If you're interested in scoring great deals on wine and prefer your pajamas over your formal wear, you should check out online wine auctions. Whereas live wine auctions are most useful to that select group of wine collectors that is in a position to drop thousands of dollars an hour on wine, online wine auctions are great for every casual wine collector.
Online wine auction houses allow you to bid on your own time, meaning that you can do your research before you buy a whole case of something you've never tasted. They allow you to look for something specific or browse easily. As the auction progresses, you can also easily keep track of what other bidders are offering. Most auction sites even give you the ability to automatically track your bids, so you don't have to worry about constantly checking the auction to keep track. And don't forget the PJ factor!
If you're interested in using online wine auctions, make sure to read the fine print. Delivery of wine is prohibited across some states. Some sites may charge extra for usage fees. And make sure that the shipping costs won't add more to the price than you're willing to pay. With a little research, online wine auctions can be just as safe as live ones--and a whole lot more user-friendly.
Here are a few online wine sites to get you started:
Wine Bid is the largest, most popular wine bidding site. It offers lots of collector-quality bottles, many at great prices. You can browse their plethora of bottles without registering.
The old standby now sells wine too. Ebay ranks highly because of their trustworthy, easy-to-use interface.
Wine Commune has been around for more than a decade. Its searching feature is extremely user friendly: it allows you to find the specific bottle you're looking for and then compare prices from thousands of sellers. Like Ebay, it also has "buy now" option for those without the patience to bid.