Scammy Rumauctioneer

TDLR; Rumauctioneer sent me the wrong bottle. Their response was to ghost me and stop responding to my emails.

This is my recent experience with RumAuctioneer.

I collect Plantation Extreme series (among others). All the bottles in my collection are in perfect condition and I am only missing couple of them at this point.

In a recent rumauctioneer auction, one of the missing bottles was up for auction. And actually, the auction had several lots of that specific bottle. Most of them seemed to be in good condition, expect for one lot, which was missing the straw ribbons that Plantation bottles are known for. I of course avoided this specific lot as I wanted to continue having my collection be in perfect condition and ended up bidding and winning one of the other lots.

A few months later once I received the bottles from the auction (I was storing them at the auction house to save in shipping), I immediately noticed that the bottle I received was missing the ribbons. Rumauctioneer had send me the bottle from a different lot than what I had bid for! I contacted them immediately with pictures and they admitted their mistake.

What was their response? They did not think there was a difference in value between the bottle I received and the bottle I had bid for and offered me a token refund as their “gesture of goodwill”. I expressed that the issue here isn’t the difference in value between the two bottles, but that I had purchased a different lot. I would never have bid on the lot that they sent me. I expressed my preference to have the bottle returned, but as I live in the States, this would have been difficult. Because of that, I offered them other options that I could live with, including keeping the bottle with a refund of about 50 UKP more than what their token offer for me was. That was my goodwill gesture to just get forwards with the issue. Note that the price of the bottle was UKP 750 (not including their premium, shipping and loss protection) and their token offer would not have even covered the added costs that were on top of the price of the bottle.

What was their response to this? They ghosted me and have stopped responding to any of my emails.


Damn… that’s like ordering a car and getting it in the wrong color > “but it’s the same model and it’s worth the same” :man_facepalming:

GTFO with this crap, I would find it unacceptable as well!

I assume that there’s not much you can do?

Worst case: if you would be able to buy another one someday, you can sell this on again… or even better: drink it :wink:

I do wish that you can somehow get a better compensation.


Welcome and thanks for sharing your experience!

Sorry that happened to you… extremely annoying when you are looking forward to a certain product and then it is not the exact bottle you were buying. Tom’s equation about the car in the wrong color is exactly what came to my mind when I read your post.

Did anyone else have similar experience?


I totally can relate to this being a major bummer.

This community is known for helping each other out… maybe someone has an (empty) Extreme bottle and wants to part from the straw netting?

It doesn’t make up for the bad experience but might ease the pain?


Did you receive bottle number 043? I’m asking because that seems to be the bottle of the lot without straw ribbons. I could imagine that you actually got the lot you were bidding on but the ribbon got damaged and removed by someone during handling. In any case, a very annoying and unlucky situation – there are dozens of lots and you got mixed up with the only one missing the straw ribbon.

Frustration aside: Wouldn’t it be possible to replace the ribbon? IIRC the ribbon can be carefully removed without opening the knot (or metal cramp on some) on the bottom. It would probably require a “donor bottle” from the Extreme series as the ribbons might be tied a bit differently on the regular ones (haven’t checked that).


Indeed, netting is different per bottle shape.

I tried it here for a non-Extreme bottle. Netting can be removed without damage and reseated.


Maybe the one of the smaller/more stuby bottles would fit? Like the Sealander or the Gran Anejo. That would be a pretty cheap fix.


Might be, but without trying upfront, one can’t be sure. Since I don’t own an Extreme bottle, I can’t try it.

As you can see, the size is quit different …

Maybe OP has some other Plantation bottles to test


I did not have a similar experience. Let me actually share an experience where things could have gone wrong but went right.

At RA I bought an early green OWH Hampden. The description and stats mentioned it to be 8y old, the regular version. However, the photos showed the old 7y version. This could have gone wrong but I took the gamble and got the old 7y version. Fully matching with the photos.

In my opinion OP should get what he saw on the photos. If there is a box on the photo, you expect the box. If there is a straw net on the photo, you expect a straw net. Maybe somebody wants a specific bottle because it has its lucky number as the bottle number. You need to get what is on the photo.


That is out of the question and I think we all agree 110% on this. It would be interesting if the lots got mixed up (different bottle number from another lot) or if it was delivered incomplete (correct bottle number but missing straw net).

However, OP made it clear that the ship of resolving this with RA has sailed (unfortunately, because RA is doing the ostrich tactic). So I guess we were trying to think towards an alternative solution to the stated goal of having a perfect collection.


This is a bit extreme but could you ask your bank to refund the money as it was not sold as described?


