CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

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Rodrigo B
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CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#1 Post by Rodrigo B » October 8th, 2020, 12:41 pm

I am pretty fastidious about managing my cellar through CellarTracker and adding all of my wine purchases. Lately I’ve been pondering a lot about a dilemma I face when doing so when I purchase mixed cases.

At times, I’ll purchased mixed cases from a producer or retailer. Often I run into trouble as to how to allocate the cost of that case to each wine added to CT. Sometimes the retailer will have each of those wines on offer separately so it’s easy to allocate those costs, but sometimes they don’t and that’s where the issue arrises. For those of you that use CT and have purchased mixed cases in the past, how do you allocate your cost of mixed cases across the bottles? Split evenly? Some other method?
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Sarah Kirschbaum
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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#2 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » October 8th, 2020, 12:52 pm

I run into this with the Keller mixed case every year, and those wines have a wide range of prices, so just dividing by 12 is clearly inaccurate.

The approach we use for CT is to divide the total by 12 when I enter the per bottle cost, then put the price of the full case in the notes along with a rough spot price of the wine from WSP for reference. That way, my total spend for the month will be accurate, and I'll at least have a record of what the historical price was and what I paid for the total case. It's not ideal, but it works.
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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#3 Post by Anthony C » October 8th, 2020, 12:58 pm

I do an even split as well. It doesn't come up enough for me to worry about. If for some reason I had a $200 cab with 5, $20 bottles mixed in or something else way off, I'd fudge it but most of the mixed cases I buy are just 6 wines all around $50 or a similar situation.

I really only want a rough reminder of what it cost when I drink it later anyway.
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Joe W i n o g r a d
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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#4 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d » October 8th, 2020, 1:02 pm

I allocate group purchase price proportionate to prevailing retail cost.

Shipping gets allocated equally across all bottles though regardless of format. (I include tax and shipping in my CT bottle price)

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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#5 Post by AndrewH » October 8th, 2020, 1:05 pm

Joe W i n o g r a d wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 1:02 pm
I allocate group purchase price proportionate to prevailing retail cost.

Shipping gets allocated equally across all bottles though regardless of format. (I include tax and shipping in my CT bottle price)
Pretty much the same. I confront this most on Berserker Day when wineries offer mixed lots for a fixed price, but some bottles are more expensive than others. I do my best to basically allocate the overall % discount equally among the bottles.

Like Joe, I allocate shipping equally across bottles (though that disadvantages the 375mls I get mostly from Envoyer, which are less expensive to ship).

I can only be so neurotic so try to get close and not worry beyond that.
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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#6 Post by Rodrigo B » October 8th, 2020, 1:14 pm

I do my best to allocate to prevailing retail costs if possible, especially if there is a retailer carrying all the bottles on the mixed case, then I just allocate the discount pro rata. I do like to allocate in such a manner that allows me to keep track of a given month’s total spend.

Sarah- I do like your suggestion of putting the full mixed case price in the purchase notes, I’m going to add that to my best practices in inputting purchases into CT from now on.

I’m currently facing this dilemma with the Keller mixed case Robert offered in his new source material venture. All producers that are unknown and I can’t really find individual prices on WS, as by design, these are all relatively unknown producers. So it seems to me like evenly splitting the cost is the way to go on that one.
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Chris Crutchfield
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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#7 Post by Chris Crutchfield » October 8th, 2020, 1:21 pm

Rodrigo B wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 1:14 pm
I do my best to allocate to prevailing retail costs if possible, especially if there is a retailer carrying all the bottles on the mixed case, then I just allocate the discount pro rata.
This is what I do as well. It's more work, but 5-10 years down the line when you're opening the bottle and want to know how much you paid, you aren't going to do all the math and derive it from the total case price.

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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#8 Post by Neal.Mollen » October 8th, 2020, 1:25 pm

AndrewH wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 1:05 pm
I can only be so neurotic
I accept no such limitations.

