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Selling empty bottles on e-bay
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Who knew? I've been drinking & collecting wine for over 30 years. Last summer after moving I was talking to my sister on the phone lamenting the 2 empty bottles of RDC I had saved and left behind wishing they were still full.

I said, "too bad they are now worthless." She said, "Maybe you can sell them on e-bay." I said, "I never thought of that, but who would buy empty wine bottles???" She said, "Why don't you check?"

I did.

People were buying empty bottles of name brands for good money. Now I realize that there are some people who might try to fill these with 2 Buck Chuck and pass them off as real, but that would never fool anyone who knew the slightest bit about wine.

Nevertheless, I listed them (one a '52 DRC-RC, an the other a DRC-RC '69). After 4 days of bidding the '69 sold for $102 and the '52 sold for $150! I was shocked, happy and angry all at the same time. All I could think of was all the bottles over the years that I had thrown out that could have been sold again.

Ya learn something every day.
 
Posts: 24 | Location: Los Angeles | Registered: Jan 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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the sad part is that they won't be re-filled with two buck chuck, and it won't be blatantly obvious that it's a fraud to 95% of wine consumers.

They'll be filled with a mediocre 1970's burgundy, and passed off as DRC. Someone will pay a lot for them, and 95% of them will be consumed by people who are sure they're drinking DRC.

I can't say I wouldn't take the money if I were you, but you certainly just contributed to the issue of counterfeit wine.

edit: Oh, and welcome to the forum.
 
Posts: 4859 | Location: Miami | Registered: Mar 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jorgerunfrombulls:
the sad part is that they won't be re-filled with two buck chuck, and it won't be blatantly obvious that it's a fraud to 95% of wine consumers.

They'll be filled with a mediocre 1970's burgundy, and passed off as DRC. Someone will pay a lot for them, and 95% of them will be consumed by people who are sure they're drinking DRC.

I can't say I wouldn't take the money if I were you, but you certainly just contributed to the issue of counterfeit wine.

edit: Oh, and welcome to the forum.


+1
 
Posts: 1465 | Location: Murrieta, CA | Registered: Mar 14, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by StanS:
Who knew? I've been drinking & collecting wine for over 30 years. Last summer after moving I was talking to my sister on the phone lamenting the 2 empty bottles of RDC I had saved and left behind wishing they were still full.

I said, "too bad they are now worthless." She said, "Maybe you can sell them on e-bay." I said, "I never thought of that, but who would buy empty wine bottles???" She said, "Why don't you check?"

I did.

People were buying empty bottles of name brands for good money. Now I realize that there are some people who might try to fill these with 2 Buck Chuck and pass them off as real, but that would never fool anyone who knew the slightest bit about wine.

Nevertheless, I listed them (one a '52 DRC-RC, an the other a DRC-RC '69). After 4 days of bidding the '69 sold for $102 and the '52 sold for $150! I was shocked, happy and angry all at the same time. All I could think of was all the bottles over the years that I had thrown out that could have been sold again.

Ya learn something every day.


Rudy??


Show me a good loser, I'll show you a loser - Vince Lombardi.
 
Posts: 2384 | Location: Toronto | Registered: Jun 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jorgerunfrombulls:
the sad part is that they won't be re-filled with two buck chuck, and it won't be blatantly obvious that it's a fraud to 95% of wine consumers.

They'll be filled with a mediocre 1970's burgundy, and passed off as DRC. Someone will pay a lot for them, and 95% of them will be consumed by people who are sure they're drinking DRC.

I can't say I wouldn't take the money if I were you, but you certainly just contributed to the issue of counterfeit wine.

edit: Oh, and welcome to the forum.


I disagree. In e-bay very little first growth empty bottles get sold for very much if they sell at all. I hardly think each and every one get refilled and sold on the black market. I see them going to collectors as trophies for their wine cellars. It's like selling your car and someone uses it for a bank robbery. Your fault? Of course not.

Nevertheless, I make it difficult for anyone to reuse/refill either one again.
 
Posts: 24 | Location: Los Angeles | Registered: Jan 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hmmm....I kept my bottles of 1897, 1912 and 1929 Lafite. As well as a '34 Margaux. I have some even older Yquems in the cellar.

Could these bottles have a second life?


Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Posts: 5650 | Registered: Jan 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by StanS:

I disagree. In e-bay very little first growth empty bottles get sold for very much if they sell at all. I hardly think each and every one get refilled and sold on the black market. I see them going to collectors as trophies for their wine cellars. It's like selling your car and someone uses it for a bank robbery. Your fault? Of course not.

Seriously?

quote:
Nevertheless, I make it difficult for anyone to reuse/refill either one again.


