Self-Storage Wine Lockers: The Hidden Costs

Storing your wine in a locker is not the bargain that you might think. There are many people in the wine collecting community that have chosen to store their wine in self-service wine locker facilities, as shown by the rise in recent years of ‘do-it-yourself’ locations popping up across the U.S. These are often viewed as the most-cost effective way to store your wine collection. But what collectors often fail to take into consideration are three major factors that, in the end, can cost them far more each year than storing with a full-service wine storage operation.

  1. Locker Space:

Self-storage fee structures are normally based in terms of a monthly rate for a locker with a stated case capacity—and that capacity is based solely on one common case size case. The collector community knows that in the wine world, cases comes in a variety of sizes and the real capacity of your locker will depend on the numbers of each different box in that variety. The real cost per case for a self-storage locker is also dependent upon the amount of space you are actually using as you acquire and consume wines during the life of your locker’s rental agreement.

Additionally, some wine locker facilities are now even including pricing for two different pricing scenarios:

  1. Capacity fully loaded’, with a stated case capacity, and
  2. Capacity comfortable w/aisle’ (60% of the above stated case capacity)

I thought I had heard it all in the wine storage industry—clearly not. So you’re not just paying for the square footage for wine storage, but you’re also paying for the 40% of space to get to your wine and your wine to be comfortable? Interesting.

Vinfolio differs from self-storage facilities and to accurately compare us it is important to note the normal principles that are built into self-storage fees. At Vinfolio, you only pay for the space that your bottle uses, providing the most efficient and cost-effective way to store your wine.

  1. Your time:

What’s the hourly rate that you charge professionally?

Why should it be any different when you’re away from the office?

Your time is valuable and don’t discount it simply because you’re not sitting at your desk. If it’s taking you any more than a few minutes to pull a single bottle, then you are costing yourself valuable time that you could be using to enjoy your wine, your family or your free time. How much time are you spending entering in your wine into a cellar management system or spreadsheet?

With Vinfolio’s Full-Service Wine Storage offering, the collector never needs to rummage through a locker to find a bottle or enter wines into a spreadsheet or cellar management system again—it is all done for you, from receiving and inventorying each individual bottle into your own, secure VinCellar account to pulling the exact wines you want for the weekend and making sure they get shipped to your doorstep—on demand.

  1. Producing Vinegar:

Many folks attempt to keep an accurate inventory of their collection, which can be quite daunting as it continues to grow. As a collector have you asked yourself this question lately?

‘Do I have an accurate inventory and have I lost track of those older wines in the back of my cellar and when they’re supposed to be drunk?’

Letting a handful of bottles of fine wine go bad a year can cost hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars a year, with no end in sight until you can ultimately gain an accurate inventory of your collection with the proper drink dates for each wine.

Too often times we’ve assisted a client in moving their wine from their current wine locker ‘situation’ into Vinfolio Storage, only to discover that much of their wine was over the hill and past its optimal drink date.   With VinCellar, Vinfolio’s Collection Management Software, you can monitor drink dates and make sure you (or heaven forbid your guests) never drink a bottle of yours that is past its prime.

If any or all of these instances have occurred through the lifetime of your collection, perhaps it’s time to revisit your thinking on whether, in the long run, self-service is really the best, most cost-effective option for storing your prized bottles.

For more information about Vinfolio’s Full-Service Storage, please contact us at