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  #1  
Old August 27th, 2007, 11:45 PM
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Default Why Art Auctions????

Every cruise I have been on has "Art Auctions". Do all cruise lines do it? Can anyone explain or tell why these two things always go together? I have not figured it out yet, I assume it goes way back many years or something. But and after watching a few, I have noticed its not really an auction, because they will sell to everyone who wants anything. And its not even paintings. They are Lithographs or "posters". It's funny to see these people going crazy and buying a bunch of stuff not really knowing what it is.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 11:48 PM
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The reason why is because there is a sucker born every minute. And most of them seem to go on cruises!
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Old August 28th, 2007, 12:01 AM
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They are done for only one reason. They make money for the cruise line. And lots of it. I don't get it either but if it helps keep the fares down its OK with me.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 03:28 AM
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They do them on the P&O Australia ships too. I've never been to one. I don't really see the point, and to be honest have never seen a painting on display that I just have to have. They have all looked a bit so-so to me.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 04:17 AM
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It's always about money.
People tend to spend more when they are on holidays.
I went to one just out of curiosity. It was interesting but nothig jumped out t me. They say they are cheapr than retail. If I planned on buyig I would do some research first on the artist. Many were prints.
I do like the Goddards but they would not suit my decor at hom.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 07:08 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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Some cruise lines do the auctions and others do not. Depends on the cruise line.

They are profitable for both the company that does this (some are run in house and others by another company), and the cruise line, and they have a captive audience.

But like anything else in life some passenger's like this and others don't. So, for those who like the auctions it provides them with entertainment and an opportunity to bring home some art that is duty free and for others who don't care for it they can just skip the auction. Personally, we don't go to them but we know some who do.

Keith
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Old August 28th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matj2000 View Post
Every cruise I have been on has "Art Auctions". Do all cruise lines do it? Can anyone explain or tell why these two things always go together? I have not figured it out yet, I assume it goes way back many years or something. But and after watching a few, I have noticed its not really an auction, because they will sell to everyone who wants anything. And its not even paintings. They are Lithographs or "posters". It's funny to see these people going crazy and buying a bunch of stuff not really knowing what it is.
yes, it's just like the "discount" jewelry you find on board.

Art auctions are for suckers. just another way for the cruise companies to separate you from your money. The "winners" are getting ripped off.
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  #8  
Old August 28th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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We've stepped back and watched the auctions several times, but have never participated. I don't know art well enough to bid at an auction, I don't know what I'm buying.

Interesting to watch, though. I think they have people (employees) planted in the audience. I've watched people "win" bids and the auctioneer asks the assistant to log the bidders "number" or has them come to to a desk for confirmation. But, sometimes there are bidders who "win" very expensive pieces and after the bidding is closed, as in after they have exhausted any other bids, they just move on, they don't have the winning bidder submit anything, nor do they ask the desk person to verify the bidders number. We've watched it on more than one line, too

Some time I think I might wander around while they are preparing, to see if any of these "bidders" are also preparing the room for auction I personally think these plants drum up excitement for the auction process.

I have a feeling a big part of it can be called creative sales.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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I frequent art galleries in cities I visit. I enjoy looking at art of all kinds. I have never bought anything - nor will I ever - on a cruise, but I do enjoy looking. I also enjoy the champagne while I'm wandering around. However, I always leave before the actual 'auction' begins.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 03:46 PM
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This thread reminds me of another where someone commented about how they were disappointed with the teeth whitening they had done on a recent cruise.

I guess facial reconstruction done on a cruise might be suspect also.
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  #11  
Old August 28th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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Two cruises ago, we went to alot of the auctions. I used to work in an art gallery, and did the buying for that gallery. In the auctions we went to, there were some good deals, and some really bad deals, and some deals that were okay - but my gosh, what a lot of money.... I collect art, so I kind of know what things cost. Some of their prices were wholesale prices and some were really high - so you REALLY had to know what you were buying (OR - fall in love with a piece, you have extra money, so who cares). I was horrified at what people spent alot of money for. On that cruise, we bought 2 pieces - I knew the artists, I knew the prices, I knew the median (serigraph), and the deals were decent. I watched, however, many people spend alot more money for prints from artists - THAT WERE GOING TO BE BIG.... What does that even mean??? They're going to eat alot and get fat??? No one can predict what goes up and what goes down - the market dictates it, and the market is certainly not going to be steered by auctions on cruise lines...... On this last cruise, we had so much other stuff to do, and I didn't like anything they had (we did go by every evening to see what was available - just in case), so we never even went to one auction. They are fun - if the auctioneer is good and knowledgeable. Also - it is fascinating watching what people will buy "BECAUSE IT'S GOOD ART". To me, good art is something you love - how can anyone define that other than you??????
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Old August 28th, 2007, 04:50 PM
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We have been to a lot of art auctions, just to watch. At all the auctions I've been to, there is always a few Thomas Kinkaid paintings sold. He's probably popular because his art is typically only a few hundred dollars. I recently read the book "Maxed Out, Hard Times Easy Credit" by J. Scurlock. In one chapter he interviews a pawn shop owner and in his description of the pawn shop he writes that it is full of Thomas Kinkaid paintings. I wonder if all those Kinkaids were bought on a whim at a cruise art auction.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 04:57 PM
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Why art auctions? Two words: Captive Audience.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matj2000 View Post
Every cruise I have been on has "Art Auctions". Do all cruise lines do it? Can anyone explain or tell why these two things always go together? I have not figured it out yet, I assume it goes way back many years or something. But and after watching a few, I have noticed its not really an auction, because they will sell to everyone who wants anything. And its not even paintings. They are Lithographs or "posters". It's funny to see these people going crazy and buying a bunch of stuff not really knowing what it is.
Just "GOOGLE" Park West and you will find out enough that I doubt you will EVER buy anything on board. The things that I am truly familiar with that from time to time I see offered are tagged as selling for much more than I know to be the case.... Caveat emptor.....
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  #15  
Old August 28th, 2007, 06:22 PM
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My DS & BIL were on the Island P. this past winter and went to the auction. There was a lady there buying a TON of pics. They ended up talking to her at some point and asked her why so many pics? Well she owns a gallery and said this was the best place to buy pics at good prices even when you factor in the price of shipping. So this way she can write off the cruise for tax purposes.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 09:23 PM
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I have attended several at-sea art auctions on Royal Caribbean (Park West) and on Princess (self-managed), and have purchased several graphics.