On the wine, however, I really don't care. In the final analysis, what difference does it make? I'm just going to drink the wine at which point what I paid for it is kinda irrelevant. I mean, I log the info but can't really remember using it (except to make sure subsequent purchases of the same wine are "as good a deal" as they appear, which happens very rarely).
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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#9 Post by Marshall Manning » October 8th, 2020, 1:29 pm

Anthony C wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 12:58 pm
I do an even split as well. It doesn't come up enough for me to worry about. If for some reason I had a $200 cab with 5, $20 bottles mixed in or something else way off, I'd fudge it but most of the mixed cases I buy are just 6 wines all around $50 or a similar situation.

I really only want a rough reminder of what it cost when I drink it later anyway.
I do the same thing, and just use actual cost that I pay. So if I buy 6 bottles from Wine Access and only have a net cost of $100 after credits, but the total cost would have been $250, I just allocate the $100 across the ratio of what the actual price would have been. I want my true cost in CT, not what I could have paid.
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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#10 Post by Ethan Abraham » October 8th, 2020, 2:00 pm

I try and allocate correctly. Happens sometimes with auction mixed lots where the difference can be considerable. Isn't there also the issue (if you care) that allocating wrong (or taking coupons into account) can do weird things to the cellartracker valuation?

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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#11 Post by Neal.Mollen » October 8th, 2020, 2:37 pm

Ethan Abraham wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 2:00 pm
I try and allocate correctly. Happens sometimes with auction mixed lots where the difference can be considerable. Isn't there also the issue (if you care) that allocating wrong (or taking coupons into account) can do weird things to the cellartracker valuation?
Serious question: what do you use that valuation for?
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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#12 Post by Rodrigo B » October 8th, 2020, 2:39 pm

Ethan Abraham wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 2:00 pm
I try and allocate correctly. Happens sometimes with auction mixed lots where the difference can be considerable. Isn't there also the issue (if you care) that allocating wrong (or taking coupons into account) can do weird things to the cellartracker valuation?
I don't use the CT valuation funcriom or find it all that useful. Over time, as prices go up over time, you still have a bunch of data point from people who purchased it earlier and cheaper. If you want, you can input your own indovidual valuation for a given wine however you'd like in CT. I tend not to do that and simply rely on WS to mark a wine to market if that's what I'm looking for.
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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#13 Post by MikeHill » October 8th, 2020, 2:48 pm

Joe W i n o g r a d wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 1:02 pm
I allocate group purchase price proportionate to prevailing retail cost.

Shipping gets allocated equally across all bottles though regardless of format. (I include tax and shipping in my CT bottle price)
This. Oddly, for me the main reason is to remind myself I wasn’t a sucker who paid $40 for a $20 wine.

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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#14 Post by Ethan Abraham » October 8th, 2020, 4:40 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 2:37 pm
Ethan Abraham wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 2:00 pm
I try and allocate correctly. Happens sometimes with auction mixed lots where the difference can be considerable. Isn't there also the issue (if you care) that allocating wrong (or taking coupons into account) can do weird things to the cellartracker valuation?
Serious question: what do you use that valuation for?
I more use it to see valuation on wines I get offers for, etc. Just a first pass to ballpark if a price is reasonable. Also for insurance purposes.

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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#15 Post by Neal.Mollen » October 8th, 2020, 5:00 pm

Ethan Abraham wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 4:40 pm
Neal.Mollen wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 2:37 pm
Ethan Abraham wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 2:00 pm
I try and allocate correctly. Happens sometimes with auction mixed lots where the difference can be considerable. Isn't there also the issue (if you care) that allocating wrong (or taking coupons into account) can do weird things to the cellartracker valuation?
Serious question: what do you use that valuation for?
I more use it to see valuation on wines I get offers for, etc. Just a first pass to ballpark if a price is reasonable. Also for insurance purposes.
Got it. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity
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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#16 Post by David Glasser » October 10th, 2020, 6:32 am

I agree that CT valuation isn’t all that useful. I occasionally look at it to get a vague sense of whether value is going up or down. In most cases I don’t care. Like Neal, if I’m drinking it it doesn’t matter. Sometimes I wish I didn’t know when I open an older bottle that has appreciated enough to induce a little guilt. I used to feel pride when that happened. I wonder what changed...

