General FAQ

Why sell through Highland whisky auctions?

Firstly we have created an extremely user friendly auction platform aiming to provide the simplest, hassle free experience for our customers with some of the lowest rates on the market. Rest assured your whisky will fetch competitive prices due to our marketing program designed to attract a global audience. 

Who is responsible for the bottles at each stage of the process?

It is the sellers responsibility to ensure the bottles arrive safely to our premises, the seller will be liable for any damage in transit to us. Once we take delivery for your bottles it is then our responsibly and will be stored in our secure storage fully insured. Once packaged and in the hands of the courier it is then the buyers responsibility. Shipping Insurance is an option at checkout.

What if my parcel arrives damaged?

If you opted for insurance at checkout then you will be legible to claim from the courier.

Which countries do you deliver to and what is the cost?

We ship worldwide and you can see cost estimates within our Shipping & Insurance page.

What payment methods do HWA accept?

All major debit and credit cards are accepted as well as bank transfers. International bank transfers are accepted and buyers must agree to all charges when transferring the payment.

How can I get a free valuation and/or how much is my whisky worth ?

Simply send detailed pictures and a description of the whisky to [email protected] or fill out our online form. This way we can provide more realistic valuations of your whisky.

How does the auction work?

Once you have registered as a member of HWA you will be able to place bids on any live auctions. Simply enter your maximum bid on the lot chosen, you will then be prompted with a ‘Confirm Bid’ message. This is to ensure you have entered the correct bid. We are not able to retract bids entered in error. HWA will automatically bid on the item for you as per our incremental table below, up to your maximum bid. After your bid is placed and if you are outbid at anytime, you will be automatically notified via email. If you are the highest bidder at auction end we will send an email with confirmation and a link to our payment platform to complete your purchase.

See our table below showing bidding increments for associated values-

 Incremental Next Bid Incremental Bid
£0 - 49.99 £2.50
£50 - 99.99 £5
£100 - 499 £10
£500 - 999 £20
£1000 - 2499 £25
£2500 - 4999 £50
£5000 - 24999 £100
£25000 - 49999 £250
£50000 + £500

Why don’t all lots finish at the same time?

This is due to the anti sniping software integrated within our system. We hope to make it as fair as possible for our buyers and sellers. If a bid is placed within the last 10 minutes of the auction then an additional 10 minutes will be added to that specific lot and will close once a period of 10 minutes has passed with no further bids placed.

What are HWA costs?

Site registration fee, payable by Sellers and Buyers


Sale Commission, payable by Seller


Sale commission, payable by Buyer

8.5% of the sale price

Lot registration fee

£3.00 per bottle 35cl upwards & 50p per bottle for anything smaller

Lot reserve fee, to set a reserve price on an auction

£4.00 per lot

Storage charges, where Items are held by us beyond ninety (90) days

£1.00 per day, per bottle.

Mileage payments, when required

40p per mile

Cancellation of an auction of a listed Item by the Seller

£20, plus any costs

Administration fee (where applicable)


Late payment fee (72 hours post auction)

3% total value per day

Note; VAT will be added to above charges, where applicable, depending on your country.

When and how are sellers paid?

We aim to pay sellers as soon as possible. Payment will normally be between 7-21 days after closure of auction. Your payment will be made to you via your chosen payment method when registering with HWA.

How often are auctions and how long do they run for?

Auctions are monthly and run for 4 days. 

Can other users see who has the winning bid or has placed bids?

All bidders are anonymous, only the current winning bid is visible along with bid history. No personal details are shared publicly on our website.

Are there any bottles or items that HWA do not allow?

We do not accept the following;

Bottles with missing/broken seals or signs or leaking at present, unofficial samples/bottles and any cream liqueurs.

Why do lots start at different prices and not £0?

This is due to the Scottish alcohol licensing law. Alcohol sold in Scotland has a minimum value calculated in units. Each lot will be calculated individually to abide by these laws.

Can I drop off or pick up in person?

Does Highland Whisky Auctions have a secure storage facility?

Yes we do and you can store with us free of charge for up to 3 months then charges apply (£1 per bottle daily).

Can I sell bottles I have in storage at auction?

Of course, simply give us minimum 5 days notice for going live on the next auction available.

Are my bottles insured?

You are responsible for insuring your bottles during shipping to and from HWA. Once your bottles arrive at our secure premises they will be fully insured under our insurance. Insurance can be added to your winning lots during checkout process.

Do I have to pay VAT?

VAT is calculated in line with Gov.uk Auctioneers' Scheme with the exception of VAT applicable lot(s). VAT registered lot(s) are either a seller out-with the UK or a VAT registered business. See examples below;

A lot being sent within the UK where VAT applies;

∙ Lot Price - £100

∙ 8.5% Buyers Commission - £8.50

∙ 20% VAT on Commission: £1.70

∙ Total excluding (shipping & insurance) - £110.20


Any lot being sent to the rest of the world;

∙ Lot Price - £100

∙ 8.5% Buyers Commission- £ 8.50

Total excluding (shipping & insurance): £108.50;

VAT is calculated in line with Gov.uk Auctioneers' Scheme. If the Buyer is to take delivery out with the UK the example shown in clause 11.6.2 applies. 

Do I need to continually check HWA webpage to see if I am still the winning bidder?

No, when you enter your maximum bid, HWA will automatically increase it by the increments applicable to the value. We will also send automatic emails notifying you if you have been outbid or have won.

What if the buyer doesn’t pay?

The seller has 2 options;

  1. Have the lot re-listed in the next auction.
  2. Have the lot sent back to you at your cost.

What if my bottle doesn’t reach its reserve price?

We will automatically relist your bottles in the next auction unless you tell us otherwise. We can also ship your bottles back to you at your cost.