Why Art Auctions????

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6,244 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by BruceMuzz
"Why Art Auctions?" You ask..................
I think you hit the old nail on the head.
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San Diego
5,138 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by KC_fn
Why art auctions? Two words: Captive Audience.
Captive Audience.....with credit cards in their pockets.....all ready to spend.

I can not understand why people buy junk and weird things they would not have bought otherwise.....except for the fact they are on vacation....
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13,986 Posts
Joined May 2007
I had no idea the amount of revenue the auctions generated and I certainly agree with another poster that if they keep the price of a cruise down I'm all for them as well.

If you know absolutely nothing about art, I suppose the autioneer helps you along those lines. He may not be knowledgeable in the true sense of the word but relying more on "scripted knowledge". Certainly not bad if someone gets some basics out of it. The problem becomes when they try to tell you some artist will be big...loved the other poster's comment about that...eat alot and get big? Anytime someone tell you it's a good investment and the price will go up, think Franklin Mint.

No art should be bought for investment purposes only, even high quality work from well established artists.The first criteria should always be that you LOVE it and that goes for buying on the ship as well.
Moon Township, Pa
23,174 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
When you sell your art on QVC, you give up all ability to call yourself an artist. That's how I view Kincaid.. His stuff is just schlock, IMHO.
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1,347 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I'm all for art auctions if it helps keep fares down. Thanks, big-spenders!

I also agree that art is only worth what you will pay for it.
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Holmdel, NJ US
10,722 Posts
Joined Mar 2000
Originally posted by BruceMuzz
"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?
The cost of the typical inside/outside cabin on a 7 day sail has not increased in at least a decade. It is possible and beyond a little scary that with careful shopping and splitting the costs of stuffing 4 adults into an inside cabin, that some people are sailing for less than $50 a day, with reduced 3rd/4th pax charges.

Like with weekly specials at the local supermarket, these are loss leaders. The cruise line and your local supermarket hope you will take advantage of the loss leader and while onboard/ in the store, make some impulse purchases so they make a profit off your visit.

Gold by the inch, cheap watches, $10 pashimas, cocktails, the casino, shore excursions and most especially art auctions, are absolutely necessary for a sailing to be profitable.

Profit is good. It employs people ands makes the investors' happy campers. Who wants to invest their money in a loser?
Northern Virginia USA
2,610 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
In our area, this type of art auction is frequently done as a fund-raiser by schools & churches and other community groups. They can be a lot of fun. Typically the organization charges admission, not too much, which they keep 100% ... you get to browse the collection and usually there are free refreshments. Wine & cheese & chocolate yummies. There's not a lot of pressure to actually buy art, either.

Prices start much higher on the cruises, from what I've seen. I'd never buy anything from them; I'd much rather find a local group to support!! The sponsoring organization keeps a percentage of sales. The percentage will go up if you have more sales.

Over the years we've picked up quite a few pieces, prints (numbered & signed by the artist), some seriographs & lithographs, some drawings and a few oils as well. But only pieces we really, really like!
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Lady Chew

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El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula
195 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
I'll be going on my first cruise in October. Why might I attend the art auction? Free champagne is still free alcohol, right?

And, who knows, I might see a piece of art I like enough to look at for a few minutes.
New York
50 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
I purchased a Michael Godard Painting--framed for less than $1,200 on my first cruise in 2003. I just sold the painting 2 months ago 3 times more than I paid. If that is a sucker then sign me up! I attached a picture of the painting.
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12 Posts
Joined May 2007
I once met someone who claimed to have spent in excess of £20,000 ($40,000) on shipboard art auctions.

I didn't have the heart to tell him he could probably have got the same stuff (or much better) for a fraction of the cost on shore. Then again, I suppose he could have been lying through his teeth to impress me. If he was, it didn't work.
New Hampshire
1,467 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
What the heck. People are on vacation- they see something they like- they have money enough to buy it- why not? I don't go to the art auctions but I also don't go to the casino or the spa. No one is forced to do any of these things and if someone sees something he or she wants at an art auction on a ship, I say go for it, just like I'd say to someone getting a massage at the spa or spending a few hundred bucks in the casino.

I'm sure that many people would think the things that I spend money on on a cruise are a waste- hey, it's my money and my idea of what I want to spend it on. People have different tastes and different interests and personally I like to see the people on the ships we cruise having a good time.

515 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Buying the paintings on board is probably some of the same mentality as passengers who can't wait to buy jewelry in the ports. They don't buy art or diamonds at home but think they're getting some fantastic deal when they are vacationing. I've never seen a painting on a cruise that I would have looked at twice but the auctions are a great people-watching venue!
Loves Landing, Weirsdale, FL
2,930 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
We did the auction once. We had just built a house and had lots of wall space. We moved in to our house Dec 17, 2005 and was going on a cruise Dec 18, 2005.

So we decided we would do the art auction. We bought what we liked. It was with in our price range.

Did we get a deal? I don't know and don't care.
Do we like the art? Yes we do.

I think thats all the counts. Like I have told my husband, we buy what we like. I personally know nothing what art is worth or care to do the research but I do know what I like to have in my house..

We make our money others ways, not by buying art. Beside it was fun to do, isn't that why you go on vacation to have fun...
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Orange Park, FL
1,224 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by qorc
Art auctions are for suckers. just another way for the cruise companies to separate you from your money. The "winners" are getting ripped off.
I bought 2 Salvador Dali serio lithographs on cruises that have tripled in value in the last 5 years. We've been told by 2 investment counselors that these were excellent investments. What a sucker I am getting ripped off like that!

The point being is that you need to know a bit about what you are buying. I bought one seriolithograph by Lucelle Raad at art auction after shopping for it for a year online. I saved over $100, and I wasn't concerned with it as an investment. I buy Krasnyansky because I love his work. I buy Peter Max if I really like the piece/price, but the only time I bought a Kincade was as a gift. Kincade is to the art world as McDonald's is to fine dining.

I know there are some folks whose bar and casino tabs would cover my art auction tabs. We don't drink or gamble at all, but we have something tangible to keep enjoying long after the cruise. I'd much rather have something to show for my money. To each his own, though.
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NOT Spanish Fort
1,408 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by hammybee
$10 pashimas
Hey, made for a nice b'day present!! Didn't buy any of the other stuff.
Shanghai, PRC / Sete, France
3,902 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Every week, on most mass market cruises, we have at least 2 passengers who spend more than $100,000 each on artwork at the Art Auction.

Do they know what they are doing? Who knows? Who cares?

Do they have good taste? It's none of my business.

Are they helping to keep your cruise fare down? Probably.
10 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by Anonymous Number
I'll be going on my first cruise in October. Why might I attend the art auction? Free champagne is still free alcohol, right?

And, who knows, I might see a piece of art I like enough to look at for a few minutes.

Don't let the champagne go to your head