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Auction FAQs

When are your auctions and how can I get a copy of the catalogue?

The Chicago Wine Company conducts monthly live auctions which are held in our offices in Wood Dale.  We electronically publish a catalogue every month which is available for download for free on our web site.  Please see our Catalogue and Calendar page for a schedule of auctions and your free copy of the latest catalogue.

Where does The Chicago Wine Company source the wines listed in the Catalogue?

The wines listed in our auction catalogues have all been consigned to us from some of the finest collectors and cellars in the United States.  All of the wines listed (unless noted otherwise) are in our temperature-controlled warehouse in Wood Dale and have been carefully inspected by our trained personnel.

Can I sell my well-stored wine through a Chicago Wine Company live auction?

Yes!  Please see our Interested in Selling Wines page.

How do I know what condition the bottles I’m bidding on are in?

We want you to know exactly what you are bidding on so any special or unusual conditions will be listed with each lot.  For a key to some of the terms used to describe unusual conditions and a guide to the generally accepted conditions (conditions that will not be listed) please refer to the front of the pdf version of the catalogue.

How do I bid?

Since the auctions are live we welcome our customers to attend the auction in person and bid.  With that being said, the majority of bids submitted are done so absentee.  Absentee bidding is very simple and can be done by any method that is convenient for you including telephone (630-594-2972), fax (630-594-2978) or email (info@tcwc.com).  We ask that you adhere to our designated bid steps when placing bids.  Although bids submitted between bid steps can be accepted at the discretion of our auctioneer, more often than not, those submitted between bid steps will be rounded down to the next lowest step.  Our bid steps are as follows: 

Bid Steps (Increments)

$10 for bids between $50 - $200

$20 for bids between $200 - $1,000

$50 for bids between $1,000 - $2,000

$100 for bids between $2,000 - $5,000

$200 for bids between $5,000 - $10,000

$500 for bids $10,000 and above

In most cases, auction lots have a reserve amount or the amount that we will not sell below to protect the value of the consignor's wine.

You also have the ability to give us an overall spending limit.  Thus you may submit as many bids as you wish and exceed your total budget. However, once we reach that spending limit in successful bids all other bids in your name would be withdrawn.  This service allows you to roll over your pre-determined spending limit should you be unsuccessful on any bids.  Our only requirement is that your bids must be in lot number order.

You may also submit “either/or” bids.  For example, if there are two identical lots of the same wine, by giving us either/or bids you have the ability to bid on the second lot should you loose the first.  This avoids the situation where you may see the second lot sell for less than you were bidding on the first lot, even though you were outbid on the first lot.  Again, our only requirement is that your bids must be in lot number order.

How does absentee bidding work?

Absentee bidding works much the same as live bidding except that we bid on your behalf.  You simply tell us which lots you wish to bid on and the maximum amount you wish to bid on each lot.  Then, bidding on your behalf and subject to any competing bids, we attempt to buy each lot for you at the lowest possible price.  For instance, if a lot has a low end estimate of $400 and there are only two bids, Bid “A” for $440 and Bid “B” for $500, the person that submitted Bid B would be awarded the lot for $460 (the next bid step above the second highest bid). In other words, you will only have to pay the bare minimum necessary to win the lot, not a penny more. In the event of matching high bids, the first bid that is received by us will be awarded the lot at the bid amount so it pays to submit your bids as soon as possible.

Are there any additional (hidden) charges or costs associated with bidding?

No. The Chicago Wine Company doesn’t charge a buyers’ premium so you will never pay more than the hammer price for your lot (with the exception of sales tax if applicable and/or shipping and storage). We can provide a variety of shipping options for you and we are happy to offer 120 days free temperature-controlled storage for any purchase including auction purchases. For more information about shipping please see our Shipping & Storage page.

If I bid absentee, how will I know if I was successful?

We do our best to issue invoices via email the day following the auction for all successful bids.  For those bidders that were unsuccessful we will also notify you via email.

How do I pay for the lots I bid on successfully?

Payment can be made by credit card (Visa, Mastercard or American Express), check or cash. Credit card numbers should be provided at the time bids are placed. Your credit card will not be charged unless you were successful bidding. Checks, cash or credit cards submitted after the auction must be received within 10 days of the date of the invoice. Payment can be made over the phone or by accessing the Make Payment section under My Account at www.tcwc.com. All successful bids that are not paid for within 10 days are subject to cancellation without notice.

Bidding is easy and fun and a great way to fill your cellar.  We look forward to your participation! If you have any questions or need any assistance with the bidding process please do not hesitate to contact us at 630-594-2972 or by email at info@tcwc.com. We are more than happy to assist.