The allure of 'limited edition'

General art-related discussion.
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alexfugazi
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:12 am

charter wrote:
alexfugazi wrote:
charter wrote:Tim is the only artist I have ever seen that gloats about his secondary market (ebay) in his on sale emails. So it's hilarious to see him bemoan collectors.
ACTUALLY- you might want to check that. I like to point out that things I'm giving away for free with my orders have a secondary market value, which means people could buy my work that they want, and then flip the freebie, thereby offsetting the cost of the purchase. Which is kind of actually helping my customer out, but I guess you could interpret it as malicious if you wanted to paint me in that light.

You are telling people how valuable your art work is on the secondary market to rationalize why they should buy your mystery tubes or the next print series. You even link ebay sales in your emails. That doesn't even include trying to drum up sales by including an old Stout you just so happened to find laying around or from a buddy who didn't want it anymore.

Crusade on my friend.
It is possible to utilize the secondary market for your own benefit, while also being aware of it's impermanence. I do not see a contradiction here.
And, I also enjoy the idea that the thing that I am giving away for absolutely nothing (the freebie print series that I do link to from time to time in emails) is what I am pointing out that has 'value.' It's the something from nothing idea of it that I find humorous.

Also- I am giving away those old Mondo prints as part of that idea- 'this thing that I could sell for a lot of money right now? I'm just giving it away.' I think it's fun.

Also- it gives me a reason to purchase old prints from old employees of mine, which also helps them out. So it's a nice thing, I think. You might think differently. I'm sitting on a real cherry copy of Lost Boys by stout that I just bought from an old co-worker. Helped him pay rent that month. I guess that makes me a real monster, or something.
alexfugazi
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:13 am

Kramerica wrote:I think it's funny that he sells stuff by marketing the fact that it will be valuable on the secondary market only to sell multiple editions of said print (with no mention during the original sale) and drop the bottom out from the same person he was trying to 'help out' by linking ridiculously high ebay sales in his email blasts. I guess they just shouldn't hold on to them too long.
Again, you might want to check that. I haven't referred to the secondary market on anything but my freebie prints in an email in a long, long time. And you might also want to look at what prints I actually keep in print. It's not that much, really. Just enough to make you guys really angry, I guess.
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charter
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:14 am

Give me some old Stouts then. I will pm you my address.
alexfugazi
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:14 am

Again- having so much fun right now.
You guys have a perception, and damned if reality isn't going to get in the way of it.
alexfugazi
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:16 am

charter wrote:Give me some old Stouts then. I will pm you my address.
Now, that's not nearly as much fun.
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mrkyuss
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:18 am

Don't listen to them Alex, they are just jelly.
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jrsheppa
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:19 am

alexfugazi wrote:Again- having so much fun right now.
You guys have a perception, and damned if reality isn't going to get in the way of it.
My favorite part is that he feels he can insult us all cause we aren't his "fanbase." Tim, when the people who love and care about art enough to join and actively participate in an art collecting forum won't collect your stuff, its a sign...
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misterwhisper
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:20 am

canuck wrote:That beanie baby theory is whack.
Yes, whack. According to my good friend Google, Beanie Babies were popular between 1995 and 1999. That's called a trend. "Limited edition art" has been popular since -- well, I haven't the slightest idea, but I know that Rembrandt has been selling editioned prints since the early 1600s (back then, they were reproduced through etchings), and his aftermarket hasn't certainly hasn't suffered. I think anything that has remained popular for 500+ years can be considered pretty much established.
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jkw3000
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:20 am

alexfugazi wrote: I understand where you're coming from, but that Beanie Babies analogy is part of a larger discussion about the collector base, rather than the artists. Although the artists do certainly feed this mentality.
What I'm getting at is this- Beanie Babies are sock puppets stuffed with beads. They're for children to play with and enjoy. Some people got it in their head that these things should be collectible, and so a secondary market started that greatly inflated the price of some of the older toys that were no longer made. Which then drove up the demand for the new ones. Which meant that the manufacturer made more, and then a bunch of other manufacturers saw the collector fever that was happening, and started making product to cater directly to that market. People started making very unwise financial decisions based on the idea that this would never end. (I used to work at a Baseball Card store in the Dallas area where I sold a 'Humphrey the Camel' to some dude for 2K back around 1995 or so). But what happened is that all the VERY. INTENSE. COLLECTORS. soon realized that they were just trading cheap toys back and forth faster and faster, and that they were in fact the only ones still doing this, (casual buyers only wanted the new and easily available ones) and then the whole market collapsed. The marginal start ups who were trying to ride the tide, and cash in on the collector base went out of business. The collectors would say it's the mfr's fault for making and selling TOO MANY beanie babies, and they ruined the market. From that perspective, it would seem that Ty (the Beanie Baby mfr) became a huge failure. Not so- Ty is still a healthy company, and sells tons of stuffed animals to a wide audience still today. They didn't lose sight of their mission- to sell as many toys to a wide an audience as possible. And they're still doing this. They are still standing. The very fact that there was a collector's base interested in investment at all was an aberration of the market.

