How Does This Affect The Community
Theres been a big difference that many people havent seen in many other circles. That is the dramatic inflation of price on the retail side of things.
When I first got into whiskey, there was a thrill of the hunt. It was fun hopping in the car with a buddy and hanging out while checking your local stores every once in a while to see if there was something really special. The demand wasnt nearly what it was today, and Blantons, Eagle Rare, Weller, and Buffalo Trace hung out on shelves in nearly every store.
Those days are long gone, but with a balance of scarcity came a thrill when you found an allocated bottle at retail. It was even more rewarding when it was one your friend had been looking for and you knew that you were going to make their week by picking it up for them.
But now, Ive seen Buffalo Trace going for upwards of $70 in some seedy stores, and Eagle Rare for over $100. Why? Because store owners have caught wind of the secondary market.
Either way you look at it, what it does objectively is remove bottles from the hands of those who love to drink whiskey, and puts them into the hands of those who will treat them as an investment or showpiece and typically leave them unopened.
Retail Owners Joining Secondary Groups
It is obvious that more retail store owners are joining the secondary groups to sell their own allocations. They are using fake names and dont even care to hide the fact that they have a whole case of the same rare bourbon that theyre selling.
If these are not liquor store owners, they are unscrupulous buyers who are using techniques to extract disproportionate amounts of allocated bottles from stores. One can only imagine that will result in losing customers who begin to look elsewhere when they are not being rewarded.
Why Is The Secondary Market A Thing
Two simple words: supply and demand.
Take a look at just about any other limited commodity with a ravenous fanbase. Shoes for example. People wait in line for days for the release of rare shoes. Some people wear them, some people display them, and other people sell them to those who value their time more than the price inflation of buying them secondary.
This means the odds of running into a pair of these rare shoes while casually browsing your favorite kicks store is highly unlikely. But, for a price, you could get them almost any time you want.
This translates to the whiskey industry as well. People will wait for days for releases of highly-allocated whiskey. And, like our previous example, some will drink the bottles, some will display the bottles, and some will sell the bottles for a profit. Sometimes this helps fund their whiskey hobby. Other times its just to make some spare walking cash. Either way, the concept is very much the same.
So, lets say you have a bottle of Stagg Jr. Its a bottle that should run you somewhere in the $65-75 range at the suggested retail price plus a little upmark. However, those bottles are going for nearly $300 at the writing of this article in those underground circles. Weller 12, a $40 bottle, can go for upwards of $250+.
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Build A Persuasive Brand
Millions of people love and consume whiskey every day, but that doesnât mean your business will be recognized immediately. There are over 2,000 whiskey distilleries in the US and thousands more distributors and retailers. You need a plan to get noticed through marketing, partnerships, and good olâ fashioned quality products.
Here are some tips useful for brand-building:
What Is The Secondary Market
A secondary market, by nearly any definition, is simply a market where something is purchased from a party other than the original seller. In the case of bourbon its simple: buying bottles from someone who is not the producer or retailer. This usually comes in the form of a transaction from an online platform, whereby one person lists an item for sale and another person inquires to acquire it.
Why does the bourbon secondary market exist? Thats a fairly straightforward answer: if there is room to make a buck, there are folks willing to do it. Below is an excerpt from a 2015 Reddit post where an experienced enthusiast answers the question, What happens on the secondary market?.
The prices can be ridiculously high, especially for anything Pappy, but theyre only that high because people are willing to pay them, so to the buyer they are not outrageous. Its a simple matter of supply and demand.
R/Bourbon member DustlessWalnut
Simply put, the secondary market exists for the purpose ofsometimes substantialpersonal gain. What does this have to do with the good old days of whiskey? One might think Im suggesting that buying rare bourbon at retail and flipping it for profit makes this the golden age of whiskey. Quite the opposite.
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Get Your Bottles To Us
We take the hassle out of choosing the best way for you to get your bottles to us. Our expert Client Services Team is ready to advise, and all they need is a few simple details.
Please visit our Sell Your Bottles page for more information. Ready to sell? You must complete our form on this page to submit your bottles for sale.
How To Sell Spirits At Auction
- Selling your bottles at Whisky.Auction is the second most-rewarding thing to do with your whisky . So if your tastes have changed, or you’re simply looking to raise funds to buy more whisky, please get in touch. You might be surprised to see how valuable your drinks cabinet has become.
