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Issue 122 - Live Auctions Face Online Competition

Whisky Magazine Issue 122
September 2014


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Live Auctions Face Online Competition

Auction news with records broken

June's live auction whisky scene was incredibly busy, with three major events in Scotland crammed into two days. Bonhams and McTear's went head to head by scheduling their summer sales to run simultaneously (be warned: their calendars are set to collide again in October and December so plan accordingly). Live whisky auctions are having to face increasing competition from rival online platforms. So I wondered, how have the WMI eligible sales changed between June 2013 and June 2014 for Bonhams, McTear's and Mulberry Bank Auctions?

Bonhams have had a strong, successful year, especially in New York and Hong Kong. Their Edinburgh sale contributed 373 eligible bottles to the WMI (up 30% on June 2013), and the value taken this year was £219,910 (up 136% on last year). McTear's sold a significant number of multi-bottle lots this June, which are no longer counted in the WMI. Therefore, McTear's contributed only 133 WMI eligible bottles (down 30%) with a sales total of £42,800 for these lots (down 37%). Finally, despite some highly impressive Macallan sales, Mulberry Bank Auctions had a difficult sale with a long list of unsold lots which ran to over half of the catalogue before post sales. Year on year, their number of eligible bottles had fallen by 66% from 280 to 95 bottles, with the takings from these bottles down 44% from June 2013.

Auction Watch

Bonhams raised the bar significantly when they set a new live auction record for the Glenfiddich 50 Year
Old in June. The hammer f...

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