The wines I put up for sale with WineBid have been away from home for 13 days, so it’s fair time for an update. I am finally at peace with the decision now that I’ve beaten back the guilt and fully digested the possibility of never seeing those bottles again. That’s the point, I guess; send the wine off to auction and hope they end up in a better designed cellar with state-of-the-art cooling systems, perfect humidity, pitch blackness, and caring owners. But just as I fully rationalized selling cellar treasures, I received an email from WineBid’s East Coast Manager over the weekend:
Your wines have arrived in Napa and are scheduled for debut in the upcoming 6/13/11- 6/19/11 auction.
After the auction begins, remember to log into your account and view your auction activity in your account. This will give you a complete breakdown of all of your wines. It will also show you how each lot is doing and how many bids are being placed in real time. You will also be able to scroll through all auctions your wines have been in and view the sales/settlement reports for each once each individual auction has closed.
Checks are issued 30 business days from the date of the auction close on a per auction basis. Thanks again and please let me know if you have any questions. Cheers!
I checked my account at last a half dozen times today. The email was transformational, displacing mourning with impatience. Having moved beyond the pain of putting old wine up for adoption, I now have something new to obsess over; the status of my consignment. The latest email from WineBid revved my interest, but how often do I check my account? How furious, or slow, is the pace of bidding? The nineteen bottles of 13 different wines have been live and open for bids on WineBid’s sale platform for twenty one hours and forty three minutes now. Here’s where things stand:
I am 1 for 13 on opening day. I don’t have any feel for whether this is a normal, good, or bad outcome. I imagine Sundays are the strongest days for WineBid selling, signaling the end of an auction week. It’s buy it or lose it time, unless the seller rolls the wine into the next week’s sale. I am just guessing at this, I really don’t know. What I do know is I have parted with my 1982 Grange Hermitage for a minimum of $270. It’s worth that much and more, and maybe that’s why it sold so quickly. The wine was all there the last time I drank it, rich in youthful fruit and a nose of heated asphalt and slowly evolving secondary aromatics that I can’t get out of my head. Now, it’s out of my reach, fully in play and ready to be owned by some stranger.
At this stage all I can do is look at my 1982 Grange on the WineBid platform. If I had a relative or friend in prison, I think I would have the same sensation visiting them as I do seeing my wine online; right there in front of you, eyes begging you to take them home, yet fully out of reach and completely inaccessible. Still, the WineBid platform is very cool. Besides the bidding status, you can actually zoom over the bottle with your cursor and magnify every inch of the side of the bottle that faced the camera to inspect the fill, capsule, and label. You get to read what professional reviewers say about your wine, and you can see the clinical description the auction house assigned to your specific bottle.
You get the picture, a very smooth and useful user interface for both buyer and seller. But the cynic inside me is stirring, wondering if the cute UI is a simple distraction to appease the agony of an interminably long sale period? One of the few joys of hitting 50 years old is that you get to know yourself better. Having moved beyond the decision, shipping, and first day selling stages I am beginning to sense that a quick live sale just might have been the right move for me and my temperament. Live auctions are events, usually all in one day. I can easily see that the WineBid process will drag out for weeks, and even months if I let it. I think I would rather sacrifice on price and unsold bottles to have this start and end quickly and just get it behind me. Let’s see, but for now, here is the day 1 scorecard: