There is much debate surrounding cruise ship art auctions and whether or not the art sold represents a good value for the art purchaser. Some folks think that cruise ship art auctions are the spawn of the devil, and others are delighted with their experience. Reading posts on the web about cruise ship art auctions is like reading posts on politics and religion: everyone has their own opinion. Rather than join in the “fight”, I thought I’d share my unique perspective on these auctions.
In 2009, I completed a six month assignment aboard three ships as an art auctioneer. I have worked as a licensed professional auctioneer and appraiser for years. As an Auctioneer, I have crossed the U.S. from Florida to Alaska, and internationally to sixteen countries from Russia to Panama. I have sold a variety of goods at auction: cars, real estate, jewelry, fine art, antiques, business assets, and estate property. I am widely experienced in auction selling formats and I have “insider information” regarding cruise ship art auctions.
Traveling the world selling art was fun, but for business reasons I have decided not to go back to sea. At this point, I am a neutral third party with nothing to gain or lose by commenting on cruise ship art auctions. I hope that my insights will prove useful to those planning to go on a cruise and attend an art auction.
So, let me get right to the point: can you confidently and comfortably purchase art on a cruise ship? Yes, you can. Plus, if you understand the process of buying art at auction, you can acquire some nice pieces and have fun doing it. My intent in this post is to give you an understanding of where folks get into trouble regarding their purchases, so that you can avoid making the same mistakes. Here is what you have to understand about cruise ship art auctions:
1. Arrive early. Showing up the minute the auction starts puts you at a disadvantage. The auction preview and the first ten minutes of the auction are important. The preview gives you time to look closely at the art and ask questions of the auctioneer and the art associates. You won’t be able to ask questions during the auction. If you are not satisfied with the answers you get or the attitude of the auctioneers, then don’t buy anything. If an individual who is trying to get your money is rude and pushy BEFORE they get your money, how do you think they will act AFTER they get your money? If you are happy with what you learn at the preview, you can feel comfortable bidding at the auction. The first ten minutes of the auction is when the terms and conditions of the auction sale will be explained. Don’t be late, and pay attention. Read More
Originally posted 2011-03-11 11:03:00.