Step-by-Step Guide to Buy Whisky at Auction

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How to buy whisky at an online auction

Bidding on whiskies online at Whisky 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. 

Our auction platform is the best place to buy rare whisky online, featuring an unrivalled range of old, rare and collectible whiskies. If you are interested in buying whisky at auction visit our current auction page. 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. Find out more about how to buy whisky online at auction below.

Interested in selling with Whisky Auctioneer? Visit our Step by Step Guide.

View our Upcoming Auction Dates



Registering an account will give you lifetime access to buy whisky at auction as well as sell in our regular monthly auctions. Registration costs £5 (ex VAT) to authenticate users and mitigate against illegitimate bidding. 


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

Make a single increment bid by pressing  the orange 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

Read the Guide to Lot Icons here



Our auctions end from  7PM (UK local time) on the closing date. 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 will usually continue for several hours after 7PM (UK local time). 



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. Important information regarding payment can be found  here. 


During checkout you can choose to either ship your order (further information on shipping), use our secure storage service in the UK or EU (further information on storage) or choose to collect your order in-person or via a third party courier.

Please note that to collect bottles from one of our offices, you must have booked an appointment in advance.

Book Appointment for UK Head Office

Book Appointment for Netherlands Office

Please note: As all items enter the Netherlands they require an excise charge. If you choose to collect either in-person, or via a third party, this will be invoiced and payment required prior to collection (per bottle). Read more on our Duty and VAT Information for EU Clients.

A full break-down of your options at checkout can be found here.


How can I become verified to bid over £2,000?

​In order to bid above £2,000 we require an identity check.  This is to ensure the legitimacy of users so that bids are valid and fair.  Once you submit the required documents, our Client Services Team will review the documentation and you will then be alerted whether you have been approved or not.  Once approved, you will be able to bid over £2,000 on any lot across the auction.  Please note, that should circumstances arise as per our terms and conditions, we reserve the right to revoke approval, or, alternatively, approve after further review where an individual was not initially approved.

To upload your identity documents and verify your account to place bids over £2,000 you can do so here.

How does an online whisky auction work?

Customers across the world can choose to sell their whisky or other spirits with Whisky Auctioneer. Our Client Services team will support sellers by providing valuations for their bottles and advice on the best way to get their bottles to one of our offices for sale in our next auction.

The bottles will be checked-in, authenticated, photographed, and then listed into the next available auction by our expert team. Whisky Auctioneer hosts monthly auctions, where registered users from across the globe can bid on bottles via our website.  

After the auction closing date, the highest bidder will be notified by email. Payment is required within 72hrs. The buyer can then choose to ship, store, or collect the bottle(s). Buyer fees are applied during the online checkout process.  

The seller will receive payment within 21 working days of the end of the auction, directly to their chosen bank account. Seller fees will be applied to the seller’s invoice after the auction.  

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
£0.01 - £0.99£0.25
£1.00 - £4.99£1.00
£5.00 - £24.99£2.00
£25.00 - £99.99£5.00
£100.00 - £499.99£10.00
£500.00 - £999.99£25.00
£1,000.00 - £1,999.99£50.00
£2,000.00 - £4,999.99£100.00
£5,000.00 - £9,999.99£200.00
£10,000.00 - £19,999.99£500.00
£20,000.00 - £49,999.99£1,000.00
£50,000.00 - £99,999.99£2000.00
£100,000.00 - £249,999.99£5,000.00
£250,000.00 - £499,999.99£10,000.00
£500,000.000 - £999,999.99£25,000.00
£1,000,000.00 - No Limit£50,000.00


When and how does an auction end?

The end date of the current auction will always be clearly displayed on the orange 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.

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

If you are successful at auction, once payment is received by Whisky Auctioneer then your whisky will be dispatched within 10 working days.

If after 10 days you still haven't received shipping/tracking details for all your orders to be shipped, please contact our Client Services Team who will be happy to help.


Please note: If you have won lots based in both the UK and EU, then these will be shipped separately. Please visit our shipping page for more information.