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How to buy and sell whisky online with Whiskyhammer

A guide to buying and selling whisky at auction with Whisky Hammer co-founder, Daniel Milne

Published: April 6, 2016
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Online whisky auctions have continued to rise in popularity over the recent years, with increasing numbers of bottles appearing each and every month – both in the rare/collectable investment grade, as well as nice and affordable drams.

Based in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Whisky Hammer is an online whisky auction website, and was founded at the tail end of 2015 by brothers Daniel and Craig Milne. The pair were born and raised in Macduff, located in the Speyside region of Scotland, on the doorstep of the most famous and much loved distilleries in the world.

Daniel Milne, Whisky Hammer Co-Founder, said: “We want to bring a truly personal service to its buyers and sellers, and to treat each and every bottle received in auction with the same level of respect and commitment inherent in its creation. Our business goal is to bring an exciting array of rare and collectable bottles available to our auction alongside offering a hassle-free premium service for those looking to sell.”

So how do you go about buying and/or selling at Whisky Hammer? Daniel talks us through the process…

Step 1 – Become a member

Whether you are looking to participate in the auction as a buyer or a seller, you must register as a member of Whisky Hammer.


Registration at is really easy and takes less than 2 minutes. There is a one-off, lifetime membership registration fee of £3 (+VAT) – this is in place to avoid illegitimate bidding activity.


Step 2 – Register Bottles

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Whisky Hammer has developed a seamless and very simple online registration form which allows sellers to register their Lots.


The registration form allows the seller to tell Whisky Hammer about anything special facts about the bottle, as well as setting an optional ‘reserve price’ which ensures a minimum sale prices for the seller.

An admin fee of £2.50 (+VAT) per Lot is payable upon registration, as well as an optional ‘reserve fee’ of £4 (+VAT) per Lot.

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TIP: Ask us for a valuation. This is free and will allow us to help provide an indicative valuation range for your bottles.

Step 3 – Deliver Bottles to Whisky Hammer

After registration of the bottles, they have 3 methods for getting the bottles to them.

Courier to Whisky Hammer – the most efficient option

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The most popular method is via Courier. This is typically organized by the Seller and will get the bottles to Whisky Hammer safely and securely.

TIP: Ask us to help in arranging a courier – our courier rates are quite often less than those readily available.

Bottle drop-off

If you live near Whisky Hammer HQ at Ellon Business Centre, the bottles can be dropped off at their secure office unit between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

TIP: Make sure you use plenty of bubble wrap (and some more) and a strong cardboard box to keep the bottles safe in transit.

Request pick-up

If you live in Scotland, you can request a personalised pick-up from Whisky Hammer. They are often on the road – look out for posts on their Facebook page. Please note though, personalised pick-ups are reserved for higher value collections.

Step 4 – Auction and Payment

After the registered bottles arrive at Whisky Hammer you can sit back and relax, as they take care of the rest. They will get to work on taking professional photos of the bottles, as well as preparing marketing materials and writing up descriptions of the Lots for the auction itself.


Whisky Hammer auctions are run on a monthly basis and payment of auction proceeds are paid into the Seller’s nominated bank account (or via PayPal) ASAP after the auction ends, but this can be between 14 and 21 days after the auction end.

Seller’s Commission of 5 per cent is deducted from the sales proceeds – this is the cheapest commission rate you will find online.

TIP: At the end of the auction – you will collect ‘Hammer Points’ which is our loyalty scheme for Sellers. The more you sell, the less commission you pay.


Step 2 – Search Auctions

Whisky Hammer's online auctions are hosted on a monthly basis. As a registered member, they will e-mail you to let you know when each auction goes live.


Their next auction begins on the 15th of April

TIP: You can use our auction ‘filters’ to browse specific regions, age groups or distilleries. We also offer a ‘watch list’ so you can keep an eye on lots that are particulary interesting to you.

Step 3 – Place your bids

Found something you would love to buy? Whisky Hammer's online auction system is very straight forward and simple to use.


Simply enter your maximum bid into the auction page and click ‘palce bid’. Their system will then take care of the rest, and will automatically bid on your behalf – up to your maximum bid.

TIP: always ensure you enter your maximum bid for the best chance of winning – the system will increase the bid on your behalf, up to your maximum bid, so you do not need to check back and re-bid all the time.

Step 4 – Payment

If you are successful in winning some Lots – congratulations! The auction will send you an e-mail confirming this.


To complete the order, payment is required which will include buyers commission of 10 per cent.

Whisky Hammer accept payment from all major debit/credit cards and PayPal.

Step 5 - Shipping

Whisky Hammer ships to as many international countries as possible – but there are some restrictions (check out their Shipping Page).


TIP: if you live close to our office in Ellon – you can collect your bottles for free!

TIP: if you are considering bidding on more bottles in future auctions, we can also offer free storage for 4 months – in order to help reduce the average shipping cost.

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