Thursday, November 13, 2008

The dog days of.................November ?

I don't even know what to think anymore.

We got ourselves a new president, an African American for the first time. That's gotta be good for the African American art market doesn't it ?

This from "Entrepreneurs Journal"

"What is your business worth after the financial panic?
Posted Nov 16th 2008 6:30PM by Tom TaulliFiled under: Small business
It's been "shock and awe" for the financial system over the past few months. Even seemingly invincible companies like GE (NYSE: GE) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) have not been immune. As a result, there has been a tremendous deflation of equity values across the globe.
Unfortunately, the game has also changed for your business. It's much more difficult to get debt or equity financing, and it may even be impossible, at least for now. Customers are having difficulties paying invoices. And, as for finding new customers, this is particularly tough.
So, in light of everything, what is the value of your business? Well, keep in mind that, for the most part, the value of a business is dependent on its cash flow. "


I am giving you this stuff to read that I came across as I was trying to learn how to survive without sales. I have much to learn. It seems that if I had paintings worth in the tens of millions of dollars, they would be salable worldwide. Maybe even only single digit million dollar paintings would be salable. Wouldn't have to worry then, would I ?

What about the more affordable multi-hundred and multi-thousand dollar paintings ? Like highwaymen paintings. And the other Florida and American paintings that I am in business to buy and sell.

Sure, they are desirable as ever for their beauty and investment potential, we get more than our share of compliments on our show displays, but these less expensive works of art just won't sell as quickly as we would like in this current cycle of .......................very little disposable income.

A lot has to do with the perception by the public of consumer confidence, which is not simply reported , but negatively spun and driven seemingly with glee by the national media. Remember that line in "Dirty Laundry" by the Eagles ? "Reporting on a plane crash with a gleam in her eye" ? You can't open a newspaper or open AOL without finding out that the economy is "rolling downhill like a snowball headed for hell" (thank you, Merle Haggard). The first morning headline I saw with my coffee a month or two back, announced that times are so bad that people were jumping off buildings. I bet that headline alone contributed to a few more jumpers, considering how many lunatics and morons we have out here in the general population.

Especially here in Florida. Have you tried to just drive down the road lately ? Guaranteed there will be someone in the left lane, crawling 10 miles under the posted limit, on the cell phone, and fifty percent of the time putting on make up.......not like you, gentle reader.

Ah, but I digress.

And, I might be whining (after I promised not to).

I sure hope this new administration can somehow get the news media to take a new approach to sharing (selling) their information by scaring us almost senseless with their presumptions of doom and gloom. The use of fear in selling is every bit as successful as the use of sex in selling. Stop dragging this economic tale of woe through our subconscious and spin us some hope for the coming months and next year.

Alas, I'm afraid we may have a few more months to wait before we begin to sense any change, if it's even coming. The Republicans and their buddies must now be in a feeding frenzy across the board, not much time left. It ain't just AIG, people.

In my six decades, I have never witnessed such overwhelming greed at the top. I'm sure all the sacrificial multi-millionaires (who sort of got caught at the trough) are lining up for their pardons from good ol' Dubya, too. Their "get out of jail free" cards.

Saw this today, this is kind of what I'm whining about.
11-17-2008 @ 12:14PM
BHarrison said...
Capitalistic competition will be the vehicle of economic recovery. This will be the basis of a reorganization of our economic infrastructure . . . the non-competitive businesses will give way to new competitive businesses. Unfortunately we do not have the capital to finance the scale of businesses that will be needed for a quick recovery.It only took eight years for Bush's Administration, and Congress (both Republican and Democratic) to allow the undermining of the Global economy . . . and most of those who orchestrated and perpetuated the economic FRAUDS and debacles are still in their positions, and still collecting unwarranted salaries, bonuses, and "other exorbitant compensations" . . . not much will change under those conditions; they are still "gaming" the recovery efforts.

The point of all this rambling is what ?

I'm not sure, like I said, I don't even know what to think any more.

I guess these thoughts have to do with my personal playing field, antique shows around the state of Florida. People used to go to them, but they have just about stopped. Attendance had been slowing down steadily since we got hit with the series of four quick hurricanes that year (was it 2004 ?) The aftermath began to affect the people of the state. Had to spend what was formerly disposable income on repairs, not antiques or art. Then Katrina and its aftermath began to affect the country. Insurance companies tripled their rates and we had no choice but to pay.

And pay, and keep paying.

I sure am glad that the insurance companies are making money while the rest of us take it up the...............well, you know. Ouch. Can't you feel it ? (again, he whines, sarcastically this time)

Expensive art is selling, the wealthy collectors are buying. THEY haven't slowed down. They have even stepped it up a notch or two.

Maybe they feel the "financial panic" in their own way, but they sure are taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them with the increased lack of demand.

The highwaymen art market needs you back, "middle class" people. If you can find a few bucks somewhere, gentle readers, pick up a Harold Newton at these revised lower price levels. Take some money out of the stock market even if you think it's too late.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm getting real tired of this eBay nonsense.

Once, again, I have to warn you naive folks, you new-comers out there, you just can't believe the listings. Those of you who have a little experience with highwaymen art may have laughed out loud when you read this description, but it has included a somewhat disturbing phrase, "guaranteed to be a genuine highwaymen".

here it is:

A guarantee from a seller experienced in selling listed artists looks pretty good.

But as we all know, looks can be deceiving. With thousands of positive feedbacks to reinforce the sellers trustworthiness, the buyer may believe he or she has bought a genuine highwaymen painting.

Oh, and just in case the buyer consults with a knowledgeable highwaymen collector or dealer, after his or her purchase, and feels a little bit misled by the guarantee, the seller added this wrinkle. "These old eyes" couldn't quite read the signature. That is a built-in excuse for the misrepresentation, which I believe was intentional. "By gosh, it sure LOOKED like one of the names on the list of 26 artists in the group."

This kind of stuff just muddies the waters of a wonderful collectibles market, causes confusion in many cases, and may have cost someone a little extra money in the end.

So there you have it, another warning for you, and a new enemy for me.

I will probably leave eBay alone for a while. As I said, I'm getting real tired of this nonsense.