I assume that there’s not much you can do?

Probably not. I seem to be at their mercy and they seem to be driven by maximizing their short term profits instead of cultivating good relationships with their customers. Maybe if I had shipped the bottle immediately, I might have been able to file a dispute with VISA, but as I held the bottle at their storage for about two months prior to shipping, this was not possible.

At this point, the only things I can think of doing is to bring light to their business practices and stop using them, both of which I am doing. While they might be the largest rum auction house at the moment, they are certainly not the only one.


I’ve been an avid bidder in most of the rum auction houses for a while. Over the time, I’ve had to deal with having received damaged products / missing bottles with three auction houses. With two of them (whiskyhammer, finespirits), we were able to resolve the issues easily and cordially.

With rumauctioneer, this was my second time having to deal with them. Both times the experience has been negative. The first time was when I had purchased an Appleton 250th Anniversary decanter. I had paid for loss and breakage insurance to rumauctioneer. I received the bottle in damaged condition (the decanter neck had broken and the cap had shattered during transit). However, the neck breakage was such that it was limited mostly to above the cork line, so most of the rum was still inside the decanter and recoverable. This is a bottle that would mostly be of interest for collectors and not purchased for outright drinking. Rumauctioneer argued that as the liquid was still inside the bottle, this was purely cosmetical damage and they would not be liable to pay under their loss and breakage insurance. After not letting this go and asking if they would accept the bottle in its condition for sale at their auction and requesting an estimate of how much it would auction for in its received condition, they eventually agreed to a partial refund. This should have been my sign to exit the relationship. Unfortunately, I did not do so at that point. Also, note that over time I’ve paid about UKP 1700 in loss and breakage insurance for RA and between these two incidents, only claimed under a third of that amount against their insurance. So, even if they would have been willing to actually pay for their LBI claims, they would still have been net positive just for the insurance payments.

My lessons here for anyone reading would be: 1. Even if you have purchased loss and breakage insurance with rumauctioneer, do not assume that they will be willing to honor it. They will fight you tooth and nail. 2. If you ever receive a broken bottle from them, it should be completely broken if you are hoping to have any chance for them to honor their insurance.


It doesn’t make up for the bad experience but might ease the pain?

Honestly, at this point, I consider the bottle the lesser part of the pain. How they handled it was outright insulting and literally brought the insult to the injury.


Thanks for sharing your experience. 1700GBP in insurance alone sounds like you are indeed an active customer. So from this I gather two things: Firstly, the rate of failiure is still rather low (I’m sure we’re talking lower single digit rates here). Secondly, and this is more important, they even treat a VIP-customer like dirt, when something goes south. This, to me, is very concerning.

Would be interesting to hear if others had a similar experience or if there are also tales that go the other way.


I hadn’t even considered that the bottles are numbered. I just checked and indeed I received bottle 43, which was the one auctioned without the ribbons. The bottle I had actually bid and won was 94. So, that’s definitive evidence that they shipped me the wrong bottle.

The ribbons between bottles are different sizes, so for it to work it would have to be from a plantation extreme bottle. It’s probably what I’ll have to try to do. The older bottles (series 1 and series 2, I believe) had a knot. I believe this bottle would have had a metal clamp, so would have to recover one of them, too.


Why didn’t you just cancel (in both cases, the damaged and the mixed up)?

A Buyer’s right to Cancel

6.4 Buyers have the right to cancel their purchase within fourteen (14) days from the day after the buyer receives or collects the Goods.

Edit: Ah, you’re in the US… shipping it back is probably a p.i.t.a.


I have both of those types of bottles, but unfortunately the ribboning from neither of them fits the extreme bottles.


Why didn’t you just cancel (in both cases, the damaged and the mixed up)?

Honestly, I was not even aware of the cancellation clause.

6.6. You undertake to return the Goods to us at your own cost and risk and we cannot be held liable for any damage to the Goods incurred during transit.

Yes, shipping the bottle back would have been a problem. The US still have prohibition era laws for liquor sales and shipping and it’s illegal for individuals to ship spirits. Even if there would be ways around that, the costs for shipping (and having to do so at your own risk for a UKP 750 bottle) would have made it an unviable option.


Entering quite a legal discussion here, but I would argue that you can make use of the LBI in this case. The bottle you bought - number 94 - got lost and was never delivered to you. Number 43 was delivered to you but that bottle is not yours. It is for RA to decide if they want to have that bottle returned or not.
I understand this will not solve your issue, given the reaction of RA but this is how I see it. The value of the bottle might not justify it, but I think you have a valid case that you could even bring to court if you wanted.