SOLD, to the drunk gentleman who thinks he's Stavros Niarchos!

I had no idea that they ran art auctions on cruise ships. This Consumerama piece (via Consumerist) on the subject would be hilarious even if it weren't for the description of the rules under which the auctions are run as "coordinated inebriated sales hysteria".

Transactions conducted in international waters are, you see, unlikely to be subject to the consumer protection laws of any nation. And cruise ship passengers may think they're refined and distinguished, but no such test is actually applied before they let you on board. And then, there's the free booze at the auctions.

Hence: Factor-of-ten markups on all sorts of old tat.

About all you can hope for is that the untrained, unlicensed "auctioneers" won't actually know all of the standard scam techniques (another Consumerama piece, also via Consumerist).

One Response to “SOLD, to the drunk gentleman who thinks he's Stavros Niarchos!”

  1. Dan Gordon Says:

    I worked on ships for a couple of years, and the art auctioneer was rumoured to be the highest-earning individual on board. Most of the art was crappy Looney Tunes schlock, sports memorabilia etc, with the odd Kandinsky print. It's not just the booze that drags the punters in -- there's a whole mythology around the idea that the art is cheap, and that there are people who pay for their cruises by picking up bargain artworks and selling them onshore. It's not unlike the punters who pay higher-than-new price for stuff from Cash Converters, on the basis that it's from CC, so it must be cheap.

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