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Search And Compare The Most Trusted Whisky Retailers On One Website
Its our job to find the best whiskies at the right price for you and help you to get whisky online. Try our advanced whisky finder to locate the best in American whiskey, scotch, single malt and more online. Our retailers supply Scottish whisky, Canadian whisky, Irish & American Whiskies, Japanese whiskies, and whiskies from other locations on the globe, so you can purchase whisky for yourself or buy a whisky gift online. Cannot decide which whisky to buy? We can help you by recommending a brand based on your taste and budget, or you can browse our whisky reviews on popular brands such as The Balvenie, The Macallan, Laphroaig and many others. Follow our podcasts and you might become a whisky expert, yourself.
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The Long Arm Of The Law
Regardless of the authenticity of the liquid, selling alcohol without a license is illegal in all states. Getting caught is of little concern to most sellers. The serious ones have adroitly ascertained how to circumvent the system.
Louis only ships via USPS, because the feds cant open a shipment without a warrant, and there arent any alcohol dogs so the odds of interception are low. Several flippers, including Louis, knowingly sold directly to police officers. Cops dont get allocated bottles any easier. Theyre in all the groups, buying along with the rest of us, he says. Come after me, and Id just say, Do you want these 20 cops Ive sold to? Powell got panicked messages about police officers and judges in his groups, but nothing came of it. Coleman states that he knows of several Louisville officers who buy, sell, and trade on the gray market.
Investigating secondary sales is not a priority issue, but its not uncommon, says Captain Jamie Jones of the Pennsylvania State Polices Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. Jones oversees the Operations Division for the Bureau, a force of 171 officers, one of the largest battalions of liquor cops in the country. Pennsylvania, a control state, offers allocated bottles to residents using an online lottery system. Despite warnings directed at the lucky winners, rare bottles sometimes appear on secondary markets, where Joness officers are anonymously lurking, trying to identify individuals engaged in reselling.
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What Bourbon Is Worth Secondary Market Pricing
I get asked this question by folks who havent had the opportunity to experience some of these gems. I also get asked this question by folks who know a guy who can get them something but theyre not sure if the price is worth while .
Let me start with clarifying that this is NOT an investment post. Im going to tackle this from the perspective of someone considering buying a bottle to open up and drink. Might you be able to buy a bottle today at secondary market pricing and sell it in the future for more? Who knows. Every time I think the pricing has gotten too crazy, I hear some outrageous example that proves me wrong. Price/value is highly subjective what I may feel is too much may be an amount that is chump change to someone else, so leaving that up to you.
Were many of those better than what I could walk into a store and pick off a shelf today in 2022? Feel pretty confident answering in the affirmative. In fact the Willett 22 yr remains to this day the best rye whiskey Ive ever tasted. If I could buy a bottle knowing what it tastes like I would absolutely pay multiples of what it was purchased for originally . Last I heard, it is going for several thousand a bottle. Would I pay that? No chance in hell.
The way I think about it is this: What would I be willing to pay for the experience itself knowing that it might not live up to the hype?
Understanding The Secondary Market
The secondary market. The elephant in the room. The thing that everyone talks about, but no one is supposed to talk about. Its like watching Fight Club play out in real life. But, instead of a ring, its underground social media groups, and instead of boxing gloves, its bottles of highly-coveted bourbon.
But, is it really surprising the secondary market has taken hold in the wake of the big bourbon boom thats taken place over the last couple of years? Not really. But the waves can be felt throughout the bourbon community, and, while it has made some bottles more accessible regularly if you have the coin, its also taken the thrill out of the hunt and the wind from the sails of new whiskey enthusiasts around the country.
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Is It Legal To Sell Whiskey
Yes, it is legal to sell whiskey. Itâs also essential to follow all laws and regulations pertinent to your place of business. Just like other alcoholic beverages in the United States, whiskey can only be sold to adults that are 21 or older.
Whiskey can only be produced by a licensed manufacturer and only sold by a licensed dealer, distributor, or retailer. When selling whiskey across state lines, you must have a shipping license that corresponds to every state youâre doing business in.
Can I Sell My Bourbon Online
Yes, you can sell bourbon online. Just like other eCommerce alcoholic beverage businesses, you need an eCommerce license, a shipping license, and an employer identification number .
Make sure you double check all laws with your stateâs tax or revenue office before selling. Some states have laws specific to types of alcohol and what is required to sell it as a business. Once the appropriate paperwork is filled out, you can start selling bourbon on your website.
