Buyer's Guide

Our quick guide on how to buy old and rare whisky and fine spirits, miniatures and memorabilia on Whisky.Auction, in a few simple steps.

If you're looking for old and rare spirits or hard to find whiskies, miniature whisky bottles from closed distilleries, collectible whisky memorabilia, decanters, jugs, whisky books and casks then you've come to the right place.




  • It’s easy to buy whisky online, just set up an online account on Whisky.Auction. The one-off registration fee of £5 enables you to bid on as many bottles and auctions as you like.
  • Visit regularly. We are a global whisky auction and you’ll find hundreds of bottles, not just whisky, within every whisky sale.
  • Or with just one click of the watch button  you can create your own personal whisky watch list. Get a quick view of the whiskies you'd like to keep track of. If you bid on a bottle of whisky it is automatically added to your watch list.
  • It only takes a few minutes to register to buy and sell old and rare whisky
  • Need help bidding on whisky and spirits? Our expert team of whisky auctioneers are here to help. Contact us and we will be happy to be your whisky auction guide.


  • When you find a bottle, whisky book or spirits memorabilia you are interested in you can bid on it in two ways:
    1. Press the green button then check and confirm your bid by clicking OK. The current bid will increase by one increment.
    2. Enter the maximum bid you're happy to pay in the MY BID LIMIT box then press the green SET LIMIT button then check and confirm your limit by clicking OK. This way your invisible bid increases automatically only if someone bids against you.
  • How you bid is up to you. You will see instantly whether you are the highest bidder, whether the reserve price has been met, or whether you need to bid again.
  • The bid increments vary based on the current winning bid. The starting bids for miniatures is £2.00; the starting bids for bottles and memorabilia is £5.
    From To Increment
    £2 £9.99 £1
    £10 £29.99 £2
    £30 £99.99 £5
    £100 £499.99 £10
    £500 £999.99 £25
    £1,000 £1,999.99 £50
    £2,000 £4,999.99 £100
    £5,000 £14,999.99 £200
    £15,000 £29,999.99 £500
    £30,000 £99,999.99 £1,000
    £100,000 £100,000+ £5,000



  • If you're the highest bidder on any lots at the end of the auction, congratulations!
  • You will receive an email confirming that you have won.
  • As soon as the auction ends log in to your account to check out and make payment.
  • At Whisky.Auction we accept:

    Credit cards

    Debit cards

    Bank transfers

  • Once you've viewed your itemised invoice, you must make payment straight away.
  • You can also tell us where you'd like your lots delivered or if you'd like to arrange to collect in person.



  • 15% (+VAT) of the hammer price (we do not charge VAT on commission for all orders shipped outside the UK).



  • No charge for debit or credit card payments.
  • Any non-UK bank transfer costs must be met by the buyer.


  • Additional 3% of the full invoice amount will be charged for payments not received in full within four working days of a winning bid.


  • Choose a strategy of when to bid but don't feel you have to wait to make your bid on Whisky.Auction until the very last minute. You can use a proxy bid so if someone bids after you, our system will instantly raise your invisible bid above theirs. Then you win!
  • Pick up a bargain by leaving a low bid on several similar items in the hope that you will be successful at least once.
  • Beat the snipers or become one! Snipers bid on items as late as possible in order to grasp the lot from under the nose of the existing bidders. Whisky.Auction already help you beat the snipers by extending the auction time by three minutes for any lot that receives a bid within three minutes of the end of the auction. If you want be a sniper yourself, aim to place your highest proxy bid at least 3 minutes before the auction end.
  • Bid early. You'd be surprised by how many bargains are secured by taking a chance with an early bid. When the heat is on in the final hours, bidders often forget to look beyond their own watch list.
  • Start your watch list early and plan your auction. The preview catalogue comes online soon after the end of the previous month's auction and more items are added each day before the auction goes live.
  • Take a chance even if there's no chance. Some lots have reserve prices but inexperienced sellers tend to set the reserve price too high. If you aren't outbid at the end of the auction make the offer to the seller. You might strike a deal.
  • Nibble! This is where you gradually place bids on an item to stay as the highest bidder. When bids appear high early on in the auction it can put off less committed bidders and increase your chances of winning the item. This is a high maintenance strategy but it is surprisingly successful.
  • Use the 'Add Notes' section to remind yourself how you plan to bid. No one else can see what you've written here so it's a really handy reminder.
  • Examine the condition, fill level and images of the lot as early as possible. This will give you time to ask us any questions and for us to check and reply.
  • Do your research. It doesn't take much time to look up prices on past auctions or do a quick retail comparison. Different categories end at different times so make sure you know when your items finish. You can then simply check your delivery charges and get bidding!
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