View Full Version : Is this acceptable?

01-17-2004, 07:52 PM
I'm not really sure how to ask this, but I'm sooooo curious that it's eating away at me...
I've noticed that quite a few SRA's have auction listings that say "this painting would retail for $5800.00 in a gallery!", OR "Estimated gallery price over $6000.00!"
Ummm...I don't get it. Is it cool to just make up prices that you think your art would be worth in a gallery? I could understand getting an actual written appraisal from a gallery...which you could easily scan and put in the auction (how often do you see that?). I'm talking about SRA's that are not and have never been represented by anyone but themselves. I'm not directing this question toward anyone specifically, but I see it so often that I'm wondering what it's all about. It seems to me that buyers actually fall for this line, which makes me kinda nauseous and irate (especially when their art looks like something my turtle could paint in his sleep).

"It's worth thousands in a gallery but hey, it's Ebay...$176.88 will be just fine."

Is there any logical explanation for this, or are these just lies to increase the perceived value of the art? Again, I am directing this to artists with NO gallery representation. What happens if the buyer asks for the written appraisal?

01-17-2004, 08:14 PM
I think in many situations this is just a marketing ploy to increase perceived value and it's most definately not OK. Someone could make up any number, but it means absolutely nothing unless they have actual sales at that amount to back it up. I think someone who is able to pull in $6000 in a gallery is unlikely to accept a few hundred at eBay. However, I don't think it's beyond reality to think that someone who gets $1000 or $2000 in a gallery might consider accepting a few hundred at eBay. The reason I say that is most artists will have their art hanging in a gallery for months waiting for that sale (which may never happen), then have to hand over 40 to 50% to the gallery. A smaller profit much more often might be just as good. I don't really worry about it though. People shouldn't be so naive that they don't even ask for some sort of verification of value prior to purchasing.


01-17-2004, 10:59 PM
How many times did I visit galleries or watercolor shows that showed paintings with outraging prices.

I think it is not an issue if somebody writes that the gallery price is $xxxxx.- . At the end, a painting is only so much worth what somebody is paying.

Every morning, another dumb guy/girl wakes up and pays an outrages price for a piece of art. Isnít that part of the fun?


P.S. Oh, by the way. I visited a lot of art galleries. And you see art (like dog poop on a piece of wood) where the museum / gallery paid over $50.000 for it. So who falls for that?

01-18-2004, 12:02 AM
Anyone can put an estimated value on their work.

The buyer put the 'market' value on the work.

If you want to really be humbled...donate a painting and then discover that the US government only puts a value on the cost of the materials put into making that lovely piece of art!

01-18-2004, 05:23 AM
Well, some of us actually do have gallery prices. I have sold older work on eBay and listed the typical gallery price. All my gallery prices are set by size and sell consistently, but of course we all have old work that hasn't sold or do different or quicker work just for eBay. Depending on what it is, and how short I am on my rent money, I can be quite happy to sell a £200-300 canvas starting at £50 on eBay. Especially if you consider that I usually only get half of the gallery price anyway. For older work, I can't give it to galleries because it doesn't fit with the new work but at the same time I can't undercut them in another gallery.

Especially if I haven't sold enough in a month to pay the rent. ;) (Art sales are so unpredictable.)


01-18-2004, 08:56 AM
Tina, you...of course, are one of those people that actually CAN back it up with a sales history and has a perfect right to list gallery prices. I was speaking in generalizations, but didn't consider the idea of older works being listed, simply because they don't fit with what an artist is doing now (in the eyes of a gallery).