Repped Artist Websites (best / worst)
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Question: what part of the world is this being done in? Is this color or black and white? Does that price even include shipping?

Depending on what they are doing, I am not at all surprised at that figure. Could be a cash grab, or it could be 100% legitimate. Especially if the artist is choosing to outsource their digital art for print.


I know many digital print houses here in the States that have a $80-100 minimum just to push a button and print you whatever comes out on archival paper with archival inks. Some are more than that. Especially depending on size. Then there is the matter of image correction. Depending on the artist, they may want the print to look a certain way, but the color or grays may not come out of the machine exactly as imagined. So then you are into color correcting. They could run 20 rounds of prints on paper, to come up with the one good one that you receive (the rest going in the trash). Many fine artists spend days doing this to get things just right for a small signed print run. Imagine the "pressure" they feel if this is a 1/1 of their creation? It is supposed to represent what they do in the world. So in the worlds I've traveled digital printing company wise, a small print like this could be $350 all by itself. Not including paying an artist for their work. Not covering shipping, or a dealer's cut or anything else. Just the printing.

The biggest hangup I have with digital printing and 1/1 print originals are the costs inherent in making the art into "art". At a low dollar value like this, it wouldn't surprise me if the printing company makes more off this sale than the artist. how jacked up is that? And that $350, you are paying a big chunk to someone other than the artist to make what will represent that artist. So many ways where a piece created in the flesh with human hands is superior, no matter how a given artist prefers to work.

Chances are they aren't jumping through quite so many hoops, but $200-350 feels like it's all in the same ballpark anyway. Not a $2000 digital print. or a $8000 digital print... now you are getting into really paying up for the art. I've seen 1-off digital prints of non-household name artists sell out at $15K - 25K+ through some more fine art galleries. That's a tough pill to swallow.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Unstoppablejayd said:

Here is a fun one from an unnamed rep this week... I was after a specific page that was not listed yet by an artist he reps... and the art was digital so it would be one of those One of one prints (I do not usually collect them but I really wanted the page) he offered it to me for 200- I said ok, if the artist will sign and remark the back of it- he says no problem..

YOUR understanding is it would be a 1-of-1.  But is that the understanding of the rep and artist ?  And that's what the remark would indicate ?? 

@ESeffinga 's follow up comment puts another spin on this topic... if this isn't just about a simple HP inkjet printout on high quality paper you can get from Staples.

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31 minutes ago, ESeffinga said:

Question: what part of the world is this being done in? Is this color or black and white? Does that price even include shipping?

Depending on what they are doing, I am not at all surprised at that figure. Could be a cash grab, or it could be 100% legitimate. Especially if the artist is choosing to outsource their digital art for print.

Italy- Black and White,  I was not aware of that,but I would think the rep would be who originally quoted me $200. This would be my first drop into one of one prints as I am more of a traditionalist. The rep is US based and i would have to wait for his next shipment from the artist. I guess my biggest issue is the jump from original quote.

20 minutes ago, Will_K said:

YOUR understanding is it would be a 1-of-1.  But is that the understanding of the rep and artist ?  And that's what the remark would indicate ?? 

@ESeffinga 's follow up comment puts another spin on this topic... if this isn't just about a simple HP inkjet printout on high quality paper you can get from Staples.

It is what he presented .. a one of one in lieu of traditional OA, he sells other digital artist like this on his site all the time. I asked for the remark to make me feel a little better about diving into the digital stuff and also as somewhat of a provenance. 

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46 minutes ago, Unstoppablejayd said:

I guess my biggest issue is the jump from original quote.

I'd walk. The entire thing stinks. No matter what BS is being spun about overseas printing, this is really about your asking for it to be signed, numbered 1/1 and remarqued (get it right folks ;) ). That (1/1) should be a given for $200. So it's $150 for the signature and a doodle? Riiiiiiight. I'd walk.

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6 hours ago, Unstoppablejayd said:

I agree- direct with artist no negotiation... but that is why they have reps.. so they can work out what is best .. both higher and lower..

