If you’ve been collecting rare whiskies, chances are, you’ll know where exactly to find them. But surely, it doesn’t hurt to have another reliable source.
Luxglove.com is an online secondary marketplace for luxury products. You can find art, designer furniture, watches and even classic cars on the website. And if you click ‘Whisky’, you’ll discover a wonderful collection of old Macallan, Bowmores and Ardbegs as well as Karuizawas and Yamazakis.
All the bottles are available for sale.
We spoke with Talenia Phua Gajardo (pictured left), founder of Luxglove.com, on the genesis of her online marketplace as well as her take on the collectible whisky scene in Asia.
Luxglove was started in 2015, which was about a year ago. How are your whisky listings doing compared to the other product categories?
The whiskies, along with the ‘Watches’ and ‘Design’ categories are topping our charts. We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries on the bottles and selling a good number of them. The most expensive bottle that we’ve sold so far is the 50-year-old Yamazaki. It changed hands for $85,000.
So how does it work if I want to sell whiskies?
Just send us a photo of your bottle, or bottles. From the photos, we’d decide if we want to put them on Luxglove. Currently, we’re putting the rare stuff on Luxglove, focusing on quality rather than quantity.
If everything goes according to plan, we’d send our guys down to your place to authenticate and take proper photos of the bottles. By meeting the sellers in person, we can also get to know them better. And once there’s a deal, we’d arrange for collection and delivery.
Can buyers negotiate?
Of course. Negotiations and counter offers can be done between buyer and seller via our platform and mobile app. The interface is similar to mainstream online marketplaces.
Speaking of authenticity, how do you verify if the bottles are real?
It is not surprising to find fakes in this market, so we’re very careful about this. We have a whisky expert to help us and if he feels any ounce of doubt, we’d reject the bottle. In fact, we’ve rejected many!
Why should people sell on Luxglove instead of established whisky auction sites?
For one, we’re based in Asia and we have direct contact with our customers. It’s also better curated. The bigger sites have anything and everything. We pick the best listings in the region and highlight them on the website.
Rewinding a little bit, how did luxglove.com come about?
We have a sister brand called Artling that we started three years ago. This is an online gallery for art sold in the primary market. Luxglove.com is for the secondary market and it is a natural extension of what we have been doing.
Over the years, we have requests from customers to sell their items. Some items don’t fit the themes of traditional auction houses. In addition, commissions paid to auction houses are quite high and there’s also a buyer’s premium; the auction houses take cut from both sides.
There is a void in the space between the likes of traditional auction houses and mass-marketed platforms. That’s where we come in.
Why rare whiskies?
It started with us wanting to do a secondary marketplace for art. But we thought, hey, there are plenty of overlaps. Customers who collect art, also collect watches. They also happen to like wines and whiskies. This made us decide to extend our offerings on Luxglove as well.
I also acknowledge that the market is getting more sophisticated and are looking for special things. This is the impetus for the website and hence, the reason for rare whiskies and more recently, classic cars.
What’s your take on the whisky scene in Asia?
It’ll grow for sure. I’m a newbie, and I see it with very fresh eyes.
Things with history and an interesting narrative certainly has legs. Our generation can see value in historic stuff, but the generation before us will probably never consider wearing a used watch or buying an old whisky. We’re in a different time.
It’s not difficult to discern the whisky trend. People are also getting interested in investing in whisky funds, we are seeing more whisky bars opening, and even big boys with Diageo is opening more Johnnie Walker houses.
Why do you think people sell their coveted whiskies?
Various reasons. For instance, some may have 15 pieces of the same item, but want to sell five of them. Some sell because of their tastes have change, others sell so that they can have the resources or space to buy new stuff.
What’s the way forward for Luxglove?
Whisky-wise, we’re looking to sell casks! That’s the next step for us. As for the website, Singapore’s our starting point and we want to expand to the rest of Southeast Asia. There’ll also be more events, such as the Luxglove Classic Car Weekend.