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Issue 134 - Success as Seller's Fees Slashed

Whisky Magazine Issue 134
March 2016


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Success as Seller's Fees Slashed

Commission free deal for sellers

If you want your whisky auction business to thrive, cut your seller's fees. That's my conclusion from observing Scotch Whisky Auction's bold experiment to run their 58th auction as a commission free deal for sellers. That's right, the whole of the winning bid was yours to keep other than listing and reserve fees. The team at Scotch Whisky Auction were inundated with bottles, eventually offering an unprecedented 5,080 lots for sale. This is double the volume of transactions that they typically offer in any given month. Clearly, stumping up 10 per cent of your winnings had been putting a lot of people off.

How do other online auction houses compare? Whisky Auctioneer offer the lowest rates around charging only 5 per cent commission, with Just Whisky charging a 6 per cent flat rate on winning bids. Whisky.Auction and Whisky Online Auctions charge 10 per cent commission (as do Scotch Whisky Auctions in normal circumstances). In Germany, work with a sliding scale of charges based on the winning bid that equates to 22 per cent on a €50 bid and 18 per cent on a €1,000 bid. Don't forget, the bun fight of a vast auction can hinder competitive bidding if your bottle happens to be one of 60 identical lots vying for a buyer (Ardbeg Perpetuum, I'm looking at you).


Lindsay Burns & Co, in Perth was one of the auction houses that caught my eye last year. They delivered quality over quantity, with a focus on vintage stock dating from 1950 – 1970s. Fol...

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