That's how I feel about the poster industry today. You have a bunch of people in the middle of an investment bubble, buying just about everything they can get their hands on, and promising themselves that they will pay for their retirement, or their child's education with this stuff. And you have manufacturers and galleries catering to JUST this base, lining up to take their money. And this will work. For a time. Until it doesn't.

And then you have what I would consider more reasonable artists who diversify across as wide a band as possible, get the art into new places where regular, everyday customers are- who just want cool art at a reasonable price, and really don't care about re-sale value. That's who I try to cater to with most of my personal releases. I think it's a more sane, long-term goal. But that's me. We'll see.

The end lesson? Just buy what you like, the rest is just noise. If you want investment- speak to a financial advisor.
I'll agree on the end lesson.

I will say though that the analogy for the market, even for the collector's point of view, is still a little faulty. The middle-of-the-pack market with collectors nabbing anything that has Boba Fett on it, yeah, that's ridiculous. But the folks who do that still know how valuable a Horkey is (primarily because the quantities of his work stay reasonably limited), like a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card or a Princess Di limited edition beanie baby. There will always be a section of this hobby that, thanks to being limited edition, won't be affected by people grabbing whatever enters the market.

Basically, I don't think you can look at the poster industry itself as a whole, but each artist as an industry unto him/herself. People who are just buying everything, thinking it's all equal, are no different from people who saw beanie babies and decided to buy every stuffed animal toy out there, not just beanie babies.
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Skrilly
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:20 am

Can I post cat pictures in here?
alexfugazi
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:23 am

Skrilly wrote:Can I post cat pictures in here?
PLEASE.
alexfugazi
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:27 am

jrsheppa wrote:
alexfugazi wrote:Again- having so much fun right now.
You guys have a perception, and damned if reality isn't going to get in the way of it.
My favorite part is that he feels he can insult us all cause we aren't his "fanbase." Tim, when the people who love and care about art enough to join and actively participate in an art collecting forum won't collect your stuff, its a sign...
There's a lot of really great, nice people here who do in fact buy my art. There's even way more that aren't actually here, and don't know of this site. I would never insult my customers. I'm not even insulting to you guys here. Now- SOME of you, yes. Some of you here are just amazing trolls. But that's just a small percentage. Most artists I know, including many well liked by the people here, really hate this site. They're just not vocal about it. The bad apples here do a good job of spoiling the bunch, and giving this site a bad name in the artist community. I at least will come here and argue about it with you guys.

I do really enjoy these discussions when they remain civil. And for the most part, this one has. We might disagree on points, but it is a discussion worth having.
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Celsius
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:29 am

jrsheppa wrote: And Tim, you think people dislike you for making multiple editions. They don't. They dislike you for not being up front about it. Too many noobs to the art scene see that your runs are "limited," and think they are 1 of 250 to own the piece. Then you do another edition. And they feel cheated. People don't have problems with open editions, they have problems with being deceived into thinking they are purchasing something that it is not.

Do whatever you want, make multiple editions to you hearts content. But if you intend on making multiple editions, just put a disclaimer up with the first edition to make sure people understand that if the print is super popular then there might be multiple editions. That way, when people bitch and moan, at least you can tell them you warned them. However, I suspect you do not want to do that since it will most likely negatively effect sales...
Nail on the head.
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harrykeogh
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:30 am

alexfugazi wrote:Again- having so much fun right now.
You guys have a perception, and damned if reality isn't going to get in the way of it.
Why do you have the perception that people that shop at Walmart are poor? What do you have against poor people?
alexfugazi wrote:Lost Boys by stout that I just bought from an old co-worker. Helped him pay rent that month. I guess that makes me a real monster, or something.
Why do I have this feeling that he would have gotten more for it on the secondary? Does he shop at Walmart?
Last edited by harrykeogh on Mon May 19, 2014 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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jkw3000
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Mon May 19, 2014 12:31 am

Celsius wrote:
jrsheppa wrote: And Tim, you think people dislike you for making multiple editions. They don't. They dislike you for not being up front about it. Too many noobs to the art scene see that your runs are "limited," and think they are 1 of 250 to own the piece. Then you do another edition. And they feel cheated. People don't have problems with open editions, they have problems with being deceived into thinking they are purchasing something that it is not.

Do whatever you want, make multiple editions to you hearts content. But if you intend on making multiple editions, just put a disclaimer up with the first edition to make sure people understand that if the print is super popular then there might be multiple editions. That way, when people bitch and moan, at least you can tell them you warned them. However, I suspect you do not want to do that since it will most likely negatively effect sales...
Nail on the head.
Not like we don't have proof that you can do multiple/open editions and be successful with the fans (though I don't think Daniel Danger will be stopping by this thread...).
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