Buying Whisky, Spirits & Wine at Auction

At Lyon & Turnbull we want to make buying at auction, either in the saleroom or online as easy and enjoyable as possible. With both specialists and client services available across a wide range of locations so whatever your interest or query we are always on hand to help.

Here we explain the whole process of buying at auction, from the first sight of your lot to taking it home


Viewing in Person

To view all of the lots please note the public viewing times and locations listed at the front of each printed catalogue or at the top each online auction catalogue.

Viewing Online

All auctions are available to view online and each image can be enlarged for closer inspection. For further information on a lot you may be able to view a condition report online (see below) or contact us using the Lot Enquiry button.


All lots carry an estimated price band, listed in the catalogue, which indicates our opinion of value. The final price may be higher or lower than this band depending on demand. If there is a reserve on the lot then it cannot be sold below that price. Reserves are never higher than the bottom estimate price, and may be set lower.

Catalogue Descriptions

Alcohols are catalogued as accurately as possible at the time of going to print. However, purchasers must take into consideration the natural variations and conditions of cases, labels, ullages, corks and wines. Lyon & Turnbull Ltd. are unable to accept returns.

Catalogue Alterations

Lot descriptions and estimates are prepared in advance of the auction and may be subject to change.

Any alterations will be announced on the catalogue alteration sheet, available prior to the auction from our main office and reception.

Understanding Buyer’s Premium and the final price you will pay

All purchases are subject to a buyer’s premium of 26% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including £20,000 / 25% from £20,001 up to and including £500,000 / 20% from £500,001 and thereafter. When you successfully bid on any lot, the price you pay will be the hammer price (the value you bid at the auction), plus the buyer’s premium.

The premium is subject to VAT at the standard rate, with the exception of lots marked in the catalogue with a dagger (†) where VAT applies to both hammer price and buyer’s premium. If there is an asterisk (*) next to your lot number in the catalogue, this is to indicate that the law dictates your lot will be subject to additional import VAT.

Should your winning bid be placed via either Invaluable or The-Saleroom online live auction services you will be charged an additional premium on the hammer price (see 'bidding' below).

Information on any additional charges is always available at the very start of both printed and online catalogues.

There are many ways to bid (see below). You can register to bid at any time before the auction; however we suggest you allow plenty of time to register to secure your bids. The few hours prior to an auction are often very busy and clients will be registered on a first-come-first-served basis.

Prior to placing bids please be sure to read our Conditions of Sale for Buyers. By submitting a bid (in any form) you are agreeing to these Conditions of Sale.

We kindly ask that all first time bidders at Lyon & Turnbull supply the following documents in order to complete their initial registration

1. Government issued photo ID (passport/ driving licence)
2. Proof of address (utility bill/ bank statement)

You may present these documents in person at our saleroom or at one of our office locations or, if registering for a telephone or absentee bid, email copies to us at

When registering for a Whisky & Spirits auction we reserve the right to ask buyers for identification to prevent fraud, underage purchases and/or any other legal or legitimate purpose.

We may, at our discretion, ask you to provide a bank reference and/ or a deposit as a condition of allowing you to bid.

There are four easy ways to bid at our auctions, and, of course, all bids are confidential.

By absentee bid

If you are unable to attend the auction we can bid on your behalf. You can leave an absentee bid online by selecting the 'Leave a Bid' option on your chosen lot.

Alternatively contact our team (0131 557 8844 | prior to the auction with your details of the lots you are interested in, your bids alongwith your full name, mailing address, telephone number(s) and email.

Either way, the amount you enter on the form should be your maximum limit. We will bid up to that limit for you, and remember you may end up paying less than your limit, depending on other bidding on the day.

In the room

Simply register at reception, or on auction days at the cash office. You may need to provide identification. Once you have registered you will be handed a numbered paddle to use in the saleroom. When the bidding begins on your lot raise your paddle to bid. When the bidding stops the auctioneer will bring down the gavel and read out your number if you have won the lot.

By telephone

If you would like to bid by telephone, our clerk will call you from the saleroom on the auction day, just before your lot(s) come up, and will then relay to you the events in the room, and bid on your behalf live at the auction when instructed to do so.

If you would like to bid by telephone please contact our team (0131 557 8844 | prior to the auction with your details of the lots you are interested in and your full name, mailing address, telephone number(s) and email.

Once our team have processed your bid request you will receive an email confirmation.

Please note that all absentee and telephone bid requests must be received at least an hour before the auction.

Bid Live Online for Free

Many clients prefer bidding live online at our auctions. It’s easy to register with us online, you can watch the auction as it happens and place bids from the comfort of your computer.

L&T Live is powered by StreamBid. There will be no additional live bidding fees applied for this service (unlike many other providers).

Alternative Live Bidding Options

All our auctions are also available to view and bid live on The Saleroom and Invaluable. An additional live bidding fee will apply to purchases made through these systems (charged by the providers):

The Saleroom - All purchases subject to an additional 4.95% live bidding fee.

Invaluable - All purchases subject to an additional 5% live bidding fee.

Live Auctioneers - All purchases subject to an additional 5% live bidding fee.

Congratulations on your successful bidding, the next stage is payment.

There are number of ways to pay to make it as easy as possible for you. We accept cash, credit or debit card or bank transfer.

Remember your final invoice will include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium of 26% of the hammer price of each lot up to and including £20,000 / 25% from £20,001 up to and including £500,000 / 20% from £500,001 and thereafter, plus VAT on the buyer's premium. If there is a dagger (†), asterisk (*) next to your lot number in the catalogue, your lot will be subject to additional VAT or Droit de Suite charges. See our Conditions of Sale for further details, or the auction information at the start of the printed or online catalogues.

All items must be paid for before they can be collected.

Bank Transfer

Please find details in any email invoice we issue or upon request from our accounts department.


Cash payments can be made at the accounts desk during or after an auction. Please note that there is an annual cash payment limit of £5000 per buyer.  

Credit or Debit Cards

Payment can be made by credit or debit card. Please note we can accept Visa or MasterCard only. Payment by card must be made in person in our Edinburgh branch or online (see below), we are unable to accept card payments by telephone.

Online Payments

Click below to pay by credit or debit card online. A system provided by Cardstream and Credorax.

Pay Online


Cheques should be made payable to Lyon and Turnbull Ltd. We reserve the right to wait until cheques have been cleared by our bankers before releasing bought goods. Cheques can be cleared prior to auction on request. Cheques drawn by third parties cannot be accepted. If paying by post please include the slip from your invoice.

If you attend an auction in person and are successful in your bid, you are free to collect and remove your item there and then once payment has been cleared. If you are not able to do so we are happy to recommend a number of carriers who will be able to arrange packing and shipping for you. Please contact them directly to receive a quote for costs. You are, of course, very welcome to use an alternative courier.

Collections under the The Licensing (Scotland) Act

Please note that due to The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005:

  • Collection of any purchases from our Whisky & Spirits auctions will not be permitted before 10am
  • All collections must be signed for by a person over the age of 18. We reserve the right to ask for ID from the person collecting.

Carrier - UK & International - Smaller Items

Mailboxes Etc
44/46 Morningside Road
Edinburgh, EH10 4BF
Tel: 0131 556 6226

For further information on buying at Lyon & Turnbull please see our Conditions of Sale

View Conditions of Sale