Beware of Cruise Ship Art Auctions!

How many of you have purchased art aboard cruise ship auctions?  If you haven’t, count yourself lucky!

Why?  Because these art auctions are nothing more than overpriced venues for moving virtually worthless art at inflated prices.  As a matter of fact, these art auctions are filled with reproduction artwork, most worth less than the paper they are printed on.  Really!

Being involved in the art, antique and framing industry for over 30 years, you witness the lengths businesses go through to get people to buy their product or service.  This can amount to false promotions and discounts to allure the unsuspecting customer to part with their money on limited value or worthless products.

Perfect examples include cruise ship art and fake sports and entertainment autographs.  These industries see well into the billions of dollars thrown away on what I call “junk goods “.

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t take much to encourage people to spend their hard earned money on overpriced goods and services.

The following are examples of certain situations customers have told me where they have regretted buying these items without doing proper research.

One case involved a Baltimore,  Maryland couple who bought a lot of cruise ship art they found later to be misrepresented and falsely valued by the promoters on the cruise ship.

Cruise ships and other similar enticing venues also sell “signed” sports and entertainment memorabilia from rip off companies.  People are lured in these auctions expecting to grab a great deal.  This is not always the case.

Last year, a gentleman came to me with several pieces of framed signed sports photographs to reframe due to the slow fading of the signatures.  When asking questions for the source of the items,  there were many negative comments relating to the scam this company was promoting through auctions.

But, when you are on a vacation, drinking and having a leisurely great time on the ship, people can start getting a little bit careless with their money. Almost like the atmosphere in a casino.  Only with these auctions, there is no chance to really gain.

After all, if the art is really priced fair and has real value, why do they need an enticing, distracted atmosphere to move the product?  It has been shown and proven that people can make impulsive purchases when they are having a great time, attention distracted, inebriated, or a lot of excitement is in play.  Like Las Vegas.   This can be dangerous to the wallet.  And, when the cruise is over and the customer arrives home and does a little research, they end up regretting their purchase.

Although the art may be attractive and appealing on the surface, when more research is done or the frame is removed from the art, the truth becomes evident.  Depending on the price realized, the buyer ends up with an overpriced purchase.  Sad,

It has been shown that the vast majority of these works of art is worth FAR LESS than the purchase price, because tons of this stuff is mass produced constantly.  Yes, I know that the operators produce a COA, but let’s face it, isn’t that a conflict of interest?   I mean, would you buy a used car from a sleaze shop just because the manager says its the deal of the century?  Get the point?

I am not here to rain on people’s parade, but I just think you need to understand that these venues are loaded with tricks and games to motivate people to buy.

The bottom line is this.  If you have money to burn, want a “pretty” piece to hang on your wall and don’t care about your art having any or little value, art auctions may be your choice.  Because, in the end, you will overpay for such artwork.

You work too hard to throw my money away.  Cruise ships shouldn’t allow companies to misrepresent their art leading to passengers being scammed!  They know the atmosphere of fun, lights and excitement can hook people in.  Be careful when buying or bidding on any artwork being offered in such a venue.

Caveat Emptor!

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