Whiskey collecting, both as an interest and as a means of investment, has seen tremendous activity in the last few years. One source of collectables has been through online auction sites. However, until now, Irish collectors were faced with having to deal with overseas auction sites, mainly in the United Kingdom. Doing so is not without its difficulties. High transportation costs and fluctuating exchange rates are the main obstacles.
The obvious thing would be to set up an Irish whiskey auction site? Obvious perhaps, difficult absolutely. Logistically, of course, there are challenges. Storage, delivery, insurance, credibility all have to be overcome. Without a doubt, the biggest obstacle is the legislative, license and tax minefields that have to be addressed. Undeterred by these challenges, Ireland is about to get not one, but two auction sites.
The first site to launch is Irish Whiskey Auctions, the brainchild of whiskey enthusiast and collector Anthony Sheehy and his wife Catherine. Supported by industry veterans of The Palace Bar and The Bankers, and with expertise from L. Mulligan Whiskey Shop, the first auction is set for October 12. Looking at what is currently available, the depth and breadth of their offering look strong. With drop off depots in Dublin and Belfast, and with no commission charges for sellers for the first two auctions and a competitive 10% buyers commission, they hope to entice a strong following. Their first auction ends on 21st October at 7 pm.
The second online site to launch is Celtic Whiskey Auctions, from the people behind the well established and multi-award-winning Celtic Whiskey Shop. Their first auction is set to take place on the 12th of November. With a world-respected brand, industry experience and collector connections, they have the prerequisites to be a strong player in the market.
Founder of the Celtic Whiskey brand, Ally Alpine, said
“the catalyst behind starting Celtic Whiskey Auction was the growing popularity of Irish whiskey and the increasing number of whiskey collectors”.
All this is good news for the buyer. More choice and lower costs. How will the buyer price be affected and will the seller be tempted to make the move to these sites are yet to be determined? Ultimately the success of these new entrants will depend on the ability to deliver both on stock and on service. How they compete with their overseas counterparts will be interesting to follow.
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