How do I sell a bottle of scotch?
October 9, 2005 1:37 PM   Subscribe

I recently received a gift of a of very nice bottle of scotch. I'm not scotch drinker and it's worth way too much to keep around for guests and such. (I could really use some extra cash.) What's the best way to go about selling it? (It's unopened and in its original wooden box.)
posted by timnyc to Food & Drink (32 answers total)
Can you take it back to the store from which it was purchased?
posted by LittleMissCranky at 1:40 PM on October 9, 2005

Can't take it back to the store (don't know where it was purchased, no receipt, can't ask the gifter).
posted by timnyc at 2:10 PM on October 9, 2005

The easiest way in such circumstances is often to keep the bottle around until you need to give a very nice gift and then use the scotch rather than pay for an expensive gift. (Of course, you probably would not want the person who gave it to you to know.)
posted by caddis at 2:17 PM on October 9, 2005

What kind of scotch? What year?
posted by I Love Tacos at 2:17 PM on October 9, 2005

What is the distillery and age of the scotch?
posted by hardcode at 2:26 PM on October 9, 2005

It's a 30-year-old Macallan.
posted by timnyc at 2:34 PM on October 9, 2005

caddis is correct. Regift it. Just be sure not to give it to anyone who might possibly know the original giver (getting given a gift you yourself gave away two years ago is unpleasant for all involved.)
posted by Count Ziggurat at 2:35 PM on October 9, 2005

(It'll make a very nice gift, if you're careful to give it to a Scotch-lover. Skimming Google, I see it for sale for $339.)
posted by Count Ziggurat at 2:38 PM on October 9, 2005

Finally found the price. *WOW*

I think regifting something of this value is a bit over the top (and if you do indeed have limited financial resources, will come off as disingenuous).

I love scotch but doubt I would ever buy a bottle at that price (even though I could afford it). I hope that someone can come through with an answer for how you can sell it if you really do need the cash. Other than that, I would wait until you do like scotch -- the day may come. Be patient and that bottle will reward you in your aged years.

On the other hand, an occasion might arise which would warrant the serving: birth, marriage, death, apocalypse?
posted by Dick Paris at 2:49 PM on October 9, 2005

Yes and sorry, it's too expensive for me to regift or hold onto. So let me rephrase: What are the legalities and practicalities of selling it. Is this something I could sell on Craigslist? Ebay (pretty sure it's a no-no there)? Or maybe there's a scotch message board/forum. Or how about selling it to a local bar?
posted by timnyc at 2:55 PM on October 9, 2005

Are you sure ebay is out, cause take a look

That seems to be pretty much what you have, box and all, its got 5 days left and its at $250 already.
and thats not including the 30-60 shipping he is charging.
posted by Iax at 3:05 PM on October 9, 2005

Ebay is a possibility, especially if the label or packaging for the particular scotch has changed. People who sell liquor on Ebay make reference to Ebay's rules:

1. value of the auctioned item is in the collectible container, not its contents.

2. The container has not been opened, but any incidental contents are not intended for consumption.

3. This item is not available at any retail outlet, and the container has a value that substantially exceeds the current retail price of the alcohol in the container.

The only part of the rules that's not a matter of opinion is the phrase about the item's not being available from a retail source.

On another front, how about taking it to a store that sells it, and working out a trade? You could get quite a few bottles of moderately priced wine in exchange.
posted by wryly at 3:07 PM on October 9, 2005

Why not look into scotch drinkers' groups on orkut, friendster, thefacebook, etc, and post a message offering to sell it to a board member in your area? Kind of like craigslist but more likely to find someone who would appreciate it and pay near the desired price.
posted by rkent at 3:16 PM on October 9, 2005

Dude, someone gave you a VERY nice gift. Sell it if you want, but really, you should either: 1) save it until you like scotch; 2) invite some friends over who might like scotch and enjoy it with them; or 3) open it up and learn to like it by yourself right now.

If I gave someone a gift of this value, I would expect them to try it and tell me that they liked it even if they never ever liked scotch before. That's just me though.
posted by pwb503 at 3:36 PM on October 9, 2005

There is winecommune, which used to do spirits as well as wine, but they now appear to explicity disallow liquors. Hmmm. Might be legal issues involved?
posted by trevyn at 4:44 PM on October 9, 2005

As a scotch lover, and I like to think I'm an honourable guy, I'd say the questioner needs to save this to try himself. Unless he's sworn off all alcohol, he will probably find it a far different drink than generic 'scotch' he's tried before.

The difference would be like a hideous pink tricycle with handlebar streamers and a Formula 1 racecar. They're both modes of transport, but certainly of a different flavour.

In short...gets some friends togther, have a fine meal, try the scotch with a tiny splash of water (maybe 8:1 scotch and water).
posted by Kickstart70 at 5:06 PM on October 9, 2005

I strongly advise that you try it out yourself. It's going to be a world apart from the scotches you've likely tried. (Think the difference between Schlitz and your favorite microbrew... or Eelio's and your favorite pizza...)

