\n<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2011\/03\/000001485-tick01.jpg"><h2>tick01.jpg<\/h2>Firstly, run a background check. Is it easy to check up on the merchants trading history? For example, you might be interested in how long they have been trading for, with who and any customer reviews. If not, be weary.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2011\/03\/000001483-tick02.jpg"><h2>tick02.jpg<\/h2>How big is the wine merchant? If fairly large in size, it is usually safe to assume they have a reputable name. Does the merchant have a decent breadth and depth of wine available and is it backed up by a detailed knowledge?<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2011\/03\/000001482-tick03.jpg"><h2>tick03.jpg<\/h2>Are you allowed to visit your wine? If you're with a good merchant, this shouldn't be a problem unless otherwise stated. <img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2011\/03\/000001484-tick04.jpg"><h2>tick04.jpg<\/h2>Does the merchant promote good storage conditions? A wine's journey and storage, from winery to merchant, is essential to creating a profitable wine investment. Does the merchant have any proof of storage?<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2011\/03\/000001486-tick05.jpg"><h2>tick05.jpg<\/h2>Does the wine merchant provide any delivery receipts and guarantees as proof of agreement? These are particularly handy when your wine doesn't show up.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2011\/03\/000001487-tick06.jpg"><h2>tick06.jpg<\/h2>Beware of special deals or 'favourites' you may be offered. This is usually done at the merchant's profit and your expense.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2011\/03\/000001488-tick07.jpg"><h2>tick07.jpg<\/h2>Does the merchant allow you time to make a grounded decision? You should always beware of any salesman that asserts pressure on making a quick decision. A good merchant will have you best interests in mind.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2011\/03\/000001489-tick08.jpg"><h2>tick08.jpg<\/h2>Can you tell your friends? If a merchant asks you to keep the investment confidential something's not quite right.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2011\/03\/00000148a-tick09.jpg"><h2>tick09.jpg<\/h2>Have you asked about commission? Beware of any 'up front' commission deals to be made at the time of purchase instead of sale.<img src="http:\/\/www.decanter.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/34\/2011\/03\/000001481-tick10.jpg"><h2>tick10.jpg<\/h2> And finally, do you trust this merchant? If you have you feel there is something wrong, never proceed without first checking out the facts.