Selling wine is always a delicate and complicated process, because for reasons which remain unexplained, it tends to develop a sentimental value. They have been purchased for a specific occasion, from a specific person sometimes as a gift or else to be drunk for a designated event. We love them, we lose interest, we cherish them, sometimes we forget they even exist, in the best case to love them better again.

Relation with a Château, sometimes with a vintage, a discovery inspired by a trustworthy actor. All reasons are good to buy wine bottles and preserve them.

However, it is well known that over 30% of bottles kept in cellars by individuals get damaged or lost without ever being consumed. What a shame!

Sellers Motivations

Since the creation of our website, we have had the opportunity to speak to thousands of people willing to sell their wine bottles. And this for the most various reasons such as:

  • “My tastes have evolved, I used to only drink Bordeaux, and now I drink Bourgogne, I wish to sell some or all of my Bordeaux”
  • “I’ve inherited from my grandfather/father/husband’s cellar,… I do not count on keeping these bottles and wish to sell them”
  • “I wish to renew my cellar and therefore to sell some bottles”
  • “I am moving and my new property does not have a cellar – I need to sell my wine”
  • “I need funds, I wish to sell my bottles”
  • “I do not drink anymore; my bottles are wasting away in my cellar”
  • “I have found bottles in the house that I have just bought, if they have any value, I wish to sell them”

But once that the decision has been made to sell my wine, how do I choose the most suitable channel?

The 10 most important criterias to consider in order to sell your wine bottles

  1. The duration of the selling process

Entrusting your bottles to traditional auction houses online or offline, it is common for the cycle between first contact and the eventual sale of the bottles to exceed 2 months. If this time limit suits you, this option may be considered.

  1. Your bottles do not appreciate nor deserve multiple transportations

We strongly advise to limit the transportation of bottles before knowing exactly what you will gain from them. Indeed they are often taken from you, where the storing and transport may be hazardous and you will see your bottles leave without knowing whether or not they will be sold and for what price.

  1. The target audience of your chosen channel

It is crucial that you choose an international channel in order to sell your wine. Indeed, in certain countries, taxes as well as the struggle to access certain references, enthusiasts are willing to pay a price exceeding that of the French market. The more countries are covered by the audience, the higher the chances are that you will have the ability to sell your wine at an advantageous price.

  1. Expertise within the market

Certain wine selling channels are non-specialist and offer wine but among a broad number of other types of products, whether it be art, jewellery, estate, automobiles and other trinkets.

Approaching a specialist assures quality as his expertise in regard to the market will engender fairer price estimations and mostly the audience will be more inclined to pay the right amount.

  1. Payment security

Certain channels put you in direct contact with the buyers - this allows for the reduction of commissions. But who will be first? between he who will send the money and he who will ship the bottles, in order to guarantee satisfaction from both parties. When important amounts are at stake, it becomes hard to entrust a stranger. Delivering by hand in order to meet face to face is an option, but in this case is the one living the closest disbursing the highest price?

Besides, did you know that when a payment is completed via PayPal, the buyer has the right to retract himself during a legal period of time, and therefore reimburse his purchase, even after the bottles have been shipped!

In terms of money, you must stay weary about payment platforms and use only those that are certified. Unfortunately, a lot of malicious individuals lurk around the internet. The channel you opt for must guarantee the conform payment of your sales.

Finally, the objective is that you receive the funds from your sales in its entirety in a simple, speedy, efficient and secured environment.

  1. Best expoure and enhancing of your bottles during the sale

It is common for catalogues to be excessively broad, at times over a number of days with thousands of lots offered. In this case, buyers aren’t attentive of all the lots, at all hours and your own will end up choked beneath the extensive lists without ever realistically being put forward.

It is therefore important to opt for a sale with catalogues restricted in size and an attentive audience from the start to the end of the sale.

  1. The range of services offered to guide and assist you

The lesser number of intermediaries who will sell your bottles you will ask for, the greater your autonomy will be when it comes to selling your bottles, and the cheaper this will cost you. This seems blatant. Hence, the importance to find a channel that suits you, that is to say one which limits your efforts and implication throughout the selling process as well as the cost you are willing to disburse. A number selling platforms offer a various range of services. Whether it consists of preparing the sale (elaboration of lots, price estimations, photography, exposition…) or post-sale logistics (shipping bottles, providing adequate packaging, shipping insurance…). Inform yourself in order to adjust the cost according to the comfort and freedom you are willing to benefit from.

  1. The net amount that you will receive following your sale (and when?)

When you consider the various costs implied throughout the selling process of your bottles, the ultimate revenue needs be calculated whilst taking into account all options opted for, and confirmed with the organisation facilitating your sale in order to prevent the unpleasant surprise of hidden costs. 

Approve the payment delay between the moment the bottle leaves your cellar and when the funds will hit your personal bank account.

Your choice of platform may also depend on a specific time limit imposed upon you to benefit from the sale’s proceeds.

  1. Management of unsold items

If, during a sale, some of your bottles remain unsold and not retained, what happens to them? Are they put back up once more? Must you retrieve them? Who funds the shipping fees?

All these question need be approached in order to anticipate inconveniences.

  1. Limits of your freedom and commitment

You have the power to change your mind easily and freely. Make sure you approve the level of commitment expected from you when confiding a company with your bottles. Generally, the latter is clearly defined and expressed in the general terms of the service you may opt for.

Sell my wine on Cavacave

Altogether, these 10 criteria have been considered to satisfy and draw as close as possible to your expectations in the conception of the service offered on To facilitate the sale of your bottles in an environment that guarantees a speedy selling process in complete serenity and security, for the best price.

Since the creation of our service built in 2013, we have an exceptionally high loyalty rate of 80%. This must imply that millions of euros of transactions from wine and spirits that we’ve facilitated since then have satisfied our sellers as much as our buyers. How about you, would you like to try?

Estimate and Sell my bottles

Other alternatives?

A few alternative services available on the French market (and international for some) to challenge on these 10 factors:

  • Traditional auction houses: Christie's, Sotheby's, Artcurial
  • Online auction houses: Idealwine
  • Non-specialist auction brokerages: catawiki - ebay
  • Individual small ads: Leboncoin

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