Here is a fun one from an unnamed rep this week... I was after a specific page that was not listed yet by an artist he reps... and the art was digital so it would be one of those One of one prints (I do not usually collect them but I really wanted the page) he offered it to me for 200- I said ok, if the artist will sign and remark the back of it- he says no problem.. I then get an email saying it may be slightly more as getting it printed proper over seas is an issue. OK... he comes back at $350?????? (shrug) ... But we are not supposed to negotiate with them?????

Expensive paper. My instinct would be to tell him that you are offering to pay $200 for a f*cking print. What’s he printing it on, a Guttenberg press? Then, If he won’t take it, walk away. Otherwise, you will get the same treatment from him in the future.

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11 hours ago, vodou said:

Ideally you can afford the art you're purchasing (in my world, layaway = can't afford), but if you're going to stretch it out anyway, why not throw it on a card and then still ask for that discount now? (I'm assuming you haven't already maxxed this option out on other things you can't afford and that you have a zero% rate option already or easily available to you, if not...time to back away from highly unnecessary comic art!)

That's another topic, and not a bad one: "Is Collecting Comic OA Within Your Means, and Are You Being Responsible About It?" For me, collecting the high end stuff isn't within my means at this time. I haven't yet spent 4 figures on a piece, let alone 5, which almost seems beyond comprehension, or at least reach, to me, unless I set up a savings account specifically for that and build it up for a few years. But, I can afford to spend 3 figures on a piece here and there, which is what I'm doing in my early collecting adventure.

The 2 layaways I set up were not so much "I can't afford them," as "I'd like to place these on hold and pay them in bits rather than save up a few weeks and risk them being bought by someone else before I get to them." I could have bought them immediately, but that wouldn't have been responsible of me with my other financial responsibilities. Neither piece hits 4 digits, by the way, but 1 comes close. The other is a good amount cheaper. I could have also bought them with a credit card, but I don't have 0% interest. This way, the pieces are on hold for me, and there are no extra fees, unless you count my voided hypothetical pay now discount. As far as debt goes, I don't have much, just my mortgage and an AC I bought with a credit card that will be paid off next month. I also didn't want to add debt. Layaway isn't exactly debt. If I don't pay, I simply don't get the piece, and lose some of the money I've paid as well as face. No collection company will come for me and my credit rating won't change. Also, both layaway plans are short-term. Both will be paid off before the end of September. I probably honestly jumped the gun out of excitement and needless worry. Had I just waited and bought each piece at 1 time, they'd probably had still been there next month when I was ready. But hey, I'm excited about the hobby, so making impulse moves, so long as they aren't irresponsible, aren't the end of the world. I'm still happy about both pieces and excited to get them. Besides, you never know when someone else might pop out of nowhere to buy a piece. I mean, it happened with me, right?

As for everyone's consensus on reputation, that makes a lot of sense. And that's something I realize will take time for me to build. I wouldn't be able to send a message to Albert Moy and talk him down 20% and cheaper shipping on a piece. He doesn't know me. But hey, 1 of my pieces is from him, so it's a start. Meeting people and chatting here helps build relationships (and teaches me about the hobby and business). Chatting with other collectors on CAF helps. And yeah, just being in the hobby, participating, building a collection, meeting buyers, sellers, creators, and collectors, it all adds up, and is a natural path to growing and learning.

Hmm...back to topic: both Albert and Felix were kind enough to let me set up layaway plans. Both responded very quickly to my inquiries, and both were fine with the time frame I asked for. I'm thankful for that, and I'm sure I will be a repeat customer to both.

Edited by BuraddoRun
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Joseph at brit comic art is always great to deal with. Tom at fanfare was immonen’s agent and was great but sadly retired I believe. Albert, will g, are great to deal with. Many others. 

imho
I think what is going on alot right now with OA is that the dealers and reps are having to engage social media, and price for immediate sales via internet more than ever (instead of just at shows) before and to various degrees they understand or don’t understand how to do that or maybe better put - some are having more difficulty with the learning curve. They are not the go-to place to sell art... the auction houses are crushing in that department... and since more and more artists are having to pay the bills/supplement with commissions instead of paying gigs, the landscape has also changed from that p.o.v.. new strategies and ideas about how to develop loyalty have changed the modern art sales landscape. 
 

there is more access to more art than ever before but the margins are smaller, the room to negotiate smaller. 
 

cheers

b

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10 hours ago, brettfes said:

I think what is going on alot right now with OA is that the dealers and reps are having to engage social media, and price for immediate sales via internet more than ever (instead of just at shows) before and to various degrees they understand or don’t understand how to do that or maybe better put - some are having more difficulty with the learning curve. They are not the go-to place to sell art... the auction houses are crushing in that department... and since more and more artists are having to pay the bills/supplement with commissions instead of paying gigs, the landscape has also changed from that p.o.v.. new strategies and ideas about how to develop loyalty have changed the modern art sales landscape. 

