and how you will get paid. 

Deal only with companies that are transparent in providing all the details you need to make the right decision.

Different Types of Wine Buyers

Auction Houses

Historically, these companies sold large and expensive collections of highly in-demand wines. They tend to charge higher premiums, fees, or commissions. Determine if insurance and shipping costs accrue to the seller.

They operate both live and online auctions, and the processes and costs vary. Because sales depend on fixed timing based on the lots, the process can take months. Auction houses typically have a limited audience (a single group of buyers.)

You could get paid weeks after the auction ends, less any premium or other expenses. 


Selling a wine collection by consignment could result in a quicker sale but returns vary. You have access to more buyers, and there are no time constraints.

They may or may not manage the logistics. No payments are made until the wine is sold through.

Some brokers sell retail and on consignment, so your payment will vary based on their choice.

Online Wine Community (eBay, Craigslist, etc.)

These websites are public platforms that allow users to post wines for sale. Expenses are lower but sometimes buyers don’t pay, so you take on more risk. 

If you choose to sell your wine through these platforms, understand all legal constraints. Private individuals cannot legally ship alcoholic beverages. If you choose this option, shipping is at your own risk. 

You are not likely to get the best return selling on these platforms.

Big Hammer Wines Gives You the Advantage

No hassle + transparency! No need to deal with auctions, consignment providers, or online shysters. Sell your wine directly to us at the best price.

  • We are fine wine experts with in-depth knowledge of the global wine market. You deal directly with us, no middlemen or sales folks.
  • Upon receipt of your inventory, we provide a quick expert assessment and offer.
  • No waiting until your wine is sold. You get paid immediately.
  • Our unique, low-cost business model ensures the best price for your collection. 
  • Don’t worry about the final buyers, the weather, hidden costs, ANYTHING. We take care of it all.

We have a transparent, fast, and easy process, with no hidden or excess fees. We can help arrange logistics.

Big Hammer Wines is the #1 online wine retailer in California. Our passionate customers want unique, special, and limited wines.

You can trust us to evaluate your collection correctly, so you earn more. Unlike a wine auction, we provide estimates upfront, with no hidden fees or charges. Once your wine has been appraised and verified, we pay you immediately. 

We deal with most styles of wine from the most iconic, high-value and in-demand, to collections that contain a range of wines. Our unsurpassed network of buyers means a ready market. And our direct to consumer business model ensures sellers get better returns.

Talk with us about swapping all or part of your collection for similarly priced but different wines.

Big Hammer Wines provides a better option to sell your wine, no matter your reason. Get started now selling your wine collection.

Contact us today

Let us know what you need, and we’ll get back with you quickly. No pressure. Call 1-619-567-9244. 

We look forward to helping you earn more when selling your wine collection.