Did I get a good deal? Quite frankly, I don't know. Did I love the pieces? Absolutely, and I still do. Did I make a good investment? I doubt it, but that's not why I make the purchases.

I attended my first auction on the Explorer on a sea day when I had nothing else pressing to do. I had a blast. The auctioneer was very knowledgeable and I learned a great deal about the art market and trends. On another RCI cruise, the auctioneer actually hosted a 'clinic' where he explained all the different types of media (serigraph, lithograph, giclee, original, numbered reproduction, etchings, etc.). It was very informative. I have also learned about different artists.

DON'T go for the champagne (it's not very good), DON'T go to buy for investment, DON'T go if you've got something else more enjoyable to do, DON'T go thinking you're going to get an original Rembrandt for $100.

I would never, ever, spend thousands of $$, as some passengers are wont to do, on what is presented as an 'original' without first doing some serious homework and research, and even then, probably wouldn't make this kind of purchase on a ship. If I were going to make that kind of investment, I'd do it at a gallery at/near home, so as to enjoy a 'cooling off' period and not make an impulse purchase.

DO go if you have even the slightest interest in art or have an hour or two to kill, and want to learn something. If you think it's a big scam and don't like the experience, you never have to go again.

These auctions exist to make the gallery and/or the cruise line more money. I don't think anybody doubts that. I've never been witness to 'planted' bidders driving up the price or any other similar behavior that other passengers have described. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, it only means I've not seen it, and believe me, I've been on the lookout for it.

The auctioneer is careful to tell everybody up front about all fees and premiums, shipping costs, appraisal fees, etc, so anybody who claims ignorance about those things, wasn't paying attention.

So, keep an open mind, and don't knock it until you've tried it.

T
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Old August 28th, 2007, 10:41 PM
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did you ever wonder why they're AUCTIONS, and not SALES?

in comparing shipboard art auctions with eBay, I think it is safe to say that sometimes you get a fair deal. but sometimes the price gets bid up too high by other passengers. that's why the auction format. and that's why the free champagne.

i don't think you get an unbelievably low price because the auction house sets the opening bid. and it's not 99 cents...

but i don't blame anyone for selling art on ships, nor buying it. it's just buyer beware.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC_fn View Post
Why art auctions? Two words: Captive Audience.
Well, that's not true. They don't lock the doors. As I said, I leave before the auction begins.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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"Why Art Auctions?" You ask.
Let's forget about the subjective views on quality.
Let's forget about the subjective views on value for money.

Just the cold facts:

The Art Auction Department on EVERY ship always produces far more revenue per square foot than any other department.
The Art Auction Department on EVERY ship (usually 1 to 4 staff) always produces far more revenue per staffmember than any other department.
The Art Auctioneer (paid primarily by incentives on his sales) on EVERY ship earns more than the Captain and Hotel Manager combined.

Why is this the case? Because your fellow passengers cannot stop buying the stuff.
If you were somehow able to convince all those people to stop buying all those peices of artwork, Art Auctions would stop tomorrow, and something more profitable would replace them.
Cruise Passengers vote with their wallets. The vote for Art Auctions is a landslide victory.

Cruise Lines are in business to make a profit. Art Auctions are hugely profitable, with minimal investment or risk. (That free "champagne" at most Art Auctions costs most cruise lines just over $1 per bottle)
If you were a Cruise Line President who wanted to keep his job, would you offer Art Auctions on your ships?
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Old August 29th, 2007, 06:08 PM
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Somehow, I think if all pax were like DH and I, the cruise fare would skyrocket. So, I think we should thank the people who do buy at these auctions, they are offsetting the price of cruising!

I do agree with some of the posters who only bought a piece because they loved it. We prefer local artists when we purchase art on vacation and have never given thought to value or name, we buy only when and if we see something we love. It's always a shock to come home and spend hundreds framing a piece that cost less than $50 to buy

I'm not at all surprised at the Thomas Kincaid reference. I see those stores in every mall around, does he really do all those pictures or are they produced in a third world country??? They look so paint by number to me, I suppose we all have our own idea of beauty
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