I was planning to make a bid on it, but I can't bring myself to be complicit with the sale of such a gift. I'd be heartbroken if I bought somebody that bottle, and they sold it without trying it.
posted by I Love Tacos at 6:23 PM on October 9, 2005

I see you marked eBay as a best answer while I was re-responding. If you insist on going this route, please email me a link to the auction.

I don't know how the bidding would go, but I'd try to give it a very good home.
posted by I Love Tacos at 6:26 PM on October 9, 2005

I didn't like scotch -- until I tried 30-year-old Macallan. I agree with what Kickstart70 just said, and it will be a real shame if you can't afford to drink this with some good friends and conversation.
posted by nowonmai at 6:39 PM on October 9, 2005

eBay it!
posted by thebarron at 6:52 PM on October 9, 2005

If you try it and like it, you'll be even worse off, since it sounds like you can't really afford $300 scotch.
posted by smackfu at 7:26 PM on October 9, 2005

A very wise person once said to me - "What are you going to remember when you are 80? That you sold an old bottle of scotch and paid a few bills or that you once drank a 30 year old bottle fo scotch worth over 3 benjamins?"

Well, that wasn't exactly what he said, but it fits here.

Have some. Keep it around.

You never know. You might meet a sexy Scot someday.
posted by jopreacher at 8:19 PM on October 9, 2005

Can you really sell it on eBay? In every state I've lived in (based on your handle I'm guessing you're in NYC), you have to be licensed to sell alcohol, which is generally a pretty involved process. Additionally, how are you going to check the identification of high bidders to verify age?

I could certainly be missing something, but a search for various liquors on eBay doesn't reveal any actual liquor - just related items like collectible bottles, etc...
posted by amro at 9:07 PM on October 9, 2005

Upon further investigation:
eBay does not permit the sale of alcoholic beverages on its U. S. website, except for certain pre-approved sales of wine (see Additional Information) and certain sales of collectible containers. Further, non-U.S. members may not conduct alcohol sales with any eBay member residing in the United States.
posted by amro at 9:11 PM on October 9, 2005

I never liked scotch 'til I visted a distillery in Scotland and sampled the single malt. It's nice.

Once a friend gifted me with a $400 bottle of wine (he's a wine critic and certainly didn't pay that). But it needed to be laid up for 10 years. Dutifully we put it in the cellar. We're not big wine drinkers anyway.

The damn wine was stollen! We've lived with guilt ever since. The friend was informed what happened (we couldn't lie about it). He hasn't guilt tripped us about it, but then, we bring him genuine lambic beer when we visit, and he appreciates that (we don't like real lambic much).
posted by Goofyy at 10:28 PM on October 9, 2005

If you try it and like it, you'll be even worse off, since it sounds like you can't really afford $300 scotch.

We've all had experiences that we can't afford to repeat on a daily basis. That doesn't diminish them.
posted by I Love Tacos at 11:03 PM on October 9, 2005

Here's Macallan's website. Use the store locator, call a few nearby stores, explain the situation, and see if one of them won't refund a returned bottle.
posted by rob511 at 11:33 PM on October 9, 2005

A to Z of Scotch Whisky Information - Scotch Whisky .net is what you're after, I think. Try the Whiskies For Sale forum.
posted by jewishbuddha at 11:56 PM on October 9, 2005

Yep, sell the wooden box on eBay. Explain in the ad text that in order to avoid damaging the valuable box, the contents will remain untouched and will ship with the box.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:18 AM on October 10, 2005

If you badly need the money, common sense dictates that you sell it, but sell it to someone who knows its value and would be prepared to pay you at least that value - the whiskies for sale forum is a good idea in that regard, but if you word your eBay ad carefully you should be able to get money for the box AND the bottle even though you're 'only selling the box'. Heh. What ikkyu2 said.

Personally, I'd be torn. But if you're actually poor, the prospect of even a moderate amount of cash is *always* better than almost anything. Even sex.
posted by paperpete at 2:42 AM on October 10, 2005

WTF, people? I love scotch, but I wouldn't drink this bottle if I could get a few hundred dollars for it. At least Dick Paris mentioned the possibility of saving and drinking it only as a last resort if other possibilities didn't work out; the rest of you are not only pointlessly copying that suggestion but expressly violating the conditions of the question. "How do I fix my PC?" "Buy a Mac!" "Yeah, buy a Mac!" "I've got an idea, why don't you buy a Mac?" Knock it off. If you have a new idea on how he can sell the thing, spill it (I mean, spill the idea, not the scotch...). Otherwise, keep your proselytizing to yourself.
posted by languagehat at 6:33 AM on October 10, 2005

You won't be able to sell it through any "official" means. The legal issues are too much of a pain. Bars can't accept it -- they must procure their alcohol through higly-regulated means. Go with scotch-lovers groups and look for a private buyer who would appreciate a bottle at a discount from the typical asking price.
posted by desuetude at 7:00 AM on October 10, 2005

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