Oh yeah? You drill a hole into the punt??

Let's be clear here, I didn't stand on a pedestal and call you an unethical enabler. You can rationalize this anyway you want, but call a spade a spade.
 
Posts: 4859 | Location: Miami | Registered: Mar 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I can think of alot of wines I would buy with $250 rather than two empty bottles.
 
Posts: 9396 | Location: minneapolis minnesota usa | Registered: Dec 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by StanS:
I disagree.


Read the LINKed thread and you will probably change your mind from 'disagree' to 'agree'.
 
Posts: 1544 | Location: STL | Registered: Dec 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't have any problem with people selling their bottles. If someone is dumb enough to buy an empty container, why not.

As far as re-filling them, people can counterfeit wine in many ways. Rudy had labels made up. You can get similar bottles. You still need corks. It's a lot of work and there are people who will do it, but that possibility doesn't imply that everyone who buys them is going to re-fill them.

Moreover, Rudy did this on a relatively large scale, roping in as many "experts" as he could find, like Burghound. That gave him credibility that a one-off guy wouldn't necessarily have. Maybe there are folks like him around. I'd think it's a lot more likely that people in places like North Korea or Belorussia or China would take some time off from counterfeiting dollar bills or fashion items or software and they'd put out a few fake wines just to diversify a bit.


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2588 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jorgerunfrombulls:

Oh yeah? You drill a hole into the punt??



I'd suspect if you drill a hole the size of a nickel in the punt you'd make it extremely difficult to counterfeit. I would also be interested to see if doing so would adversely affect the resale value on ebay.


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Posts: 687 | Location: Toronto, Ontario (Etobicoke) | Registered: Oct 27, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
I don't have any problem with people selling their bottles. If someone is dumb enough to buy an empty container, why not.

As far as re-filling them, people can counterfeit wine in many ways. Rudy had labels made up. You can get similar bottles. You still need corks. It's a lot of work and there are people who will do it, but that possibility doesn't imply that everyone who buys them is going to re-fill them.

Moreover, Rudy did this on a relatively large scale, roping in as many "experts" as he could find, like Burghound. That gave him credibility that a one-off guy wouldn't necessarily have. Maybe there are folks like him around. I'd think it's a lot more likely that people in places like North Korea or Belorussia or China would take some time off from counterfeiting dollar bills or fashion items or software and they'd put out a few fake wines just to diversify a bit.


was pretty funny that there was a rumor a few years ago that the north korean and iranian government themselves just decided to get into the making dollar bills business which lead to the creation of all these new bills we see in the us.


This is my sig -> www.brownteacup.com
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Posts: 11831 | Location: NYC | Registered: Feb 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by GregT:
I don't have any problem with people selling their bottles. If someone is dumb enough to buy an empty container, why not.

As far as re-filling them, people can counterfeit wine in many ways. Rudy had labels made up. You can get similar bottles. You still need corks. It's a lot of work and there are people who will do it, but that possibility doesn't imply that everyone who buys them is going to re-fill them.

Moreover, Rudy did this on a relatively large scale, roping in as many "experts" as he could find, like Burghound. That gave him credibility that a one-off guy wouldn't necessarily have. Maybe there are folks like him around. I'd think it's a lot more likely that people in places like North Korea or Belorussia or China would take some time off from counterfeiting dollar bills or fashion items or software and they'd put out a few fake wines just to diversify a bit.


Exactly. No professional counterfeiter is going to e-bay to buy bottles. They make their own as well as the labels, corks, etc. I am convinced that my buyers were collectors who simply wanted to decorate their wine cellars. Good for them. Good for me.
 
Posts: 24 | Location: Los Angeles | Registered: Jan 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by g-man:
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
I don't have any problem with people selling their bottles. If someone is dumb enough to buy an empty container, why not.

As far as re-filling them, people can counterfeit wine in many ways. Rudy had labels made up. You can get similar bottles. You still need corks. It's a lot of work and there are people who will do it, but that possibility doesn't imply that everyone who buys them is going to re-fill them.

Moreover, Rudy did this on a relatively large scale, roping in as many "experts" as he could find, like Burghound. That gave him credibility that a one-off guy wouldn't necessarily have. Maybe there are folks like him around. I'd think it's a lot more likely that people in places like North Korea or Belorussia or China would take some time off from counterfeiting dollar bills or fashion items or software and they'd put out a few fake wines just to diversify a bit.


was pretty funny that there was a rumor a few years ago that the north korean and iranian government themselves just decided to get into the making dollar bills business which lead to the creation of all these new bills we see in the us.