How is the artists' market for monthly titles now compared to 10 or 20 or 30 years ago? I know volume per title continues to decline. Is the same true for the total number of pages published monthly, and the page rate? If employment opportunities with the big companies are declining, then that's more artists dealing directly with individual customers.

I've seen how well that works (or doesn't) in the indie music business, with musicians using Kickstarter to collect money from fans in exchange for the production of an album that has only an estimated finish time, no actual deadline. Many artists are temperamentally unsuited to that environment. Without a contract holding their feet to the fire, many musicians find it easy to delay project completion another week, month, even year while accepting, starting, and completing other time-sensitive assignments from corporate clients. This is especially true of "I'll make a recording just for you," which is the music version of a pin-up commission. I have two of those deals which have been languishing in incomplete-land for years now, with the artists making no effort to periodically contact the customer to say, "I know I took your money, and I haven't forgotten my obligation."

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On 8/25/2020 at 8:11 PM, Unstoppablejayd said:

Negotiations are an art form so it is not a hard and fast rule.. and some will not negotiate at all be aware of that (cough cough ALbert Cough).. I would say depending on the size of the piece 10/20%  - 

I actually respect Albert Moy for his business model.  It replicates a professional retail store.  You don't go into a Target, Wal-Mart, Nordstrom or Costco and haggle with a sticker that clearly states the price.  Do you want everyone to be like Coollines dealing like used car salesmen from Tijuana?  Rate integrity is important.  If you deal with a seller who lists something for $5k then offer $4k and they accept, you'll always ignore the price tag.  If that same seller counteroffers you, and you reach an agreement, but the next time he takes your offer without a counteroffer, you feel you may have offered too much and could have offered less.  It's a amateur business model.

I enjoy buying from Albert and know his price tags are what they are.

As a seller you avoid low-ball offers from buyers who don't come strong with their best foot forward trying to get a deal.  As a buyer, you can feel treated fairly from a straight shooter.  The marketplace benefits from sellers not gauging and buyers not wasting sellers time.  

I do get it, there's no comparable nor competition with "one of a kind" items like OA, no price guide and many work that way of what they wish for ($5k), what they want ($4k) and what they'll take ($2k) so price at the top giving them wiggle room as that's how so many buyers operate, but it would be nice to normalize the professionalism.

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My one pet peeve is dealers / sellers who charge fees if you pay by credit card or insist on you paying their Pay Pal fees if using Goods/Services (as opposed to Friends/Family personal to circumvent fees).  

I feel, as a business, you've taken a role to behave professionally.  It's amateur to nickle and dime the payment process.

Honestly, if a seller is so worried about that 2-3% merchant processing fee or Pay Pal fee, they're running a poorly designed business, it's the cost of doing business.  It makes them look petty.

If a seller is running such a low margin business that they need that small bump in revenue, they should simple take into account that fee and raise their prices by even 5% or 10% to cover it (and even add profitability) or inversely, instead of charging a fee for credit card users, offer a discount for those who don't and pay in equivalent to cash if they've raised their prices.

I've consulted with one dealer to change their business structure (charging fees based on payment processing) to open their eyes to just how petty they were and looked like, and they did change it.  I said "welcome to the big leagues" as they've been promoted out of the minor leagues.

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1 hour ago, BeholdersEye said:

I actually respect Albert Moy for his business model.  It replicates a professional retail store.  You don't go into a Target, Wal-Mart, Nordstrom or Costco and haggle with a sticker that clearly states the price.  Do you want everyone to be like Coollines dealing like used car salesmen from Tijuana?  Rate integrity is important.  If you deal with a seller who lists something for $5k then offer $4k and they accept, you'll always ignore the price tag.  If that same seller counteroffers you, and you reach an agreement, but the next time he takes your offer without a counteroffer, you feel you may have offered too much and could have offered less.  It's a amateur business model.

