I started a crusade several years ago to replace prints in the homes of my friends with original art. It has proven successful and most of the people I worked with are now much happier with the art work on their walls. It should be apparent to most of you that the print market isn't real but only propped up by the ones promoting the prints. I am not saying that we shouldn't buy and sell prints at the right price but it is unfair to represent them to our clients as something that will increase in value over time because by far the greater number of them will remain practically worthless.
Here is a lesson that I had to learn for myself. To maximize the profit potential in art you must build your own clientèle. You want repeat customers that want to continue to build their art collection as well as upgrade it. One of my better clients has bought over 15 paintings from me and I am continually looking for outstanding paintings that I think would improve his collection. Because he is upgrading all the time, over the years his collection has increased in value many times over his cost. I would price his collection today in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not bad for a country boy, and I have no doubt that it will continue to increase in value.
I would suggest that if you are going to change your customers from decorating with prints to original art, start slowly with pieces under $500. How do you do that must be a question you are asking. Well, the best way is to search for paintings that may have a retail value of over $1000 but you can find priced at $250. You may have to haggle for a while but try to buy one for $200. Now this is the type of painting that you start a new collector on. By presenting it to the customer at $500 you have reached the goal that we have agreed upon in the rules of the 31 Club and also given our new collector a great deal. Be sure you show them comparable pieces and what they sold for so that when you approach the customer the next time they will have complete confidence in your judgment. Yes, you may have been able to sell the piece for a somewhat higher price but this customer will now be yours for life.
Can these paintings be found? I just received an email from a member asking about a painting that they found for $50. It was a rather large painting of birch trees and as I started my research I found the artist was still alive so I contacted her. She was very surprised about the call and wanted to know all the details of who owned the painting and where it was today. We talked for quite some time and then I popped the question on her, “What is the painting worth today?” Her answer made me want to get our member on the phone quickly, “It should be worth from $4000 to $5000”. This is when I have to admit my jaw dropped.
Do you think that this might be a great piece to start a new collector with. Yes it might not bring $4000 but what about $2000. Everyone will have made a great deal and our member has a new client. If anyone wishes to know more on this topic, please email or phone me.
I was already a golfer but after this buy if I hadn't been I would have become one.
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