Whisky Magazine Issue 118
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We reflect on a year in the auction house
Reflecting on the auction market of 2013 highlighted just how whisky auctions are at a crossroads. The traditional auction houses have embraced technology to find innovative ways to keep customers engaged in the face of stiff competition from their online rivals. Undoubtedly, there are some who will find the presence of a recognisable company name in the auction world makes for a more reassuring place to bid. Sellers disposing of large collections can have greater success in negotiating discounts on their seller's fees with some businesses more than others. Bidders may feel that a window of 30 seconds, rather than a week or two online, make it harder for others to push the price up. But is this enough for the thousands of people who buy whisky at auction every year? There are numerous online auction websites springing up each year and there is no doubt they add to our choice as consumers. Bids can be left 24 hours a day, email notifications encourage you to place higher bids if you fall behind and delivery charges can be conveniently added to your bill to facilitate direct shipping to your home address. However, some of the new websites have little or no information on the people running these enterprises. It makes you consider how secure their premises are and whether they are insured for your bottle when it's in their custody before it's sold. Such trustworthiness must be earned and it will be worth your while building a good relationship with an auction house that meets y...