I enjoy buying from Albert and know his price tags are what they are.

As a seller you avoid low-ball offers from buyers who don't come strong with their best foot forward trying to get a deal.  As a buyer, you can feel treated fairly from a straight shooter.  The marketplace benefits from sellers not gauging and buyers not wasting sellers time.  

I do get it, there's no comparable nor competition with "one of a kind" items like OA, no price guide and many work that way of what they wish for ($5k), what they want ($4k) and what they'll take ($2k) so price at the top giving them wiggle room as that's how so many buyers operate, but it would be nice to normalize the professionalism.

I have actually negotiated in big box stores... and there are also sales coupons employee discounts etc... and competition from others selling like products/ unlike as you said one of a kind pieces that prices are just made on the fly. And as you pointed out- if they want to be a “true retail” then they would not pass on fees when using a credit card or PayPal. Can’t have it both ways . 

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8 hours ago, BeholdersEye said:

I actually respect Albert Moy for his business model. 

 

8 hours ago, BeholdersEye said:

I enjoy buying from Albert and know his price tags are what they are.

So far so good, all above, I agree.

8 hours ago, BeholdersEye said:

My one pet peeve is dealers / sellers who charge fees if you pay by credit card or insist on you paying their Pay Pal fees if using Goods/Services (as opposed to Friends/Family personal to circumvent fees).  

I feel, as a business, you've taken a role to behave professionally.  It's amateur to nickle and dime the payment process.

Honestly, if a seller is so worried about that 2-3% merchant processing fee or Pay Pal fee, they're running a poorly designed business, it's the cost of doing business.  It makes them look petty.

If a seller is running such a low margin business that they need that small bump in revenue, they should simple take into account that fee and raise their prices by even 5% or 10% to cover it (and even add profitability) or inversely, instead of charging a fee for credit card users, offer a discount for those who don't and pay in equivalent to cash if they've raised their prices.

However, this is where the problem creeps in. I don't want to beat up on Albert (there really isn't any reason to imo), but the essence of our lengthy and considered "discussion" over where he was and where I was and how to bring us together to get several (truly, well over a decade) stale pieces off his site and into my collection was really about: all the nickel and diming past the posted prices (again, those prices over a decade old too and zero bites).

I feel that my role as a buyer coming into such a situation is that I'm adding liquidity to the Gobi desert -on more than one piece too- which means I'm expecting some give on those Gobi-prices from the guy that's thirsty. So that was agreed but then the follow-through had all the nickel and diming stuff tacked on and really...that mostly ate up whatever "give" there was for me stepping up when nobody else has in over a decade. So I was pretty much "uh uh" but in a more sweary way ;) (in my head, not how I convey myself in communications!) I'm not in the business of negotiating toward greater price equilibrium just to then line the pockets of FedEx and PayPal. I told Albert what I thought of that, how he presents as highly professional and how that tail-end aspect kinda negates the experience up to that point, how it sours perceptions and that perhaps that's not how he'd like to leave customers (potential or definite) at the end of the day. And...he had his reasons for his position, not bad ones either...if the prices were @ market. But they are not, so we figured it out and voila! deal done, dust off his shelf, art on mine :) which is a credit to his ability to at least listen to reason if not always react to it lol, though he did both in my case.

All of the above written with the utmost respect for everything Albert except the nickel-and-diming on already high retail prices part. I believe that's something he may be more open to figuring out with people now that he is (thanks to me) up on Venmo.

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7 hours ago, Unstoppablejayd said:

if they want to be a “true retail” then they would not pass on fees when using a credit card or PayPal.

Yes. Only gas stations get to pull this junk off lol

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Getting a bit off topic but I think the one issue most of us have is when a piece is sitting on a site for a long time (e.g. 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 10 years, etc.). And there is no price movement. This relates to either art that has been bought and sold many times or is being sold by the artist (through a rep) for the first time. As much as I don't like "Inquire", it feels worst to see the piece on the site for 3 years and when you ask for a discount, there is none to be had. 

I said this story before, but there is an artist who I really like that works through a rep. I had bought two pieces (these are several thousand dollar pieces each for reference) and I couldn't get a discount but shipping was included. Since the art had to be shipped from another country it probably saved me some dollars. 

