Sell Wine Guide interview with Cellarbid.com’s founder Michael Weiner
This week we’re highlighting Cellarbid.com, a U.S. peer-to-peer wine sales platform. According to Cellarbid’s founder, Michael Weiner, the concept is similar to how eBay works (eBay was once active in this space but it now no longer allows the sale of alcohol through it’s platform in the U.S.) Basically any seller can list his or her wine and then ship directly to the buyer when the transaction is completed. Cellarbid doesn’t handle the wine but it provides the platform, which helps facilitate the transactions. The platform also allows for a feedback system to rate sellers.
Weiner mentions that pricing is what makes Cellarbid most competitive. “We do not charge a fee to list wines and we do not charge the buyer a fee for purchases (known as “buyer’s premium” – SWG). There is no cost unless the wine sells successfully, and therefore no downside, to try to sell wines at CellarBid.com.”
Sell Wine Guide: Since the system is peer to peer, how is Provenance and quality control handled?
Michael Weiner, Cellarbid.com: It is up to the buyer to ask the seller about the Provenance. CellarBid does not attest to or guarantee the quality of the wines sold.
Sell Wine Guide: Is this platform friendly to first time and one time only sellers?
Michael Weiner: Yes. There are no requirements to be a past or future seller, however, buyers may be skeptical of a one-time seller.
Sell Wine Guide. For a first time seller who wants to sell some of his wine, what are the important things he needs to take into account?
Michael Weiner: First, that people are always concerned about the provenance of the wine.
Second, rare wines are often sought after but common wines only sell at a good price.
Third, shipping is costly. Offer combined shipping if possible in order to make wine prices more competitive.
Finally, if they are a one-time seller, price is not a major consideration but if the sellers are interested in selling wine consistently then it could be a good idea to price the wines aggressively.
Sell Wine Guide: There are several types of wine collection sales. Some lots are very big and diverse and some are small. What type of seller is the sweetspot for Cellarbid.com
Michael Weiner: The more the better, but quantity does not appear to matter as much as price. People visiting auction sites are either looking for a bargain or for a wine they can't find anywhere else. Availability and price are bigger considerations then quantity of items offered.
Sell Wine Guide: What are some of the things that make Cellarbid.com different and more competitive?
Michael Weiner: The thing that makes Cellarbid most competitive is our pricing. We do not charge a fee to list wines and we only charge a 3% fee for a successful sale. There is no cost if the wine does not sell, and therefore there is no downside, to try to sell wines at CellarBid.com.
Sell Wine Guide: What are the typical bottle price ranges that get sold on Cellarbid.com?
Michael Weiner: It depends on the quantity being sold. Lower priced wines only sell in quantity due to the shipping charges. It doesn't make much sense to buy a $15 bottle of wine and pay $15 shipping unless the wine is worth significantly more than $15. It is not uncommon to see wines sell for over $1,000 per bottle for the rare bottles of wine that are listed for auction. I would say the average or more typical price range is $50 to $200 per bottle.
Sell Wine Guide: Any additional tips for prospective sellers?
Michael Weiner: List multiple bottles and price them aggressively. People are always looking for a deal. If they find one, they will look at the other bottles the seller is offering. If they find great deals they will come back often looking for more. If they think one or two bottles are over priced, they will believe that all the wine you have for auction is overpriced.