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Price Guide For Rare & Allocated Bottles
This is the third year that weve brought you our much renowned Bourbon Brown Book. The feedback that weve received from our readers over the years is that this guide not only helped people understand the current market trends and prices, but to also refresh their memories on all of the rare releases over the past year so you can go back and try to find them if you missed them.
If 2020s secondary bottle market saw prices explode, then 2021s secondary market have seen them go supernova. While many would argue that secondary price increases dont look like theyll ever slow down, there are some indicators that hint were approaching some sort ofceiling.
Sell Whiskey Online: How To Sell Whiskey Online
Whiskey was first developed around 1000 AD, when Scottish and Irish monasteries started fermenting mashed grains. This method was originally used as a replacement for grapes, because northern Europe didnât have access to traditional vineyards for winemaking. Despite this, whiskey has remained incredibly popular and is used in some of the most popular cocktails around the world.
As whiskey spread from European countries to other nations, many people have put their own twist on the fermentation and distillation process. Canadian, Japanese, and American whiskey all bring their own flavor profiles to the table. United States consumers love their whiskey, with bourbon and rye whiskey regularly topping favorite drink lists.
If youâre interested in selling food online, there are many options to choose from. Selling liquor online, selling coffee online, and reading how to sell beer online is a great place to start.
Learning how to sell whiskey online is a fantastic option for the fermentation enthusiast. Continue reading for all of the business-minded tips and branding methods you need to launch.
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Attorneys General From 46 States Sign Letters
We believe that everyone has an ethical and moral responsibility to protect consumers, especially those who are most vulnerable to fraud. Self-regulation and self-policing to prevent illegal and unfair trade practices and ensure consumer safety are minimum responsibilities for your respective companies. You have the technical prowess and power to accomplish basic protections against illegal sales, reads the letter signed by 46 state and territory attorneys general, including NAAG President Jeff Landry and Aaron Frey .
The attorneys general asked the vendors to take the following steps:
Review the current content posted to their companies websites and remove illegal postings for the sales and/or transfer of alcohol products.
Develop and deploy programming to block and prevent users of their platforms from violating state law by posting content for the sale and distribution of alcohol products on their websites.
The attorneys general also asked the vendors to establish a working group with stakeholders to discuss and establish realistic and effective protocols for internet platforms and content providers related to illegal and unlicensed alcohol sales via digital platforms.
Which States are Missing?
Well save you some time from searching the entire list by state. Turns out Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. attorneys have signed the letter. The states missing from the list are Alaska, Arizona, California , Missouri, New Hampshire and Wyoming.
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Tiers Of Allocated Bourbon
I have ranked these bourbons based on how hard it is to find and obtain. Obviously, these may vary regionally, according to the season and the total amount of bottles sold. And realistically, some brands are more coveted then others.
Youll see that many Buffalo Trace items are listed as Tier 1 items, but thats just the way it is with as many fans that BT has.
Tier 3 Allocated bottles that are somewhat easy to find and could be found on a shelf in most cases.
These are dependable annual releases with most having multiple releases per year.
Tier 2 The difference between Tier 3 and 2 is that Tier 2 items are typically more expensive and may only be released once a year.
Also, Ill include distillery-only releases in here as well because unless you live in Kentucky, then its not fair.
Tier 1 These are the hardest to find allocated bottles and the ones that command the highest secondary prices.
Youll realistically not find these bottles on the shelf. Youll always have to know somebody to get them.
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The Good Old Days Of Whiskey
To kick things off, its probably best I explain my good old days of whiskey mantra. Its easy to think that good old days are in fact days gone by, but hear me out. Ill refer to bourbon specifically in this post, but I believe this to be true for all American whiskey . Lets take a cursory look through bourbons past to understand a bit more.
Its not uncommon for the good old days to be used in a more literal sense of the days that no longer exist. Im with you. This makes sense in most cases. That being said, the bygone days of bourbon arent necessarily reflective of its current popularity. In fact, bourbons rocky history serves only to bolster my opinion of these being the good old days.
The glut-era of bourbon is something well known to brands, distilleries, and folks who identify as enthusiasts in the whiskey world. During the dark days of bourbon there was a shift in supply and demand that, sadly, left distillers and producers with more product than they could realistically sell for a profit.
In some sense I could see how this mayagainlead a bourbon drinker to think that the old days werein some waysbetter, due to the fact that so many brands were more or less forced to put their older stocks into more common offerings.