June 28, 2018

Finding the best price for a work of art… or a company

Definition of “auction”: a process where potential buyers place competitive bids on assets or services

The auction is the best way to find out what people are prepared to pay for an item that is unique or rare.

Recently I have been visiting many art exhibitions because of an art project I am working on. At every exhibition I visit I ask the gallery owners/artists why they put prices on their unique works instead of first auctioning them, let’s say at the opening day of the exhibition. Or have a silent auction, where bids are written on a sheet of paper placed next to the item. At the predetermined end of such an auction, the highest listed bidder would get the piece. Usually most of them don’t like my idea. I get a list of counter arguments… some of them quite convincing at the first instance, like the artist not being well known enough.

I tell them that I have been advising company owners for years who want to find partners, in other words to sell some of their shares. Quite a harder work than selling works of art, where you can see in one piece everything that is on sale. When they ask me about the process I tell them that I’ll auction their shares. There is no better way to get the maximum value for them. They usually like my idea when I go into the details.

And the most important detail, for company shares as well as works of art, is: invite all potential buyers to this auction and show them the benefits of this acquisition. The process needs to have a marketing approach behind it.

Afterwards, the fear of losing an opportunity or losing to someone else helps the buyers to give their best offer. ☺

Music of the blog: Soul II Soul – Back To Life (1988)

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