How much does CellarTracker cost?
CellarTracker is a free site with a "voluntary annual payment" model to unlock premium features (e.g. automatic cellar valuation and some professional scores, see below). This is commonly referred to as a "freemium" business model, although CellarTracker goes further than other sites in merely suggesting the annual level of contribution based on cellar size.
As of October, 2012, these subscription payments comprise more than 80% of the revenue of CellarTracker with the balance coming from advertising and affiliate traffic. The suggested payment thresholds are revisited every three to four years.
That said, I want to be VERY clear about one thing: FREE means FREE. Any data that a user enters is always intended to be accessible to that user regardless of payment status. And these payment suggestions are exactly that, just suggestions. Some users choose to pay $20/year for premium support while others gladly pay upwards of $250/year.
If you are a long-term supporter and have picked an annual level you are happy with, then you should feel no pressure to revise that.
0-499 bottles: $40/year 500-999 bottles: $80/year 1,000+ bottles: $160/year
In the spirit of transparency, below is a table showing the historical suggestions for voluntary annual payment.
HISTORY OF SUGGESTED ANNUAL PAYMENT
|Year||0-499 bottles||500-999 bottles||1000+ bottles|
Our simple goal is to build and maintain software that you will hopefully be using decades from now, and we are deeply appreciative for any support.
What are the premium features?
The primary premium feature is automatic cellar valuation based on auction and community pricing data. In addition, premium members can see scores (but not review text) from some content channels including John Gilman's View From the Cellar and Brad Baker's Champagne Warrior.
What happens if I renew early? How do you calculate the 'due' date?
In short, there is no penalty for renewing early, as the system goes to great lengths to honor your original term. That said, the system is also very permissive if/when a user lapses payment. Any subsequent payment from that user starts a fresh premium period. This is described in detail here.
What happens if I lapse payment? Will I still be able to access my data?
Yes, the system is designed to allow users to always access any data they have personally entered regardless of their payment status. Some automatically integrated premium data (professional scores and values) will 'dry up' when payment lapses; this should have no impact on data that a user has entered. Accounts with data are never purged except by user request. If you are having trouble logging in, it is for unrelated reasons, as no one is ever 'locked out' based on payment status, etc.
What is the minimum payment to gain premium access for one year?
The minimum payment for a full year of premium support is $20. Payments as low as $5 are supported, but those are prorated against the $20/year rate. (In the early days of the site, there was no enforced minimum payment. Starting in 2007 this was enforced at $10/year.)
Do you support PayPal?
Yes, PayPal Instant Checkout is fully integrated as of 12/19/2013. You no longer need to manually send payments and wait for it to be processed.
Is my online payment secure, and how do you handle credit cardholder data?
Yes; our payment page is hosted by PayPal and follows industry best practices for security. CellarTracker does not store or transmit any credit card data directly. Please see our Password Security topic for a brief discussion of this.