Valuation might matter when buying or selling. If you are a paying member, CT valuations are based on Wine Market Journal auction prices and are updated quarterly. It’s far from perfect as auction results often differ from retail and may not reflect real-world widespread pricing and availability. If you’re selling, you won’t get WMJ prices.

If you’re buying, WS is a better gauge of current pricing and availability for recent vintages. If you’re backfilling older vintages it pays to look at auctions.

FAQ on CT valuations:
https://support.cellartracker.com/artic ... -valuation

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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#17 Post by Alex Valdes » October 10th, 2020, 9:36 am

I think it depends on your goal. If your goal is top line spend analysis then it doesn’t matter as long as the numbers add up (and you group well to be able to understand that what you bought was a set). If your goal is understanding what you paid for each bottle then you will have to impute the per bottle price.

For me, I work out the per bottle price to make sure I can compare to buying the bottle individually. I do this using both retail and auction data. I have paid up for one bottle to get some others at a steal. I try to reflect that decision both in the price and in the notes. Like Sarah mentioned, I would say it’s good practice to put the set price in the notes for reference.

As for taxes, shipping, buyers premium and protection: I always include the BP but exclude taxes, shipping and protection. I always put them in the notes. As a result, my CT is off by ~10% of my all-in cost (I also don’t include storage cost). I exclude these fees because, in theory, they should be a wash among all my wine (I know practically this is not the case) and since my goal is to track per bottle price at POS I believe I achieve my goal with little distortion.

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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#18 Post by Matt Latuchie » October 10th, 2020, 2:44 pm

Rodrigo B wrote:
October 8th, 2020, 1:14 pm
I do my best to allocate to prevailing retail costs if possible, especially if there is a retailer carrying all the bottles on the mixed case, then I just allocate the discount pro rata. I do like to allocate in such a manner that allows me to keep track of a given month’s total spend.

Sarah- I do like your suggestion of putting the full mixed case price in the purchase notes, I’m going to add that to my best practices in inputting purchases into CT from now on.

I’m currently facing this dilemma with the Keller mixed case Robert offered in his new source material venture. All producers that are unknown and I can’t really find individual prices on WS, as by design, these are all relatively unknown producers. So it seems to me like evenly splitting the cost is the way to go on that one.
Felt the same way when I was inputting those Keller bottles last week. I took the same approach you did.
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Rodrigo B
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Re: CellarTracker and purchase tracking question

#19 Post by Rodrigo B » October 10th, 2020, 3:04 pm

Alex Valdes wrote:
October 10th, 2020, 9:36 am
I think it depends on your goal. If your goal is top line spend analysis then it doesn’t matter as long as the numbers add up (and you group well to be able to understand that what you bought was a set). If your goal is understanding what you paid for each bottle then you will have to impute the per bottle price.

For me, I work out the per bottle price to make sure I can compare to buying the bottle individually. I do this using both retail and auction data. I have paid up for one bottle to get some others at a steal. I try to reflect that decision both in the price and in the notes. Like Sarah mentioned, I would say it’s good practice to put the set price in the notes for reference.

As for taxes, shipping, buyers premium and protection: I always include the BP but exclude taxes, shipping and protection. I always put them in the notes. As a result, my CT is off by ~10% of my all-in cost (I also don’t include storage cost). I exclude these fees because, in theory, they should be a wash among all my wine (I know practically this is not the case) and since my goal is to track per bottle price at POS I believe I achieve my goal with little distortion.
I also include BP, but don’t include shipping and taxes when I put in my bottle costs in any of my purchase inputs.

I want to have a record of how much I paid per bottle for a given retailer. That way if I’m looking at a future offer of that wine by another retailer I can compare their list price to the list price I paid previously. Then I can take in considerations if the overall purchase is going to be more expensive or not because of things like shipping, but to me it makes things much easier when I’m searching WS to refill on some things. I can compare the WS stated price to my CT price
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