CellarTracker allows users, if they so choose, to independently track the current market value of their cellar as distinct from the purchase price (a.k.a. acquisition cost). This is primarily useful for insurance purposes but also to keep tabs on how different wines are appreciating. There are several features that all together comprise the Auto-Valuation feature.
Q: How can I see the value of my entire cellar?
A: In your main cellar view you see the value listed on a per/bottle and wine basis with a total shown in the very last row. To see everything totaled and grouped in different ways, choose any entry from the Summarize by dropdown at the top of the screen: Region, Producer, Varietal, Type, Storage Location etc.
Q: What if I disagree with the valuation that is shown for my wine?
A: No problem. Simply go to the bulk valuation view and add your own valuation. This has the dual effect of overriding any other valuations AND making the community average smarter for everyone else.
Q: What does this feature cost?
A: This feature is the first paid-only feature on the site. CellarTracker itself is free, but users are encouraged to make annual, voluntary payments as described here. In order to see community valuations or to register for the Wine Market Journal auction data, you need to have paid in the past 12 months.
Q: What is your current international support and what are your future plans?
A: Currently CellarTracker is somewhat limited with regard to international currency support. Each user, in their profile, can choose a locale. This controls the formatting of currency and dates on the site. If the user's locale is "English (United States)" then all of the features are fully supported. Otherwise, users can see auction and community pricing data in US dollars, but the cascading values do not include these sources. In the future we hope to extend the site to allow users to choose currencies per-purchase and also to do currency conversion between the supported currencies for the entire feature described above. This may take a little while though.
Q: Can I generate advanced reports such as "wines where the auction price is X% higher than average purchase price"?
A: Not at this time, but if the feature takes off we hope to add more nuances like this.
Q: I see a valuation column in the Excel web query. What is this based on?
A: This is the cascaded valuation, so it potentially is comprised of all of the data described above. Also, in addition to the 'cascaded' valuation, based on user feedback we have added separate columns for user-entered valuations, community valuations and average auction price.
Q: What is the exact cascade sequence?
* Purchase prices shown in the wine summary views are based in the average purchase price for a wine. In the consumption and individual bottle views, the specific price from any associated purchase is shown before the average price.
Q: Is there any cost to register with the Wine Market Journal (WMJ)?
A: To turn on the WMJ data in CellarTracker you do have to do a 1-time signup and share your email address with the WMJ. Also, to see a richer drilldown on the WMJ site requires a nominal $9.95 annual or $1.95 monthly fee for a standard subscription. Professional subscriptions with richer content, access to their new mobile site and unlimited queries are available for $129.95 annually, or $19.95 monthly.
Q: I registered separately for the WMJ. Now how do I get the values to show up in CellarTracker?
A: This is very easy. Just go to http://www.cellartracker.com/wmj_opt.asp to activate the data in CellarTracker.
Q: Do you store successive price points so we can see historical gains?
A: The WMJ has data going back to 1997. On CellarTracker we expose the most recent quarter of data and up to 6 months of history. Subscribers to the WMJ can also go to their site to see the full pricing history.
Here are some specific facts about the auction pricing information from the WMJ:
Q: I am concerned that other users can see information about my cellar due to the community valuation support. Can I hide this?
A: Yes, each user can choose to hide their handle from the inventory, consumption and purchase information that is shown on the site. Your data is still used to calculate the averages, but users won’t know this. You can read about the privacy options here.
Q: Do you do anything to validate the community data?
A: Not really. However, the values are weeded to those within two standard deviations. This throws out extreme outliers (such as if a user has their locale set to the US but is entering values in Japanese Yen or Italian Lire).
Q: How many wines have community values?
A: As of 17-Jan-2012, there are ~377,000 wines with community valuations.