Step-by-Step Guide to Buying Wine at Auction

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How to buy wine at an online auction

Bidding on fine, rare and mature wines online at Wine Auctioneer couldn’t be simpler.  We run a live auction every month for 10 days and you can place a bid at any time during this period.

In addition to the great wines you'll struggle to find anywhere else, we offer a user-friendly website, exceptionally competitive fees and a fast, professional service. If you are interested in buying wine online visit our current auction page, but if there isn’t an auction live, don’t worry, just make sure that you are registered and ready to bid for the next auction.

Interested in buying wine in bond? Read about the benefits of buying wine in bond or view our step-by-step guide to buying wine in bond.

View our Upcoming Auction Dates



Registering an account with Wine Auctioneer is free and will give you lifetime access to buy and sell wine online in our monthly auctions.


To bid on a lot in a live auction, you can either: 

Make a single increment bid by pressing  the burgundy button on the right of the lot listing. This button displays the increment amount. You will then be prompted to confirm your bid. (Find out more about our incremental bidding system here)


Enter the maximum bid you would be willing to pay for the item in the £ box and hit 'PLACE' to confirm your bid. If someone bids against you, our bidding system will then increase your  bid incrementally until your maximum bid amount is reached. If you are outbid, we will automatically notify you by email. If the auction has not yet ended you will be able to increase your bid should you wish.

*In order to bid over £2,000 in our auctions, we will require verification of your account, find out more about this here.

Read our Tips for Buying at Auction here



Our auctions end from 7PM (UK local time) on the closing date specified. Once 7PM (UK local time) is reached, bids on any lot will extend the ENTIRE auction by a further two minutes. Therefore, the auction will only finish if 7PM (UK local time) has passed, and there has been a two-minute period where no bids have been placed on any bottle across the entire auction. The auction does not end at 7pm and will usually continue for several hours thereafter.



If you have successfully won a lot, we will notify you automatically by email. Follow the link in your email and the on-screen instructions to process your order (the items will be automatically added to your shopping cart).

Payment is required within 3 business days. Important information regarding payment terms and fees can be found here.



You can find out all information regarding shipping your order here.

Wine Auctioneer also offer a storage service which you can read about here.

Please note that to collect bottles from our offices you must have booked an appointment.

Book Appointment for UK Head Office



What fees are involved for buying wine?

If you are successful in winning a lot, buyers pay a 12% commission on the final hammer price of the wine.

Please note VAT is applicable on commission and surcharges.  VAT is not applicable to the hammer price of the wine.

More information including additional fees and payment terms can be found here.

What is incremental bidding?

Once your maximum bid is placed, our system automatically increases the bid level of the lot incrementally (based on the table below) until it reaches your maximum bid;

The bid increments vary based on the current bid. Please see the table below.

Lower PriceIncrement
£1.00 - £9.99£1.00
£10.00 - £39.99£3.00
£40.00 - £99.99£5.00
£100.00 - £249.99£10.00
£250.00 - £499.99£25.00
£500.00 - £1,499.99£50.00
£1,500.00 - No Limit£100.00


When and how does an auction end?

The end date of the current auction will always be clearly displayed on the notification bar at the top of the website.

Our auctions will end anytime from 7pm (UK Local Time).  Once 7pm is reached, activity on any item will prolong the ENTIRE auction by a further 2 minutes.

This means that the entire auction will end when there has been no bidding activity placed within the last two minutes after 7pm. The auction will usually take several hours to finish after 7pm has passed.

Do I have to pay VAT?

If you are within the EU, 20% Value Added Tax (VAT) is applicable to all fees and surcharges.

Delivery charges are subject to VAT.

Please note that VAT is not applicable to the hammer price of the wine.

How long does it take to receive my winning lot(s)?

Your wine order will be dispatched within 7 working days following receipt of payment.

UK orders normally arrive within two days of dispatch.

European orders normally arrive within five days of dispatch.

The rest of the world can vary dependent on location.

If you need an item faster, please let us know and we will try our hardest to meet your expectations!