I think it's more than just a rumor. Google search of "superbill North Korea" returns quite a few legit hits.
 
Posts: 1536 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 18, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by StanS:
I disagree. In e-bay very little first growth empty bottles get sold for very much if they sell at all. I hardly think each and every one get refilled and sold on the black market. I see them going to collectors as trophies for their wine cellars. It's like selling your car and someone uses it for a bank robbery. Your fault? Of course not.

Nevertheless, I make it difficult for anyone to reuse/refill either one again.


Tough argument there. If you sell someone the fastest car around with foreknowledge that they're going to use it to rob a bank and get away from the cops I'm pretty sure you're an accessory to the crime. I'm not saying you're literally an accessory here, but you should have some idea what people might use these bottles for. There's very little way to verify the actual wine, so buying an old bottle sure would be a good way to counterfeit an expensive old wine.

I hope you did drill out the punts or fill them partially with something that can't be removed.


*******
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Posts: 5560 | Location: Chicago | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think it's a stretch to say that every person who buys an empty bottle of a very expensive wine will use it for counterfeit purposes.

Lots of people buy less useless things on eBay.
 
Posts: 5092 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: Aug 05, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by DoubleD:
I think it's a stretch to say that every person who buys an empty bottle of a very expensive wine will use it for counterfeit purposes.

+1
Guys, you don't think that there are plenty of people with showcase cellars with little left to actually fill them with top wines? Of course there are. Just like many collectors put their money into wines and build a very basic, functional, cellar.

I have no doubts whatsoever that there is a market for top end label bottles that some people 'showcase' in their showcase cellars. Get my point?
 
Posts: 15416 | Location: Montreal, QC | Registered: Feb 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by KSC02:
I have no doubts whatsoever that there is a market for top end label bottles that some people 'showcase' in their showcase cellars. Get my point?


I get your point; however, I think it is a weak argument. People with showcase cellers want to 'showcase' top end empties that they drank, not that they purchased on e-bay.

Available evidence points to there being a much higher probability that people are interested in purchasing top end empties for illicit purposes, instead of decoration. That's not to say that nobody wants them for decoration; just looking at the preponderance of evidence.
 
Posts: 1544 | Location: STL | Registered: Dec 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sharkey, can you provide a link to where you cite your evidence?
 
Posts: 5092 | Location: New Jersey | Registered: Aug 05, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
...
As far as re-filling them, people can counterfeit wine in many ways. Rudy had labels made up. You can get similar bottles. You still need corks. It's a lot of work and there are people who will do it, but that possibility doesn't imply that everyone who buys them is going to re-fill them....



I think that in certain restaurant situations the problem of matching the cork and cap could be easily overcome. Even matching the label with the correct bottle would be beyond the capability of most who order expensive bottles in flashy restaurants.
 
Posts: 2285 | Registered: Jul 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Sharkey:
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
I have no doubts whatsoever that there is a market for top end label bottles that some people 'showcase' in their showcase cellars. Get my point?

People with showcase cellers want to 'showcase' top end empties that they drank, not that they purchased on e-bay.

I know (from a local cellar specialist) that this is more common than one may think. Spending 50K on a cellar and filling it with plonk. I highly doubt that this is a local phenomina
 
Posts: 15416 | Location: Montreal, QC | Registered: Feb 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I wouldn't lose any sleep over this, StanS.
 
Posts: 8671 | Registered: May 28, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by DoubleD:
Sharkey, can you provide a link to where you cite your evidence?


Linked in my first post above. Besides Rudy (now in FBI custody), there are evidently additional counterfiting operations in Europe. And that is in addition to the Asian operations.
 
Posts: 1544 | Location: STL | Registered: Dec 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
quote:
Originally posted by Sharkey:
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
I have no doubts whatsoever that there is a market for top end label bottles that some people 'showcase' in their showcase cellars. Get my point?

People with showcase cellers want to 'showcase' top end empties that they drank, not that they purchased on e-bay.

I know (from a local cellar specialist) that this is more common than one may think. Spending 50K on a cellar and filling it with plonk. I highly doubt that this is a local phenomina


We may be talking past each other here. By showcase celler, I understood, filled with great wine, not plonk. If someone is just building a flashy room for show, then I see your point. It would certainly validate P.T. Barnum's view of people.
 
Posts: 1544 | Location: STL | Registered: Dec 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Sharkey:
We may be talking past each other here. By showcase celler, I understood, filled with great wine, not plonk. If someone is just building a flashy room for show, then I see your point. It would certainly validate P.T. Barnum's view of people.

Yes, that was my point, indeed.
 
Posts: 15416 | Location: Montreal, QC | Registered: Feb 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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