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Sell a penfolds grange hermitage collection online for the best price

Penfolds Grange is a wine that needs no introduction. From its almost alchemic beginnings in the 1950s, Max Schubert’s secret experiment has today become a worldwide phenomenon for drinkers and collectors alike. Bottles that your parents may have bought in the 1960s and 70s for a few quid are now worth in the hundreds, providing that they weren’t drunk over a sneaky Sunday pie dinner and friendly game of cards (thanks, Dad).

If you’re lucky enough to have scored a bottle or two over time, or have hoarded a collection that would make Smaug proud, then you might ask yourself – what now? Do you hang on to them for future generations, drink the lot, or sell them and see whether your invested time and money paid off?

We cover the investment potential of Penfolds Grange in other guides.

In this guide, we are going to tackle the latter, and hopefully set you on the right path for making the most out of selling your Penfolds Grange.

1. Condition

The condition of your bottle or collection will have a huge impact on its value when it comes to resale. Check the level of ullage to determine if it’s acceptable, or if there has potentially been any weeping, as this is a big red flag to both sellers and prospective buyers. Study the integrity of the capsule and cork, the quality of the label, any damage to the glass, mold or soiling – all these things will be considered on the secondary market and could cut your wine’s value considerably.

Wine bottle terms and risk factors when determining value.

2. Provenance

The history of the bottle’s purchase and storage history can also greatly impact its worth. Much higher bids can be generated by obviously well looked after bottles, giving any potential buyer a greater sense of confidence that the contents are in a good, drinkable condition. If you can answer the following questions you should always provide the answers when getting a valuation done:

  • How did you acquire the wine?
  • Do you still have the receipts from your purchase?
  • Were there any photographs or documentation passed down with the bottle when you got it?
  • If it was inherited, do you know where it originated, and how has it been stored in that time?

Provenance gradings at auction.

3. Storage

How has your Grange collection been stored? Has it been sitting in the family garage, or in a professional facility? Has it been exposed to heat, sunlight, moisture, frost, or heavy vibrations? These are the things that will affect the quality and drinkability of the wine and can cook the bottle beyond repair. Always make sure to store your collection in a humidity and temperate controlled environment away from heat, light and anything that may damage the bottle. Take a photo of the storage conditions before moving the bottles.

4. Clinics

Penfolds hosts a Recorking Clinic every year in locations worldwide to assess the quality of their wines that the general public and collectors have purchased. These clinics are free for all to attend and have their wines judged by an expert, where they will determine the quality of your wine, recork and certify it for your peace of mind (if it passes the test). The wines must be over 15 years old to qualify for assessment, but these clinics can be an invaluable asset in determining if your wine is well past its prime or poised for the perfect drinking window – these factors will directly determine how much you might expect to get for selling your collection.

5. Research

It’s always worth spending a bit of time researching your bottle. Retail prices are one thing, but the secondary market holds the true value for your wine, without the high-street shopfront markup (usually about 40%). Has the price fallen or climbed recently? Is your bottle’s vintage in demand, or has it fallen out of favor? How many other bottles like it are in circulation? Do you perhaps happen to hold a particularly rare find that other collectors may be clamoring for? Keeping a firm eye on the market trends may give you a keen insight into when is best to sell your bottle.

6. Authenticity

In the early 1990's, a spate of counterfeit bottles made their way into the market. These were distinguishable by errors on the labels. Unfortunately, there are still several newly fledged flakes floating around the world, unbeknownst to their oblivious collectors. Check your bottles and make sure they’re the real deal before you accidentally land yourself in some legal hot water, and never ever buy a bottle of wine from Rudy Kurniawan.

7. Export vs Domestic

Does your bottle have a curiously different label that states South Australia Shiraz below ‘Grange’ and above the Vintage year, where you might expect to see the usual Bin 95 wording? Chances are, you own an exported wine that has somehow made its way back across the continents and into your collection. These bottles can be harder to sell. Buyers can be reluctant to pay higher end prices as there is no guarantee of storage, history, or any of the hallmarks of provenance that buyers look for. There can be the risk of it having sat in less than ideal conditions whilst being transported to and fro between Australia and distant shores.

8. Where to sell Grange

Whilst you may be tempted to float your bottle on eBay or Gumtree to see if anyone bites, this is another potential hazard. These websites will not allow the sale of alcohol without a proper license, so your best bet is to find a reputable online Auction house (online specialists have potentially greater reach than bricks and mortar) and let the professionals handle it for you. Look for businesses that deal exclusively with wine, whiskies and the like (rather than all odds and sods from deceased estates or company liquidations) and lean towards those that hold an excellent relationship with the vineyard itself. Penfolds Grange is born and bred in South Australia, so companies that operate within the state are an excellent start. Make sure to avoid backyard operators that claim to operate auctions, passing themselves off as a wine auction house as a strategy to get your wine. They will likely incur a much higher fee and take an extremely long time to sell for the promise of an unrealistic extra gain to your pocket.

Make sure the auction house has a good reputation by checking online reviews, asking about their clearance rate, i.e. how quickly they sell items; for example Wickman’s has a 95% clearance rate for Penfolds Grange in excellent condition.

Beware of any company that has reviews amounting to thousands. It is highly unlikely that they are genuine reviews and should warrant further investigation.

9. Costs

Selling your wine will always incur a fee. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of Auction companies that are selling your wine for you, as you want to know any hidden costs ahead of time. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, like what percentage of the sale the business will take as a fee, the cost of shipping and handling your wines and any charges for professionally storing them for you until sold. All these figures can add up, and you may only walk away with a few hundred in your pocket rather than thousands if you sign with the wrong auction house.

10. Australia or Overseas?

Given China’s growing obsession with Grange, you might be tempted to sell your wine overseas. This can be fraught with issues, as you will likely have to go through the proper export channels and pay considerably higher fees with a lower value return to move your wine across the ocean. Penfolds Grange almost always attracts a greater price on its home shores, so it would be prudent to stick to the Australian market when moving your collection.


What should I do next ?

If you would like to sell your Penfolds Grange at auction, please fill in the online form on our selling page (linked below) asking for a no obligation, free valuation.

See the following page for more information about selling at auction through Wickmans.

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