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April 06, 2006

The Hard Sell, or a Nice Favor???

As a native New Yorker, I'm a natural born cynic.  So sometimes.. It's hard for me to tell, in this hyper crazy art market, if an art dealer (aka.. Spin Doctor!) is trying to do me a "favor", or just pushing me into a purchase which I'm still yet undecided.

So, how should I feel about getting this email message yesterday? I've actually never met this gallery manager.. But, It's a "well respected" gallery that I've never purchased from.  It's for a large photograph size queen from a new hot Artist that I've done lots of research. I like the work, but the prices seem very high. What do you think?   I'm leaning towards, it's a Great Favor, but it might be an Overly Pushy Sales Ploy? What would you do?

Dear MAO,
      It was nice to speak with you on the phone the other day, since last week, we have had quite a bit of serious interest in the XXSmallHotXX Series, in addition to selling two and putting another on hold for a client.  BIGBOX1 and BIGBOX2 museums both bought one.  There is still one XXGoodieXX that is edition 4/8 and available for $12,000.  The other ones in the series are all now edition 6/8 or higher and the price will be raised to $15,000.
      I know that you have been interested in the XXGoodieXX for quite some time now.  I would be happy to extend the price of $12,000 for the higher edition numbers to you for the next 10 days.  Again, that price does include mounting, framing and delivery.  Let me know if you are interested.   
Warm regards,
Your Friendly Spin Doctor/Gallerina


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It's both a favor & a sales ploy. I wouldn't call it overly pushy though.

I'm not sure how I feel about posting business correspondence from a gallery, though. Don't be surprised if they see it & get pissed off!

Thanks Dennis..
So you don't think this is too pushy?
So, What would be too pushy?

I disagree with part of Dennis's comment. You should post the gallery correspondence. Keep the Blog totally honest and put everything out there. Isn't that the recipe that made the Howard Stern show so successful?

The sales tactic that the gallery used has been around since the dawn of time. "Hurry, while supplies last"


It's not that pushy really. I'm not sure how you would feel, but some clients would be angry if they came back and the edition was sold out. It sounds like she's just doing her job to me.

xo Dan

Hmm... I'm not sure being know as the Art World's Howard Stern would be a good thing!!

Hey Dan..
I kind of agree with you.. It's good for them to tell an interested client that something might be gone.

But why did you assume it was a she?? :-)

(Hmm... I'm not sure being know as the Art World's Howard Stern would be a good thing!!)

Ok, maybe Don Imus! Just joking Mike, your blog is great!

As long as it's all true, sounds like they are just doing a good job. I agree with Dennis: Be careful what you write, some people might actually take your intentions the wrong way. I hear there are some really flattering pictures of some guy on Dennis' blog and all the ladies are hunting him down. BACKFIRED ON THE GUY AGAIN!

It's a 100% bonafide sales ploy. C'mon MAO, you know better! If you like it (and think it's worth it), then buy it, otherwise let the next [sucker] step to the front of the line.

seems to me, that if it was a genuine sitch, they'd phone you regarding and behave candid... it's alot easier to posture and scam in text.
btw, seems like ahellovalot for a photo by a new artist, unless it's an edition of 1.... and even then waytoo steep. beware.

Familiar dilemma....but you're being so coy about the identities of the "people" in question...yet asking for candid heartfelt responses/advice??

i'm a collector too, but art should be fun.

honest questions:
do you like it?
or do you like the signature?

I'd agree that it's a hellabig outlay. Museum ownership of one is very close to value-insignificant IMO. If you like the piece but aren't stark staring crazy about it, go back to the guy with $10,000 and see if he bites. If he doesn't, screw him, and you might even get another chance later on down the line if he can't find another sucker willing to pony up $12k -- which would strongly suggest that you should then offer him $8k and act like you're doing him a big favor. ;)

Thanks for the comment.. Actually I'm not really asking for advice here.. Just trying to open up a debate..and to see what others think.
I'd kind of made my decission before posting.. and It was something very much along the line of what the wise Bill Gusky suggested (Thanks Bill!).
As for being "coy.." I didn't want to completely piss off the dealer and loose their friendship.. cuase there's a chance they were really trying to do me an honest favor.

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