So I just recently inquired about another piece that has been available for over five years and asked for a discount. Once again, no discount, plus was told that the price of that piece and several others were going to be raised to fall more in-line with new art pricing by this artist. I have actually met the artist at a con, nice person and have communicated once or twice by email (but I'm sure he wouldn't remember me). Therefore, I did take the piece I wanted, before the price was increased. But the part that makes zero sense, is that if he did give me a discount (say 10%) I would probably buy a few more. It is not like anyone else is going to know! I get not lowering the price on a website, but make a better deal if many years go by without a sale at the listed price. 

Of course, since I did buy the piece, I didn't help my case. That said, I am not one to walk away from something I really want over a few dollars as I realize these are one of a kind items. Just a bit frustrating.

 

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7 hours ago, Unstoppablejayd said:

I have actually negotiated in big box stores... and there are also sales coupons employee discounts etc... and competition from others selling like products/ unlike as you said one of a kind pieces that prices are just made on the fly. And as you pointed out- if they want to be a “true retail” then they would not pass on fees when using a credit card or PayPal. Can’t have it both ways . 

Yeah, promotional sales are great.  I love when dealer advertise limited time % off sales.

I'm not a fan of Coupon Codes or seeing the "Enter coupon code" boxes on online checkouts. I used to run a direct to consumer marketing company and we found that unless you actually had regular coupons and wanted to use the data for affiliates or to see where/how people found out about your offer, an inactive coupon code campaign loses sales, as there's then a perception that coupon exists and shoppers google for that code endlessly to no avail and sometimes ultimately have an attitude of "I won't buy now, I'll wait for the coupon" (similar to how people felt about shopping at "Bed Bath and Beyond" famous for their 20% off or $5 off of $15 mailed coupon postcards).

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3 minutes ago, sfilosa said:

So I just recently inquired about another piece that has been available for over five years and asked for a discount. Once again, no discount, plus was told that the price of that piece and several others were going to be raised to fall more in-line with new art pricing by this artist. I have actually met the artist at a con, nice person and have communicated once or twice by email (but I'm sure he wouldn't remember me). Therefore, I did take the piece I wanted, before the price was increased. But the part that makes zero sense, is that if he did give me a discount (say 10%) I would probably buy a few more. It is not like anyone else is going to know! I get not lowering the price on a website, but make a better deal if many years go by without a sale at the listed price. 

There is a dichotomy in our hobby. Most sellers (collectors, dealers, reps) price "out of comics" and the minority rest price "out of fine art". Those are two different pricing models with two different goals in mind. The former, to turn as much inventory (profitably) as often as possible, thus price is set and negotiated to always be attractive to somebody (and the more, the merrier too). The Churn. The latter...to make you (the sole buyer that's shown any interest in the last six months) feel excruciating pain throughout the entirety of the purchase process yet still in some form of "all ages" S/M fetish life walk away feeling: very, very lucky ;)

Of course there are few sellers, typically ineffective, that are confused as to which they are or intentionally try to merge the two and that doesn't especially work. For example: The Donnelly's listing "inquire" on Trimpe Hulk panel pages in the 1990s, when covers were only $400ish with Mitch (Graphic Collectibles). That was...funny lol

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Some of these have had a mention a couple have not.

Agree that Kirby's Comic Art, is very professional proactive, works very hard for the clients and helps facilitate getting art into Fans hands.

Spencer Bek and Artists Choice, not sure if mentioned yet, and know many posts have been made on Spencer but back when I started in 2016 he helped me get some stuff from multiple artists plus art that had not been on the site yet. If I had stopped the first day I dealt with Spencer I would have been happy and had a lot more money. It is still my favourite piece.

Pencil Ink and Color - straight forward easy to deal with

Chiaroscuro-studios from Sth America and helped me with Art from Ivan Reis, both published, in solicitations and a great commission, that turned out much more than I had been quoted. Patience helps.

Also I look at modern art as an expense not an investment. I know with my SA there will I think always be a level of demand with DC mainly based on limited supply (especially most non Superman titles), but with modern, I look at it like a holiday. Once spent I have images to look at instead of photos and memories.

 

 

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