What Sells: Alcohol-Related Items

Collectors of breweriana and cocktail memorabilia relish finding that rare bottle of spirits with its label intact and its contents relatively untouched.

What Sells

The range of alcohol-related items sold online includes:
  • Advertising and promotional items (posters, neon signs, etc.) from bars, breweries, wineries and liquor companies
  • Beer cans, steins, tap handles and other “breweriana”
  • Coolers and refrigerators
  • Figural liquor decanters
  • Old or rare liquor bottles
  • Vintage cocktail shakers, swizzle sticks, shot glasses and other barware (1960s Tiki-themed items are very trendy)
Online Marketplace Restrictions

Online marketplaces generally allow the sale of unopened bottles, decanters and other vessels containing alcohol so long as the container is more valuable than the contents (i.e., the container can’t be purchased at a local liquor store or supermarket). If you sell a container with alcohol, you must put a disclaimer in your listing stating that the contents are not intended for consumption (don’t empty the contents, as this may lower the value for collectors). Also state that you will not sell the item to anyone under 21 years of age. Bottles of wine may only be sold by sellers who have been pre-approved (generally this is limited to wine merchants, brokers and other dealers).

Research Resources

The website of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America has information about different types of beer cans, a grading system and the group’s annual CANvention. Visit the website at http://www.bcca.com/.

The Beer Stein Collectors International website features a photo gallery, discussion board and the “Stein of the Month.” Visit the website at http://www.steincollectors.org/.

The Virtual Corkscrew Museum contains photos and information about a wide range of cork-removal devices. Visit the website at http://www.bullworks.net/.


Inspect your item for these signs of wear and tear:

  • Chips and cracks
  • Dented cans
  • Leaking fluid
  • Missing caps or pull-tabs
  • Torn, marked or missing labels
Key Details

Include these details in your listing:
  • Brand (Budweiser, Absolut, etc.)
  • Type of item
  • Age (if known)
Storage and Shipping

If the item contains alcohol (or any liquid), seal it in a Ziplock bag to prevent fluid from leaking. Never place alcohol near a heat source or in direct sunlight. The best environment for storing containers that contain alcohol is in a cool, dry, dark place.

Glass items should always be cushioned with bubble wrap and packing peanuts during shipment. Some shipping carriers have restrictions on shipping alcohol and other flammable substances, so check with your carrier before committing to use a given shipping service.

Neon signs are very delicate and require special crating. Talk to your shipper or read the following article located at http://www.signweb.com/neon/cont/neonbreak.html for suggestions on how to package neon for shipping.

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