Buying wine at auction / Bidding

The auctions are held live at our sale rooms at Pfingstweidstrasse 6, 8005 Zurich, Switzerland.

Interested purchasers can either bid at the auctions at they take place or provide us with written details of their maximum bidding prices in writing by midnight on the Thursday preceding the auction. Later bids than this can not be accepted.

Absentee bidding instructions example
Late bids

Auction process
The auctioneer starts the bidding one increment above the second-highest written bid. If no written bids have been received, the starting price is generally 10-20% below the lower estimate price.

Bidding takes place in the following steps:

Starting priceBidding increment
0 – 99 CHF5 CHF
100 – 199 CHF15 CHF
200 – 999 CHF20 CHF
1’000 – 1’999 CHF50 CHF
2’000 – 9’999 CHF100 CHF
10’000 – 20’000 CHF200 CHF
über 20’000 CHF500 CHF

Anyone wishing to outbid the price called by the auctioneer is requested to hold up their bidding number clearly and visibly. After calling out the highest bid three times, the auctioneer will award the sale to the highest bidder.

In addition to the hammer price, the buyer has to pay a premium of 12% and a lot fee of CHF 10.- per catalog number. The additional costs (commission, lot fee, shipping costs) are subject to VAT at the rate of 7.7%. Lots subject to VAT are marked with a * in the catalog. Only with these marked Lots the value added tax is to be paid also on the wine.

Wines purchased at auction may be taken away immediately after payment, or a few days later on presentation of a payment receipt. We accept payment in cash, by Postcard debit card, EC-Direct debit card and Swiss franc (CHF) payment transfer. Credit cards are not accepted.

Lots not sold at auction may be purchased at the defined minimum price
(1 bidding increment above the auction starting price) until 12 noon on the Monday following the auction. Such purchases are subject to the same terms as those applying to wines sold at auction.

The benefits to you of bidding for wine at Steinfels Weinauktionen

Realistic estimates

Our estimates are based on actual prices achieved in the international wine auction market.
We will not give you an inflated assessment of the value of a wine by quoting exaggerated estimates, nor will we offer the prospect of unrealistic bargains by setting our estimates too low.
Nevertheless, it can be the case that highly sought-after wines sell well above their estimates and that more modest, everyday wines fail to achieve their estimates.

Everything in one place

Every step of the auction process, from initial delivery to dispatch after sale, takes place on our premises here in Zurich:
  • Our own wine experts take delivery of the wines. We have no off-site warehouse and no third-party staff
  • The assessment of the wines' condition (ullage, labels, capsule, etc.) is carried out by our own trained staff.
  • Prior to auction, the wines are stored in our own cellars. From the time the catalogue is sent out to the auction itself, potential bidders may view the wines at any time during business hours.
  • The auctions are held on our own premises. Bidders attending the sale can pay for the wines they have bought at any time and take them away with them, thus avoiding delivery charges.
  • Every auction is supervised by a notary of the canton of Zürich. Any matters requiring clarification can thus be resolved immediately.

Clearly structured catalogue

Our printed catalogue is designed to maximise convenience for the bidder.
The wines are listed first by wine-growing region and then alphabetically within each region, so that a particular wine is very easy to find.
The catalogue provides a detailed description of each wine's condition. We also have an online catalogue which is easy to browse through.
Photographs of the wines are also provided in the online catalogue.
The photographs are meant to help bidders assess the condition of the wines.

Broad range

We accept consignments of all types of wines and spirits. Our catalogue includes fine wines in their original cases, older vintages, single bottles and ready-to-drink everyday wines from all over the world. Every bidder can thus expect to find his favourite wines, not infrequently at extremely attractive prices.

Various possible ways of bidding

Attending an auction in person maximisses your chances of making the most of buying opportunities as they present themselves. You can of course also make written bids in advance - absentee bids. In special cases you may also place bids by phone.

Payment and guarantee

We will send you a detailed invoice for any wine purchase. This is payable within 10 days. During that period, we guarantee that the details of the wines shown in our catalogue are correct.

Your bids

ritten bidding instructions or absentee bid by bidder XY
Late bids
Catalogue/lot no. Item XY’s bid
in CHF, excluding
charges and lot fee
231 5 Fl. Figeac 1997 400

Lot estimate: CHF 200 (low) – 350 (high)
Reserve price: CHF 160
  1. No bids in the room -> lot is allocated to absentee bidder XY at CHF 160
  2. Bids in the room go up to CHF 240 -> lot is allocated to absentee bidder XY at CHF 260
  3. Additional written/absentee bids have been received at, for example CHF 240 / 280 / 360
-> lot is allocated to absentee bidder XY at CHF 380 This means that the bid instructed by an absentee bidder will be applied in full only if the other bidders – be they in the room or absentee bidders – have placed bids one increment below his bid. In the example above, this means that if bidder Z placed a bid of CHF 380, the lot would then be allocated to bidder XY at CHF 400. If there are bids in the room above CHF 400, the lot will be allocated to the highest bidder in the room. In the event of two bidders each bidding the same highest price, the lot will be allocated to the bidder who placed his bid first
In the case of written bids/absentee bids received after midnight on Thursday (Swiss time), lots will be allocated at a price one bid increment above the next highest bid, rather than at the exact bid price contained in the written instructions. a) If bidder XY has placed a written bid of CHF 265 and the highest other bids are at CHF 260, the next bidding increment will be CHF 280. Bidder XY’s bid will thus automatically be raised to CHF 280. b) Bidder XY has bid CHF 1,620. The highest other bid is at CHF 1,600. Bidder XY’s bid will automatically be raised to CHF 1,650.